The orchestra, chorus, costumes and dancing saved this lackluster performance.
TheLittleSongBird was very gracious and accurate with her review. If, however, Renee Fleming were feeling poorly, she should have called for the understudy. Her high notes dried up and her sustained notes failed - she was unconvincing in general. Granted, youth is not on her side but I still think The Merry Widow has way more to offer. Alek Shrader has youth on his side but his performance was even worse. He treated the role as if it were a heart-rending sphincter-wrenching Italian opera and did it badly. Kelli O'Hara did a good job, kudos! Nathan Gunn's performance was ho hum, acting and vocal interpretation both. The libretto was ghastly. There are better performances than this in the YouTube archives. The orchestra, chorus, costumes and dancing kept this performance out of the trash heap.
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