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

Verona - Traviata - Cura

.
I made a new discovery. When I say "discovery" I mean pictures attached to a performance.
.
Back in 2003. There was a performace (was it the only one? Arena di Verona doesn't have an archive) during the Opera festival that takes place in Verona every year. According to the person who was there and whose thoughts you can read HERE, it was "a semi-scenic version". Jose Cura and Angela Gheorghiu portrayed Violetta and Alfredo in that open air, marvelous venue.
.
Violetta Valéry - Angela Gheorghiu
Alfredo Germont - José Cura
Flora Bervoix - Milena Josipovic
Annina - Loredana Bigi
Giorgio Germont - Ambrogio Maestri
Gastone de Letorières - Mauro Buffoli
Baron Douphol - Graziano Polidori
Marquis of Obigny - Alessandro Calamai
Doctor Grenvil - Enrico Iori
Giuseppe - Mario Guggia
Daniel Oren, conductor
.
All the pictures belong to http://www.operaduetsphotos.com/
.


.

8 Post a comment:

More rumours from the Met - no more Tosca

Sieglinde updated the BLOG today. There's nothing confirmed by the MET, but curious minds can have an idea about the next seasons.
.
There are a lot of changes from the previous posts and I'll point out some of them:
.
2010 - 2011
* Angela is no longer listed in the cast for Tosca. The part will be shared by Sondra Radvanovsky and Violeta Urmana. But she's still in Romeo and Juliette.
* Don Carlo's Elisabetta will be Marina Poplavskaya, replacing Patricia Racette
* La Traviata will see Marina Poplavskaya as Violetta, Matthew Polenzani and Francesco Meli as Alfredo. Rolando Villazon is out.
* John Adams will conduct his Nixon in China in his Met debut
* Armida will be Renee Fleming again
* Joyce DiDonato will be Isolier in Le Comte Ory (Juan Diego Florez is still there)
* Wozzeck will witness Waltraud Meier's Marie (in place of Katarina Dalayman)
* For Orfeo ed Euridice, Kate Royal will be Euridice in her Met debut
.
2011 - 2012
* Turandot and La Rondine have been nixed
* La Traviata has been added to the list of operas, with Natalie Dessay as Violetta
* Piotr Beczala replaces Rolando Villazon in the roster of the new production of Manon
* Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin will lead the Met's new Faust; Alexei Markov will return as Valentin (Rene Pape has been dropped from the list). Angela and Jonass are still in.
* New production, Enchanted Island. Stars will include Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, and Placido Domingo.
.
The rest of the cahanges can be read on Sieglinde's Diaries.
.
LOS ANGELES OPERA (whose general director is Placido Domingo) announced the new season too. See the article published today in Los Angeles Times. But there are less productions and less performances than last season. "The new season will open on Sept. 23 with the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s “Il Postino,” based on the 1994 Italian film as well as the earlier novel by Antonio Skármeta. will feature tenor Charles Castronovo in the title role of the postman smitten with the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Domingo will be the Chilean poet. The Spanish-language production - which will travel to Paris, Vienna and Cincinnati -- will include the work of video artist Philip Bussmann"
There will be also some recitals: bass René Pape (Jan. 15), baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Feb. 10) and tenor Jonas Kaufmann (March 11).
.

0 Post a comment:

Rumours.... from the Met

.
People like to talk a lot. And to write a lot. Especially now when the opera houses around the world are ready to release the 2010 - 2011 season. What are the new productions? Who's singing? Who's directing this and that?
.
For the moment only a few opera houses made the new season public:
* San Francisco Opera. here we have Placido Domingo in Cyrano de Bergerac, The Ring Cycle
* Welsh National Opera
* Canadian Opera
* Gran Teatro de Liceu Barcelona – a promo video
.
People are waiting for the announcements of the Royal Opera House and Metropolitan. Nothing yet about ROH, but a lot of stuff about MET. Remember, everything is still a rumour unless confirmed. Nevertheless, it’s interesting reading. La Cieca on her BLOG published the entire season at the Met, day by day. The list was removed but later on, in a comment, somebody put it again. If you want to read it, go HERE and scroll down. Here there are only the operas, but no casts. No problem, somebody else took care of the casts. Sieglinde’s Diaries reveals the approximate casts (page updated last fall). I’ll just mention a few things I’m interested in. And when the season is published (in February, according to some well informed people) we’ll see if they were right.
.
So, let’s see what the two sources say about Angela’s appearances.

TOSCA
There are two series.
* First one starts on January 10th 2011. 6 performanaces, the last one on January 29th.
* The second one starts on March 25th, has also 6 performances and ends on April 16th.
The cast should be: Violeta Urmana/Angela Gheorghiu, Salvatore Licitra, Falk Struckmann

ROMEO et JULIETTE
It starts on March 3rd 2011, it has 7 performances and ends on March 26th.
The supposed cast: Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala (he is singing Romeo in Salzburg during the Festival, in August 2010), Julie Boulianne (Stephano).

