I walked up Tritligasse in Zurich and thought of my friend Ursula who loves it. When we were young she was the queen of the Ulmer Theater.
Ursula and I found each other and spent two nice hours talking about opera. She thought Jonas Kaufmann was wonderful but VK had no heart. She said he is a true artist. I agree.
I was talking about how Natalie Dessay talks only about her acting and takes the singing for granted. She said she was the same way. If you feel the role the music just comes. I think this is true only if you have the gift. And if you don't? No amount of work will bring it. Ursula was a marvelous singer, too. I've had the feeling that Anna Netrebko works at it. This would be to find out.
Ursula is worried about the new Intendant, Andreas Homoki, who will replace Alexander Pereia in 2012. The present Intendant is very skilled at talking big donors out of their money, and she wonders if someone from Berlin will be able to do this. The private donors are one of the big reasons for the success of the Zurich Opera.