THE fan blog
Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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Splendid black dress, waiting for Diva

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Guess what, where, when?|
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Missed La Boheme at the Met in 2008? It's back on screens this summer

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It's Franco Zefirelli's production that starrs Angela Gheorghiu and Ramon Vargas. Nicola Luisotti is conducting. It was first broadcasted live in HD in 2008.
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Highlights from recent seasons of the Met's Peabody Award-winning Live in HD series return to the big screen this summer as encore presentations. Six operas will be shown in more than 400 movie theaters across the United States, beginning June 16. Four titles will be offered in Canada, beginning July 10.
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Aida - Urmana/Botha - June 16 (USA) and August 7 (Canada)
Romeo et Juliette - Netrebko/Alagna - June 23 (USA) and July 10 (Canada)
Eugene Onegin - Fleming/Hvorostovsky - July 7 (USA)
La Boheme - Gheorghiu/Vargas - July 14 (USA)
Turandot - Guleghina/Giordani - July 21 (USA)
Madama Butterfly - Racette/Giordani - July 24 (USA)
Carmen - Garanca/Alagna - July 28 (USA), August 21 (Canada)
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I haven't met you. Yet.

Mr Buble, you're on my good-looking-guys-with-amazing-voice to see list. I know I'll attend one of your concerts, somewhere, somehow. So keep looking for me in the audience, ok? For the moment I see you had great company for your concert in Verona on May 22nd.
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The photo belongs to angelagheorghiu.com. Click here to see more photos
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Put down in your agendas - Tosca at ROH

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Only two performances of the dream cast in Tosca next season at Royal Opera House - July 14th and 17th 2011 (the last two in a row of 10). Dream cast? From my point of view, yes. Yes and yes. Angela as Tosca, Jonas Kaufmann as Mario and Bryn Terfel as Scarpia, everything under Antonio Pappano's baton. Really, I couldn't ask for anything better.
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So I know where I'll be a year and almost two months from know :). The tickets go on sale next year, maybe in March for "friends" and beginning of April for the rest of opera loving crowd.
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Aie, Pourquoi On S'Aime, Angela & Roberto duet



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O la la!!! Where did this come from? Unexpected but most welcomed. When I listened to the sample on fnac.com I had some doubts. They only give you 30 seconds. A few days ago I talked about how different an opera singer sounds when the voice is used for another type of music. I guess you finished listening by now. Well, it's Angela's voice indeed :)
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This song is on Roberto's latest CD released yesterday, Hommage a Luis Mariano. If anybody knows, let me know please when it was recorded (from the booklet or other sources...). EDIT: the CD was first released in 2006. My question refers to this song in particular.
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The CD is on sale also as MP3 files. The song is also on Roberto's previous "Hommage CD", but there's another lady singing there.
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Dear TVR

You have this video in your archive. I watched the interview tonight (Profil, poveste, personaj) and I saw it.
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And maybe many more from the same period. You also have Angela's concert with Domingo in Bucharest from 1994. And also her concert at Palace Hall in 2004. How can I persuade you to broadcast them? They're hidden somewhere in your archive. It's such a waste. I bet so many people would enjoy them. Think about that, ok?
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P.S. - TVR is the Romanian National Television that has on tape all (or most of) Angela's public performances in Romania.
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Off topic and a little melancholic

Why I posted this? Just because they're my best friends and we've been friends for more than 15 years. Because they had a beautiful wedding. And they already celebrated their first year of marriage. Happy life together, you two!
And because there are some very, very beautiful pictures taken in Constanta, a few weeks ago.
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All the photos belong to FOTO FIX
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"Profil, poveste, personaj" interview rebroadcasted on TVR1, May 24th

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Filmed in June 2009 and broadcasted last fall, this is one of the best interviews taken to Angela I've ever listened to. There were very good questions, nothing to do with the stereotypical questions such as "where is home for you", that revealed the real person behind the wordly known opera star. Good job, Mr Constantinescu! I told you this back then. I'm telling you again in case you forgot :)
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When it was first on TVR Cultural in was split in 3 episodes. The producer rearranged it and chose the most important parts to give the audience 50 minutes of delight.
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TVR 1 - Monday, May 24th, starting 10:55pm (Bucharest time, GMT+2). There is live streaming of TVR1 on certain website like this one. You have to install a small program in order to make it work. TVR International is not broadcasting it.
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Video section - rearranged and improved

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This section was on on the blog from the beginning if you had the curiosity to click on the link. But lately more and more videos are added on YouTube. I put a little bit of order in everything. To get to the videos, click on YouTube icon on the right side of the blog page.
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If there's something missing or placed in a wrong playlist, let me know.
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Renee rocks... or pops ?!?

