Massenet – Thais; (Metropolitan Opera) (2010)
Renée Fleming stars as the glamorous courtesan Thaïs in Jules Massenet’s romantic opera set in fourth century Alexandria and the Egyptian desert.
What is most important is that the singers on this DVD are Metropolitan Opera stars, and that is paramount, in my view. Sets, colors, costumes, are – for me – secondary.
Both Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson show us first hand that they are outstanding singers for this opera. Supporting the opera’s singing cast is the great Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, plus chorus and Ballet, conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos.
Opera star Renee Fleming makes the most of this role, and her voice is spectacular, as usual. She also looks spectacular, and she has the true vocal capabilities to bring this strange and decadent character of Thais to life. Thomas Hampson is seen and heard in the lead male role as the attractive, aristocratic Athanael. Hampson’s singing is beautiful, and he forms a great partner for Fleming. His singing is lyrical, musical, with great phrasing and the appropriate sensitivity and style.
Here is Rene Fleming performing and aria from Thais:
And here’s an audio with both Fleming and Hampson: