Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturday Matinee – Cosi Fan Tutte in Santa Monica (via Lyon)

I thought I discussed this 2011 French production of Cosi fan tutte in my own blog when excerpts of it appeared on YT a year or so ago. But apparently it was in the comments section in another blogger’s domain (most likely The Earwormwho has written extensively on other Cosi productions). I was drawn to it at the time because I was looking for anything that German tenor Daniel Behle was involved in. Meanwhile, there are other good performances here, and it's yet another take on the "lovers on vacation" theme—this time in Southern California.

This is another “not happily ever after” Cosi. In this production—as happens so often these daysit turns out that the couples were not well matched to begin with; and three of the six principals clearly are not pleased by the final outcome of Don Alfonso's experiment. I offer this tidbit not as a spoiler, but as an enticement to take some time with the performance.

This transfer is not perfect. There are some hiccups, stutters, and skips; but not enough to spoil the performance—and it’s free.

Lionel Lhote (Don Alfonso)
Daniel Behle (Ferrando)
Vito Priante (Guglielmo)
Maria Bengtsson (Fiordiligi)
Tove Dahlberg (Dorabella)
Elena Galitskaya (Despina)

Orchestre et Choeurs de l'Opéra de Lyon
Stefano Montanari (conductor) 
Adrian Noble (stage director)
Recorded in 2011 at the Opéra National de Lyon

Friday, November 6, 2015

Gratuitous Friday – Luca Pisaroni Sings Schwanengesang Excerpts

It is a blessing to Liederlieber everywhere that Luca Pisaroni is one of our great opera singers who continues to perform in recital. Bringing some stage presence to the concert stage is never a bad thing. 

Here are the six Heine settings from Schubert's Schwanengesang, performed in Chicago this past September, while LP (and his entourage--apparently Tristan appeared again in his acclaimed portrayal of "the Count's Dog") were there for the Lyric Opera's production of Le Nozze di Figaro

I love the viewer comment on YT that LP is "clearly...a bit stressed..." D'ya think that's not stress, but maybe—oh I don't know—acting? I mean, these Heine poems are not exactly happy-go-lucky little ditties! (Are any Heine poems happy-go-lucky?)

Here's a bit of info from Wikipedia on the six Heine poems in Die Schwanengesang:

·        Der Atlas ("Atlas": the singer, having wished to experience either eternal happiness or eternal wretchedness, has the latter, and blames himself for the weight of sorrow, as heavy as the world, that he now bears)
·        Ihr Bild ("Her image": the singer tells his beloved of how he dreamed (daydreamed?) that a portrait of her favoured him with a smile and a tear; but alas, he has lost her)
·        Das Fischermädchen ("The fisher-maiden": the singer tries to sweet-talk a fishing girl into a romantic encounter, drawing parallels between his heart and the sea)
·        Die Stadt ("The city": the singer is in a boat rowing towards the city where he lost the one he loved; it comes foggily into view)
·        Am Meer ("By the sea": the singer tells of how he and his beloved met in silence beside the sea, and she wept; since then he has been consumed with longing — she has poisoned him with her tears)
·        Der Doppelgänger ("The double": the singer looks at the house where his beloved once lived, and is horrified to see someone standing outside it in torment — it is, or appears to be, none other than himself, aping his misery of long ago)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A (Literally) Cool Concept – Winterreise Winterized

I just saw this written up over at the Barihunks® blog. Baritone Christopher Herbert has come up with an interactive, wintry way to present Schubert’s mammoth song cycle. You can read more about Chris' project at Barihunks®

Except for the part about standing about in the cold, I'd love to attend one of these performances. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Gratuitous Dorothea Röschmann Post – Nannetta in Falstaff

Did you know that Dorothea Röschmann sang Nannetta in (at least one performance of) Verdi's Falstaff? Neither did I. My guess is that this 2001 recording is from a concert performance. Anyway, here she is, sounding lovely as always, in Act 3. Enjoy!

And this track contains her Act 1 duet with the dulcet-toned tenor Daniil Shtoda as Fenton.


The recording also features some soprano named Adrianne Pieczonka, Bryn Terfel, and Thomas Hampson. You can hear the rest of it on Spotify.

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