a different kind of grasp

Yes, still at it, and this one might set the record for screencaps dear readers, be warn 😉 . Since I talk occasionally about my love for subtle body languagues and subtle acting in general (and this in Semiramide the last couple of posts), let’s have some fun with the screencaps today to the theme “The first encounter”, or as it also occurred to me, ” a different kind of grasp”.

Thanks to Dehggi who patiently explained to me the plot, I sort of blocked out the libretto and was just listening in the first couple of rounds… But then I managed to download that tube version of Semiramide *with* the french subtitle, suddenly everything came together: This Semiramide didn’t just desire Arsace out of randomness.. Yes, she was already dreaming (a subject for another post! very lovely the acting too! with her women!), but let us set the stage for the first encounter:

Semiramide with wandering thoughts, waiting for Arsace
duet1_00

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who upon arrival quickly reveals how anxious (s)he has been to see her, duet1_01

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then hastily making a dash in that direction.  Feel free to read the (pleasant) subtitles. And onto a little bit of counting shall we? Round 1:duet1_02duet1_03duet1_04

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Having Semiramide all tensed up and axious, onto Round 2:duet1_06duet1_08duet1_10

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Succeeding in freezing Semiramide, with Round 3, (s)he strikes!duet1_12

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yes, a kind of grasp, sigh… while she tries to regain her bearing..duet1_14

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Let’s secure both hands!duet1_15

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After some time, Arsace caught on she is not exactly listening…Arsace_Semiramide05

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No…
duet1_16

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While she’s picking up her pieces.. onto Round 4:duet1_17duet1_18duet1_20

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If you think she’s (not) misreading the situation, you’re not alone…duet1_23duet1_25

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Halleluja! Semiramide pouring it on!duet1_26duet1_30

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BUT!! we’re not done yet! No, that was just the greetings!
Let’s keep it formal in the office shall we?duet1_31

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Just you wait, how about… Round 5!duet1_33duet1_36

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Yeah.. that’s just about how I feel.. I tell you, the storyline is full of sh*t 😉
(ps- love the leaning)Arsace_Semiramide29Arsace_Semiramide30

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About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

20 Responses to a different kind of grasp

  1. dehggial says:

    Walk like an Egyptian! haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dehggial says:

    feh, I guess I can’t post images. I meant the the 14th screencap.

    Like

    • thả diều says:

      oh you cant? i thought you can just put the link? 14th? how many do i have? 😀
      (been spending my day listening to the Bruxelles 2002 version, except for the incredibly annoying tenor (sooo typical Rossini tenor!!), it’s absolutely splendid! oh, and Semiramide’s coloratura run is total murder! hillarious video of 8 sopranos going at it.. and i’ve listened to a host of full versions too, quite interesting to hear where they all breath..
      ps2- unrelated: VK in Paris, stealing from fb:

      Liked by 1 person

      • dehggial says:

        😀 nice hair! you have 25!

        Like

        • thả diều says:

          i love her hair!! (she seems to have fun, posting w/ various people – you know all the flashy ones like the soprano..)
          25? hehe, i wanted to keep it down, but she (A.Hallenberg) was running in circle soo many times each needs 3! poor Semiramide being led on!

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          • dehggial says:

            I was very amused how she circles Semiramide! All this talk about that girl, it’s you, my queen, that I desire! Haha. Smeiramide sometimes looks like she’s thinking “where is Arsace now?”

            yes, she should keep that hair for a while, it suits her. I also enjoyed 1/2 shoulder 😀 Who’s the soprano?

            Like

          • thả diều says:

            Olga Peretyatko i think… (and i just heard her singing Bel raggio lusinghier, everyone is taking a stab at this!)

            There’s more fun to this couple in this scene: right after is when they enter the duet and appear to open the freezer lid together to release some energy packages (think Indiana Jones: raiders of the lost ark) and Arsace went on and on “i’ll die for you” with Semiramide running in parallel: “oh no, no need, you’ll live for me”…

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          • dehggial says:

            oh, no need! just what a hero wants to hear 😀 it’s like they started writing one libretto and then they changed their mind – wait, we can’t have them get together and win, let’s invent a horrible situation.

            they are actually opening a freezer?! Is that babylonian code for having dinner together?

            yea, Bel raggio lusinghier is the one Rossini aria most sopranos know 😉

            Like

  3. Anik LaChev says:

    25 is perfectly sold number. Thank you!
    I would have counted, but I got distracted. Must be because I came *unarmed*. Oh dear…

    Like

    • thả diều says:

      i have more 😉
      was interesting to actually just watch the entire scene from beginning of “Bel raggio lusinghier” to end of duet#1 without the music (!) to see the acting. i didn’t plan it that way but for some reason the tube version i retrieved was video (extreme hi res!) only w/o audio hence the fun.

