Saturday, May 14, 2011


I came east to see Gauguin at the National Gallery of Art and to see Joyce DiDonato in Ariadne auf Naxos, which I have reviewed somewhere else.  I will post a link once it is up.  I didn't hope for getting to see Jonas.

Joyce was over the top.  I have seen this opera a number of times but have never seen a mezzo have so much fun with the composer character.  Isn't that why we go?  For fun?  

I have been struck on this short trip by how often I am hearing bright, loud especially female voices.  In San Francisco the singers sound pretty much the same way they always have, but in these last three opera performances the voices begin all to sound alike, especially with Deborah Voigt, Violetta Urmana, Joyce DiDonato, Patricia Racette.

Initially I thought someone might be training them to sing that way.  Or perhaps the producers selected them for this quality.

Or perhaps the amplification systems emphasized these particular overtones.  Whatever the reason, it isn't to my taste.

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