Friday, April 20, 2018

Gratuitous Friday – Juan Diego Flórez as Orphée

It's been a little while since I’ve spent time with Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice/Orfeo ed Euridice. I am a major mezzo fan, but I always love to hear a tenor Orphée! Juan Diego Flórez recorded this opera commercially a few years ago, and it's great to hear how his interpretation has matured. (I still love Richard Croft best in this role and Daniel Behle does a nice job with this aria, but JDF is doing just fine, thank you very much!)


Friday, April 13, 2018

Gratuitous Friday – Michael Fabiano Sings Corrado and Talks about Opening Opera to a Wider (and Younger) Audience

Here's a performance from the 2014 Richard Tucker awards of Corrado's Act 1 aria from Il Cosaro. Fabulous Fabiano!! (The men of the chorus do a great job, too!)




And here is a recent interview about his upcoming Australia performances in Faust.


Mr. Fabiano also talks about his interest and efforts to open the world of opera to a broader (and younger) audience. Bravo, Fabiano!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I Wanted to Care about Il Corsaro…


…but I couldn’t. I kept watching/listening because of Michael Fabiano, and he did a great job. I love his singing, and generally he is a good actor (but he didn’t have a lot of help here). The other principals sang well, and did their best at the acting part, particularly Viti Praante and Kristina Mkhitaryan. But they were left high and dry by their director, Nicola Raab. She talked a good game; but it didn’t pay off. Il Corsaro is based on a Byron poem, so she cast Corrado (the Corsaro) as the poet. In the first part of the opera, he remembered things past (Acts 1 and 2) and seemingly lived out the conclusion in Act 3. Somewhere in Act 2, it seemed he was working on writing the story.

Even knowing this, it was rather confusing. Framing an opera as a flashback is not a new idea (but it’s not a bad idea, either) but it wasn’t very clear. Gulnara, who in the plot, dies at the end of the opera, seems to rise from the dead to do her first scene in Act 1, then take poison and die before the Act 1 curtain. Then she’s back for the finale of Act 3, apparently still dying. Corrado (Mr. Fabiano) throws himself off a cliff (according to the libretto) at the end, but he and the two sopranos (the baritone was really dead—and in another country) simply turned away from the audience at the end of the final scene.

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