The wintry blasts that began this annum made one more receptive than might otherwise be the case to Charles Gounods melodious but problematic opera Roméo et Juliette. The Lyric Operas run of this sprawling Shakespeare adaptation was undeniably enhanced by the much anticipated Chicago debut of the operatic couple of the moment, Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu.
It sometimes seems that todays opera world, while bounteous in vocal talent, is barren of the larger-than-life Callas-like figures that grab the musical publics imagination. With the frenzy over Cecilia Bartoli having cooled and the hoary predictability and faux spontaneity of the Three Tenors international road show grown more stale and less credible than presidential statements of contrition, the real-life romantic tale of Alagna and Gheorghiu appears to have seized opera mavens mercurial fancies. Indeed, the details of the courtship ...
Lawrence Johnson is
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