music list for long weekend

i love the night after deadlines, absolute silence, the mailbox is dead, they have all gone to bed, and i just woke up.
the last piece of music before total shut down was c.c.catch “heartbreak hotel”… and now that i show up in the office and realize it’s friday night, some music is in order. But “getting the feet wet” again is always a bit of a hurdle for some reason, so perhaps let’s start the night with that great bulgarian folk-song interview over at Eyes’? I understood only 1/2 of what she said (primarily due to failing anatomy) but hearing the difference is quite amazing. Also interesting is that the male voices don’t seem to vary as much as female’s.

So, on the list for tonight:
1. la forza del destino with A.Harteros
2. L’incoronazione di Poppea with S.Connolly and M.Persson

but think I need something less heavy duty to re-introduce the ears to music, so how about this?


the contraltos’ duet, simply because it’s so rare!



About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

46 Responses to music list for long weekend

  1. thả diều says:

    1. so, the music has gotten me to L’incoronazione di Dario instead, now on cd1, the overture’s opening phrase sounds just like this clip.
    — OH WOW, a contralto duet!! Galou with Mingardo! will post here..
    — actually it’s a nice duet but works much better within the flow, if listen by itself kind of eh..
    — you can get this on spotify the whole thing, worth a listen! i currently tapping feet along in cd 1
    2. oops, more vivaldi indeed, now juditha triumphans is playing on spotify!
    3. ok, let’s get started with forza!
    — oh, the overture sounds quite familiar..
    — how suspenseful, looks like witness-projection program
    — oops, i looked away just for a second and everyone ran off!
    — goodness, adios! everyone is forcing her somewhere!
    — geronimo has arrived!
    — i fan of rotating set so we don’t have to wait for set change 🙂 (but will be useful for standing seat people)
    — so we have a mezzo protagonist, equivalence of Azucena and princess Eboli it seems; she was “carmen” in wien the day i attended when Garança canceled, same one that Neb got all flowers while she was completely ignored at curtain call!!. Also heard her in Rigoleto with Ciofi.
    — how lovely, tall coat + *that* hat!! Dehggial, you’re gonna have to bring your 10-in heels to see her properly ;-), she’s running a bit too much on that left side.. (but should not have problem at all hearing her..)
    — hmm, these short break for set change are quite disruptive
    — ooooh, this is her famous aria.. oh wow, what phrasing.. (but please get up from your knees and move a bit to the right…)
    — wow, the art of soft singing and phrasing. (and GREAT, she’s not only slowly migrating to the right BUT CLIMBING on the table, MUCH better for seeing!!)
    — w.o.w., breathtaking, that is how to sing soft + phrase music.
    — and here is the view dear readers, what is there not to like.

    — and more good news: she’ll sing that gorgeous duet with the bass standing on the right, hurrah. i quite looking forward, really like her singing.
    — and i thought that dude was shot dead! her father? and he’s deceiving her somehow, singing that “joyful” duet, something won’t end well….
    — oh, what is that instrument? organ? church organ?
    — solo *very* high string, how suspicious, oh, baptism. that water better be _warm_, we do *not* want our favorite soprano catching a cold…
    — aha!! a double! GOOD! and she comes right back with GORGEOUS solo to harp, now meshing in with male chorus.
    — brava. how lovely, she’s present the entire first 1.5 hr, yay!
    — here we are, Act II. am guessing since the Mr did not sing too much in 1st hour he’s gonna be prominent here?
    — nice phrasing.. i supposed you can say i’m not quite a fan of his tone.. interestingly he’ll be standing THE WHOLE time on the right singing that aria to start Act II. they’re determined that we see him well.
    — oh, he got stabbed!! is it fatal? how long will it last? 1 hr? 😀
    — at 02:21:46, he expired! but that was some nice soft singing actually. when he sings soft, his phrasing is very nice.
    — methinks he’s taking advantage for a nap on stage. who is this other guy now? does he have anything to do w/ Leonora? can i fast forward?
    — finally done. now chorus, this set looks a bit like Trovatore, though missing that lovely “stripped” dancer (she was VERY good!! i really spent a looong time admiring her dancing!)
    — that priest sang for a long time, to no relevance.. now to pà răm păm păm, that tune with the boy and his drum!
    — oh NO, i thought he’s dead!! now his spirit gets to sing too? with no expiration, argh!
    — yawn. let’s say just since after intermission it has been meh
    The office door was knocked!! i quite concerned, NOBODY should be knocking door at this time of the night! turns out colleague with similar working schedule :-). so let’s call it a night here. will resume last hour. I must say the entire HOUR after intermission can be SKIPPED. but i know she’ll come back to sing that famous Pace something aria at some point.

