THE fan blog
Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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"My real life continues on stage"

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Mediafax, the Romanian press agency, has a correspondent in New York. Mr Ilie Fugaru talked to Angela after the performace of Traviata on March 29th. The entire article, in Romanian, is here. Below there's the translation of the most interesting parts.
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Angela Gheorghiu’s coming back on the stage of Metropolitan opera with Traviata (whose premiere was on Monday evening) was rewarded with long ovations and applauses, says the correspondent of Mediafax in New York.
It’s one of the most difficult operas, the part of Violetta is a milestone, I identify myself best with this character. Who saw me in Traviata loves and suffers with me and dies a little bit with me in the end
She admits that this part made her famous, after the performance at Covent Garden in 1994. “I’m spoiled at the Met but Covent Garden is closer to my soul
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Speaking about her relationship with the Met and its general director, Peter Gelb, Angela says “I’m glad that I managed to persuade him to have James Valenti as partner. I listened to him once and I suggested his name to the management of the Opera. I think it was a good choice, judging by the reaction of the public
Valenti is thankful. “This is my debut at the Met and I’m proud and happy that the premiere went well. I’m grateful to Angela. She’s a wonderful person, beautiful and generous, who gives everything on stage”
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The journalist says that after the performance she signed lots of autographs and talked to all her admirers. “For me, the stage continues in the real life and my real live gets also on stage. In order to express myself artistically I need the attention of the people. The audience can’t be cheated. When you’re on stage you must identify with the character and for this kind of emotions some support from the real life is needed
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Angela suggested that she overcame the separation from her husband “We talk on the phone, but I haven’t seen him since last year”. She also suggested that there’s a new love in her life but she didn't want to make this public yet. “When I think it’s time, I’ll talk about it. The scent of love can’t be forgotten and we always get back to it”.
For Easter she’ll go to the Romanian church in New York then she’ll celebrate with her friends and family. After Traviata she’ll go to London. There’s a new CD coming up under EMI, followed by several performances in Europe and Asia
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Photos from Traviata and the first reviews


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New York Times - In Revival of Verdi, a New Note of Drama - by Anthony Tommasini - with one picture
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Superconductor - a blog by Paul Pelkonen
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Mille fiori favoriti - blog - WITH PICTURES
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Operachanteuse - blog - a review from somebody that attended the performance
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The sound of the premiere. La Traviata. March 29th.

Last night, at the MET. It was beautiful. If you intend to attend, don't listen. You might spoil the pleasure of listening to the amazing voice live. But if you're too far away from the Met, then enjoy listenin!
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Brindisi - James Valenti & Angela Gheorghiu


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E' strano.. Sempre libera.. Follie.. - Angela Gheorghiu


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Un di quando le veneri - Thomas Hampson & Angela Gheorghiu

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Amami, Alfredo - Angela Gheorghiu

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Teneste la promessa.. Addio del passato.. - Angela Gheorghiu
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Parigi o cara - James Valenti & Angela Gheorghiu
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Notes on rehearsing Traviata. By Leonard Slatkin

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Does the name sound familiar? it should. He's the conductor of La Traviata at the Met. And he has a very good habbit. He keeps a sort of monthly diary about his activity. And this is how I could find out details that usually nobody talks about. What's going on before the curtain rises at the official premiere. What we have here it's just the first part of the story that starts on March 15th and covers the first week of rehearsals. I hope he gets some time to post the rest.
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Mr Slatkin tells a very nice story about how he got to conduct the last run of the classical (Zefirelli) production at the Met, how he was one of the few people there (if not the only one) that has never got in touch with this opera before. His story is also about Angela (how enjoyable she can be at the rehearsals and also how she calls in sick), about Thomas Hampson's late arrival at the rehearsals because he was ill. He says that there are only 8 rehearsals (or 8 and half - some were skipped because Angela had to rehears La Boheme for March 20th). And that during the first week he hasn't seen/or worked with the chorus, which concerns him a little.
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After this week, he considers that one of the most powerful moments of the opera will be the duet in the second act, between Violeta and Giorgio Germont. It seems that Angela and Thomas are great. We'll see what happens next.
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The article is here. Scroll down a little bit. I let you discover what else Leonard Slatkin is saying. Enjoy your reading! And toi toi toi for tomorrow night, for everybody.
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Libiam ne 'lieti calici - The Met, March 29th

