Manon - Royal Opera House, 29 June 2010
Following a brief flexing of her Manon-muscles in Vienna at the weekend, Anna Netrebko was back at Covent Garden on Monday night to recommence battle against Laurent Pelly's MDF and frilly knickers. Her new, bigger voice takes a while to settle, but once it did she was even more impressive than on opening night. There was one moment of danger - a near-crack on a solitary top D - but from then on she sailed through.
In fact everyone seemed to have upped their game - the orchestra sounded freer, the cast more relaxed. Vittorio Grigolo was the most changed, and entirely for the better. He reined in his opening night excesses and turned in a characterisation of some subtlety, revealing a world of vocal colour previously masked beneath can belto volume and acting skillz way beyond arm-flinging. Hope Covent Garden have secured a return booking while they can.