  2. dehggial says:

    the entire set of LOTR more likely 😉 I don’t do high heels.

    • thả diều says:

      i did suspect not, but in just case you own them somevhere in closet ;-), this is really the right time to use

    • thả diều says:

      ps- this could be of interest to you (keep scrolling). pretty fine i must say 😉
      (i mean to first click on that first image, then scroll)

      • dehggial says:

        ha, I would LOVE to see that but it looks very unlikely this year. Maybe, don’t know… Might make up my mind after we get back and see how I’m doing moneywise. Finally a good idea for a new role! Hope she reprises it in the near future.

        • thả diều says:

          report from a fan of premiere night tonight:
          “It was absolutely amazing. Her vocal & stage performance lacked nothing. It was intense and absolutely thrilling. Now I’ve been a fan for many years, but if I hadn’t been, I would have become one after tonight’s premiere. You could feel and see that she was happy with herself and the whole team. Everybody Else did great work, too. Successful premiere in a non-sold out house. The audience went crazy”

          • dehggial says:

            Very glad to hear that 😀 Must ponder…

          • thả diều says:

            nah, don’t ponder too much 🙂
            i’m aware i can’t cross the atlantic everytime so i just read it to know and happy when it sounds like a fantastic performance (same way we absorb your reviews 🙂 , and may be plotting for coming years..), but of course there’s a balance in time and sanity to not go into hardship / bankruptcy and/or losing focus in life 😀
            As i don’t get to see her performances often, i do prefer to sit in 1 place and see the whole run rather than 1 recital… because it saves money but much more importantly you really get to feel for the character and the singing… and strangely even if i stay for 5 shows and bring someone along, depending on the person, i really can’t concentrate (no no, not for that reason 😉 ), mostly has to do with bringing newbie and somehow “worry” that they’ll *never* come back to opera again due to this experience or something.. this is in great contrast to a unique friend i have in munich (not the one we stay with), or when going to concerts/operas with groupies/bloggers like DTO or Stray ( 🙂 ), b/c i know they’re there to listen and can digest everything and have something interesting to explain/discuss/argue, so that’s super enjoyable.

          • dehggial says:

            the reason I’m wiggy is because this isn’t the kinda opera they put on all the time, so who knows when the next chance will come?

          • thả diều says:

            like that zürich agrippina…

          • dehggial says:

            hehe, what a nutty production, eh? Thinking about it always makes me smile.

    • thả diều says:

      found the heels i had in mind 😉

      • dehggial says:

        !!! Many years ago I did own a pair of platforms. Painful experience…

        • thả diều says:

          i was thinking we store them in our purses and pull out only when needed 😉

          • dehggial says:

            That’s what I do at Glyndebourne where I do actually dress up (tiny tiny heels) 😀 do you own heels? I kinda can’t imagine that 😉

          • thả diều says:

            2 pairs 😉 , one for dancing (the basic dancing heels type, to put you on the ball of your feet, even guys wear them though a bit different look), and one for that ultra-fancy vietnamese traditional áo dài i once wore for a vietnamese new-yr parade (as part of the vietnamese queer group, holding hand with another bride 😉 ), we were both on heels, but me primarily coz that dress was *very* tall, fit me just right width-wise at that time (not anymore!!) but length-wise needed some enhancement. think i posted a link somewhere on Eyes’ blog, was in total-diva mode that day hogging any/all cameras, the power of fancy dresses 😉 (i tell you, the moment stepped off the car *all* cameras rushed in for the dress ;-), here we go, found a link on the net.)

          • dehggial says:

            cor blimey guv’nor!

          • thả diều says:

            ps- a closer look of the dress 😉 (that’s a camera taking a photo of my brother’s (hand-holding-camera) taking a photo of us!), after a herd of queer boys rushing over to decorate my face with make-up! originally the group was planning to put me in tux+bow (which i’d have enjoyed too i think, never own one, never get to wear one…) but given my physical appearance putting that on would completely defeat the purpose (both on stereotyping butch-femme idea as well as on confusing people who thought i was a guy in the first place and wondering why we were in the lgbt contingency).. that and the fact if you have suit+tie not fitted to you (borrowed) it looks totally messy.. so out of desperation i called up my various sisters the evening before for advice.. and of course, we should always rely on our sisters’ ideas.. never felt sooo diva-like in my life.

