Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Met's new Season!!!!!!!!


Lucia di Lammermoor (Natalie Dessay and Marcello Giordani)
Hansel and Gretel (Christine Schäfer and Alice Coote)
Iphigenie en Tauride (which I can't pronounce) (Susan Graham and Placido Domingo)
Satyagraha (Richard Croft)
Macbeth (Rene Pape and Andrew Gruber)
Peter Grimes (Patricia Racette)
La Fille du Regiment (Juan Diego Florez. Do I have to say any more?)


Manon Lescaut -with Karita Mattila and Marcello Giordani
Le Nozze di Figaro- with Bryn Terfel
Otello- with Renee Fleming and Johan Botha
La Traviata- with Renee Fleming and Matthew Polenzani

Il Barbiere di Siviglia- with Ruggero Raimondi and Jose Manuel Zapata
Un Ballo in Maschera- with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Salvatore Licitra
Ernani- with Marcello Giordani and Thomas Hampson
Madama Butterfly- with Patricia Racette and Mr. Bedazzle, Roberto Alagna
The First Emperor- with Placido Domingo and Susanne Mentzer
War and Peace- conducted by Valery Gergiev with Samuel Ramey
Tristan und Isolde- with Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner
The Gambler- also conducted by Valery Gergiev
Romeo et Juliette- with power duo Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon
Die Walkure- with Stephanie Blythe and James Morris
La Clemenza di Tito- with Ramon Vargas and Susan Graham
Les Contes d'Hoffmann- with Marcelo Alvarez
Die Entfuhrung ause des Serail- with Matthew Polenzani and Diana Damrau
Norma- with Maria Guleghina
Die Zauberflote- with Diana Damrau playing first Pamina and then switching roles to sing the Queen of the Night
La Boheme- with Mrs. Bedazzle, Angela Gheorghiu as Mimi

Operas that will be shown in movie theatres...

Romeo et Juliette- good news for Netrebko/Villazon fans!!!!
Hansel and Gretel
Manon Lescaut
Peter Grimes
Tristan und Isolde- ticket sale pending....
La Boheme- so that Ms. Gheorghiu (aka Mrs Alagna) may DAZZLE us with her brilliance AGAIN.... whoopdeedoo
La Fille du Regiment- with someone who is ALLOWED to dazzle us, Juan Diego Florez!!! Consider the tickets BOUGHT

What I'm most excited about and why.....

La Fille du Regiment - Juan Diego Florez, JuanD iegoF lorez, JuanDiegoF lorez, JuanDiegoFlorez, juandiegoflorezjuandiegoflorez!!!!! is that enough reason for you????
Lucia di Lammermoor- the mad scene! especially a non-Dame Joan mad scene!!!!! im very excited!
Otello- not only my favorite Shakespeare play, but Renee Fleming is Desdemona!!!
La Traviata- I missed it this season *grumbles at parents* but I'm happy that Renee Fleming is returning to Violetta so I have it to look forward to!!!!
Un Ballo in Maschera- I looooooove this opera sooooo much!!! To add to the excitement, Dmitri Hvorostovsky (who still isn't as handsome as Uncle Tommy lol =]) and Salvatore Licitra are singing the two lead male roles!!!!!
Le Nozze di Figaro- I can make a list of my favorite arias/scenes from this opera, but I will spare you the trouble and just say "Contessa perdono!!!!!!" =)
Tristan und Isolde- Look, Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner on one stage, must I say more?
Romeo et Juliette- Come on, people! Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon!!!!! It's probably sold out already!!!!!

Things I am NOT looking forward to (and "why" of course!!!)...

  • Roberto Alagna in Madama Butterfly (Love Couple strikes again because his wifelet is here too!)
  • Angela Gheorghiu in La Boheme (are we to be invaded by EVERY Alagna in the country?)
  • The continuation of Margret Juntwait's co-host. No one really likes him, no offence, so can't we just make it the Juntwait Show again????
  • Andrea Gruber in Macbeth- the Met insists on hiring people who are (pardon my frank-ness) too old! Andrea Gruber herself is not too old, it's her voice! I saw her in Tosca and I was taken aback. No offence, once again.
  • Going to see operas that I can't pronounce. Haha. I'll go see them, but by the time I get out, I still won't be able to pronounce it!
  • NO TOSCA!!!!! Even though it's showed SOOO often, can't I see it again???? PLEASE??? I wanna just SEE the Zefferelli set one more time!!!!!!! Who KNOWS how much longer it's gonna be up there???????? I wanna see James Morris's Scarpia again! PLEASEEEEEE!!!!
  • Not being able to go to all the operas I want this season =(

for more information visit the Met's website:

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin Moviecast

(Just for the record it's pronounced "Yevgenee Ownyaygin")

