the night continues with Ginevra

Edit: Clear the deck y’all, here comes the duet! à la “Lasciarmi” in Tancredi!


(and Ariodante and Polinesso, AND the chorus)
I’m currently flip-floping between two Ginevras: the one from the previous post with Myrtò Papatanasiu in Mayr’s version and Patricia Petibon in the Genevre 2007 radio broadcast version, which turns out I have listened to before several times.. but now with finer-tuned ears…

It sounds like she (Ginevra) is being mis-treated all the same in both operas. In the Mayr’s version, given the opera is in her name, i thought perhaps she’d have more room to put her case to the front to defend herself.. but after making the sort-of entrance (sort-of because she doesn’t even have her own aria, fighting all the time with all the male roles..) at minute 10 or so… we barely hear from her again until the dust settles (end of Act1, Ariodante jumping off already!) to gorgeous solo-cello (then all the males enters + male chorus). I can hear how she (MP) can maneuver Violetta in Traviata the way she sings this. I’d categorize her voice as focused but has a particular pinch whenever she doesn’t take it soft on the high notes. An example is when she ascends softly at 01.30, 02.30, or 02.59 here, it sounds fantastic. Overall, the voice is indeed quite flexible and has an “edge” to it. I remember during Mitridate thinking she’s got a little of that “edge” that one hears in ACA but ACA’s voice is much more warm and has more body/volume.

Myrtò Papatanasiu, Ginevra Aria #2 (Act 1 Finale):

But what happened before all this? First, Polinesso and Ariodante got into a jaw-ing match belcanto style: (when i say belcanto, i mean it sounds to me like Bellini 🙂 )

Polinesso and Ariodante going at it:

Then, this is the closest we get to Scherza infida, only in the recitative format! But to lovely solo-flute. After that, Ariodante took a sprint à la long-jump-sprint off the cliff, OF COURSE with the chorus “cheering on” from behind: (the other female voice is Lucarnio)

Ariodante’s lament: Ariodante olympic-style sprint off the cliff:

What can we draw from all these so far: That Mayr loved choral music 🙂 . Moving on to Act 2.. I’m holding out hope to get a Ariodante-Ginevra duet! (and perhaps some more soft music for Ginevra?)


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

26 Responses to the night continues with Ginevra

  1. thả diều says:

    – methinks she’s been literally thrown in prison.. 45min into the 2nd Act and not a sight of Ginevra.. but Ariodante got almost HALF an HOUR of lamenting some more! and now seems like the father going at it: “ingrato” , “crudel”
    – oh, gooooorgeous solo-violin, this must be her, to suffering music…
    – sh*t, only 3 lines in and the male voice is entering already, grrr . can the woman have a single moment to herself and the violin please!!
    – very nice! so she got nearly 15min to herself (and goorgeous violin)! quite nice phrasing, but i think it lacks a bit of abandonment.. given her state.. you want to feel a bit more desperation.. i’d say the singing is just a tad on the cautious.. could have employed much more “soft” use of the voice methinks.
    – now Polinesso gets to lament! what the heck is he complaining about?
    – “Geme il mio cuor; ma principessa” <– ah, he's sorry now that she got sent to the guillotine!
    – also note Dalinda has NOT a single saying in any of this!! Mayr is really putting all his eggs (did he have?) into the male basket! (luckily there are 2 mezzos in the
    — ah ha! she’s now putting her case to Ariodante.. veeeery nice phrasing! i sense a duet à la Tancredi coming! but first, just like in Tancredi: Ariodante agreed to defend Ginevra.. yes! “Ingrata! Non più! Mi lascia” ; “Laciarti? Spiegati” “Addio” . Yes, here comes the duet!!

  2. Agathe says:

    Hi there, thadieu, nice website! Did you know that ma7ne6b has a full version of Ariodante (2014) with P. Petibon in it on their YT site? Just found out myself (and found my way to your website googling for it). I have only watched some bits of it so far, but PP is great as always!

    • thả diều says:

      Thanks for swinging by Agathe! yes, i knew about that Aix version.. and in fact had just gone back to re-listened to the entire thing late last month *after* finally seeing it live twice (with Dehggi on my visit to London) and figuring out what the story is about 🙂 . I still need to re-listen some more, particularly the radio broadcast i have.. because for some reasons I don’t get as much emotionally connected with Ginevra’s music as with Alcina’s..

