alcina 3 and more

update: back from my 20-hr journey.  the rest of the report is now in below.
update2: loaded HD curtain call up now.

i hope everyone enjoyed the gem that i and a couple other privileged white shirts witnessed last night? but first, i must report the GREEEEATEST news, i wanted to shout sooo loud and share this with you all just as i bought my ticket:

YES, you see it right!, CAMERAS!!! MANY of them! right next to me.  they were taping last night Alcina for a DVD release!!!!

Last night was a special night.  fans from all over the world descended to Wien to witness magic at the Staatsoper.  Ruggiero was especially decked up, looking absolutely shiny and handsome for the white shirt release.  Did you notice the 2 long instrument-only passages at the beginning of the first act?  What you were missing on the radio were the too-beautiful-for-words exchanges of soft caresses and glances between Ruggiero and Alcina.  For our viewing pleasure, there were also two extra subtle scoop-me-up-off-the-floor-please kisses.  The fire was on.  It took a bit of time to warm up though, but by the time Alcina passed out on the stage floor and sent her heavenly voice hovering above with ah! mio cor, my heart dropped.  I was glued to my spot for 5 min as intermission rolled in, unable to move.  the crowd was roaring.

The 2nd part following intermission was pure magic.  again, i’m just too short for words now to describe my feeling.

Goodbye Alcina for now.  i’m now an official Harteros worshiper.  will write more. (please check back on this post).


A few things and clarifications:

the boy-soprano for the Nov 17/20 performances was Alois Mühlbacher and not Shintaro Nakajima.  I like Nakajima’s voice much more.  There were quite noticeable differences between the 14/17 and 20 performances.  It seems that for the video recording, there’s significantly more directing involved.  Kasarova altered her voice quite a bit throughout the first act, mainly by singing lighter than usual, with the same voice she used in the first “ta ra ta ta” @5.49 here.  More importantly, she was not bending backward and pointing the fingers up when singing, which she did extensively during the first 2 performances.  I’m now getting used to seeing that, resolving to the fact that whatever she needs to do to get the voice to communicate is great (we all know many of our favorite singers have sometimes peculiar ways with their body / face expressions during singing).  So i was worried her singing would suffer because she had to be more conscious about her body movements for taping.  Luckily she seemed to almost abandon that after intermission (but still with vertical back).  Also in the first act (throughout the evening particularly for Harteros), all singers seemed to be more cautious than usual about their positionings onstage and relative to each other.  I guess they were ordered to make sure they face certain directions for the cameras to capture.  As a result, visually, the first act was a little bit more disjointed than before.  For Harteros, the heels appeared to interfere with her dress several times during her poses on the bed.

In term of singing, Ms Hammarström fired plenty of coloratura-filled emotions during “Vorrei vendicarmi” similar to on opening night.  Here and in several other occasions I didn’t hear the orchestra well, so i’m thinking it was because i was at parterre rather than balcony level.  I’m quite curious how Frau Kasarova is heard via radio because she was on fire onstage matching singing with white-shirt acting.  I hope the radio broadcast captured also the fantastic duet between the viola da gamba and Ms Cangemi’s “Credete al mio dolore“.  Here’s a sample with Natalie Dessay.  In fact, I’d like to listen to the radio recording of this duet.  Somehow i’m a bit skeptical that the warm sound of that viola da gamba was properly captured during recording…

For Ms Harteros, all 3 nights, i was just drowning in her singing.  unbelievable.  For last night, due to loads of re-positionings physically between singers, the transition into both “Di’, cor mio, quanto t’amai” and “Sì, son quella” weren’t as smooth in term of emotional flows.  However, once she started singing, we could forget about the rest.  just absolutely hypnotizingly  magnificent.

Lastly, if there’s any question at all about who Ruggiero really loves, the dvd version should point to Alcina.  Many times after Ruggiero had discovered who Alcina really was, they were still reaching out searching for each other’s hands.  In the last trio, Ruggiero spent more time near/next to Alcina and didn’t hold Bradamante‘s hand anymore.  At least in the english translation, I also saw Ruggiero explaining to Alcina that (s)he has to go back to Bradamante because of honor and loyalty, which might explain why that relationship is just not clicking in this Wien version.

There you have it.  with that many high-tech cameras around, i gave mine a rest for the night.  only captured these:

(curtain call is in HD format also if you have the patience to let it load.)