According to these two, IF she does Tosca, it should be the first run, in January, followed by R&J in March. But who knows?
.
Sieglinde doesn’t stop to the 2010-2011 season and goes on. Good for us. What do we find out? This:
2011 – 2012
FAUST, a new production, with Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann (heard before the rumour of this Faust), Rene Pape
LA RONDINE, with Anglea but no other name in the cast. Also no date.
.
There are also some certainties in this list, the new productions:
* Das Reihngold – Opening night, September 27th – new production premiere (Stephanie Blythe, Bryn Terfel)
* Boris Godunov – October 11th – new production premiere (Rene Pape)
* Don Carlo – November 22nd – new, co-production with ROH (Patricia Racette, Sonia Ganassi, Massimo Giordano, Simon Keenlyside, Ferruccio Furlanetto)
* La Traviata – December 31st – New Year’s Eve Gala – new production (Marina Poplavskaya, Rolando Villazon/Francesco Meli)
* Nixon in China – February 2nd – Met Opera premiere (James Maddalena)
* Le Comte Ory – March 24th – Met Opera premiere (Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Florez
* Die Walkure – April 22nd – New production premiere (Deborah Voigt, Stephanie Blythe, Jonas Kaufmann/Simon O'Neill, Bryn Terfel)
.
And the rest of the program includes: Simon Boccanegra with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ariadne auf Naxos, La Boheme, Capriccio with Renee Fleming, Carmen, Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Cosi fan tutte, Don Pasquale with Anna Netrebko, La fanciulla del West, Lucia di Lammermour, Pelleas et Melisande, The Queen of Spades, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, Wozeck, Armida, Iphigenie en Tauride with Placido Domingo and Orfeo ed Euridice. But you can read all about them on the blog I mentioned above.

0 Post a comment:

New feature - chart of appearances

I thought of putting in a chart all the appearances I know about for 2010. There are 4 titles for the moment: Traviata, Carmen, Simon Boccanegra and Adriana Lecuvreur. But in between there are a lot of empty slots. As it happened last year, some concerts will be scheduled. I'm sorry that they are not already annonced because as everybody knows, last minute travelling tends to get expensive. I'll see what I can do when time comes.
.
There are also a lot of rumours concerning the next season. I'll talk about them this week, in another post.
.
Click on the photo below to go to the chart. If you find out something I don't know, please share. From now on this chart can be found on the left side of the blog. To get to it, please do the same thing as here: click on the photo.
.
.

4 Post a comment:

Another Angela

.
Broadway’s very first revival of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC features the star-power of two leading ladies—one, an Oscar winner; the other, a five-time Tony winner—the vision of a three-time Tony-winning director, and the romantic magic of a musical comedy masterpiece that won six Tonys, including Best Musical. More about it on its official website.
.
Does the face seem familiar? Remember J.B. Fletcher? I admire Angela Lansbury very much. About 20 years ago cable tv was new in my country. There was an Italian station called Rai Uno that broadcasted "Murder She Wrote" every day. Mrs Lansbury was Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer that solved mysteries. And I used to watch it. I still watch it.
.

.
Born on October 16th 1925 in London (yes, she's 84 and still acting) she was not only JB Fletcher in that 8 season TV series. She won 5 Tonys and performed in 13 musicals. You can listen to her voice in different Disney cartoons (Beauty and the Beast, Anastacia) and she was cast in hundreds of films for the big screen or tv. See HERE.
.
The musical opened on Broadway in December and it's a success. The Hollywood Reporter says "A triumphant Broadway debut by Zeta-Jones! A revelation". The New York Observer adds "Ms. Lansbury gets many of the best lines in Hugh Wheeler’s funny and sometimes disconcertingly ribald book, and she delivers them spectacularly.". The tickets are expensive. But you don't see every day these two ladies singing together. Usually people have misconceptions regarding musicals. I say you should give it a try. It's a different genre and a lot of special skills are needed in order to perform it perfectly.
.
If nothing changes, I'll go see it in April. In fact I call this month "my Angelas month". Again, if nothing changes.
.
Below there's the trailer of the production. Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta Jones, in two of the best moments of the musical, Liasons and Send In the Clowns.


.
And an interview with both ladies for ABC morning show.



.

0 Post a comment:

Puccini: opera arias - EDIT


EDIT
.
I did some more research. I only knew about 1 CD version of this album, the one below. But there is another one, a 2 CD version. The first CD has 17 tracks and the second CD comes as bonus. It only has one track, Vissi D'arte. I found it on the Japanese Amazon. It says there it was released in 2004 and it's an import from USA.
.
Also on Japanese Amazon there is a EMI Japan version of the same CD (use Google translate), released an year after, in 2005. And it has 18 tracks, Vissi D'Arte being the last one. In conclusion, there's nothing new besides the cover. But it's very good for those who didn't buy it back then.
________________________________________________
It's a previous CD with a new cover and one more song added, Vissi D'arte from Tosca. It was first released in 2006 named Puccini. More or less the same tracks can be found on a third CD, My Puccini, the one released in 2008.
.
Puccini: opera arias
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano "Giuseppe Verdi"
Conductor: Anton Coppola
.
Release dates:
15.02 in UK (for the moment only in MP3 form) - amazon.co.uk - listed but not available yet
16.02 in US - amazon.com - it can be pre ordered
Label: EMI Classics
.
1. Madama Butterfly (Act II): Un bel di, vedremo (Butterfly)
2. Madama Butterfly (Act III): Tu, tu piccolo Iddio! (Butterfly)
3. Edgar (Act III): Addio, addio mio dolce amor! (Fidelia)
4. Edgar (Act III): Nel villaggio d'Edgar (Fidelia)
5. La Rondine: Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (Magda)
6. La Bohème: Mi chiamano Mimì (Mimì) (Act I)
7. La Bohème: Quando m'en vo (Musetta) (Act II)
8. La Bohème: Donde lieta usci (Mimì) (Act III)
9. La Fanciulla del West, Act 1: Laggiù nel Soledad (Minnie)
10. Manon Lescaut (Act II): In quelle trine morbide (Manon)
11. Manon Lescaut, Act 1: Sola, perduta, abbandonata (Manon)
12. Suor Angelica: Senza mamma (Angelica)
13. Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro (Lauretta)
14. Le Villi (Act I): Se come voi piccina io fossi (Anna)
15. Turandot (Act I): Signore, ascolta! (Liú)
16. Turandot (Act III): Tu che di gel sei cinta (Liú)
17. Turandot, Act II: In questa Reggia (Turandot)
18. Tosca, Act 2: Vissi d'arte (Tosca)
.
And if I got the chance to write about this, there are two videos that illustrate this album. I've seen them before, but it's nice to look back.
.
The first one is the recording session for Sola, perduta, abbandonata in 2005