What a miraculously, amazingly perfect performance! This being my first Russian opera and my first opera in a movie theatre, maybe I shouldn't be talking, but it was just fantastic. Renee Fleming was a dream as Tatiana! What it must have been like to see/hear her in the house, I can't even imagine! Her Letter Scene was simply amazing! I loved how she ran around the stage with leaves in her hands, it was great! I don't care what people say about her, when she tries she is the best! Her tone is perfect and throughout the opera it was flawless. What miraculous work.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky never really caught my attention, UNTIL NOW! Holy moly! It was amazing. He looked every bit as snobbish and jerk-ish as he was supposed to in the first two acts, and then in the final act (when he totally loses it) he looks enraptured and then heartbroken. His singing was unbelievable and it helps that he's good looking. During the polonaise he gets to take his shirt off for a costume change on stage and my friend and I were at the edge of our seats with our jaws dropped. HELLO MR. HVOROSTOVSKY. But he was a jerk to Tatiana, so he can stay heartbroken =P.
Anyway, the rest of the cast was glorious! Ramon Vargas as Lensky was a stroke of genius. What a warm tone! Lately I've been sort of disappointed with some of the tenors the Met has produced, but I wasn't here! What a pleasant surprise! How sad that he has to get shot by his best friend =(, that's the only downfall of the opera. I would have liked to see Lensky live and ONEGIN SHOT! (what a jerk Eugene is, psh) Elena Zaremba's Olga, on the other hand, was slightly disappointing. The acting and attitude was just right, but the singing was a little off. It bugged me that the character was not a soprano because then she sounds too old. Zaremba was, I regret to say, quite a bit wobbly, but enjoyable none-the-less. Sergei Aleksashkin was a wonderful Prince Gremin. His aria almost stopped the show, and rightfully so, it was glorious. Gergiev....Gergiev...there's nothing to say, really, without going overboard! It was perfect, don't let anyone else conduct it!!!!

I'm not so sure if you're supposed to, but I clapped with the audience sitting in the Met. I was one of few who did so, but I wasn't ashamed. It's boring to sit there and listen to other people clap, I wanted it to be like I was right there with them. Most people in my theatre clapped during the curtain calls, but no one dared to let out a "bravo." And it's hopeless to try and see it live AT the Met because the last two performance's are completely and totally sold out =(. Maybe next season???
As for the movie aspect of it, I felt it was mostly good. I would really prefer less "in their face" approach to the singers, I'd rather see the whole stage then just one singer's face for five whole minutes, because the whole stage is what the real audience sees. Some times pulling back is a good thing! However, seeing shots of the orchestra clapping for the performers was charming and I loved seeing the house in it's full glory. Watching the audience during ovations was fun and it really got you into the whole experience.

For anyone who has never gone to one of these moviecasts should definitely go! It was wonderful, my friend and I enjoyed it immensely. And for anyone who has never seen or hear Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin absolutely should! It's a masterpiece!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Owned!! =P

On different opera boards there were discussions of "owning roles" and some I agreed with, and some I didn't. So, here is my list of singers who in my mind "own" these roles.


Queen of the Night- Edita Gruberova, Diana Damrau
Pamina- Lucia Popp
Sarastro- Rene Pape
Tamino- Matthew Polenzani

Figaro- Hermann Prey, Jose Van Dam
Susanna- Mirella Freni, Lucia Popp
Contessa- Renee Fleming, Kiri te Kanawa, Gundula Janowitz
Conte- Sir Thomas Allen
Cherubino- Frederica von Stade, Theresa Berganza

Don Giovanni- Cesare Siepi, Sir Thomas Allen
Leporello- Gabriel Bacquier
Zerlina- Susanne Mentzer
Donna Anna- Renee Fleming
Donna Elvira- Maria Ewing


Turandot- Eva Marton, Birgit Nilsson
Calaf- Placido Domingo, Franco Corelli, Jose Carreras
Liu- Katia Ricciarelli
Timur- Paul Plishka, John Paul Bogart

Tosca- Eva Marton, Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas
Cavaradossi- Placido Domingo
Scarpia- Cornell Macneil


Violetta- Joan Sutherland, Maria Callas, Theresa Stratas
Alfredo- Placido Domingo, Carlo Bergonzi
Germont- Cornell Macneil, Robert Merrill

Rigoletto- Cornell Macneil, Louis Quilico, Robert Merrill
Gilda- Ileana Cotrubas, Edita Gruberova
Duke- Luciano Pavarotti, Carlo Bergonzi, Placido Domingo

Riccardo- Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo
Amelia- Katia Ricciarelli
Renato- Louis Quilico, Cornell Macneil
Oscar- Edita Gruberova, Judith Blegen

