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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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Interview for Bloomberg with bits of O mio babbino

There are some fragments from O mio babbino caro performed on Sept 22, in between the interview and trailers for Adriana and Tosca. The interview was taken during ROH's new cinema season launch, event held inside Royal Opera House.
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And no, cinema will never take people away from the opera house. The atmosphere is totally different inside the venue. There's something in the air and once you breathe it you'll want to go back. 
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Enjoy!
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Welcome!

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Angela Gheorghiu's introductory message presented in cinemas before the beginning of Faust, last evening. The nice thing about this video is the place it was showed on TV, namely during Sinteza Zilei on Antena 3 (and those people stopped talking for 2 minutes :). That's what the Antena 3 people were doing at the Opera House last night! They shot, rushed back to the studio and broadcast it. Told ya, it was a special event!
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Faust #4, in cinema

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Happy to be able to see Faust again. The perspective is different in cinema. Due to close ups you can see what it's impossible to see if you're inside ROH unless you're in the first rows. So now I noticed the expression of the faces, the beautiful costumes, some suggestive gestures, the strong emotions and also the fact the at the beginning of the first act the book Faust is reading is a... score :)
Happy to listen to Angela again. Her voice always goes straight to my heart. Don't ask how it's possible for me to smile and cry at the same time. It's inexplicable overwhelming. Too mushy? Maybe, but I'm allowed. It's 2:30am and I've just seen my fourth Faust of this run.
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Even happier so see that this event was turned into a special one.
*the broadcast was at the National Opera House in Bucharest. Watching opera inside the opera house is already a plus. Huge screen, good sound, the atmosphere.
*there were a lot of people. A LOT. Half of them, the usuals of the location and cultural events in general. But also many new faces.
*people were smartly dressed, as coming to a live event
*there was a poster and there were also programs (which doesn't happen with Met broadcasts)
*there was also a small shop that was "attacked" during the interval
So congratulations to the organizers! Don't know how difficult it was, but the results were great. Hope to see also Adriana and Tosca... right?
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Here ends my Faust adventure. A little bit sad. But looking back, there were two weeks of daydreaming. I  preserve all these feelings and they should last till next year in March. 
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Dear Angela, THANK YOU! Over and over and over again.
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REMINDER: Faust from ROH live in HD in cinemas, Sept 28

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And here's a short audio to get you into the atmosphere. It's the finale of Faust, the BBC Radio 3 broadcast of the performance on September 21 (Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite, Vittorio Grigolo as Faust and Rene Pape as Mephistopheles).
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Faust is the first broadcast of Royal Opera House Cinema Season 2011/12And I'm happy to say that it is relayed also in Romania, in Bucharest (tickets available here) and Timisoara (starting 9pm local time, GMT+2).
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Assuming that you've already bought a ticket, enjoy the performance!
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The most famous photo at ROH

On the corner of Floral Street
At the main entrance
The program
At the Amphitheater bar
At the backstage door
Again on the program
And the biggest one at the entrance from Covent Garden Market

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Faust #3, September 24

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Desperate, romantic, passionate, heartbraking, dramatic, hilarious, macabre, uplifting.
It was BEAUTIFUL!
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Faust reviews

There are many of them. Each critic with his or her own opinion and favorite singer. Try to read between the lines, putting aside the mean or too glorious words. Note the beautiful photos that each review contains. Of course, @Catherine Ashmore
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Tim Ashley - The Guardian - 4*
Hugo Shirley - Musical Criticism - 4* 1/2
Igor Toroniy Lalic - The Arts Desk
The Independent 4*
Rupert Christiansen - The Telegraph - 5*
William Hartston  - Express.co.uk
Edward Seckerson
Mark Valencia - What's On Stage - 4*
Intermezzo
Faye Courtney - Opera Britannia - 4* 1/2
George Hall - The Stage
Barry Millington - Evening Standard - 3*
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REMINDER: Faust from ROH, live on BBC Radio 3, Sept 24

And look how the home page of ROH's website looks like these days :)
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Angela on BBC Breakfast, earlier today


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The Royal Opera House have just announced they are going to stream live performances to hundreds of cinemas worldwide over the next few months. The world famous soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Royal Opera house Chief Tony Hall joined Charlie and Susanna to tell them more
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Watch the interview here (starting around min 29)
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Angela Gheorghiu @Royal Opera House cinema season launching

EDIT: Some more photos, without watermark on them

And what better way to let us experience the sheer power of these operas than to have their star, the truly gifted soprano and one of the world’s most glamorous opera singers, Angela Gheorghiu,at the launch to sing O mio babbino caro.

Angela was also interviewed, telling the audience that “Being live in cinemas is like a premiere”. She also revealed that she is to be reunited on stage with husband Roberto Alagna in La bohème in 2012. - Royal Opera House News
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Angela Gheorghiu wearing Vivienne Westwood Couture and jewellery by Van Cleef & Arpels attends the launch of Royal Opera House Cinema at The Royal Opera House on September 22

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Royal Opera House Cinema will screen 10 operas and ballets to 700 cinemas worldwide during the 2011/12 season, starting with three performances by Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu. She kicks off the big-screen season with a performance of Gounod's "Faust" which will be beamed live into cinemas from the opera house's main stage on September 28. Gheorghiu then appears in "Adriana Lecouvreur" in October and "Tosca" in November, both of them recorded, says Reuters
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All photos @Wireimage, Ferdaus Shamim

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Faust #2 - PHOTOS

Angela Gheorghiu
Chorus of the Royal Opera House
Michele Losier
Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Rene Pape
Angela Gheorghiu
The entire cast at final curtain call
Angela Gheorghiu & Vittorio Grigolo
Evelino Pido
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The Academy of Magic in Bucharest

