I went into R5 yesterday and bought DVDs of Pique Dame and Mahagonny and a CD of Kathleen Farrier doing Bach and Handel. I didn't like her Bach, haven't heard her Handel yet. I was given a sample CD of four tracks by Kate Royal, the latest thing in Great Britain. She is lovely. I look forward to hearing more of her. I am seldom offered free things.
I am shocked by not liking Ferrier's Bach. I'm very fussy about Bach. When I was in school all those years ago, he and the Baroque were practically synonyms. Now he has taken a back seat to Handel and Vivaldi, a situation that reflects the tastes of his era.
Suddenly Jonas Kaufmann is all over YouTube. He declares himself to be happy with his sexy image.
He is pictured walking through Covent Garden, dancing with Netrebko and saying how lucky he is to have turned his hobby into a profession.
In this one he does exercises. This is a very recent phenomenon. A few short months ago I had trouble finding any films of him. The beauty of his voice is very exciting. I declared him a Florestan to die for two years ago. He's been on my sexiest list for almost a year. I think he has just now exploded in Germany, though he is from there. Sorry, these films are all in German. I couldn't find the one where he says he doesn't mind his sexy image. I regret to report that he's married and has three children.
Kate Royal on my iPod went on to A Little Night Music by Sondheim. Glynis Johns and Hermione Gingold are both in it. There is much nostalgia. It begins with a burst of energy that is quite interesting for Sondheim. Perhaps I should look into it.
Footnote. This is definitely the most I have liked Sondheim.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
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I just purchased two opera DVDs - the first ones in more than a year - and I recommend them highly. The first is Mozart's "Mitridate," which I acquired solely because tenor Bruce Ford sings the title role. This Covent garden production is VERY weird (you can see clips on YouTube), but the singing is first-rate. The second is "Il Crociato in Egitto," Meyerbeer's final Italian opera before he headed off to Paris. This 2007 production is shot at La Fenice in Venice, where the opera debuted in 1824, and it's the first fully staged version of this work since before 1900. Patrizia Ciofi as Palmide is spectacular.
That's the opera I tried to go to and arrived too late. I went to see Fidelio instead which I'm not sorry.
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