THE fan blog
Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
round minus
round plus

2 new CD boxes by DECCA

Decca released in October 2 box sets. One of them is dedicated to great soprano voices. Angela Gheorghiu is listed with two songs.

* Pace, pace mio Dio - on CD 1
* Mi chiamano Mimi - on CD 2
.
See below the tracklist. And if it convinces you, you can order it from Amazon.co.uk
.
Disc: 1
1. Un bel dì vedremo - Renée Fleming
2. Mesicku na nebi hlubokém - Anna Netrebko
3. "Porgi amor" - Sylvia McNair
4. Casta Diva - Cecilia Bartoli
5. Let the bright seraphim - Kiri Te Kanawa
6. Pace, pace, mio Dio - Angela Gheorghiu, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Riccardo Chailly
7. "Temerari! Sortite!" - "Come scoglio!" - "Ah, non partite" - Anne Sofie von Otter, Karita Mattila
8. "Signore, ascolta!" - Barbara Hendricks
9. "Voi che sapete" - Anne Sofie von Otter
10. La mamma morta - Montserrat Caballé
11. Di tanti palpiti - Elina Garanca
12. Endless pleasure... - Danielle de Niese
13. Adieu, notre petite table - Patricia Petibon
14. Chanson du Voile: "Au palais des fées" - Magdalena Kozená
15. "O zittre nicht" - Sumi Jo
.
Disc: 2
1. Aria: "Che fiero momento" - Sylvia McNair
2. Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben - Renée Fleming
3. "Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì" - Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Riccardo Chailly
4. Ah! non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore - Cecilia Bartoli, Juan Diego Flórez
5. Chanson du roi de Thule - Air des Bijoux - Anna Netrebko
6. "Depuis le jour" - Nicole Cabell
7. Senza mamma - Barbara Hendricks
8. Nuns' Chorus - Kiri Te Kanawa
9. "Dopo notte, atra e funesta" - Anne Sofie von Otter
10. "Ah, je veux vivre" - Patricia Petibon
11. Al mio core - Elina Garanca
12. "Lascia ch'io pianga" - Danielle de Niese
13. "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore" - Montserrat Caballé
14. "Ach, ich fühl's" - Karita Mattila
15. No.37 Aria "Da tempeste il legno infranto" - Magdalena Kozená
.
The other box has the Christmas feeling in it. This time not only soprano voices but also tenor and baritone

.
Again, two tracks for Angela.
* Salve regina - on CD 1
* Adeste fideles - on CD 2
.
See the complete tracklist below. Audio previewa are available on Amazon.co.uk
.
Disc 1
[1] O Holy night (4:14) Luciano Pavarotti
[2] Pie Jesu (Fauré: Requiem) (3:42) Cecilia Bartoli
[3] Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion (Handel: Messiah) (4:40) Renée Fleming
[4] Hark the herald angels sing (2:30) Leontyne Price
[5] Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent night) (3:38) Anne Sofie von Otter
[6] Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod) (2:45) José Carreras
[7] Wiegenlied (R> Strauss) (4:12) Anna Netrebko
[8] What child is this (2:13) Renata Tebaldi
[9] Panis angelicus (3:41) Plácido Domingo
[10] Salve Regina (Puccini) (3:00) Angela Gheorghiu
[11] Joy to the world (Handel) (1:54) Joan Sutherland
[12] How beautiful are the feet (Handel: Messiah) (2:22) Sylvia McNair
[13] The first Nowell (3:28) Roberto Alagna
[14] Goin' home (Dvorák) (5:39) Bryn Terfel
[15] Let the bright Seraphim (Handel: Samson) (5:52) Kiri Te Kanawa
.
Disc 2
[1] Ombra mai fu (Largo) (Handel) (2:42) Rolando Villazón
[2] Angels we have heard on high(1:29) Leontyne Price
[3] Laudate Dominum (Mozart) (4:55) Cecilia Bartoli
[4] Gesù bambino (4:28) Luciano Pavarotti
[5] Abends will ich schlafen gehn (Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel) (3:20) Renée Fleming & Susan Graham
[6] Noël (Fauré) (2:35) Anne Sofie von Otter
[7] Ave Maria) (Verdi: Otello) (4:53) Anna Netrebko
[8] O Tannenbaum (2:41) Roberto Alagna
[9] Good King Wenceslas (2:58) Joan Sutherland
[10] Agnus Dei (Bizet) (3:36) José Carreras
[11] Repentir (O divine Redeemer) (Gounod) (6:02) Kiri Te Kanawa
[12] Ave Maria (Schubert) (4:14) Renata Tebaldi
[13] Bist du bei mir (J.S. Bach) (3:45) Plácido Domingo
[14] Amazing grace (4:02) Bryn Terfel
[15] Adeste fideles (O come, all ye faithful) (3:39) Angela Gheorghiu
.

