Friday, March 10, 2017

Too Many Leaves; Not Enough Sex

Kwiecien and Breslik in Munich- More (implied) sex; fewer leaves.
So, I just chatted with My Uncle (now that Dad has passed on, we'll be hearing more about My Uncle, who is My Dad's younger brother). My Uncle loves opera, choral music, and music in general. He has a beautiful voice, plays piano wonderfully by ear (doesn't read a note of music), and has a rather surreal sense of humor.

He and my cousins saw Eugene Onegin at the Lyric Opera of Chicago last week. Lyric has a pretty stellar cast (Mariusz Kwiecien, Charles Castronovo, Anna Maria Martinez), and the old Met version: Robert Carsen's production with the leaves. My Chicago relatives are not fond of the "new" productions. They prefer rich costuming and scenery to look at as they take in the lovely singing. 

My Uncle's neighbor (a retired music professor) asked how they enjoyed the performance (she happened to attend the same one). 
My Uncle said, "I'd like to see more sets." 
"More sex?!?!" she asked. 
"Well, that too," he added. 
I guess it just depends on which production you see. Hopefully they'll see more sex in Carmen.

Meanwhile, I am getting psyched up for La Traviata tomorrow at the Met's LiveinHD presentation. I watch the first half this morning of the Salzburg version (I thought my DVD had the rehearsal footage on it—that is a great bonus if you can find it*; but it didn’t, so I just let the opera play). I was spellbound by Anna Netrebko before the end of the prelude! And when the chorus surges in, it’s…well, spooky and exhilarating and scary and ominous. Rolando Villazon is/was amazing, too. No wonder this production got such rave reviews way back in 2005. My Dad was bowled over by this production, too; but he couldn’t convince many other folks in his generation. I remember loaning him my DVD to prep for the last HD presentation with Natalie Dessay. I couldn’t make it to the theater for that one but listened at home. I felt bad for ND. Apparently, she acted the hell out of it; but I wasn’t convinced by the audio-only version.

Speaking of unconvincing, Rusalka… well, I will save that for another post. I am getting quite a backlog here. Meanwhile, I am really looking forward Traviata. I’ll be tweeting you tomorrow. (But not a lot. I lack the multi-tasking skills to tweet during an opera. Besides, my opera buddy would probably slap my phone out of my hand—as well he should!)

*Of course that Making of La Traviata video is no longer on YT, either. I did find it on, but it's part of their subscription series. And it's overdubbed auf deutsch; at least the promo excerpt is.


  1. I find putting down thoughts very distracting during a performance unless I'm very acquainted with the production. Reminds me of the one time I booted a show way back when (2002?) and the DAT kept slipping... I could barely focus on what was happening on stage.

    I saw that Rusalka with the brothel and Willard White and I enjoyed it well enough (I mean I sat through the whole thing but I didn't go on to look for another production).

    (it's dehggial, google is at it again; the other day I went through 5 "prove you're not a robot" sets of "click all the images with a shop front" and after I clicked all of them google still wasn't satisfied, so I clicked everything and it started over...)

    1. I was a little disappointed--mostly in some of the acting in the new Met "Rusalka". But the singing was quite nice. I think I may just not be that into that opera. Meanwhile, yesterday's Traviata was pretty wonderful. Sorry the "Capcha" or whatever it's called is making life difficult. I got soooo spammed when i turned it off last time, though I am willing to try it again, just to encourage folks to comment more!


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