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I still can't say if I like this or not. Her rock/pop voice is so different from her opera voice that I have to get used to it first before having an opinion. Listening to Endlessly you wouldn't say that she might be able to hit high Cs, Ds, Es. As I listened to Cher live recently, when Renee started to sing I first thought of Cher. There's quite a resemblance. How did she get that voice? Oh, one more thing. I doubt that it was a live performance. This might count for the Cher-like voice.
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I heard many people disapproving this new style. But more and more often opera singers try different approaces. Many called this "desperate need for publicity". I don't think it's the case. I only heard one song from this CD (Dark Hope) and some samples available on Amazon. The CD will be released on June 8th.
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So, wild look, strange voice... I think I'll give it a try.
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This song is a cover. Below you have the original song performed by Muse.
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Un bel di already YouTube-ed

Thanks to the uploader!
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From the same show, Rolando Villazon's performance from Les Contes D'Hoffmann and Bryn's evil Scarpia.
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Kiri Te Kanawa - Lifetime Achievement award
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Parlez-vous français?

Pour tous les fans français, via la page de Facebook de EMI Classics.
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Switch to ITV 1! It's time for Classical Brits

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It's just a reminder. I think I wrote this at least 10 times before. ITV1 is the only TV station that will broadcast the Classical Brits. So if you want to see the show, it's on tonight starting 10:35pm UK time.
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You, lucky people living in UK, enjoy the show! The rest of us will wait the the lucky people living in UK to put some fragments on YouTube. I'm very subtile, aren't I? :))
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"I'm here because of Madama Butterfly" said Angela to EMI Classics. Via Twitter and Facebook

It's "a special message" left for EMI Classics by Angela, at the backstage of Royal Albert Hall on May 13th. She mentions what a great time she had in Rome when recording the CD.
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It was a great night for EMI artists at the Classical Brit Awards. So there are several posts about this topic on EMI Classics pages on Twitter and Facebook.

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Angela on La Traviata at ROH

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It's a short interview posted on the website of Royal Opera House in London. According to a representative of the Marketing & Campaigns Department of the ROH it was filmed last year, when Angela was at the Royal Opera (July 2009). She talks about her future appearance as Violetta Valery next July. Speaking of La Traviata, the first performance on July 8th is sold out. Almost sold out the last two (July 14th and July 17th) and some more seats (those very expensive on orchestra stalls) left for April 10th.
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There is another video (located in Opera&Music - On Stage section on the same website) with fragments from the famous 1994 Traviata.
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More photos and EMI Classics press release

Photo @ www.angelagheorghiu.com
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New photos were added on Angela's official website, both in STAGE and in PERSONAL sections. Check them out!
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Off topic, when I saw this picture I remembered how unexpected Natalie Dessay's appearance in Bucharest was last year in September, during George Enescu Festival. She replaced the soprano that got sick and performend in Mozart's "Maurerische Trauermusik" KV 477. I sneaked in the press coference and listened to her talk about her music. And one day later I attended the concert. In my mind I'm still thanking Mr Ioan Holender for bringing her here over night.
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Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu was crowned Female Artist of the Year for her recent recording of Puccini's classic opera Madama Butterfly, recorded in Rome with the Orchestra e Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under the baton of Antonio Pappano. Angela is currently in the studio recording her next EMI Classics album, a collection of popular opera arias - published EMI Classics on the website, at the News section, yesterday.
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VIDEO - the speech at Classical Brits 2010

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Angela's entire speech, right at the beginning of the video. Later on you can hear Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sing and there's also her speech of acceptance of the award.
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The Classical BRITS 2010: A night of classic glamour
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"I'm PROUD"

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We are proud too!
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Q&A after the ceremony. And some of "to the left.. to the right.. smile... look at me" things that I "adore".
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Dresses #1, #2 and #3 at Classical Brits

