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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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Last night in Versailles


I attended anconcert in  a very special place. The Royal Opera in Versailles is inside the palace, it's well preserved despite the squicking wooden floors, the narrow corridors and the oldish velvet of the unconfortable benches. I didn't have the feeling of a regular concert venue. This is more intimate, it's like attending a concert in a private house. There's a beautifully painted ceiling, there are marble pillars and chandeliers, there were some royal like armchairs in the first row of the balcony. It was like Louis XIV was to enter the room the next moment. Being very close to the stage, I had the feeling that each note was for my ears only. This is how the emotions start growing. 

First there was the orchestra piece, the warming up moment for everybody. Then there was Handel's Ombra mai fu, creating the atmosphere for what was to follow. When I heard the fast introduction to Parigi, o cara it was liked going back in time, to the moment I first listen to Angela performing La Traviata live. It was April 10, 2010. It was New York. It was the Met. It was a moment I had been waiting for for a long time, I crossed the ocean to be there, I had goose bumps when entering the most famous opera house in the world. I was a small and unsignificant person in the 4000 people audience. Almost unreal. The effect of her voice was on me was that powerful. I cried then, I cried the other night. Listening and remembering. The human mind is a very curious thing and has the power on the entire body. Otherwise why would my stomach go up to the moment I heard "O, mia Violetta"? So many beautiful memories… 

So you see, listening is subjective. It's more than just listening to an aria. I bring in my feelings, perceptions, memories. So even if I listen to the same aria many times, it's never the same because the "wrapping" is so diverse. Not to mention the perfect matching of the voices and emotions coming from both Angela and the tenor, Atalla Ayan. For me, the best tenor voice from all the concerts I've attended so far. He's not just sining, he's telling the story of that aria, he looks at you and make you believe that he's Rodolfo or Faust or Romeo. Reaching the soul of the audience is much more than mastering high notes and singing technique. This the next level. Great! 

Towards the end the audiece was delirious. And we got six encores: Ave Maria from Otello, O, mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi and Ciobanas cu trei sute de oi, a cappella (Angela), Non puede see (Atalla), Non ti scordar di me and Granada, together. 

This time it was Parigi, o cara, it was my moment, those three minutes that turn the concert into an experience. Next time, who knows… 

It's hard to put the feelings into words. I wanted to share my thoughts because after the performance I find it difficult to speak. For those who asked me if I enjoyed the concert, these notes, written in the airport on my way to the fluffy white cloud, are the answer. This is what's inside me and doesn't always come out at the right moment :)

Dear Angela, thank you, thank you, thank you! 

Angela Gheorghiu and Atalla Ayan, Royal Opera Versailles
More photos coming soon!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Irina, for sharing your thoughts. As always, your story is very emotional. Yes, listening is definitely subjective, but I'm sure there are many common feelings that Angela's fans share. Maybe we don't always know how to put them in words, but from all your stories so far I can say 'I know how you feel'. I'm lucky enough to have lived similar experiences and for that I'm always grateful to our wonderul Angela.

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  2. This is a beautiful and heartfelt review. Atalla is a friend of mine, and I've been trying to find reports on his performances with Madame Gheorghiu. Thank you so much. I loved your account of how much her singing speaks to and moves your heart.

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