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  1. #281
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    Garanca was amazing, and I still don't understand how in men's clothing in Act I, she looks so convincing as a man -- a very handsome one, at that -- and in Act II, when she's in the prison smock, she goes back to looking like a beautiful woman. She's a terrific actress.

    I loved Frittoli in this. Of course, with it being miked, I have no idea how it sounded in the house, but Vitellia seemed a lot more comfortable for her voice than Donna Elvira, and she out-Erica Kaned Susan Lucci.

    I loved Lucy Crowe: what a wonderful Met role debut.

    I think this cast and production really got to the guts of the piece. Only Mozart could make opera seria into a weeper.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  2. #282

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    I loved Frittoli in this. Of course, with it being miked, I have no idea how it sounded in the house, but Vitellia seemed a lot more comfortable for her voice than Donna Elvira, and she out-Erica Kaned Susan Lucci.

    I loved Lucy Crowe: what a wonderful Met role debut.
    My problem with Frittoli was more in her attitude/acting: too "foxy" and not regal enough, I thought. Next to Garanca's effortless acting, hers seemed a bit forced, especially in the first act.

    I agree about Lucy Crowe, she was lovely. Kate Lindsey was excellent too.

  3. #283

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    Quote Originally Posted by IoanaC View Post
    My problem with Frittoli was more in her attitude/acting: too "foxy" and not regal enough, I thought. Next to Garanca's effortless acting, hers seemed a bit forced, especially in the first act.

    I agree about Lucy Crowe, she was lovely. Kate Lindsey was excellent too.
    I believe I read somewhere that Frittoli's acting was what the director intended in this production. I too was taken aback by her overacting that didn't fit the rest, but apparently it wasn't all her "fault".

    I loved this at the Met and I loved this in HD. I think Tito/Fillianoti was the weakest spot in this very high-level casting. Fritolli actually sounded better / more even in HD compared to the opening night, while Fillianoti seemed a bit strained today (better in the 2nd act, same as opening night)

    Love-love-love Kate Lindsey and I think she'll make a dashing Sesto in the future.

  4. #284

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    So, I ended up going to see "Don Giovanni" on Wednesday, I managed to get one of the $20 orchestra seats. Yeah, yeah, I know the sound is better if you are higher up. But there's a much better chance of me staying interested if I'm close enough to see everything that's happening on the stage.
    I wanted to like this, I really did. But "pleasant" is as far as I'm willing to go with my praise.
    It's weird. emason's quibble with the Joyce DiDonato concert was that the pieces were relatively unknown and out-of-context. I had no problem with that, because I was just enjoying the beautiful music and marveling at her astounding voice. Similarly, I really enjoyed the recital that Skateboy organized in NYC earlier this year.
    I thought seeing an actual opera would be an eye-opener for me and I expected to enjoy it. I mean, how can anyone dislike Mozart? But I really didn't. I didn't hate it, I certainly didn't have a brain disconnect, but I couldn't really get involved with what was happening on the stage. I guess I can't really appreciate opera as an art form, because my mind kept wandering in all different directions. ie, "Yeah, yeah, we get that you're a scorned woman, you told us that already. Why do you keep going on about it?" It didn't help that Susanna Philips voice hurt my ears, or that Erwin Schott reminded me of someone in his wig.
    So I was there pondering, "He looks like someone familiar....but who? OMG. Ian Astbury!"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgPvRSAdK6o

    So then I kept hearing The Cult playing in my head. ("And so in her you'll find.....sanctuaaaaaaaaaaaaaary!")

    However, it was not a wasted evening by any means. I struck up a conversation with the guy sitting next to me during the intermission. We have a dinner date on Sunday.

  5. #285

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    Marge,

    Give opera another try. Think of it like the ballet; you know, how the casting and the production have a lot to do with it. Like how we can't stand ABT's Swan Lake, but we had no trouble grooving on the one from the Australian Ballet.

    I like Don Giovanni, but think this particular production doesn't work. Saw it once and don't need to see it again, but I would go hear someone else's version.

    (Enjoy dinner on Sunday.)

