Monday, January 29, 2007

La Boheme

On Saturday I went to see the truly spectacular Zeffirelli production of "La Boheme" at the Met and the amazing cast was as follows...

Mimi- Elena Evseeva
Rodolfo- Marcello Giordani
Marcello-Dwayne Croft
Musetta- Einhoa Arteta
Colline- John Relyea
Schaunard- Aaron St. Clair Nicholson
Benoit/Alcindoro- Paul Plishka
Conductor- Carlo Rizzi

Elena Evseeva was a moving and adorable Mimi. Her singing was impeccable and crystal clear. Marcello Giordani was an absolutely stunning Rodolfo. I was not sure what I would think of him before the performance, even though the New York Times (and my parents) loved him. I went into the house expecting a little less than I should have. I thought since all the hype in the paper that I should expect a lot, but I didn't want to be disappointed. Oh goodness, I wouldn't have been! He was marvelous! Tall, handsome, Italian, his voice was marvelous ("Che Gelida Manina" brought the house down), but sadly, he's taken. Oh well, so much for that.
Ms. Arteta's Musetta was flirty, pretty, and fun! Her waltz was one of the highlights that evening. Her acting was flawless and her high notes loud. Hey, I like loud.
The rest of the cast was amazing. Especially in that final scene, oh baby. I must admit, I cried. But who doesn't cry at the finale of "La Boheme?" Seriously! It's so depressing. She just dies, everyone except for the love of her life knows that shes dead, he yells "Mimi!!!" over her dead body. What's worse??? *sob* I cried.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mozart's Figaro

Three clips from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro:
Frederica von Stade as Cherubino. Love her, worship her, WATCH HER!
Gundula Janowitz as The Countess. Just...I can't even say anything...I can watch this over and over and not get bored!!!!!
The finale of Figaro with the wonderful "Contessa perdono" with Jose van Dam, Lucia Popp, Gabriel Bacquier, and Gundula Janowitz! Enjoy!!


Happy Birthday to (in my humble opinion) one of the best tenors of all time and my favorite tenor ever ever ever! Placido Domingo was born on January 21st, 1941. He can sing anything and everything (except maybe those high C's in Di Quella Pira, but we won't hold that against him!!!) and has sung everything and anything!! His tone is so rich and dark its just GORGEOUS! It's like nothing else in the entire world, in the entire universe! Just lovely lovely lovely!!!
Happy Birthday!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Katia Ricciarelli

Happy Birthday to one of my top two favorite sopranoes of all time! In her prime, Katia Ricciarelli had a beautiful lyric voice and was perfect for roles like Luisa Miller and Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera. For a time she was "affiliated" with the handsome young tenor Jose Carreras, but after that was over she married Italian star Pippo Baudo. She filed for divorce in 2004. Sadly, because of singing heavy roles such as Turandot, Ms. Ricciarelli's prime declined quickly. It's tragic, really, I would have loved to see her =(=(

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ombra mai fu and Voi Che Sapete

Any opera lover who has ever seen the 1995 BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice probably already knows what I'm about to say...
Did anyone ever happen to notice that Mary's astonishingly horrible singing at the Netherfield Ball happened to be "Ombra mai fu" translated very poorly into English? And that song that Lizzy sings at Pemberly is "Voi che sapete"? I sat hear listening to "Ombra mai fu" and suddenly the image of Mary singing "SluUUuuUuuUmber deeear maaAAaaaid..." and I almost started to cry. I can hardly listen to either aria without cracking up now, it's truly terrible. hahaha
Am I the only person who notices this? I doubt it, but I feel very foolish after all the years of been watching Pride and Prejudice and I never noticed it! I noticed "Voi che sapete" immediately, but "Ombra mai fu" just never caught on.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Marilyn Horne and Ben Heppner

Happy belated birthday to the wonderful, wonderful Ben Heppner who turned 51 (but really he's 30 again) this past Sunday. He is soooo wonderful *sigh*. He's just....awesome. (Teenage He's, like, totally totally totally spectacular! O-M-G! But really, he's great, listen to him!!!

