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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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Fedora is coming. Jan 7

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One piece of good news after the other, right? According to Amazon.de, Fedora, the double CD starring Angela Gheorghiu and Placido Domingo, will be released on January 7, 2011, under Deutsche Grammophon. The date might vary on different Amazones or countries. There's no cover yet, but we're very patient :) This would be a great B-day gift for me. Yey!
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Mario, danke :)
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Guess who'll record Aida...

As I thought, not all the interesting stuff was published on the online version of Opernglas. They kept some things for thouse who can buy the magazine. But hey.. somebody who knows me (thanks, H!) pointed out what Lady G answered to one of the questions:
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...Antonio as in Antonio Pappano, of course. Check out page 23 of Opernglas, and the beginning of page 24. I know, I know, many of you don't have the magazine. Here's what it's saying:
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Let us talk about future projects. Will there be more role debuts?
We will record "Aida", in the same format as "Butterfly", under the baton of Antonio Pappano. The following year, it is Tosca again as well as Romeo et Juliette, but also concerts. Many also ask me to sing Salome. But I think they just want to see me naked on stage! It is not impossible, there is a French version of Salome with an altered instrumentation, which would be interesting to sing. But I do not have plans for it at the moment.
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The next question/answer is also worth mentioning:
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You have sung Verdi's Requiem, for many a kind of spiritual opera. Do you also sing oratorios once in a while?
Not necessarily, I prefer the Glamour! Otherwise I have no fun. I love not only the acting and singing on stage, but also the special atmosphere after the peformance. At the end of the day this is also theather and gives you an incredibly satisfying feeling. Nothing is better than that, because it is so perfect.
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Time&location unknown for the moment. But this is a step ahead :)
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On the cover of Das Opernglas - interview and review

