Vesselina Kasarova in Mannheim

cost of flight = $$$, cost of hectic planning = 2 gray hairs, experience Kasarova's Scherza Infida live = priceless

cost of flight = $$$, cost of hectic planning = 2 gray hairs, experience Kasarova’s Scherza Infida live = priceless

put it down, I have finally heard Vesselina Kasarova sing “Scherza infida” live, i can live happy! I read once a blog post a long time ago asking the question whether it was justified the effort to come to her recital where she only sang this single aria.. after much analysis the the blogger’s conclusion was a sounding “yes”. Here, not only we get that, but also *twice!!* “Sta nell’ircana”, along with 3 mozart arias (though none of which i recognized.) First let me file a personal “complaint” that it was still too short! In fact, after hearing the first phrase of “Scherza infida”, i want: a WHOLE “ariodante”, all arias. THEN, i want all Alcina’s arias, then “Il pianto di Maria”, then just “Agnus Dei” from Rossini’s petite mess solennelle, and capping it off with “Deh per questo instante solo” 😀 . Ok, now done with wish-list, back to the first aria. From 2nd row, i left to ponder how it is that she managed to express the music soo well.. simply mind bogglingly descriptive, you get Ariodante’s desperation, even you yourself becoming Ariodante and wanting to just jump off the cliff! Along the ride, i, myself separated from Ariodante, couldn’t help but feel a sense of bitterness that she’s not singing Ariodante anymore… that’s too bad for us listeners, coz you know I’d show up for two, three weeks, however long such a run would be..

From our seats she was completely out of sight behind the conductor. So eventhough sound traveled superbly to the ears, missing her expression was unacceptable. So while orchestra tuned, yours truly promptly climbed over chairs to 1st row right in front of her, JUST in time for full force “Sta nell’ircana”. WOW, the amount of energy that goes into sustaining the force, what a sight. The first violinist was GREAT. I simply amazed how easy VK made it look & sound while still having great fun time jiving along with the orchestra. It ranks up there, the experience seeing Kasarova from front row singing Händel :-). To be honest i was wondering myself a bit what i’m doing booking flight to europe for just 1 (or 2, 2nd canceled..) recital. Anyhow, by the 2nd phrase of Scherza infida the answer was obvious. Watching her jiving also brings back tons of memory of the great Alcina in Wien time, ah…
Right, so, some orchestral work filled in in between, some Vivaldi something, a full Mozart’s something (1st movement is famous from the movie Amadeus, last 3 movements are familiar coz that was what i was listening to while studying during undergrad time..). Then she came out for 3 mozart arias, none of which i knew, but i love particularly the 1st and 3rd, hmm may be 2nd as well.. argh the trouble of not knowing what she sings! Anyhow, below is the schedule for you to browse through. A friend mentioned online that she was to sign autograph after concert! Perfect chance to ask for schedule! But before that, we clapped and clapped and clapped away and she came out for an encore.. except it seemed there was no more music, i guessing the orchestra doesn’t normally play her repertoire or there was no practice time together, so she gave us a 2nd run of Sta nell’ircana, after making charming comments in German I can’t understand though can guess something to do with singing that in a beautiful red dress.. By this time, ToveS and her gf had succeeded in climbing over to 1st row too and joining me jiving along with VK and orchestra. soooooo much fun. Oh, she also smiled widely at us in front row of course.

So i did ask her TONS of questions during autograph time: first flashing off my ticket which printed “Massachusetts” on it while mentioning i just flew in from Boston this morning! Not to be outdone, she smiled: “I flew in from Tokyo!” can’t beat that :-).
td: would you have a detailed schedule for the next whole year that we fans can use to plan when to come to your concerts?
VK: (looking quite perplexed before realizing what I was asking) No, sorry, i don’t have that, i don’t do that (making typing motion, implying not on internet, arrrgh).
td: will you sing Händel again? more baroque and sacred music please?
VK: yes, but only in concert form.
td: I still hope that one day you will come to Boston to sing!
VK: may be!
td: you know we have the Boston Early Music festival
VK: yes i know (smile).

So there you have it. In the meantime, since she’s not planning to sing Händel in opera form anytime soon, i might come for La Belle Helene instead… oh, forgot to ask if she plans to make debut of Azucena soon, though by that time i was hogging lots of autograph time with long queue behind so i drifted off, not before she sent her thanks that i came. I’ll let ToveS and her gf tell you about their experience at the autograph table, a cute moment too :-). We left quite happy people. I’ll have to try these concerts more often. Problem in general is that single concert costs a lot more both in monetary and planning than a production run in 1 city.. But the experience is beyond description. what a fantastic night. I forgot my camera dear readers, so above is the only blur one from the phone.. signing off as i go dreaming about VK Händel.

ps- oh, my host, upon learning that i flew all the way here *just for this concert made a request to hear VK sing Händel on yt, of couse i very eager to oblige. here it is, for the xx times.

ps2- i did end up leaning on the table again, though absolutely not planning.. i tell you, that is the only most reasonable way to having a nice eye-to-eye chat with *someone* sitting ;-).

ariodante online stream alert


From Aix-en-Provence festival, NOW, 1500h EST, 2100h local time, 12/jul/2014.
Ariodante: Sarah Connolly
Ginevra: Patricia Petibon
Dalinda: Sandrine Piau
Polinesso: Sonia Prina
Lurcanio: David Portillo
Il Re di Scozia: Luca Tittoto*
Odoardo: Christopher Diffey
Chorus: English Voices
Orchestra: Freiburger Barockorchester
Musical direction: Andrea Marcon


(ps- there was a radio recording of the same opera 2 days ago too that i missed…)

hello world

Separation between US and Russia at [65N 180E]. Left: little Diomede, Right: big Diomede. Chukchi Sea, 2330H, 06.Jul.2014

Separation between US and Russia at [65.5N 170W]. L: moon hanging above Little Diomede, R: Big Diomede. Chukchi Sea, 2330h, 06.Jul.2014

Chukchi Sea, 0145h, 07.jul.2014

Chukchi Sea, 0145h, 07.jul.2014

hallo all, i finally back home again, for a short time.. can’t figure out yet why, but this piece of music just fits strangely precise with the feeling on ship: a little dazed**, hearing the heartbeat, rocking with the waves… here again, music in the head for the last 2 weeks. I super glad to be on land again, though still feeling the rocking motion every now and then..

** was not quite sure vhy so dazed and drowsy on ship.. turns out that’s a sign of sea-sickness and quite normal. donated my breakfast+lunch+dinner a couple of times to the birds :p