Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Lise records Fidelio


This recording of Beethoven's Fidelio with Lise Davidsen is to be released on July 16.  On my side expectations are high.  Her intelligence has caused me to feel humble.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Lise Davidsen on Screaming Divas


Three sopranos, Sondra Radvanovsky, Keri Alkema and Lise Davidsen, talk about being opera singers.  It's an hour long and lots of fun.  They say sweet things and laugh.  Lise is awesome even to Sondra, who is pretty awesome herself.  You have figured out already that I love Lise.  Well, after this I only love her more.  She is a great lady.


Friday, June 04, 2021

Cecilia Bartoli and Friends

I just watched a film called "Cecilia Bartoli and Friends" on Medici TV.  It's lovely. 

I was 53 when I went mad for her, and I'm 80 now.  I have traveled 7 times to see her since I started blogging and, of course, more times before that.  I've seen her in Zurich, Berkeley, New York, Washington, Escondido, Paris, London, Munich and finally Salzburg for Norma.  I recognized some of the cities in the film.

I always feel great pride that I went instantly mad for this 27 year old phenomenon.  Think of all she has done and continues to do in music.  Her creativity is boundless.  Husband Oliver Widmer and her mother appear on screen but don't speak.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Bartoli Makes Wiener Staatsoper Debut

After all these years of not singing at the Vienna State Opera, Cecilia Bartoli is finally making her debut in not one but two operas.  Next summer she will sing Rossini's La Cenerentola followed shortly by his L'Italiana in Algerie.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Mary Martin


This film serves a number of functions. 

  • If I wander too far from Kurt Weill, I begin to feel lost. 
  • It's the wonderful Mary Martin from my youth. 
  • It's an excellent example of stage English diction, something you used to hear, something you used to learn.  Notice how you understand every word.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Three Divas in Concert


This charming recital with pianist Vlad Iftinca and guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas comes from the newly refurbished opera house in the Palace of Versailles.  It is courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.  Thank you, Peter.

The Program 

“Je veux vivre dans ce rêve” From Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette sung by Nadine Sierra.  [I saw Nadine sing this role at the San Francisco Opera.]

“Voi che sapete” From Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro sung by Isabel Leonard.[I saw Isabel sing this role in HD from the Met.]

“Ebben? Ne andrò lontana” From Catalani’s La Wally sung by Ailyn Pérez.

“Crudele? ... Non mi dir” From Mozart’s Don Giovanni sung by Nadine Sierra.

“Agitata da due venti” From Vivaldi’s Griselda sung by Isabel Leonard. [I saw Isabel sing this role in Santa Fe.  She was stunning.]

“Stridono lassù” From Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci sung by Ailyn Pérez.

“Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour” (Barcarolle) From Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann sung by Isabel Leonard and Nadine Sierra.

“Prenderò quel brunettino” From Mozart’s Così fan tutte sung by Isabel Leonard and Ailyn Pérez.

“Mira, o Norma ... Sì, fino all’ore estreme” From Bellini’s Norma sung by Nadine Sierra and Ailyn Pérez. [Gorgeous.  Thank you for not reminding me of any version heard before.  Bravi!!]

“Marie Theres’! … Hab’ mir’s gelobt” From R. Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier   [This is, of course, one of my great loves sung by all three.  These ladies can wail.  I need me some Rosenkavalier.]

Isabel Leonard speaks briefly about their shared Latina heritage before going on to the Latina part of the program.

“Près des remparts de Séville” (Seguidilla) From Bizet’s Carmen sung by Isabel Leonard [Why has she never sung this role?  Or she did and I didn't notice.]

“En medio a mis colores” (Canzonetta spagnuola) By Gioachino Rossini sung by Isabel Leonard

“Me llaman la primorosa” From Giménez’s El Barbero de Sevilla sung by Nadine Sierra.  [Fun]

“Estrellita” By Manuel Ponce sung by Ailyn Pérez.

Ailyn brings on the guitarist and music stands appear.  This entire recital is overflowing with love.  Thank you my dears. They all take off their shoes.

“Bésame Mucho” By Consuelo Velázquez sung by all three in harmony.