EDIT: the two long dresses (red and black) Angela wore for this event were created by Catalin Botezatu (the same Romanian designer who created the red dress for the Kennedy Awards Gala in 2009)
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Dress #1, a stunning red gown for the Red Carpet arrival. And the hairdo I admire most. Even OperaChic was impressed (those who read her blog know that it's not often that she makes such comments) so I took the liberty of quoting her : OC awards Angela Gheorghiu as Best Dressed Opera Celeb in attendance. Heck, OC awards her as Best Dressed Overall. There are a lot of photos of Angela from the event, but I particularly liked these first two because they are not like the others. They're a little bit more.. how should I say... studied. They're not just like ..."Angela, look at me", then puff, the flash blinds her. They're more like my kind of pictures. See here all the other pictures from Getty Images.
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Photo @ Marc Broussely / Getty Images
Photo @ Ferdaus Shamim / WireImage
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Dress #2
- during the show. She performed Un bel di from Madama Butterfly. There are more pictures like this one. If the voice was not enough, add this amazing, queen-like (see the gesture :) dress and you can easily forget to breathe.
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Photo @ Simon Fernandez / Classic FM
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Dress #3
- after she performed she changed into this dress, elegant but so different from the other two. She was wearing it when she received the award, as you can see in the video I posted earlier.
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Photo @ Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images Europe
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Photo @ www.wenn.com
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The first video from Classical Brits on Antena 1

Broadcasted this morning at 6am news on Antena 1, a Romanian TV station. See HERE.
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And the first announcement of her winning in the Romanian press. MEDIAFAX
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People are twitting: Angela won! Long live opera, our dear diva and the Internet itself...

UPDATE: I persuaded the person behind EMI Classics Twitter page to tell me what Angela sung. It was Un Bel Di from Madama Butterfly. And he/she said she was amazing. How else?
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This is how EMI Classics and Classical Brits announced her winning the award :)
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Live on Twitter? This was new to me. It's like seeing with somebody else's eyes. 3 people twitted live at the same time, on three different pages: EMI Classics, Classical Brits and Decca Records. Waiting for those people to twit gave me butterflies in the stomach. Just because you don't have visual contact.
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First award, Composer of the Year Award is: Thomas Adès for "The Tempest". Second award, Young British Classical Performer or Group Award is: Jack Liebeck. Third award, Soundtrack of the Year Award is: Thomas Newman for "Revolutionary Road" Official Soundtrack - first US. And finally Classical Brits says: Female Artist of the Year Award is: Angela Gheorghiu for "Puccini/Madama Butterfly"
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She also performed one song before receiving the award. For the moment I couldn't find out what because everybody is busy texting, I guess. But on the other hand, let them do that. Because besides texting there's somebody taking photos.
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Here's Angela coming at Brit Awards. Photo via EMI Classics Twitter page
. Angela Gheorghiu in the media room after being named Female Artist of the Year
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Rolando Villazon sung “The Tales of Hoffman – Ballad of Kleinzachi” and Bryn Terfel performed “Tre Sbirri, Una Carrozza” from Tosca.
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Back to Twitter :)
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EMI Classics - live on Twitter tonight from Classical Brits

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Big night tonight. Everybody is curious. As the show is not broadcasted live, EMI Classics will twit live. You need an account on Twitter in order to read.
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Classical Brits will also keep people updated tonight. They have a Twitter account too.
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Classical Brit Awards 2010 take place tonight at Royal Albert Hall in London starting 08:00 pm, London time.
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La Boheme at the Met, March 20th 2010

Photo @Terrence McCarthy photograph, courtesy of San Francisco Opera
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It was the evening Angela replaced Anna Netrebko who was ill. As far as I read, it was the first time Angela and Piotr Beczala performend together on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera New York. But they sung together in La Boheme in San Francisco, in 2008.
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There was another great Romanian singer in this production, George Petean, as Marcello.
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Mimì....................Angela Gheorghiu
Rodolfo.................Piotr Beczala
Musetta.................Ruth Ann Swenson
Marcello................George Petean
Schaunard...............Massimo Cavalletti
Colline.................Oren Gradus
Benoit..................Paul Plishka
Alcindoro...............Paul Plishka
Conductor...............Marco Armiliato
Production..............Franco Zeffirelli
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Two small but very beautiful extracts from it. Both from the first act.
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Si, mi chiamano Mimi - Angela Gheorghiu

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O, soave fanciulla - Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala

