Thursday, February 23, 2006

White Bed Revisited

Hello. Long time no post. As work has really heated up over the past couple of weeks, our dear Alex has had to bear the heavy burden that is the maintenance of the Wellsung Blog. He would never let down our tens of tens of readers.

Clearly there is much up on which to catch.

First things first. Against my better judgment, I dragged a co-worker to the Tuesday evening performance of Romeo et Juliette. There was some purpose here besides testing one's endurance for an opera performance that feels like a longish planetarium a sorta second rate planetarium. Alex and I attended the prima in the fall. So of course we missed Natalie Dessay, who has turned out to be sort of the only reason to attend this particular production. Certainly the only reason to attend it *twice*.

Despite the occasional beautiful moment, this is not an opera I have grown to love. I mean, let's be honest, I have heard it approximately twice, and one time with an underprepared, understandably nervous cover. Regardless, I am just not that psyched about it--and this production, other than the awesome floating white bed of wonder, sort of bugs the crap out of me. Moreso than it did the first time around. Oh, how we have grown up since October.


But the purpose here is amazingly NOT to beat a dead horse and gripe about old news. Rather, it is to express how immensely fond of Natalie Dessay I am. Definitely a burgeoning ND fanatic. I have heard her on a handful of recordings, my favorite perhaps being the Sinopoli Ariadne auf Naxos, with her effortless "Großmächtige Prinzessin" anchoring the two-disc set. This was, however, my first live Dessay. I will defer to our friend the NYC Opera Fanatic's delightfully enthusiastic detailing of the evening, as it is truly a spot on assessment, at least of Dessay. She is my favorite sort of Diva: a sprightly, smart performer who fully inhabits a role while her delicate yet present, unencumbered voice just works its magic.

She was paired with Fernando de la Mora's Romeo. He was a nice surprise. He lacks a certain amount of focus up top, but the notes are there, and the voice quality in the middle is consistent and energized. I was totally pleased to hear him, and so was the Tuesday night crowd. I do not share NYC Opera Fanatic's unabashed optimism about the flowering of his career, but I do think he is a very respectable tenor.

Anyway, Onward! Possible Samson this weekend, to see if Borodina can be heard over the orchestra (Alex's chief complaint about Domanshenko last week). Podles this weekend at Avery Fisher, Forza on Tuesday, and Mazeppa prima on 3/6.

Secretly, I sort of want to close my eyes and wake up for Lohengrin, which remains a full two months away.

Save Pumpkin.

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