Barbara, is that the chorus you've been remembering for years?
No. It was completely re-staged, losing most of what made the earlier chorus so stunning. Loss of precision, loss of momentum, loss of the glazed look on the faces of the women, loss of the hypnotic quality of the intricate choreography perfectly executed. (Hey, fellas, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.) One thing they got right was dividing the witches into three groups in their first scene, a stage direction Verdi indicated but which is usually ignored. But on the whole this staging gave us a bunch of clowns, with a new element of sluttiness added to the mix. This is a chorus I want to forget. HUGE disappointment.
But I couldn't agree more about Netrebko. She made this opera her own, powerful and subtle and nuanced all at the same time. I've never heard a Lady Macbeth like that before.
BTW, did you catch Anita Rachvelishvili's little slip in one of the interviews? She wished two singers luck in La Clemenza di Figaro