Fedora: Live in HD Transmission Transcript

READ & INTERVIEW: Goerke Show Intro & Peter Gelb

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Hello.  I'm Christine Goerke, and I am delighted to be your host for today's presentation of a searing verismo drama that hasn't been seen on the Met stage in 25 years.  This is of course Fedora, by Umberto Giordano.  For searing backstage drama, I am squeezed inside the sardine can that is the Met's Live in HD production truck which is a spectacular place for a six-foot, curvaceous soprano.  It's also parked just outside of the opera house.  Today's transmission is a milestone for the Met and for opera audiences worldwide.  This is the 150th presentation of the Met Live to Cinemas. Joining me now to talk about reaching this remarkable moment is Met general manager, Peter Gelb, the founder and executive producer of the series.  Welcome, Peter.

PETER GELB:  Hey, Christine.  So –

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Congratulations.

PETER GELB:  Thank you so much.  Congratulations to you too for being part of, uh, the Met and, uh, you know, one of the great moments in the HD series without doubt was your performance of Brünnhilde in The Ring, uh –

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  You're very kind.  Thank you.

PETER GELB:  And, uh, you know, so I think you've set a standard for – for great singing and artistry at the Met over many years.  So we're so grateful to you.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  That's incredibly kind.  Thank you, Peter.

PETER GELB:  Well, it's true.  And I also want to call out our brilliant director, Gary Halvorson, who – this is actually his 100th HD program.  He's the principal director of all of our HD shows, and really without him, we wouldn't be what we are.  So thank you so much.



CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Peter, you launched this HD series with a performance of The Magic Flute in 2006 when you began your tenure as the Met's general manager.  That first season, if I recall correctly, also featured The Barber of Seville and an unforgettable Eugene Onegin with Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, amongst others.  You know, I actually remember that particular year.  You and I were seated across the table at a party and you were speaking about the HD series, which was about to begin.  You were positively giddy with excitement.  It was absolutely infectious.  Take us back to that moment and that first season.  Tell us how the HD series came about.

PETER GELB:  You know, I guess back then, I was pretty giddy about everything because I was just starting – I was just starting my job here at the Met.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  (Laughs) What you now know.

PETER GELB:  And who – who knew that I would still be here 17 years later.  But, you know, one of the ideas that I wanted to pursue was to see how we could take this great legacy of the Met Radio broadcast and take it, you know, sort of one step further because back in the early '30s, the Met was a pioneer using the media.  And I remember Beverly Sills, when she hired me to become the general manager of the Met, said to me, you know, communities across America gathered together around radios to listen to the Met.  So we thought, you know, with the digital technology that suddenly was available back in 2006 with movie projectors transforming from film to digital, we could take advantage of that and take the radio series and turn it into an audiovisual splendor for – for audiences in cinemas.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Which is incredible because, of course, that has opened up a completely new audience to what we do.  Can you tell me what the impact of the cinema series has been for the Met as a company?

PETER GELB:  Well, it's been – it's been enormous.  I mean, it's raised the stature of the Met globally.  We have about 70 percent of our audience is actually outside of the United States watching in cinemas right now live across 11 time zones.  There's a movie theater inside the Arctic Circle in Tromsø, Norway where people are gathered right now watching and in the southern reaches of Uruguay and Argentina as well.  It's improved our ability to cast the greatest singers in the world because they know that if they want to be seen globally, this is the place to come.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Yes, they do.

PETER GELB:  And, uh, and the Met really has the biggest audience of any performing arts company in the world today.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Yeah.  Well, today, obviously we have our 150th HD transmission, as we said.  Today is Fedora, staring Sonya Yoncheva.  Tell me about this opera.  What makes it so special and this particular artist so special.

PETER GELB:  Well, you know, Sonya, like you, is a truly great, uh, actress as well as a singer.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  I completely agree with you.  She's amazing.

PETER GELB:  And, uh, you know, she – this is the kind of role that you can really sink your teeth into.  You know, she sings with her heart and her brain, and this is like the perfect vehicle for her.  There's nobody who I think could sing this role as well as she can today.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Well, I am a big fan girl of hers as well.  Peter, thank you so much for joining me, and here's to at least 150 more.

