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Valladolid, in photos

This is how it was. The voices, the music and... the dresses.
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Angela Gheorghiu & Teodor Ilincai



















The autograph session, after the concert


Angela Gheorghiu & Teodor IlincaiAngela Gheorghiu, Giordano Bellincampi (left), Teodor Ilinaci (right)

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Valladolid ♥

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Going to this concert was a sudden decision. The initial plan was to wait until Tosca in London. But I missed THE voice. How much? A lot. Last time I listened to Angela live was in December, in London. Six months is a lot of time.
So I went to Valladolid, a town with lots of churches, peacocks, shoe stores and beauty salons. Strange combination, isn’t it? Centro Cultural Miguel Delibes is a modern building, a little bit outside town. The Auditorio is just one of the venues. Great acoustics it has.

The concert itself ended way too fast. But I always have this feeling because usually I wait a lot to go to a concert and the feelings during that hour and half are intense. In an ideal world, everything should be sung twice. And I doubt anyone in the audience would mind.. :)

The first nice surprise of this concert was the starting piece, the overture to I vespri siciliani by Verdi. I don’t remember listening to it live before. It was followed by Parigi, o cara. Singing and acting. And this goes for all the arias. The young tenor Teodor Ilincai made a very good impression from the beginning. What a voice! Well, I’m in advantage as I have listened to him so many times at the opera house in Bucharest. He’s singing a lot abroad so if you see his name in the cast, buy a ticket!
The first part also included Handel’s Lascia ch’io pianga, Verdi’s Ah, la paterna mano from Macbeth, Puccini’s Un bel di (some indecision from the orchestra at the beginning, or at least it seemed so, but quickly solved by the conductor, Giordano Bellincampi) and the duet from the end of act 1 of La Boheme, O soave fanciulla. Towards the end of the duet, the two left the stage holding hands and we could hear the last “Amor” from backstage, loud and clear. It took some time to the audience to warm up, but in the end of part one there was an explosion of applauses.

The second part of the program brought two songs I was waiting impatiently for. The duet from Romeo and Juliette (Va! Je t'ai perdonne) and right after it, Song of the moon. Needless to say that the combination had a killing effect on me. It’s so beautiful to feel the heart beating faster and faster, to need more air than usually, oh, and those damn tears that blur the vision when you less want. And all this when listening to a voice. The one and only.

The program ended with Nessun Dorma, Ebben and Muzica. About Muzica, I see it as Angela’s trademark song. Trademarks are not shared. I would have loved to listen to this piece sung by her alone and not together with the tenor.

4 encores for this evening: I could have danced all night (Angela), Non puede ser (Teodor) and Granda and Brindisi, together. The reaction of the audience was amazing. Standing ovations, lots of cheering, flowers.

I’m so happy I was there. THANK YOU!
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Angela effect

Went to Valladolid... Listened to her... Now I'm living up on my fluffy cloud. See? That one :)
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Yes, yes... there's more to say about this. Soon.
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Something I like. Si, vendetta

One of the most (if not THE most) powerful moments from Rigoletto. Give it a try. I can't decide between Damrau/Lucic and Mosuc/Nucci. Slightly different approaches, but both beautiful. A Rigoletto with Mosuc/Nucci would deserve a trip to Zurich for sure.
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Tonight

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Sesión de firma de autógrafos en Valladolid

aka "signing session", after the concert at Auditorio Miguel Delibes in Valladolid, on May 27.
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Info via the official website and the Facebook fan page.
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Program for the concert in Valladolid, May 27


Via the website of the Auditorio Miguel Delibes de Valladolid

Angela Gheorghiu, soprano
Teodor Ilincai, tenor
Giordano Bellincampi, conductor
Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León

PROGRAM

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
I Vespri Siciliani: “Obertura”
La traviata : “Amato Alfredo… Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo”, dúo de Violetta y Alfredo, acto III

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Rinaldo: “Lascia ch’io pianga”, aria de Almirena

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Macbeth: “Oh figli, o figli miei! …Ah, la paterna mano”, escena y aria de Macduff

Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Thaïs: “Meditación”
Chérubin, Aubade “Vive amour qui reve”

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Madama Butterfly: “Un bel dì vedremo”, aria de Cio-Cio-San
La bóheme: “O soave fanciulla”', dúo de Rodolfo y Mimì

Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
Faust: “Ballet” –selección–
Roméo et Juliette: “Va! Je t’ai pardonne…”, dúo de Juliette y Roméo,

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
Rusalka: “Měsíčku no nebi hlubokém” [Canción a la luna], Rusalka

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Turandot: “Nessun dorma”, aria de Calaf
Manon Lescaut: “Intermezzo”

George Grigoriu (1927-1999)
“Muzika”
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+encores, for sure
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REMINDER: Garantat 100% on TVR1

Tonight, at 10:45pm, local time
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Live on radio, Angela in conversation with Virginia Zeani


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Virginia Zeani was invited to a special edition of "Seara de opera" (Opera evening) by Luminita Arvunescu, broadcasted live on Radio Romania Muzical last week, on May 10. As a surprise, Angela called and they chatted for a while. Lots of emotions involved which made the dialogue even more intense. At the beginning of the fragment there's an aria from I Puritani and later on Chi il bel sogno di Doretta from La Rondine, both sung by Mrs Zeani.
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Thanks to the owner of the audio fragment for letting me use it! You can listen to the entire broadcast on the website of Radio Romania Muzical.
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I figured some might be curious of what they talked about :)
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Luminita Arvunescu: There is somebody else waiting to talk to you.

Angela Gheorghiu: Good evening, mami Virginia! God, this aria is so difficult. This is perfection. What a beautiful voice, what musicality!
Virginia Zeani: This is the aria I loved most from all the arias I sung.
Angela Gheorghiu: But it’s difficult.
Virginia Zeani: It is, but it’s a huge pleasure in singing these high notes
Angela Gheorghiu: You have to be really brave to do this.

Luminita Arvunescu: Together with us in the studio we have Virginia Zeania and Eugenia Moldoveanu
Angela Gheorghiu: This is a huge pleasure.

Luminita Arvunescu: It is said that it’s trouble when two sopranos are in the same room. But we have now three sopranos and everything is fine. I’m sorry you’re not here with us but I understood that you’ve just arrived in Romania and you came especially to be with Mrs Zeani at the ceremony tomorrow.

Angela Gheorghiu: Yes, it’s true. And I’m so happy that she’s here with us now. She represents a very important part of our culture. Eugenia knows what I’m saying, she followed the same path. It’s very important to be able to listen to such a wonderful live recording. I wish everybody would appreciate and love what I love so much.

Luminita Arvunescu: I have a question for you. How did Virginia Zeani conquered your heart both as artist and as human being? You’re a very ambitious artist, a person who asks a lot from life and from friends. What is the source of this unique friendship?

Angela Gheorghiu: This is a long story. I’ve first met her when listening to a CD. It was La Traviata recorded in Bucharest by Electrecord many years ago. Back then I didn’t have the opportunity to listen to so many CDs or attend live opera performances from abroad. I think I was 14 when I first listened to her. It’s a good chance to say now that I met Virginia Zeani though her recordings and Eugenia Moldoveanu at the opera house. They were my reference point in terms of vocal beauty and musicality. They have been my models for the entire life. I was very lucky to be able to listen to both of them.

It’s not hard to love Virginia Zeani. She welcomed me with open arms exactly as Eugenia Moldoveanu did when I first entered her dressing room. The next day Mrs Moldoveanu invited me to her home. I remember that she offered me a dress. I will never forget this opening. It’s beyond what we can explain tonight, it’s something that we have since we were born. We have lots of things in common and it’s not difficult to recognize and love a true talent. I’m so sorry I’m not there with you.

Luminita Arvunescu: If you were to ask Mrs Zeani a question, what would that be? What doesn’t Angela Gheorghiu know about Virginia Zeani but she would like to find out?
Angela Gheorghiu: Hard to say because we know each other very well. You took me by surprise

Luminita Arvunescu: While you are thinking of a question, we’ll listen to a fragment from La Rondine

Angela Gheorghiu: How is it possible that having such a strong nature and rich tone you still preserve the flexibility of your voice?
Virginia Zeani: I have never thought of the flexibility but of the interpretation and my voice was technically ready. If I could turn back time I would do differently. That’s why I don’t like to listen to the recordings of my performances. I always say “why have I done this? what’s with this breathing?”. The taste in music evolves with life. This aria must have been recorded when I was very young and I thought that you can conquer everything with quantity. Later I understood that it’s more about the colors of the voice.

