Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Taking Out the Middleman

La Cieca has posted a FrOSch over on Unnatural Acts that reminds me that Hildegard Behrens has to be one of the most outstanding examples ever of a singer overcoming a deeply ugly voice by singing like it goddamn well matters. p.s. who knew she could pop out a c# if she needed to!?

It has been suggested I might use hard returns. I'm not sure if this means hitting return when I reach the end of the little frame here or putting an empty space between paragraphs. How's this?

Just to prove a point, probably only to me, I'm about to do something totally absurd. I'm going to write a review of tomorrow night's Aida before I go. (I'm celebrating a new job, but unti paychecks come sauntering my way, I'm a standee again I think.) And then I'll write one after. And if they're exactly the same I probably need to take a break from the opera gig, wouldn't you say?

There was some temptation to go to a later Aida with Ataneli and Burchuladze just because Go Georgia, rah rah! but I think it had Farina or something, and my latest Met Aida with Farina (have I mentioned I have seen this production like 7 times? thanks be to jebus that I like it) was not really an aural experience I'm chomping at the bit to replicate. Plus I'm curious about Licitra and hearing a new singer is always better than hearing a known singer unless the known singer is also adored. I wish I had an accent grave for "adored."

So yes. Review in advance. Zajick remains a bit of a natural disaster, awesome to behold but with no more musicality than last time I heard her in the role, which must have been 1998. The judgment scene, well, see my recent entry on the judgment scene. Something of a 100 yard dash with some precise and ear-shattering singing. An Amneris not to make you weep but to make you run home and sign up for voice lessons in a fit of envy. And yes, I do go straight for the cookies in reviewing Aida. I've never seen a production in which Amneris wasn't the more interesting character. And yes I know the opera urban legend of [insert African American soprano with an air of grandeur] responding to a similar statement on the part of the mezzo, saying "I am about to go out there and show you why the opera is called Aida," and sailing onstage to do just that.

Crider, who I'm thinking hasn't been heard her for several+ years (did she take time off singing, I wonder?) retains her slightly peculiar technique that doesn't sound like she's going to reach the highs but usually does. It's not an extraordinary voice, but it's not a bad one, and she's basically endearing onstage. No complaints, you understand, but I don't find myself running out the door with my shirt untucked to hear her.

Ataneli [I just checked and I'm wrong...it's a later perf with Delavan that has Farina. This one IS the double dose of Georgia. Have I managed to go on about Georgia and its fine culture of singing, much like that of Wales?] doesn't always sing on pitch but the voice is gratifyingly meaty.

Ok I think that's as far as I can go with this exercise in sillyness. I've never heard Licitra except on his debut recital disc during the Post-Pav marketing blitz of a few years back. Now let's see if I actually feel like going tomorrow. Otherwise we can all play like I went and this is my review.


Grrg said...

I'm loving the space between paragraphs! Keep that up.

In other news, Paata Burchuladze's days of being a singer worth listening to are, alas, departed, if his physical-pain-inducing Sarastro in SF a while back is anything to go by.

Maury D'annato said...

Yeah I think basses maybe take too much to heart the idea that low voices age better. Here in New York people are beginning (well, ok, continuing) to grumble about the likes of Plishka and Ramey overstaying their once very warm welcome.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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