Happy 29th birthday to the amazing Marilyn Horne! (actually, 71st, but we won't say anything...) My mother told me that (before my opera time) she held a master class in my town... What I would give to have been there. Marvelous!!!!!!!

Sorry about all the birthdays, I've been getting home too late to find anything good!!!!! =D

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to two amazing singers today...

Juan Diego Florez- One of my favorite tenors ever. He's turning 34 today! I am seeing him this season in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, so we'll see how that goes, even though we all know that he'll be the best Count Almaviva of all time! =]

Renato Bruson- One of my favorite baritones. He's just always fantastic. It's ironic that just a few days ago I bought the Ballo CD with him, Domingo, and Ricciarelli and then I look at my calendar and I say "Hey! Look whose birthday it is!"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to....

James Morris- The fantasmigorical baritone who STUNS Met audiences with his beyond brilliant Scarpia... well... at least he stunned me this December when I saw him in Tosca at the Met. He was incredible. Happy Birthday and many more!!!

Sherrill Milnes- The acclaimed baritone who is just thorougly awesome! Baritones rule the world!!!! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Die Zauberflote at the Met

This past Saturday I went to see the lovely, lovely Julie Taymor production of lovely, lovely Mozart's Die Zauberflote. The cast was as follows...

Tamino-Matthew Polenzani
Pamina-Nicole Heaston
Papageno- Rodion Pogossov
Papagena- Monica Yunus
Sarastro- Rene Pape
The Queen of the Night- Erika Miklosa
Monostatos- Volker Vogel
Speaker- Robert Lloyd
Conductor- Scott Bergeson

Now, there is only one thing I have to complain about in this production. It is that I have nothing to complain about. I have become very picky about my singers. Every tenor is "Oh, he's no Domingo" and every soprano is "Gosh, Eva Marton sang that so much better." However, with this cast I could not find one singer that I thought didn't belong. Bravo to the Met and to the singers! Rene Pape was a dream, especially in that amazing costume, I'm not sure if anyone else likes it, but I thought it was cool! Seriously, he is one of the best basses of all time. His voice is so powerful and so rich that it was larger than life to hear him live, in person, on stage, with him RIGHT THERE in our faces. Wow...totally brilliant. Erika Miklosa, with her equally amazing costume, was an unbelievable Queen of the Night. Every high note was effortless and her famous aria was flawless. I would definitely love to hear her again. Matthew Polenzani was incredible as was Nicole Heaston. Rodion Pogossov was a lovely and adorable Papageno with all the character's flaws and comedy interpreted perfectly.

I want to see this production next season, and the season after that, and the season after that (with the same cast, of course), and the season after that, and the season after that, and...

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Ugly Betty

A quote from the (totally awesome) TV show Ugly Betty:

Amanda- "I have a subscription to the opera! How about you go to the opera?"
Christina- "She lives in Queens! If she wanted to hear a bunch of fat italians screaming, she could just open her window!!"

hahahahahaha...stereotypes, stereotypes!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Renee Fleming and other opera related ramblings

This is old news, but I'm going to bring up the subject of Ms. Fleming's La Traviata for old times sake. With the endless videos on youtube, I was surprised to find only two clips of her in Traviata. Sort of depressing, I'd like to see more (I'm sad to announce that I don't own a DVD of Renee Fleming in La Traviata, if one such DVD exists. If one does, some one please tell me!!!) of Ms. Fleming and her Violettas.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here (and probably get killed for it), but I'm actually going to say that I enjoyed her Sempre Libera more than Angela Gheorghiu's. *ducks* ... Am I dead yet?
My reasons for not liking Ms. Gheorgiu's as much as Ms. Fleming's:
1) Ms. Fleming does not SCREAM her high notes. She sings them.
2) Ms. Fleming actually attempted to land that high Eb (correct?) and nailed it
3) Ms. Fleming did not just walk around from one side of the stage to the other... she acted
Don't get me wrong! I like Angela Gheorghiu very much! But sometimes she does get to me!! (Ms. Gheorghiu's Sempre Libera)