          • dehggial says:

            really that is a gorgeous dress.

          • thả diều says:

            you mean this one or agrippina? 😉
            agree, a very very nice and nicely fit one, very lovely color too 😉

            Edit: oh, i realized you were referring to something completely different, i was thinking of VK’s blue silk dress 😉

          • thả diều says:

            oh, i realized you meant the vietnamese one? if that’s the case i heartily agreed 😉 . truly, was very amazing, and super tricky fit too.. the back was made *very* short, and mine is very short, that’s what made my sister instantly suggested, said was the “perfect” fit (never mind the length which requires heels) . the decoration is from the face of the oldest vietnamese traditional drum (some 100 bc or something like that, “trống đồng” ). also width was just barely right, such that that morning it was cold i had to put on a *very very* thin undershirt and simply couldn’t button up the dress!! (one can see the undershirt in close-up, it’s supposed to be see-through all the ways up the arms 😉 )

          • thả diều says:

            i still remember the day, some of the most memorable of my life 🙂 . the week before was very tense, we received so much negative publicity and *threats* (couple of the guys walking in our contigency was from underground police! to protect us, against crazy conservative + religious vietnamese in santa ana, they sent threats through the week of violence, up to the night before we were in constant email contact from the group leader to *not* retaliate but avoid violence if/when under attack..) . there was calls for boycott of the parade due to our presence (even though we were all vietnamese and it’s a vietnamese new year parade.) adding to complications we were marching in the *most* populous vietnamese community outside of vietnam (1/2 million or something) and bullying was so strong many of the queer vietnamese whose parents/business are in the area pulled out due to fear of retaliation… anyhow, the night before i sent out email and recruited 2 friends, 1 taiwanese, 1 german, to come along for emotional support 🙂 . Then the morning came, one can always tell when it’s your day, the parallel parking was PERFECT, i stepped off, the “leaves” of the dress flowed slightly in the the morning breeze, felt just lovely 🙂 . was the most fancy dress in the entire parade :D, *everyone* was complimenting it, not just my group. ended up having soooo much fun (diva-fun 😀 ), truly a perfect lunar new year celebration, as it should be. the boycotters stayed at home, adding to perfection :D. and my various international friends ended up joining our group marching down the street holding vietnamese signs for equality they didn’t even understand, told me afterward it was very nice :-).
            (oh, and younger brother also came for support, was very nice. younger sister was in different part of country doing translation into english + spreading words + photos.. just simply a nice day 🙂 )

          • dehggial says:

            how adventurous… maybe you need to do the diva thing more often!

          • thả diều says:

            i simply don’t understand why they didn’t re-run it, i heard it was a smashing success, audience loved it..

  3. stray says:

    iirc, you can get to the Pace something aria if you ffwd to where she emerges from the heap of crosses she’s been living under.

    • thả diều says:

      oh thanks for the tip Stray! was hoping to get your expert opinion last night but it was a bit late :-), so i had to sit through that 1 hour.. but was very very glad she got so much more extended time! (also have 1 wk to work on schedule, trying to roll back now from waking up at 5-6pm… )

  4. dehggial says:

    The contralto duet is lovely (replay, replay…)

    interestingly he’ll be standing THE WHOLE time on the right singing that aria to start Act II. they’re determined that we see him well.
    — oh, he got stabbed!! is it fatal? how long will it last? 1 hr? 😀
    — at 02:21:46, he expired! but that was some nice soft singing actually. when he sings soft, his phrasing is very nice.
    — methinks he’s taking advantage for a nap on stage. who is this other guy now? does he have anything to do w/ Leonora? can i fast forward?
    — finally done. now chorus, this set looks a bit like Trovatore, though missing that lovely “stripped” dancer (she was VERY good!! i really spent a looong time admiring her dancing!)
    — that priest sang for a long time, to no relevance.. now to pà răm păm păm, that tune with the boy and his drum!

    comedy gold 😀 the other guy is her brother, who became his best friend when the both of them went away in disguise, then when he finds out who JK really is he stabs him for revenge.

