In Ms. Netrebko’s Technicolor world, broadcast to a couple four hundred,000 followers, costume is daywear, and social media is an exclamatory playhouse even grander and more neon-shining than the productions she headlines.
Right here’s how Ms. Netrebko, 47, has turn into the most mesmerizing opera singer of our time: She defines “further.” She pushes herself to her limits, after which fits a step further, generally in purple mink. She embodies an excess that lies at the molten core of opera, and which spills into the pictures she unloads online.
Now no longer finest does the garnet glint of her advise non-public you settle on to must gussy up for the opera, but it also makes you settle on to must gussy up for all times, to flee out onto your snow-covered high-upward thrust balcony for your bathing suit, appropriate worship she does.
How many of us comprise longed to don a poncho and hot pants for an tour to Denny’s? Or identified deep in our hearts that the finest acceptable fabric for a sweatshirt is lamé? Ms. Netrebko brings the joys of probability to all these reveries, which for her seem worship no longer in any appreciate an act; she manages to non-public being over-the-high a automobile for authenticity.
She wasn’t always the next-than-life presence. Her advise used to be tiny and chirpy when she used to be a 20-something no-title from Krasnodar and won the Glinka singing competition. Her colossal spoil came when the conductor Valery Gergiev began featuring her within the mid-1990s in lyrical ingénue roles worship Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro” and Louisa in “Betrothal in a Monastery.”
Early coups in North The USA — such because the title piece in Glinka’s “Ruslan and Lyudmila” and Natasha within the Met’s first production of Prokofiev’s “War and Peace,” in 2002 — played to her image befriend then, as a waif from the steppes. A press canard about her having been realized whereas scrubbing away as a janitor at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg cemented her standing because the supreme Anastasia form.
On the opposite hand, these early appearances dazzled with their decidedly self-possessed and canny design to the topic topic. A highlight of her 2006 “Russian Album” with Mr. Gergiev is an aria she has under no conditions performed onstage, from Rachmaninov’s quick opera “Francesca da Rimini.”
The heroine, within the origin piously reluctant to discover the advances of her husband’s youthful brother, sooner or later succumbs to adulterous desire. Correct because the emotional transformation reaches its climax, the song startles with a shining, introspective diminuendo that drifts down from the heavens, a passage Ms. Netrebko navigates with trembling and bewitched delicacy.
Critics will argue, but her metamorphosis from baby chanteuse to correct diva seemingly passed off round 2005, at the Salzburg Festival, where she starred as Violetta in Willy Decker’s stark and bright staging of “La Traviata,” a efficiency as feverish because the scarlet cocktail dress whereby she twirled. She took one other step into tale with her 2014 Met look as a platinum-blonde Lady Macbeth.
In Italian, the advise merely pours out of her. Take into story her “Miserere” from Act IV of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” whereby she makes an are trying to free her lover from imprisonment with tidal rushes of sound. As Donizetti’s doomed Anne Boleyn at the Met in 2011, her enraged scene cabaletta used to be imbued with the roughly crapulent ardor one might reach across at a truck rally or in line for a Nintendo Switch. She is that true at believable madness.
One in all my favourite moments of her Met occupation used to be an accident at a 2012 dress rehearsal for Massenet’s “Manon.” (Fortunately the incident has no longer left YouTube.) In the St. Sulpice scene, Ms. Netrebko is set to seduce her Chevalier unhurried the altar, when she spies a Bible that has been mistakenly left reach the pillows by her co-star, the tenor Piotr Beczala.
The propulsive power with which this Manon responds — no longer daintily plucking but brutishly hurling the Bible up and doing — is more than mere camp pride. It also offers the heroine an emotional depth and mettle unmatched by practically any other soprano. Right here’s a quality that opera fanatics have a tendency to search round for and be pleased. Gaze her and Mr. Beczala fall up and doing collectively at the head of that scene and expose me he is no longer feeling it.
She’s had occasional wobbles, worship her awkward effort to non-public it during the treacherous aria “Ah! non giunge,” from Bellini’s “La Sonnambula,” in London in 2007. But unhurried her failed fireworks lies conviction, and even when Ms. Netrebko is clearly dying for it to all be over so she can lag home and post images of her calamari, there might be lovable passion to be realized in her rendition.
Politically, her blunders had been harder to show cloak away. In April she walked befriend statements that perceived to save blame on victims for their sexual assaults. In 2014, irrespective of claims that she would “comprise nothing to enact with politics,” she posed for a photo with a major of the East Ukrainian separatist movement, a pass that has to for the time being made picketers a overall watch out of doors her recitals.
You catch the sense that she is most cushy — most herself — when she can float above and beyond the daily. Whether that’s a true thing is an originate quiz. But it’s why her performances in actuality feel worship an elegant assemble of hurry, why many of us will seemingly be there at Carnegie on Sunday. And it is why we protect coming befriend to her Instagram, too: the Day-Glo extremity captures what we worship easiest relating to the absurdly heightened, no longer unridiculous world of opera.
Sunday at Carnegie Corridor, Unique york; 212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org.