Much more to come later, OC is just back home from a long day of Milano Moda Uomo fashion shows + Maria Stuarda at la Scala. In short, except for Devia, it pretty much suXed.
A few impressions:
Mariella Devia, always in top form, always flawless, saved the night; a lukewarm minimalist production by Pier Luigi Pizzi got booed, rookie 30-year-old Antonino Fogliani mostly drowned the singers and couldn't really seem to tame the unruly orchestra (the orchestra, we hear, generally can't stand him, so maybe they didn't help him out much anyway). Anna Caterina Antonacci, usually stunning but very badly dressed and painted in inexplicable whiteface, unfortunately didn't impress much, esp. having to try and fight back the orchestra that constantly overpowered her.
The chorus, as always, ruled. Maestro Bruno Casoni's crew is like that, you just can't mess with them.