to heck with orchestra

for the first time i can claim i *love* an opera because of the singers alone! More specifically of the very very nice Giulietta and fffffaaaannnntasticcccc Romeo! Am totally captivated. And before you come to any conclusion that i *only* listen to alcina, i capuleti e i montecchi, and tancredi, let me clarify! actually i was listening today (while writing up review) to Handel’s Oreste. Not sure which version i got though… But, back to the recording of Romeo! I’m always quite amazed of the things you stumble on on internet these days… like live performance of Vesselina Kasarova in New York! with French soprano Annick Massis, and the Opera Orchestra of New York conducted by Eve Queler. Anyhow, it’s a bit sad that the recording of the orchestra is not that great (pretty noisy). Whoever recorded this must have been sitting right in front of the 2 main singers! I’m beyond happy with the recording of Frau Kasarova’s voice actually. There’s so much one can absorb it it, to a point you (I) literally stop breathing!

Anyhow, the opening aria for Romeo is very well sung too, but I didn’t upload it. In place, we shall have the complete (uncut) fantastic duet between Romeo and Giulietta,

and the complete final scene (above). Alternating between these are 2 posts by a fan of Massis’ of her great opening aria and the duet between Romeo and Tebaldo, posted by Arashi. For me, she’s the best Giuliettas (in term of voice, my scale is pretty biased though and heavily weighted by non-headache-inducing factor) of all the ones I’ve heard in recording :-). Here are also two write-ups (1 and 2) of the performance back in 1999.


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

20 Responses to to heck with orchestra

  1. Eyesometric says:

    Well Dr. T …. this brightened an otherwise dull English day 🙂 Thank you for your diligent research, as ever.

    • thả diều says:

      you’re welcome 🙂
      we have an unbelievably beautiful and warm weekend here!! am finding all sorts of excuses just to be outside. indian summer they said. looooovellly.

      my impression listening to this recording was similar to the live one with Eri Nakamura. I think once you have the right singers, the softer / in-audible the orchestra the better actually! so, who amongst us will camp outside the munich national theater begging for tickets?

      • Eyesometric says:

        I can think of one or two!

        Indian summer seems universal but with time lapse. Ours was last week and check out Yvette’s pix for French version.

        • thả diều says:

          ah, thanks Eyes, just dropping Yvette a few notes too. i’ve also entered the same lottery system Yvette was talking about, let’s see how lucky a WS can get 🙂

          But you confused me. It must be the “hot” weather you were discussing (along with Yvette) ? that’s why i didn’t make connection. To me, this is just absolutely pleasant, especially with the humidity, *love*. we were dripping in sweat kicking a ball around (until i nearly pass out within 5 min due to not being in shape 😀 )

  2. Smorg says:

    Hey, thanks for happy listening to start the weekend with, Dr T. 🙂 We’re having gorgeous weather here, too. Gotta love this time of year (tho perhaps more there and in the Midwest where the leaves should be changing their hues right around now)!

    • thả diều says:

      Smorrggyy! would you like to enter the lottery too? 🙂 . wouldn’t you already be somewhere closer to europe by that time? i can find free couch for you to crash!
      I hope you enjoy the fine singing. I’m really in awe, just amazing. since i’m not that rich, i won’t hear her that close unfortunately. made all my request for galerie level, let’s see how that goes…

      no, leaves are not turning yet, must be because i’m still inside the city. the humidity though is a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y fantastic! let’s see, my dream would be this weather + am sitting on ground level on the side at NEC Jordan Hall and Frau K singing Handel/Bellini/Rossini 😀

  3. yvette says:

    This is amazingly beautiful. Annick Massis is a wonderful singer, very precise and musical, and not sold to business. I did not know this you see, so it is great listening time, they are botn excellent and the balance of their voices is stunning. ( forget about the orch!!) Thà, are you on the ‘reservation list ‘too? I booked for the ‘première I think’ . Be great to say ‘hello’!(if we happen to get through…). Annick is as good as Dessay, perhaps better now as she has still her voice in better shape because she has cared for her repertoire . Frankly I do not know why she is not on stage at ONP … I saw she is having a recital soon in Paris Gosh! I have so many listenings to be done… Time ‘s flying and I am retired… forgive me young and busy friends…have a nice day

    • thả diều says:

      ah, thanks Yvette, for the information about Annick. I haven’t heard of her before this capuleti. I’m soooo impressed by Giulietta’s opening aria. that’s exactly the right type of artist who makes you forget the orchestra was present! it’s amazing how we don’t hear too much of singers like her (too much hype for a certain few divas…) How lucky you’re to have her on your side of the ocean! (and i was getting envious while reading through the list of artists you hear live…)
      That fan of hers has lots of very nice posts as well.

