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SaSherka
02-14-2013, 04:04 AM
Opera Grammys:

Best Classical Vocal Solo Winner
Poèmes, Renée Fleming (Alan Gilbert & Seiji Ozawa; Orchestre National De France & Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France) Label: Decca Records

Dang, JDD didn't win ;) jk I watched the live broadcast of these awards and I think most of the winners in the classical/opera categories skipped the awards. (It's OK, JDD should come back next season for her Drama Queens CD)

On a more relevant operatic note, this Friday is the opening night of Parsifal with a live online stream starting at 6pm EST http://www.metoperafamily.org/opera/parsifal-wagner-tickets.aspx
Saturday is the Rigoletto "in Vegas" Live in HD, but I will be in house for it. Woohoo! Also, trying to find a decent ticket for Monday night's Parsifal.

IoanaC
02-14-2013, 04:22 PM
On a more relevant operatic note, this Friday is the opening night of Parsifal with a live online stream starting at 6pm EST http://www.metoperafamily.org/opera/parsifal-wagner-tickets.aspx
Saturday is the Rigoletto "in Vegas" Live in HD, but I will be in house for it. Woohoo! Also, trying to find a decent ticket for Monday night's Parsifal.

I still can't wrap my head around the idea of the "Rat Pack meets Verdi in Las Vegas":lol:, but I'm looking forward to hearing those great voices.

For those of us who have been waiting for it, Juilliard has posted JDD's master class on YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/user/JuilliardSchool

The work she did with the young mezzo on "Svegliatevi nel cor" is absolutely amazing. After she retires from the stage (in about 50 years or so:)) she should teach, she's brilliant at it.

SaSherka
02-14-2013, 10:49 PM
After she retires from the stage (in about 50 years or so:)) she should teach, she's brilliant at it.

I hope she doesn't wait "50 years" to start teaching! Wait, hold on, she pretty much teaches already, via her masterclasses, vlogs, blogs and general enthusiasm towards music and life :) Three cheers to (belated) birthday lady!

kwanfan1818
02-15-2013, 12:49 AM
I had been stalking the Juiliiard site every day, including yesterday before they posted, and her it is! Thank you so much, IoanaC :cheer2:

When I heard the Q&A the first time, starting here and for about eight minutes, I was thinking about so many figure skaters:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7i5WKcqo4c&feature=youtu.be&t=7m38s

She even mentions ice skaters around 21'21"!

SaSherka
02-15-2013, 01:57 AM
She mentioned triple Salchows a number of times in vlogs and interviews =)

kwanfan1818
02-15-2013, 02:12 AM
As if there weren't enough reasons to love her.

IoanaC
02-17-2013, 04:39 PM
So... how about that "Las Vegas Rigoletto"?:) I wasn't thrilled with the idea initially, but it actually worked dramatically (except for maybe Gilda's impulsive gesture of sacrifice, which doesn't really fit in the 20th century mentality, but that's probably debatable). The set was effective in the final act especially. So, not only did I not mind the staging, but the singing was wonderful. Lucic and Damrau - fabulous, every one of their duets was gorgeous.

BlueRidge
02-17-2013, 06:02 PM
I was excited to see it and I was not disappointed. They did a great job of transferring the story to 1960s Las Vegas. Loved the use of the neon lights in the final scene. Loved the rat pack jackets. I want one! :lol: I thought the gal in pasties doing a pole dance was the only thing that was a little much.

I've not seen a Live in HD with Diana Damrau before. I knew she was good but I was really wowed with her singing. Wow.

IoanaC
02-17-2013, 06:32 PM
I've not seen a Live in HD with Diana Damrau before. I knew she was good but I was really wowed with her singing. Wow.

For more Diana Damrau greatness (plus JDD and JDF), watch Le Comte Ory - Met, 2011. Absolutely brilliant singing and acting from all three of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEivbIRrmMU&list=FLyPjjor-UMBrpCGo55rsrtg&index=17

This is just the finale, but you'll find it all on YouTube.

