Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Triddyco

Bloody school. Well, my Met season, such as it was, ended a Monday or three ago with the last of les nouveaux Tritticaux. I was actually there for my little sister's graduation and P.S., NYU ed school graduation is about two parts socialist rally and one part impromptu Broadway showcase. Like I don't know how you really feel about Iraq, Steinhardt School of Education administrators. Keep it in your pants, people. Oh, and P.P.S., the ushers at Radio City Music Hall are officially the worst ushers in the city, unseating the dimwits over at Carnegie Hall. You have walkie talkies for christ's sakes. Can't you radio someone with a brain?

I'll be brief, since this is old news: doubt, mad props are due Puccini for stepping outside the box, and there are some lovely neato moments, but ultimately it just doesn't really do it for me. My first time with Maria Guleghina was a bit of an anti climax, having been promised this--she turned out to be very gentle and pitch-conscious, actually. But I suppose one can still "hope" for the oceanliner to rear its bow in Norma next year.

SA...Oh, I really do love that Suor Angelica. It's just such perfect Puccini. And with the incomparable Babs Frittoli at the helm 'twas gutwrenching vocal drama of the highest order, marred only a tad by the hot purple lighting effects in an otherwise pitch perfect lovely set. Among my very highest lights of last year's season was Babs' "Per Pieta" in the Levine Cosi Fan Tuttes, and it was wonderful to see her again. She is forgiven for bailing on the Luisa Millers, whenever that was.

GS...Meh to Gianni Scchhicchi. At the end, when G.S. talks to the audience directly and knowingly, you think for just a minute like maybe you've been watching Falstaff or Figaro and have found yourself enveloped in the warm glow of sublime comedy. And then you remember where you've actually been for the past 4 hours, and it feels kinda cheap. But whatevs. It works in its own special way. The garden thing at the end was way pretty, even if the perspective trick was totally f'd up from the famcirc.

Naturally, I didn't see as much as I would have liked to this year, residing in flyover country and whatnot, but was lucky to catch some great perfs: the towering Mattila-Jenufas; a super priddy, if accident prone, Budderfly; nice leaves/Hvorostovsky in Onegin; and the dynamite JDF in Barber. The new (old) hometown house had some great hits as well--the explosive DV Salome and haunting Carmelites of course, plus more than solid outings in Trovatore and Iphigenie. Things I missed which I shall continue kicking myself for: at the Met, the rest of the Jenufas, Helena, Don Carlo, and Meistersinger; at Lyric, the Cosi's.

That's right, I suck. But I intend to tackle this whole separate cities + lots of opera + homework thing with military precision next year...provided ATA keeps their cheapo MDW/LGA "greyhound of the skies" aloft, of course.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Woke up this morning...

RIP, CP visit the 'sphere from the afterlife now and then, ok?

Elektra-cherry: popped

A: dude
A: so
A: I know you've 'told' me about Elektra
A: but I don't know if you've really told me
A: it is out of control
J: have you been listening?
A: I am watching
J: which one?
A: eva marton
A: cheryl studer
A: i mean
A: I can imagine a different cast
A: but it doesn't really matter amidst finally understanding the awesomeness
J: yeah
J: and Eva Marton is sort of gresat in that
A: I just couldn't really get it until I watched it
A: how does one not end up killing oneself after seeing it live?
A: Poodles was the Elektra?
J: no no
A: oh ok
J: she was Klytamnestra
A: i was about to think she was like supernatural
J: well she may be
A: true dat
J: I am watching that Daphne Rubin Vega Fantine again
J: man that is a trainwreck
A: hehe
A: it's just so perfectly wretched
A: like, the platonic ideal of wretchedness
A: I feel like I might be tempted to boo that
J: "no wine untasted" is my favorite
A: I mean
A: it's still going on, right?
J: yeah but not with her
J: she was replaced with miss saigon
A: ah
A: that's for the best, really
J: I Dreamed a Dream I was a Phillipina in France
A: When hope was high
A: and coconuts were tasty
J: haha
A: my god
A: this opera is so insane
A: toronto was your first time seeing it live, right?
J: um yes
J: well
J: there was Tanglewood last year
J: but that was in concert
A: oh right
A: cheryl is doing a good job, requisite wobble notwithstanding
J: as Chrysothemis?
A: yeah
A: how do singers make it out of this bloody thing alive?
A: wait
A: who are E and Chysothemis going to kill?
J: Klyt and Aegisth
A: ah
A: sweet
J: Chrys keeps chickening out
A: yeah
A: I caught that
A: Cheryl Studer has a good opera chicken face
J: hah
J: is there a drum circle tonight?
A: not yet
A: they seem to have gone out
A: mind you, they were rehearsing when I left at 9 this AM
A: there seems to be one song they are very intent on
A: I could sing it for you
A: it's kind of catchy in an "oh god stop playing it next to my head" kind of way
A: after this, I'm going to watch the DVD of the Mazeppa recording we have
J: !!
J: man I wish I could come over
A: it would be good times
A: maybe I will have to figure out how to burn it and we can watch it next time
A: the guy who elektra has a big scene with
A: that's Aegisthus?
J: no that's Orestes
J: the baritone
A: but she doesn't get it?
A: ah
A: I see
A: O-reeeeeeeee-stes
A: Mme. Schumann-Heink, the Clytemnestra of the original production in Dresden: "I will never sing the role again. It was frightful. We were a set of mad women… There is nothing beyond ‘Elektra.’ We have lived and reached the furthest boundary in dramatic writing for the voice with Wagner. But Richard Strauss goes beyond him. His singing voices are lost. We have come to a full stop. I believe Strauss himself sees it." -- And, indeed, in his next opera, "Der Rosenkavalier," the composer shows far more consideration for the voice, and has produced a score in which the melodious elements are many.
J went idle at 10:16:30 PM.
A: dude
A: that thing is off the hook

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I know some of you actually lived this, but it jumped out at me during some idle youtubing. Man, that T-Hamps really has no problem singing like a caricature of himself, does he? I feel he's dangerously close to assuming the title of male Renaay, replete with best selling memoir entitled I Masturbate to the Sound of My Own Voice: Thomas Hampson and the Art of the Croony Face.

God forbid they luxury cast Pierrot in a Met DTS revival and we end up with this nonsense.