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It was first announced last year this time. Now it's time to start. March 29th, Monday evening, the first performance of Traviata at the Met in a series of 8. Angela Gheorhgiu, James Valenti and Thomas Hampson will bring to life the famous and well known love story. Leonard Slatkin conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
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Angela is scheduled to star in 6 performances: March 29th, April 3rd, 7th, 10th, 13th, 17th and 21st. The photos from the rehearsals looked very well, so let's hope for the best.
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This is James Valenti's debut at The Met. He made his debut at Royal Opera House in London also with Traviata, starring Angela. Read a very nice article about him HERE.
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Don't forget about the live broadcasts on radio. Check out http://www.metoperafamily.org/
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The March 29 premiere as well as the April 7 and 17 performances will be broadcast live on the Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS channel 78 and XM channel 79 - starting at 8pm, New York time. SIRIUS XM Radio is a subscription-based audio entertainment service broadcasting an unprecedented number of live performances each week throughout the Met's entire season, as well as rare historical performances, newly restored and remastered, spanning the Met's 78-year broadcast history. You can get a 7 day free trial after registering.
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The April 17 matinee will also be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. - starting 1pm, New York time.
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For Romanian fans, Radio Romania Muzical will broadcast live the performance on April 17th, starting 8pm, Bucharest time.
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Opera performance dates - Royal Opera House 2010/11

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ROH released the dates of all the performaces for the next season, but there are no details about the casts. There are also some "press nights", first night of each performance. What is a press night?
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Adriana Lecouvreur is part of Booking period 2 (Fall - maybe September 2010) and Tosca is part of Booking period 4 (Spring - April 2011).
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There are two more performances of Adriana besides the 6 already announced on Angela's website, on November 27th and December 10th. And a total of 10 performances of Tosca in June/July 2011.
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More photos from rehearsals...

... on Facebook :)
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Counting down to Traviata - pictures from rehearsals

Photo @ Florina Petean
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Angela Gheorghiu & James Valenti
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4 days left to Traviata at The Met. Some pictures from the rehearsals are on Angela's OFFICIAL WEBSITE. There are also pictures from La Boheme. Check it out!
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The Met. March 20th. Backstage.

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Thank you!
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2 x Adriana and 3 x Tosca at ROH

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Royal Opera also put dates to performances. As you can see below. There's another performace of Adriana added, on December 10th and also another soprano that will share the dates with Angela.
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Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur
New production
18, 22, 25, 27, 30 November, 4, 7, 10 December 2010
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Adriana Lecouvreur - Angela Gheorghiu / Angeles Blancas Gulin
Maurizio - Jonas Kaufmann
Princess de Bouillon - Michaela Schuster / Olga Borodina
Prince de Bouillon - Maurizio Muraro
Abbé - Bonaventura Bottone
Michonnet - Alessandro Corbelli
Mlle. Jouvenot - Janis Kelly
Mlle. Dangeville - Sarah Castle
Quinault - David Soar
Poisson - Iain Paton
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Conductor: Mark Elder
Director: David McVicar
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There are 10 performances of Tosca in June and July next year and 3 sopranos will sing the part. I think that one of the casts will be the one announced in the beginning: Gheorghiu/Kaufmann/Terfel. We'll see.
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Puccini: Tosca
7, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 28, 30 June, 14, 17 July 2011
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Floria Tosca Karita Mattila / Martina Serafin / Angela Gheorghiu
Mario Cavaradossi Marcello Giordani / Jonas Kaufmann
Scarpia Juha Uusitalo / Bryn Terfel
Cesare Angelotti Lukas Jakobski
Spoletta Hubert Francis
Sagrestano Jeremy White
Sciarrone Zheng Zhong Zhou

Conductor: Antonio Pappano / Paul Wynne Griffiths
Director: Jonathan Kent
Sets: Paul Brown
Costumes: Paul Brown
Lighting: Mark Henderson
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There is no precise connection between the names and dates yet. The new season program will clarify everything.
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Breaking News! Angela Gheorghiu to replace Anna Netrebko as Mimi in Met Opera's La Boheme on March 20


