screencaps for the weekend

Ann Hallenberg (Arsace), Myrtò Papatanasiu (Semiramide), Vlaamse Opera, Dec 2010--Jan 2011

Ann Hallenberg (Arsace), Myrtò Papatanasiu (Semiramide), Vlaamse Opera, Dec 2010–Jan 2011

There are reasons to not know the story when listening to operas! Now that my (dreaming) bubbles have been bursted, I’m quite pissed at the ridiculous storyline that prevents these caps from having meaningful effect.. you can check out the story of Rossini’s Semiramide if desire.. or just go with the flow here.. I must admit i’m very impressed with M.Papatanasiu’s phrasing in this, as well as her acting. After scanning the first round a few days ago I thought it was the proper time to re-acquaint the ears with the power-house. WOW! talk about bringing the haus down! Ewa Podles! But while I have been a (secret) admirer of Darina Takova’s singing since that gorgeous Amenaide in Tancredi, here i thought somehow she left me out cold… (i even re-listened a couple of times to make sure i didn’t miss it…) and that brings us to this duet! The difference in this live recording (A.Hallenberg and MP) compared to that one with Takova and Podles (same conductor, same haus!) I think, among other things, is the pace: with the power-house singing the music was significantly more robust. In this one it’s very interesting to hear how much more details but much less showcasing of the voice: one would be tempted to just ignore the “Rossini’s (flashy) effect” because it’s more about the drama (it is showcasing but in a different way, here, see if you can hear the difference both in the orchestra and in the singing details in A.Hallenberg’s version of the same aria E.Podles sang). I must admit I came in quite skeptical of MP’s singing of this role (not that I know it at all, but I was not sure if she has the heft, the high sustained notes exposed to little orchestration, the coloratura…). What is most pleasant to discover is that Semiramide’s music is quite low (I think! compared to Mozart) and thus she shines with her strong low notes as well as with some impressive long legato lines where her musical phrasing came through wonderfully. On 2nd round of listening I also enjoyed A.Hallenberg’s detailed singing much more (after blocking out the powerhouse Rossini’s aspect…), and their voices mesh very lovely in this duet (ahh.. one can only dream..madre=[step-]mother)


In any case, here’s one last cap for “my” night. And a review that really says it much clearer than what I wrote here. Too bad A.Hallenberg was not present for that reviewed performance. So there, Semiramide, I’ll listen again when up. Oh, and I’m still searching for her Iphigénie, and accidentally ran into this fb post instead: that’s what it takes to achieve “diva” status in the US, by simply asking for the most basic thing 😀 . I’m impressed she managed it though, and I’d have come to hear her Traviata just because the AC was off! It’s not easy to pull that off in the US!

About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

15 Responses to screencaps for the weekend

  1. dehggial says:

    I am actually with her on this, AC really screws with my sinuses. It’s eeeeeeeeevil.

    • thả diều says:

      yes, the bane of my existence here in the US… in fact haven’t gone outside my place in 3 weeks (!) to avoid AC in the office while recovering from flowers..
      I’m quite impressed she got them to turn it off though.. we “normal”-status people have tried.. and they either oscillate between not comprehending or telling us to turn on the heater (yet more problem!)

      • dehggial says:

        they just don’t get it. The heater in the winter, especially at the beginning is another eeeevil. I once got called by the boss for extended sick leave – because of the lack of ventilation in that office – and he just wouldn’t understand how “work” made me sick.

        you know the person who complained that she was a diva for taking care of her voice would’ve bitched she was a poor singer if she went in with AC and sounded nasal.

  2. Anik LaChev says:

    same. AC is the first thing I turn off in a hotel. And I don’t even sing any longer.
    That Semiramide – yes, perhaps an instance where it is better to ignore plot and make up a new one Also one that would please explain away that blond!
    Thank you for the weekend caps.