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"Angela", title for the new album

Apparently this is the title of the new CD that Angela is recording (or already finished) in London. And the info comes not from EMI website but from the News section of the Classical Brit Awards Website. She is currently recording a brand new album of popular arias simply entitled ‘Angela’.
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Classical BRIT Awards 2010, tomorrow in London

Even if Angela's name was put on the Classical Brit Awards Website some time ago, only today UK’s recorded music association, The BPI, confirmed her participation. Romanian Opera superstar Angela Gheorghiu will be making her only UK appearance at the Classical BRIT Awards before she returns to the UK in July to perform in La Traviata at the Royal Opera House.
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And the statement goes on The Royal Albert Hall stage will have to prepare to accommodate heavyweight performances from the opera greats, as Lifetime Achievement recipient Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Angela Gheorghiu perform stunning arias and the welsh baritone of Bryn Terfel and Mexican tenor of Rolando Villazón raise the roof.
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The Classical Brit Awards will take place tomorrow, May 13th, at Royal Albert Hall in London. The show will be broadcast on ITV 1, Tuesday May 18th, 10:35pm.
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Classical Legends - new release from Emi Classics

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This new CD, entitled Classical Legends - In Their Own Words, will be released on June 8th 2010.
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Jon Tolansky, producer and narrator for this new release says it's "A special 4CD set of artist interviews and musical clips revealing unique insights into music and art in the words of thirteen of the most highly lauded performers of the last several decades whose artistry has been preserved by EMI Classics in its home for classical music's greatest heritage.
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The 13 legendary artists in Classical Legends in Their Own Words are Roberto Alagna, Grace Bumbry, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Gedda, Angela Gheorghiu, Evgeny Kissin, Antonio Pappano, Ruggero Raimondi, Mstislav Rostropovich, Giuseppe di Stefano, Sir John Tomlinson and Jon Vickers.
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The CD can be preordered on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk.
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Amazon.co.uk also presents the MP3 form of this box set (with previews for each track). With lots of details, as you can see here.
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The first 9 tracks on Disc 1 are dedicated to Angela. She talks about Madama Butterfly, Carmen, La Boheme and Manon and she also sings. There is also one track entitled "Early life and formative years". The same disc features two other great ladies of the opera, Mirella Freni and Grace Bumbry. There are some other tracks featuring Angela on the Disc 3 (fragments from Carmen and Tosca). See below. Roberto Alagna shares disc #3 with Ruggero Raimondi and Sir John Tomlison.
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DISC 1
1. Introductory Announcement - Jon Tolansky - 0:23
2. Madama Butterfly: Un Bel Di (Extract) - Che Tua Madre (Extract) - Angela Gheorghiu/Antonio Pappano/Orchestra dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma - 6:16
3. Narration 1 - Angela Gheorghiu/Jon Tolansky - 1:42
4. Carmen: La La La La (Extract With Voice Over) - Angela Gheorghiu/Michel Plasson/Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse - 3:01
5. Narration 2 - Angela Gheorghiu/Jon Tolansky - 0:45
6. Early Life And Formative Years - Angela Gheorghiu/Jon Tolansky 5:40
7. La Bohème: Si, Mi Chiamano (Extract With Voiceover) - Angela Gheorghiu/Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Anton Coppola - 5:02
8. Narration 3 - Angela Gheorghiu/Jon Tolansky - 2:06
9. Manon: N'est Ce Plus Ma Main (With Voiceover) - Angela Gheorghiu/Roberto Alagna/Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie/Antonio Pappano - 7:41
10. Narration 4 - Angela Gheorghiu/Jon Tolansky - 1:11
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DISC 3
6. Carmen: Carmen, Je Suis Las De Souffrir! (With Voice Over) - Angela Gheorghiu/Roberto Alagna/Thomas Hampson/Inva Mula/Choeur 'Les Elements'/Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse/Michel Plasson - 6:02
12. Tosca: Giàmi Struggea L'amor Della Diva! (With Voice Over) - Angela Gheorghiu/Ruggero Raimondi/Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Antonio Pappano - 4:49
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Angela, Donald Trump, a possible TV show and news on the new CD