1 Post a comment:

Dressing Violeta



I saw Traviata many times. In different opera houses and various recordings. Each time Violeta's costumes were different. The dress varied throughout time, according to the physical type and presence on stage. Violeta's life changes during the opera and the costumes must reflect this change.
.
I thought of writing about this after reading an article published in the August issue of Opera News. Collen Hill (a fashion historian and the assistant curator of accessories at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York) explains some basic elements of the dress, still preserved nowadays. Because most productions of La Traviata are set close to the time of the opera's 1853 premiere, several basic elements of Violeta's gowns follow the fashionable silhouette of the mid-nineteenth century. Fortunately, these elements are often flattering to the singer; the bodice is always well-fitted and usually structured with interior boning. The sloping shoulder-line of the 1840s made women look diminutive — thereby making Violeta appear frailer — and allowed for a more overt display of décolletage in the evening. Additionally, bodices ending in a "V" shape lengthened the figure and enhanced — or even created — a desirably narrow waist. The contrast of full, bell-shaped skirts furthered this illusion. Many productions suggest that Violeta's skirt is held out by a cage crinoline (often called a hoop skirt), a device that replaced many heavy layers of petticoats, but one that was not introduced until the mid-1850s. Nevertheless, considering Violeta's need to glide lightly along the stage greeting guests, or even to crumple onto a sofa, it is no wonder that the costumer has often made this choice of undergarment.
.
The most beautiful dress is the one in the first act of the opera. There's a party and Violeta has to be stunning, sexy, glamorous. In most of the cases the dress is white: Angela Gheorghiu's dresses at ROH in 1994, at Met in 2006, at La Scala in 2007 and in Munich in 2009,
Renee Flemming's dress at the Met in 2003
Elisabeth Futral's dress in Los Angeles in 2006 (the production is set in 1920's and the designer of the dress is Marta Domingo).
.
But there are some variations. Maybe the most striking one is the act 1 dress worn by Anna Netrebko in the Traviata production from Salzburg in 2005: fitted, red silk damask cocktail dress with a full, knee-length skirt, designed by Dorothea Nicolai. In this particular production the red dress is the only colored attire, the rest of them being black and white.
.
The first scene of Act II offers an interesting challenge for the costume designer. Violetta's dress is meant to convey her eagerness to lead a simple, blissful country life with Alfredo, and the viewer expects a dramatic change in attire, from provocative ball gown to simple country frock. Interpretations of this look, however, are the most varied of all Violetta's costumes.
.
For example Anna Mofo's dress for the 1966 Met production: pale chiffon, multiple ruffles and flounces, long sleeves and high, delicately pin-tucked neckline made it the perfect gown to persuade Monsieur Germont that Violetta is virtuous. Or Angela's dress for the 2006 Met revival, which she especially requested. An obvious contrast in style is seen in two very different Act II dresses worn by Angela Gheorghiu — the first in the Met's 2006 revival of Franco Zeffirelli's production, the second just one year later at the Teatro alla Scala. The Met staging, which featured Gheorghiu in new costumes that were not part of the original production, presented Violeta in a dress with a delicately feminine appeal, not unlike the one from the Beaton production. It falls into the general silhouette of the late 1840s and, despite its striking pink fabric with an oversize floral motif, proves to be a relatively conventional choice. At La Scala, however, the same scene presents Gheorghiu in a simple chemise and a semi-fitted, boldly patterned robe. Visually stunning, it provides a sense of the ease of country life, but it is unlikely that even a former courtesan would greet guests in such immodest attire during the mid-nineteenth century.
.
Another suggestive dress appears in the 2007 Rome production.
.
For the Opera Night Gala at the Met in 2008 Renee Fleming is wearing a colorful dress for the first scene of the second act, signed by the famous designer Christian Lacroix. This dress doesn't show at all simplicity and it would have fitted better the second part of this act. Lacroix himself describes the dress as a "vast tea gown" of sweeping, multicolor pastel chiffon with feather "flowers" sprinkled along the bodice.
.
In to the second scene of Act II, Violeta is presented again as a courtesan, but her sense of desperation is obvious. The dress for Flora's party changes color. From pure white to deep black or red. In one of the productions Callas's dress is black.
Jarmila Novotná also wears a black dress for the 1940 Traviata at the Met, Angela Gheorghiu wears a red dress for the 2007 performance at La Scala and a black and red dress for the 2009 performace in Munich. And Christian Lacroix created a beautiful black and red silk dress for Renee Fleming
.
The dress for the third act has less variations but it tells Violeta's story. She lost all her possessions and all her glamour is now gone. This dress is supposed to show a small and fragile woman. One production, featuring Gheorghiu at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, in 1994, shows Violeta in the typical long white-cotton shift. However, designer Bob Crawley also includes in this scene a relic of her previously fashionable life: a cage crinoline, on a dress form, lingers in a shadowy corner of the bedroom.
The same kind of dress appears in the 2007 La Scala Traviata
.
What do you think? Would ROH and MET keep their traditional dresses for Violeta during the next season? As we saw, the costumes change also according to the fashion. More and more famous designers started their cooperation with opera houses around the world. How would the next dress for Violeta look like?
.

