duet to start the week

(in case more swagger is desired, click here. I’ve had it stashed for the last 10 years and have been going back to it from time to time..)

(oh, also, the synopsis! teehee. the overture does contain everything! I love how they use English in parallel, got to reach out to those fans from out of town.)

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music to start the weekend

this has been at the corner of my eyes for “years”, but somehow i have completely overlooked… her sculpting of the orchestra, *wow* , her superlative phrasing, double *wow*! this alone has my head FILLED with images of Alcina slowly collapsing onto the floor (Wien-induced)..

I wish she would consider singing this role! like transposing the whole music down, why not! and may be we can have a… humm, do we want to swap out our mezzos? no! OK, we stay with a mezzo-Ruggiero, a Contralto Alcina, a soprano Morgana, and another contralto Brandamante, ❤

(there's still that role Polinesso that we also would like to see her in..)

music for friday

ze hiiiiiiiiiippogriff! ❤ ❤
Note the orchestra!! and theorbos strumming! It was clear and energetic like this on our first night (not under cover). We all agreed Lucia Cirillo rocked in this role, she was really having fun too.

music to start friday


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(then do rewind to the beginning!)
(ps- i’ve just sat through a recent “Orphée et Eurydice” on ARTE and realized how “low” this role is.. and was reminiscing VK and how she hit her low notes.. and felt it is a must to revisit the period when mezzos were flourishing and stomping the ground!!)

music to start saturday

well.. i went to bed very late.. so indeed starting now…
As you recall from our concert at Wigmore Hall just a week ago… Francisca Biliotti was listed as Sara Mingardo’s pupil and that she has been picked by JEGardiner to sing in that Monteverdi 450 tour.. and of course I have actually heard her before here, when I sat through the whole thing about a year ago… but now with more “refined” ears for this, let’s have a listen again. Transitioning right after her also Penelope, check her now too (Lucile Richardot)!!!

(I recall hearing Katjia Pieweck singing this and thought it was lying a little low for a mezzo, so a contralto is just right! I still think she (Biliotti) will shape the words/music more, as how we heard Pieweck did it.. more feeling rather than strictly just sing such that if you don’t understand Italian then it’s not carrying as much emotion?)

Sara Mingardo and Francesca Biliotti at Wigmore Hall

Giorgio Dal Monte, Francesca Biliotti, Sara Mingardo, Giovanni Bellini

Three years after my first trip to Wigmore Hall to hear Sara Mingardo sing Italian laments and songs, she’s back, this time with Francesca Biliotti, another contralto under Sara Mingardo’s training wings (she’s been training a lot of the young generation to sing baroque, very endearing!) . Accompanying them is the young harpsichordist Giorgio Dal Monte who, if you follow Sara Mingardo, would recognize as the one in all of her masterclass photos (jeah, it’s getting to the point I now recognizing all younger singers and accompanists who collaborate often with SM 🙂 ), and another young theorbo player Giovanni Bellini, who i have not heard before (I’ve seen her often with Ivano Zanenghi, who I spotted in Venice) . The repertoire covers wonderful duets from Monteverdi. Thanks to Dehggi and her connection, we got row 4 !! from which i have to say how impressed i’m how powerful Sara Mingardo’s voice is, along with the amazing level of depth, details, colors, and resonance. We both had a feeling perhaps Biliotti was a bit to tight when things got started, while Mingardo was completely at ease — i breath Monteverdi in my sleep, [wink], [soft smile] (sigh). It’s also quite endearing the amount of contact she made to Biliotti at the end of each piece.

The first duet, I ‘d have to listen more to get used to as there was a lot of recit and “conversation”.. The bits not needing any re-listening to get used to is … o.m.g.. d.r.o.o.l.i.n.g… “Vorrei baciarti” . What i so love is also how into it S.Mingardo’s expression was, both vocally and physically in her body and facial expression. Actually here one could also distinguish that without knowing the words you can understand so much in SM’s depth compared to Biliotti, who I think will gain more expression with experience. Truly swoooooning… as soon as the piece finished i was already thinking: encore!! TWICE!! please!! This transitioned into “Voglio di vita uscir”, where, as you know, it’s got a fast tempo start, a very sharp turn into simply theorbo and S.Mingardo singing looong line of emotion and piani.. ahh… too precious.. The next two songs i’ll have to re-listen to catch on more details again.. The final being “Zefiro torna”, which D. apparently knew very well and reported having been waiting forever for mezzos/contraltos to sing in place of the only available CT version on tube.. well, this one was broadcast on bbc 3 radio, so yay! They were really having fun alternating their phrases, playful at times, so lovely to watch 🙂 . Imagine Yoda at a Monteverdi night club DJ-ing coloratora runs, jeah, that’s SM in this piece, with her knees bending, body swinging, and leaps in dynamics through those fast note runs. There were also 2 instrumental pieces, but you’ll have to excuse me as I didn’t really manage much, was all focusing on the luscious sound…

Claudio Monteverdi(1567-1643)
Settimo libro de madrigali
Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben, dov’è il mio core? ‘Romanesca’
Con che soavità, labbra odorate

Girolamo Frescobaldi(1583-1643)
Toccata nona

Claudio Monteverdi
Settimo libro de madrigali
Vorrei baciarti
Voglio di vita uscir, voglio che cadano
Settimo libro de madrigali
Non è di gentil core
O come sei gentile

Giovanni Kapsberger(c.1580-1651)
Canzone prima

Claudio Monteverdi
Zefiro torna e di soavi accenti

The noon concert ended with Sara Mingardo hugging and landing warm kisses to her young colleague… ahh, too warm to handel… of course we went back stage to say hi to her, she’s sooooooooooo sweet 🙂 , i of course mentioned I heard her in Detroit and Washington DC (oooooh woooow she replied 😉 ), then Penelope in Hamburg, and of course pointing to Dehggi who joined in for mentioning us hearing her in Dario in Turin, to both she was very happy to hear. I mean we both looked a little bit youngsters who oozed enthusiasm for Monteverdi (to which she said “I love” (singing Monteverdi)) and we parted with her extending her hands out to shake mine and Dehggi’s ❤ ❤ ❤ . ahhh… oh jes, we did ask her for a photo, she was soooooooo charming , with big smile: sure, without my glasses (sooooooooo cute) and so we flanked her.. i snapped it… to our disappointment the camera malfunctioned so in the end it did not register the photo we all saw in the preview… but altogether, yours truly left with smushy knees (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) and the lovely exchange in the green room after such a lovely intimate noon concert. ❤ . (no i don't need help yet). you can relisten to the program here. (please excuse spelling and grammar errors.. am off to download that broadcast to re-listen…)

music for wednesday


(please also note the conductor and the band!! (Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre!) )