Sara Mingardo at Wigmore Hall

Edit: the program is available for listening on bbc-3 radio here.
(wow, they simply cut out my cough! (either that or my cough didn’t make it to recording..) But you can hear a complete discontinuity in the music! or good if you can’t spot it…)
Finally, a chance to sit down and write :-). This trip was originally planned around a visit to Wigmore Hall for my recent obsession. The only concern coming in was a cold i caught from nearly 1 week ago that is now evolving into coughing-attack level.. So a very quick dash to the store for *two* packages of cough drops + a bottle of ginger drink was in order, we would never want to disturb Sara :-).

The program:
Claudio Monteverdi: (1) Quel sguardo sdegnosetto, (2) Voglio di vita uscir
Girolamo Frescobaldi: (3) Toccata Seconda (solo harpsichord)
Andrea Falconieri: (4) ezzosette e cara pupillette, (5) Non più d’amore
Giacomo Carissimi: (5) Deh, memoria
Alessandro Piccini: (6) Toccata XX, Aria di Sarabanda in varie partir
Giovanni Salvatore: (7) All’hor che Tirsi udia
Babara Strozzi: (8) L’Eraclito amoroso

I’m not sure where to start without sounding like a true fan girl and not having any objective thing to say. She’s simply intuitive in phrasing! It’s in Italian, yes, but how she carries the pronunciation, extends the word to shape the music to the end, the breathing, as well as caressing soft to intense phrases. It’s magic! The program was distributed for free so we could read the translation, but mostly there was no need (in my case), simply adoringly staring and admiring the irresistible tone and amazingly flexible and expressive voice. She sang 2 pieces i knew very well (have on phone, have been listening the entire trip…), the first is the absolutely soft + breath-taking “Deh, memoria, e che più chiedi?” (Say, memory, what more do you wish?)

I’m unsure the clip above is as mesmerizing as when heard inside the small and intimate Wigmore Hall. So mesmerizing in fact yours truly forgot to breath, which sadly led to a cough attack right in the middle.. The event was being recorded live for this coming sunday lunch concert series on bbc-3, so you will hear indeed a VERY disruptive cough… so disruptive I suspected it disturbed her phrasing!! she was going deep in thought to suddenly jerking back to scan at the score quickly to pick up where she was.. So the rest of the piece was also a bit distracting for me sadly, as I struggled hard to keep the coughing under control… Luckily, by the time “All’hor che Tirsi udia” came around, focus was back, along with major supply of cough drops.. She took it quite faster than on the cd, as well as with QUITE more temper and forte and “emotion”, to the point I was compelled to read up quickly the translation (after the jump). Quite a different take than on the cd, more to contemplate on 🙂 .

After a biiig reception of applause and hollering “brava, bravi” from the back the room (and from yours truly up front), she came out for an encore piece which I don’t know, but as usual very mesmerizing. It’s the common theme for this sort of baroqui music sung by SM. I giggling happy and freely providing information to surrounding elders, including how i follow her around europe.. That was when one lovely elder woman asked if I would like to join her to go the the green room. thadieu: green room, what’s that? woman: oh, in the back where you can meet the artist. thadieu: ohhhh, yes!!! (scanning around for where dehggial was to flag her up to the front to join me, and i was thinking if she (dehggial) didn’t come up fast enough and the woman started leaving I might have to abandon her to chase after Sara..) But all was well, she arrived quickly and even suggested that I should ask for a photo with Sara, after i gushed out loud declaring love for her (work). After which I did manage to ask her for schedule, could have been a bit more specific but it was more when she’d come back to London and if she’s going to sing in the US. YES! she’s coming to the US *with* Natalie Stutzmann!!!! In Detroit and Washington DC in Dec 2015. But she did mention Mozart Requiem (also with NS) in London in 2016, so am unsure if she will sing Messiah (which I much much much prefer) or Requiem (less so because it’s mainly for chorus). So there you have it, my knees were shaking a bit standing next to her :), but she was lovely and friendly. Such a great wrap up to an eventful trip. Hopefully more write-up about the rest of the trip will pop up once I recover from this cold at some point.

thanks to dehggial for snapping this photo.

thanks to dehggial for snapping this photo.


Giovanni Salvatore (early 17th century-?1688)
All’hor che Tirsi udia — When Thyrsis heard (1797-1856)

All’hor che Tirsi udia,
Ch’intempestiva morte
Havea tropp’immatura
Al bell’idolo suo tolta la vita,
Spiegò con questi accenti
L’aspra cagion del suo dolore ai venti.
“Crudi fati, astri malvagi,
Voi spgneste in verde etate,
Con immensa feritate,
Del mi sole i caldi raggi.
Fate pur di questo petto

Duro strazio, e fero scempio,
Ch’un morir forse tant’empio
Sarà fin de’ miei naufragi.