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The latest issue of Das Opernglas features an interview with Angela regarding the debut with Adriana and some other staff such as the photos (previously published in Viva Magazine) included in the article. Some excerpts from the interview can be read online, on the website of Opernglas (click on "interview"). The translation (or, better said, the attempt) is below. There might be some mistakes (blame Google!) but I gladly accept a correct version.
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Lady G. - Not Gaga, but pure glamor. Diva Angela Gheorghiu in conversation with Richard Erkens over Berlin, verismo and cool photos (Excerpts from the interview)
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Ms Gheorghiu, you have come to Berlin to sing at the Deutsche Oper the title role of "Adriana Lecouvreur," a role debut. How did you experience the Berlin premiere audience?
A great audience, I was very impressed. It was a real triumph! I’m now for the third time in Berlin, […]. I performed in "Roméo et Juliette" and I have sung “L’Amico Fritz” by Mascagni two years ago . But this time it was very special because it is debut in such a large role and with such a wonderful team of friends and colleagues. Together with Marco Armiliato on the podium and the great and so friendly orchestra of the Deutsche Oper, we had an unforgettable evening. It’s important to have such colleagues because Cilea’s score is not easy.
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This opera will be staged in November at the Royal Opera House in London. Was the performance in Berlin a sort of public dress rehearsal?
No, not at all. Opera in concert has a completely different and distinct atmosphere that can not be compared to the staged productions. And it really doesn’t matter if I have sung the role previously, or not. As a singer you have to invest the same in a role. I have to say that concert performances are even more difficult for me because there is not too much space to move. Especially for a character like that of Adriana, you need independence on stage and the role is very difficult when you can’t move. The possibility of movement is very limited and this creates a very different theatrical atmosphere. It is difficult also because in the third act I have to deliver a monologue. I need to talk. I do that only in “Traviata”, when I read the letter from the pere Germont. But in “Adriana” I am a real actress with a spoken monologue - I love that! In London there will be a new stage production. It is important to me when I sing a role for the first time. I have a very good experience with director David McVicar, as we have worked together for "Faust". He's incredibly talented and one of my favoritedirectors. Therefore, I asked him if he wants to direct the production. […]
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You already mentioned a special feature of this role, namely the Parisian actress Adriana, who is a historical figure that died under mysterious circumstances in1730s. At that time there was a veritable social scandal. What attracts you to this role?
I was surprised when I discovered that over half of the music for Adriana […]. I thought it would be a role for a spinto soprano. But it is not! The text is very much in the foreground. This is a feature of the role that is very important. In addition, I am fascinated by the clear distinction of the female vocal subjects: the mezzo part is clearly my competitor, Principessa de Buillon. Cilea distinguished voice types and characters very well.
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Is there a need for a special vocal technique to perform verismo? Is it vocally different for you when you sing Violetta or Adriana?
No, there is no difference. But now you remind me of my first verismo-roles I'm singing with Plácido Domingo, namely "Fedora" by Umberto Giordano. At that time I realized that you have to deal with this repertoire, just more careful with the voice. I’m careful not to get to my limits, even if it is required. Verismo is not the healthiest repertoire, it should not be sung too often. It helps if you’re a bit selfish and can behave with restraint. But then when I'm on stage, I forget all these concerns.
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You have already mentioned "L'amico Fritz" already, and "La Rondine," that was just released on DVD, now "Adriana Lecouvreur" follows. Are you specifically looking for less-known operas in this period?
I simply like these operas, this is my motivation. I have to dig a program, unknown opera for its own sake. I love opera and listen to many things. When I find something that suits my voice and my character, I bring it to the stage. This is actually very simple. But when I went for something, I'm very much into them, and leave nothing to chance. This starts with the selection of colleagues ...
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... as it was the case with Jonas Kaufmann
Yes, exactly. I know Jonas for a long time. My manager gave me a video with him and Cecilia Bartoli. They sung in 2002 in Paisiello’s "Nina." I was looking for a new tenor for "La Traviata" at the Metropolitan Opera, and recently we needed someone for the "Rondine" at Covent Garden. I told Peter Katona, "Let’s get this young tenor!" And he made his debut in London and later in New York and also at La Scala. I have driven his career and convinced him to leave Zurich and to make a big career. Even as we recorded later, "Madama Butterfly" for EMI, it was not so easy to convince the record company to commit to such a role as Pinkerton […]. I am happy that I had the right ear and the right feeling! Incidentally, it was similar to Roberto Alagna: I notice quickly if someone has a special voice.
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The photos present you in an unusual […]. You obviously like to play with your options?
I love it! I like to surround myself with beautiful things, and why should I not show that? If I have the opportunity to introduce myself as well and I want different outfits, then show me this way and not apologize for me.
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Can this side of an opera star also help to address a larger, perhaps even foreign opera audience?
All singers in the history of opera have been trying to reach a large audience. But why? We all know that especially today, classical music - specifically the opera - does not interest everyone. But not because the opera would be the entertainment for a social elite, but just because this music is not always easy to hear and it's hard sometimes to approach it. It takes often a lot of time, not everyone has. It is not always a question of lack of training: Also a good Mathematics teacher at school does not manage to get all enthusiastic about Mathematics. Some light classical music appeal to all certainly, but the art form of opera is not made for everyone. This is a simple truth. Even the most tasteful thing in life is not for every day and not made for everyone. If it were, it would lose its appeal immediately.Of course, I try with my art to reach a large audience, but I'm mainly with crossover projects, so with lighter things. We can not have the largest audience in Wagner. And man needs both pop for the body and classical music for the soul!
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And then the review
of the premiere of "Adriana Lecouvreur" at Deutsche Oper Berlin (click on "Premieren" then on "Berlin"). This is just an excerpt (as it is mentioned on the website). The writer agrees that both Angela and Jonas made e very good impression, that the parts fit them like gloves and that they delivered the music with emotion and deep involvement and because of this nobody really missed the sets and costumes (I think I said that too, didn’t I?).
If there’s more in the magazine that we all should know about, please let me know.
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Claudia, thanks ;)
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What do I miss soooo much?

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It's a place. And a lot of hints ;)
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A very hot ticket, says the Independent

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Big photo posted by The Independent to illustrate this event, part of the "50 best autumn arts events" in London. All the performances got sold out at some point, but the tickets still come and go. So if you still didn't get one, there's still hope.
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Regarding the comment next to the photo, I don't think that anybody denies anything.
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Reissued in "Home of the Opera" collection

First it was Manon, now it's La Rondine and Romeo et Juliette.
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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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There many, many more CDs in this collection. Try the Amazon stores if you want to but any of them.
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Happy Birthday, Mrs Zeani!

She's 85 years old. What a great voice and inspiration for lots of opera singers!
Long, happy life ahead!
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She sings Vivaldi

Now that symphonic exuberance passed and the one year of waiting for Mr P. to come to Bucharest started, I'm back on track. Please excuse the diversion, but I couldn't help it :)
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So, two more videos from 1987 (Vivaldi) and 1989 (Cilea) were uploaded on YouTube. Both concerts took place on the stage of the National Radio Hall. Maybe there are more videos to come? Who knows... only the uploader ;)
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Pappano, Barenboim, Mehta, Perahia, Bostrige and more. All in Bucharest!