Aren't those people really lucky? The performace is sold out. And no broadcast from Sirius :(
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La Boheme starts at 1pm, New York time. More information, HERE.
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I read the info on Theatremania.com: Angela Gheorghiu will sing the role of Mimì in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Puccini's La Bohème on Saturday, March 20 at 1pm. She replaces Anna Netrebko in the part, who is unable to perform due to illness.
Marco Armiliato conducts La Bohème, with the cast also including Piotr Beczala, Ruth Ann Swenson, George Petean, Massimo Cavaletti, Oren Gradus, and Paul Plishka. The production was originally staged by Franco Zeffirelli.
Gheorghiu will star in the Met's production of La Traviata, which opens on March 29, She made her Met debut as Mimì in 1993, and was heard last season at the Met as Magda in Puccini's La Rondine and as Adina in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore. In the Met's 2010-11 season, she will sing Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.
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And just as fun fact, The Met changed Angela's photo in the "bio" section. The new photo is a black&white one from Tabu photo shooting :). See here
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Review for "L'Amico Fritz" in Opera News, March 2010 issue


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Roberto & Lang Lang - recital in Paris, March 2011

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Salle Pleyel in Paris announced the new season, 2010 - 2011. Part of the series L'Art de la voix, Roberto Alagna will have a recital on March 29th 2011. He'll be accompanied on piano by Lang Lang (he also played with Cecilia Bartoli last year). The program for the recial hasn't been announced yet. The tickets go on sale on May 31st 2010.
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For me this is something that deserves a trip to Paris.
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If you happen to be in Paris... all year long :), check out the entire program at Salle Pleyel. Part of the same series:
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*Elina Garanca - 05.10.2010 - Gypsy songs - Airs tsiganes de Georges Bizet, Manuel de Falla
*Bryn Terfel - 05.11.2010 - Airs de Tosca (Scarpia), Porgy & Bess (Sporting Life), Faust (Méphistophélès), Otello (Iago), L'Opéra de quat'sous (Macky The Knife)
*Cecilia Bartoli - 19.12.2010 - Airs d'opéras de Georg Friedrich Haendel
*Anna Netrebko - 26.04.2011 - Arias de Giovanni Battista Pergolesi et de compositeurs baroques italiens
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La Boheme in San Francisco, 2008



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Antonio Pappano: "ROH is my number 1 job"

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He's everywhere in the world. Rome, Vienna, US, touring in Japan, recording with Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia, conducting symphonic orchestras or opera.
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And starting May he'll be on TV too, in a BBC mini-series, Opera Italia!, as part of its A Passion for Opera season, commencing on BBC4 in May.“It’s three one-hour programmes about Italian opera,” Pappano says, “from Monteverdi to Rossini and Donizetti to Verdi, then the final one is Puccini and a little bit of verismo [the Italian school of realists, such as Mascagni and Leoncavallo]. They’re not for opera experts, but we hope they will be interesting to opera-lovers, as well as a way in for newcomers.”
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Asked by Hugh Canning in an interview for The Sunday Times about his priorities, Antonio Pappano confesses that his #1 is Royal Opera House in London. Next season he'll conduct an opera about the late American celebrity Anna Nicole Smith with Eva-Maria Westbroek singing the title role. "I’m doing two shows in Japan (Manon with Anna Netrebko and Traviata with Angela Gheorghiu&James Valenti), plus a performance of Handel’s Messiah, then concert performances of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers [with the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Nicole Cabell and Gerald Finley] when we return. Then comes Anna Nicole and finally the revival ‘triple bill’.” After that there's more work to do. Adriana Lecouvreur, Tosca, Cosi fan tutte, Don Pasquale, Cendrillon. That's what I call a busy schedule! And this will go on and on till 2014 (or 2013, as he says "I can’t remember if I’ve renewed until 2013 or until the end of the 2013-14 season.” ).
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Read the entire article online, on Times Online website. CLick HERE.
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Manon released again by EMI in "The Home of Opera Collection"

