In a nutshell: I liked it more than I had anticipated. Some of my positive impression was due to the remarkable cast assembled by New York City Opera (what’s left of City Opera, anyway), led by Melody Moore.
There is much more to be said about the Callas angle of Prima Donna than my word count allowed. You will have to wait for my book to read it. In the meantime, do catch Prima Donna if you can.
As shown on the DVD cover, Rufus Wainwright dressed up as Verdi for the 2009 world premiere of Prima Donna in Manchester. Forgive me: I will presume to speak for the great man and say that Verdi would have been mystified, even appalled, by a yarn as tiré par les cheveux (mix that metaphor!) as the one in Prima Donna. Furthermore, the opera’s musical idiom—the nothing-succeeds-like-excess opulence of the Want albums with heaping dollops of Debussy (and even Philip Glass) mixed in—could not be more different from the terseness of the “severe, farouche” Verdi. (Hat tip to Sir Isaiah Berlin for the adjectives.)
That said, there is a lot of love and a lot of beauty in Prima Donna, and I look forward to seeing and hearing it again.