Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Vesselina Kasarova Mozart Arias

There is something unattractive about Vesselina Kasarova's take-no-prisoners style. I’m ok with it in opera seria, such as Idomemeo or Mitridate, re di Ponto, a castrato part which actually suits her quite well, though even in this she has no ideas to sustain her through a whole aria.

But Dorabella? I’m trying to think of a characterization of Dorabella that fits this forceful interpretation of her aria. She regards her infidelity as some sort of triumph, apparently.

Her “Mi tradi” is not bad. But even here there is no relationship between what the aria is supposed to express and what she is doing, which seems to derive completely from the technical considerations.

When punching is the right thing, as in Vitellia’s aria, then it works, but the emotion has to fit her and not the other way around.

She is a true mezzo with plenty of force in the center and a beautiful tone. I’m recommending that she meditate on the concept of phrasing instead of just punching her way through Mozart. Listen to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s Mozart, especially “Porgi amor.”

There is simply no substitute for understanding the music you are singing.

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