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Classica - Rencontre avec Angela

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8 pages with a long interview and many photos in the latest issue of Classica magazine. Already on sale in France.
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Do we find out new things? This time, yes. The interview begins... with the beginnings :). How she started singing, the Conservatory, how things changed in Romania from the Revolution in 1989 till now, that she still lives in Romania and never left for good.
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Then they talk a lot about the roles:
Adriana: "Je viens justement de voir la captation de Francois Roussillon, qui paraitra dans quelques mois en DVD. Que dire? Je me demande si ce n'est pas la production que j'ai eu le plus de plaisir a faire dans ma vie". In other words "I've just seen the recording that FR made and that will be released in a couple of months on DVD. I wonder if this is not the production I had the most fun doing in my life".
Aida: "Confirmez-vous? Oui, avec Jonas Kaufmann encore et Antonio Pappano a la direction" . "Do you confirm it? Yes, again with Jonas Kaufmann and Antonio Pappano conducting" (recording on CD)
Mireille: "Jamais de la vie! Aucun chance". "Never ever. No chance"
Butterfly: "Pas encore". "Not yet"
Manon: "J'y pense". "I think about it"
Salome: "C'est une fantasme des directeurs d'opera pour me voir nue, non?!? Serieusement, je m'interesse a la version en francais de 1907. J'ai mon idee sur ce role tres sensuel.". "It's a dream that the directors have to see me naked, isn't it? Seriously speaking, I'm interested in the French version from 1907. I have my own ideas on this sensual role"
Carmen: "Je ne ferai pas un reprise d'un spectacle concu pour moi et chante par une autre, c'est cerain". "I won't sing in a revival of a performance created for me and performed by somebody else, that's for sure"
Francesca da Rimini & Norma: "Je ne souhaite pas faire en ce moment. "I don't want to sing these for the moment"
Marguerite: "La saison prochaine j'y chante Faust avec a nouveau Jonas Kaufmann". "The next season I'll sing Faust with Jonas Kaufmann" (@the Met)
In Vienna: "Je vais y faire tout mon repertoire: Adrienne, donc, et puis La Traviata, Tosca, Romeo et Juliette". "I'll sing my entire repertoire: Adriana, La Traviata, Tosca, Romeo and Juliette"
Master classes: "Je ne l'ai pas fait jusqu'a present, mais j'y pense desormais. A la memoire de Georg Solti, qui aurait eu cent ans en 2012, on m'a demande d'en donner en Toscane l'an prochain". "I haven't tried yet, but I'm thinking of it. Georg Solti would have been 100 years old in 2012 and I was asked to do it in his memory".
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Want more? Sorry, but no :) I won't spoil the pleasure of reading the entire interview from the magazine. If you're not in France, you could buy it from Qobuz, as soon as it is available.
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The Times - 3 stars for Fedora

Here's the review from The Times. Thank you to the person that sent it as a comment to one of my previous posts. As you know, it can't be read online unless you have a subscription.
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The tenor, conductor and opera director turns 70 next week, still has the energy to try to breathe life into Giordano
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The catchy phrase of Plácido Domingo’s autumn years, “If I rest, I rust”, is now a trademarked motto, displayed with pride on the artist’s official website. Seventy years old next Friday, his protean activities as a tenor, conductor and opera company director never stop, not least in the recording studio. Every year that distinctive, ruefully lyrical voice is heard in a new recording from Deutsche Grammophon — some further instalment in the ongoing series devoted to the Italian verismo repertoire conducted by Alberto Veronesi.
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Puccini’s early opera Edgar started the ball rolling in 2006. This time we meet Umberto Giordano’s opera Fedora of 1898 — handsomely popular for a few decades, then subject to mid 20th-century neglect, now relegated to occasional revivals. Two of them, from the 1990s, previously featured Domingo (they are available now on DVD). This present recording was made in Brussels three years ago.
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Even Domingo’s adventurous range in the autumn of his life doesn’t stretch to Fedora herself, the wealthy Russian Princess desperate for love and revenge first in St Petersburg, then in Paris, finally in the Swiss Alps. Angela Gheorghiu, cloudy of tone if impassioned, takes care of that role.
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Instead Domingo is comfortably ensconced as Loris, the Count who shoots dead Fedora’s intended bridegroom but still manages to win her heart — the pyrrhic victory in a fusty plot originally devised by the prolific French dramatist Victorien Sardou.
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At the premiere the great Caruso made his name as Loris singing the opera’s best known titbit, Amor ti vieta. Domingo sails through with increased vibrato and some thinned top notes —- customary signs of a noble voice knocked about just a touch by age. But he has plenty of heart, a key ingredient in a part whose dramatic requirements are few apart from appearing ardent, unfortunate, and misunderstood. Backed by stage experience in the opera, Domingo conveys these qualities easily.
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Gheorghiu’s voice comes with fewer fault lines, though touches of age would actually suit the vengeful, lovesick Fedora, a mixed-up character not in the first flush of youth, created by Sardou for Sarah Bernhardt. “Torment the women!” — that was Sardou’s advice for young dramatists anxious for success. Fedora is certainly tortured, though with Gheorghiu’s creamy vocal demeanour we don’t always feel it. Singing the role for the first time, she seems a little distant from her words. The vocal contrast couldn’t be starker with the Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze, sunshine incarnate in the superfluous if decorative role of Countess Olga.
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Veronesi, with the orchestra and chorus of La Monnaie in Brussels, lavishes affection on Giordano’s score, though fondness alone can’t transform a dog’s dinner into a feast. Skilfully contrived, if melodically weak, Giordano’s opera fails to shake off the yoke of its faded plot. It worked for Bernhardt on the dramatic stage; as an opera, it worked for Caruso. But now, today, with Domingo and Gheorghiu? Worth the try, anyway. (Deutsche Grammophon)
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There are two more review published in The Independent and on theclassicalreview.com, but it's more like reading the booklet of the CD rather than commenting. See for yourselves.
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Spotted in the audience - updated

