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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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The crystal ball shows Faust at the Met

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It's unofficial, but Sieglinde is always right. Remember that before the MET's new season was published he said that Tosca is out and R&J is in? So it was. But to see if this rumour is true, we have to wait till next April.
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Now he says: For Season 2011-12: Faust, Marina Poplavskaya will share the Marguerites with Angela Gheorghiu, Piotr Beczala will sing some Fausts, George Petean will sing some Valentins, and Ian McNeill will design instead of Robert Brill.
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And many other predictions that go as far as 2015. Visit his blog for more info.
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Getting ready for Adriana

Her aria

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His aria

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Addictive, aren't they? And I suppose the voices don't need any introduction :)
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Don't miss the gran finale

The ranking, according to La Cieca (with bubbles and points). Also available on T-shirts :))
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Divas, what are they made of

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Some charts La Cieca made up based on what people commented on the blog. It's interesting to see what opera goers think about this. And everything is depicted in La Cieca's unique style, spiced with a lot of videos. As mentioned here, there are two groups of divas, "classic" and "contemporary". To see who's who, start reading. And grab a cup of coffee. It might take you a while.
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"...this is the best one I’ve seen since Caballe and Carreras in 1973"

says Russ McDonald in the latest issue of Opera, speaking of La Traviata at ROH. Even if the comments come two months after the performances, it's still a pleasant reading, reminding me of some beautiful moments spent at the Royal Opera on a July evening. Here's the rest of the review.
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Thanks, Hariclea! ;)
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She’s back. Having reclaimed Violetta for her repertoire— the sang the Met broadcast earlier this year—Angela Gheorghiu returned here for four late-season performances of the role that brought her to international prominence more than 15 years ago. (I saw the second of these.) Initially Georg Solti conducted, Richard Eyre directed, and performances were televised and preserved on DVD, and since then the staging has been revived often and the title part taken by, among others, Anna Netrebko, Ana Maria Martinez, Ermonela Jaho, and Rende Fleming. Given Gheorghiu’s history, of course, the obvious question is: does she still have what it takes? You bet.
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Musically there were no serious flaws in her portrayal. Although she may have lost some youthful insouciance, her voice still encompasses the notorious demands of the part. Gleaming, even, and darkly beautiful, the sound flowed into the house in the big moments—the ‘Amami Alfredo’ was splendid—and prompted us to lean forward in the smaller ones—the end of ‘Addio del passato’ equally fine. Dramatically she brings good instincts to the stage, and she looks gorgeous in the dresses. But some of her movements suggest an amateurishness incompatible with the finish of the vocal performance. She swings her head and body vigorously one way or the other at the beginning of big, rapid passages (repeatedly noticeable in ‘Sempre libera’), as if lunging into the phrase, and she apparently subscribes to the Renée Fleming school of excessive hand gestures. These quibbles aside, she is still the finest Violetta around.
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James Valenti, in his debut performances as Alfredo, was promising if unpolished. A string bean of a man, he looked gangly and uncomfortable at the Act I party, appropriately enough, but he sounded fine in the Brindisi and the first duet. He probably should have avoided the high note that finished O mio rimorso’: it wasn’t bad, just a little squeezed and brief. Although his instrument lacks the fullness of a Calleja or the sovereign top of a Florez, he nevertheless delivered most of the part musically and ardently, and presumably he wilt grow with experience. I thought Zeljko Lucic was terrific as Germont Père. and if he wasn’t as poetic as Thomas Hampson, the stony power of his huge baritone was adequate compensation, and well-suited to the persona.
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Yves Abel gave an unexceptionable account of the score, although his Violetta appeared to want him to follow her. Having seen the production several times now, I still find directorial delights: that the band leaves Violetta’s party as soon as they can, hustling their instruments down the stairs before the guests exit; that the fabric swatches and unhung pictures in Act 2 point the impermanence of Violetta’s bliss; that the invitation to Flora’s party is delivered by a small child, daughter of the rustic who ushers her in and stands encouragingly behind her; that after Violetta collapses in the gambling scene, tended by Flora and Doctor Grenville, the physician kneels over her not knowing what to do with his hands, as if to show that the illness is emotional rather than physical. Traviata is frequently performed but not always well. All round, I’d say this is the best one I’ve seen since Caballe and Carreras in 1973.
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Les Stars du Classique, in stores today