Photo @Jurnalul.ro
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All these in a recent article published in Jurnalul.ro a few days ago, on May 6th, by Anca Nicoleanu. Donald Trump went backstage after the performance of Traviata at the Met on April 21st to meet Angela personally and to ask her to take part in a TV show (my first thought was The Apprentice :)), which she accepted.
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The article also says that the new CD is an aria CD that will be released this summer. It will include arias from La Traviata, La Wally, El Cid, Faust and some Romanian songs.
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Enjoy!
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Angela Gheorghiu, with Donald Trump on an American tv station
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Angela Gheorghiu performed in a sold out run of Zefirelli’s La Traviata at Metropolitan Opera in New York in April. At her final performance Donald Trump came especially to meet her, after he saw her singing at Kennedy Honors Gala in December 2009. Back then Angela sung in front of the Obamas and other important persons in the American showbiz.
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Trump said that he wanted to meet Angela Gheorghiu because no other soprano managed to get standing ovations from such audience through her interpretation and appearance on stage. Impressed by Angela’s performance in La Traviata at the Met he gave her standing ovations in front of the stage. After the opera he wanted to meet her personally. He was joined by Barrett Wissman, the owner of the most important artistic management company in the world, IMG Arsits. On this occasion, Donald Trump invited Angela to take part in a special TV show dedicated to her, at one of the Ameircan TV stations. The soprano accepted the invitation.
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Angela Gheorghiu recently recorded a new album that will be released under EMI towards the end of the summer. The new album is intended to be a “dream recital” of the artist. It will include arias from La Traviata (an opera that she never recorded in studio), La Wally, Vestala, El Cid, Faust and Romanian songs rearranged for her voice. On May 13th Angela Gheorghiu will be in London to take part in Classical Brit Awards Gala where she is also nominated at the “best female artist of the year” category. The Gala will take place at Royal Albert Hall and among the guests there’ll be Kiri Te Kanawa, Anna Netrebko, Bryn Terfel, Rolando Villazon, Antonio Pappano, Thomas Ades.
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This summer the soprano will sing again in La Traviata at Royal Opera House in London and then she’ll be on tour in Japan with the same opera house. Then she’ll sing with Placido Domingo in three performances of Simon Boccanegra in Madrid on the occasion of Domingo’s 70th birthday. The end of this year will bring her debut in Adriana Lecouvreur by Cilea on the stage of Royal Opera House in London. Angela will return at the Met in 2011 for another debut, Carmen by Bizet.
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Berlin, October 5th - SOLD OUT

The second performance of Adriana Lecouvreur at Deutsche Oper Berlin is also sold out. The first one on October 2nd was sold out after only 2 days.

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Angela, live at Classical Brit Awards 2010

The official site of the event (scroll down) listed Angela at the "live performers" section, along with Rolando Villazon, Bryn Terfel, Kiri Te Kanawa and others. Good news for thouse who'll attend. The event will take place on May 13th at Royal Albert Hall in London.
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Angela is also nominated for the "Female Artist of the Year" award, together with soprano Anna Netrebko and conductor Marin Alsop.
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Toronto - April 7th 2011

Angela will make her first appearance in Toronto next year, on April 7th 2011, part of the 2010-2011 International Vocal Recital program of Roy Thomson Hall, which also includes Measha Brueggergosman (November 3rd), Sumi Jo (January 28th) and Nicole Cabell (February 18th). Angela's will be "a program of opera arias with full orchestral accompaniment" according to the organizers.
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The information was published in Toronto Star. And it's also confirmed on the website of the venue. See HERE. The tickets are not available yet.
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Interview in Jurnalul.ro - 23.04