.
The second one was produced also in 2005. it's an interview about the arias introduced on the CD, some images from the recording sessions and Un Bel Di video.


.

3 Post a comment:

Updates of the schedule: London and Madrid


Things start to move. So there are two updates in Angela's schedule publised on the OFFICIAL WEBSITE.
.
1. One more performace of Traviata at Royal Opera House was added. On July 8th. In the beginning there were only three, on July 11th, 14th and 17th. Tickets are not on sale yet.
.
2. Simon Boccanegra at Teatro Real in Madrid. Teatro Real made the announcement long time ago (see HERE), but it was not listed on her website. Now it's there. July 22nd, 25th and 28th. The great Placido Domingo will be Simon Boccanegra. So it will be murder to get a ticket. Worse than ROH. The tickets are not on sale yet. Stay tunned.
.

2 Post a comment:

Man made for the glory of God

And so we arrived to the last two parts of this documentary. As I said yesterday, they are about my favorite monastery, Sucevita. It's not too far away from the others. What's so special about it? The scenery first of all. It's surrounded by hills and the peace of mind that I found there I haven't found anywhere else. it's like entering a magnetic field when getting inside its walls.
.

.
Secondly, the frescoes on the walls dominated by red and green are better preserved than the other churches as they were finished about 50 years after the others. The number of scenes and personages is higher than in any other church in Moldavia. Unlike most other cases, the names of the painters are known: the brothers Ion and Sofronie, who carried out the work in only one year. More about it HERE.
.
.
There are many more things to say about these places. I'm glad that somebody thought of making this film. It has it all: traditions, culture, music, religion, nature, spirituality. Many people told me after posting these videos that they had no idea something this beautiful exists. Well, they are real and these churches have been for the past 450 years or more. The movie gives you just an idea. If you ever happen to be in South Eastern Europe, spend three days in Moldavia, Romania.
.



.
The ending is a pray. It's a sort of music that can be heard in churches here. I leave you with Angela and the Madrigal Choir - "Watch and Pray". Thanks for joining this great trip.



.
Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - Neamt Monastery
Part 3 - Humor Monastery

Part 4 - Voronet Monastery
Part 5 - Voronet Monastery
Part 6 - Sucevita Monastery
Part 7 - Ending
.

1 Post a comment:

The journey goes on

.
Enough China, back to Romania. The journey in Moldavia goes on. These next two parts are dedicated to Voronet Monastery, the most famous among the Moldavian monasteries. Because of the fresco on the walls it is also called the Sistine Chapel of the East. Why are all these beautiful churches in Moldavia? Because we had a ruler here in the 15th century called Stephen the Great. And he fought a lot with the Turks. After each battle he had a church built to thank God for his help. There are about 40 churches, but only some of them are famous.
.
Blue dominates on the frescoes of the outside wall. It's also called "blue of Voronet" and its exact composition was not discovered yet. In terms of painting, this is the most beautiful of all monasteries. In terms of location, my favorite is Sucevita (which will be presented later on). More about Voronet - HERE.
.





.

0 Post a comment:

Many bonsais and one Butterfly

I first visited this place called Chi Lin Nunnery last year. It was great to be able to get back this year. It's so different from everything that this town has. It's traditional, it's green, the bonsai collection is impressive, it's a corner of heaven in the crowded and noisy Hong Kong. And it made me think of Cio Cio San. It's how I imagined her garden could have looked like even if the location is not the same.
.


.


.
Chi Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist temple complex located in Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Covering a space of more than 33,000 square meters, the temple complex includes a nunnery, temple halls, Chinese gardens, visitor's hostels and a vegetarian restaurant.
.
The Chi Lin Nunnery was founded in 1934 but was rebuilt in 1990 following the style of Tang Dynasty traditional Chinese architecture. The present-day buildings are wood frame buildings built without the use of any iron nails. This construction is based on traditional Chinese architectural techniques dating from the Tang Dynasty that uses special interlocking systems cut into the wood to hold them in place. The Chi Lin Nunnery buildings are the only buildings to be built in this style in modern day Hong Kong.
.