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It's a series of 20 CDs released by EMI, Universal Music and Radio Classique. 20 albums devoted to the 20 most iconic artists of our time in four disciplines: singing, violin, piano and conducting. Roberto Alagna, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Renaud Capuçon, Natalie Dessay, Plácido Domingo, Angela Gheorghiu, Hélène Grimaud, Janine Jansen, Philippe Jaroussky, Nigel Kennedy, Magdalena Kozena, Lang Lang, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Patricia Petibon, Simon Rattle, Vadim Repin and Rolando Villazón
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There were 16songs chosen for Angela's CD, recordings from different periods. It's available on Amazon.fr, CD and MP3 download. It's listed on the other Amazones too, but it's "imported" so more expensive.
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1. Norma: Aria: Casta diva /London Symphony Orchestra/Evelino Pidò/Karen Jones
2. I Puritani: Qui la voce sua soave...Ah! rendetemi la speme...Vien, diletto (Act II)/London Symphony Orchestra/Evelino Pidò
3. Lucia di Lammermoor: Cabaletta: 'Quando rapito in estasi'/London Symphony Orchestra/Evelino Pidò
4. Carmen, Act 1: No.5 Habanera : L'amour est un oiseau rebelle/Orchestre National Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
5. Carmen, Act 1: No.10 Séguidille et Duo : Près des ramparts de Séville/Roberto Alagna/Orchestre National Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
6. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Cavatina: 'Una voce poco fa' /London Symphony Orchestra/Evelino Pidò
7. La Traviata : Addio Del Passato Angela Gheorghiu /Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Sir Georg Solti
8. Les Vêpres Siciliennes - Boléro : Mercè, Dilette Amiche/Orchestra Sinfonica Di Milano - Riccardo Chailly
9. La Force Du Destin : Pace, Pace, Mio Dio /Orchestra Sinfonica Di Milano/Riccardo Chailly
10. Messa di Requiem, Libera me: Libera me, Domine/Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado/Swed
11. Suor Angelica: Senza mamma (Angelica)/Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Anton Coppola
12. La Bohème: Quando m'en vo (Musetta) (Act II)/Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Anton Coppola
13. Tosca, Act 2: Vissi d'arte (Tosca)/Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Antonio Pappano
14. Madam Butterfly (Act II): Un bel di, vedremo (Butterfly)/Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Anton Coppola
15. Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro (Lauretta)/Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Anton Coppola
16. Turandot, Act II: In questa Reggia (Turandot)/Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Anton Coppola
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With David Frost about her career, Traviata at ROH, dreams... and Roberto

Previewed by a photo published on the official site on July, 15 this year, the interview was broadcasted today on Aljazeera English.
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It's always a pleasure seeing her. Has anybody noticed that people are asking (with few exceptions) the same questions again and again?
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La Rondine from SF Opera, on KWED

THIS Rondine will be broadcasted on KQED at 8pm (California time), on September, 16.
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Enjoy!
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He's got it all, she admits

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The book was published this year, before Jonas's debut at Bayreuth. It's about his artistic life, how he got where he is now, the people that influenced and helped him. Angela shared some thoughts too. The book is in German and hopefuly it will be translated into English soon. Till then, here's what she's saying:
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Jonas Kaufmann is a very important chapter in my career and in my life. Everything started with the preparations for the revival of Zeffirelli’s staging of Verdi's La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera. Joe Volpe, at that time director of the Met, asked me if I want to sing the title role. Since I knew he still was looking for a singer for the tenor part of Alfredo, I suggested him Jonas Kaufmann. I had just seen a video that my manager Jack Mastroianni had sent me, a Paissielo opera from Zurich, with my dear friend Cecilia Bartoli in the title role and de Jonas Kaufmann as Lindoro.