Antonio Pappano
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"Ragazzi, ragazzi, più piano, ascoltatela!" The "ragazzi" were the members of Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She was Helene Grimaud. And the one asking them to listen to the sound of the piano was Antonio Pappano, the Wizard. Before the concert tonight there was a short rehearsal. And I attended part of it. Relaxed atmosphere, casual clothing and the conductor saying do this, do that, not too much crescendo there, pay attention to bar no 220... and so on. They were rehearsing the key parts of Brahms's first piano concerto.
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Antonio Pappano
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Half an hour later they were again on stage, in front of more than 2500 people in the Palace Hall, in Bucharest. The concert was amazing. So much care for the soloist. And the orchestra responds to Pappano's sight. He doesn't really have to move the baton. But he has a particular way of conducting. He feels the music as if every note passes through his heart. And he shares all his energy with those 100 people in front of him.
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Antonio Pappano and Helene Grimaud
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Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony was a dream. In terms of symphonies, this is one of my favorites, along with Beethoven's 7th, Mahler's 5th and Dvorak's New World Symphony. 
This symphony is different as the third part seems the glorious ending. You should have seen the instrumentalists playing this part. It was as if the world ended today and they had to give their best. Such a joy on their faces, so much passion. It was a field of energy between them and the conductor. The fourth part ends with a pianissimo note of the double basses. When this last sound vanished in the air, Pappano lowered his hands. It was over :(. Well deserved applauses followed. But hey, did anyone notice that everybody opened another score? For sure I did. Somehow Pappano knew I'm there and that I simply loved his Trittico at Royal Opera House on Saturday evening (and Tosca, William Tell  and everything else he touched)....  No, joking. But as encore he chose a piece from Manon Lescaut. Gosh, he conducted operaaaaaa

I had to write a few words. He simply cast a spell. What an energy, what a dedication to music. After three weeks of George Enescu Festival,  I can say that this was THE concert. I could call this feeling.. symphonic ecstasy.  
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They're here and they'll stay for one more concert. Tomorrow evening there's another musical jewel waiting to be listened to. Piano concerto No2 by Rachmaninov
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Helene Grimaud and Orchestra dell'Accadmia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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My Faust #2, ROH, September 18


Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite in Faust at Royal Opera House, September 18 - curtain call
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Faust at ROH, first night. This is Faust #2 for me and if I think back to the dress rehearsal, #2 was better in terms of general feeling, the connections between the characters and the power of music. There were some small changes here and there, the one that I enjoyed most begin Faust&Marguerite's duet in a proper, romantic posture, sitting on the steps of the house (not lying on them which must have been pretty uncomfortable) and less hugs and kissing. There’s still the issue I have with pulling up her skirts at end of this duet as in my mind it doesn’t match the idea of a perfect, inocent first date. But maybe it’s just me.

The church scene was impressive, with Marguerite’s prayer and the scary curse cast by Mephistopheles. David McVicar chose to put this scene at the beginning of act 4, not in the end, after Valentin’s death. I still like a lot the last 15 minutes. I can stand through the entire opera several times only to listen to that part. Because you get to a point where everything explodes. There’s something in that dim atmosphere, holiness after an entire act in the devil’s realm, there’s Marguerite’s “Anges purs, anger radieux”. That was the moment I loved Angela’s voice (with all the colors, emotions and rising intensity contained in it) and acting best. Such a pity that this part is so short. The accelerated pulse was a sign that I really enjoyed everything, from the moment she got on stage in the fifth act to her death and last notes of the orchestra.

I liked that Vittorio Grigolo was … less exuberant than the previous performance (Faust only gets younger but he still has the mind of a grown up man, right?) and more focused on singing. I felt the need of more involvement from his side in "Salut demeure chaste et pure". This aria is about love. It should sound like that. While watching his Faust, I had a vision of his Des Grieux, that young, jumping-up-and-down character in the beginning of the opera. Well…  But all in all he was ok, without convincing me as he did in Manon last year.

Hvorostovsky seemed a little bit stiff. Somehow more concentrated on himself than on interacting with the others. Nice voice, not very powerful but I already knew that from his Onegin in Vienna. Glad to see him again on stage. And speaking of Vienna, the power and emotion delivered by the chorus after Valentin’s death in that 2008 Faust was simply amazing and above what I heard last evening.

Rene Pape was Mephistopheles, frightening, devilish, funny when wearing the dress in act four. He appears and disappears in key moments and changes the lives of the people that get in touch with him. He even managed to keep the tempo in the second act when the orchestra and chorus were on different bars. Loved the voice and the character he created.

I’m still not into the ballet. I must admit though that McVicar’s idea of presenting Walpurgis night is brilliant. it's hard to describe. It's better to buy the DVD or go to the cinema to get what I'm saying. But the more I see the opera, the more I understand this ballet part so who knows… I might end up really liking it. Oh, and I have to point out that I find the sets beautiful. On DVD everything seems smaller. In real life, the sets occupy the entire stage and have a great contribution to creating the atmosphere.

Thinking of this Faust as a whole, there was something missing in order to be THE one. Maybe because it was the first night everybody held back, saving some of their energy for the other performances... I'm so thankful for being able to see it live, because a live performance inside Royal Opera House can't be compared to anything else. As I’m not a professional, what I say usually relates to the feeling a certain performance gives me. And this one told me there’s place for more. So I’m thinking of giving it another try, sometimes soon.
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Faust at Royal Opera House, September 18 - curtain call
From left to right: Daniel Grice, Michele Losier, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Rene Pape, Angela Gheorghiu, Vittorio Grigolo and Carole Wilson
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