2 Post a comment:

Berlin - CANCELLED


ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


One piece of good news followed by bad news. And this is the third cancellation in a row in Berlin, after Traviata and Tosca this Spring.
.
Deutsche Oper Berlin says the event that should have taken place on February 27th 2010 was cancelled by Angela Gheorghiu. This performance (Le Villi by Puccini in concert) was never officilly confirmed on her website but Deutsche Oper already sold a lot of tickets. It will be replaced by a performace of Tosca, according to Deutsche Oper website.
.
This is the announcement. Angela Gheorghiu has cancelled her participation in the special concert on 27 February 2010, 7:30 PM. A performance of Tosca will be presented. If you already bought the ticket, you can find HERE more of what you have to do to get reimbursed.
.
From December 6th untill March 29th Angela's agenda is clear.
.

5 Post a comment:

Note by note - Steinway pianos


"Make no compromise in quality"
said Henry E. Steinway, the founder of Steinway&Sons
.
One of the men in the film says "it's easy to make something that looks like a piano, but getting it to sound like an instrument, that's difficult". This made me spend one hour to watch this and then to post it here. Now I understand why it's such a great achievement for a cultural institution to own a Steinway,
.
Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty, and investment value. Handcrafting each Steinway requires up to one full year – creating an instrument of rare quality and global renown. Not surprisingly, Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and countless pianists, composers, and performers around the world.
.
Two years ago I visited the Steinway Store in Boston, USA. And I got a full tour, not just what the regular shoppers see. There are many, many rooms full of pianos. Bigger, smaller, black, brown, white. There are tens of models. The biggest one is Concert Grand (with a length of 274cm and worth about 103.000$). The one below :)
.
.
Besides making pianos, Steinway Company also invests in education. They have a project called All-Steinway Schools, which demonstrates a commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best equipment possible for the study of music. That is why the only pianos owned by the institutions — from the practice room to the recital hall — are designed by Steinway & Sons.
.
I found an interesting documentary on YouTube on how these amazing pianos are made. There are 10 parts and if you watch all of them you'll be tempted to buy a piano.
.
There's lots of Lang Lang included!
.
Note By Note is a feature-length independent documentary that follows the creation of a Steinway concert grand, #L1037— from forest floor to concert hall. It explores the relationship between musician and instrument, chronicles the manufacturing process, and illustrates what makes each Steinway unique in this age of mass production. From the factory floor in Queens to Steinway Hall in Manhattan, each pianos journey is complex— spanning 12 months, 12,000 parts, 450 craftsmen, and countless hours of fine-tuned labor. Filmed in key Steinway locations—the factory, Steinways reserved Bank, and private auditions—Note By Note is a loving celebration of not just craftsmanship, but of a dying breed of person who is deeply connected to working by hand. In the end, this is an ode to the most unexpected, and perhaps ironic, of unsung heroes. It reminds us how extraordinary the dialogue can be between an artist and an instrument — crafted out of human hands but borne of the materials of nature.
.
Featuring interviews and performances with a number of world-class artists including Chinese phenom Lang Lang, Hélène Grimaud, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, contemporary singer Harry Connick, Jr. and jazz greats Hank Jones, Marcus Roberts, Kenny Barron and Bill Charlap.
.





















.

1 Post a comment:

Angela at 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala

.
The Kennedy Center Honors began in 1978, seven years after the living memorial to President Kennedy opened on the banks of the Potomac in the nation's capital. Since then, the kudos have taken on the aura of the country's highest tribute to artists.
.
Appropriately enough, Richard Rodgers – the first person to achieve the awards grand slam by winning all four big showbiz kudos (Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony) – was among the first five artists inducted into this hall of fame. (The others were opera pioneer Marian Anderson, dancer extraordinaire Fred Astaire, choreographer George Balanchine, and pianist Arthur Rubenstein.) Since then, there have been another 158 artists honored (usually five per year but occasionally six, such as in 2008)
.
.
The Kennedy Center has announced the five performers to be feted at the upcoming 32st edition of its honors: 19-time Grammy-winning rocker Bruce Springsteen, two-time Oscar acting champ Robert De Niro, grand slam awards winner Mel Brooks, jazz musician Dave Brubeck, and opera diva Grace Bumbry. More information HERE.
.
Angela Gheorghiu will perform in the Gala that will take place on December 6th in Washington DC. Her participation is already confirmed on her official site. For the moment the program of the Gala is not available. This event is By Invitation Only
.
The President and Mrs. Obama will receive the Honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominate them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the gala performance. The 2009 Kennedy Center Honors Gala concludes with a supper dance in the Grand Foyer.
.
The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network for the 32nd consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Tuesday, December 29 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).
.

