ariodante for the weekend

since the last report, i’ve been in hiding with continued fight with ice hurling at hurricane speed.. but fingers crossed, might have solved the whole thing… (may be, in 7 hours results will roll in for prelim verdict..) meanwhile, many pieces of music have gone through the sound machine. Here’s one for the weekend. not sure why sound was a bit messed up toward the end of Act 1 coz i really just copied the sound without any additional compression. Many thanks to Smorgie whose various posts alerted me to the existence of the recording and S for providing me with goodies.

Judging by what i’ve read on reactions (here and here), sounds in theater was spectacular. In addition, Sara Mingardo’s voice is niiiice, check out the first LOW note she laid on Pollinesso’s first phrase first aria starting at 41min26sec. More coming up.
Update: Act2, Act3.

Edit with commentary:
– that’s your definition of bringing the house down, Dopo Notte!
and wiping tears before that in Act 2, you infidel woman!
– really like Sara Mingardo, esp. in recit where she shaped the sound so masterfully along with arrangements of hands/arms.
– i quite like the orchestra and tempo, but it seems Harry Bicket prefers fast arias FAST and slow arias anomalously slow.. VK coped well with it but both sopranos and tenor and bass had some difficulties running through the fast sections… Take the final chorus for example where you hardly can hear a word sung because of tempo (btw, i took same tune from concert w/ Sarah Connolly for my phone ringtone now, very nice!)
– i will now always associate Sara Mingardo with the goatie and dancing cross-legged slowly weaving sword with finger tip.
– a guide to Händel:
a) sort out the mezzos+contraltos on 1 side, sopranos on opposite, and leave 1 bin for the male characters
b) fast forward to the end to see which one is paired with which
c) back to beginning to listen to music, with occasional glances to find out which contralto/mezzo had killed which tenor/bass…
d) occasionally pay attention to partially comprehensible libretto/subtitles (if available)
e) pay particular attention during ballet dancing session if the puppet show is involved, lots of interaction.
f) take it slow, 1 Act at a time, for several rounds/days
g) finally put everything together!

One thing i really like about this staging is that the characters are never looking each other in the eyes. Thus lots of exchanges are done via their subtle arms + body movements and musical phrasings, leave lots of room for enjoying the music while the-power-of-suggestion takes its course. It also reminded me of the Vietnam i grew up in, where most interactions are done on the balcony in low/no-lights including exchanges (note how the dragon was killed, we don’t kill but rather steal fruits from the other family’s trees.. or stealing kites… 🙂 )

I take my comment about sound problem back. Sound is very good, though still from camera instead of clearer sound from recording devices on stage.

I suspect the sound recording is not optimal. First, one can hear people “talking” into the microphone, probably one of the film crews. Second: it seems similar to the recording of Alcina where sound is recorded via the camera instead of devices used for radio-broadcast. Third, this was converted from a video/dvd recording from the TV is my guess… altogether, sound is a bit “covered”.

ps- on technical note, i’ve finally figured out how to compress videos + merge + keeping various sound tracks intact + preserving multiple subtitles! Here’re technical details for those who might find them useful:
ffmpeg -analyzeduration 2147483647 -probesize 2147483647 \
-i concat:”VTS_02_1.VOB|VTS_02_2.VOB|VTS_02_3.VOB” \
-map 0:0 -vcodec copy -map 0:1 -acodec copy \
-map 0:2 -scodec copy -map 0:3 -scodec copy -map 0:4 -scodec copy merge.vob

Then play merge.vob in vlc for example to find out exactly which scodec (subtitle) track goes with which language. For example:
2=english (subtitle track 0)
3=italian (subtitle track 1)
4=german (subtitle track 2)

ffmpeg -analyzeduration 2147483647 -probesize 2147483647 -i merge.vob \
-map 0:0 -vcodec libx264 -map 0:1 -acodec copy \
-map 0:2 -scodec copy -metadata:s:s:0 language=en \
-map 0:3 -scodec copy -metadata:s:s:1 language=it \
-map 0:4 -scodec copy -metadata:s:s:2 language=de \


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

7 Responses to ariodante for the weekend

  1. Anik LaChev says:

    oh, thank you for this one!
    I actually saw this one live back in the day (although I don’t think it was Mingardo mit Elena Traversi as Polinesso that night) and it was fabulous. The puppet staging looked a bit odd to some, but it really intensified the relationship angles portrayed.

    • thả diều says:

      oh? but u saw VK as ariodante? can we hear a bit more the impression? 🙂 i quite like the puppet show actually. great chance to see facial expression and subtle movements. the dancing is quite charming! all 3 parts are up. as usual, i always prefer to see the whole thing to really feel the flow into/out of arias. the tempo seemed pretty fast at times.. felt like both Genevre and that king of Scot were blurring across their music lines sometimes… but bed time.. i’ll have more coherent thought once up…

      • Anik LaChev says:

        o yes, VK was the main reason for traveling to Frankfurt. Too bad it was in times before I blogged or I would definitely have my impressions still at hand!

  2. Tove S says:

    Ooh the whole thing is up now? Thanks for the alert!

  3. yvette says:

    Total admiration and respect for all you did for us! Iwould like to have a small amount of all your knowledge to manage some of my videos which I cannot upload to youtube lately… and we will spend more time with VK who is really more and more difficult to see IRL owing to all your work!

  4. catatsea says:

    huge thanks – saved this for my Sunday viewing, you sure are getting really good at video production Dr T 🙂

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