Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another Video from That Production


This is not one of my personal highlights, but in the quest to direct my readers to as much video as possible from this production, here it is. (And I'm trying not to ID this clip to carefully, since it’d be nice if it were to stay online for a few days.)  

Hm, what do we think he's doing under that dress?! No wonder she’s singing sharp! 

And speaking of that dress, it’s too bad it’s such a hindrance to her on the stairs, because it really seems like the soprano should sweep out of there (not carefully pick her way up the steps) on the instrumental coda!

6 comments:

  1. Oh - so *that's* what was causing my twitter stream to go crazy the other night. Good to know. I think you could be on to something with your comment about pitch there, Rob :-)

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    1. Well, you never know ;-) ...I *was* a bit disappointed with her performance in particular.

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  2. Perhaps Ms O was just having a bit of an "off" night? I wasn't lucky enough to see the whole performance but if the two Vitellia clips you have posted are anything to go by, she does seem to be consistently sharp (especially when the dynamics are at forte/fortissimo). I'm interested in the characterisation of Vitellia, who comes across to me as a bit arch rather than dangerously manipulative. Vitellia's stylised gestures and facial expressions seem quite unlike the more naturalistic presentations of Angela Browers's Annio in "Torna di Tito a lato" and Tara Erraught's Sesto in "Deh, per questo istante solo". But I expect I am forming an impression based on seeing for too little of the production, though! What's your take on the production, Rob?

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    1. Your perception is pretty spot-on. Note this is Vitellia's first aria of the opera, and the other two are from act 2. In the first act, all of the characters and all the action is quite stylized. There is hair and costumes, and shoes (Sesto wears shoes that are clearly women's shoes.)

      The first act is full of artifice. and in the second act, the action is increasingly natural - Sesto's aria in this sample is his last of the opera (I think). Vitellia lets down her artifice and is fairly natural (though she is still wearing a big dress that makes her fairly unapproachable and still keeps her from moving comfortably) in Non piu di fiori --which in my opinion is her best singing, though I think the low notes are too low for her, but her guard is finally down. She truly becomes unraveled and we finally see the woman under the hair and makeup.

      The only characters that don't seem to change are Tito (always in white, and looking fairly natural) and Publio (always in black, always arch, and seemingly pure evil. He is NOT happy when everyone gets pardoned at the end. He was clearly ready for a good old-fashioned execution!)

      I hope we can all get to see the whole thing again sometime soon.Musically it was wonderful and the staging did make one wonder. My most favorite bits were including the solo clarinetest and basset hornist in the action. They seem to act as alter-egos of the singers they accompany. In Parto Parto, the clarinetist is trying so hard to help Sesto soften Vitellia up!!!

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  3. Really interesting - thanks for all this detail :-) Now I really do want to see the whole thing! And is it just me or does anyone else think that Publio has been costumed to look like Rasputin?

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    1. Ha! _That's_ who he reminds me of!!!

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