I did too, and there were so many of them! Seamless changes -- no delays, no sound.

A strange thing happened to me during the "Nel giardin del bello". I started hearing another voice in my head, singing the aria the way I thought it ought to be sung. It was Tatiana Troyanos's voice. Weird. Two voices at the same time, two different tonal qualities, not always the same tempo, one clean vibrato and one slurry one. Both voices, side by side. That's never happened before (and I hope it never happens again!).

Troyanos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrbPQjftRCA

Austin, Eboli has been played without an eye patch before -- by Grace Bumbry, for one.

Whenever Rodrigo and Carlo sang together, it was obvious how hard Simon Keenlyside had to work to get the proper sound out. You could almost see him willing that diaphragm to open down a little more. But all Roberto Alagna had to do was remember to keep his mouth open, and the sound just came pouring out. They still managed to produce a nice blend, just the same. Alagna didn't quite nail his first aria, but he got stronger as the opera progressed. Carlo, like Rhadames and the Duke of Mantua, starts the opera with a big aria but with no onstage warm-up time. The square-jawed Russian singing Elizabeth (Marina Poplavskaya) has a good strong soprano and was well-matched with Alagna.

It was an exciting production, I thought. Nothing but winners so far this season.