  3. dehggial says:

    Listening to Mayr is interesting because it puts early Rossini (and Bellini a bit) into perspective (kind of how listening to Cimarosa and Haydn puts Mozart in perspective). Obviously this was the style of opera at the time.

  4. dehggial says:

    It’s a bit weird that Polinesso has a brighter tone than Ariodante. If I didn’t know any better I’d think he was the hero! By 1801 they hadn’t yet figured out what baritones were there for 😉 Also did you notice Polinesso doesn’t die in this version?

    • thả diều says:

      done wrestling with fish in the kitchen first time of the year.. good news is kitchen didn’t burn down.. but the fish… need some practice..

      not only he didn’t die, i think he wasn’t even defending her! because Ariodante is all “I’ll do it, yes me me me”, so Ginevra got all excited: “oh how great! then you’ll find out i’m innocent” , and that’s when we have this “no you unfaithful girl, how dare she, blah blah”, just like Tancredi! The only thing I’m unsure of is who Ariodante is fighting with now (since i’m reading the libretto and doing free-interpretation rather than translating…)
      On the bright tone, don’t you think it’s exactly the same with Romeo and Tebaldo? Perhaps the only difference is Romeo’s music is “higher” so the mezzo has to use the “pingy” part of her voice more? This is where I also notice that AB’s voice: even though it’s very lovely and warm, it’s a bit “burried” in the sense that you hear everything else unless she’s singing alone.. Also, on the music itself.. i’d say it doesn’t have the drama as much as in Tancredi or Capuleti.. and it’s not just the singers.. for example if think if these two (if they’re capable of singing Romeo and Giulietta? or Tancredi and Amenaide?) were tossed in those 2 works you’d still hear fireworks everywhere.. because the dynamic ranges are larger (i think!)

      • dehggial says:

        Boni sang Tancredi with Jessica Pratt here.

        I agree with you, Rossini is flashier sometimes to the point of bad taste. I also agree that she gets buried in this one. Didn’t seem buried in Tancredi from what I remember. I think you’re right about Romeo, it’s quite high especially in that duet. Perhaps why Bellini is a better composer 😉

        (wasn’t actually a live fish? 😀 )

        • thả diều says:

          oh, i think i might have seen somewhere the entire radio broadcast also! let me go hunt!
          (luckily the fish as already dead! but after done cooking it was not dead enough 😀 )

        • thả diều says:

          and i’ve just answered my question re. the soprano in question and Rossini 😉 . it deserves a video because!! are they going to make out after the duet? and there’s a dvd of this!

          • dehggial says:

            aha, see, Hallenberg is inaudible. I always imagine a production where they do make out because it cries out for that but just to make things less weird, the libretto gives Arsace a girlfriend that nobody sees for at least 3/4 of the opera (can’t even remember if she shows up by the end). I say just go with the weird, it’s opera.

          • thả diều says:

            perhaps there are certain soprano who makes the mezzo inaudible 😀 (i think it’s also where you sit..) I don’t know the story at all.. but they seem to have such fun together, except for the ending where they ran off in opposite direction (nooo!!) . weird, what’s dat? 😉
            btw, i was confused about this guy who kept blah blah on ariodante.. and saw you’ve joined in the convo!

          • dehggial says:

            ok the story of Semiramide is this: Semiramide is the queen of Babylon (I think, somewhere there). She has actually killed her husband Nino with the help of the evil bass dude (forget his name atm). At this particular moment there are a bunch of guys wooing her (like Penelope, because “clearly” a Queen without a King is not on) but she doesn’t want any of them. However she does like someone and that is of course Arsace, the leader of the Babylonian army who is away being a proper warrior. She calls him back at court because she wants to marry him and have everyone else go away. He comes back with a box of bones (as you do), which rattles strangely when he enters the temple (sort of like Tancredi when he returns home). It turns out they are Nino’s bones and the reason why Arsace is in their possession – though he does not know it – is because *drumroll” he is Nino and Semiramide’s lost son! So you can see why it’s weird that she is all over him. In the end all is revealed and Arsace kills the evil guy and Semiramide dies too because it’s just weird to keep her around if she loves him like a lover (though she turns motherly when she realises who he is). So a lost opportunity, really 😉

            that Ariodante guy, hehe. It always bugs me when people just want literal productions. I just went there before you put up the credits thinking I had missed something 😉