1 Post a comment:

More treasures

Part 1 - introduction
Part 2 - Neamt Monastery
.
Part 3 - Humor Monastery. The beautiful thing about the monasteries in Northern Moldavia is that they are painted on the outside. Amazing frescoes cover the walls. Some of them are very well preserved. Some others perished in time and got restored. The fact is that they are unique and for this reason the monasteries are part of UNESCO patrimony.
.
Built in 1530, Humor Monastery got fortified 100 years after. The church was transformed into a parish church, and the monastic buildings were abandoned and ruined. In the 1980s, a new church was built for the parish of the village, and the former monastery church was opened for visits. The monastic community was refounded in 1992, and in 1993, together with six other churches with exterior frescoes, the church of Humor was included in the World Heritage List. Although the church of the Assumption of the Virgin is not smaller than the other painted churches, the absence of the tower and the comparatively low roofline give the impression of reduced dimensions. More about this jewel, HERE.
.
Now back to the video. And to the beautiful voice that delicately renders the Orthodox religious music.


.

2 Post a comment:

Treasures of Romania


It's a journey through Romania showing our culture, some of our most beautiful places, the religious music. It's a story of a life presented by Angela herself. It starts in Bucharest, at the Conservatory and then moves on to Moldavia (not Moravia as it's written in the description of the video), the Northern part of Romania. She talks to priests about music, monasteries (Neamt Monastery, in the second part) , about the Orthodox religion and in the end of the second part she sings "Tatal nostru" (released on Mysterium album), accompanied by Madrigal Chorus. This fantastic ensemble is conducted by Marin Constantin (now 84). Most of you might know his son, the conductor Ion Marin whom Mrs Gheorghiu worked a lot with.
.
Romanian Journey is a BBC Classical Music Television London production for BBC 4 and it was broadcasted in April 2004. It's such a pity that these materials aren't released somehow on DVDs. Maybe a bonus for a future CD. It's entirely in English (part Angela's voice, part subtitles)and for the moment only the first two parts are uploaded on YouTube (bollypl's channel).
.
The next part should present the painted monasteries in Moldavia and more songs. Enjoy!


5 Post a comment:

BBC Music Magazine disc of the month


.
The editors' choice for January is L'Amico Fritz. You can listen to one track from this CD on the website of the magazine. It's Suzel, buon di. But there is another aria I like a lot, Son pochi fiori.


.
The German magazine Das Opernglas published a review for this CD (live recording from a concert that took place in Berlin in 2008) in the December issue.
.
This is the translation of the review, done by Edda. My knowledge of German is limited to "danke, flughafen, Berlin, Munich" and two-three other words. So it's entirely her work. Thanks. And also thanks for the articles.
.
A trivial plot stands somewhat in the way of a scenic realisation of Pietro Mascagni's second opera after his successful debut with Cavalleria Rusticana, because it seems difficult to unfold its scenic potential on stage.
Consistently one found in Alberto Veronesi, the entrepreneurial and financially strong musicologist and conductor, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Grammophon and the opera stars Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna manpower, who acted literally in concert for the concert performance of the opera and the recording at Berlin's biggest Operahouse in September 2008.
Das Opernglas reported about this in its issue 11/2008, and now the result of the highly topical composite recording is on hand. The recording is well done and corresponds with the reminder of the concert, in which the artists succeeded in animating the enchanting lyrical basic language of the opera score. The voices of the singer are represented in the recording as remembered from the concert.
It very well may be, that the metallic tenor voice of Roberto Alagna sounds in front of the microphone a bit too laddish, and that he, in the heat of the moment and with full blood in an effort to express emotions, almost gave too much. But his fulminant performance, which virtually carries the audience away, stands for the credibility of the lover he portrayed.
For the capricious lyrism the listener may indulce in the auditory enjoyment of the balanced and smoothly shaded, richly coloured singing of Angela Gheorghiu.
That all isn't imaginable in a better way.
.

2 Post a comment:

Start making plans. Times Online helps you

.
Hugh Canning for Times Online made up a list of the hottest classical tickets of the year. If you intend to travel in the Great Britain but you're not yet sure what you want to attend, then this list might give you a hint. There's something for every taste: symphonic music, recitals, festivals, opera. See the complete list HERE.
.
There is a section entitled "Divas and divos, Royal Opera" which includes 4 operas to be seen in the 2010 Spring-Summer ROH season.
*La Fille de Regiment - Juan Diego Florez and Natalie Dessay in May
*Simon Boccanegra - Placido Domingo in June
*Manon - Anna Netrebko in July
*Traviata - Angela Gheorghiu and James Valenti on 11th, 14th and 17th of July (will it be the same dress?)
.
I find it great that three (in no particular order) of these four productions were already on my list. I have the fourth one in my agenda but in Madrid, not in London.
.
The other MUST SEEs of 2010 are:
*Daniel Barenboim’s Beethoven/Schoenberg - Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Jan 30
*Bryn Terfel’s Mastersinger - Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, June 19, 23, 26 and 29; Hippodrome, Birmingham, July 6 and 10
*Elgar Concerto Centenary - LSO/Colin Davis - Barbican, Nov 10
*Chopin’s Birthday - Krystian Zimerman (Feb 22) and Maurizio Pollini (Mar 1) - Kings Palace
*Michael Grandage’s Billy Budd - Glyndebourne, May 20-June 27
*Mahler in the Northwest - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Jan 16-June 5. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, Jan 16-Nov 7
*Alden’s Janacek - Patricia Racette - ENO, Mar 15-27
*Schumann’s Birthday - Florestan Trio, Elias, Vogler and Doric Quartets, Angelika Kirchschlager, Soile Isokoski and Gerald Finley - Wigmore Hall, Sept 11-Dec 14
*Danielle De Niese’s Semele - Barbican, July 8
.

