Saturday, August 11, 2007

Brief Vacation

As of tomorrow I'm going to be on vacation in Italy. I'll be back in September Therefore, unless I really master mobile-blogging, I probably won't be posting. If something important happens, I'll find a way to mobile-blog it. I'll have to figure that out.
Don't worry, this trip won't be totally non-operatic. At the great Arena di Verona I will be seeing a performance of Aida. I will definitely be reviewing that when I get back. =) I'm very excited to see Italian opera (especially Verdi!) IN Italy WITH Italians! What an experience!

As a final note, I shall leave you with this...
and this...
(because I can't just choose one!)

Happy Listening =)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pavarotti in Hospital, Ugh.

Luciano Pavarotti was hospitalized in Italy today while suffering from "a high fever." An Italian newspaper reports that he has pneumonia, but his doctor has not commented. He is in stable conditioned and is being closely monitored. He is expected to be released in a few days...

But these days we should all be pessimistic and suspect the worse. =) Just kidding, I hope he feels better soon.

*******UPDATE: According to OperaChic, Pavarotti will be discharged no later than Tuesday and possibly even Monday. This is good news!

Monday, August 6, 2007


Now Anna Netrebko's complete Norma train wreck can be seen on youtube!!! Cabaletta and everything! Eeeeek some one get this girl some oxygen because she can't seem to be breathing enough!
Excuse me, but who said she could breath during that first phrase?? =) And what part of the word "NORMA" calls for pouty lips and attempts at sex appeal?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Isn't that cute?

This is a picture my five year old cousin drew for me after Beverly Sills died. She knew i was upset and apparently knows who La Sills is. Heehee I have taught her well! I had actually just forced her to watch the New York City Opera Manon which she actually enjoyed, especially the death scene. That little piece of head you see to the right of the picture is a piece of Henry Price's head. Yes, she drew him too, but just because he was Des Grieux and she thought they were in love in real life. Isn't that cute? =)

The Great Norma Race

In a world where giving a recital and making a CD means singing everything you can't or wouldn't sing full out in the opera house, "Casta Diva" is king. Well, priestess I guess. Lately many sopranos, and some mezzos, have tried their hand at this extremely difficult aria. And let's face it, some people just aren't cut out for it. Here today we have the gorgeous Ms. Anna Netrebko in a thoroughly despicable rendition of this heavenly aria. The pitch is all over the place, phrasing in non-existent and, well, maybe Bel Canto just isn't her style.
We also have Cecilia Bartoli, the mezzo-soprano, singing this aria. Hm, well there seems to be nothing strange about that so let's proceed.
Let's find out first hand what is wrong with both of these renditions. Nebs is just totally rediculous. I actually had to laugh when I heard it. As much as I like Anna, what is she doing singing Norma???? Of course, every house in the world would crawl around on its hands and knees if she said she wanted to sing Norma somewhere. Her pitch was off, she breathed in very strange places and frankly she sounded like a drunk Dame Joan. Okay, okay, harsh I know, but consider it! Her vowels and her lack of (some) consonants remind us of the lovely Dame. She's only drunk because I'm sure Joan Sutherland wouldn't be caught dead singing the aria like that. Sorry, Nebster, but this was a lost cause.
Ms. Cecilia Bartoli's "Casta Diva" was refreshingly on pitch. The problem was that Cecilia had no idea when the climax of the aria was. She sang every note as if she was singing about paint drying. This might have to do with the fact that (1) she's a mezzo and (2) her voice is the size of my fist. Itty-bitty mezzo voices don't sing "Casta Diva." It just shouldn't happen. Some manager at Decca or wherever I'm sure thought it was a marvelous idea. "What would you like to sing today, Ms. Bartoli?" "Hm, I'm kind of in a Norma mood. Can we do that?" "Of course! Step this way and you'll be singing Casta Diva into the microphone in no time!" Oh, I would have liked to be there for that recording session. I can see Cecilia's face as she's singing it, too. Fun stuff.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sixty Years Ago Today...

So I haven't been writing for a while. I've been, I'm sorry to say this, waiting for another singer to die. Oops, that wasn't nice, but it's true. It's the closest thing we have to news and gossip these days.
Anyway, since no one has died this week I decided to celebrate an anniversary.

Sixty years ago today Maria Callas made her "official debut" at the Arena di Verona in La Gioconda. At tonight's performance at Arena di Verona they will be handing out postcards with pictures of Maria Callas in various roles.
Happy Anniversary to La Divina and the opera world!!

(On a low note, let us remember that a month ago tonight our dear Beverly Sills left us. I just needed to put a damper on things, yes.)