With a small delay, here it is. With one correction. The tour in Japan is scheduled after Simon Boccanegra in Madrid. The interview in Romanian can be read HERE. The translation is below.
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The last sold out performances of Zefirelli’s La Traviata that costed 2 million dollars take place these days at the metropolitan, having Angela Gheorghiu and James Valenti in the title roles. What was special about this production?
It’s the second time when the Met presents a run of La Traviata, which was produced especially for me by my friend Franco Zefirelli. The tenor that performed the first time was brought in at my suggestion to the ex general manager, Joe Volpe. It was his debut in this theatre. His name is Jonas Kaufmann. Since then, he has been having an amazing career that we’re both happy of. Franco is a great creator of truth, beauty and culture. Everything is spectacular about this production and people cheer at the beginning of every act when seeing the sets. I’m proud that the 7 performances were sold out in such important city and opera house. It was a little bit difficult because the conductor was changed almost after each performance. The first conductor, Leonard Slatkin, great in the field of symphonic music, abandoned the rest of the performances for personal reasons.
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This was a successful production. Why are these the last performances?
I’m disappointed that the new general manager, Peter Gelb, will replace Franco Zefirelli’s production with one that has no connection with Alexandre Dumas’s novel and Giuseppe Verdi’s idea. It’s a modern production with only one huge clock on an empty stage for the whole length of the opera. A production that isn’t even modern or accepted. By colleague Anna Netrebko already cancelled all her appearances here because she already sung it in Austria some years ago. These so called new productions get outdated almost instantly while the traditional ones can last up to 40 years. The evolution exists, also the modernity, but I don’t agree to be used as Guinea pigs for experiments or directorial fantasies for the sake of novelty. Many of these directors in the world of opera do not understand the music, don’t love the music or singers which is unacceptable for me. Imagine a director at the National Theatre in London trying to direct Shakespeare without being able to speak English at all. Sad to say, these things happen frequently in opera.
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Was this production filmed?
This particular La Traviata wasn’t filmed. There are already two DVDs. There’s Traviata at Covent Garden and another one at La Scala that I’m very proud of. The recording at Covent Garden was a milestone for my career.
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You’ll keep singing in La Traviata but at the Royal Opera House, in the production that made you famous. How was it?
Precisely about this production I was telling you earlier. It was like a fairytale with each and every detail. My meeting with maestro George Solti was very important. There is a famous story when during one of the rehearsals he started crying and left the room. I had the same feelings here. At some point in the third act there was such an emotional moment that I and all my colleagues started crying without being able to say anything else. We stopped the rehearsal for a while. It was difficult to go on. These are special moments that happen and we treasure them. For the part of the tenor at Covent Garden I suggested also James Valenti. He’s an American with Italian origin that I met two years ago in San Francisco. He’s very talented. He has a great voice and he’s very musical. He studied with my dear friend Virginia Zeani, “mama Virginia” as I call her. You’ll hear more about him. It is his debut in both theatres. I’m glad that these performances are successful and the overwhelming reaction of the audience. Covent Garden is “home” for me. I confess this.
I’m spoiled also at the Met but some of the greatest moments of my career and personal life happened in London.
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You’re going on tour in Japan with the Royal Opera House. What would you like to see again there?
I visited Japan more than 20 times. I first went to Tokyo in 1993, also on a tour with Covent Garden, singing in Don Giovanni by Mozart. Everything was a shock for me. I remember what my dear friend Andrei Plesu was writing in his articles when he was minister. It’s a different world. And I found there one of the best Romanian restaurants in the world. It’s on Ginza, the most important street in Tokyo. It’s called “Darie”. The owner was a cook at the Aro Hotel in Brasov. I always go back there with great pleasure. In every Japanese city, hotel and theatre I’m greeted with the Romanian flag. It’s a country that I’m still discovering and I’m fascinated every time. The audience is sensational. The European culture is still something new for them and they want to see the successful performances. I did here many concerts, performances, recitals. I have many memories from this country.
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After that you’ll go to Madrid for Simon Boccanegra, a series of performances honoring Placido Domingo, who celebrates his 70th anniversary. What are you memories related to him?
Ohh, there are many memories, moments in life that connect us, a lifetime friendship. We first met in 1992 at Covent Garden, at the backstage door. He told me “You must be Angela Gheorghiu. I’ll come to listen to you in Traviata for sure”. Since them we’ve done many concerts, performances and recordings together. I met all his family, starting with his mother who was a zarzuela singer in Spain. Placido is a great artist, a phenomenon and some of the most profound and beautiful memories of my life are connected to him. We’ll sing together in Madrid in Simon Boccanegra. He’ll sung the baritone part and not the tenor one. We already made the debut in an important duet of this opera in a Gala at the Metropolitan. It was touching. You can see some videos on Youtube. I managed to persuade him to come to Bucharest in 1994 and we performed together at the Palace Hall. He donated an important amount of money to a hospital for children in Timisoara. In the next months we are waiting for the releasing of a CD that we recorded together, Fedora. We have some projects together. He’s also conducting and the general manager of two American opera houses, Los Angeles and Washington DC, that I’m attending regularly.
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At the end of 2009 at Kennedy Center the Obamas, Robert de Niro, Meryl Streep, Bruce Springsteen and soprano Grace Bumbry applauded you after you sung an aria from Tosca. How is it to receive standing ovations from the most powerful man in the world and some of the greatest artists?
The emotions can’t be described. I remember that Sting came to me backstage and told me “you’ll be great”. The truth is that when an artist gets on stage, she thinks of nothing and nobody. It’s just her, God and what she has to sing, to give to the audience. IF you get overwhelmed by emotions and you’re not capable to control them, you would just faint. I realized what happened at the applause. Seeing them I realized how big the moment was and there wasn’t another way but being myself. What you saw in that video is the result of many years of practicing, experience, involvement. I won’t change according to who’s in the audience. Artists are like doctors. It doesn’t matter who’s in front of them, the color of the skin, education, age, religion, nationality. I think that a divine moment takes place on stage and in that moment you belong to that world.
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After the concert I was touched seeing all those people that impressed me over the years, presidents, politicians, actors, singers: Meryl Streep, the Obamas, Clintons, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Sharon Stone, Robert de Niro, Michael York, Aretha Franklin. It was a sort of festival of American celebrities. The way that reacted made me feel happy and extremely proud that the girl from Adjud is acknowledged in the best way possible. I was thankful for everything that the fairies wished me when I was born. I called my mother from the White House and she told me “My dear, one heart is not enough for the happiness I feel for you”. She was so happy. How could I put that in words?! It’s one of the uplifting moments of my career.
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Denzel Washington invited you recently to see him on Broadway. Will you go?
I’ll try to go. His premiere is after I finish the performances at the Metropolitan. Maybe I make it to a rehearsal. Angela Lansbury, another great actress, performs in New York. This city is dazzling because it’s hard to decide where to spend a memorable evening. Those living in New York are really lucky.
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How did you spend the Easter in New York?
At midnight I was still in my dressing room at the Metropolitan after one of the performances of Traviata. It was an evening with lots of emotions. After that I went to a Romanian Orthodox church here in Manhattan where I and my friends sung “Hristos a inviat”. And a late dinner with Romanian dishes followed.
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Do your plans still include recording an album with Sting?
He’ll come to one of my performances and we’ll talk about that. We haven’t given up the idea but such cooperation is pretty complicated. He’s my fan and a friend I admire a lot and listen to all the time. He sent me his Christmas CD to Bucharest to add it to my collection.