2 Post a comment:

Barcelona 2004


After Gran Teatre del Liceu created a YouTube page and started uploading videos I was sure that sooner or later something from Angela's recital in Barcelona on March 26th 2004 will be posted. Here it is. 4 beautiful minutes. Maybe some more will follow.
.
Giuseppe Verdi: "In solitaria stanza"
Jeff Cohen - piano

.
This was the complete program:
01. Alessandro Scarlatti "O cessate di piagarmi" (de Pompeo)
02. Christoph Willibald Gluck O del mio dolce ardor
03. Alessandro Parisotti (atribuït a Giovanni Battista Pergolesi) Se tu m'ami
04. Johann Paul Martini Piacer d'amor

Vincenzo Bellini
05. "Malinconia, ninfa gentile"
06. "Vanne, o rosa fortunata"

07.Gaetano Donizetti Me voglio fà'na casa meiz' 'omare

Giuseppe Verdi
08. Stornello
09. "In solitaria stanza"
10. "Brindisi "

11. Charles Gounod Sérénade
12. Jules Massenet "Élégie"

Georges Bizet
13. Chant d'amour
14.
"Ouvre ton cœur" (de Vasco de Gama)
15. Léo Delibes "Les filles de Cadix"

16 .Romanian Songs:
Alfred Alessandrescu (1893-1959) Sub perdeaua dragii mele
Tiberiu Brediceanu (1877-1968)
Floricia de pe apa
Bade, pentru ochii tai
Vai, badita, dragi ne-avem
Dragu-mi, mandro, de tine
Diamandi Gheciu (1892-1980) Si daca
Gherase Dendrino (1901-1973) "Te Iubesc"

Encores:
17 & 21 .`A vucchella – Tosti
18. Romanian Song - ?
19. Azulao – Ovalle
20. Muzica – Grigoriu
.

6 Post a comment:

One beautiful black dress

From the Kennedy Awards Gala in Washington DC. Both pictures are taken from gettyimages.com and they belong to CBS Photo archive. The first one gets one moment of Habanera. The other one is from Vissi D'arte.
.
.
This picture is also posted on the OFFICIAL SITE. It's smaller but without the watermark.
.
More pictures from the event HERE.
.

0 Post a comment:

Interview on Antena 2 - part 4

.
This is the last part. In case anybody wonders why there are 4 parts, I devided them according to commercials. I hope everybody found something interesting in this long interview. If not, we wait for the next one.
.

Do you still have time for shopping, for girl talking, for pajama parties?
Yes, we did that too, twice. Once at home and the other time somewhere else. I make time for everything. Because of the cameras, of the performances and recordings I do people think that I’m on stage once in two-three days. It’s not true because one performance costs me a lot. And an opera singer needs free time. In my free time I sometimes like not to do anything. I like shopping, reading, walking. I like staying in the sun no matter the season. I have some friends in Puerto Rico that I visit from time to time and there I can take sun baths.
.
It seems to me that you lost some weight.
Actually I’m thinner.
.
I thought that this is needed for voice volume.
Oh, no. The volume has nothing to do with my waist.
.
So my husband is right when saying that Angela sings so naturally as if speaking.
This is my contribution. You don’t have to think that the voice is strictly related to the size of the body.
.
Thank you very much for spending more than an hour with us. We found out interesting things. One more question for you. Which is the latest love declaration for your husband?
We speak Romanian and he likes the phrase “mi-e dor de tine” (I miss you).
.


.

