Friday, January 30, 2015

Gratuitous Peter Mattei Friday (again) – Once in My Life

OK I've resisted Spotify for a long time (I hate signing up for more stuff online), but it is a good way to share some music now and then. And there are more and more classical/opera selections that I want to listen to before (or instead of) buying. 

And then I found this: 

On one hand, Peter Mattei wouldn't be my first choice to sing the great (mostly) American songbook. On the other hand, listening to Peter Mattei sing anything is pretty  wonderful. 

This album is a nice throwback to the great pop vocalists and legit Broadway voices (before everyone got amplified and started yelling)and PM is backed up by some really nice Nelson Riddle-ish orchestrations. 

PM does a really nice job of not sounding too operatic. About the only non-idiomatic quibble I have so far is a dropped "g" in Some Enchanted Evening, which would work in somthin’ from Carousel or Oklahoma, but not so much in South Pacific. And he really handles the jumpy rangy Cole Porter melody in Night and Day. (More Cole Porter on the follow-up album, please! And maybe some Rodgers and Hart?)

But really, when Peter Mattei is singing, who cares about a dropped consonant or slightly odd vowel. I mean if he were singing in Swedish or Finnish (or many other languages), I’d never know the differencenor would I care. Anyway, the point is, this is a fun program. Go listen. Then buy it. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thomas Hampson Takes Over @JuilliardSchool

Under the hash tag #ThomasAtJulliard, Thomas Hampson took over Julliard's Twitter feed for about 30 minutes this morning, giving fans an opportunity to ask follow up questions on his master class yesterday. If you're on Twitter, you can search the hashtag and find all the questions, answers, and comments.

If you're not on Twitter, or you simply find it a royal pain to sift through all the tweets under the same hashtag (which was used widely during the streaming of the class yesterday), you can read the conversation in order, without the crosstalk, here at Storify

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thomas Hampson Master Class Today at Julliard – Live Stream

...and it probably will be archived later at YT or on the Julliard site.

Following Earwormopera Around on YouTube

Lately it seems that every third interesting opera video I click on is posted by none other than the blogger known as Earwormopera, under the nom d'Tube musicalpunchlines

This is not a bad thing. In fact, it's a very good thing*. Clearly, Earworm and I have very similar tastes. In fact, many of my readers may know that I was greatly inspired by the Earworm to start my own blog. (Fans of this blog can thank Earworm. Non-fans can...well, non-fans can do whatever you wantso long as it's not illegal or immoral.)

Since I've been kind of stuck in Don Giovanni-land lately, I'd like to share one of my (many) favorite clips from the Claus Guth production in Salzburg, featuring one of Earworm's and my all-time favorite sopranos: Dorothea Röschmann.

*In fact, the only thing better would be if there were even more clips on the musicalpunchlines channel! (Hint, hint!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This Don is gone...

...but definitely not forgotten. A few clips can be found if you look around a bit:

and here's another chunk of Act 1:

These are from the Mezzo TV broadcast, which to me, look and sound like a different performance than the official La Monnaie webcast. Can there please be a commercial DVD release of this (he asked, hoping against hope)?

Meanwhile, for Mezzo Elvira fans, here is her awesome Act 2 aria (sadly, audio only):

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Jonas Kaufmann (and Tony Pappano) Interviews on Euronews

From Euronews, January 22, 2015, Herr Kaufmann discusses how he takes care of his voice. And Sir Tony chats about working with JK, the Andrea Chenier, and opera in the cinema. (Unfortunately, it looks like the U.S. distributor picked up only the ballets this year.)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lucia di Lammermoor Webcast from the Bayerische Staatsoper – February 8, 2015

Tune in to Staatsoper.TV on Sunday, February 1 8 to see the new Bayerische Staatsoper production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor starring Diana Damrau and Pavol Breslik. 

While we are waiting, check out the Staatsoper podcast (auf Deustch, natürlich), which contains some musical excerpts, including a bit of the mad scene (with glass harmonica!)