I think this is the longest title I've ever written. But hey, the list is waaaaaay longer. I could dance all night, as the song says. For me it's Heaven on Earth. I travel to see all these people and George Enescu Festival brings them to me. It's the 20th edition of this Festival. Last year I attended more than 50 concerts in less than a month, 3 per day during weekends. It was madness but I LOVED it!
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The best of the best are coming back. The Festival will take place in September 2011. One year of waiting, but who wouldn't wait for such a linup. See for yourselves on the Official Website of the Festival.
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Just to have an idea before you have time to analize the program. So, in no particular order:
Antonio Pappano with his Accademia di Santa Cecilia and Helene Grimaud (fainting here!!!)
Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin (saw him twice. Everything he touches turnes into gold, symphonically speaking)
Christian Zacharias and Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (this is their third year in a row at the Festival. The Atheneum was too small for those to wanted to listen to them. I attended 6 memorable midnight concerts so far)
Zubin Mehta, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Vadim Repin and Yefim Bronfman (wow x 4)
Murray Perahia and Saint Martin in the Fields
Ian Bostrige (somebody I know is very, very happy right know ;)
Valery Gergiev and Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra (he's baaaaaak!)
Yundi in recital
Boris Berezovsky (twice)
Vasily Petrenko and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Labeque Sisters
Danielle Gatti and Orchestre Nationale de France (with Mahler 9!)
London Symphony Orchestra with Nicola Benedetti
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And many others. There is chamber music, opera, ballet, lots of symphonic. Everything for everybody, during one month in September 2011.
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Great news for a gloomy, rainy Monday afternoon!
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Angela. 1988.

This concert took place at the National Opera in Bucharest on June 1, 1988 and it was entitled "Arta Florescu and her Guests".
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The artists invited were: Eugenia Moldoveanu, Angela Gheorghiu, Maria Slatinaru, Dan Zancu, Elvira Carje, Iulia Isaev, Cristina Iordachescu, Anca Hertea, Dorina Chesei, Adriana Alexandru, Emil Iurascu, Gladiola Nitulescu, Gabriel Alexandrescu and others.
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For the second time this week, THANK YOU Devereux 82 for the upload and... toi, toi, toi!
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The first opera I saw

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I was 7 or 8 years old. I was at my grandmother's and I remember the moment perfectly. I was sitting in front of a black&white TV set. And I was watching Eugenia Moldoveanu, another great Romanian soprano, singing Madama Butterfly. It was the production in the video. I even remember how my heart started beating faster. And back then I knew nothing of what opera means. But the voice and the feelings in it made a child sit still for a long time. Today I found this video and it was like a flashback.
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Thanks Devereux82! You have some great videos there!
And there is a group on Facebook dedicated to Mrs Moldoveanu, if you want to join!
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Vamos a Valladolid?

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I was just thinking that there are only concerts scheduled in Canada for next year. Well, no. Europeans, be happy! Centro Cultural Miguel Delibes in Valladolid, Spain, announced a concert on May 27th 2011, part of "Opera y Grandes Voces" series (see page 14 of the pdf on their websit). "Gala de arias de opera" they say, but no program yet.
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Some reviews for "Adriana" more photos and a video

First of all, thanks for all the comments. And don't forget to share your thoughts regarding the Adriana in London in November and December, ok? As much as I'd love to, I won't be there for every performance.
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Most of the reviews below are in German, but Google gives a pretty good translation. Only good things to say about the premiere of Adriana Lecouvreur in Berlin.
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Deutsche Oper Berlin published on its website some beautiful pictures from the first performance on October 2. They were obviously take with a good camera, with tripod, during the opera. Thanks Frieda & Cristina for the link ;). See HERE - click on the first photo to start the slide show.
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And a video from applauses. Thank you, uploader!
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More from "Adriana", by request :)

It's a ladies only post. Arias from "Adriana", DOB, October 2
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Io son l'umile ancella - act I - Angela Gheorghiu

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Sia! Non risponde.. and the duet that follows - act II - Angela Gheorghiu & Anna Smirnova

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Poveri fiori
- act IV - Angela Gheorghiu

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Bella tu sei, tu sei gioconda...Si! Amor mi fa poeta...

Listen to this. You'll see I was right. It was IN-CRE-DI-BLE!
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La Dolcissima effigie and the duet that follows. Adriana Lecouvreur, act I. Angela&Jonas. Deutsche Oper Berlin, October 2
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Adriana Lecouvreur. Berlin. Photos.