Via the Facebook fan page.


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Yes, the video (thanks, C!) shows that Angela attended the Gala honoring Placido Domingo's 70th birthda that took place yesterday, at Teatro Real Madrid. No, she didn't sing.
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I saw the concert live on Duna TV and it was touching, with lots of guest, beautiful arias (including Bryn's "Tre sbirri" and Erwin's "Madamina, il catalogo e questo"), lots of nice words and memories, some tears here and there.
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"Placido, you are amazing!"

Some nice words from Angela to Placido Domingo who's celebrating his 70th birthday with a Gala at Teatro Real in Madrid, on January, 21. There were some rumours regarding those who'll perform. Let's see who'll be spotted there on Friday evening.
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70 years of life, 50 years of career, more than 120 roles.. this is Placido Domingo. There is a special website created on this occasion.
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"In Romania I feel loved and honored". The interview in Formula AS

At the beginning there are some questions about how she started singing and who the people that guided her in shool were. The answers aren't different from other interviews. Below you have the translation (with the kind permission of the owners) of the rest of the interview published in the latest issue of Formula As Magazine and realized by Mrs Silvia Kerim.
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Among all your appearances on the greatest stages, which role do you cherish most? What about the partners you collaborated with for that role?
It’s impossible for me to answer this question. It’s hard to talk in an interview about 20 years of singing, having such a vast repertoire, so many appearances. The most recent production of Adriana Lecouvreur at Covent Garden comes to my mind right now. My partners, with no exception, are always close to me and we became good friends.
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Is there a particular stage that facilitates the debut of a great voice? Which one? Covent Garden, the Metropolitan or Scala in Milan?
An important voice will be able to make a debut and a career on any of the stages in the world. But it’s important not only to make the debut but also to be able to keep on singing on these stages and in time to prove your qualities.
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Which role that you haven’t tried yet you’d like to perform?
I haven’t thought of that yet. I always let my instinct and hazard to guide me or to challenge me. I’m curious to find out too.
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Which of the characters performed so far do you feel closer to your nature?
There’s none. Maybe Adriana Lecouvreur and Floria Tosca. But mentalities and times we live in are completely different. Angela is different herself. She’s more complex and surprising.
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How do you “bare” with your beauty?
Thank you for the compliment. I take care of myself and I want to be liked, admired and appreciated but the way I look is not essential for my private life or my career. Beauty sometimes helps but it can also harm.
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What great things will happen in your career in 2011?
I have to record a new recital for EMI. I recorded Fedora with Placido Domingo. The recording of Adriana Lecouvreur with Jonas Kaufmann, from Covent Garden, will be released on DVD soon. I’ll have concerts in UK, Japan, Korea, China, Canada, Spain. I’ll sing at the Met, at Covent Garden and in Vienna. It will be my pleasure to talk about all these when time comes, if you’re curious to know what Angela Gheorghiu is doing, when, how, with whom, why…
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How did you feel being celebrated on the stage of the National Theatre Bucharest, on December 30?
The atmosphere of appreciation and affection created around me made me feel loved and honored. These feelings are normal between my colleagues and I, or between the public and I, no matter the nationality. This happens everywhere in the world. Those who know me or saw me or worked with me can acknowledge my honesty, love, sacrifice and professionalism. I’m 100% involved in any of my professional or personal beliefs. The idea of this gala came from Mr Hunor Kelemen, the Minister of Culture. I was honored by his idea so I said “yes”. I appreciate these gestures that have no social, political or religious constraint. My music is for everybody, anywhere in the world. In a moment of grace, the artists and the audience join and become the tools of creating magic and dream through art.
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What does Angela Gheorghiu wish to Romanians for 2011?
[…] I pray with them for a more peaceful and prosperous life, with positive moments, real progress and peace of mind.
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With Angela, around the world in 2011