    • thả diều says:

      oh i’m glad you enjoy the duet! actually within the flow it hits you by quite pleasant surprise. I thought standing-lone it was a bit too abrupt/short, but then after several times hearing i begin to hear more layers too.

      :-), i determined to finish the Forza at least 1 round w/o knowing synopsis just to get a feeling for the music. so far i quite enjoy, a lot in fact, when she sings. when she disappears from screen it blended into a combo of don Carlos + Simon Bocanegra mess (lots of male singing, i couldn’t quite distinguish yet 😀 ) .
      (ps- so was it really his spirit that sings again?)

      • stray says:

        Wait, do you mean when he gets shot in the war (he recovers, sorry) or later?

        And did they use ending A (Carlo stabs Leonora and Alvaro jumps off a cliff), ending B (Carlo stabs Leonora and Alvaro is sad), or did they make one up for this production? I can’t remember.

        • thả diều says:

          I’ll report to you tonight when i sit through the last hour!
          so, at the first scene, in secret haus with secret-service man at front door, geronimo snuck in and shot who i thought was her father.. but then he later showed up in the monastery-like place deceiving her with some “jolly” duet before her dunking in the hot tub.

          This is different than the Mr. himself who got stabbed on the long table and napped while the other tenor went on and on for 20min, all of which ended at at 02:21:00 into the video. so i thought that was the end of the Mr, but he came back looking even more shiny without a hint of blood and singing in food swing 🙂

          Edit: full swing ;-), i hungry.

      • dehggial says:

        I wish the duet were longer but it’s nice nonetheless. Both ladies have lovely voices.
        that’s how I feel about Boccanegra, too! Can’t tell who’s who and what they all want. The first time I watched it was on Mezzo TV without subtitles = a mess, I didn’t know if I was coming or going or why.
        (he’s not really dead, you were right, it takes a long time for them to die for good).

        • thả diều says:

          “(he’s not really dead, you were right, it takes a long time for them to die for good)”
          😀 , back when we were growing up every saturday there’s an “vietnamese opera” and it’s like that, (s)he got stabbed and would sing for 20min-1hr before dying, we’re well trained. My first crak at it was audio in fact, broadcast on bbc3, supposedly with A.Harteros, i missed the beginning, then next 3 hours he wants this, he wants that, blah blah blah 😀 (then Stray finally mentioned the minor detail that she sang at the beginning that i missed :D) . have it but not so motivated yet to re-listen…
          you know this duet actually really reminded me of another (quite longer) duet that i now have in my head, b/t Mingardo and S.Kermes, i’ll upload, coz i reallly like it 🙂

        • stray says:

          Having once tried to explain the plot of Simon Boccanegra over dinner with only an hour to spare before curtain, I feel your pain 😛 But mostly the problem there is everybody’s running around in disguise with pseudonyms, and half the plot (and a major character or two) takes place in exposition. Also, never name your kid after you, because it will massively confuse the audience. (That’s really the takeaway of the whole thing.)

          If you ever figure it out, though, Verdi’s letters to Boito about the redraft are worth a read, they’re really entertaining.

          Meanwhile, Forza is way easier. There are disguises, but ultimately nobody is fooled.

          Clarification: I forget how they do this in this production, but the dead guy in the first scene — the victim of irresponsible handgun flinging on the part of the guy with all the hair — is Leonora’s Dad. When he is dead, he is dead for good. The guy at the monastery with the dunking is the abbot, Guardiano, who decides it’s okay for her to become a monk as long as she lives in the hermitage (that’s the pile of crosses in this prod.) and doesn’t talk to anybody. Later Hair Guy will join the same monastery — it’s a tiny world — and this will become very awkward in the final scenes.

          • thả diều says:

            perhaps they’re using same guy to sing 2 roles coz i really thought i saw the father again before she was dunked. but man, that priest is a creep!! the way he looked at her and got all giddy! now we’re back to the night program 🙂

            (after i mistook a potluck party for a hotpot party, showed up *all* excited, already thinking about soup along the way, fishballs, yum, vegie, yum, spicy broth yum.. then saw first a group of white (gay) boys and thinking: hmm, did i come to the right party? then pasta + some brownies on table… but good company 😀 )

