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Renée Fleming continues her reign as ‘Queen of the MET’, starring in a bel canto rarity specially staged for her – a showcase for her extraordinary vocal virtuosity. This bel canto extravaganza is presented here on 2 DVDs.
In addition to the great prima donna title role, Armida uniquely features no fewer than six tenor roles, here led by the acclaimed young American tenor Lawrence Brownlee.
In Mary Zimmerman’s magical new production, supported by striking sets and colourful costumes and a fully-staged ballet, the ‘real world’ of the Crusaders and the fantastical realm of Armida’s enchanted island are clearly contrasted
Of Renée Fleming’s performance, the The Opera Critic said: “The beautiful singing and appearance of Fleming make this an event worth seeing… She was especially brilliant in her long final scene which calls for rich legato singing as well as flashy ornamentation”.
“musically, there is a great deal to commend. In terms of a live performance, Renée Fleming’s Armida is amazing: consistently beautiful sound, all the notes at top and bottom, spot-on agility in even the trickiest fioriture, all made to sound almost too easy...And all those tenors? Lawrence Brownlee also fields beautifully liquid tone as Rinaldo, and has a technical proficiency to match Flórez...Banks, in his double assignment, gives him a good run for his money”
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