Saturday, September 5, 2015

More Must-See Medici.TV (Mozart and Beethoven)

Tristan and Luca
Luca Pisaroni as the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro. Do I really need to say more? 

The performances are quite good, and I really dig the Upstairs/
Downstairs theme (and set.) Having the Count, Countess, Figaro and Susanna all about the same age also makes sense. I am not sure I like seeing Luca as a bad guy. I mean he does it well, playing a textbook abusive husband, alternately loving and threatening. But, well...Luca's such a nice guy, I think he should always be the hero! The whole cast is pretty impressive*, including Zurich stalwart Martina Janková as Susanna, and Anett Fritsch (a cool Donna Elvira last season), and Adam Plachetka as Figaro. ...and the rest! Anyway, watch it while you can. 

*including a furry cameo by Luca's doxy Tristan as, appropriately, the Count's Dog. I am still waiting to see Lenny get a juicy opera role. 

While you're hanging out at, be sure to watch the new Claus Guth production of Fidelio with Jonas Kaufmann and Adrianne Pieczonka. I’ve seen only a brief excerpt so far. But it looks pretty good. I mean, it's Claus Guth...and of course, there's JK and AP! (It also has dancer Paul Lorenger, and sign language artist Nadia Kichler who both appeared in Guth’s amazing staging of Handel’s Messiah.)

Having missed all but Act 1 of Carmen, and barely catching the Bayerische Staatsoper Lulu** before it went off the web***, I am pledging to myself to re-watch Nozze and watch Fidelio from beginning to end before they disappear!!

**Marlis Peterson is amazing as Lulu. I thought Tcherniakov’s production was illuminating—in Acts 1 and 2. Act 3 seems to be a stumbling block for many directors. But MP is amazing—really the whole cast is impressive. If it turns up—ahem—elsewhere, do take time to watch it. I am looking forward to hearing MP in the new Met production. Speaking of Lulu at the Met, there is a really good article/appreciation of this opera in the latest issue of Opera News. Lulu (like Wozzeck, I guess, but I am not as big a fan) provides new insights (to the music and to the characters) with multiple hearings. 

***I left the browser window open for the past few days, and still was able to watch Act 3 today, even though technically it was no longer available.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Gratuitous Friday – Mixed Reactions to Dorothea Röschmann

Really, it's a mixed reaction to this email from Spotify:

Looking at the picture, I assumed the whole album was there. Hooray!!! Looking at the actual message, I realized one song was there. Boooo!! Well, Hooray for that, too, since it's a lovely song and a beautiful performance:

It was kind of a kismet moment, since just yesterday I'd listened to Ms. Uchida's Schumann recital with the secret Dorothea Röschmann track. (I sort of remembered DR was on this disc, but it still came as a (pleasant) surprise to hear her beautiful voice pop in for a minute or so after all that amazing piano playing.)

Well it may go without saying, that all this limited DR/Schumann exposure was a bit frustrating. So I went to this disc (not Schumann, but hey, Schubert did some pretty melodies, too!) as a consolation prize.

At this point, it also probably goes without saying that every time I think I’m not that into Lieder, I happen upon performances like these recordings from DR, that make my ears (and mind and heart) perk up. 

Finally, apropos of nothing really: I never thought about how tragic Gretchen am Spinnrade (#6 above) is, until I listened DR sing it this morning. Based on my experiences accompanying all my soprano buddies in my undergrad years, I always thought of this more as a really annoying finger exercise. I really should stop thinking that I'm just not that into Lieder, and just listen to more!

I have more to say about Schumann Lieder, but I will save that for another post. 

P.S. Yes I am still around. I am in the throes of moving house (again!) I hope to post more regularly again once we are re-settled. 

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