litlover12: (CY)
For once in my life, I'm happy about multiple Grammy nominations! (Seriously, this NEVER happens!) Some of my favorite artists and albums and songs this year actually got nominated. Like these:
Read more... )
litlover12: (PW)
. . . is following along on the fans' message board. My favorite comment of this year's Worlds so far, about a lackluster program to "Nessun Dorma": "Turandon't."
litlover12: (GK DR DO)
I just had the most glorious long weekend in NYC with friends. I went to FIVE! shows, all of which were wonderful: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Tosca (first time at the Met!), The King & I, Daddy Long Legs, and The Fantasticks. (My friends saw some of the same ones and some different ones.) And we ate at some great restaurants and went to The Strand Bookstore and all kinds of other cool places. It was so much fun. I was badly in need of a vacation, and this one was just what the doctor ordered.

I didn't take as many pictures as I meant to, but there are a few below the cut!

Read more... )
litlover12: (BA)
Now they're complaining because this woman (starring as Violetta in La Traviata) ISN'T wearing a red dress.

12011234_897947126946372_5480157667295171064_n

Opera fans can be a fussy lot.
litlover12: (DA)
A bunch of fans in my Met Opera Facebook group were having hissy fits because Desdemona is going to wear a red dress in Otello this season, which is JUST NOT DONE.

This of course gave me an opportunity to use my favorite classic movie line about a red dress: "It's 1852, dumplin'! 1852! Not the Dark Ages!" (Go here and skip to 2:48.)

. . . I love it when fandoms collide. :-)
litlover12: (PV)
Should you ever find yourself in need of a recording of The Merry Widow -- as I did recently, after seeing the new Met Opera production via the local movie theater -- I highly recommend this one. Not only is it beautifully sung, but it has a wonderfully droll English narration, of which the post title above is a sample. It was written by Tom Stoppard and delivered by Dirk Bogarde (who, I confess, was a major reason for my choosing this one). I listened to it over the course of several drives in the car, and it made them a great treat!
litlover12: (PV)
Opera is back! By which I mean the Met season is back, and thus the Live in HD broadcasts are back. Not a minute too soon, too. My DVR just went rogue and ate about half my recordings, including a couple of PBS opera broadcasts I really wanted to see. (GRRRRR.) So it was extra-fantastic to get to see Verdi's Macbeth at the movie theater yesterday. I'd never heard or seen it before. That's some spectacular music. And it was interesting to see how closely the libretto followed Shakespeare.

And holy whoa, Anna Netrebko! She was absolutely blow-you-away awesome. Fierce and raw and commanding and sensual and everything Lady Macbeth ought to be, and in amazing voice to boot. It's like the role was written for her. (In addition, her interview at intermission was a hoot! She was so energized and excited, she was bouncing all over the place.) I've always liked her, but now she's even winning over the haters, from what I'm hearing and reading online. It's really nice to see.

If you're into opera at all and you have a free night on Wednesday, try to catch the encore broadcast of this. Or else watch for it to come to PBS (fingers crossed). It's so worth the time.
litlover12: (PV)
Puccini's little-seen opera La Rondine was being shown in movie theaters tonight. I couldn't go, but I managed to get hold of it on DVD. Oh my gosh, the music is GORGEOUS. (And the sets and costumes in this production are amazing -- all Art Deco and Tiffany glass backdrops and so forth.)

Apparently this is a "problem opera" or something -- supposed to be like a Viennese operetta and didn't quite manage it, didn't do well at its premiere, etc., etc. WhatEVER. If this is a "problem," I wish all my problems were just like it.
litlover12: (SC)
Some friends and I have tickets to see Carmen at the Virginia Opera tonight! This will be my first time seeing it, although, watching as much figure skating as I do, I sort of feel like I've already seen it a dozen times. As Dick Button said, "Every skater goes through a thousand CDs until they find a piece that they like, and then all too often they end up with Carmen."
litlover12: (PV)
Reporting in from the Land of the Opera Newbies, to announce that I am now a total Puccini fangirl. I heard Tosca on CD (with Maria Callas), and it was just . . . whoa . . . WOW. That is some unbelievably gorgeous music.

Just imagine if I'd actually understood the words! I'd read the synopsis, so I knew what was going on, but I only actually caught about seven or eight words in the whole opera. They're harder to catch when they're being sung. If I'm really going to make a go of being an opera fan, I have GOT to brush up on my Italian. (Not that it'll help with the German, French, and Russian operas, but at least it'll be a start!)

But maybe it's just as well. If I'd actually been experiencing the meaning of the words along with the music, I might have had to pull over to the side of the road and bawl. Seriously, it was that powerful.
litlover12: (GK1)
Remember that wonderful Live in HD opera I told you about? It's going to be on TV! And it's coming out on DVD! SQUEE! I really wanted a permanent copy of this -- I'm so excited we're going to get one.
litlover12: (WENN1)
. . . I've been meaning to post this.

"Giuseppe Verdi at 200: An appreciation"

It's not like I know much about Verdi -- as I said, opera newbie here. But I love the writer's enthusiasm. I love this:

"Here’s where I’m supposed to sit down and write some big expository paragraph in sober-sounding prose explaining all the facts and why Verdi is amazing and why you should care. And I can’t do it. Verdi is way too personal for me. . . .

"I can’t explain to you why you should like Verdi, because I can’t believe you won’t hear it for yourself. It’s hardest for us to teach, or explain, the things that come most naturally to us, and for me Verdi has always made perfect sense. Something about his work accords with my sense of how life works, and how stories can be told and experienced."

We all have artists (composers, writers, whoever) that we feel like that about. I love that Anne Midgette has expressed this so well for all of us.

(Also, I like this: ". . . the plot synopses, which I find almost impossible to understand . . ." I looked up some Verdi plot synopses, and they are almost impossible to understand. Maybe that's why Eugene Onegin's lack of plot doesn't bother me, or even appeals to me -- because so many operas with plots just get silly!)
litlover12: (PV)
I saw Eugene Onegin from the Metropolitan Opera at one of the local movie theaters on Wednesday (the encore screening, not the live one). I've been wanting to write about it ever since, but I'm such an opera ignoramus, I wasn't sure what to say. I could say it was brilliant and wonderful, and Anna Netrebko was perfect, and it would all be true, but that doesn't convey much!

However, I shall try . . . )

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