“If standing ovations in our opera houses, like tips in restaurants, seem more obligatory than meritorious these days, it’s often attributed to less discerning audiences. But, last night, when the cheering audience jumped to its feet at the end of Nabucco, it wasn’t to cheer the eponymous hero or Moshinsky’s production (both were snoozers), but rather the truly superb Abigaille of soprano Maria Guleghina. The murderously high tessitura of Abigaille holds no terror for soprano Maria Guleghina, who has sung this role all over the world and, I suspect, is vocally more accomplished than even Giuseppina Strepponi (Verdi’s soon-to-be mistress) from the original cast. Ms. Guleghina’s powerful voice projects like a razor-sharp laser beam with a warm glow in the center. It is a voice capable of the most blood-curdling cries as well as the softest, most poignant tones. (Abigaille’s final aria “Su me, morente” brought tears to these eyes). Ms. Guleghina belongs to that rare breed of singers nowadays – the true Verdi soprano.”

Treatment by Truman C. Wang