Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day! + Random News

No school tomorrow! I'm so excited. This never happens! You all know what that means! Kim staying up late and blogging. Hurray for you all.

I'm very sad that I missed the broadcast of Damnation of Faust today. People called and texted me to tell me that it was on, but I HAD to study for my huge music history test. :( Hopefully they'll show it again and/or release it on DVD. I would have loved to see all the innovative stuff they did and I would have loved to see Susan Graham. Il Trovatore broadcast yesterday. I even heard some of Sondra Radvanovsky's interview (which was really interesting). Her speaking voice reminds me so much of Joyce DiDonato's. I think it's the accent.

I'm going to see Cecilia Bartoli at Carnegie on Tuesday. I CANNOT WAIT!! This is going to be my first time seeing her live. I am beyond excited! This has really been an eventful year for me: I saw Renee Fleming for the first time (live), I was in my first opera, I met Renee Fleming, I met up with my opera-geek buddies, I had season tickets to the Met...the list goes on. Seeing Bartoli is just going to be another amazing night in a really fantastic year. I'll let you know all about it afterward.


Tyler said...


As to your upcoming experience of seeing Cecilia Bartoli live, if her albums, most of which are highly acclaimed, are to be of any indication, I think that this performance may just be the highlight of your opera related experiences this year, perhaps, and this may be exaggerating a trifle, even your life.

As for the rest of the things you have seen this year, I would not have known how to react had I attended half of what you have had the pleasure of attending. How fortunate it is that you were able to meet Renee Fleming. I would like to see her perform in Nashville, Tennesee, in April, but that locale is rather remote from mine. Let me not forget that you hold season tickets at the Met. Branching from the past to the immediate future, do you still have any performances left to attend there? I hope that you are able to see Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Florez in "La Sonnambula" and Renee Fleming in "Rusalka."

I am sorry that you missed seeing the broadcast of "La Damnation de Faust" with Susan Graham and Marcello Giordani. I heard the radio broadcast of it, and it was quite engrossing. Do not feel bad, however, because here in Oklahoma, my PBS affiliate station rarely shows opera broadcasts; therefore, radio, the occasional local performance, and recordings are really my only mediums to experience opera. Since I have said something about recordings, it reminds of the 1957 "Der Rosenkavalier" recording you have with Ludwig and Schwarzkopf. No, I do not own it, nor do I know of it, but I am glad to see that you have a penchant for the "golden age" of opera. There are too many young singers and aficionados today who have no knowledge of the great singers of the past. As for my experience with older recordings, I have a 1950's recording of "Lucia di Lammermoor" with Maria Callas and Giuseppe di Stefano, a 1960's(?) recording of "Carmen" with Victoria de los Angeles and Nicolai Gedda, and a couple of '60's Sutherland and Pavarotti broadcasts I downloaded.

Concerning the addition of Rosina's showpiece aria to your repertoire, I am so excited for you. I really believe that this aria will open many doors for you in opera performance. For your early/ English selection, instead of Handel, you might consider singing a transposed version of Purcell's "Music For A While." There is a mesmerizing video of it on YouTube sung by Dawn Upshaw, who is one of my favorite singers. Of course, if you are insistent upon a Handel piece, I suggest the simple beauty of "Ombra mai fu" from his opera "Serse." Good luck on your recital, by the way.

Finally, I am sorry for such a dreadfully long comment, as I am sure this must be, but I think I may find grace in the fact that this is a rather long post. May God continue to bless you in every facet of your life.


Smorg said...

Nicely done with the music video syncing. It goes! I didn't know the song and haven't seen the film. You make them blend really well.

Have fun at the Bartoli recital, too. :o)

Tyler said...


Thank you for the wonderful comment you left on my recent post about the recordings I am getting. As for getting an entire opera for twenty bucks, I will admit that it is not very often, especially if you are buying from an online retailer, but if you are interested, you might try ebay (where I got Massenet's "Manon" with Fleming and Hampson for thirteen and where Delibes "Lakme" with Dessay has been repeatedly for $4 not including shipping), a local retailer (i.e. f.y.e. at ) that also offers used recordings. My local f.y.e. used to have a large selection of classical music and opera, but I was not giving them enough business on my own for them to continue selling it at that location, so they shipped to another store. They regularly had complete and solo recordings for under $20 and $8 respectively, and before they got rid of their delection, I was able to provide myself with several used recordings. Also, if you would like to get Met broadcasts, you can go to wher you can find pretty much every Met broadcast from 2007 to the present. The files take a while to download, but you can usually just download something and leave it if you have something else to do and come back to it in your spare time.

I am also glad to know that you prefer Baroque over Bel Canto; so do I. The ornamentation and the often simple melodies of such exquisite compositions (Now that sounds contradictory, does it not?) are utterly charming (Gluck's "Dance of the Blessed Spirits immediately comes to mind, as does Handel's "Ombra mai fu.") Much along the same lines, and especially with you being a mezzo-soprano, do you like the countertenor voice in such roles as Giulio Cesare, Tolomeo, Rinaldo, Tamerlano, Oktavian, et cetera?

Finally, I also enjoy reading your posts very much, and I liked the video you made. The music did not detract from the video, and it seemed to fit with the clips you chose to offer. The song, however, did not really seem cohesive, but that may have been because I was distracted or something. Good job!