Review Roundup: FEDORA Opens at the Metropolitan Opera; What Did the Critics Think?

Performances run through January 28.

By: Jan. 03, 2023
Review Roundup: FEDORA Opens at the Metropolitan Opera; What Did the Critics Think?
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Fedora officially opened at the Metropolitan Opera on New Year's Eve, December 31. Performances run through January 28.

Umberto Giordano's exhilarating drama returns to the Met repertory for the first time in 25 years. Packed with memorable melody, showstopping arias, and explosive confrontations, Fedora requires a cast of thrilling voices to take flight, and the Met's new production promises to deliver.

Soprano Sonya Yoncheva, one of today's most riveting artists, sings the title role of the 19th-century Russian princess who falls in love with her fiancé's murderer, Count Loris, sung by star tenor Piotr Beczała. Soprano Rosa Feola is the Countess Olga, Fedora's confidante, and baritone Lucas Meachem is the diplomat De Siriex, with Met maestro Marco Armiliato conducting. Director David McVicar delivers a detailed and dramatic staging based around an ingenious fixed set that, like a Russian nesting doll, unfolds to reveal the opera's three distinctive settings-a palace in St. Petersburg, a fashionable Parisian salon, and a picturesque villa in the Swiss Alps.

Read the reviews below!

Richard Sasanow, BroadwayWorld: The opera seemed to supply the audience with a helluva good time, despite a plot that even left the creators of the production scratching their heads, as detailed in a New York Times feature a couple of days earlier, and enough melodrama for a half-dozen silent movies. (It made me long for the days before subtitles came to the Met.) The production's creators made much of the difficulties those involved seemed to have making sense of Colautti's libretto.

Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times: The soprano Sonya Yoncheva and the tenor Piotr Beczala, playing aristocrats locked in a series of betrayals and counter-betrayals, passionately loved and raged; the conductor Marco Armiliato and the Met's orchestra brought restrained silkiness out of the pit; David McVicar's staging was bustling and handsome. A good time was had by all.

Rick Perdian, New York Classical Review: Mirella Freni, the last soprano to sing Fedora at the Met, exuded majesty and restrained passion. By comparison, Yoncheva was more imperious and dangerous, singing with a freedom that was not evident in either her solo recital or as Élisabeth de Valois in Verdi's Don Carlos last season. Fedora's emotional tempest kindled emotions in Yoncheva which resulted in free-flowing, voluptuous sound that equalled the physical glamour that she brought to the role.

Harry Rose, Parterre: The physical production, save for Brigitte Reiffenstuel's sumptuous gowns and the numerous lovely coiffures and wigs, looks cheap. Charles Edward's set, which deteriorates into abstraction starting in Act I, looks under-furnished yet cluttered with several dangling ceiling panels that suggest a theatre, a barn and a disorganized linen closet simultaneously. Adam Silverman's lighting is subtle, though certain cues will likely tighten up as the run progresses. Marco Armiliato's approach in the orchestra pit was similarly uncreative, though the strings in particular played beautifully.

To read more reviews, click here!


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