I wish I knew Hoffmann better; this is only the third production I've seen. I know there's always a lot of tweaking and cutting and re-arranging, but I was surprised at how small Giulietta's role was -- and how large Nicklausse's role had become! Co-star status. Is it possible Giulietta's part was cut down to make room for an expansion of Nicklausse's role? Can that be done? Enlarging of the Nicklausse role would have been to take advantage of Garanca's considerable talents; but Kate Lindsey, her replacement, couldn't match all the big voices around her. She seemed to grow stronger after the first act, but there was a hint she had some help. In the "Barcarolle" her voice all but drowned out Ekaterina Gubanova's, which would take some doing. It sounded to me as if the volume had been boosted in Lindsey's microphone alone. (Can they do that?)

I didn't care for the set for the tavern scenes -- too drab. I will be sooooo glad when the Met gets over its love affair with black/brown/gray sets and costumes.

Aside from those two things, I loved everything else about this production. I liked Calleja's warm, open tenor, and I too flipped over Kim's Olympia. Lots of spontaneous applause in my movie theater, with no hesitation in any of it. Sometimes you see something you like so much, you just have to pound your hands together.

[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 12-22-2009).]