BlueRidge
02-17-2013, 10:24 PM
I've watched a couple of those clips from Le Comte Ory before, that's how I knew she was good! I love those!

kwanfan1818
02-20-2013, 12:18 AM
For more Diana Damrau greatness (plus JDD and JDF), watch Le Comte Ory - Met, 2011. Absolutely brilliant singing and acting from all three of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEivbIRrmMU&list=FLyPjjor-UMBrpCGo55rsrtg&index=17

This is just the finale, but you'll find it all on YouTube.
I love that scene! That was the day that Juan Diego Florez was with his wife and newborn son until about 30 minutes before curtain time. He sang that performance on no sleep, just amazing.

I loved the Vegas Rigoletto. I thought the sets and costumes were brilliant, and I thought the pole dancer was fine: it was out of "The Sopranos" and was a recognizable cultural reference.

Gilda is a really tough character to have come across. One of the issues is that Damrau has a matronly figure -- she's got two small children, but she still looks young. It's a nice figure, but even in a time when women weren't expected to be stick figures, she didn't look 14 or 15, or, maybe more to the point, she looked like she was playing 21-22. Sometimes it's easier to accept a 45-year-old playing a 15-year-old: it's like the difference in plays between wearing character shoes, which translates into "Whatever they were wearing at the time," and shoes from the '70's in a play about the 20's.

I've read a lot of Mary Gordon, who went to all-girls' Catholic schools in the '50's and into the '60's, and she's spoken and written about the cult around Jesus, suffering, and sacrifice. She spoke about wearing rocks in her shoes, and the competition among the girls to be the best fiance of Christ. Not all of them would become nuns, but it was a thought they all tried on. Considering how tumultuous adolescence is with all of the raging hormones, and combine that with a smothering father whose narrative consists of "Your mother was a holy angel" blah, blah, who has his daughter chaperoned everywhere, and is trying to protect her from the big, bad world, the bottom line is that she has no one to ask about what's happening to her and can't even learn from watching. The nuns aren't going to tell her, the priest in confession is going to shut her down, her father blows a gasket every time he perceives a threat, and all she knows is what she's been taught in church (or, presumably, Catholic school, since it's the '60's), and since she hasn't chosen to be a rebel, all of her fervor and imagination is couched in religious terms. No wonder she conflates, "Jesus died for your sins" with "I'll die for the sleazy no-good bastard's sins, since he needs salvation." Plenty of grown women have made the same decision, although theirs is a slow, everyday death.

I hadn't noticed before that Monterone is more of a prophet than one who simply curses. In the beginning he says, "You who mock a father's suffering, I lay the father's curse on you," but at the end of the penultimate act, when he's brought past Gilda and Rigoletto, he says, "All of this was in vain: the Duke will avoid punishment and keep living and debauching." He' has two things to say, and he's right both times.

4rkidz
02-20-2013, 12:27 AM
AG.. I don't have any suggestions but I did want to share an experience we had in Italy a few summers ago - I took my husband to a presentation of Great Opera Arias.. he really enjoyed it - likely the historic setting helped and the fact we were in Italy - but as an introduction for the world of opera it was a great first time.. (this is a guy that would be more comfortable going to a football game).. :)

BlueRidge
02-20-2013, 02:16 AM
...
I loved the Vegas Rigoletto. I thought the sets and costumes were brilliant, and I thought the pole dancer was fine: it was out of "The Sopranos" and was a recognizable cultural reference.
...

oh...there I go being uncultured again... :lol:

kwanfan1818
02-20-2013, 02:26 AM
One of the recurring locations in "The Sopranos" was the Bada Bing! club. From what I'd heard of "Rigoletto" in advance, I thought there were going to be dozens of strippers and their customers throughout the scene, but she was one lone, bored stripper.

Štefan Kocán looked fantastic in his two Sparafucile costumes. And Abs of Steele Beczala did his own little gymnastics riff on the pole.

emason
02-25-2013, 12:37 AM
Three words for those of you who didn't make it to Carnegie Hall for Radamisto today:

Luca Pisaroni - swoon!