Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Diva / Divo
The title for this new album by Joyce DiDonato means that a mezzo will sometimes play a female character and sometimes a male. The album tells which tracks are which. I can't seem to find this info anywhere else.
1. Divo: the character Chérubin from the opera Chérubin by Massenet, "Je suis gris! Je suis ivre!"
2-3. Diva: Susanna from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, "Deh, vieni, non tardar" plus recitative.
4. Divo: Sesto from Gluck's La Clemenza di Tito, "Se mai senti spirarti sul volto." I notice this is the same aria as "O malheuruese Iphigénie" from Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride. I don't know why I never noticed this before. He wasn't above self borrowing either, apparently. Clemenza is 1752, Iphigénie is 1779. Interesting.
5-6. Diva: Vitellia from Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, "Non più di fiori" plus recitative.
7. Divo: Cherubino from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, "Voi che sapete."
8. Diva: Rosina from Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini, "Contro un cor."
9. Divo: Siébel from Gounod's Faust, "Faites-lui mes aveux."
10. Diva: Marguerite from La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz, "D'amour l'ardente flamme." Actually this is also a symphony, but all the singing represents characters in the Faust drama. Berlioz was not on good terms with the Opera management.
11. ??: Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette, Premiers transports "que nul n'oublie." This work is a symphony, and the singers do not represent characters in the drama. To fit with the overall scheme this would need to represent Juliet.
12. Divo: Romeo in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, "Ascolta! Se Romeo t'uccise un figlio.... - La tremenda ultrice spada."
13. Divo: Le Prince Charmant in Massenet's Cendrillon, "Allez, laissez-moi seul.... Coeur sans amour, printemps sans roses."
14. Diva: Cenerentola in Rossini's La Cenerentola, "Nacqui all'affanno." In one opera the mezzo is the prince, in the other she's the new princess.
15. Diva: Ariane in Massenet's Ariane, "Ô frêle corps.... Chère Cypris."
16. Divo: Komponist from Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, "Seien wir wieder gut!" This is something Joyce is singing this spring at the Met.
You will notice that often the same story has the mezzo as one character in one opera and as another character entirely in another setting of the same story. This is a fun idea for an album, and takes Joyce out of the coloratura repertoire we have become accustomed to hearing her sing.
I like this trend. One of the first essays I wrote on this blog is called The Cecilia Bartoli Effect. Don't we all love these new lighter mezzos and the gorgeous new repertoire they are bringing us.
I like this album, too.