Since I started blogging, I have discovered Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Sadly, this amazing singer first appeared in this blog as an obituary. I was also quite a gloomy singer with a taste for the "Dead Kid Songs" of Gustav Mahler, so I was fully prepared for her profundity, far deeper than my own. Most astounding, perhaps, is her Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Médée, available from House of Opera. She puts Peter Lieberson on the map with his Neruda Songs . She reaches to depths rarely reached before.
Another discovery since I started blogging is the composer Osvaldo Golijov, composer of the St. Mark Passion, Ainadamar, Oceana, Ayre, etc. The main component of his work is fun. Often the best performances of his works are by people not classically trained, leading to the possible conclusion that it isn't really classical music at all. He loves Dawn Upshaw because she is able to let go, to release her preconceptions and find the music as he has conceived it.
And, of course, there is Jonas Kaufmann, discovered by accident in a Zurich performance of Fidelio while on a trip to to see Cecilia Bartoli. I have even gone so far as to travel to see him in Zurich. He is fascinating at every level: he's cute and sexy, has a gorgeous voice, is apparently a fabulous actor and a great musician. This last is a qualification I am personally unable to ignore. They must arouse my musical instincts, and not just my libido.
Netrebko, Bartoli, Fleming and Florez are old loves, not discoveries. Renée is continuing to develop, something I did not really expect. One looks for and wishes for this--that the artist will grow in their repertoire as they mature.
Tristan and Isolde isn't exactly a love, but it does qualify as a discovery. Who knew I could enjoy this?
I am in the process of discovering Joyce DiDonato. Her Handel mad scene on YouTube is very impressive. I wasn't wild about her Octavian, probably because she is so small and not because of anything about her performance. She has a lot to offer.