Roland Villazon (tenor) was singing tonight in a gala with Natalie Desay (soprano), with the Radio France Philhamonic Orchestra conducted by Myung Wung Chung at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
It's the first time I hear Desay live: I'm a bit disappointed by her "light" soprano voice. It's not high-pitched, but too-cristalline. And she over-acts.
I heard Villazon last month, and tonight he was better. Definitely a Domingo voice to become: great showmanship, great presence on stage, lots of humor; his voice needs to mature still, and he needs to add some power. Nevertheless he was great.
It had been a very long time since I saw Chung on stage: he still conducts with minimalism and lots of expression at the same time. With my binoculars I could see how the musicians were watching each of his instructions.
Overall, not a great night for me, as I found the répertoire to be too cliché: love themes, and more love themes. After 2 hours, you do get bored.
Desay did a massacre of the first Traviata aria ('un di', felice'), one of my favorites; nevertheless by the end of the concert, her voice was back on par with Villazon.
In a nutshell: bet on the guy from now on.