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Even if it's a completely different style of acting I was smitten by Jonas and could very well imagine him as my partner in La Traviata. Volpe agreed to my proposal, and so was the revival of Traviata planned for early February of 2006. In the meantime Roberto Alagna had cancelled the revival of Puccini's La Rondine performances at Covent Garden Opera in London. It was here in a very attractive art-deco staging, that I got to listen to Jonas in the role of the Ruggero before his Met debut. He celebrated a sensational debut.
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I remember very well the first rehearsal with him. There was a true duet of compliments between us. The timbre of his voice is something unique and special, as it is rarely to be found in my generation. He possesses a vocal technique that allows him everything, and his German heritage does not prevent him from feeling at home in Italian and French repertoire. I think it's good that he sings such a versatile repertoire, which helps him keep the voice flexible and supple.
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On February 4, 2006 came the expected "Traviata" at the Met. As in London, the chemistry was perfect between our voices and characters. Of course, many were surprised by his baritone timbre, all the more since he masters equally the medium and high register.
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Our "Traviata" was the one true triumph: the audience was out of bounds, jumped from their seats and cheered, there were countless curtain calls. It was a recognition that Jonas absolutely deserved. For me, this evening was what they call "the big breakthrough". He received numerous offers from the leading opera houses as from the big record companies. Since then we often had the pleasure of singing together, including in the "Traviata" production at the La Scala Milan under the great Lorin Maazel. As the EMI Puccini cycle under Antonio Pappano with a recording of "Madama Butterfly" continued, Jonas was of course my dream partner. The recording sessions went wonderfully, and I think we can both be satisfied with the result.
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Jonas is an artist who is not only appreciated by the press and the public, but also by his colleagues. He is already among the greatest singer and he’ll stay in this league forever. I'm glad (and a bit proud) that I my intuition about this great singer and wonderful friend was correct.
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Suddenly Minsk

UPDATE: here's what she's saying in the video below. Thanks Galina for translation!
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Anchorwoman: One of the best sopranos in the world, Angela Georghiu, performed in Minsk accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. According to Angela, she liked Minsk, which she visited for the first time, very much, and she feels very happy about the city, the audience and the concert organizers. She has even bought a few dresses by local designers to remember the city.
Angela: I’d like to come back and, maybe, give another concert. I saw your wonderful opera theater where I would like to sing without a microphone. And it also would be interesting to have my performance broadcasted for a large audience. If someone invites me one day, I will say “yes” and come.

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Minsk.. Belarus. According to the website of the National State Teleradiocompany of the Republic of Belarus, the concert took place on September 11 and she was accompanied by London Philharmonic Orchestra.
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There is also a short video (nice hairdo!), but in Russian. If anybody could help with the translation of what she's saying, it would be great.
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Watch video
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"Adriana" on BBC 3, December 4

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Different people told me that it was difficult to get tickets at ROH today. Queuing on the ROH website it's an experience in itself. Huge emotions and nerves, and hopefully happiness in the end. I hope you all got the tickets you wanted.
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But if you can't attend any of the performances, BBC3 takes care of you. Adriana Lecouvreur on December 4 will be broadcasted live starting 6pm (UK time). Check out their website. Besides Adriana there are many other ROH productions to be broadcasted live.
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Rod, thanks for the tip!
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Happy Birthday on huge screens

These screens are in downtown Bucharest, in a very busy area. CocorMediaChannel has a very good initiative. It's their original way of saying "Happy Birthday" to Romanian public figures (such as Nadia Comaneci, Ion Caramitru and Victor Rebengiuc). Yesterday, they said Happy B'Day to Angela.
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Friends, R U ready?

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"Friends" of the Royal Opera, of course. Tomorrow, September, 8 is the big day when the priority booking forbooking period #2 opens. The Royal Opera productions in booking period 2 are Adriana Lecouvreur, Tannhäuser, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Zauberflöte and Anna Nicole.
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Please note that www.roh.org.uk will be closed from 6am until 8am, when the booking site will open. This is tricky, but with a little bit of patience, you can do it, I'm sure. The tickets for Adriana and Tannhauser are the most expensive ones. Oh, and as you already know by know, only 2 tickets per Friend.
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Happy queueing/shopping!
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In a nostalgic, Sunday mood...

This is for two special gentlemen, Julien and Jules, and an amazing night in Madrid. Just happened to find this video. And I rememberd our conversation at 1am, at the backstage door of Teatro Real. You rock, guys! Hope to see you soon!
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Oh, and I also noticed that the blog counter reached 100.000 visits. Thank you all for reading and sharing your thoughts and emotions!
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New concert - Vancouver, 03.04.2011

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The website of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra announces that Angela will perform at the Orpheum Theatre on April 3, 2011. Vancouver is also a first time for her (as well as Toronto, on April, 7). "She will perform many beloved opera and concert arias live on the Orpheum stage with Maestro Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra".
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It's not confirmed on Angela's Official Site, but the tickets are already on sale. The price ranges from 45 to 165 Canadian Dollars. Check out the VSO website.
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Happy for you, my dear Canadians!
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Angela on Adriana Lecouvreur

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More details about the synopsis, characters, performances and other details, on ROH's website.
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