Magazine article Opera Canada

A View from the Bridge: Isabel Bayrakdarian (Catherine) and Kim Josephson (Eddie) in the Metropolitan Opera Production. (Opera in Review: New York)

Magazine article Opera Canada

A View from the Bridge: Isabel Bayrakdarian (Catherine) and Kim Josephson (Eddie) in the Metropolitan Opera Production. (Opera in Review: New York)

Article excerpt

William Balcom's A View from the Bridge, which premiered at the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1999, opened at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2002. The bridge in question is the Brooklyn Bridge, which frequently loomed in back projection over the action.

Balcom's score fuses several disparate elements-echoes of Italian verismo, 1950s pop and his own, often more angular, declamatory style--to convey the violent tensions of the narrative. The musical melting pot suits very well the story of mainly Italian immigrants in the dockland area.

Most of the production team and the lead singers worked on the Chicago production, which eased the transition to New York. However, there were substitutions when I attended, which I expected to weaken the performance. In the event, I was proved wrong, especially in the case of the main figure, Eddie Carbone. In the absence of Kim Josephson, Richard Zeller overpowered the stage, as befits a character whose disintegration and death follow the sharp curve of Greek tragedy. His long-suffering wife, Beatrice, was sung by Catherine Malfitano. Her voice has lost some of its opulence, but more appropriately for this role, it retains its primal authority. …

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