is it possible to feel that a 4-hour opera is too short??  the 2nd round was immensely satisfying.  i was drowning (happily) in the music.  i had time now to really immerse myself in each aria to the fullest.  In between, the orchestra fill you in, express the mood of the characters, the turmoil, the joy, the uncertainties. It’s really true everything is in the music, you just need the right instruments to bring it out. This is actually a Frau K’s quote, that all emotions are written in the music, and sometimes the words are not necessary what you should entirely rely on. Let me say though, it is a crime for any woman to abandon anja harteros alcina.

got there at 2.50pm and i was 10th in line.  i can’t say enough how GRRRRREAT the view and sound is from the front row of Parterre standing room section at the Wiener Staatsoper!!

view forward and backward from front row Parterre

So, i’m quite short for words to describe my 2nd experience with Alcina.  it’s too short for one thing.  I can NOT get enough of Frau Harteros singing.  Frau Kasarova?  I find it amazing i can be that close to her (~45m).  That sound is just downright unique.  I tried to listen with a more objective ear.  Yes, the break is definitely there!  which is how she manages the low notes so strong. if i don’t pay attention, i’m just hearing the notes without the break.  but the drama!

it’s just too difficult to explain the emotion i feel standing so close to such beautiful live music. i’ll just leave you with a couple of glimpses: 1 and 2.

Since i was very close to the action, i can comment a couple more white-shirt things :-).  I’m now convinced that DtO is right about this tops/bottoms thing.  For once, during the first dance, Alcina was leading palm up and Rugierro following palm down.  The opposite is the case when Rugierro is dancing with Bradamante at the end.  Same with holding, we always have in order back to front: Alcina, Rugierro, Bradamante.  And if you really want to learn how to draw your sword white-shirt style, please see the end of “1” above for a proper lesson from the white-shirt master…er..queen.

Anja Harteros, Marc Minkowski, Vesselina Kasarova, Kristina Hammarström

signing off with a couple of curtain call photos.  anxiously waiting for the last white-shirt experience in a while.

Anja Harteros, Marc Minkowski, Vesselina Kasarova, Kristina Hammarström


to smorgy: got an alcina production book full of german for you to translate ;-).


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

6 Responses to alcina2

  1. Smorg says:

    I hereby pronounce you smitten by George Handel, matie! 😉 The old master would be delighted to hear that his 4 hrs can be played in full so excellently to today’s ADD audience that it still seems too short! Thanks a bunch for the wonderful photos and clips, and best of all, your description of what it’s like to be there. What a trip to remember!

  2. 🙂
    But here’s the thing. I always thought that Bradamante was 1) the more interesting character, 2) the one with better arias (if fewer of them). Ruggiero is just a sketch of a character, shaped by the Alcina vs. Bradamante tug o’ war.

    Yet people usually cast a star mezzo as Ruggiero and an up-and-coming mezzo or alto as Bradamante. Because the star soprano, I guess, has to have a star boytoy. Interesting how these things happen. Maybe a star mezzo is necessary to make Ruggiero stand out.

    What did you think?

    • thả diều says:

      very cool question! I’ve been thinking about this for a while actually. since it’s going to be a lengthy response, i thought i put it as a new post instead 🙂

  3. Anik LaChev says:

    Again, many white-shirted thanks for keeping those of us who cannot attend in the loop!

    • thả diều says:

      you’re very welcome! perhaps some time in the future, when all footnotes are in order, we can have a true WS gathering with commentaries during intermissions and late night drinks!

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