Luisa Miller- Katia Ricciarelli

Otello- Placido Domingo
Desdemona- Katia Ricciarelli
Iago- Justino Diaz, Sherrill Milnes

Sir John Falstaff- Paul Plishka
Fenton- Juan Diego Florez, Frank Lopardo
Alice Ford- Mirella Freni


Elvira- Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills
Arturo Talbot- Juan Diego Florez, Luciano Pavarotti

Norma- Maria Callas


Figaro- Thomas Hampson, Peter Mattei
Rosina- Beverly Sills, Joyce Di Donato


Cleopatra- Beverly Sills


Rusalka- Renee Fleming


Lucia di Lammermoor- Joan Sutherland
Edgardo- Jose Carreras, Alfredo Kraus

Tonio- Juan Diego Florez, Luciano Pavarotti
Marie- Joan Sutherland, Beverley Sills

Elisabetta, Queen of England- Beverly Sills

Anna Bolena- Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland
Enrico- James Morris

Nemorino- Juan Diego Florez, Jussi Bjorling
Adina- Kathleen Battle


Gioconda- Eva Marton, Violetta Urmana
Laura- Olga Borodina
Enzo- Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo


Marschallin- Gwyneth Jones, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Renee Fleming, Dame Kiri te Kanawa
Octavian- Frederica von Stade, Brigitte Fassbaender
Sophie- Lucia Popp, Barbara Bonney
Baron Ochs- Kurt Moll, Manfred Jungwirth

Countess (Capriccio)- Renee Fleming, Dame Kiri, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf


Wotan- James Morris
Brunnhilde- Eva Marton, Hildegard Behrens, Birgit Nilsson
Fricka- Christa Ludwig
Sieglinde- Leontyne Price


Eugene Onegin- Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sir Thomas Allen
Tatiana- Renee Fleming
Gremin- Sergei Aleksashkin

Thursday, February 1, 2007

MY LIST!!! (be very afraid!)

You Know The You Are An Extreme Opera Fan When...

  1. People start asking you why fat women with breast plates fascinate you
  2. You are suddenly compelled to stab every police chief you see
  3. Men with eye patches and many flying daughters suddenly look like gods (oh haha)
  4. You notice that no one knows your favorite singer (the most obvious symptom)
  5. People are shocked and appalled when you laugh at Charlotte Church (5a.) and Andrea Bocelli
  6. You learned all you know about medieval England from Donizetti
  7. Andrew Lloyd Webber seems like a joke
  8. People calling some Broadway shows operas sets you off
  9. You start correcting the singers' staging
  10. You can name all the arias that are played on TV commercials
  11. Everyone else seems to have a different definition for "diva"
  12. "Going insane" means killing your husband and crashing a wedding party in a bloody night-gown
  13. Hearing a canon makes you scream "Va, Tosca!"
  14. It's normal for 50-year-olds to play teenage brides
  15. You find yourself making up opera related phrases. The one I use the most is "Oh holy mother of Puccini!"
  16. Hearing a voice that sounds like it belongs to a 20-year-old, looking up the singer, and finding out that they are either 80-years-old or dead is part of your daily routine
  17. You actually know what voice category "Ombra Mai Fu" is really sung in
  18. You find yourself speaking in foreign languages at random points in the day. Most popular with me are... "Bravo/a" "Pace, pace" "Per pieta!" (sometimes continued with "ben mio perdona!") "Dove sono??" (almost always followed by "i biei momenti") "O! Mio Dio!!" "Si, si! Ci voglio andare!" "Poverina" "Andiamo" and "Marie Theres'" when I'm sad. =)
  19. "Vendetta" truly looks sweet. You are frequently compelled to hire a bass just to kill some nobleman (who you probably don't even know, unless you're his jester)
  20. Riddles are a life or death situation
  21. Handel's "Orlando" no longer seems obscure
  22. You develop your own opinions instead of stealing other peoples
  23. You can sing every part in "Tosca" without looking at any paper
  24. You can correct your music teacher.
  25. You can tell your friend whose learning about opera in school what composers they talked about (Mozart, Puccini, and Verdi), what operas they talked about (La Boheme, Rigoletto, Le Nozze di Figaro) and what arias they listened to (Che Gelida Manina, Si Mi Chiamano Mimi, La Donna e Mobile, and Figaro's Overture). You also know that Pavarotti sang both tenor arias. (this actually happened to me, I'm not kidding. =] silly me)
  26. You look forward to the next Rolex Ad (thank you leslie!)
  27. You can name more than Three Tenors
  28. Whenever someone (especially yourself) coughs, you immediately assume it's consumption and break out sobbing and sing "AH! M'AMI ALFREDO!!!!"

(dedicated to Jenn, LaSala, Leslie, Emily, and Ms. Shirreffs)