Sunday, July 24, 2005

French opera

For a wonderful immersion in French opera listen to Rolando Villazon's Gounod Massenet Arias album. We have been needing this man. Such sensitivity to Romantic opera is very rare, and his gorgeous dark voice must be heard to be believed. He is the man for today. I have been seriously considering looking for something of his to see. I think I missed the best bet--the Romeo et Juliette that was done in LA. Maybe there will be a film.


I was listening again to Villazon's French arias album. I was thinking about his protestations about French style and how you weren't allowed to do portamento the way you could with the Italians. See article on tools. Well, we are pleased to say he does not do exactly what he preaches. There is plenty of scooping and sliding to satisfy even me. It would be terrible to think the French were intent on being completely boring. What a wonderful album. I loved it just as much this time.


Paul said...

You're right about Villazon and this particular CD. I bought it the minute I heard the first two minutes of the first cut at the Barns & Noble where I'm employed part-time. Not since Alain Vanzo has there been a tenor able to capture the mood of French opera -- Vanzo did it with a lyrical lightness, while Villazon does it with understated power. Either way, we can only hope it will mean more French opera to hear.

Dr.B said...

I suppose I should have done a full review, but what else would I have said?

I get the impression he's not too happy about the success of this album. He wants to be a singer of Italian opera. I think he should not worry.