0 Post a comment:

Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux

.
Due to some travelling and lack of internet connection, this post comes with a delay of a few days. But it's better now than never, so here it is. It's one of the solo pieces during the first part of the concert at Royal Festival Hall in London on November 10th. It was uploaded on YouTube by e2ul. He might have more videos... hopefully.
.
Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux from El Cid by Massenet


.

7 Post a comment:

Culture Minute by The Telegraph

It's a Telegraph.co.uk video released sometimes between November 3rd and November 10th and the producer is obviously fan of another soprano. I didn't get the point for this. It's more like an unrequested piece of advice if any was needed after so many comments lately.
.
The video can't be enbedded so you can see it online HERE.
.

3 Post a comment:

Dear Santa... what do you think of Salzbug in August?

.
I've been a good girl and I hope you'll read this. As there's not too much time left till Christmas, this is my first letter to you.
.
The program for Salzburger Festspiele was published. I read it several times from beginning to end. A lot of blogs related to opera and classical music posted news. There are blogs dedicated to particular opera singers that announced that thier favourites will be there. Today in the office I took a break and started daydreaming. What if I could have one month holiday and spend it all in Salzburg? It's a cultural marathon. It's impossible to choose. Everything listed in the program is a MUST SEE.
.
See for yourselves HERE. There are three sections: OPERA, CONCERT and DRAMA.
.
In no particular order:
*Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala in Romeo and Juliette
*Rolando Villazon in recital - Helene Grimaud at the piano
*Phillipe Jaroussky in recital
*Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky
*Erwin Schrott and Alaxandra Kurzak in Don Giovanni
*Joyce di Donato, Edita Gruberova, Marcello Giordani and Ferrucio Furlanetto in Norma
*Evgeny Kissin in recital
*Vienna Philharmonic / Anne Sophie Mutter / Richardo Chailly
*Karita Matilla with Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle
*Nina Stemme with Swedish Chamber Orchestra
*Royal Concertgebouw
*Diana Damrau
*Jonas Kaufmann in recital - Helmut Deutsch at the piano
.
In 2010 there are 15 different subscription possibilities. 7 subscription series offer particularly attractive performances on five consecutive days. Performances in the series Kontinent Rihm, Brahms-Szenen, Schubert – Die Liedzyklen, Optional Subscription Chopin/Schumann, Young Directors Project and Dichter zu Gast are thematically coordinated. All orders are requested by January 11, 2010. If you don't want to use the online booking service, tickets can also be ordered by fax.
.
So you see, Santa, how can you say NO to something like this? Don't reply now. Take your time. Think about it. As I said, this won't be my only letter to you this season. There are plenty of amazing cultural events taking place next year.
.

0 Post a comment:

3 photos from Royal Festival Hall concert

Thank you very much to Martine for allowing me to post the photos. Everybody will enjoy them as much as I do.
.
They were taken during and after the concert, at the signing session.
.
.

3 Post a comment:

Liceu is YouTube-ing

.
Counting on the fact that everybody can have a bad evening and opinions reagarding performances are different most of the times, let's move on. As Dr Arizona Robbins says in the end of an episode of Grey's Anatomy (episode 8, season 6)
Good dreams, good dreams here to stay
Bad dreams, bad dreams go away
.
Online comunities become more and more important in spreading the news. You meet new people, find out what's going on in the world without any effort. I'm talking here about Facebook and YouTube. Legal or not, YouTube revelas hidden treasures every day.
.
Today I became friend of a friend on Facebook. That new friend had a link on his page. A link to YouTube. I clicked on it and in a matter of seconds I was transfered to Grand Teatre de Liceu Channel. A lot of companies have such a Channel. San Francisco Opera has one. EMI and Deutsche Gramophon have one. And if you subscribe, each time you log on to YouTube there are all the new videos posted by them. But... back to Liceu Channel.
.
Surfing inside (and there are hundreds of high quality videos from 1999 to present - recitals, concerts, operas, ballets) I found a video that I haven't seen before. It's from L'Elisir D'Amore, in June 2005, part of 2004-2005 season. With Angela Gheorghiu as Adina and Giuseppe Filianoti as Nemorino. This fragment is from act II, "Prendi, per me sie libero". Lovely, isn't it?
.
The press had only nice wards to say about it. El Periodico says Angela Gheorghiu está construyendo una sólida historia de amor con el Liceu. The article isn't online anymore, but a small fragment can be read HERE.
.


.

