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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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Paris. In Winter.

A little something to go with your Saturday morning coffee. Have a nice weekend!
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Angela @Liceu Barcelona

Update
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According to this blog and this podcast (36 minutes, with Joan Matabosch, the artistic director of Liceu, presenting the new season), this is the cast of La Boheme. * means debut at Gran Teatre del Liceu.
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La Bohème, Giacomo Puccini
Dir. musical: Víctor Pablo Pérez
Dir. escènica: Giancarlo del Mónaco
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Dies 27, 28 i 29 de febrer i 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18 i 19 de març de 2012
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Intèrprets:
Fiorenza Cedolins, Ainhoa Arteta, *Ramon Vargas, Christopher Maltman, Gabriel Bermúdez, Carlo Colombara, Valeriano Lanchas i altres.
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Inva Mula, Ainhoa Garmendia, Roberto Aronica, Georges Petan i altres.
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Angela Gheorghiu, Ainhoa Arteta, Saimir Pirgu, Àngel Òdena i altres.
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*Maria Luigia Borsi, Eliana Bayón, *Teodor Ilincai, Borja Quiza, Manel Esteve Madrid, Felipe Bou, Luis Cansino i altres.
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Could it be? She's included in the promo video released by Liceu Barcelona. Check around minute 1:00. According to the video, it could be La Boheme or.. something else. For the 2011 - 2012 season there is a complete list of operas available, but no cast yet for any of them. We'll see...
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A video glimpse into Zefirelli's Traviata @The Met, 2010

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As far as I know this is the first video posted anywhere showing something from this production (that sadly won't be seen again at the Met). In this short interview Thomas Hampson is speaking about the production. There are excerpts mainly from the second act, with 5 seconds without comments when Angela is singing Dite alla giovine si bella e pura...
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Enjoy! And thanks, J!
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Angela, 7 performances as Marguerite @The Met

November 29 (Gala premiere), December 3, 6, 10 (matinee and Met Live in HD Broadcast... huraaaaaaaaaay!), December 13, 17 and 20. The cast remains the same for these performances: Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Rene Pape. After that there are 7 more performances, but the cast changes.
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On the same day when the new season was announced, the website of the Met was updated. So you can check all the details online.
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Among others, a video presentation of the new production of Faust. A laboratory, the atomic bomb, World War... yes, still talking about Gounod's masterpiece. Click on the first photo below to see and listen to what the director, Des McAnuff, has to say about his vision. And on the second photo to browse the online brochure. Faust is at page 14.
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Faust @The Met and Met Live HD, starting Nov 2011

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The Met has just announced the new 2011 - 2012 season. Among the goodies, there's a new production of Faust signed by Des McAnuff starring Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Rene Pape. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct this co-production with the English National Opera
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Faust will open on November 29th and at it is also included in The Met: Live in HD series, the broadcast date being December 10.
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FAUST
Gala Premiere: November 29, 2011
Co-production of the Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera

Composer Charles Gounod
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin /Alain Altinoglu
Production Des McAnuff*
Set Designer Robert Brill*
Costume Designer Paul Tazewell*
Lighting Designer Peter Mumford
Video Designer Dustin O’Neill*
Choreographer Kelly Devine*

Marguerite Angela Gheorghiu/Malin Byström*/Marina Poplavskaya
Siébel Michèle Losier/Kate Lindsey
Faust Jonas Kaufmann/Roberto Alagna/Joseph Calleja
Valentin Russell Braun/Brian Mulligan/George Petean
Méphistophélès René Pape/Ferruccio Furlanetto

(November 29, December 3 eve, 6, 10 mat, 13, 17 eve, 20, 23, 28, January 5, 9, 13, 16, 19)
Production a gift of the Betsy and Edward Cohen/Areté Foundation Fund for new productions and revivals
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More info on the new season, with productions, casts and Met HD transmissions, in the Metropolitan Opera 2011-2012 Press Release.
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"Angela, we love you!" Gala on TVR Cultural, 16.02