Et tu, caro ben mio,
Tu chi’il mio cor havesti,
Come senza di me morir potesti?
Ed io, del cor hor privo
Come priro quest’aura, e come vivo?

Hor del Tartara profrondo,
Furie, Mostri e Spirti Horribili,
Deh, toglietemi dal mondo,
Coi tormenti più terribili.
Tu Ciel, che degli Enceladi e Tifei
Opprimesti l’ardir co’ strali tuoi,
Tu che di Niobre altera
Sottraesti la prole,
Perchè non vibri
Contro me pure i dardi?
Anch’io ribelle
Son degl’orbi rotanti e delle stelle,
E tu, Madre dell’ombre e degl’horrori,
Chè non pari le fauci e mi divori?

Ohimè, nessum m’intende,
E non è chi recida
Della mia vita questo fil che pende.

Lasso, chi non ha sorte
Trova sorda ai suoi prieghi anco la morte.”
Sì disse l’infelice,
che a poco a poco,
Per troppo acerbo duolo,
Venner meno gli spirti e cadde al suolo.

When Thyrsis heard
that untimely death
had too soon
robbed his beloved of life,
with these words he told the winds
of the bitter cause of his grief.
“Cruel fates, evil stars,
you struck a terrible blow
and, in the prime of his years,
blotted out the warm rays,
of the one who was my sun.

Bring torture and cruel suffering to my heart
for perhaps so terrible a death
will bring my misfortunes to and end.

And you, my dear beloved,
you to whom my heart belonged,
how could you die without me?
And I, now bereft of my heart,
how can I breath this air, and live?

From the depths of Tartarus,
Furies, monsters, and terrible spirits
take me from the world
in the most terrible anguish.
You Heaven, that of Enceladus and Typhon
engulf their daring with thunderbolts,
you who robbed proud Niobe
of her children,
why have you not shaken
and strike me down?
I too defy
the turning planets and stars,
and you, mother of the shades and terrors,
why have you not swallowed me up?

Alas, no one hears me,
and there is no one to cut
the thread by which my life hangs,

Alas,the unfortunate
find even death is deaf to their entreaties.”
Thus spoke the poor man,
and his spirit,
weighted down by grief
then gradually gave way and he fell.


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

9 Responses to Sara Mingardo at Wigmore Hall

  1. stray says:

    Ha! Awesome pic! 🙂

  2. jcmwee says:

    “without sounding like a true fan girl” – I’m afraid you may be a bit of a lost cause there Dr T. Would ‘completely smitten’ be a more accurate assessment of your situation? :-p

  3. dehggial says:

    Just thought I’d comment on your excellence as a guest, just in case anyone was wondering. It was lovely spending an opera focused week in your company 😀 and the frog is too cute. To more of the both 😉

    ps: SM was way impressive live and extremely approachable.

    • thả diều says:

      i was worried the cats would eat the frog 😉 . also nice that we also have a sharpener to go with the knife and everyone was still happy at the end 😉 . many thanks again for hosting, will post more when i catch up with mountain of work mails.
      -ps glad you enjoyed SM, a bit if induced listening at various late-night sessions 😉 . she left a much greater impression for me live than re-listening on bbc3 radio.. and the post-session was perfect :”>

  4. yvette says:

    Nice seeing you and reading another musical expedition of yours! have to listen now… if it still available on BBC (I am a bit late discovering it all).

    • thả diều says:

      warm greetings Yvette! did you see the link i put on the page? it’s still available for the rest of the month. On the program it’s also mentioned she’s coming to Aix en Provence festival in the near future, am coming your way soon 😀

  5. yvette says:

    yes! got it now… very interesting voice and choice. Thanks for the lyrics too. Coming for the Festival?

    • thả diều says:

      g’evening Yvette! i think perhaps next year i’ll try to make it to the Festival if she’s singing there, esp. a piece i really love: Händel’s Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno . This year for sure i won’t make it as i’ll be on the ship. But am looking very much forward to catching with you again!
      ps- i was reading some of your trip reports to see AH, i saw her twice also in Munich, will post some photos soon 🙂

  6. yvette says:

    well let’s plan Aix next Festival… this july it is Alcina and Britten ‘s Mid Summer Night’s Dream and with our granddaughters The monsters..then two trips to Munchen to catch Arabella, Roberto Devereux, Don Carlo to end on Manon Puccini. This my AH year then I will go back to planning VK if it is not too complicated..Hope your cough is over.

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