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EMI's second important project, after "Great Classical Recordings" that I talked about a few weeks ago (Puccini: opera arias is part of this) is EMI Classics - The Home of Opera described as "treasures from the world's greatest collection of recorded opera". All these CDs have been previously released. The difference is that each CD multipack contains a new printed introduction in English, German, French and Spanish and a bonus disc containing synopsis and libretto with translations. If you prefer to buy on iTunes, you can download the full programme notes and libretto in pdf format.
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Among them there is Manon by Massenet, with Anglea Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, originally released in 2000. More details about the CD can be found HERE.
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Manon - ANGELA GHEORGHIU
Le Chevalier Des Grieux - ROBERTO ALAGNA
Lescaut - EARLE PATRIARCO
Le Comte des Grieux - JOSE VAN DAM
Guillot de Morfontaine - GILLES RAGON
De Brétigny - NICOLAS RIVENQ
Poussette - ANNA MARIA PANZARELLA
Javotte - SOPHIE KOCH
Rosette - SUSANNE SCHIMMACK
L'hótelier - NICOLAS CAVALLIER
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It was already released in UK (on March 8th), Germany (March 12th) and USA (on March 9th) and it will be released in France (on March 20th).
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You can by it from:



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The Spring-ish look

Photos @ Tabu Magazine
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If I were to say what my favorite look from the pictures in Tabu Magazine is, I'd vote for green :) Brunette.. is normal. Blonde is sooo Lady Gaga (some online newspapers and some blogs already noticed this) but green, this is a change. For those who haven't bought the magainze, this is the second photo with the green wig. It's almost at the end of the magazine. No sun glasses this time.
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And speaking of the resemblance with Lady Gaga, see for yourselves.
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ROH confirms. Adriana in November 2010, Tosca in June 2011

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The new 2010 - 2011 season is published now also on the Royal Opera House website, under the Press&Media section. Big things announced HERE:
- 8 world premiers
- 2 UK premiers
- 5 new productions
- 14 major revivals
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Adriana Lecouvreur is one of the new productions. Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Olga Borodina and Alessandro Corbelli are good reason to make people travel to London in November 2010. The premiere is on November 18th, there are 6 performances and the last one is on December 7th. A David McVicar production. Now I'm really curious what will come out as Mr McVicar can be very imaginative, you know..
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Tosca is one of the revivals, but what a cast! Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann joined on stage by one of the best Scarpias, Bryn Terfel. Antonio Pappano will conduct. The first performance is on June 7th 2011.
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The tour in Japan is also mentioned, but there's nothing new beside what we already knew. The performaces will take place in Tokyo and Yokohama between September 11th and 25th. There is Manon (Netrebko & Polenzani), Traviata (Gheorghiu & Valenti & Keenlyside) and Handel's Messiah, in the arrangement by Mozart.
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So see you in London :)
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And talking about new seasons, check out Paris Opera and Amsterdam Opera. They have just announced the 2010 - 2011 seasons. You'll find Roberto Alagna in Francesca da Rimini by Riccarco Zandonai, starting January 31st 2011.
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Musical Criticism says: "Adriana Lecouvreur and Tosca at ROH in 2010/2011"

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Before getting the official information on the Royal Opera House website, Musical Criticism published a preview of the new 2010 - 2011 season. It's full of good stuff. Read everything on Musicalcriticism.com and check back on ROH website.
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Angela starrs in Adriana Lecouvreur and Tosca next to Jonas Kaufmann and Roberto sings in a NEW Aida next to Olga Borodina (from March 11th 2011)
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The stars lined up to appear include Joyce DiDonato (Cendrillon), Gerald Finley (The Pearl Fishers), Bryn Terfel (Tosca), Ben Heppner (Peter Grimes), Nina Stemme (Fidelio), Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jonas Kaufmann (Adriana, Tosca), Karita Mattila (Tosca), Marcello Giordani (Tosca), Olga Borodina (Adriana Lecouvreur, Aida) Rolando Villazon (Werther), Simon Keenlyside (Macbeth), Ewa Podles, Johan Botha, Nicole Cabell, Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Rigoletto), Roberto Alagna (Aida) and Angela Gheorghiu (Adriana, Tosca).
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The new production of Adriana Lecouvreur will be staged by David McVicar, with an impressively stellar cast including Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Olga Borodina and Alessandro Corbelli. Sir Mark Elder will conduct the opera, which opens in November 2010 and will be the first time since 1906 that it's been seen at Covent Garden.
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Then, at the end of May 2011, after Werther with Rolando Villazon and Macbeth with Simon Keenlyside and Martina Serafin, comes Tosca that brings together names such as Terfel, Gheorghiu, Mattila, Kaufmann, and Giordani (a double-cast).
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Speaking of photo shootings, do you remember THE ONE?