PETER GELB:  Thank you so much, Christine.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Absolutely.  Today's opera, Fedora, is a suspenseful thriller of a story, packed with twists and turns, glamorous globetrotting settings and sumptuous melodies that define verismo, the style of late 19th century opera that is emotionally unfettered and bursting with over the top passion, which really is what we're all here for.  The title character is the impulsive Russian princess Fedora, whose fiancé is murdered on the eve of their wedding, setting in motion a story of wild intrigue with Fedora at its center.  In today's performance, the title role is sung by the great singing actress, Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva.  She is joined by the star Polish tenor, Piotr Beczała as Count Loris, Fedora's sworn enemy and ultimately her true, but fatal love.  The super cast also features Italian soprano Rosa Feola and American baritone Lucas Meachem in this gorgeous new production by David McVicar.  Marco Armiliato, our maestro, is ready to go to the pit.  So here is Fedora.

INTERVIEW: Goerke w/ Sonya Yoncheva

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Sonya, brava.  The first two acts were absolutely fantastic.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  You know, it's such a pleasure to get to hear you and being hearing it from the wings is astounding.  Uh, Fedora is a character who goes from love to rage on the turn of a dime.  What draws you to such a romantic and tempestuous character?

SONYA YONCHEVA:  Well, you know, I have such a pleasure acting, first of all, this.


SONYA YONCHEVA:  And then singing it of course, it's so exciting and it's so challenging.  I think that Fedora, she's just one of those girls, you know, that she's in love.  Then she hates.  Then she loves.  And this is what is exciting about her –


SONYA YONCHEVA:  – because she – she has to manage all of this feeling in her.  It's very extreme.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Absolutely.  I don’t know anything about that, so that's fine.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  (Laughs) Well, we do know that this opera is based on a 19th century French play, and the title role was originally written for Sarah Bernhardt, the great actress.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  She loved to play strong women.  Is that true of you as well?


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Oh, yeah, she says.  (Laughs)

SONYA YONCHEVA:  Who doesn't?  (Laughs)  Of course, of course.  I mean, our life is asking from us to be so strong.  So on stage, we really need to – to give this value, you know, to our characters.  And I love to play strong women.  But, you know, with my age now, I find a little bit also exciting to play – to play the fragility of a woman.  This is also very good.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Well, it's amazing because we can see both the strength and the fragility –


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  – in your portrayal.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  And you do such a convincing job of becoming this – this princess who feels both of these things at the same time on stage.  Tell me what the transformation is like.  How do you sing and move like royalty?  Is this something that you think about ahead of time?

SONYA YONCHEVA:  (Laughs) Yes.


SONYA YONCHEVA:  I take a deep breath just before going on stage.  I put my nose a little bit like that and then my hands should be very relaxed and glamour.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Great.  I’m taking lessons right now.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  So we'll all do the same thing.  (Laughs) Sonya, I have to say, we've asked the Met's social media followers to send in some questions for you, and here is what they would like to know.  Girl of the Golden Met would like to know if you have any pre-performance rituals.

SONYA YONCHEVA:  Maybe the night before, you know, I always have to sleep in a super dark place, not to o warm, not too cold and, uh, I have so many thoughts.  It's very difficult for me to fall asleep.  So yes, I am trying to relax totally just before a performance –


SONYA YONCHEVA:  – especially this one.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Yeah.  It's never easy to do that.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Uh, the next question that I have for you actually is something that I would like to know as well.  But mikkisods would like to know do you get to keep the tiara.

SONYA YONCHEVA:  (Laughs) I wish I could. 

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  That should be in the next contract.  I'm so sorry.

SONYA YONCHEVA:  And I can wear it in my kitchen, right?  (Laughs)

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  (Laughs) That's right.  Sonya, I can't wait to see your performance in the next act.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Thank you so very much for speaking with me.

SONYA YONCHEVA:  Thank you.  Thank you.



INTERVIEW: Goerke w/ Rosa Feola and Lucas Meachem

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  I am joined now by the Countess Olga and the diplomat De Siriex – soprano, Rosa Feola and baritone, Lucas Meachem.  Hello, friends.




LUCAS MEACHEM:  Good to see you.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  I am so glad that you can join us, and these costumes are astounding, and I really love this mustache.  (Laughs)

LUCAS MEACHEM:  It's itchy, let me just tell you.