Angela Gheorghiu: We all have a score and have an idea of what our voice should sound like with that music but your voice reached such a wide variety of colors. I remember that you learnt the part in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in one evening. Those who study human voices and us as sopranos know that is not easy to get from a color of voice to another. There’s a theory saying that you need three different voices in order to sing La Traviata. But it’s all about the color. You need the flexibility that allows you to sing that part successfully. We know how it is supposed to sound like, but the will is not the same with strength. And you were strong enough to do this. It’s amazing.

Virginia Zeani: It’s the instinct, the love for music, for nuances that developed in me. Both you and Eugenia worked hard. It’s a work done with joy. When on stage we were happy. That’s the problem. We can’t live on stage all the time. We have to face the reality, sometimes an unpleasant one. Having music in our blood we can always find the beauty in life.

Luminita Arvunescu: It was a wonderful conversation with Virginia Zeani and Angela Gheorghiu. Thank you so much for talking to us.
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Virginia Zeani and Angela Gheorghiu, together on TVR 1, May 22

Photo @angelagheorghiu.com

Sunday, May 22, at 10:45pm Bucharest time (GMT+2) at Garantat 100% on TVR 1

Garantat 100% is a famous TV broadcast here. The interviewer, Catalin Stefanescu, masters words perfectly and he manages to get the best from his guests. Along the years artists, singers, writers, politicians, priests sat in those chairs and told the stories of their lives. The promo says that Mrs Zeani brought some video recordings that were never shown in Romania. You'll see, there'll be one hour of pure joy in the company of the two ladies.

TVR 1 can be seen online on different websites. One that works perfectly and it's for free is Dolce TV. But I don't know if it's working from abroad or not. If it's not working, just type "tvr1 online" in google and you'll find something for sure. The interview will be in Romanian.


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Also on Sunday but at 4:30pm (GMT+2) the Romanian station Acasa TV will broadcast "Doamne de poveste" (more or less... "Ladies that made history") with Virginia Zeani.
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Photos from Shanghai, via Chinanews.com

Angela Gheorghiu, Stefan Pop (left) and Ion Marin (right)
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Shanghai concert. In VIDEO


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Teodor Ilincai to join Angela in Valladolid, May 27

Photo by Adrian Stoicoviciu @teodorilincai.com

EuropaPress announced that the Romanian Teodor Ilincai is the tenor to join Angela on stage for the concert on May 27. Great news! He has an impressive voice, he's young and hansom (check out these photos) and had already made his debut last year at Royal Opera House with La Boheme. I've listened to him so many times in performances here in Bucharest the most recent one being Evgeni Onegin (as Lensky) less than a week ago. Good luck!

The article also mentions something about the program: [...] Se interpretarán obras de la 'I Vespri Siciliani', 'La Traviata' y 'Macbeth' de Verdi; de 'Rinaldo' de Handel; de 'Thaïs' de Massenet; de 'Madame Butterfly' y 'La bohème' de Puccini, así como de 'Faust' y 'Roméo et Juliette' de Gounod, entre otras.
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"I like giving them surprises"


...speaking of the program for the concert in Shanghai. This is a short interview published today in Shanghai Daily.
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[...] She says she was amazed by the modern and welcoming city on her way from the airport to the theater and that she couldn't wait to see the stage and the orchestra for the concert.[...] They will perform 14 programs including the well-known Puccini's "La Boheme" - "O Soave Fanciulla," Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana" - "Intermezzo" and Donizetti's "L'elisir D'amore" - "Caro Elisir." But Gheorghiu also added some less familiar songs to the list like Dvorak's "Song to the Moon" and Ponce's "Estellita."

"I don't want it to be boring. I hope that my audience can hear new things from me," says Gheorghiu, "I like giving them surprises."

Gheorghiu says she studies many things needed for a musician including music, opera, acting and languages. Being a student and an opera singer on the stage at the same time helps her keep improving.

"Each performance is a new challenge for me," says Gheorghiu, "I am different every day, and I cooperate with different orchestras on different stages. I have to be fully prepared."

Gheorghiu is inclined to make all decisions on her own, as she believes that freedom is very important for an artist.

"I left home for music school when I was 14. Since then, I am a free bird making all my own decisions. I am fully responsible for my choice even if it turns out to be wrong," says Gheorghiu. "As an artist, I will listen to suggestions, but I make the final decision on my own."