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Angela was also on the cover of THE ONE magazine, the October 2008 issue. It was another interesting photo shooting. Thank you e2ul for uploading it :) It was nice to see it again.
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See some of the pictures taken in Rome HERE. There is also an article. In Romanian. It's entitled "Let me sing" and can be read HERE. And the promo videoclip is below.
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"When she talks to you, there's nothing else around". The end of the interview

Do you agree with this?
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This is the 4th and last part of the interview published in TABU magazine. Hope you liked it.
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What I didn't know back then was that her care for details and for the members of the crew was as famous as her voice. The machinists at La Scala in Milan gave her gifts when she came back for a new production. They were happy to see her again. But Angela's secret is in fact the careful preparation before any project she gets involved in: filming a TV show, a photo shooting, an interview and especially the rehearsals for performances. She does her homework at home. She always practices by herself, no teacher, no pianist.
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Her work is a private thing she cherishes a lot. Not even her husband and partner in many operas, Roberto Alagna, whom she separated from for a while, has never seen her practice.
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"I go to Switzerland where I have a home and practice by myself. When I take I part I start practicing like in school. I read the notes. I sing the notes. After I finish, I read the libretto like a novel. I sing in Italian and French, two languages that I speak and understand very well. After that I start practicing the most difficult moments and arias. My inner hearing works perfectly and I practice. Again and again. I care about the long musical phrases; I try to exercise my diaphragm. And many times I even play. I think that for that scene the director might want something in particular. I lie down and sing in the most difficult positions. Most of the times the directors don't ask what I prepared at home in order to be able to sing a certain phrase in the most unusual circumstances. But I do this for me, to know that I can do it. Many times I disappointed that directors don't try more things because they imagine I wouldn't do it. I would like them to challenge me more.
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The true Angela is when I'm alone on stage and nobody in the world can help me. When nobody can give or take. It's just me with myself, with God, with all I've ever learnt. And I take this crucial exam every evening. You shouldn't think I'm not nervous. At 18 when I did those shows "Do you like opera" I had some attacks because of the emotions. But something magical happens on stage, something I don't want to explain and there's no explanation to give. You have to feel it. If I'm an artist, I have to understand some things that come with it: the journalists, the paparazzi, everything. When you got that you're a sort of showman and come in front of people, in a certain way you belong to them. So you don't have to complain. God takes care of everything. The real me, with good and bad, is the one on the stage”.
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On our third meeting, in an elegant bar of a hotel downtown Bucharest, I asked her if and when she cries. “Of course I cry. It’s good to cry. The person who knows to cry is happy. The persons who don’t cry are awful. If they don’t free the sadness they gather frustrations and this is not good
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She was wearing a two piece suite whose skirt allowed a glance to her legs, well outlined by the long, black boots. Above the brilliance of the moment I was about to discover a new side of Angela Gheorghiu. “You never hesitate to say you’re Romanian” I provoked her. “You do you, journalists, always see the matter from this angle? Why shouldn’t I say it if it’s the true? I ask them to write that I’m from Adjud, Romania, not just the country. Wouldn’t I get the same respect if I was born in a small village in USA?” she talked back clenching the right hand.
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So that’s why you always include a Romanian song in your concerts. “Nobody can give or take anything. For me, the Romanian music is the ultimate emotion. It’s like scanning a person; it’s the pure me. If a Russian sings in Russian he or she will be more persuasive than singing in French. Even if he or she speaks French perfectly. It’s the same with me. The Romanian music reaches my deepest feelings. And there’s more”. The fingers of the right hand clenched again and the palm turned into a fist vibrated with steadiness. “Those who go to the European Parliament should invite the ministers of education from all over Europe to include in the curriculum a chapter about the culture of Easter Europe countries. I learnt in school about Baudelaire, Goethe, Shakespeare, about Russians and Polish, they should study about us. This is one of the reasons I sing in Romanian. I watch the audience and I feel like saying – Gentlemen, it’s not your fault that you never heard of Eminescu, Paul Constantinescu, Enescu. If I’m here in front of you you’ll learn about them whether you want it or not”. I can do this using the music. And people understand that even if they don’t know the great Romanian artists, it doesn’t mean they are less important”
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She really meant that while her palm was still clenched. It’s her favorite gesture. She does it in every decisional moment. It’s the gesture of a woman that has been taking the professional or personal decisions by herself for years.
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Looking at her fist and remembering the moments she led the team during the photo shoot and made my colleagues smile I realized one thing. She’s like a magnet. When she talks to you, you don’t hear anything, as if nothing and nobody existed around you. There’s only Angela Gheorghiu.
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It all started with the blonde wig