Canada, Japan, Korea, China, UK, Spain, USA. Opera&concerts. All in 2011. Heeey, we'll have Faust in London! Isn't that great or what?!?
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So start making plans. And pay a visit to the OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the dates and locations.
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Going crossover. Anna&Dmitri

Another off topic, weekend post.
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Anna's song, "La voix" should be recent, Summer 2010, according to what's written on YouTube. And her part sounds a lot like another tune... Don't you feel like singing "Ma il mio mistero e chiuso in me, il mio nome nessun sapra.."?. Long live Mr P!
Dmitri's "day off from the opera", entitled "Toi et moi", dates back from 2009.
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They both sound interesting, but somehow different from what we're used to hear from them. Renee F. joined the club last year too. So, who's next?
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And I suggest you watching also the making of "La Voix"
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Fedora, behind the scenes

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It all started with studying the score in Bruxelles, some time ago. Now the CD is in stores. Very suggestive photo, isn't it?
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More images from the recording session of Fedora, on the official site and also on the official Facebook fan page (click on LIKE. It gets updated almost every day).
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Fedora, with audio previews

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The CD is now available in some real&virtual music stores in Europe. People across the Ocean have to wait a little bit more. The release date for US is January 25.
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These are some of the online stores you can order or preorder the CD from:
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Amazon.co.uk - released on Jan 10
Amazon.com - release date Jan 25 - audio preview available
Amazon.com - release date Jan 25 - MP3 download - audio preview available
Amazon.fr - release date Jan 17
Amazon.fr - release date Jan 17 - MP3 download - 4 tracks - audio preview available
Amazon.de - released on Jan 7
Amazon.de - MP3 download - 8 tracks - audio preview available
Fnac - release date Jan 17
Barns&Noble - release date Jan 25
HMV - released on Jan 10
Amazon Japan - release date Jan 25
Amazon Canada - release date Jan 25
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Does being beautiful help? See what Angela thinks about that...


"[...] the way I look is not essential for my private life or my career. Beauty sometimes helps but it can also harm".
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Just a small, small excerpt from the new interview published in Formula As magazine. From today at news stands. Look for this picture on the first page. The interview is in Romanian. Let's see what we can do about that ;)
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Classical 2011

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This CD is released evey year, usually in November or December. I meant to write about it, but many other things happened back then. It contains famous arias sung by the best opera singers, 40 tracks and over two and half hours of music. Perfect to listen to on the way to work. And back.
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You can buy it from
Amazon.co.uk - MP3 download
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CD1
Track 01. Angela Gheorghiu - L'amour est un enfant Boheme (Bizet)
CD2
Track 12. Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna - O soave fanciulla (Puccini)
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Angela, guest in the Gala honoring Domingo's 70th B-day, Jan 21, Madrid?

The Gala will take place at Teatro Real Madrid on January 21. Angela's participation is not officially confirmed anywhere yet, but there are two sources that place her there: "Revista del Real", the magazine of Teatro Real and the website of ORF. It says here that at the gala will participate also Erwin Schrott, Deborah Polaski, Juan Pons, and many others, that the Royal family will be there and that ORF will broadcast some highlights on the next day, on Jan 22 starting 10:55pm.
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More details also HERE.
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Remember "Profesionistii?"