LUCAS MEACHEM:  And you look beautiful tonight, by the way.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Oh, well, thank you.  You're very, very kind.

LUCAS MEACHEM:  Fantastic.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Thank you.  You know, this opera – I love this piece personally and it is full of passion and intrigue and drama.  But the two of you also provide some comic relief, as we've just witnessed in the second act.  Can each of you describe how your characters, how they bring some levity to the story?

ROSA FEOLA:  Oh, so, I feel to be the only sparkling note in contrast to this dark side of the story, right?


ROSA FEOLA:  So I feel to be the color of the – of the second act.


ROSA FEOLA:  And, uh, having fun on the stage help me to have this flirt with him.


ROSA FEOLA:  And also this, uh, sparkling aria that I'm singing prepares me to what's happening on the next act.


ROSA FEOLA:  So I – yeah, we like to act together and, uh, yeah, this is – this is very fun for me.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  It's so much fun to have roles like this.  What about you, Lucas?

LUCAS MEACHEM:  Well, in operas like Fedora and many other operas, the soprano and the tenor kind of have their fling –


LUCAS MEACHEM:  And they do their thing and there's lots of drama involved all the time.


LUCAS MEACHEM:  Yeah, right.  You know.


LUCAS MEACHEM:  You know.  (Laughs) So luckily for us, we get to be sort of their rock or their foundation that they get to sort of orbit around and we keep them from spinning out into space too far.  So we get to be their friends and their support system, and then we get to flirt with each other a little bit on top of it.  So, yeah.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Yeah.  It's a – it's a good gig.  You know, Rosa, HD audiences saw you just one year ago in a – as a very different character.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  That's Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto, which, may I just fan girl a bit was stunning.

ROSA FEOLA:  Thank you.

LUCAS MEACHEM:  I want to fan guy a little too.  You were so good.  I saw it too.

ROSA FEOLA:  (Laughs)

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Right?  It was absolutely gorgeous.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Tell me what made you want to sing the role of Olga.

ROSA FEOLA:  You know, it's – it's so beautiful to be whatever you want on a stage.  So you can be a little girl, afraid of everything, and you can be a woman, flirting with somebody –

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  There's that hand again.

ROSA FEOLA:  Oh, yeah.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  I just have to do all the things.  Clearly I'm learning a lot today.  (Laughs)

ROSA FEOLA:  So I like the fact that I can be, for one time, a woman that's not dying.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  It's nice.  (Laughs)

ROSA FEOLA:  So yeah, it's nice.  It's very nice.  But yeah, I love the two characters.  But they are so different.  That makes me, wow, so, so happy to play both.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Yeah.  It's wonderful to be able to play different characters.  And Lucas, how about you?  We have seen you as both Silvio in Pagliacci and Marcello in La bohème.  What attracted you to this role?

LUCAS MEACHEM:  Well, when you say La bohème, it makes me thing a lot of similarities between Rodolfo and Mimi and Marcello and Musetta in this opera, the same as the other opera.  But I was fortunate enough to have, uh, a week, uh, of advance notice to learn this role.  So I literally spent seven days –

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Oh, a whole week.

LUCAS MEACHEM:  – learning this role.


LUCAS MEACHEM:  And showed up on the first day and closed my book and I – I just worked really hard to get to that point.  So what – what drew me to this role really is the tessitura and the levity that he brings to the piece itself.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  It's wonderful to be able to bring those things, and you both bring it beautifully.  Thank you so much.

ROSA FEOLA:  Thank you.

LUCAS MEACHEM:  Thank you, Christine.

ROSA FEOLA:  Thank you.


LUCAS MEACHEM:  Lovely to see you.

READ:  Throw to feature (Rediscovering Fedora)

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  This staging of Fedora marks director David McVicar's 13th Met production, an stounding number.  This even surpasses the legendary Franco Zeffirelli.  We recently spoke to David and his frequent collaborator, set designer Charles Edwards, about how they approached this particular verismo melodrama.

ROLL-IN B:  Rediscovering Fedora

DAVID MCVICAR:  So Fedora is an opera written by, uh, the Italian composer, Umberto Giordano.  What he's strong at is writing fantastic melodies, and he's – he's great at, uh, wringing the heart strings and, you know, writing really big, impassioned scenes.