Updated 01/26/2015 per below note from Barbara. Thanks Barbara! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Gratuitous Friday – Peter Mattei as Don Giovanni (Champagne Aria)

The Paris Opera has graciously shared this little clip of Michael Haenke's Don Giovanni (which, sadly, doesn't seem to be available in full anywhere these days). The cast also included David Bižić, Patricia Petibon, and Veronique Gens.

Thank you, Paris Opera!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

@Rinatshaham = Mezzo Elvira Awesomeness

I just tweeted the above comment, then did a quick search on Israeli mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham and found this great interview at the Operatraveller blog. I first encountered Ms. Shaham as Cherubino in the marvelous ROH Nozze di Figaro. Carmen is her signature role, but she occasionally ventures into the higher realms of roles such as her recent debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at La Monnaie (available online for about five more days. Go watch it. Now! Seriously.)

Operatraveller saw this Don G live, and in the review commented (and I concur):
Rinat Shaham’s Elvira also made the role her own. The voice so rich and easily produced, the tessitura holding no terrors.  She was also a captivating actress, fully encapsulating Elvira’s strength yet also mapping the journey when she realizes her betrayal.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Only 10 More Days to Watch this NSFW Don Giovanni from La Monnaie

At least the opening bit—the film during the overture, and some of the action in the opera box (and a few other bits)—is not safe for work (NSFW). 

I try not to be a prude; but every once in a while, I channel my Mom and purse my lips and say things like, “That’s quite unnecessary!” Then I channel my Dad, who would say something like, “Well! How ’bout that?” (…meaning, “I’m not sure quite what to think!”)

As I do so often, I waited till (virtually) the last minute to watch the current production of Don Giovanni at La Monnaie; and I haven't seen all of it yet. So far, I’d say we have a wig-fest for a sex-obsessed Donna Anna (Barbara Hannnigan, who seems like an odd choice, but is quite effective.) And another freaking-out Don Giovanni with a foot fetish and some interesting oral fixations (Jean-Sébastien Bou, whom I’d love to like better, but frankly he seems maybe the weakest voice in the cast—of course Don G is often the weakest character.) And another ironic, patient, and tolerant Leporello* (Bass-baritone Andreas Wolf, sounding charmingly baritonish.)

The entire cast seems fully committed to Krzysztof Warlikowski's vision.

Don Giovanni – Jean-Sébastien Bou
Leporello – Andreas Wolf
Donna Anna – Barbara Hannigan
Donna Elvira – Rinat Shaham
Don Ottavio – Topi Lehtipuu
Zerlina – Julie Mathevet
Masetto – Jean-Luc Ballestra
Commendatore – Willard White
Choeurs de la Monnaie, Symfonieorkest van de Munt/Ludovic Morlot
Stage Director – Krzysztof Warlikowski

*This is kind of off-point, but I think Leporello and Donna Elvira are my favorite characters in this opera. I’d like to see a spin-off for them! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

La Clemenza di Tito – An Austrian/Italian Co-Production

A co-production by the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole and the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. I haven't had a chance to give it more than a cursory sample (noting: that there's a lot of wig business with Vitellia; that the costume designer must have hated the tenor; and that we hear some good, young, up-and-coming singers), but I wanted to share it right away! 

Here's a brief intro to the production (in German):

Here is a recording of one of the performances in Italy:

Act 1:

Act 2:

And here is a copy of the program from the Austrian performances. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Meanwhile, Streaming on Concert.Arte.TV

Natalie Dessay sings Michel Legrand; quite nicely, if you like this sort of thing (I do.)

Matthias Goerne's Winterreise rides again (till the end of February).

And, of course, there's Tito, Sesto, Vitellia, and the whole crazy gang.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Luca Pisaroni: Opera Nerd (Interview on Singing Bach & Handel & Mozart &...)

Mr. Pisaroni discusses how Bach fits into his career, as a performer of both concert and opera repertoire. This interview was conducted by Stepan Atamian at WKCR on December 22, 2014. Thanks, Stepan, for this great interview. Luca also talks about Handel, and Mozart; singing his first role at the Met; why he went back to Buenos Aries to study voice after he'd already made his professional debut in Europe; the difference between singing opera and oratorios; and why he makes and effort to attend opera and concert performances of his colleagues.

So, Luca, we've got some Handel, but let's hear more Bach from you!

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