          • thả diều says:

            oh wow, how annoying the story!! missed opp definitely! his (rossini) rice must have cooked too quickly compared to when he was composing Tancredi! thanks for the details, you are too nice 😉 , at least now i know not to keep at it about the two of them, else people would start wondering.. but still annoying!! lost son! talk about out of ideas 😀

          • thả diều says:

            ps- i saw some comments that A.Hallenberg’s is the most flexible of all the voices in that recording but is not as “strong” because she’s not a Rossini singer (may be Rossini requires a bit more heft? more loudness?) . It’ll be curious for me to hear MP’s voice live b/c i’ve read quite a few reviews of those who have heard her live that the voice is “pleasant” and warm.. and indeed even on my headset she sounds *very* warm (which is very surprising) and yet on my speakers (the sort-of proper ones) she gives me headaches 😀 . Typically for sopranos it’s the other way around w/ this headset + speakers exchange!
            Altogether, i’ve heard some impressive low notes from her so i’m still thinking her range is that just below the typical sopranos (not as large a range as ACA’s but somewhere in there!)

          • dehggial says:

            Yes, I think it’s more volume and perhaps less warmth. It’s kinda like this: Baroque -> Mozart -> Belcanto -> Verdi -> Wagner/Strauss

          • thả diều says:

            wow, i just sat through Arsace’s entrance aria: her voice is *very* sweet!! too soft and sweet i think! if one can believe such a thing.. but definitely sounds like she was singing a love aria (may be she did?) . It definitely lacks the “ping” — i’d never realize this until hearing her singing Rossini. Of course I had in the back of my head VK’s blasting through and plunging into her chest… On the other hand, the beginning of Semiramide’s music is *very* pleasantly low! melikes! (and off the corner of eyes am seeing there’s another full version w/ Darina Takova!! and Ewa Podles! that will be visited next after i done investigating this…)

          • dehggial says:

            It’s like Di tanti palpiti – so nice being back and it’s even better because i will see that girl who smiled at me that day.

            that’s just it, it’s too soft and sweet. You need a voice that can be less “nice” and has a bit of heroic fullness.

          • thả diều says:

            i’m very sad that this duet can not be what i thought it was!

            (but quite lovely singing! i’ll find a place to up it somewhere…)

          • dehggial says:

            yea, someone needs to re-write this libretto. I keep ignoring it and just going with Semiramide/Arsace = lovers and dying at the end because it’s wrong. Luckily no one lets me direct it because the purists would be tearing their hair out 😀

          • thả diều says:

            she could b his step mother 😉

          • dehggial says:

            good point! and then he’s have a long aria worrying about the morality of being in love with the woman who killed his father.

          • thả diều says:

            oh, i thought they got over that rather quikly! in exactly that screen shot i posted.. i mean look, she killed him, then ruled the kingdom for FIFTEEN years successfully, clearly she knows how to do it right! 😉

          • dehggial says:

            Is that when he finds out? in “my” libretto he doesn’t know because he was raised away (in the army) but he falls in love with her because she’s hot/seductive/etc. and a queen (and she likes him because he’s such a hero) and then one of those jealous dudes who try to get with her tells him the truth.

          • thả diều says:

            ja, looks like it.. i was working and glancing and clearly 1 of those dudes handed him a box with a letter.. and then entered this scene where he told her to read the letter.. then she gave him the dagger and said plunge it right here! and he collapsed and they entered an absolutely gorgeous duet…. to that pix…

          • dehggial says:

            I’m a tough warrior but I looooooooooooove you and I don’t want you to die although you killed my father who was a good king, waaaaaaaa 😉 *duet and kissytime*

          • thả diều says:

            i like your libretto , kill the “who was a good king” part, then it fits very nicely.. i’m gonna have some nice dream to this now.. (damn meeting at 3pm! 😀 , will wake up to investigate some more… the certain Ms MP has me swooning Semiramide a bit.. but lovely figure aside she has proven me wrong every single time when i come in skeptical.. with her phrasing! i’m really impressed. and it seems Semiramide with again the low music and long legato lines suits her way of vocalizing very well.. when up i’ll upl the duet because i was very happy with how the two of them mesh ❤ )

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