“Cielito Lindo” By Quirino Mendoza y Cortés sung by all three in harmony.

So much love.  Wonderful.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Recital with Stéphanie d’Oustrac


Recital with Stéphanie d’Oustrac & Pascal Jourdan is a lovely thing.  She is one of my recent discoveries.  Her French is gorgeous.  Originally I think I loved her for her acting which is very overt and sexy.  

She sings some Liszt in German.  I hear "das grosse heilige Koeln."  Thank you, allies for not bombing it.   Her German isn't too bad.

The last thing is the wonderful Les Nuit d'Ete by Berlioz, a particular favorite.  Hers is the most French I've heard.  This is a fun recital.  Listen.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Lise in Die Walküre at BSO


Lise Davidsen sang Act I of Die Walküre at the Bayerische Staatsoper today with Jonas Kaufmann, Georg Zeppenfeld, and Asher Fisch .  I broke down crying it was so wonderful.  How can I pretend to review this?  

We were stomping our feet at home along with the distanced live audience.  Orchestra, conductor and soloists were all outstanding.  Lise is the fiercest Sieglinde I've ever seen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Lise Davidsen at la Scala


Lise Davidsen successfully made her La Scala debut last night in a concert with her as the featured soloist.  These days Lise starts everything at the top.  The above film shows the orchestra on the floor with the audience in the boxes above. Riccardo Chailly conducted.  I remember him primarily as the conductor of Cecilia Bartoli's La Cenerentola recording.


Giuseppe Verdi

From Macbeth  "Patria oppressa"  [chorus]

Henry Purcell

From Dido and Aeneas  "When I am laid in earth" with Lise 

Richard Wagner From Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg  Vorspiel (Prelude)
Richard Strauss From Ariadne auf Naxos  "Es gibt ein Reich, wo alles rein ist" with Lise
Giuseppe Verdi

 From La forza del destino Sinfonia

"Pace, pace mio Dio"  with Lise

Richard Wagner

From Tannhäuser Ouvertüre
"Dich, Teure halle"  with Lise

Giuseppe Verdi From Nabucco  "Va’, pensiero" [chorus] 

Only "When I am laid in earth" was something I had not heard Lise sing before.  It was good but unspectacular compared to the other things.  She wore black in the first half and looked radiant.  These songs are basically all tragic, so black was ok.  For the second half she wore a beautiful pastel outfit which brightened the mood.  Her hair is enhanced with an extension down to her waist. 

The two pieces in German are Lise's signature pieces, both of which I love dearly in her voice.  The most spectacularly sung of all was the Verdi "Pace, pace mio Dio".  It would not do for her to omit the Italian language.  All of her languages were beautiful.

I was intrigued by the interplay between Chailly and Davidsen.  He seemed to be looking to her for expressive cues.  This is something singers long for.  I felt it allowed Lise to feel secure and give her utmost.  As a result she made the greatest impression in the great Italian aria "Pace, pace mio Dio."  They were a magical pair.  This is La Scala after all.

I found this to be one of the most intense and spectacular vocal concerts I've ever seen.  The audience stood up a lot.  It's out there.

Monday, May 10, 2021

International Opera Awards


Metropolitan Opera
Kirill Petrenko
Małgorzata Szczęśniak
Robert Carsen
Birmingham Opera Company
Lise Davidsen
Salzburg Festival
(sponsored by the Good Governance Institute)
David Pountney
Bernard Haitink
Javier Camarena
Tale of Tsar Saltan
(Tcherniakov, La Monnaie De Munt)
Alpesh Chauhan
Teatro Real, Madrid
Denyce Graves
Bayerisches Staatsorchester / Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich
Martina Arroyo Foundation
Jakub Józef Orliński: Facce d’amore (Erato)

Thomas: Hamlet (Naxos) [DVD]

Jamie Barton

Moniuszko: Paria (Teatr Wielki, Poznań)
Glanert: Oceane (Deutsche Oper, Berlin)
YOUNG SINGER sponsored by Mazars
Xabier Anduaga
Vasilisa Berzhanskaya