This was a terrific overblown night out. I mean, this is a two for one, as you get an opera AND a ballet, for the price of one opera. And you get the devil doing dastardly things. And the ballet involves scenes of mass simulated copulation. Rene Pape was a wonderful mischievous forceful yet camp (he wore a dress in one memorable scene) Satan, and I felt Gounod missed a trick by making his Golden Calf aria so short - I could have done with at least five rounds of the great "Satan conduit la bal" (Satan leads the dance) chorus. Angela Gheorgiu seems to have sold her soul to Satan, as she appears younger every time I see her, in addition to singing emotionally and beautifully the Jewel song, so famous as the aria Bianca Castafiore sings in the Tintin graphic novels. Vittorio Grigolo was more dashing, and handsome and impassioned than I have seen him before, and it was funny when he turned around at the curtain call to shamlessly reveal an "I love London" t-shirt. Hvorotovsky's Valentin gets beaten up by ballet dancers, that's how overblown this thing is, maybe for singing so sonorously. What a cast. What a night. Could have been even more overblown for five stars. :) - Steve
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