8 Post a comment:

Interview on Antena 2 - part 3

You said that if Puccini was alive you would be in love with him. I’m sure that you’d manage to make him give up his bad habits.
No, definitely no. I was thinking of him as musician. Yes, when I study the work I’m also interested in the person. Giacomo Puccini always fascinated me. He was a high class bohemian with a great personality. I like people with personality.
.
Tell me, isn’t it too much to have two swords in the same sheath?
What do you mean?
.
You and your husband.
Yes, you can say that. When we do a performance together or when we want the same thing at the same time. The issue is with our personalities. Roberto is French of Sicilian origin which is worse than our Latin way of being. I was always aware that Angela is an artist, Roberto is an artist and us together form the third artist. In time our careers separated us mainly because our repertoire. At some point I refused doing what he was doing. Our job involves traveling 90% of the time. This started to be a problem. It gets difficult seeing each other if we don’t sing together. So the swords split. But we both know that starting 1996 that we were a phenomenon. Never a tenor and a soprano had sung so much together.
.
Due the situation, is there a chance for a new love?
I can’t guarantee anything for anybody. I thought that it would have been better for each of us follow our own destinies. Roberto thinks that this is a stage in our lives and that I need some time for myself.
.
Do you have more freedom now?
I have always been free. The real problem was jealousy. When there are other partners or projects that Roberto is not involved in he didn’t like it.
.
Are you jealous?
Yes. But he understood that everything I chose to do, professionally speaking, is not meant to prove something or to hurt someone. I do what I think is good for me.
.
Are you well organized?
Yes. For example I know the place and time I will be in in 2014. It seems strange but that’s it. Now when I’m talking to you I should have been at Metropolitan in New York for a production of Carmen. But I decided to cancel it as I considered it would be better to keep some distance from Roberto. And I didn’t want to tell somebody else to leave. I have never done that. I dropped out.
.
Was anybody angry?
No. Because we talked to each other and accepted the situation. If there’s no acceptance in a couple, then there’s nothing.
.
Is love missing from your life?
Not at all. For me Roberto is the love of my life. And I’m the same for him. There’s something that can’t be described. When we’re on stage it happens something that it’s difficult to be explained. But the artist and the person don’t always have the same faith.
.
People fell in love with Angela Gheorghiu when they saw you in La Boheme in 1992. You were at the beginning of your career; you were in London which is known as an expensive city. How did you manage to live?
It was difficult but I was lucky. I debuted at Covent Garden which was the only place I auditioned after graduating the Conservatory. And I immediately received an important role.
.
Who told you that Covent Garden was the right place to go to?
Nobody. I followed my instinct. And after debuting with such a big part everybody knew who I was. The press, media, my recordings also supported this.
.
Did this new situation scare you?
No, because I understood that this is part of the system, of my life. I was never bothered by photographers. People think that I belong to them. I’m on stage to give them a little magic. And I love the stage with all it involves: the dust, the craziness, I like to be applauded. I can’t be happy about this just at home, with my family. It’s difficult to show myself in front of the audience but it gives me a huge satisfaction. There’s nothing else like this in the whole world.
.
You were coming from a strict system, Communism.
I wasn’t part of this system. Communism supported artists and sportsmen. Since I was 18 I was surrounded by lights, mics, cameras, concert halls. There was no important show without me taking part.
.
But when you went to London you faced the grandeur of the West.
It wasn’t like that. There isn’t any difference between the feeling on stage in London or Bucharest. I think it was harder in Bucharest.
.
After you started earning money, what was the most expensive item you bought?
A little bit of everything. I have a story that journalists find strange. I used to take pictures of shops that sold fruit and flowers, clothes and everything. I was fascinated.
.
What were you doing with the photos?
They’re part of my collection. They’re an exercise of discovery.
I never made a difference between a stage in Romanian and one abroad. I never wanted to be asked when I left Romania. I never left. I have a home somewhere else, it’s true. But I did what all the artists in this world do.
.
Do you still have that red dress that you were wearing when you first went to Covent Garden? That red dress that your mother made for you.
Yes, it’s true. And when I first went to London I didn’t speak English very well. I asked somebody where the stage door of the opera is. He showed me. It was very close as I already was on Floral Street. That person was the director of the opera.
.
You made men cry when listening to you. What does it mean for you? Has anybody told you this?
I saw it. I lived such emotions. And knowing the effect I get more and more nervous myself. And I feel I have to give my best. And I take the chance of being judged as a difficult person. I never asked something for myself. Everything was related to the performance.
.
You know important people around the world. You met the Queen of Great Britain and Prince Charles.
Thanks to the internet you know can find about all the places I’ve been in the past 20 years. I met a lot of people and some of them remained my friends.
.
I know that you were at the White House a few days ago, on December 10th if I remember well, singing in front of the President of USA.
It’s almost correct. I was invited at the White House along with many other artists. After that he came to the show I took part in at Kennedy Center.
.
What about Meryl Streep’s reaction when meeting you?
She’s one of the most famous actresses in this moment. She knew about me but it was the first time we met. And I’m very glad that all these people got the chance to listen to me not just talk to me. Her reaction impressed me. I prepared to say nice things to her. And instead she came to me and told me she’d like to be born again to get to be like me.
.
What reaction do you get from your girls?
My daughter Ioana is now in college studying management and foreign languages. She recently started some acting classes. And there’s also Ornela. She’s studying cinematography. And they are very good friends.
.


.

0 Post a comment:

Rolando is back!

Not only that his name reappeared in different casts in opera houses in Europe (L'Elisir in Vienna, Eugene Onegin in Berlin, Traviata in Zurich) and he already announced a tour in Mexico and several recitals but he went in the studio and recorded a new album and takes part in a British tv show called "Popstar to operastar".
.
I got the chance to see him in Werther, with Susan Graham, at Opera Bastille. It was an incredible experience. He really gives everything when singing. After that I had a ticket to see one of his Handel concerts, but he got sick and cancelled everything. Now he's back in business and he's on my list. I was soooo close to be in London when he has a concert, but I arrive 2 days after :)Maybe in fall. If you want to know more about Rolando Villazon, visit this great blog dedicated to him.
.
The new album entitles Tenor will be released on February 8th under Deutsche Grammophon. and to promote it, there is a new channel opened on YouTube - Villazonmusic. Here's what he says about it and listen to some fragments from Una furtiva lagrima, La donna e mobile and O sole mio


.

