love this opera. I wish that the soprano had a great, big aria but she does have a few smaller ones that are ok.
Mirella Freni is so close to my heart that I never could say anything bad about her. She seems to have found the fountain of youth, singing grandly, if without the high C in the duet that closes act II (she sang it on the pirate recording from La Scala). Who cares when she does everything so well.
I heard her in the role (live) at Washington DC opera back in '98. I've heard Jane Eaglen in Seattle several times and, unless the size of the house is part of it, Mirella Freni has no smaller voice than Eaglen. Freni is truly a spinto-dramatic soprano. Thankfully, she moved slowly from lighter roles to some of the heaviest dramatic Italian roles. She is less at home in this production than in Washington. Domingo (who gives and astonishing, wonderful performance) is more at home in this production than in Washington. I love Arteta and Croft. This is meaty stuff with Mirella Freni getting a 17 minute ovation, audience having banners for her and getting a "key to New York" from the Mayor. Enjoy!