  4. yvette says:

    But you see, the place to be is Brussels or Paris… because you can have so many musical events and you can join Britain and north of Europe so easily… I have to cross France! I think it is great to attend all the concerts and operas through radio broadcats, because that is the best way to appreciate what is going on… with the scores, the text, and the peace and quiet of home! For Dvds it is another story!(I’m half joking… but there is a lot of truth in it..) Is this fan of hers in Belgium? (if you happen to know) Have a nice end of W-E.

    • thả diều says:

      yes, Massis’ fan is from belgium according to his/her youtube channel information. I think somewhere between Paris and Munich is great :-). big cities = super duper fast access via flying. need i mention the short driving distance between Munich and Salzburg too? (for any of us living once in southern california, 2-3 hrs drive = typical distance).

      i’ve become somewhat of a live-radio-broadcast addict, hunting all these gems. recently i’ve just gotten myself familiarized with Handel’s Ariodante (the entire opera) thanks to just 1 live clip of Sarah Connolly last month (no music sheet though since i can’t read any 🙂 ), and am still on the hunt for a version with frau K. there’s also a broadcast from vivalavoce coming up end of this month with joyce didonato among others, very much worth listening in.

      meanwhile, Massis is still running in background w/ o quante volte… hope you have a great week coming up! we have a holiday tomorrow apparently!

      • Eyesometric says:

        AND … Yvette has that TGV train system to get from Marseille to Paris in 3 hours! It takes me much longer to get to London 😦

        Holiday/Thadieu … do these words go together?

        • thả diều says:

          vhat are you saying Eyes?
          well, it’s a bless to have a job that one enjoys and passionate about no? and i work hard to play hard (or in this case, line up hard at opera haus 😉 )

          But how come england/UK/britain doesn’t have fast speed train?
          i’ve nnnever been to england (stopping at heathrow doesn’t quite count, though i *love* the bathrooms there), and i’ve heard the southern part of france is vvvery beautiful… we all just need a nice opera run at the barbican or marseille/toulouse 😉

          @Yvette: let me just answer you here too, i would love to hear more about pomegranates. only thing i’ve ever eaten it with was this superb salad my sister gave me recipe for. imagine my shock the first time i opened that fruit :-).

          • Eyesometric says:

            British rail links are notoriously dire. It could be because we laid down our rail infrastructure many years ago and we never seemed to catch up with other countries when it comes to modernisation – apart from closing all the little branch lines which were not profitable.
            Up until 1 month ago I could fly from one end of the country to the other but now they have discontinued the route. This is the reason I drive a lot.
            PS. No insult intended by holiday remark and kudos to you for what you do and the way you do it!!

          • thả diều says:

            “No insult intended by holiday remark”
            none taken Eyes, mine was a nudging question (and should be accompanied by a wink 😉 ), in fact i took it as a compliment.

            sounds to me like the rail system in southern California, or in the US in general. that’s annoying indeed. at least in the US we can sort of fly easier between states (how you get from the airport to where you live is entirely a different question.)

            hope your monday is rolling along well

            ps- ah, you brits and driving on the other side… a colleague of mine once told me you can tell she’s tired when she starts driving on _that_ side of the street (here in the US) 🙂

  5. yvette says:

    I caught up with the news and will give a collective answer concerning travelling. Keep in mind that Aix festival is a well-known event and just think you are welcomed here. I have plenty of time to spare for friendship … yes I guessed Annick’s fan was the one I sort of ‘know’ through youtube!
    Pomegranates… for me it is a childhood story linked to my Mum. There’s a hint already on the blog somewhere… a postcard to Mum…I admired Smorgy’s, Eyes’ and Thà’s blog for having such a wonderful classification… I’ m the messy type…sorry! To All of you, hace a nice day! It’s time for me to move today!

    • yvette says:

      oh! shame… welcome… of course !

    • Eyesometric says:

      I, for one, may have classification but tend to wander down little alleyways occasionally. One can be too rigid in the choice of content for blogs and it’s fun to pop in and see what diverse thoughts we are all having – so I don’t think “messy” covers what you do Yvette; perhaps “random and charming” with no apology necessary !

    • thả diều says:

      disorganized? where? love your blog the same, love (and jealous) of the singers you get to hear. ahhhh, and i now have an invitation for Aix?? you know i grab people just to stay on their couches during my various stays in europe? 🙂 hope you have a great day and weekend coming up too!

      hi Eyes 🙂

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