          • stray says:

            pasta & brownies is definitely a potluck

  5. thả diều says:

    back from drinking enormous amount of water in the pool, you know holding a ball above your head while treading water is not a simple task! but for the first time EVER i *really* figure out what it’s meant to swim to the ball!! you take BIG stride with arms lunging at it first, then everything comes together!! before i was always flipping first vertical to horizontal position, then “flip flip flip” the little leg-motor to get started… by then ball was already on other side of pool in next action mode 😀 (there is a point after all about going for the ball versus “trying” to go for the ball). and now legs out of commission, great! just have to figure out how to get this water out of my nostril and ears, best not to do this b4 concert, else can’t hear anything 😀

  6. thả diều says:

    picking up with the last hour of the production (after many hours listening to various clips of agrippina.. you know handel, like vivaldi, once started i get stuck for a long time)

    — Act III may be? (or IV): this creepy priest is getting A LOT of time! and our “dad” is back, the multi-purpose bass it seems.
    — and yet *more* guy entering now, the brother, babbling something about vendetta
    — oh no, now geronimo is back, am checking the elapsed time: she was last spotted at 01:29:00 and now it’s 03:10:18 and not a hint. bye bye guys, time to move forward.
    — man, they went on and on and on… all the way to 03:19:45, that’s roughly TWO hours of nonsense!! grrrr
    — short break again, fingers crossed for heaps of crosses…
    — voilà, for future guide, dear readers, how to skip to what is desired.

    — german bread!! that’s how she get that lovely voice! very dramatic. self-promised i’ll read up on synopsis + aria content afterward.
    — sh*t, only 8 min, and geronimo is back.., lugging along the other tenor crawling on floor…
    — i just noticed though, during that whole heap-of-crosses scene she was mainly on the left, that’s not good…
    — sh*t, now she got stabbed..
    — woooow, niiice soft notes in dying position *on* the table (good position), realllllly niiiice. wow, super love soft solo to single harp? even veeeery short, wow, looovely. tear inducing…
    — wào, that last scene, after all the loud male-singing shutting down, was exquisite. *wow*. very minimal orchestra, highlighting the superb singing. bravi. simply exquisite. *sniff*
    — don’t you love the thuuuunderous stomping + screaming she received. i really love the atmosphere in this haus.

    — now let me check your question Stray…

    “Wait, do you mean when he gets shot in the war (he recovers, sorry) or later?”
    So, i now figure out, from your explanation: the geronimo-looking dude w/ long fancy hair got stabbed during what looks like the castle-burning scene from Tito, he lied on table moaning and “expired” (or so i thought), but as you explained here, he recovered… hence he showed up later in super shiny clothing again. that was the only time he got stabbed in his production.

    “Later Hair Guy will join the same monastery — it’s a tiny world — and this will become very awkward in the final scenes.”
    how convenient, i sure it’s a pure coincidence 😉 , the other tenor must have accidentally joined the same monastery then? 🙂
    and of course our multi-purpose dad bass is also back for final trio.

    “And did they use ending A (Carlo stabs Leonora and Alvaro jumps off a cliff), ending B (Carlo stabs Leonora and Alvaro is sad), or did they make one up for this production?”
    she got stabbed, sadly, they didn’t alter that :-), he grabbed the cross and went backstage, so we can’t tell. i thought he was gonna throw the cross (and then wondered how that would insult the rather religious bavarian crowd…), but of course he didn’t, just dramatically stumbling into the background.

    — and i’ve decided to go back to listen to Pace.. again, really amazing phrasing. i love her phrasing, how she varies the into various degrees of softness, huge amount of control… and her natural voice is already *very* pleasant for the ears (creamy), so there’s just nothing but pleasure to the (my) ears…

    — and now that i’ve sat through, reading this review again was much more meaningful, and i so looking forward! (and D, good news is we’ll be on the opposite side of the blogger’s position so we see the table (i think, i hope we’ll be on the left…, let me check…) , so primarily though we *could* miss her Pace b/c she was really sitting in 1 spot, but i think that would be ok because there’s not a whole lot of acting that we care for, all is in the vocal lines. (oh no, sh*t, we’re on the right!! ack.. well, ok, so we’ll see whatever we see 🙂 )

    also, now put duet w/ Mingardo+S.Kermes on post as well, another duet i quite like.

    • dehggial says:

      if there’s two hours of blah blah in the middle, can we take a refreshment break? Here at ROH there’s a nice terrace with a view of the Covent Garden Market just outside the Upper Slips, maybe Bayerische offers something similar.