In my previous post I mentioned the resemblance of the idea of the interview with the one realized by Eugenia Voda. She talked to Angela in 2009, for the TVR1 broadcast "Profesionistii". If you want to see it again, it's uploaded on Mrs Voda's new website.
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Besides the interview with Angela, there are many, many others. All in Romanian, but there are important Romanian artists whom everybody might have heard of, such as Leontina Vaduva, Mariana Nicolesco, Ludovic Spiess.
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There are tens of interviews divided in sections: Arts, Press, Theology, Ambassadors, and so on. Stories of lives, stories of careers. Enjoy!
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Interview at Antena 3: "Each performance is like an exam"

A little bit later, but hey, better later than never. I wasn't "in the office" for a while and in that kingdom of far-far away it's not that easy to get internet connection. So I only saw the interview when I got back.
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For those who haven't seen it, it was broadcasted on Antena 3 (a Romanian TV station) on December 27th, it's in Romanian and it's here.
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It's similar to other interviews in terms of idea and questions. The interviewer chose to get back again to "Adam and Eve". The discussion is based on the idea of chapters of an imaginary book. (and if I remember well, this idea was already used in the interview from Profesionistii, on TVR1, on April 2009. Only that back then there was the idea of a script for a movie. And in my opinion that particular interview is still the best there is so far).
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So, Adjud, school in Bucharest, first audition at Royal Opera, the sister, what if it weren't Royal Opera, the story with the director of ROH whom she asked where the entrance is , how she performed in front of many head of states and important people, that she doesn't read the reviews, the nicknames, the comparison with Callas (she doesn't mind but she prefers to be herself)... all checked.
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There is a moment, towards the end of the fifth part. Previously in the interview Mr Gadea asks Angela to characterize herself and she says the others should do it. Now, after watchting together the video from Kennedy Awards and having her there in the studio, Angela asks Mr Gadea to say something about her, only one word. He mumbles something, looks in different directions, says "it's difficult"... My dear sir, you were KO :). After some struggling he said "it's fabulous" (not "you're fabulous") going on speaking about how proud he was seeing her there. Many of us know it's not easy to talk in her presence. Mr Gadea realized it on that evening. Afterall he didn't answer the question and Angela pointed that out.
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Lots of subtle irony from her, lots of laughter, many videos and photos. Always a pleasure seeing her.
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Wanna see more?

Off topic: it was a beautiful sunset yesterday...

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Back to the National Theatre. I got some more photos. Thanks to Daniela & Romeo
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Dress #1







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First post in 2011, a special report from the National Theatre, with video

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Here where I am now, in Koh Samui, Thailand, on New Year's Eve people go on the beach, lit up lanterns and let them fly. They're made of light paper and have a sort of heating system. You have to make a wish and if the lantern flies, the wish will come true. My wish?... Shhh... that's a secret.
See the dots in the sky? They are lanters. Hundreds of them lit up on the entire beach. That was one of the most beautiful things I've seen so far.
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What a beautiful way to start the new year, with the songs Angela sung at the National Theatre in Bucharest. All four of them. Plus a high quality video with Brindisi, and videos with the other songs.
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But first of all, the special report I got from my friend Daniela. Thanks for thinking of me!
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As I left London having seen Angela in Adriana Lecouvreur, I thought to myself “This great feeling should last for a few good months, as there’s nothing planned for me until Tosca next July”.
Little did I know that a concert was being prepared for Bucharest . When I saw how many artists are lined up to sing for Angela, I knew she wasn’t going to be on stage that long. But her magnetic presence made up for the few songs/arias she sang.
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During the first part of the concert she was in the audience, enjoying her friends’ singing. At the end of the first part, she sang the beautiful “Les chemins de l’amour” by Poulenc, accompanied by Dan Grigore. This was just a teaser, as after the intermission we had to wait for a few good arias until Angela came back on stage again.
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“Ebben? Ne andro lontana” was so intense that at the end I had tears in my eyes. I had heard Angela sing it live before, but never in such a powerful interpretation. For me it was the highlight of the evening, even though the ‘collective’ Granada was very nice too. Angela enjoyed every minute of it, singing, dancing, smiling. As she did in Brindisi from La Traviata. I thought she was really into it, enjoying her friends’ company very much.
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A very nice touch was the messages that were played on the big screen, to congratulate her and give her best wishes, from Virginia Zeani, Placido Domingo and the new manager of the Vienna Opera, Peter Gelb, Jose Carreras, Jonas Kaufmann, Vittorio Grigolo, James Valenti.
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Backstage, after the concert, she was, as always, extremely kind with everyone who wanted to take photos of her, with her or simply talk to her.
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What I noticed is that the “Angela effect” is the same even if you’ve seen her many times before or if you see her for the first time. I took two friends with me who had never seen her live before and they were completely mesmerized by her presence, singing, by her personality. As were my two friends who saw her last year in Bucharest and they are determined to go abroad and see her in an opera. Two more people converted for the Tosca group. Happy New Year to you all Angela fans and have a great year with many significant musical events!

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And the other videos, HERE.

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