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The Gala that took place at the National Theatre in Bucharest on December, 30 will be broadcasted by TVR Cultural. On Wednesday, Febraury, 16, starting 10:30pm local time. Good news for those living in Romania. But this station is not broadcasting abroad, or online.
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Diva vs Divo

A Joyce DiDonato production :). Related to her latest CD, with the same name. She asked different people at The Met and Houston Grand Opera if they prefer pants or skirts, divas or divos. See what they answerd. It's funny.
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And if you're on this page anyway, you might also enjoy watching the promo video for Diva, Divo album. I'm looking forward to Cendrillon @ROH.
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Today it's also her birthday. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many years of singing ahead!
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Piece of news

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According to the February Newsletter from 21C Artists to Watch, James Valenti went recently to Abbey Road Studios in London to record "some tracks for soprano Angela Gheorghiu's next EMI CD".
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Now we're waiting...
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"Amarvi per forza or dunque dovro?" asks Fedora

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...and Loris answers "Amor ti vieta di non amar..." (So am i obliged to love you? Love forbids you not to love)
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Amor ti vieta di non amar...
La man tua lieve che mi respinge,
cerca la stretta della mia man:
la tua pupilla esprime: "T'amo"
se il labbro dice: "Non t'amerò!"
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Isn't that beautiful? :). But before Loris' s aria in act II, one of the most famous of the opera, Fedora has two arias, both in act I:
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O grandi occhi lucenti di fede! (As she waits for him to return, she looks at a photograph of him and kisses it, singing of her love for him)
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O grandi occhi lucenti di fedel
O vasta fronte di me pensosa!
O schiette labbra! O risa ammaliator!
L'effluvio qui respiro dei dolci suoi pensieri :
ascolto qui gli appelli del labbro suo fedel
E già un'ignota ebbrezza mi turba
Ah! Sento che qui comincia un'altra vita in me
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Son gente risoluta ... Su questa santa croce (Fedora's fiance, Count Andreyevich, has been shot and lies close to death. Fedora grieves and says a prayer to the Madonna)
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Son gente risoluta quei tenebrosi...
Voi pigri, stolti, ciechi...
Non vi riscalda l'odio,
la fede non vi sprona...
Del vostro Capo il figlio,
il fidanzato mio
voi non vendicherete!
Mio dolce Vladimiro!
Sogno d'amor, di pace! di poesia!
Gloria della mia vita! Sorriso del pensier!

Su questa santa Croce, ricordo di mia madre,
di vendicarti io giuro! io voto la giovinezza mia
a castità perenne, a eterno lutto il cuor...
M'assistan la Madonna e i Santi. E così sia
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So far so good, she wants to avenge count Vladimir's death, she finds Loris but... they fell in love. And act II ends with a love duet. It ends with both of them saying "T'amo" and, as Giordani put in the libretto ... the two lovers meet in a passionate embrace.
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Beginning of act III seems an everlasting paradise for Fedora and Loris. But Fedora finds out that Loris's brother was imprisoned for being an accomplice to the murder of Fedora's ex-fiance. Fedora prays for Loris, knowing that she caused his brother to be imprisoned when she still thought Loris was a murderer. She hopes that he will be saved from the tragedy she has brought upon his life. So she sings Dio di giustizia...
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Dio di giustizia che col santo ciglio
scruti le angoscie e noveri i rimorsi;
Dio di pietà che non ricusi ascolto
a chi t'implora per l'atrui salute,
non indulgere a me, che sono indegna,
ma salva Loris, salva l'amor mio
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But he rushes into blaming her, she's desperate and kills herself. Really touching ending, both in music and lyrics. Troppo tardi, she says: Love is unjust... death is kind! While I lived, you cursed me... perhaps when I'm dead you will forgive". And there's another "T'amo!", but, saddly, this is the last one.
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So this was Fedora's story, told in a few words, 4 arias and 2 duets. Just a teaser...You'll have to listen to the entire opera to get the big picture, to feel the struggle and love of Fedora and Loris, the characters that come to life through Angela Gheorghiu and Placido Domingo's voices.
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New section, audio interviews