4 Post a comment:

The Independent strikes

.
Auch... It hurts!
.
This is the second review of the concert that I found. Edward Seckerson is bitter, but tells the truth. He only gives 2 stars for this concert. Reading this article I realized that the other one was softer. These seem to be the words of a person who enjoys Angela's music but feels diappointed after this concert. Sorry, but when you have paid up to £75 to see Gheorghiu in concert you don't expect her to be sharing the evening with a decidedly average singing partner. A duet or two, perhaps, but not a two-way split of everything on offer. One might applaud her generosity in showcasing a fellow Romanian but, frankly, not at our expense. You can read the entire article HERE.
.
.
.
Neil Fisher in The Times has something to say too about this concert at Royal Festival Hall and gives it 3 stars. At this point many people tend to compare any tenor that Angela sings with with Roberto. This will pass in time. Hard not to miss Alagna, particularly during Mascagni’s Cherry Duet, once a set piece for “Bob and Ange”, or when Manea stiffly sang an aria from Gounod’s Faust — one of Alagna’s best roles. The article is HERE.
.
All three reviewers have ideas in common: they would have liked to listen to more Angela and less Marius or orchestra, they would have appreciated better chosen outfits (is Vegas her next stop?... says Mr Fisher) and they all criticised the young tenor. I give him credit. I saw him twice at the opera in the past month. La Boheme and Macbeth. He is good but for sure there's plenty of place for better. And if he wants to join that "high society" of opera and have good reviews he must practice, practice, practice. He signed with IMG Arsits now so I wish him good luck.
.
This review on Times Online says that there were 4 encores:
*O mio babbino caro
*Non ti scordar di me
*Granada
*Brindisi
.

1 Post a comment:

A game of 3 halves



I really hope this is the first and last time I read this kind of review regarding one of Angela's concert. First I thought it's a mean article. It isn't. The author simply describes what he saw there. You can read it HERE. It is written by Adam Sweeting and published on The Arts Desk
.
Everthing starts from the question Can Angela Gheorghiu burn as brightly without Roberto Alagna? Yes, she can. I want to think that in a couple of months everything will change and her events will be sold out again.
.
From the review we also find out that in Verdi's "Parigi, o cara" she was modestly convincing but far from heartrending... and that Marius Manea radiated as much charisma as a row of deck chairs... And it goes on and on about the lack of chemistry, about too many orchestra pieces and less vocal...
.
According to the author of the article the best part was the ending, the encores: O, mio babbino caro, Granada and Libiamo. This was a game of three halves, and the last of them should have shown up much earlier. This was just an opinion. I'm looking for some more.
.
After the changing of the tenor and shortening of the program I sort of foresee this unpleasant comment. What I know for sure is that things must change quickly. Concerts from time to time are not enough and what happened at Royal Festival Hall proves it. The audience, me included, would like to see her in operas rather than concerts. They are good for a change but we'll all keep on fighting for tickets and travelling for operas. And there's something else I noticed lately. People tend to be more selective. They check the program attentively. Everything matters: the soloists, the orchestra, conductor, the pieces. Especially in cities like London, Vienna, Paris, where opera stars go to sing several times a year. I said it before, sadly, the program for RFH made me stay home.
.
I feel sorry. Sorrow. I keep repeating...it shouldn't be like this... it shouldn't be like this... Angela is among the best and she must stay there.
.

9 Post a comment:

Small changes in program for London concert

.
There are some small changes in the program published on the Royal Festival Hall WEBSITE. The differences are marked in green both on new and old program. There are two pieces removed: Charles Gounod: Va! Je t'ai pardonne (Romeo et Juliette) and Francesco Cilea: Lamento di Federico (L'Arlesiana) - removed and one piece replaced: Morro, ma prima in grazie (Un ballo in maschera) instead of Pace, pace mio Dio
.
There are in total:
*59 minutes of concert
*21 minutes - orchestra
*10 minutes - Angela alone - 2 arias
*8 minutes - Marius alone - 2 arias
*20 minutes - Angela and Marius - 4 duets
.
The new program
.
Leonard Bernstein: Candide - Overture 4'
Giuseppe Verdi: Parigi, o cara (La Traviata) Angela Gheorghiu & Marius Manea 4’
Jules Massenet: Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux (Le Cid) Angela Gheorghiu 6’
Charles Gounod: Salut! Demeure chaste et pure (Faust) Marius Manea 5'
Georges Bizet: Intermezzo from L'arlesienne Suite No.2 3'
Georges Bizet: Farandole from L'arlesienne Suite No.2 4'
Gaetano Donizetti: Caro elisir (L'elisir d'amore) Angela Gheorghiu & Marius Manea 3’
Interval
Pietro Mascagni: Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana 3'
Pietro Mascagni: Cherry duet (L'amico Fritz) Angela Gheorghiu & Marius Manea 9’
Giuseppe Verdi: Quando le sere al placido (Luisa Miller) Marius Manea 3’
Giuseppe Verdi: Overture, La forza del destino 7'
Giuseppe Verdi: Morro, ma prima in grazie (Un ballo in maschera) Angela Gheorghiu 4' - replaced Pace, pace mio Dio
Giacomo Puccini: O soave fanciulla (La Boheme) Angela Gheorghiu & Marius Manea 4'
.
The old program
.
Leonard Bernstein: Candide - Overture
Giuseppe Verdi: Parigi, o cara (La Traviata)
Jules Massenet: Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux (Le Cid)
Charles Gounod: Salut! Demeure chaste et pure (Faust)
Georges Bizet: Intermezzo from L'arlesienne Suite No.2
Georges Bizet: Farandole from L'arlesienne Suite No.2
Charles Gounod: Va! Je t'ai pardonne (Romeo et Juliette) - removed
Gaetano Donizetti: Caro elisir (L'elisir d'amore)
Interval
Pietro Mascagni: Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana
Pietro Mascagni: Cherry duet (L'amico Fritz)
Francesco Cilea: Lamento di Federico (L'Arlesiana) - removed
Giuseppe Verdi: Quando le sere al placido (Luisa Miller)
Giuseppe Verdi: Overture, La forza del destino
Giuseppe Verdi: Pace, pace mio Dio! (La Forza del destino) - replaced
Giacomo Puccini: O soave fanciulla (La Boheme)
.
Philharmonia Orchestra
Ion Marin conductor
Angela Gheorghiu soprano
Marius Manea tenor