Vesselina Kasarova, Anja Harteros



About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

8 Responses to alcina 3 and more

  1. idlehouse says:

    mom’s rapture, uh huh

  2. Smorg says:

    Oooh! I hope they do release this on DVD indeed. Will buy at least 3 copies of the thing for sure. 😀

  3. puritymccall says:

    Oh thank you thank you thank you for recording the call…. god SUCH happy memories. Truly… What a night!!

  4. Now, can we hear your account of the stage door event? I was going to ask who those screamers in the video were, but you explained it on Purity’s blog.

    Anything more that struck you? So VK looked all glammed up — and in a suit? Any jewellery? What kind of hair? And Harteros?

    • thả diều says:

      well, i’m not the type of person to line up for autographs really. what i’d love is to shake hand with someone who has done something wonderful for me, and just introduce and thank her personally. so, as you’ve read my experience in Wien, there were plenty of reasons i’d love to shake hand with VK and Harteros. conveniently we (i) picked the spot to meet up right by the back-stage door. i didn’t expect it to be such a zoo. of all the times i’ve been at Wiener Staatsoper, it has never been like that. But as i said it was a special night with tons of people from out of town coming in to see Alcina. when we were done clapping and screaming inside, the two girls rushed out, attempting to grab me in the process, for backstage goodies (we never introduced, but they could probably see by my screams that i was both fan of Kasarova and Harteros). my shoes were still off (for comfort standing for the long evening) so they left me behind. By the time i got there and done spotting Purity and Suzette, i mentioned i have never seen VK before offstage. So there we were, standing about 5m from the door observing the crowd lining up. I didn’t really feel like lining up or going in… then suddenly Hammarström strolled out looking very cute with her short hair. I smiled at her and she did back. She was also musing at the hyped up crowd as she walked pass me. Then our Oronte came out almost unoticeable to everyone. I wouldn’t have except i saw some production photos. So, while all that was going on and we were slowly chatting away, suddenly Purity spotted Harteros with the two super happy girls. Harteros appeared really relaxed. I don’t remember her clothes, she might have even been in jeans. not on heels though because i first noticed how tall she was so i checked on heels :-D. One of the girls was already quite taller than i am by a head probably, but she looked quite small standing next to Harteros. Her long hair just casually flowed out of her hat and she was just happily chatting away with the girls. While i was busy observing, Purity spotted VK this time almost sneaking out. Yes it’s a suit, but not the type i’d love to see her in. It’s the expensive super feminine type. It was more the boots that called out for attention: at least 3-in high if not 4 and cover up to the knees. I was too occupied with them boots to notice if she wore any jewelries. hair was hidden behind the hat. altogether, looking quite the type of glamorous gals i’d avoid :-). and she appeared quite in a hurry to fly out of there. So that was the end, she walked passed me as well with a group of 3 other older people, disappearing across the street. I was still occupied by those heels when Purity had enough and pulled us all out. If anything i could have done differently, i’d have approached Ms Hammarström and Ms Harteros and thank them for the wonderful week they have given me via music. Frau Kasarova? perhaps the next time. who knows 🙂

    • thả diều says:

      anyway, i do respect singers’ private space. like Purity said, if they’re comfortable talking to fans, then that’s great. if for some reasons they are not in the mood (like after singing 4 hrs + preps and whatnots), i’m sure they’d love it if fans respect that and not shoving their ways in and snapping pix away… which is why i was observing 5m away. it was quite an interesting experience.

      • Purity says:

        If anyone deserved a chance to shake their hands it was you…. in fact it should be the other way around. You are a true opera supporter (and a very senior staffer in the White Shirt gang!). I cannot believe how much you did, flyng across the globe, queuing for hours, standing for hours. Really you are the star.

        I’m pretty sure Suzette will be only too happy to show you the autograph ropes in Munich!

        And yeah looked like Harteros had jeans on… I was so impressed by her and our Bradamante, they both seemed super friendly and relaxed and I’m always amazed they have any energy left for the fans after a night like that!

        PS I’m with you on the suit – it was a bit of a head-f**k seeking someone who minutes earlier had been so fully convincingly male looking like a refugee from Vogue..!

  5. Absolutely, Purity! Tha Dieu deserves an award. Next time we’re all in the same room (first time, alas!) I’m bringing one. No, nothing that involves nude sculptures. But there needs to be an award. We should establish an annual WS award of some sort, for Most Devoted, and some other categories. (And I thought I was bad for wanting to get a tattoo of an otter… This surpasses that several times over.)

    So it seems that La Kas rushed somewhere afterwards — maybe those were her parents? no husband in sight? You don’t dress up like that if you’re going straight home. But then, you don’t glam up for your parents like that. Hmmm. Who knows.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s