CHARLES EDWARDS:  It’s like an Agatha Christie novel.  It's got a plot, which is like a sort of spiral, really.  Like any good crime thriller, you are given the clues very slowly and you've got to be on attention.

DAVID MCVICAR:  So, Fedora – she's a princess of Imperial Russia in the 1880s.  That sense of status and her position in society is a defining feature of her.

CHARLES EDWARDS:  She's a bit like Mata Hari.  She's really powerful, she's highly authoritative and she's a kind of sleuth in her own way.  She's also passionate, fiery.

DAVID MCVICAR:  Every tragic hero or heroine has a fatal flaw.  Uh, and that is hers, the intensity of her love.  She is a – a recently widowed woman who has been in an unhappy marriage who finds herself in love with, uh, Count Vladimir Andrejevich, uh, desperate to start a new life.  Vladimir is shot, is murdered.  And then when she realizes that she's been lied to and betrayed, the focus shifts to Loris Ipanoff with such ferocity.  So she burns brightly as a lover, and it’s something we try to bring out in the production. When I started, uh, working with Charlie Edwards on the set design, first of all, because of the time period, I started talking to Charlie about, uh, Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu – Remembrance of Things Past, and the peeling away of time and space and remembrance.  And, uh, so that – that became like, uh, our vision for the set, that each set would also incorporate the set from the previous act.

CHARLES EDWARDS:  We wanted to get the timescale of the piece and the three locations of the piece somehow to relate to one another permanently.  So I wanted us to actually effectively peel a skin off an onion, in a way.  So the first act set is quite far downstage.  It’s quite claustrophobic.  It’s a sort of stuffy, masculine, very Russian – you know, it’s a bloke’s pad.

When we go into the next place, we're in France, in Paris.  In a salon.  And the environment there, of course, is much more elaborate.  So the edges are all a lot softer.  It's a lot more feminine as a space.  The color palette is different.  I wanted a slight sense of sort of faded grandeur.  It's the Rococo period, and we're playing the piece a hundred years at least after the building would've been built.  So it would've been nicotine-stained.  It would've been a bit used. And then when we go into the last act, we end up on the terrace of Fedora’s villa in Switzerland.  So it needed to have an airiness.

DAVID MCVICAR:  To Giordano’s contemporary audience, this was extremely modern.  This was really exciting stuff.  To begin with, uh, everyone on stage is dressed like the audience.  Uh, you're dealing with a plot where telegrams arrive, where letters arrive, where people ring electric doorbells.  It would've seemed, to them, really daring and really modern.

CHARLES EDWARDS:  In the late 19th century, early 20th century, opera was like movies, you know.  That was the spectacle that you went to see.  So they wrote operas at an incredible rate.  And I think that, uh, they were done and then discarded quite often.  And there's so much richness in the slightly less familiar repertory.

DAVID MCVICAR:  It's a charming piece that deserves respect and I think we've, uh, sort of, like, dusted it down and, you know, restored it and, uh, hopefully given it a fresh lease of life.


READ:  Goerke Neubauer / Toll / Throw to break

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  – appealing case for Fedora's case in the repertoire.  The Met's Live in HD series is made possible thanks to its founding sponsor, the Neubauer Family Foundation.  Digital Support is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.  The Met Live in HD series is supported by Rolex.  Today's performance of Fedora is also being heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.  We'll be back after a break.


READ:  Goerke intro Music of Fedora

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Welcome back.  With Fedora, Giordano composed a sweeping score with beautiful melodies, a stunning orchestral intermezzo and many opportunities for full-throated vocalism.  As we've seen, there's also an on-stage cameo for a seriously talented pianist, who happens to be a member of the Met's music staff.  We recently spoke to two of the musical forces behind today's production.


ROLL-IN C:  The Music of Fedora

MARCO ARMILIATO:  Hi.  I'm Marco Armiliato and I have the privilege to conduct this beautiful production of Fedora.

BRYAN WAGORN:  I'm Bryan Wagorn and I'm performing the role of Boleslao Lazinski.