  6. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaSherka View Post
    I believe I read somewhere that Frittoli's acting was what the director intended in this production. I too was taken aback by her overacting that didn't fit the rest, but apparently it wasn't all her "fault".
    I liked the take: she was playing a diva, and she moves and gestures really well.

    Quote Originally Posted by SaSherka View Post
    I loved this at the Met and I loved this in HD. I think Tito/Fillianoti was the weakest spot in this very high-level casting. Fritolli actually sounded better / more even in HD compared to the opening night, while Fillianoti seemed a bit strained today (better in the 2nd act, same as opening night)
    I heard most of two performances on Sirius -- one may have been opening night -- and ITA about Fillianoti: his voice sounded easier earlier in the run than today.

    Quote Originally Posted by SaSherka View Post
    Love-love-love Kate Lindsey and I think she'll make a dashing Sesto in the future.
    In the duet with Servilla, her lower register was fantastic. I agree it's in her future. In one of the Sirius intermission interviews -- maybe during "Aida"? -- Elina Garanca said that this would be the last Sesto for her, and that she's retiring the role. She also talked about her daughter, ~ 18 mos old, which was very sweet.

    I thought Susan Graham was Deborah Voigt for a moment. Does she realize that in ten years, her hair will look as dated as the big hair she wore when she won her Met Auditions?
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  7. #287
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    I love Elina Garanca so I loved seeing her in this. I was very excited when I heard Lucy Crowe was making her debut in this and I thought she was great. Kate Lindsey was just fantastic, I would love to see her as Sesto!

    I listened to the interview on the Met Live Stream Thursday with Barbara Frittoli so I was primed for her performance to be as it was and I really enjoyed it.

    Besides, four fabulous women, what more could you want!
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  8. #288
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    I loved Fillianoti's sad-sack, but handsome, face, but I'm really glad they took the initial wig off. The men in the standard wigs, though: it looked like a town of Dr. Bartolos.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  9. #289

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    Besides, four fabulous women, what more could you want!
    6! A few of us, opera dreamers, came up with a theoretical all-female casting
    An all-mezzo version of La Clemenza di Tito: Stephanie Blythe as Tito, Elīna Garanča as Sesto, Joyce DiDonato as Vitellia, Cecilia Bartoli as Servilia, Alice Coote as Annio, Ewa Podleś as Publio
    (Or an alternative casting: Stephanie Blythe as Tito, Alice Coote as Sesto, Cecilia Bartoli as Vitellia, Joyce DiDonato as Servilia, Kate Lindsey as Annio, Ewa Podleś as Publio)

  10. #290
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    I prefer the first cast, because I love Garanca and would rather pass on Bartoli's Mozart, but I"m there
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  11. #291

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    I heard Coote's Sesto in a concert staging of this a few years back at the Jazz at Lincoln Center venue. She was sensational.

  12. #292
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    I hate getting announcements of seasons and finding that there are productions or singers I want to see in operas I'd rather not; San Francisco Opera announced it's 2013-14 season today:

    SAN FRANCISCO OPERA ANNOUNCES 2013–14 SEASON
    Mefistofele
    featuring Ildar Abdrazakov (Mefistofele), Patricia Racette and Ramón Vargas in Robert Carsen’s acclaimed production conducted by Nicola Luisotti

    Dolores Claiborne
    World Premiere of new opera by Tobias Picker and J. D. McClatchy, based on Stephen King’s novel, starring Dolora Zajick (Dolores Claiborne) and Elizabeth Futral Vera Donovan) with director James Robinson, conductor George Manahan.

    Falstaff
    With Bryn Terfel (Falstaff), Ainhoa Arteta (Mistress Alice Ford), Fabio Capitanucci (Ford), Heidi Stober (Nannetta), Meredith Arwady (Mistress Quickly), and Francesco Demuro (Fenton). Conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Lyric Opera of Chicago production.

    Requiem
    San Francisco Opera and Music Director Nicola Luisotti will celebrate Giuseppe Verdi’s bicentennial with a special performance of the Italian master’s Requiem on October 25, 2013. The San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus will be joined by a quartet of superb soloists: soprano Leah Crocetto, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, tenor Michael Fabiano and bass Vitalij Kowaljow. Jamie Barton and Michael Fabiano were both 2007 Met Opera Council Audition winners, captured on the documentary "The Audition."