0 Post a comment:

Colors...

A trip to the mountains last weekend caused another photo shoot. Along the way there was an explosion of colors. From red to yellow, orange, green, purple...a delight. But later on, as I got up to Poiana Brasov, it started to snow. Winter was here. But not an angry one. There was a soft, white blanket covering the fir trees. It was beautiful. During those days I experienced two seasons.
.
I tried to find a song that would match the pictures. And listening to different albums I got to this one. It's Elegie by Massenet. The feeling is the right one. at least for me. "Triste et tres lent" as the composer wrote on the score.
.
You can read the lyrics HERE or play the piano if you have one around.
.
Music: Jules Massenet
Lyrics: Louis Gallet
.

.

.

2 Post a comment:

The black market of the Opera

.
Almost each product at some point has a black market. Lately I noticed that opera tickets get sold on such websites. It's an "official" black market. There are people who know the value of the tickets (meaning they know who's performing, how difficult it is to buy tickets), they buy many tickets when they get the chance and after a while, when the performance is sold out, they start selling the tickets. This is not nice or fair for those who really want to attend but it's extremely profitable. Just one example. The tickets for the New Year's Eve concert in Vienna can't be bought like regular tickets. You have to put your name on a list and at the end of January there's a drawing. Those who are chosen are allowed to buy the tickets. I saw a couple of tickets for sale on a website like this one last year. Guess how much the seller was asking for one ticket... 8000 euro! There is no limit for the price of the tickets. For sure there are people willing to pay these huge amounts of money. Otherwise the sellers wouldn't set this enormous prices.
.
There are some opera singers that sell the performance instantly. In 10 minutes or less there are no tickets available. The day the tickets go on sale there are long online queues. Thousands of people are waiting patientely to buy one ticket.
.
In this case, somebody is trying to sell tickets for Adriana Lecouvreur on November 30th 2010. The introduction is bombastic: The Royal Opera House in London, United Kingdom, is hosting a spectacular music event: Angela Gheorghiu will be playing a live concert on 30-11-2010!. And goes on: it is now the time and the place to order your Angela Gheorghiu Royal Opera House tickets. The event is not on sale. It won't be on sale until June or July next year. And it's not even the premiere. It's the fourth performance in the run. These are the proper words to persuade you to spend double the real value of the ticket: 359 UK pounds for "category 1 ticket" and 292 UK pounds for "category 2 tickets". Only that the seller forgot to mention the face value. Maybe because he/she doesn't know it. And he/she doesn't know that the Royal Opera House has names for each category... And one more thing. You are allowed to buy up to 60 tickets for each category. How in the world is one person able to buy 120 tickets from the Royal Opera House for a performance with Angela Gheorghiu? Nobody. They're just trying. If it works, lucky them.
.
This is how some people earn money. They know as well as we know that the event will be sold out very quickly and it would be murder to get a ticket. But it's better to choose the official way. Using these kind of websites is no guarantee that you'll actually get the ticket. You'll be asked to put the credit card details, the credit card will be charged and you'll start waiting for the tickets. Which might not come. If you still want to use this kind of websites, take some time and read the "terms and conditions" section.
.
I got angry when I saw this because I know how difficult it might be to buy opera tickets. Consider it a warning!
.
I wrote this about one week ago and today, before posting it, I checked that website again to see if anything changed. There are even more performances on sale. All Adriana Lecuvreour run, the Traviatas at the ROH, the concert at the Royal Festival Hall and the concert in Berlin.

.