    • thả diều says:

      I had several of your caps in parallel, it’s quite fascinating scanning back and forth, with the most rewarding scan being to the cap of the 6 1/2 wk post 😉
      (but to my surprise i got past that blond wig rather quickly as her acting was quite compelling.. those arms though.. and her scene with AH is really lovely! the subtle looks and smiles and gestures)
      Oh jes, i actually saw this “Semiramide” being advertised quite a while ago via A.Hallenberg’s fb site but didn’t think anything of it.. blame it on the fact VK never sung a full version–she *was* the extent of my opera knowledge! it goes to show though what a shirt can do for one’s discovery journey.. of course it helps being a soprano singing early music because of all the lovely mezzo attachment..
      I’m still unsure about her range and whether she could sing Aci in Händel’s “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo” for example.. and yes, Lucio Cinna! intrigued now re. her Alcina <– this role has several arias in the low range.. but also with mad coloratura run.. intriguing! But i’m most looking forward to her expressing/phrasing the music!

      • Anik LaChev says:

        oh, I forgot: I’ve got the Semiramide DVD, if you need further material for, eh, another paper? – perhaps our portable HDs need to have another talk.
        I wouldn’t think of Aci, either, but some Silla (the Cinna!), yes. If she’s already studying it, perhaps we could arrange for a very last minute change in a concert performance someplace soon. In something sleeveless. We wouldn’t make it to the 4 1/2 week mark then (ha, wait till you see what I have saved away for that one 😉 )

        • thả diều says:

          oh, i have gotten my hands on it 😉 , succeeded in compressing it down to under 1.6gb too while leaving sound untouched.. still on and off searching for her Iphigénie.. but spent my morning w/ that Beethoven 9th that she mentioned about in the Opera Garnier interview…
          One does not go to Beethoven 9th for the soprano.. but my past experience has been that it was always a strange shouting match in the worst way.. as well as Maestro Pearlman (Boston Baroque) who explained that it was written so high that the original intended soprano skipped many of the notes 😀 . Here it is in case you’d like to sample, a 4min clip. I really like how Ivan Fischer cleared out completely the orchestra and had the pace to let the 4 voices lovely intertwined .. albeit a recording with sound engineering.. MP has surprised me everytime with her range & treatment of the music, as well as the pleasant sound of her tone at times.. so, more to explore..
          (and on that note, i might even take 1/2 of my comment back re. Aci.. but the jury is still out for the coloratura runs — which i think she can handel just fine.. more that it’s what the guy said in the Semiramide’s interview, which i also heard occasionally in Mitridate: that sometimes the words / music come out a bit restricted -> leading to harsh sound.. though it’s also nice to hear this at times as it brings more to the character than a smooth/too perfect voice lacking dynamics)

          • Anik LaChev says:

            should have knows you were faster…
            but also: YES on expression over purity/perfection of sound. So much yes.

    • thả diều says:

      ps- an alternative view in case one wants to get away from platinum blond 😉
      “Rossini sometimes goes to the extreme of what a singer can do. It’s really a challenge for us”

      • Anik LaChev says:

        forget the hair, let’s talk about the boots! 😉

        • thả diều says:

          thought you might like 😉

          Quote for the (still my) morning (from an interview, part of the ongoing search for Iphigénie):
          “«Bien sûr, j’ai une relation particulière avec Violetta et je me sens très proche d’elle. Mais ma carrière n’est pas axée sur un seul rôle et mon répertoire est très varié. J’adore aussi
          chanter la musique baroque, Mozart, Rossini, tout le répertoire du Bel Canto, et les compositeurs français comme Massenet et Debussy. J’aime changer et jouer avec les couleurs de ma voix.»”

          yes, please do continue!

  3. stray says:

    Depends on the kind of heat you’re dealing with, I suppose. Where I come from, it’s AC or you get mold pretending to be spanish moss hanging from the ceiling.

    • thả diều says:

      you know i absolutely hate AC, it is the single most thing i always have to account for everywhere here and when on travel… BUT even with the prejudice, I can still argue with you on this 🙂 : if you design a home with the argument that AC is needed, then it’s a very poor excuse and simply a bad design!

      • stray says:

        Maybe 🙂 Can’t say I’ve ever lived in a house designed in my lifetime, and AC really wasn’t ubiquitous here until the 90’s.

  4. thả diều says:

    Let me add to the bottom here a radio broadcast alert for today/night Sunday 17/Apr: Antonacci’s recital in Bruxelles (from her performance earlier this month 4/Apr) , at 8pm CET, 2pm EST (i think! everyone has a different clock now.. i so confused..)

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