Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nessun Dorma...yes I know none of this has to do with Turandot, but I think you can figure it out.

Saw Sleeping Beauty with the Interlochen ballet last week, and it was amazing! Dance was one of the art areas that I hadn't seen anything of (except a short piece at Collage this fall), and I don't quite know what I was expecting, but it was wonderful! I'd say that some of the dancers, the men in particular, were just as good or better than what I've seen at Fort Wayne Ballet.

Just finished listening to Don Carlo on the Met broadcast; it's one of the great things about being home, since I have classes on Saturday's and can't listen to them. I had been looking forward to this broadcast for weeks, for many reasons. First, it's Don Carlo, enough said. Second, the cast was loaded (Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Rene Pape, Samuel Ramey, Olga Borodina, Patricia Racette, Johan Botha), Dmitri and Sam being two of my all time favorite singers. The only thing that could have made it better would be Placido Domingo singing the title role, although Botha did it justice. I've listened to many of the broadcasts over the years, but I don't recall the audience ever being this wild; they went crazy for the singers! The applause for the Friendship Duet, The King's Study Scene Aria, Eboli's O don fatale, Rodrigo's Death Scene, Elisabetta's Tu che la vanita, and the final curtain calls (Rene Pape and Dmitri Hvorostovsky in particular) were the loudest I've ever heard. It's such a wonderful opera, and even though it's very long and a bit complicated (had to watch the video about 5 times before I finally figured out the politics that go on in it), it's one of my favorites. The major characters are all very complex with great music to sing. The ending is a little strange, but who really cares? I don't, it's still great music. Rodrigo's Death Scene always makes me cry, and this was not an acception, especially with Hvorostovsky singing it. He sang the first phrase of O Carlo, ascolta in one breath! I love it I love it!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just in case you were wondering...and yes I know this is the third post in two days!

Here's the link to the video I found on You Tube of the Alagna-La Scala mishap. I haven't figured out how to actually post videos on this thing, and knowing me, I probably won't. Enjoy!

Oh, and one more thing

What's the world coming to these days? Placido Domingo was booed at the Met, where he was conducting a performance of La Boheme. Yes, Domingo got booed. Apparently he and Anna Netrebko (singing Mimi) weren't together some of the time. Critics say she sang beautifully, and that Domingo was just, well, not that good. I'd bet money egos had a little more to do with it than music or tempi. Who knows? I'm sure it got a bit overlooked due to the Roberto Alagna La Scala mishap. To update on that, they've called the police to prevent him from entering the building. This just keeps getting better and better...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Not that anyone really cares, but...

Tenor Roberto Alanga has been fired from La Scala. That's right, FIRED! After an apparently horrific "Celeste Aida" on Sunday night, he left the stage when the audience booed him, complete with an oh-so-Dahling wave of the hand. Of course, he said that it wasn't deserved. So, he got fired.

I've been reading another opera blog that is describing the whole saga (right from the heart of Milan), and it's nasty, folks. Alanga even got dissed by Franco Zeffirelli (it was his production of Aida), which is like a getting a death sentence, and what he said was nothing less of scathing. Of course, one might feel a little sorry for povero Roberto, but considering he said that he was bravissimo that night, but I really don't. I like his voice, but I've heard he can be a bit cocky, and here's a prime example. And he sounded so great on that aira (found the clip via YouTube).

I'd say this is about the biggest thing to hit opera controversy since the Kathleen Battle mishap, although some would put the "Little Black Dress" saga up there too. But even most of the huge divas or divos don't walk offstage in the manner of Alagna. Granted, it was rude of the audience to boo him, but this is La Scala; they've booed everyone.

So, things could get fairly interesting, for lack of a better word. We'll see if Alagna ever is hired to sing there again; right now his Manon Lescaut contract is up in the air, as is his wife's for La Traviata. Maybe we'll see Roberto and Angela slinging hash at McDonald's.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Squirrel attack!

In a week's time, Interlochen has gone from grey skies and rather warm temperatures to what looks like Siberia. There's about a foot of snow, and it keeps on coming down, although not nearly as much as it was last Friday, when it snowed for 12 hours. That on top of studying Communism and reading the "Grand Inquisitor" chapter out of The Brothers Karamazov really puts one in a cheery mood. The chapter is one of the most interesting things I've read, by the way, it just takes a lot out of you. No wonder Ivan was wiped out after reciting the whole thing to Alyosha.

Finally, after many days of wondering, I received my ARTS results. I didn't get any money, and my score was not what I had hoped it would be. But considering the day I recorded I was emotionally fried, I'm not that surprised, but rather somewhat frustrated.

Staging rehearsals began for Opera Workshop, and although we haven't actually staged much of it, we did a great deal of discussing the characters, a very insightful conversation. Some of the ideas Mr. Gentry has for Riders to the Sea are really interesting, like showing all Maurya's dead sons at the moment she mentions how they died or beginning by showing the final scene, with Bartley's body on the table. A lot of it depends on what lighting options are available to us.

A squirrel got into Mor and Rachele's room a few days ago. Somehow it figured out how to open up the window and got in. What is it with me and squirrels? They're taking over Interlochen, like the crows in Terre Haute, but we won't go into that.