  7. thả diều says:

    Let’s get started with L’incoronazione di Poppea from Liceu
    — ha! found the heels!!!
    — hey! i like this CT’s tone! very warm actually!
    — *very* different take in the music, a lot more romantique than the version w/ Alessandrini. There’s a huge difference in the heft of the voice between this CT and Mingardo, and it gives quite a different impression of the personality of the character Ottone! and his acting is also different than hers, very interesting! but i like his voice!
    — oh, i like the futon! but might be a bit too soft
    — wow, Mia Persson’s voice: verrry nice!
    — time for a confession too: i actually always find SC’s tone a bit too “girly” , i actually prefer a bit more heft
    — but once you get past to the first impression, her phrasing, it reminds me why i like her singing every time i hear her (the acting clearly doesn’t hurt 😉 )
    — interestingly, VK was slated to sing *this* Nerone!! but she got injured from something.. and had to pull out.. (if my memory served right from WS-scouting days…)
    — and while we’re at the duet, now i really feel it, in contrast to the duet at last concert.. it has a lot to do actually with SC’s phrasing, it’s fulllll of lush, you don’t even need to see her “acting” (opposite of other as well case anyhow..)
    — I mean, if you see this, combo of Ottone to start and now Nerone, you understand *why* she (Poppea) picked wisely (i don’t mean the gender business ;-), rather how characters are portrayed, phrasing, phew, she’s great!! (SC))
    — ah haha, the CT (is he a CT? i guess a tenor), i actually like him a lot in Agrippina as well.
    — wow, the orchestra is GORGEOUS!!
    — wow, what luxury, Maite Beaumont as Ottavia! and i *love* that poster she’s holding, we can get copy for our walls!
    — this tenor/CT, not sure his name coz i don’t know his character’s name, *very* natural!!! love it!! the other production they were pouting majorly. looove his phrasing, never mind the loooovely look 😀 . oooohhhhh, his dancing, i very much like! very natural 😉 . it’s really not that easy, and often people ended up over-acting + over-pouting. this dude has my vote (y)

    • stray says:

      CT in question is Dominique Visse?

      • thả diều says:

        indeed, after a quick google 🙂 . actually i like how he’s singing in his ENTIRE rage, so also singing tenor, essentially very flexible to do anything he wants, quite a charming character and natural acting skills. very natural! (of course it’s curious how we don’t see him being pasted up in promo and featured.. could be labeled as too “loose” for seriousness :D)

        Edit: oh another quick google shows he’s now 59, that might explain the less shiny posters + promo…

  8. thả diều says:

    welcome to another night in the office, this schedule switching is not quite going according to plan… Monteverdi will finish the night, i really like the music, so that won’t be trouble.. but how about we start the night with this 🙂