Gheorghiu says that she doesn't have a favorite role among all that she has performed, as she likes them all. Every role she plays is like a different book or a different painting that brings a different feeling to her, but they are all beautiful and touching.

"If you do not believe in the role, you cannot make it," she says. "If I don't like them in the first place, I will never sing."
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The entire article can be read online.
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Ready for Shanghai


The concert is tomorrow and the lucky Chinese will enjoy the autograph session after.
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Program
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Verdi - Overture from Nabucco
Catalani - Ebben, ne andro lontana - Angela Gheorghiu
Donizetti - Una furtiva lagrima from L'elisir d'amore - Stefan Pop
Puccini - O soave fanciulla from La Boheme - Angela Gheorghiu, Stefan Pop
Mascagni - Intermezzo from Cavaleria Rusticana
Dvorak - Song of the moon from Rusalka - Angela Gheorghiu
Donizetti - Caro elisir from L'elisir d'amore - Angela Gheorghiu, Stefan pop

Tchaikovski - Polonaise from Evgeny Onegin
Grigoriu - Muzica - Angela Gheorghiu, Stefan Pop
Massenet - Vive amour qui reve from Cherubin - Angela Gheorghiu
Puccini - Che gelida manina from La Boheme - Stefan Pop
Bernstein - Overture from Candide
Manuel Maria Ponce Cuella - Estrellita - Angela Gheorghiu
Lehar - Lippen Schweigen from Die Lustige Witwe - Angela Gheorghiu, Stefan Pop
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Something I like


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It would be great to get to listen to this aria live someday... somewhere...
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Virginia Zeani. Bucharest, Romania


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Last evening Virginia Zeani attended Evgeni Onegin at National Opera Bucharest, a performance dedicated to her. During the first interval there was an autograph session organized so the audience had the chance to say a few words. Very emotional moments for everybody involved.
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More photos.
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Listen to Mrs Zeani as Tatiana (Tatiana's Letter aria) from Evgeni Onegin. It's in Italian and the performance took place in Rome, in 1965.
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La Rondine sur Mezzo, May 10

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As you have probably already read on the Facebook Fan Page, Virginia Zeani is in Romania. And on May 10 she's invited to a live radio broadcast entitled "Opera Evening" at Radio Romania Muzical, starting 7:30pm local time (GMT+2). This station can be listened to live on Radio Romania Muzical website. And as they say, there'll also be a video streaming from the studio. Those who understand Romanian will enjoy a great interview. The others I'm sure will be happy to see Mrs Zeani.
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So start your evening with Virginia Zeani and then switch to Mezzo TV at 8:30pm (GMT+1). They broadcast La Rondine, the Met production from 2009. Magda (Angela Gheorghiu), Ruggero (Roberto Alagna), Lisette (Lisette Oropesa), Prunier (Marius Brenciu), Rambaldo (Samuel Ramey). Marco Armiliato (conductor)
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If you miss this broadcast, there are three more on Mezzo TV:
* May 13, at 12:30pm (GMT+1)
* May 18, at 4:30pm (GMT+1)
* May 26, at 8:55am (GMT+1)
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Adriana L, the best for last

Io son l'umile ancella
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Poveri fiori
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Adriana


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Sweet memories...
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The entire Adriana can be watched online on Arte TV from some countries (but not from Romania).
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Queueing at RAH. #4809


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So you thought the queue at ROH was murder? Think again :)
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ROH vs RAH

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A few weeks ago the program for BBC Proms 2011 was released. I almost fell off the chair when I saw that Martha Argerich is playing at the Proms on July 18 (Prom #5). It just happens that I'm in London in that period :) I've been trying to listen to her again since she came in Bucharest in 2007. For me she is the best in the world of piano music. She has a certain way of playing that is simply perfection and besides that she really makes you feel the music. She's 70 next month and she's still palying! It will be a great night at Royal Albert Hall.
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Now, about my dilemma. Prom #2 is Rossini's William Tell, on July 16. Antonio Pappano is conducting the Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia. On the same evening, there's Madama Butterfly at ROH, without Patricia Racette. But there's Anthony Michaels-Moore.
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What do you think? Where should I go?
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Don't forget to check out the program at Proms. There's something for each taste.
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Reminder: "Adriana" on Arte, May 7

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In case you forgot ;) Arte will broadcast "Adriana Lecouvreur" recorded at Royal Opera House last year, starting at 8:15pm, local time.
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