Other random ramblings by Ms. CaroNome...
I'm sad and happy to announce that only recently discovered the wonders of the wonderful baritone Louis Quilico!!!!! Sad because it took so long, and happy that I found him at all! This brilliant man's "Eri tu" (Un Ballo in Maschera) is like no other in the world! (Speaking of "Eri tu" any one who has never listened to this gorgeous piece of masterful art SHOULD! It's the aria of all baritone arias. Simply glorious!) When he sings "Traditor! che compensi in tal guisa" I want to fall on the floor and sob with joy and sadness. You can not help but feel sorry for Renato. So sad, so sad. But I would sit through 4 hours of Charlotte Church (o lord in heaven!!!) just to hear Louis Quilico sing that phrase ONCE. Or maybe the whole aria....with 4 hours of Charlotte Church *gag* I'm hoping it's the entire aria!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

La Scala's infamous loggionisti diss Alagna and he deserts the stage

La Scala booing Roberto Alagna:

Geez, K-Fed on WWE RAW had a worse reception than Alagna, but you don't see this wanna be rapper-gone-wrestler stomping away.
Tsk tsk, Roberto, tsk tsk! Shame, shame, shame!
I personally think that walking off any opera stage, but especially a place like La Scala, is completely unnecessary, unprofessional, and just down-right unacceptable! When I read the article in the NY Times about Alagna and watched the various movies on Youtube (greatest website ever!) I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. It still is! Completely obnoxious, but hysterical. The look on that poor mezzo's face!! Funniest thing ever.

Antonello Palombi took the incident extremely well as he was shoved onto the stage in street clothes to finish the act. Bravo, Mr. Palombi, bravo indeed! It was not only brave of him to step out onto the stage to cries of "vergogna!" ("shame!") , which were not directed at him, but also it was mature. Taking hold of a situation of that manner shows a great sense of maturity. Again I say "Bravo! Bravo!"

Some quotes from an article on

Mezzo Ildikó Komlósi, singing the Egyptian princess Amneris, was "left to sing a duet by myself," as she put it after the performance. As she began the piece, the stage manager grabbed understudy Antonello Palombi and literally threw him onto stage in street clothes, amid cries of "vergogna!" ("Shame!") from the balcony, so that Act I could be completed.

A duet? Left just before a duet? Tsk tsk, that's terrible, sir, terrible!

Meanwhile, the furious Alagna told paparazzi outside the theater, "I'm displeased, embittered, stunned: I have sung all over the world, but standing in front of tonight's audience, I felt like I was in another world ... I sang beautifully, I was bravissimo. Too bad for those who didn't understand." (The quotes and tranlsations were posted on the blog Opera Chic, which has been offering detailed and regularly updated accounts of the saga.)

Bravissimo? For a sharp note? I don't know, man, I just don't know. Seeing that video and listening to it, I wouldn't have known what to do. Personally, I would have clapped politely and not yelled anything.

"I shall never come back to La Scala: This is not a theater, it's a Roman arena," the angry divo continued. "Professionals here get manipulated. I have canceled my commitment for Manon Lescaut in 2008. My wife is thinking of canceling her commitment for La traviata here in July 2007." (Said wife, soprano Angela Gheorghiu, is notoriously strong-minded herself, and her eventual decision remains to be seen.)

Okay, Mr. Alagna, I'm sure that they don't want you back! He'll be booed to the ground next time he shows his face at La Scala. Loggionisti remember everything!! Angela Georghiu cancelling her commitment for La Traviata? Very likely! I can see her doing that, actually. The Love Couple strikes again! Just no matching jump-suits this time, okay?

Who does he think he is? Pavarotti? No, Pavarotti has more dignity than that. The next Pavarotti? Ha, he should live so long!
That being said, if he comes near the Metroplitan Opera House, I'll be there to see how much of the loggionisti treatment he trully deserves *evil snicker*!