1 Post a comment:

Interview on Antena 2 - part 2

.
Whom have you inherited this white skin and black eyes from?
I inherited my father. My sister looked like my mother. Brown hair with green eyes. We were both beautiful. Like any woman sometimes I’m not content with how I look like. But as I told you before, it’s all about what you have inside. I live my life at a high level, no matter what I’m doing.
.
I noticed that sometimes when you’re singing, you’re shaking. How do you manage to control the emotions for hours?
It’s a sort of magic. Maybe that’s why the opera singers are called divas. The word comes from divine; it’s something not even I can explain. It’s the moment I step on stage and realize I have to be someone else and have to send emotions. People expect me to make them feel the story, the atmosphere. The writer and the composer worked together and helped by the gift that the voice is. Nowadays there are microphones, but in opera houses we still talk about acoustics. So my voice goes directly to the audience.
.
Have you ever taken part in a beauty contest?
No, never. Until the age of 23 when I met my first boyfriend that also becomes my husband I have only known one word: practice. I was very aware of what I was doing.
.
Have you ever been to disco?
Never.
.
How come? This was a sacrifice you’ve made.
Not at all. I didn’t feel the need of doing what everybody else was doing. On the contrary, my colleagues wanted to be like me. I enjoyed spending a lot of time in the library to make discoveries. The shelves were full of vinyls and art albums. There was no opera/theatre premiere or concert in Bucharest without me being present. This happened between 1980 and 1990. I was in a concert hall or theatre every evening.
.
Do you have a very good friend, a confident?
Back in highschool I had a colleague, Eugenia Moise. She was studying folk singing.
.
Did you like wearing short skirts?
Not really. When I was a child I wanted people to think that I’m a serious person.
.
I’m glad you're wearing this dress. I heard people saying that you’re a beautiful woman wearing amazing dresses but you hide your legs.
You should check YouTube more often. I have many dresses, part bought, part received. For the encores sometimes I wear short dresses. I like the dresses that have some special, foamy.
.
You had one beautiful red lace dress for the concert in Bucharest. I hope you won’t mind my saying that, but this is the kind of dress that can’t be worn with underwear.
This is the least important thing. I met designers all over the world and they gave me many dresses. In the past few months I discovered in Romania an amazing designer, Catalin Botezatu. He came to Metropolitan and invited me to one of his shows then he started creating dresses for me. I was in Washington recently and some of the most important people, artists, politicians, admired one of his creations. A lot of ladies said they’d love to have a dress like mine. I’m spoiled from this point of view. But we should stop talking about dresses, ok?
.
Going back to highschool in Bucharest, is it true that from time to time you skipped classes?
Yes
.
Did it happen to cheat in test papers?
Sometimes. But not too much.
.
What subject drove you crazy?
Chemistry. I didn’t hate it but couldn’t understand anything. We had a lot of classes related to music. And I also spent a lot of hours practicing. I knew I had to pass a very important exam. For the next year there was only one place and it had to be mine. In the 9th grade one spot was created especially for me. Later on, at the Conservatory, my class only had 5 students. If two skipped the class, half of us weren’t there. It was taught.
.
Besides practicing did you have time to read a love novel?
Yes…. And many others.
.
Did you read "The Lady of the Camellias"? I have a purpose for asking this.
Yes, I read that too.
.
Did it happen to hide a love novel inside a music book to read without others know what you were reading?
No. I never mixed up things. I wasn’t afraid to do stuff. If I wanted to read, I read. Same with cheating. It happened once in highschool. Some of my colleagues were really good at doing this. But I wasn’t. So I opened the booked and started writing. My teacher, Hrisanta Petrescu (that later became Ion Marin’s wife) looked and me and told me “Angela Buralcu, 1. You may leave”.
.
And you left.
Yes, I left. My singing teacher, Mia Barbu, went to Mrs Petrescu and asked her to change the grade. And she changed it from 1 into 4.
.
Did you have a mentor?
I took my first exam with Mia Barbu. She was everything to me. She gave me the most precious advice. No matter the situation I’m in, I always think of what Mia Barbu would have said about that. She told me that I always have to enter though the front door even if I have to wait a little. And I did that. Starting 14, everything related to profession, personal life, love, friends, was entirely my judgment. I followed my instinct.
.
But tell me then why Angela Burlacu was holding a pillow and crying?
Well, it seems you read a lot. I was hungry, that’s why. There was not too much food to buy in that period. And I was living in a boarding school. We ate at lunch but in three-four hours we were hungry again. But it was a wonderful period and I enjoyed every minute of my practicing.
.
Did you like a boy back then? Have you ever been refused? Or have you refused someone?
No.
.
Even if he was…ugly?
I remember that I used to walk close to a church because I was in love with a priest. And I was very happy to be there.
.
Did it happen to do everything for the person you love?
Sure, it happened. I had my first boyfriend when I was 23. The one who held my hand also married me. I became Andrei’s wife and I entered one of the most important families in Romania. I had an amazing life in their home, together with their friends. In 1992, when I debuted in Covent Garden I fell in love again. We met and fell in love, just like that. Those who work in this field understand perfectly what happened to me.
.
When it happened, did you try to run away, to say it’s not possible?
No, I was honest with Andrei. I told him from the beginning and he understood.
.
And here you have the videos that correspond to this part. Thanks again to e2ul.
.


.

