coming out…

of spring hibernation! yes yes, i already out of dat closet long time ago, though every “spring” recently has the tendency to send me directly back in just to avoid them *flowers*.  Anywho, i declare hibernation over! the air is buzzing with chirps of live streams, weeeee.  All info can be found either at Anik‘s place, Smorgy‘s place, Intermezzo‘s, email (via sharp Eyes), Bayerische Staatsoper’s website, or their facebook site.  mark yo calendar, don’t miss May 19th’s live stream of I capuleti e i montecchi.  come gather at Anik’s place for chit chat along the way.  i will try to sneak out a curtain call photo / clip, though i can be a bit shy when it comes to hollering (especially when that last time resulted in a voice crak!)

So, allow me, music to celebrate _end_ of dormation (?)

If i have my way, i’d ship out Yves Abel and send in Marcello Viotti pronto for this production.  To me, the most important moment of this opera is really the overture (!) and opening chorus.  The whole stage is set.  And to me, this above overture is _it_. To start, you get a little thunder at 0.16 in the form of drum. I’ve read somewhere comments about how jolly the overture is that it doesn’t give hint to the dark drama that soon unfolds. But no, it’s because you don’t hear the right instrument(s) at the right time passage!  How does it work that some conductors get that out and others don’t?  We have this expression in vietnamese “xé ngang bầu trời”, when a dark sky is ripped apart with a blade of lighting (if you grow up like us without electricity, this image can be very vivid).  That’s what it feels like having the piccolo interject sharply announcing looming disturbances.  But actually the piccolo already enters subtly mingling with strings before that, as well as ~02.50 along with strings, drums, horns.  It does remind me a lot of the black swan in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake: You’re not sure yet why she’s there, but you smell trouble! By 3.22, she’s now the main attraction, making her entrance to the announcement (and resignation) of the horn. Also, this is the only overture i heard where the strings, brass, and piccolo have equal intensity (balance) beginning at 3.31.  In fact, so many times, the brass+drums just overpowers everyone and you get the feeling you’re in a completely different opera altogether.

Do loop back to the beginning of the overture. rolling up sleeves. hija!
Edit: while we’re at it, here’s my opening chorus of choice, from that same live performance. listen for that piccolo infiltrating, eagerly stirring up turmoil amongst men.

(ps- during dormant time, this was running round the clock…)

(ps2- the ladies of 1.FFC Frankfurt is playing in the women’s championship league final on May 17 in the same town, guess where i’ll be :-D)

About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

9 Responses to coming out…

  1. Eyesometric says:

    I just watched your Alcina curtain calls again and cannot believe that people were actually *leaving* whilst you were filming!
    I am saving the overture to listen tomorrow so I can concentrate on your observations.
    It’s good to see you dehibernating 🙂

    • thả diều says:

      please ignore voice crak, but so exciting eh, that clip, must admit i *love* it :-), those girls next to me were great, such dedicated fans (did i mention they were lining up already at 1pm??)

  2. yvette says:

    Fine listening and interpretation, so precise. V. Bellini is my favourite composer for voices. We are going to love it with two smashing passionate singers in their category!
    Will you be there, in Munich, ’cause I’ll be there for the last performance on the 26th.

    • thả diều says:

      hi there Yvette, let’s keep in touch by email, i’ll be there along with a couple more whiteshirts on the 26th too!! would be great to get together for a drink and discuss. Would also love to catch you for intermission chit-chat. I’ll email you my seat so we can meet up! i excited! (and yes, i’ll be there for 19th too 🙂 ).

      • Cat says:

        Gosh there’s going to be quite a gang of us on 26th, fantastic… 🙂

      • yvette says:

        Dear Thà dièu, got the message for Vesselina’s recital hope Eyes saw it! Yes we’ll keep in touch for the 26th if you do not mind sharing cheers and beer with two granies!!!I’ll write soon but not on FB.

  3. Eyesometric says:

    Just comparing your choice of opening chorus against your own Lyric Opera of Chicago one. I never really thought of a piccolo as an infiltrating stirrer before but I do see what you mean. This recording certainly has the picc in a prominent role even though it doubles the fiddles a lot of the time.
    I wonder if there is a particular term for one who loves sword and piccolos 😉

  4. Anik LaChev says:

    …I ❤ PS #2 – almost as envious about this as about the Bellini.

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