Tuesday 14 March 2006

Thais (again)

Massenet's opera Thais seems to be rather in the air at the moment; Grange Park Opera are doing it in June (yes, we're going). Now the Chatelet Theatre in Paris have sent out details of their 2006/2007 season and it includes a series of performances of the opera, with Renee Fleming in the title role and Gerald Finley in the rather intractable role of Athanael (he has to spend rather a lot of time being good, which is always rather difficult in opera and can end up coming over as unsufferably priggish).

Now I've just been reading obituaries for the soprano Anna Moffo who, in my mind, is associated with the opera. This is because in the late '70s when we saw performances of Thais at the Royal Northern College of music, the only available recording had Moffo in the title role. It wasn't ideal (she sang the part using a rather annoying sexy vibrato). But then when Beverley Sills recorded the role, one critic commented that Sills sounded like a barmaid!

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