Part III of the interview published in the March issue of the Romanian TABU magazine. You can read the other two parts here:
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Angela Gheorghiu’s voice was discovered in kindergarten. Her voice was the most powerful in the chorus and after the teacher noticed her she learnt rapidly a difficult lied. Before getting to school she had found a place to practice: the shadow of a tree in the courtyard. She was “watched” overt the fence by a neighbor who told her one day: “You should sing opera, not operetta”.
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Starting then she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. And she followed the will no matter how many sacrifices she made. She went to the musical high school in Bucharest, she moved to a boarding school at 14. It was so difficult for her that she was asking her mother to come see her every two weeks. “She was holding me and let me cry as much as I needed” remembers Angela about that beginning that later changed in beautiful moments.
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In high school she met Mia Barbu, the one who polished her personality and taught her self-confidence. “She taught me to mind the details, to be perfectionist. I still remember her words – Don’t waist yourself. Be patient. Always enter the main door. People around you should be the best”.
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In the present, when she has to take part of a team in a project she prefers to be surrounded by the best, from the director to the partner, from the members of the orchestra to the crew. Even if this means a huge effort for her every time – she has to keep the level high. Or maybe it’s precisely because of this.
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Angela Gheorghiu came dressed in a long, soft, white fur coat to the club where we took the pictures for Tabu transformation. She was the diva you couldn’t help not turning the head after. Because it was morning she didn’t wear make up (she was about to meet the make up artists) and her hair was recently washed and gathered in a pony tail. But the way she was walking and the energy she spread around had a supreme elegance.
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A few seconds later the elegance was rounded by her sense of humor. This happened in the most tensed up moment of the photo shooting.
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The blonde wig. It was the only item not tested in the bedroom where we had tried the outfits. We knew that her instinct was decisive when taking decisions we were anxious to see how she’d feel like when wearing it. Even Florentina, who has been her assistant for the past 8 years, was nervous.
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When the crew was murmuring a few steps away and the silence was heavy, suddenly we heard “A – A – A” on high and short notes, followed by a sparkling laughter. “I had to make you relax” she said laughing when she noticed everybody paid attention.
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Wearing the blonde wig, dressed in a silver outfit, having a surrealist background she made everybody cheer with her sight, gestures and energy she spread around. And all the cell phones turned into cameras. It was the affinity she won using her charisma. An affinity beyond her music.
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After the last picture was taken, Angela Gheorghiu’s voice was heard: “Let’s take a group photo, please”. And this is how 10 hours of pulling together ended.
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1993 - New Years Eve Concert - Bucharest

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A new video popped up on YouTube. What else is there?
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Radio Hall - Bucharest - 1993
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Angela Burlacu Gheorghiu
Ion Tibrea
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Mozart - Don Giovanni - La ci darem la mano
Radio National Orchestra
Conductor: Horia Andreescu
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Opera 2010 - a new compilation from Virgin Classics

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The cover of this CD looks almost the same with the one for Classical 2010. But there are not the same tracks. This 2CD box is already available for download on amazon.co.uk. It will be released on March 8th in Europe and on April 6th in US. The most important names in the world of opera find themselves a place in this compilation: Placido Domingo, Rolando Villazon, Elina Garanca, Maria Callas, Max Emmanuel Cencic, Natalie Dessay and many others. The complete track list is on amazon.co.uk.
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It's available for pre-order on:
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Angela sings:
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* Tosca, Act 2: Vissi d'arte - Angela Gheorghiu/Chorus Of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Antonio Pappano
* Madama Butterfly, Act 1: Vogliatemi bene, un bene piccolino (Butterfly/Pinkerton) - Angela Gheorghiu/Jonas Kaufmann/Orchestra dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma/Antonio Pappano
* La traviata: Libiamo, ne' lieti calici (Alfredo/Tutti/Violetta - Act I) - Roberto Alagna/Angela Gheorghiu/Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado/London Voices/Terry Edwards
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"Adriana" in concert at Deutsche Oper Berlin with Kaufmann