MARCO ARMILIATO:  Fedora, it's one opera that, uh, has become so popular in Italy, uh, because, uh, the opening night was singing by Caruso.  Caruso was a legend at that time.  We can compare to the most popular rockstar today.  Uh, of course it was followed by sopranos like Tebaldi, like Mirella Freni, like Renata Scotto, all the major singer.  And they performed Fedora because it’s an opera very demanding in a way.  Actually the soprano comes on stage Act 1 and she is finished at the end.  Uh, it's a long, long, long night for her.  And the role is very difficult because it's very high some parts, sometimes, and very low in some other moments.

We are lucky to have Sonya Yoncheva performing this kind of role because she has a magnetism on stage, uh, as a diva, and she delivers that in a – in such a natural way.  It is really sunshine on stage.

And the music as well, it's so, uh, complex, in a way, because we have three different acts, uh, separated in three different countries.  The first one happens in St. Petersburg and we have the darker sound.  The second act is going to be in Paris.  We start with a waltz, and everything is so, uh, light and fresh.  In the third part of the opera, we are in Switzerland, and the sound is changing again, and we are in the sound from the Alps, from the mountain and typical Swiss music.  So there is a particular thing in this opera.  Uh, we have a pianist on stage.  Finally we introduce Bryan, that is a brilliant pianist, of course, at the Metropolitan Opera.

BRYAN WAGORN:  Boleslao Lazinski, so, he's supposedly the nephew of Chopin, and he's a celebrated pianist.  For me, the challenge of playing this is that I can't really hear the singers because they're singing out into the auditorium and I'm behind them.  And I also – I have to play like a soloist, like it's just a recital, but I also have to, you know, connect with them.  So every once in a while I'll hear a word and think, okay, we're together, that's good.  We're ready to go.

MARCO ARMILIATO:  That's nice.

BRYAN WAGORN:  The opening of the solo is very much like a Chopin nocturne.


BRYAN WAGORN:  Which – yeah (playing piano).  You know, sort of imitating the singers, in a way, with the right hand singing out, and then the accompaniment in the left hand. And then as the drama unfolds, it becomes more intense with (playing piano).  So it sort of accelerates in energy and excitement as we go through, hair flying and everything.   So I'm really enjoying the wig.  It’s the long hair, it's the rockstar, you know, 19th century rockstar style.  And I'm trying to work it as I play, you know, because in those days, the pianists would've been the great stars throwing their gloves at women and, you know, all this sort of stuff.

MARCO ARMILIATO:  I think Fedora is an opera that has to be discovered because it's so beautiful.  Especially the music.  Talking to the people in the orchestra, we have such a great time to play this kind of music because it's not fake.  It’s just so direct and precise, and of course for the players, it’s a gift.


READ:  PSA / Fundraising / Throw to season preview

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  I can tell you both Marco and Bryan are fixtures at the Met and are utterly brilliant musicians.  You know, it's so exciting when a rare gem like Fedora returns to the Met after such a long absence with superb stars, a great director and wonderful musicians in the pit.  But as electrifying as Fedora is on movie screens, the excitement this work generates is even more palpable here in the opera house.  I've said it before.  I will say it again.  Nothing can compare to the power of a live opera performance.  So please, come and visit us here at the Met or visit your local opera company.  Now I have to admit, and I kind of alluded to this earlier, I am completely in awe of the gorgeous gowns that Sonya Yoncheva gets to wear in this production and the deluxe sets are incredible as well. 

As you can imagine, creating a Met production of this scale and opulence is expensive to produce.  Ticket sales only cover a fraction of the Met's costs.  The company relies on opera lovers like you to help sustain the Met's incomparable theatrical standards.  So if you are able, please consider making a donation to the Met.  You can visit metopera.org/membership or you can simply text HDLIVE to 44321 to make a contribution.  The Met thanks you.

The Live in HD cinema season has six more movie theater transmissions coming up, and I personally am very excited about the next one.  It's a new production of Wagner's Lohengrin, with our tenor star today, Piotr Beczała, singing the title role.  I get to play the villainess Ortrud, hell-bent on bringing down the hero and the virtuous woman he loves.  And I promise you I plan to sink my teeth into this fabulous role.  You know, Lohengrin has not been seen at the Met since 2006.  So this new production from director François Girard is sure to be a high point of the season.  François is working with the acclaimed set and costume designer Tim Yip to create a visually dazzling and dramatically insightful new production.  Well, and of course there's the Met's amazing music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is going to be on the podium.  I am incredibly excited about this, and you should be too.  Lohengrin will be seen live in movie theaters on March 18th.  Here is a look at the complete HD line-up for the rest of the season.