I guess some of you were waitig or them :). They sung perfectly and they were so beautiful.
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Enjoy!
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End of act II. Angela Gheorghiu & Jonas Kaufmann
The conductor, Marco Armiliato



End of act IV


Markus Bruck
Anna Smirnova
Jonas Kaufmann







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So it was Adriana in Berlin

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How should I put it? It was enchanting. The music, the voices, everything. It was that kind of performance that took my breath away. Literally. Even if it was opera in concert, the artists on stage knew how to deliver it. Adriana and Maurizio build up their love story, Michonnet suffers but supports Adriana, Principessa de Buillon interferes and ruins everything. The music is absolutely beautiful. All the four acts contain traces of the two important arias in act I, L’umile ancella and Dolicissima effigie. Sometimes she sings on his tune, in exchange he uses hers and sometimes else the orchestra plays them both as passage between the scenes.
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L’umile ancella is Adriana’s first aria. As in Simon Boccanegra, the soprano enters the stage and has to sing a very difficult aria. It was so touching. Those soft, long…almost endlessles notes (by the way, where is all that air coming from? I have to breathe three times on one of Angela’s long notes) also broth the first tears in my eyes. Somebody gave me an idea today of how to define that voice. I’m quoting: “it’s like melting silk”. Those were soon followed by others when Jonas sung La Dolcissima effigie. And everything culminates with the their duet. Did I see sparks? Oh, YES. “See”, as the sparks were actually felt. With every note, movement, look. These two voices really match perfectly. And think that this was the first evening. The more they sing the opera, the better it will sound. I just listen to it and I started counting down the days to London. But going back to Adriana…
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Act II allows the mezzo to show off. And Mrs Anna Smirnova made the audience cheer a lot after her first aria. What a deep and clear voice! The confrontation between Adriana and her, in the end of act II is very powerful. As if two strong wills, two women fight for the love of their lives. Here the orchestra has a great merit. The support is 100%. And think that the singers don’t actually move from their places. They all used scores, so they were standing in front their music racks.
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The center piece in act III is Adriana’s monologue. Adriana uses the final lines of a fragment of Phaedra to make a headstrong attack on the Princess. The intensity rises with every word and Angela is soooo into what she’s saying there. You should have seen her. As she tends to move a lot (especially large gestures with her hands) and the space in between the conductor (she got the first rack on his left) and Jonas, most of the times she grabbed the crossbar that surrounds the conductor’s stage. Or she rose on her toes as she took the high notes. “Chedo in bonta di ritirarmi” she says and leaves the stage followed by the rest of the cast.
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Act IV is the conclusion. First it’s Poveri fiori. Slow, melodious, gentle. The voice stresses on every word but with so much care and sadness at the same time. Adriana and Maurizio should have lived happily ever after, only that she dies. The moment Jonas entered the stage and they started singing my blood pressure went up and the tears came back. It was a normal reaction to what happened on the stage, both musically and visually. It was embroidery of love, sorrow, passion, concern. Those sounds in pianissimo are simply heart breaking. In a mixture of madness and lucidity Adriana declares her love … and dies. The orchestra has the difficult task to conclude this tragic moment. The sound stays low for a while, then raises and fades in the end. There were a few seconds of complete silence. Nobody moved in the hall. It was perfect. Lots of tears in the eyes of people around me. Which turned suddenly into very loud applauses. The entire cast came on stage again, and again. I wonder if at some point in time people will applaud so much that the opera could start from the beginning. Many times I had this feeling.. of not wanting to go back home, to be able to listen to it once again, right then.
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A+ for Maestro Wizarmiliato and his orchestra. The concert master, the first cello, the dialogue between the flute and oboe and the solos of the bassoon were perfect. From time to time the music seemed too loud. I’d say it’s normal because they were on stage not in the pit. But take for example the end of the opera. Not a note above the voices when the voices were in piano. Also good interventions from the chorus, in the third act.
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I only mentioned A&J so far. But all the others did a great job. Markus Brück as Michonnet, Stephen Bronk as the Prince, Burkhard Ulrich as Abbé de Chazeuil, Hulkar Sabirova as Mademoiselle Jouvenot and Katarina Bradic as Mademoiselle Dangeville. And of course, Anna Smirnova.
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What else is there? Oh yes, Angela's outfits. A long, grey dress for the first two acts and a dark cherry, medium length one for the second part. You’ll see the photos :)
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In the end I found myself unable to talk/think clearly and do things normally. And when I was supposed to say something, I couldn’t. Well, if I remember well, I said just “thank you”. Sorry L It’s my reaction to a performance like this one and to a certain voice. But all above is what I would have said. If I sit in a chair and I feel my heart beating faster and faster, it means that people on stage do a perfect job; that they believe in music and make us believe too.
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So this is what I heard. I lived, loved and died with Adriana. And I tried to put the feelings into words for all those that would have like to be there but couldn't make it.
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Have I said.. photos? Sooooon :)
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Happy shopping!

The general sale for the Winter season at ROH (Adriana Lecouvreur included) takes place tomorrow, starting 10am London time. Usually this is a real fight. But it's a sweet one if you get what you want. By the way, is there a special technique to get the B13 or B14 in Circle stalls? Let me know.
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I wish you good luck, lots of patience (even you get the number 19xx in the queue) and a very good internet connection!
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PS: some impression from Adriana at DOB coming soon. Check back!
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