This weekend I rearranged my files&folders and I discovered some audio files, interviews that Angela gave in different years and different languages. And I thought they should stay on a separate page. There aren’t too many for the moment. If I find more, I’ll add them.
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I would need some help here, please. If you have links from websites containing the interviews or you just have them saved on your hard drives/CDs/DVDs and you’re willing to share them with the rest of us, send them and I'll update the list.
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Click on the photo to see the list. The new section is on the first page of the blog, on the right side.
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Behind the music. Weekend reading


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Have you ever asked yourselves what's behind what you see on a stage of an operahouse on a certain evening? What's behind those 3 or 4 hours of music? Or, in other words, how is it made? We see the last stage of the process, but I'm sure it's complicated and involves a lot of hard work and emotions. And maybe there's more behind it than we, from our confortable seates in the opera house, could ever imagine. I bought these books out of curiosity. I thought..what can they say more than I already know or read? A lot more.
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They helped me understand better what being an artist or manager of a famous opera house means. And I'll think twice before judging a certain artist according only to what's written in the newspapers.
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So, a few words about each book. They're not difficult reading. actually, they're all very enjoyable because appart from the seriousness of talking about art, there are gossips, jokes, stories of family and careers told by insiders.
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Book #1 - The Inner Voice, The Making of a Voice, written by Renee Fleming (2005). I bought it from Borders, but it's also available on Amazon.com. Did you know that she started as a jazz singer? Or that she studied many, many years in Germany? Well, you'll find out when reading. The two girls, Amelia and Sage, that she raised almost by herself, studies, first contracts, endless auditions, idols, failures, roles.. they're all in there.
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Book #2 - Cindarella&Company, the Backstage at the Opera with Cecilia Bartoli, written by Manuela Hoelterhoff (1999). Bought it from the Met Shop but if you're not in NY, try again on Amazon.com. The author received a Pulitzer Prize for cultural criticism at the Wall Street Journal.
This book has a funnier tone than the prevoius one. She brings La Bartoli in the center but depicts the entire world around her. I bet you didn't know that Cecilia was so afraid of flight when she was young that she only travelled by boat (yes, also between Europe and US), by train in private coaches or by car. Or that she loves to drive. And speaking of driving, the end of the book is .. unexpected :). Or that at 20 she was brave enough to say NO to Karajan and proved she was right. Or that she used to cancel quite a lot when she was younger...These and many more stories, not always happy ones, in the book. By the way, Angela&Roberto's names appear several times as their roads crossed with Bartoli's often at the Met and elsewhere.
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Book #3 - Molto agitato - The Mayhem behind the music at the Metropolitan Opera, by Johanna Fiedler (2001). Again, bought from Borders. Try Amazon.com.This is the story of the Met, from Bing&Bliss to present times. Conductors, artists, moving to Lincoln Center, the crises the Met had to face and the ways out of them, the debuts of all famous names in the world of opera (Angela and Roberto included, in several chapters). And because this year James Levine celebrates 40 years at the Met, here's how he started:
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" [...] Bing (aka Rudolf Bing, the Austrian opera impresario that was the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera between 1950 and 1972) quietly made a decision that would prove to have far greater impact on the company. On November 12, 1970, he had signed an almost unknown young conductor for the series of Tosca performances during his final season in 1971 - 1972. James Levine had been recommanded to him Kurt Herbert Adler, the intendant of the San Francisco Opera, and on that basis, Bing invited Levine. Levine made his Met debut in 1971".(quote from Chapter 10).
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Just another weekend off topic post. But if you get the books, I hope you'll enjoy the behind-the-scenes look. There might be many other books on the same topic, but I just happened to pick these up from the shelves. If you have any other fav book on opera, let me know, ok?
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Washington DC, here she comes! 03.03.2012

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Washington National Opera has just announced the new 2011-2012 season. Part of the "Placido Domingo Celebrity Series", Angela will appear for the first time on the stage of WNO, in a concert on March 3, 2012.
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