INTERVIEW:  Goerke w/ Piotr Beczała

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  I'm joined now by tenor Piotr Beczała, who informs me I have pronounced his last name correctly.  Hello, Piotr.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  (Laughs) Piotr, we just saw a preview of the upcoming Lohengrin production.  So before we get into Fedora, tell us how you are feeling about singing this major Wagnerian role at the Met, where you have mainly been known for Italian and French roles.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  Well, you know, I'm – my, uh, adventure with Lohengrin starts in Dresden a couple of years ago.


PIOTR BECZAŁA:  And, uh, I try to follow the – each season, this role, and I have a lot of fun.  It's very, uh, uh, great to sing the – you know, it's not really a Wagnerian role.


PIOTR BECZAŁA:  It's a – it's a – it's a lyric Wagnerian role and I really enjoy it.  And, uh, so I'm looking forward to – to meet you.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Well, I'm very much looking forward to it as well, and I'm super sorry about taking down –


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  – your soon to be wife. 


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  (Laughs) So unlike Lohengrin, Fedora is classic verismo.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  You know, talk to me about what it takes to sing this particular kind of red-blooded music.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  Yeah.  It's also new for me.  Uh, I start to sing this kind of repertory five, six, seven years ago.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Oh, it's – it's you.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  And, uh, I'm trying to build, uh, you know, my – my tension in the voice for this.  You need a lot of tension.


PIOTR BECZAŁA:  And, uh, it's different style.  It's a lot of, uh, passion, fire and, uh, you have to keep things under control.  Otherwise it could be danger.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  But what's amazing is that you do keep them under control.  But you still sound like you are giving us everything that you are –

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  Everything, of course.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Which is amazing.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  You know, this is kind of, uh, a balance between giving everything under control.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Absolutely that.  So you and Sonya have had great success here together already –


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  – a few years ago in Luisa Miller.  What is it like to work with her?

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  You know, we know each other many years.


PIOTR BECZAŁA:  And we did – we started in the lyric repertory, when did first time in Vienna, Roméo et Juliette.  It was really fantastic, that.  We did a couple of Bohèmes, uh, uh, in the meantime.  And it was always a great joy because I really admire her artistry, and she's a great colleague also.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Well, you two are – you have amazing chemistry on stage and you work beautifully together to tell a story.  It's really palpable when we are listening and watching.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  So, uh, you're not getting off the hook.  Earlier Sonya answered some questions from the Met social media followers.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  They have some for you too.


CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Robby Griswold would like to know what is one of your personal tried-and-true warm-up exercises that you have to do before you perform.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  Ah, I start – I start very low, untypical for the tenor and it takes me really, uh, 40 minutes to – to go to the region of the tenor's sound – sound.  So this is my, my, my, uh, way, how to – how to go, how to approach the – the – the – actually any role.


PIOTR BECZAŁA:  Every – every – everything when I start singing.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  We have one more for you.  Mauerkwith – that's a difficult one.  Maybe we change that one some time.  (Laughs) They're asking what would Loris do and where would he go if this story continued.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  (Laughs) Very funny.  Yeah.  His life is destroyed.  I think he will be, I don’t know, some sailor and will sail around the world.  I don't know.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  (Laughs) I'm looking forward to the – the sequel.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  I will – I will do the same.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Perfect.  Fine.  Piotr, it was a – this is a fantastic performance today. 

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  Thank you.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  I’m really happy to be able to see it.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  We enjoy it a lot.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  I can't wait to get into rehearsals with you.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  Thank you.

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.

PIOTR BECZAŁA:  Thank you very much.  I have to say some words to Poland, you know.  (In Polish)

CHRISTINE GOERKE:  That.  Yes.  Thank you so much.  At the end of the previous act, Fedora has realized that she is in love Loris and now wants to protect him instead of persecuting him.  When the curtain goes up on Act 3, a few weeks have elapsed and the couple has left Paris.  They are living blissfully at a villa in the Swiss Alps.  But their bliss can only be brief.  Here is the fiery conclusion of Fedora.