ariodante for the weekend

since the last report, i’ve been in hiding with continued fight with ice hurling at hurricane speed.. but fingers crossed, might have solved the whole thing… (may be, in 7 hours results will roll in for prelim verdict..) meanwhile, many pieces of music have gone through the sound machine. Here’s one for the weekend. not sure why sound was a bit messed up toward the end of Act 1 coz i really just copied the sound without any additional compression. Many thanks to Smorgie whose various posts alerted me to the existence of the recording and S for providing me with goodies.

Judging by what i’ve read on reactions (here and here), sounds in theater was spectacular. In addition, Sara Mingardo’s voice is niiiice, check out the first LOW note she laid on Pollinesso’s first phrase first aria starting at 41min26sec. More coming up.
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Update: Act2, Act3.

Edit with commentary:
– that’s your definition of bringing the house down, Dopo Notte!
and wiping tears before that in Act 2, you infidel woman!
– really like Sara Mingardo, esp. in recit where she shaped the sound so masterfully along with arrangements of hands/arms.
– i quite like the orchestra and tempo, but it seems Harry Bicket prefers fast arias FAST and slow arias anomalously slow.. VK coped well with it but both sopranos and tenor and bass had some difficulties running through the fast sections… Take the final chorus for example where you hardly can hear a word sung because of tempo (btw, i took same tune from concert w/ Sarah Connolly for my phone ringtone now, very nice!)
– i will now always associate Sara Mingardo with the goatie and dancing cross-legged slowly weaving sword with finger tip.
– a guide to Händel:
a) sort out the mezzos+contraltos on 1 side, sopranos on opposite, and leave 1 bin for the male characters
b) fast forward to the end to see which one is paired with which
c) back to beginning to listen to music, with occasional glances to find out which contralto/mezzo had killed which tenor/bass…
d) occasionally pay attention to partially comprehensible libretto/subtitles (if available)
e) pay particular attention during ballet dancing session if the puppet show is involved, lots of interaction.
f) take it slow, 1 Act at a time, for several rounds/days
g) finally put everything together!

One thing i really like about this staging is that the characters are never looking each other in the eyes. Thus lots of exchanges are done via their subtle arms + body movements and musical phrasings, leave lots of room for enjoying the music while the-power-of-suggestion takes its course. It also reminded me of the Vietnam i grew up in, where most interactions are done on the balcony in low/no-lights including exchanges (note how the dragon was killed, we don’t kill but rather steal fruits from the other family’s trees.. or stealing kites… 🙂 )

I take my comment about sound problem back. Sound is very good, though still from camera instead of clearer sound from recording devices on stage.

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