    La Traviata
    Music Director Nicola Luisotti leads the Company’s Verdi bicentennial celebration. Two casts: Sonya Yoncheva (Violetta Valéry)/Saimir Pirgu (Alfredo Germont)/Vladimir Stoyanov (Giorgio Germont) and Ailyn Pérez (Violetta Valéry)/Stephen Costello (aka Mr. Ailyn Pérez, Alfredo Germont)/Quinn Kelsey (Giorgio Germont). Nicola Luisotti conducts.

    Der fliegende Holländer/The Flying Dutchman
    Wagner bicentennial distinguished with new Petrika Ionesco production starring Greer Grimsley (Dutchman), Petra Maria Schnitzer (Senta), Ian Storey (Erik), and Kristinn Sigmundsson (Daland). Conducted by Company Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers.

    Il Barbiere di Siviglia/The Barber of Seville
    New production of Rossini’s comedy featuring Lucas Meachem (Figaro)/Isabele Leonard (Rosina)/Javier Camarena (Almaviva) and Audun Iversen (Figaro)/Daniela Mack (Rosina)/Alek Shrader (Almaviva), with director Emilio Sagi and Company Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi.

    Madama Butterfly
    Patricia Racette (Cio-Cio-San), Brian Jagde (Pinkerton), Elizabeth DeShong (Suzuki), and Brian Mulligan (Sharpless). Sets and costumes by Jun Kaneko. Nicola Luisotti conducts all but the last two, and Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi leads the final two performances.

    If I just looked at the rep, considering that I need to get on a plane to see it my top three would be Falstaff, Verdi Requiem, and Dolores Claiborne, but looking at the other aspects, they had to go and hire Jun Kaneko, who did magnificent sets and costumes for "The Magic Flute" in a five-way co-production for "Butterfly," which I actively dislike. They've got Quinn Kelsey, who was great as Amonasro in Vancouver and the baritone guy in Atilla in SF, doing Germont, and he's worth getting on a plane for, and after hearing Alek Shrader's Tamino, I'd love to hear his Almaviva. I hate when they do that.

    For anyone in the Bay Area or visiting, Greer Grimsley did a major Dutchman in Seattle a few years ago.


    ETA: Somewhere in my cut-and-paste I crushed the entry for Jerome Kern's

    Show Boat
    Cast is: Heidi Stober, Patricia Racette, Angela Renée Simpson, Nathan Gunn, and Morris Robinson. Director is Francesca Zambello, who conducted the 2011 San Francisco Ring Cycle, and conductor is John DeMain.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 12-04-2012 at 09:33 AM.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  13. #293
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    Seattle Opera has added three performances of "La Boheme," on Sundays (mat) 3, 10 March and Friday (eve) 8 March. The website lists the alternate cast (Black as Mimi and Fabiano as Rodolfo) for 24 Feb and 1 Mar, at least as of today. The Opening Night/main cast is Caballero as Mimi and Demuro as Rodolfo.

    Until 11:59 tonight (Friday, 7 Dec), Seattle Opera has two holiday discounts, the last of their daily deals this week:

    $75 Orchestra seats for the newly added performances (3, 8, 10 March)
    20% off all other performances of "La Boheme" (in most sections)

    The normal subscriber discount is 10%, and once signed in, it will ask you to choose which discount you want, holiday or 10% for each ticket/price range.

    http://www.seattleopera.org/holidaysale/
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  14. #294
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    Did anyone here see the Met "Aida" in the house? I've been listening to it on Sirius over the last few weeks, and I've been very impressed with the soprano, Liudmyla Monastyrska. Today I was blown away by her in the Met HD. I would love to see her live, and if she's as good in person, she's going to join Westbroek and Stemme among my favorite sopranos. For the past couple of decades, I've been finding mezzos, tenors, barihunks, and basses to love, but sopranos, not so much, so I'm hoping the answer is "yes."