5 Post a comment:

Royal Festival Hall - Angela and more

.
November 10th 2009 - Angela Gheorghiu
.
The program for the concet on November 10th is announced on the web site of Royal Festival Hall.
.
Leonard Bernstein: Candide - Overture
Giuseppe Verdi: Parigi, o cara (La Traviata)
Jules Massenet: Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux (Le Cid)
Charles Gounod: Salut! Demeure chaste et pure (Faust)
Georges Bizet: Intermezzo from L'arlesienne Suite No.2
Georges Bizet: Farandole from L'arlesienne Suite No.2
Charles Gounod: Va! Je t'ai pardonne (Romeo et Juliette)
Gaetano Donizetti: Caro elisir (L'elisir d'amore)
Interval
Pietro Mascagni: Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana
Pietro Mascagni: Cherry duet (L'amico Fritz)
Francesco Cilea: Lamento di Federico (L'Arlesiana)
Giuseppe Verdi: Quando le sere al placido (Luisa Miller)
Giuseppe Verdi: Overture, La forza del destino
Giuseppe Verdi: Pace, pace mio Dio! (La Forza del destino)
Giacomo Puccini: O soave fanciulla (La Boheme)
.
Philharmonia Orchestra
Ion Marin conductor
Angela Gheorghiu soprano
Marius Manea tenor
.
There is an ARTICLE (read it here) written by Rupert Christiansen and published on telegraph.co.uk. Among other things related to Angela's personal and professional life, he says She returns to London again – fingers crossed – on November 10 for a concert of arias at the Royal Festival Hall, postponed from last month when she was suffering from “serious influenza”. A glance at the website indicates plenty of seats available: could her fans be getting fed up with her antics?.
.
Two things here. "Fingers crossed" and "antics". Everytime I buy a ticket to see her I keep up in mind that she might not come. This happened several times to me and it's better to be prepared. I feel sorry that this "wanting to listen to her live" tends to become a lottery, a matter of luck or bad luck. You know that "The Boy who Cried "Wolf". It's almost the same. At some point people start waiting till last minute to buy tickets to be sure that the concert will take place. I'll keep my fingers crossed too for the future performances.
.
Regarding the "antics", I guess Mr Christiansen refers to the fact that there are the same arias over and over again. And he's somehow right. Not only almost the same arias, but the same tenor. This is just part of the reason why I returned my ticket. The main reason was that it's impossible to travel to London during the week. The previous date was fine, but... Maybe that's why there are so many seats available. On the other hand some variation in the program would be fine with everybody. One correction though. FANS will never get fed up with these songs. For me it's more a matter of affording to travel.
.
If anybody goes to the concert, please tell me how it was. Think that on that day I'll be very, very sad not being able to jump a plane and come to London.
.
If you happen to be in London on those precise dates, don't hesitate to go see Bryn Terfel, Anna Netrebko&Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Roberto Alagna. All these concerts are part of International Voices 2009/2010:
.

November 11th - Bryn Terfel
.
Sinfonia Cymru
Gareth Jones conductor
Bryn Terfel baritone
London Welsh Chorale
.
.
January 18th - Anna Netrebko and Dimitri Hvorostovsky

.
Philharmonia Orchestra
.
Anna Netrebko and Dmitri Hvorostovsky perform favourite songs from the French, Italian and Russian operatic repertoire.
.

February 9th - Roberto Alagna
.
Raised on the musical heritage of his Sicilian parents, world-renowned tenor Roberto Alagna returns to his roots, accompanied by a group of hand-picked instrumentalists. They perform an irresistible programme of Sicily's traditional tarantellas, waltzes and lullabies with heartfelt authenticity, including Sicilian favourites ‘Abballati’, ‘Sicilia Bedda’, ‘Ciuri, Ciuri’ and ‘Parla più piano’, the love theme of legendary Coppola film trilogy The Godfather.
.
The previous time I was in London I found this street. It's very close to Russell Square. It's short and there are several coffee shops there. I immediately thought of Roberto and his album.
.
.

8 Post a comment:

"Surprize, surprize" from 2007

.
A few days ago I posted a video from this Romanian TV Show and said I would translate it. Somebody else did it insted. The text was added on the video, as subtitles. So it's easier for everybody to understand what they are saying. Angela and Virginia Zeani met on May 7th 2007, this being a total surprise for Angela. Her emotions are overwhelming. I quote from the description of the video, uploaded on YouTube by CharlotteinWeimar, who does a great job in promoting the activity of Mrs Zeani.
.
Angela Gheorghiu was invited on a Romanian television show "Surprize, surprize", to receive an award. But the real surprise was that the whole reason for the show was for her to meet her lifelong idol, inspiration and role model the peerless Virginia Zeani. In this highly emotional clip the two great sopranos embrace with joy and Angela curtseys to Virginia in genuine veneration.
.
And she goes on: Thank you Angela for helping to bring Virginia Zeani's magnificent singing to a wider public.
.
Please visit her YouTube Channel for many, many videos with Virginia Zeani. Among others, you'll find these videos:
.
Virginia Zeani and Elena Cernei - Aida - duet from act II

.
Virginia Zeani - Traviata - Addio del Pasato. This is a very sad but beautiful aria. And I'll keep trying to listen to it sung by Angela. Live. Someday. Somewhere in this big world.