2 Post a comment:

Interview on Antena 2 - part 1


This is the first part of the interview broadcasted on December 26th on Antena 2. The other parts will follow.
.
Florentina Fantanaru: I’m very glad to meet you and to touch you after seeing in all the DVDs that are available. I and my family are your fans. We love you very much.
Angela Gheorghiu: Thank you.
.
Before starting I told you that Santa brought me this interview. Have you asked Santa for something in particular this year?
I ask him to be healthy, to be in peace with myself and with people around me because this state of mind is essential to me. Regarding other gifts, I like to say that the fairies came to me when I was born and gave me what any artist wishes for. I only wish for peace and health so people can come to theaters where I sing.
.
When you were a child, were you asking Santa for something in particular?
Every time somebody asks me about my childhood, about little Angela, about her future, I have the same answer. I never thought about it. I followed the destiny. Nobody planned for me anything. I started to sing when I was little. It was a lied by Brahms. I first started singing with my colleagues in kindergarten. My voice was stronger than theirs. My teacher asked a music teacher from Adjud to come to listen to me and he brought a tape recorder. I listened to the lied and after that I managed to sing it. From that moment till 14 when I left to Bucharest, Angela and Elena sung for all the important events.
.
Did you have a sleight?
I always had a sleight because my father loved them. And speaking of Christmas, I always received gifts, there was always a fir tree and there were Christmas carols. The first carol I learned was “O, ce veste minunata” and I still love it very much. Since then I’ve been singing it all over the world. This is a beautiful Romanian song. So, Angela and Elena started singing. And also classical music. The first person who said I’ll become an opera singer was my neighbor. He was an engineer and he liked playing the violin. He was used listening to good music and he understood the phenomenon. I was less than 10 when he explained to me that I’ll be an opera singer and I have to study music. My family and my teachers in Adjud always provided the proper environment to practice, to sing on stage.
.
Speaking of the sleight, when did you learn “Sanie cu zurgalai”?
I first listen to it sung by Leontina Vaduva. She’s Maria Ciobanu’s daughter. We spent a lot of time together at Covent Garden. And she sung it to me. I loved it and a few years ago, on New Year’s Eve, I sung it at Opera Garnier. They were already familiar with the French version performed by Edith Piaf.

You and your sister had almost the same age. Was there a competition between you two? For example when cooking. Who was the daring or pushing one?
It’s difficult to say. I was more self-centered. She was more opened. I was more serious, she was always joyful. I changed in time.
.
Who would have thought you were self-centered?
I always knew what I had to do. Elena was happy all the time. She was a real help for me. And I say that she was because we lost her in 1996. She followed the same path as I did. She sung, we went to school together, Music Highschool, Conservatory.
.
During school years, did teachers treat you two differently? Was one of you better than the other?
Yes, they made this mistake. I considered it a mistake. I always told her it’s not true, and any person aware of his/her talent must follow it.
.
Who was more self confident, more ambitious?
I was more confident regarding singing. It was easier for me. She was a better student. She was always first in the class. I was somewhere above average. She was more down to earth, I was dreamy, and this was obvious at school.
.
Did you use to go to church? Are you still going? Have you sung in church?
I haven’t sung in church. Later on when I was a student I was part of a church choir and I met a lot of important priests. I sung religious music and also recorded it. My life and my music made me find God in all churches in the world.
.
Is there a religion that you feel closer to?
Yes, the Orthodox church. I have some friends who are priests or nuns. There are some nuns that call me from time to time. And if I’m not available they leave a message with a religious song performed by them dedicated to me. And this always helps me a lot.
.
There is a better recording of this interview on YouTube, thanks to e2ul. The first two videos are translated entirely.



.

0 Post a comment:

2010

.
2009 was a beautiful year for me. I travelled a lot, I attended performaces that I've dreamed about for years and I met a lot of great people involved in music as deep as I am. I won't put names here because I'm afraid I'll forget somebody. But I thank each of you for travelling with me and waiting with me at the backstage, for helping me buying the tickets, for listening to me talking for hours about opera and concerts. We'll travel again and meet again next year. It's a promise!
.
Somebody asked me what my favorite cultural event was this year. Looking back I think it's hard to choose. But yes, I have my favorites. Not that the others (and the list, with pictures and comments is here) were not impressive or touching. With just 2 or 3 exceptions (due to cast change), all of them deserved the effort of geting there. I'm not boasting about anything. It's something I wanted to do years ago but only now everything started to have also a financial support and I figured out how to managed to see a lot without spending a fortune. To see Angela was (and will be) the main goal. But there were so many others. So...
.
Opera
*Tosca at ROH - for so many reasons. I wanted to see Angela so much that I jumped in a plane and went to London almost overnight. I would do it again tomorrow. That evening is still with me even if it happened six months ago.
*Il Barbiere di Siviglia at ROH - for JDF, for Joyce, for the beautiful singing and dedication to music. Joyce performed in a wheelchair refusing to say no to this challenge
*Traviata in Vienna (with Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja) and Manon in Paris (with Rolando Villazon and Susan Graham). My wish was to see Anna and Rolando together. But it wasn't possible. And who knows when it happens again. I still hope.
.
Recital
*Cecilia Bartoli in Barcelona. The one and only Bartolissima!
*Anna Caterina Antonacci at Wigmore Hall
*Jonas Kaufmann in Munich
.
Symphonic
*Concertgebouw conducted by Mariss Jansons. Their music seemed unreal, from another world. I simply forgot about anything else while listening.
*Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle. More than 20000 people spent 3 hours in the rain for listening to them. This is what perfection means.
*Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim
.
Chamber music
*Lausanne Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christian Zacharias. Three nights in a row. Amazing!
*Belcea Quartet. Great opportunity to listen to them three times this year
*Wiener Kammerorchestre conducted by Heinrich Schiff
.
I have a good plan for 2010 regarding opera and concerts and I intend to put it in practice. I wish you all the same.
.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
HAVE A MARVELOUS 2010!
.

2 Post a comment: