Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Suppose I should liveblog Romeo un peu

But vraiment not that damn much, because I'm going to see it later in the run. I think we decided on a Kaiserabend in case he turns out to be the season's second scarcely post-adolescent tenor having a star-is-born moment. I'm very fond of Alagna in French stuff but I'm also really not that able to sit still through Romeo in particular, so multiple outings were definitely not on the agenda. Besides which, tickets weren't exactly lying around in piles, the wind seeming to whisper "claim me" between their tickety folds.

The Waltz is a good...short story by Dorothy Parker, if you've never read it, but that's not where I meant to go. I just hesitated for a moment because I don't think The Waltz, Juliette's, is much of a good anything. I've never heard anyone really make it sound like anything other than something to get through. But what it's useful as is a sort of stylistic thermometer by which to tell whether the canary in question has anything of France about her.

Netrebko doesn't. It was better than expected, in that she didn't have to take it andante to fit the notes in, which I thought she might. The thing is...it feels droopy. It's like late Sutherland without some of the brilliance, I'd imagine, not having heard Sutherland outside of sound documents. But Trebs--it's instantly identifiable, which will serve her well, but partly that's because it has a darkened (as opposed to merely dark) quality that makes her vowels indistinct, and a little pitch indecision sometimes at either end of a note, which come to think of it isn't incompatible with good French singing. But overall, the sound is...I used to joke that Sutherland's vowels were downright Polynesian. Upon further, though still superficial research, it turns out I should have said "she sings like a speaker of Quechua," since Quechua has three vowels whereas Polynesian languages tend to have five, but you get the point, and are sorry you learned to read, at this point. Proto-Slavic has four, and Malagasy. Ok, ok. I just think this stuff is interesting. (And Navajo!)

Is Alagna having a tougher time with "Ah, leve-toi" than Vargas did? We made a number of unkind remarks about Vargas in his purple velour, but there wasn't much to complain about in terms of singing. Alagna's vibrato is a little bit troubling. I can't tell if he still insists on his Parisian "r" in singing. Did I mention my speakers? It is not impossible I am listening to a country music station.

Ok, I'm completely tuning this out. What I really need right now is dinner, so happy listening to all. Before I go, here's a terrific Lucia review from someone who (where singing is concerned) agrees with me on absolutely nothing...except for Stephen Costello, who is the only person getting across-the-board good notices. (I know, not entirely fair, since Zeppo is an extremely short role.)


Chalkenteros said...

I was gonna live blog this and provide a running commentary w/ counterpoint commentary on last night's Lucia. But I was too busy doing other things. I did listen though, and I thought Netrebko sounded wonderful. My expectations have become so low that when she *does* sound wonderful, it's such a nice surprise. I even enjoyed Alagna.

La Cowntessa said...

Can I just say you may be the only opera blogger that (a) makes me laugh...a lot, and in a good way, and (b) doesn't make me want to beat saod blogger over the head with a Very Large Stick. :)

In other words, keep it up, man. ;)

rysanekfreak said...

I felt so sorry for anyone in the audience who had drinks right before going in and then discovered no intermission until the end of Act 3 ! It was almost 2 hours of sitting there listening to that thin purple syrup. I was sitting at home listening on Sirius, and all I could think about was INTERMISSION !!!

Maury D'annato said...

Chalk: I saw you blogged it some, and I feel like you're totally fair to Trebs. When she's good, she's good. I actually tuned back in and heard the "gonna kill myself now" aria and was impressed.

Maury D'annato said...

Anon-sopran, thanks a lot, very kind of you to say so. I try hard not to merit stick-beatings. I will keep it up until I run out of ways to say "she sings purdy."

Maury D'annato said...

Freakchen, I feel like I haven't seen you around these parts lately, so welcome back if I'm not just having one of my habitual perceptual distortions. Thin purple syrup!!!