Sunday, June 14, 2009


I am such a restless person. I always forget this fact until I'm challenged with it.

I have been stuck on the couch since my surgery on Thursday and it looks like I'm going to be here for at least a few more days. I'm not exaggerating here: I'm even sleeping on the couch because I have to sleep sitting up. Torture!

However, there is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. This surgery couldn't have come at a better time. I have time to waste. To rest. My Austrian Adventure is yet to come and my concert series is also far enough away for safety. I have time to sit and think and be with myself. All day long. I best make good use of it.

At the suggestion of my good friend, I've purchased one month's worth of MetPlayer. What a great suggestion! Now I am not limited to my own library of opera DVDs. Today I watched Orfeo ed Euridice and Fidelio. Both are definitely in my top-five favorite operas. I'd seen the Orfeo live in January and I'd never seen a production of Fidelio that I really liked until today.

I enjoyed Mark Morris' Orfeo: the overall concept was good and well-delivered. I love watching Mark Morris' dance troupe and the chorus was fantastic. The music, of course, was sublime.

I watched the 2000 J├╝rgen Flimm production of Fidelio with Karita Mattila as Leonore. I thoroughly enjoyed this production. The singers were fantastic, the staging was good, and the music... Fidelio is definitely one of my favorites. It is so Beethoven. I really liked Mattila's portrayal of Leonore. It was convincing and moving. She did a fantastic job with this role. I also enjoyed Jennifer Welch-Babidge's Marzelline. I didn't care much about that character until I saw this production. I felt a whole new life in this character throughout and especially at the end. Almost everyone wins in the end; Marzelline is the only one whose fate is unjust. But I guess that's what a good ending is: bittersweet.

There's another light at the end of the tunnel. When I recover, I'll breathe a million times better than I used to. In fact, because of the extent of my surgery, I'll be breathing better than the average person. How's that? Sounds pretty sweet to me.

Further up and further in! There's so much to look forward to!


Tyler said...


If I am ignorant, please forgive me, but what condition does your surgery exactly correct? I shall pray for your swift recovery. You mention that you shall be breathing better than the average person when you are finished with your period of mandatory relaxation, and I wonder if this will make you a better singer?

I am happy to hear that you have purchased a subscription to MetPlayer. When I perused it over their free weekend some while ago, I thought the $15 price was nominal depending on how much one watches or listens to opera. Considering the choices you viewed, would I be correct in assuming that you rather like the contemporary productions? I have never seen either of them in their entirety, so my opinion is therefore based on mostly limited experience, but I did not like what I saw of either of these productions. They seemed to subtract from the plot with their modern twist. I thought the use of historical characters in "Orfeo ed Euridice" was brilliant, but when one remembers the Greek myth upon which the opera is based, one immediately uses logic to determine that most of the people portrayed in the underworld could not have been there at that time; nevertheless, for one just listening to these works, the production itself often does not matter. As for the singers of this production, I would much rather hear the EMI recording of Opera Lyon's production of (I think) the French version of Gluck's work with Anne Sophie von Otter as Orfeo and Barbara Hendricks as Euridice. It is the best recording of the work so far in my opinion.

As for your trip to Austria in August, the subject to which you previous post is devoted, I am elated for you! If only every vocal student had the opportunity to study for a month or so in Europe, I think we should have much greater singers in many cases.

Smorg said...

Sorry to hear you're having some health problems. Hope you'll be able to lay down to sleep properly again soon. Get well!