You and your husband Roberto Alagna decided not to get divorced. What’s your relationship in the present?
We have a friendly, cordial relationship. We haven’t seen each other for more than a year. We go on on our own ways.
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Don’t you miss the days you were singing together? Vladimir Cosma, the famous French composer of Romanian origin was preparing for you and Mr Alagna the opera entitled Bonnie and Clyde. Have you gave up the project?
I think that never in the history of opera a married couple sung more together than we did. I consider that everything that we recorded or filmed is important and we are both happy of what we accomplished. Last year I cancelled all my appearances in performances with Roberto. It was my decision. For the next four or five years the schedule is almost full and we don’t have any project together. I don’t think that Vladimir Cosma gave up his project. We’ll see about that.
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The gossip magazines speculated that Dan Bittman and Marian Ionescu wooed you during your last visit in Romania. How do you comment?
I’ve been knowing Marian Ionescu and Dan Bittman for many years. We don’t see each other too often because I only come to Romania from time to time. After I cancelled the appearances in Carmen I wanted to stay longer in Bucharest. We met several times because I will work with them. I dream for a long time to sing with these two bands. They’re very talented and I hope we can listen to some duets with Holograf and Directia 5. Horia Brenciu is also a friend of mine I hope to sing with… he wants that very much too. He’s the brother of a very important Romanian tenor I sung with and who’s singing in many opera houses in the world, Marius Brenciu.
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The end of the year brings a new role, Adriana Lecouvreur at the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden.
It’s a new and extraordinary production. Adrianne Lecouvreur lived during Moliere, Voltaire and Racine’s time. She was one of the most loved French actresses. The opera is composed by one of the most important verist composed, Francesco Cilea. Jonas Kaufmann will sing with me. As director, I suggested David McVicar, a l’enfant terrible in the world of opera direction. We match perfectly. He’s the one whom I worked with for the new production of Faust at Covent Garden.
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