Roberto Devereux / The Metropolitan Opera
In the title role of Roberto Devereux, Matthew Polenzani once again showed why he is one of the leading tenors in the world. His voice continues to be a wonder in the lyric repertoire and this time it took on some dramatic colors that one had never heard."
In his famous aria “Come uno spirito angelico,” Polenzani sang with his signature mezza voce and beautiful legato ending his phrases with an impeccable falsetto. While his aria showed a more vulnerable side, the difficult cabaletta “Bagnato il sen di lagrime,” Polezani sang with impeccable technique but there was something triumphant by the last note that Polenzani added.
In the duet with Elizabeth, Polenzani’s Roberto clearly knew this was a confrontation scene and Polenzani did not mind displaying this with his high notes. In the repeat, Polenzani interpolated a high C against Radavanovsky’s high note. This was no competition for who had the better high note,but a dramatic moment that stated that this Roberto was not afraid of Elizabeth nor did he care if he died. During this duet, Polezani also interpolated another high note on the words ‘Non amo” and this was yet another dramatic moment that showed this Roberto didn’t mind standing up to Elizabeth.
However, in the duet with Garanca’s Sara, Polenzani was driven by passion, happiness and ecstasy. Unlike his confrontations to Elizabeth, here Polenzani searched for Garanca’s Sara who constantly tried to move away from him. Here Polezani sang with ardor and passion, something that has not been heard before to this point in the opera. It was clear that he suffered to leave her and his high notes were cries of desperation. This was a revelatory Polenzani at his finest to date.