ariodante 101

Rosemary Joshua and Vivica Genaux, ©2002 KEN HOWARD

i still hunting for that elusive kasarova’s ariodante. in fact, don’t we all have a secret list? mine is filled with live radio broadcasts (still hunting for that damnation de faust with kasarova last year in weimar…). these broadcasts allow for so much imagination (what does that *THUD* mean???, are they wrestling? that must be footsteps, someone is coming!!) and while the mind is firing, the music is fully absorbed by the body without the visual distraction. It’s the dynamical process which i love.  Once the curtain goes up, clap, silence, overture, and voilà. no retake, no smoothing, occasionally with spontaneous burst from the audience (not the obligatory/intrusive clapping but an impulsive screaming of joy). Anyhow, long operas are great for working, and i’ve been itching for Händel’s Ariodante for a while now.  Surprisingly not by Scherza Infida etc., but all inspired by that lovely overture during Sarah Connoly’s recital last year, *love* the overture. How many of us have really attended or know Ariodante well anyway, besides just the several patched-up arias by our favorite singers mezzos. Anyhow, here’s footage of a performance that originally put “ariodante” on my radar (also a good introduction to the work).

(ps- i very very surprised they performed this in that _gigantic_ San Diego auditorium, poor Rosemary Joshua and her headaches!)


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

6 Responses to ariodante 101

  1. Eyesometric says:

    Neither attended nor know. But in your words *like* what I hear ( and the conductor here )
    Struggling a little with Genaux jaw!
    More to come?

  2. I know what you mean about noises in live broadcasts! I always wonder what the thuds and thumps and other odd sounds correspond to.

  3. stray says:

    One of my earliest opera memories is the sound of Martti Talvela taking a header down the stairs at the end of Boris Godunov.

    • stray says:

      (I should probably point out that this was a part of the production, not an accident. Also that he was like 8 feet tall.)

      • thả diều says:

        oh, thought i just saw that name on vivalavoce’s opera 2 nights ago… But you must have seen the staging later? else how would u know about the nice tumble?

        @Charlotte: much much more fun also is when you hve attended the performance and later listened to the live radio broadcast and knew exactly what each of the noise correspond to!

        @Eyes: oohhh, the jaw thing :-). well i did warn you in my last vivica’s post. but i thought you’ve seen it b4 in her aria at the Proms which i posted here? in case you’re curious, she did explain it in her documentary, essentially saying her jaw moves like that when singing coloratura, some people say it’s tension, others say nope, that’s how it should be (to sing coloratura), “je n’ai aucune idée” as the dubbed voice said. But, aside from that, the fluidity of the voice is simply amazing!

  4. thả diều says:

    also love the stage director, “this funny form ABA which everybody has been talking about…” Love the explanation both from him in staging it and from Rosemary Joshua in communicating it. and yes, really enjoying the conductor’s take (and telling the violin to play soft to accommodate flute.)
    on the queer front, both stage director and Christine Brandes (who sang Dalinda) were out and proud.
    and i was thinking Ian Campbell’s statement should be revised to: “If you’re going to create a fine production of Ariodante, you really need four stunning women.”

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