      Like

  4. Agathe says:

    Nice post, thadieu, I just watched this very scene and remembered, I saw this on your website. The circling is a lovely detail and brings out the dynamics very nicely. I only knew Hallenberg from recordings, never seen her on stage but find her interpretation of Arsace very charming and kind of “effortless” (won’t write “natural” :-)).
    Oh, and sorry for not always following your posts, it would become a bit much but I will drop by now and then…

    Like

    • thả diều says:

      Thanks, i had fun 🙂
      but i really like how the dynamics developed here, which i think was on purpose, quite lovely! Their dynamics in the 2nd duet is also realllly great to watch (and offers a bit for comparison with the duet in Mitridate).

      Yes, this is also my first time seeing A.Hallenberg on stage.. wait, actually 2nd, I’ve also seen her as Ariodante on dvd, and *almost* heard her live last saturday.. but too bad she was ill.. If you had listened first to the “powerhouse” rossini singers then you’d find this take to be very “light”, barebone.. it actually took me 2 rounds to get used to the sound (much more baroque) and I really love how thin the orchestra was, and that the convo after these caps were really like convo instead of “singing”.

      (even MP’s voice, it took me some time to get used to too as it’s not as effortless, as you said. But once used to i also like a lot her phrasing and how it blends in in both duets w/ AH and with the bass, as well as with the ensemble.)

      Thanks for stopping by. and no no, no need to commit to following anything :-), i still have *not* read any of Anik’s fic b/c with limited time one can only follow 1 shirt at a time.. and i do write really random stuff with homemade language that even without anyone reading i’d still write.

      Like

      • Agathe says:

        Yes, the more ‘barock’ approach is probably what this makes it quite fun to listen to, while usually I wouldn’t spend money on a ticket for a Rossini opera. The voices do fit very nicely and I think you pointed out somewhere before that MP really displays a character very different form Sifare here, good acting skills!.
        Something unrelated: I saw that Antonacci sings Iphigenie (Gluck) in Hamburg in October so since you were planning to hear MP in Alcina maybe that fits your plans.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thả diều says:

          ohhhh, let me sprint over the Hamburg site to check dates!! (and whenever you’re ready for recc on L’incoronazione di Poppea i can drop you a hint on my fav 😉 )

          Like

        • thả diều says:

          ack ack ack, no it’s too early! i can’t escape until after my deadline 18/Oct… she’s then moving on the Paris for a *very* interesting role Susanna in Hindermith Sancta Susanna in Dec… and i might contemplate that one as that’s a very unique role.

          Like

          • Agathe says:

            A pity, we could have met up but I’ll report to you on the performance and will look up Antonaccis L’incoronazione as ‘preparation’.

            Liked by 1 person

          • thả diều says:

            oh, i’d love to hear your impression! we will trade you with ours on MP’s Alcina 🙂 . and i think we will have chances to meet up as I’m always on travel everywhere in Germany!
            ACA also sang Iphigenie last yr in Geneva and the broadcast is avail on tube in case you’d like to sample that.

            Like

          • Agathe says:

            Thanks for the link! Yeah, I thought hard about the Alcina but it would be too much budget- and travel-time-wise, with the kids it’s not so easy because I also have to travel for work in autumn….

            Like

        • thả diều says:

          ps- after many rounds.. i have to say i’m really impressed with A.Hallenberg detailed singing! it’s really interesting to be reminded this is what Baroque singers do compared to the “typical” Rossini singer (perhaps not all, but how special AH is in phrasing).. you really hear every single phrase she’s “saying”! But if you notice the audience’s reactions (already hard to hear to start with b/c the singers were wearing the mic, but), it wasn’t as enthusiastic for AH as for MP or the tenor, which i think can be related to how well a singer is “heard in the hall”. For example in the Alcina in Wien you hear K.Harmmarström very well on the radio broadcast but in the hall her voice is quite low and more difficult to hear.

          And yes, MP’s acting 🙂 , but so is AH’s acting, very believable: one is thinking about the characters’ mindsets rather than having to think about the singers acting.. even the bass acted very well i thought, though his coloratura is very lacking..

          Like

          • Agathe says:

            I’m really no expert on Rossini but I think his music requires high agility so well suited for singers of baroque repertoire and you quite often see baroque specialists appear in Rossini as well.
            With regard to the “unenthusiastic audience response to AH”, this may also be due to the audience drawn by Rossini’s operas which may -on average- be older and more conservative, and, overhearing discussions during breaks it still happens you find people complaining about trouser roles (as Anik pointed out in ‘stages’).
            But yes, how well a voice carries in the hall may certainly play a role, and I get your point when comparing to Hammarström, who has a very beautiful voice and brilliant coloratura but maybe lacks a bit in ‘edge’, personal taste, I know, but that may make the voice less carrying.

            Like

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