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Maybe not everybody gets to see the comment posted for the previous piece of news. So here it is (including the last remark which I read more and more often on different blogs). Thank you, dear Anonymus :). I kept in mind what you said but so far there's nothing on the website of Deutsche Oper Berlin.
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Btw, the following which has so far only been rumoured seems to be officially scheduled now: Adriana Lecouvreur, Deutsche Oper Berlin (concert performance)on 2nd und 5th of October 2010 with AG and Jonas Kaufmann. A friend got the info in writing from the opera house as part of the pre-info for sponsors. A further (not yet confirmed detail): The performances, to be conducted by Alberto Veronesi, will be recorded to be released apparently with Deutsche Grammophone (which would significantly increase the likelihood of La Madame actually showing up).
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Waiting for the confirmation on the website. If it's true, I couldn't be happier.
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NEWS from ROH. Rumour has it...

... According to Opera Magazine we'll get a Tosca revival in Spring 2011 with a starry A-cast of Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel, cond. Pappano. B-cast includes Martina Serafin...says somebody on Intermezzo, in a comment to a post related to the new season at Royal Opera House.
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So, you see, it's enough for somebody to throw a piece of information and it's imediatelly followed by suppositions. The conclusion is that people are anctious to find what the news season brings. Go to that blog for more news. The 2010 - 2011 season will be announced in April.
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Oh, and if someone bought the March issue of Opera Magazine, please let me know what else is there. Please, pleease!
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"And this woman invited us in her bedroom"

Part II of the interview in Tabu Magazine. As the interview is long and you probably don't have to much time to read blogs every day, I'll post smaller parts. And in the end I'll put all of it on a separate page.
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I was face to face with the woman whose divine voice made kings and presidents cheer. Face to face with the soprano for whose Traviata BBC stopped the regular program. Face to face with the artist for whom directors such as Franco Zefirelli or Richard Eyre are ready to jump on a plane an go to the other side of the world to work together for a new production. And this woman spontaneously invited us in her bedroom.
Her assistant, Florentina Bucos, showed the way to the room. The most private part of the house was about to become our “office” for the next hours. She was going to try the outfits for Tabu photo shooting.
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We were privileged. Angela’s fans, those who are waiting for hours to get an autograph, would have given anything to be here or just to know how the place looks like.
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I spread the dresses on the large bed, letting them cover the royal velvet bed spread. I put the shoes on the soft carpet. I smiled seeing the "Toma Caragiu" movie collection near the TV and I admired the gramophone stylishly placed on a marble pillar next to the balcony door. I smiled seeing some fluffy, bear faced slippers near the wall, next to a guitar box full of stickers.
Even if it hadn't been for the wooden commode with mysterious small boxes from all over the world on top of it, even if I hadn't spotted the annotated scores on the chair next to the bed, I would still have known that we are inside the bedroom of a diva. From the beige curtains to the pillows on the armchair next to the bed, everything suggested voluptuousness and indulgence.
"Shall I try them?" she plainly asked us when she entered the bedroom and saw tens of outfits. Laura politely suggested that she can try them only if she feels necessary. "oh, no, if we must choose, then we try them" she said throwing the tassel cap in the middle of the bed. With this playful gesture Angela Gheorghiu was ready to try the first dress.
And so it started an amazing show of non verbal language.
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Seeing Angela looking in the mirror when trying a new outfit I realized that when she takes a decision she follows her instinct. If the shoulders became steady and the arms slightly strained it was a sign, before any other word, that it’s a dress that fits her. Then she rose on her toes as if wearing high heels, figuring out the complete image. Seconds after, the brain was in charge. Angela’s face was changing – smile, toughness, amusement – looking for an emotion to match the dress. Only after that she uttered the words that confirmed the choice of the outfit.
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The perfect figure is not a surprise. When she was a girl and she was called Gina, Angela Gheorghiu learnt good manners and high class. “Stay straight” “Don’t cross the legs so much” told her mother almost every day, watching her posture. Today, Angela Gheorghiu’s elegance is appreciated by famous designers such as Oscar de la Renta, who became her friend.
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“You look incredibly well” I told her while she was dressing a black bodysuit that strongly emphasized her waist. “I know. It’s time for compliments” she said, not being convinced of what I had said. “No, it was not a compliment. It was a support for another question related to a preconception about women singing opera.”. “I’m listening” she said while her brown eyes were looking through me. “In your world you are an exception regarding the line. Do extra kilos help the technique, the volume of the voice?” Her eyes smiled but her face remained serious, focused on the bodysuit she was getting into. “No. God puts a voice in any body he wants. You can’t possibly know where you’ll find it”. And she started to close the hooks of the bodysuit.
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"What she does is beyond time, space or music"