    haha, they got me totally distracted, abba, radio-host, carmen

    1. back to L’incoronazione di Poppea, track 6/23 . this middle part is rather slow… bass singing extensively.. then something between Nerone and bass…, but why does Nerone sing in this way? she’s migrating a bit away from phrasing and borderline pouting now…
    — surprisingly when looking away i hve trouble telling M.Persson’s voice apart from SC’s ! but you can hear her phrasing, most likely b/c she’s trying to sing seductive…
    — hmm, methinks this is the wrong music for tonight for some reason, let me seek refuge in some handel or vivaldi for a while…
    2. yep, this seems to go better for the night, aci, galatea e polifemo, on spotify here, so different the overture with E.Haim’s take compared to opening of the exact same opera on dvd (whose audio is also on spotify.) CD’s orchestration is much lighter as well.
    — ok, it seems the cd and dvd used 2 completely different overtures, how interesting.
    — “Sforzano a piangere con più” very beautifully sung, internal turmoil as she realized the dark future awaits Aci..
    — I reallly like S.Piau’s voice, absolutely pleasant. But, i must say in this recording, you really don’t feel the emotional flow of the piece, simply her superbly beautiful singing with perhaps too much ornaments. Ruth Rosique, whose take on this same aria “Che non può la gelosia” got Eyes jumping off her seat, but yet i really like for its feel of spontaneity and youth, as well as reflecting content, (s)he’s singing about gelosia after all.
    — Laurent Naouri has the right flexibility for this very demanding aria, “Sibilar l’angui d’Aletto”, which on dvd one could say the coloratura was simply skimmed over.
    — now S.Mingardo’s aria that’s supposed to show A LOT of anger, “Benché tuoni e l’etra avvampi”, here on cd is also a bit too “beautiful” and smooth, for comparison, here’s her take on dvd, she’s “angry” at the bad guy there (in the voice), as well as orchestra support (i quite like the roughness of the violins, makes the whole thing more on edge)
    — hehe, this bass’ languishing aria, “non sempre, no, crudele”, is like crocodile tears :-), are we to believe for a moment he’s really having some humane feelings. (nothing on singing, just the story itself, which i guess you don’t know until later you see him killing Aci..) .. but he does sound quite genuine here, you *almost* believe him! (dont get tricked!) . Laurent Naouri is *very* good and convincing.
    — sooooo strange to hear “S’agita in mezzo all’onde” now!! brings back memory of when i first discovered her, just 8 months ago!! it’s done *very* fast on cd here compared to dvd. Orchestra part also so different. Let me search translation for content..
    “S’agita in mezzo all’onde, lontano dalle sponde, nel tempestoso mar la navicella. Schezro di vento infido corre da lido in lido, né la fa naufragar forza di stella.”
    “Among the rolling waves, far from any land, the little boat is tossed in stormy seas. The plaything of treacherous winds, it is blown from shore to shore, but not even the fateful starts can wreck it.”
    ok, not much insight there :-), might have to read up what happening right before that… ah ha, this is what she, Galatea, was telling the monster right before that in recit: “But such thoughts can only awaken false hopes in your mind, for I, made braver and strnger bya different kind of love, will die before I yeild to your embrace.”
    — oh, that’s also the end of cd1, very short. onto cd2 then..
    — hmm, this monster is singing some “soothing” aria again, must be totally deceiving, time to consult libretto..
    “Fra l’ombre e gl’orrori farfalla confusa già spenta la face non sa mai goder.”
    “In darkness and fear a bewildered moth, the lamp now extinguished, can play no more.”
    must be his “mournful” tone/reasoning as a way to comfort himself that he has no other way except to act violently, playing the victim, how pathetic :-).
    — Aci is now singing a very nice youthful hope aria, sort of the kind of things youngster lying on grass looking at sky full of kites having nothing but positive thoughts for (her)his lover. very nice orchestra, her voice (S.Piau) is super pleasant. possibly the libretto will say something different but let’s go with my “intuition” for the moment to see how it flies. yep, very nice duet with little “wind” (flute) as well, tossing up some hope, flute gives back just as joyful, more “dreamy” feeling on grass field.
    — yep, that flows *extremely* well into Galatea’s languire. WOW, absolutely heart-breaking “Se m’ami, o caro”, truly beautiful. sniff. really beautiful orchestra leading into it too. woooahhh. (to get the effect you do need to hear that youthful/wishful aria before that as well, but here it is, i can’t handel her being so sad 😦 )

    — wiping tears. need a moment to pick self up.
    — the minimal orchestral play was really brilliant.
    — 20 min later, we resume… to the bass’ pouting! what’s wrong with him? he was singing just fine before without pouting, ack
    — Galatae has another vengeful aria, this time, the orchestra plays forceful enough, and her singing really reflects the “anger” mood.
    — I must say though, everything was sort of anti-climax after “Se m’ami, o caro” simply because how well that aria was delivered, you already know what’s coming, now just the inevitable.. all hope is lost.
    — very nice cd, totally worth listening, definitely worth to see dvd as well, and perhaps some other singers :-), to get the feeling for flow, because as you notice, just from dvd + this cd set alone so many emotions were delivered differently with really contrasting net effect. phew, i still under spell of “Se m’ami, o caro”, sniff.

  9. Tove S says:

    Glad to see you gave THE L’incoronazione a chance! I have to say I like it most of all for the staging/acting, though I like the singing too. I love Dominique Visse, he’s so different from the other countertenors, yes, as you put it, natural. Connolly sounds “girly”?? Well, in a way I know what you mean, her voice certainly doesn’t have the heft of VK’s and it’s not THAT unique – I actually get a bit bored just listening to recordings of her because she sounds similar to a lot of other mezzos. Not “girly” exactly but, well, ladylike? But at the same time her delivery is so forceful, you can really hear her spitting! Though perhaps I’m just too influenced by the way she looks in a trouser role (not the Aix Ariodante though, he was a bland boy) so I hear the faces she makes in her voice… Her voice is a tad “cold” and I’m a real sucker for warm voices, but when you see her you get the warmth from her acting.

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