.

0 Post a comment:

I never sing secretly!

.
Back to Singapore - a new interview

When I thought it's becoming part of the past somebody published another interview related to the concert in Singapore, during the Sun Festival. Ezra S.T. published two articles in the online edition of The Jakarta Post, a newspaper from Indonesia.
.
First of them is an interview with Angela. She talkes a little bit about her future project, Adriana Lecouvreur at the Royal Opera House next season and more about recording Madama Butterfly. She said "my next role is Adriana". Well... what about Carmen at the Met?!?
You can read the interview on the newspaper's website or below.
.
It is not a daily privilege for us to have the opportunity watching great soprano performance in this region. This year, we had a chance to have some great international artists performing at the Singapore Sun Festival. One of them is Angela Gheorghiu - a soprano diva widely known for her singing power, great acts on stage and also for being unpredictable. Below is a brief talk with Angela before the opera gala.
It has been quite a long way since your first time singing Grieg's "Solveig's Song" until becoming who you are now: the Diva of Opera. Do you ever think to do something if you are not doing opera? Never ever! Never have I believed *not even a second* that I could do something else or that I could have become anybody else than an opera singer or "the Diva of Opera", as you are calling me. I only know that I was born with a "voice" and that I started studying since I was 14. It was not easy during the most awful communist dictatorship in Romania. But my family, my professors and the Romanian public have always given me the power to believe in my future. I actually started my career when I was in school.
.
Do you have any other particular character or opera that you really love to play? My next role will be Adriana Lecouvreur in a new production in the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. The role is fascinating! Adriana is an artist like me, like Tosca... I think I know very well what this means. But I am just beginning a tour with a lot of concerts. I do like concerts very much. In Singapore I will be accompanied by the tenor Marius Manea, whom I discovered in Romania, "the country of great sopranos".
.
Congratulations on the launching of your new CD Madame Butterfly. Could you share a bit the story behind this recording? I discovered tenor Jonas Kaufmann while he was still singing at the Zurich Opera. My manager Jack Mastroianni showed me a DVD with the opera "Nina Pazza Per Amore" and he impressed me. I was actually looking for a tenor in two of my productions: for "La Rondine" in Covent Garden and "La Traviata" at the MET. Then I recommended him to these theaters, later even to La Scala in Milan and they accepted him. He made incredible debuts everywhere, having real success, being a very gifted and complex artist. Then I had the idea of recording an integral opera in studio together with Jonas. At the beginning the people from EMI Classics were suspicious, but now everybody thanks me for my choice and is very pleased. I am very proud of him and I do think that this "Madame Butterfly", conducted by my good friend and by the great conductor of our times Tony Pappano, is one of the most spectacular discographic achievements in the last years, together with all the records realized with DECCA and Emi Classics with "the tenor of our times", Roberto Alagna.
.
Is this your first time visiting Singapore? Had I come to Singapore earlier you would have heard about it. I never sing secretly.
.
The other article, entitled "Three days of fantastic classics" is a review of the festival with several details about the Gala Concert with Angela Gheorghiu and Marius Manea.
.
For the opera gala finale to the classical music in this year's festival, IMG Artists (the event organizer) decided to host the controversial diva soprano Angela Gheorghiu. This Romanian superstar became an overnight sensation when she portrayed the role of Violetta from Verdi's famous La Traviata, in 1994 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the UK. Known as a singer who can sing with the power of a hurricane, Angela's voice is so remarkable that brought Sir Georg Solti to tears.
.
Chosen as the star of the opera gala this year, Angela was accompanied by fellow Romanian tenor Marius Manea, as well as The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Italian conductor Paolo Olmi.
.
Though we knew little about tenor Marius Manea, he blew us away with his solos and duets with Angela. In particular, during his aria "Quando Le Sere Al Placido" from Verdi's Luisa Miller, Marius showed us his great vocal technique as well as his range in singing.
.
For a Romanian singer, he has an Italian sound, and uses the technique similar to the late Pavarotti and Domingo.
.
Angela herself gave a remarkable stage performance as Cio-Cio-San singing Puccini's timeless "Un Bel Di Vedremo" from Madame Butterfly that was truly moving and heartfelt. The opera gala was supposed to end with another of Puccini's lovely duets; "O Suave Fanciulla" from La Boheme, but the standing ovation was nonstop and demanded more. And, guess what: The encore came not only one or twice, but five times! It was almost like a third session instead of an encore.
.
The Singapore Sun Festival 2009 opera gala finally ended with its last encore that followed the tradition of great opera highlight concerts by performing "Libiamo", an aria from Verdi's La Traviata, also known as "The Champagne Song".
.

1 Post a comment: