Thursday, May 27, 2021

Three Divas in Concert


This charming recital with pianist Vlad Iftinca and guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas comes from the newly refurbished opera house in the Palace of Versailles.  It is courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.  Thank you, Peter.

The Program 

“Je veux vivre dans ce rêve” From Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette sung by Nadine Sierra.  [I saw Nadine sing this role at the San Francisco Opera.]

“Voi che sapete” From Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro sung by Isabel Leonard.[I saw Isabel sing this role in HD from the Met.]

“Ebben? Ne andrò lontana” From Catalani’s La Wally sung by Ailyn Pérez.

“Crudele? ... Non mi dir” From Mozart’s Don Giovanni sung by Nadine Sierra.

“Agitata da due venti” From Vivaldi’s Griselda sung by Isabel Leonard. [I saw Isabel sing this role in Santa Fe.  She was stunning.]

“Stridono lassù” From Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci sung by Ailyn Pérez.

“Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour” (Barcarolle) From Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann sung by Isabel Leonard and Nadine Sierra.

“Prenderò quel brunettino” From Mozart’s Così fan tutte sung by Isabel Leonard and Ailyn Pérez.

“Mira, o Norma ... Sì, fino all’ore estreme” From Bellini’s Norma sung by Nadine Sierra and Ailyn Pérez. [Gorgeous.  Thank you for not reminding me of any version heard before.  Bravi!!]

“Marie Theres’! … Hab’ mir’s gelobt” From R. Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier   [This is, of course, one of my great loves sung by all three.  These ladies can wail.  I need me some Rosenkavalier.]

Isabel Leonard speaks briefly about their shared Latina heritage before going on to the Latina part of the program.

“Près des remparts de Séville” (Seguidilla) From Bizet’s Carmen sung by Isabel Leonard [Why has she never sung this role?  Or she did and I didn't notice.]

“En medio a mis colores” (Canzonetta spagnuola) By Gioachino Rossini sung by Isabel Leonard

“Me llaman la primorosa” From Giménez’s El Barbero de Sevilla sung by Nadine Sierra.  [Fun]

“Estrellita” By Manuel Ponce sung by Ailyn Pérez.

Ailyn brings on the guitarist and music stands appear.  This entire recital is overflowing with love.  Thank you my dears. They all take off their shoes.

“Bésame Mucho” By Consuelo Velázquez sung by all three in harmony.

“Cielito Lindo” By Quirino Mendoza y Cortés sung by all three in harmony.

So much love.  Wonderful.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Lise Davidsen at la Scala


Lise Davidsen successfully made her La Scala debut last night in a concert with her as the featured soloist.  These days Lise starts everything at the top.  The above film shows the orchestra on the floor with the audience in the boxes above. Riccardo Chailly conducted.  I remember him primarily as the conductor of Cecilia Bartoli's La Cenerentola recording.


Giuseppe Verdi

From Macbeth  "Patria oppressa"  [chorus]

Henry Purcell

From Dido and Aeneas  "When I am laid in earth" with Lise 

Richard Wagner From Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg  Vorspiel (Prelude)
Richard Strauss From Ariadne auf Naxos  "Es gibt ein Reich, wo alles rein ist" with Lise
Giuseppe Verdi

 From La forza del destino Sinfonia

"Pace, pace mio Dio"  with Lise

Richard Wagner

From Tannhäuser Ouvertüre
"Dich, Teure halle"  with Lise

Giuseppe Verdi From Nabucco  "Va’, pensiero" [chorus] 

Only "When I am laid in earth" was something I had not heard Lise sing before.  It was good but unspectacular compared to the other things.  She wore black in the first half and looked radiant.  These songs are basically all tragic, so black was ok.  For the second half she wore a beautiful pastel outfit which brightened the mood.  Her hair is enhanced with an extension down to her waist. 

The two pieces in German are Lise's signature pieces, both of which I love dearly in her voice.  The most spectacularly sung of all was the Verdi "Pace, pace mio Dio".  It would not do for her to omit the Italian language.  All of her languages were beautiful.

I was intrigued by the interplay between Chailly and Davidsen.  He seemed to be looking to her for expressive cues.  This is something singers long for.  I felt it allowed Lise to feel secure and give her utmost.  As a result she made the greatest impression in the great Italian aria "Pace, pace mio Dio."  They were a magical pair.  This is La Scala after all.

I found this to be one of the most intense and spectacular vocal concerts I've ever seen.  The audience stood up a lot.  It's out there.

Monday, May 10, 2021

International Opera Awards

Metropolitan Opera
Kirill Petrenko
Małgorzata Szczęśniak
Robert Carsen
Birmingham Opera Company
Lise Davidsen
Salzburg Festival
(sponsored by the Good Governance Institute)
David Pountney
Bernard Haitink
Javier Camarena
Tale of Tsar Saltan
(Tcherniakov, La Monnaie De Munt)
Alpesh Chauhan
Teatro Real, Madrid
Denyce Graves
Bayerisches Staatsorchester / Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich
Martina Arroyo Foundation
Jakub Józef Orliński: Facce d’amore (Erato)

Thomas: Hamlet (Naxos) [DVD]

Jamie Barton

Moniuszko: Paria (Teatr Wielki, Poznań)
Glanert: Oceane (Deutsche Oper, Berlin)
YOUNG SINGER sponsored by Mazars
Xabier Anduaga
Vasilisa Berzhanskaya