    Olga Borodina sounded grand -- no one else can do Level 10 bitchface like she -- and in her transition scene of despair between the Act III confrontation with Radames and the Judgement Scene, she shed a single tear.

    Anyone who goes to a performance that's going to be broadcast, don't sit in the front 2/3 of the orchestra, unless you want the camera on you waiting for the performance to start. In the one before "Ballo," they caught a woman picking her teeth. Today, they focused on a woman chatting animatedly on her iPhone. And in another figure skating camera gesture, people are bringing signs, and the camera is zeroing in on them. One woman was, I think, giving a shout-out to somewhere in France, and a tier or two up, someone was trying to get the camera's attention with a sign of his or her own, but the cameras didn't go that high.

    They also had the vomit cam working for this one, with vertigo-inducing overhead shots.

    The Met makeup artists should check out the video: when they do brown face, it's not good when the Amonasro looks green instead.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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    I saw Monastyrska sing Lady Macbeth at the Tucker Gala a month ago and was very impressed as was the rest of the audience. I didn't catch this run in house, but loved her singing in HD today. Ditto about Borodina! I kept thinking what a perfect Queen Bitch she was (in the best sense) =D The looks Amneris gives to Aida were awesomely to the point.
    I agree about wrong camera angles. I usually don't mind extra close-ups when going to Met HD, but today was badly overdone - too many low angles, too many skycams, too many cuts from one singer to another, especially in ensembles. Also, the sound at our theater was strange as if there was a microphone balance problem. Too quiet, too loud, etc.
    Glad I finally saw this production of Aida though.

  16. #296
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    The Live from Lincoln Center 2012 Tucker Gala broadcast has been posted to PBS website, and from the expire date, it should be up for three years:

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2315196220

    ETA: I'm watching it now, and I just realized, those are Borodina's regular nails, not part of her Amneris makeup

    Edited again to add: It must have been the time I spent under the rock that I never knew that Ildar Abdrazakov was so
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 12-16-2012 at 07:13 AM.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  17. #297
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    I went to the Aida. I thought Monastyrska was fabulous. I would love to see her in more.

    I really hope that overhead cam that migrated from driving us crazy in figure skating goes away.

    I was walking back into the theatre after the intermission and a little girl, maybe 7, rushed in ahead of her mother who said to her, "Aida, please walk! Aida, walk!" I got a kick out of that.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  18. #298
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    It's not the easiest player to get to target individual pieces, but if you click the Tucker Gala link and go to Chapter 14 -- the tool tip will show if you put your cursor on the little vertical white chapter marks at the bottom of the video -- after the PBS promo plays at the beginning, you'll be able to hear her singing the letter aria from "Macbeth." It may take a couple of tries, since the promo plays between every few pieces.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/2315196220

    ETA: I'm listening to "Idomeneo" on Sirius and while I'm grateful he was captured on tape and video before medications damaged his voice, I am at the loss of the Ben Heppner who's singing in the 1991 performance.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  19. #299

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    Saw "Aida" in HD too and I absolutely loved Monastyrska and her fabulous voice. Olga Borodina was great as well. What did you think about Alagna, though? Renee Fleming interviewed him in the intermission and he said he had found the adjustment a little difficult, from singing Nemorino until a few days ago in London, to a dramatic Verdi part. I just thought his voice sounded somewhat "smallish" yesterday, particularly alongside Monastyrska. I didn't like him at all in "Celeste Aida"...

    I have to say, I didn't mind the sky-cam so much; it was effective in the "triumphal scene" from the second act.

  20. #300
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    The part where they filmed the guards standing close to the edge of the set piece that lowered, I had my heart in my throat. (I am a real wuss when it comes to heights.) I liked it once, when they got the shot of Borodina standing between the two cauldrons.

    Alagna reverted to falsetto more than a couple of times, and while it was pretty where he sang in tune -- in the Tomb Scene his pitch went awry -- it was still falsetto, not pppp or pp. (I was trying to follow his explanation.) It sounded better than the typical scream, but Palombi does a real quad piano there, and it felt like a cheat.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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