This is how the article starts. I bought TABU magazine this morning. Got to work and I left it on my desk. The next thing I heard was "I saw that face before". It was one of my colleagues (she has nothing to do with opera). I smiled because I knew where she knows that face from. From the signed photo of Tosca I have on my desk. She has been seeing it every day for the past year. No wonder Angela's face seemed familiar. But these photos in the magazine are so different, as you probably already saw. And the article the accompanies them is a pleasant reading. It's the story of the writer's first meeting with Angela, how they established what dresses they'll use and how the photo shoot went on. This first meeting made a strong impression on Mrs Bazavan (the writer). She put down her genuine feelings and the story itself is as interesting as the pictures.
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The pictures are signed by Cosmin Gogu. I would have liked to know what creator each dress belongs to. Angela said in the short video on Realitatea TV (see the post below) that they all belong to Romanian designers. But then again, the pictorial is not meant for publicity.
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For the moment just the beginning of the article. I'll do my best to finish it as soon as possible. Bear with me. It's a busy period at work :)
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“Welcome!”. A brunette, dressed in a red, above the knee dress matching a pair of animal print boots was heading towards me. She wears a black, knitted cap with a tassel that moves hilariously. I frown.
I’m in the living room of one of the most famous sopranos in the world and I two meters away from a woman that sheds something from the freshness and joyfulness of a teenager. As I don’t have my reading glasses with me, her youthful behavior confounds me: “What if it’s not her?”
She has nothing of the stiffness I suspected from an opera star. She’s funny, childish, delicate and gentle. I heard her voice, clear, perfectly uttering the consonants and rounding the vowels. It might be her.
“I’m glad to meet you”, she speaks again and she firmly shakes my hand.
Being close enough for my short sight, her features got the shape I knew from pictures. I recognize her determined look. I’m more and more astonished.
You may go to my bedroom. I’m coming right away and we’ll start working” she said looking also towards Laura Carnici, my colleague, senior fashion editor, who accompanied me at this meeting.
These were the first 30 seconds of my meeting with Angela Gheorghiu.
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Diva of the future - VIDEO from the photo shooting

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It's a 3 minute video part of the News on another Romanian television, Realitatea TV. It was first broadcasted on Sunday evening and then again on Monday morning. It shows a few images from the photo shooting for TABU Magazine. Sort of behind the scenes. It's quite different from everything she's done before. By the way, the magazine wasn't released yet. But the pictures were already posted somewhere on the internet (not here, as I don't want to spoil the surprise of those who are still waiting to see the print).
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You can see the video HERE. Let it load and then go to 44:10, right after the news regarding Bob Dylan's coming to Bucharest (on June 2nd, if there's anyone interested).
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Here's what Angela's saying in the video.
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The pictorial of the March issue of Tabu magazine shows Angela Gheorghiu in less familiar circumstances for the Romanian public. Extravagant outfits, a combination of glamour and pop reveal a less known side of her character. Angela Gheorghiu is famous in the world of opera and her appearances on stage are an event for the fans of the genre.
You might feel a little bit uncomfortable knowing you're about to take pictures to a woman who stirred Franco Zefirelli’s imagination for example, or who made the audience at the White House raise. A few hour long photo shoot in a fashionable club reveals a relaxed person when working with professionals.
"They are very professional and I just let myself go, I let them spoil me, the hairstylist, the makeup artist. As I'm a true woman, I like everything that's beautiful and interesting, that involves transformation. It doesn't always have to be successful. I accept it. In fact this is my profession. I make people dream"
Diva of the future, as Tabu named her, was extremely selective regarding the outfits.
"I tried a lot of dresses, all of them made by Romanian designers whom I'm very proud of, Doina Levinta, Catalin Botezatu. I saw all kind of dresses that gave me a special feeling".
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