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Thread: At Home with the Met

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    I found it horrible 5 years ago and still do.
    I cached a recording from Barcelona last night on telly, from another planet .



    Who's the Lady?

    N.

  2. #77
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    Who's the Lady?

    N.




    Sorry forgot:Full cast


    Macbeth: Ludovic Tézier

    Banquo: Vitalij Kowaljow

    Lady Macbeth: Martina Serafin

    Lady-in-waiting: Anna Puche

    Macduff: Saimir Pirgu

    Malcolm: Albert Casals

    Doctor: David Sánchez

    Servant, herald and assassin: Marc Canturri

    etc
    Last edited by Rogerx; Apr-07-2020 at 12:32.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

  3. #78
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Just tuned into the Aida which I saw live on the big screen. The two ladies had a good night but the tenor, Aleksandrs Antonenko, gives an object lesson in bawling.

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  5. #79
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    I'm currently finishing the fourth act of Aida - the good thing with that production is that the overall acting and staging balances out the shortcomings of singing, at least to some extent.
    Last edited by annaw; Apr-07-2020 at 17:36.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Listening to Aida now. I recommend it to everyone interested in the technique of singing, and particularly in the subject of vibrato. It's providing a lesson in the meaning of the term "wobble," with its lead singers demonstrating differing degrees of that vocal affliction.

    I believe that Aleksandr Antonenko's top notes are exhibiting the slowest pulsation I've ever heard in a human voice. His entire range is afflicted with wobble, which in the usual way becomes worse as he ascends in pitch and increases the volume. His voice really is a mess, and "Celeste Aida" is a disaster. Anna Netrebko hasn't yet undergone quite that level of vocal deterioration; she's generally able to confine the really big wobble to high notes, which are sometimes better and sometimes worse, but her vibrato has in general slowed down, caused no doubt by her taking on parts too heavy for her. Dmitry Belosselskiy, the Ramfis, is slightly wobbly too, Anita Rachvelishvili (Amneris) wobbles moderately whenever she presses on the voice, and Quinn Kelsey (Amonasro) is showing signs of wobble at the top of his range. I was pleased to hear the tenor Arseny Yakovlev, the messenger in Act 1, who seems to have a normal vibrato. Too bad he wasn't cast as Radames.

    I wonder how many opera listeners have come to think that wobble is just normal vibrato in classical singing. It does seem inescapable these days, especially in voices that purport to be of "dramatic" calibre. An interesting fact is that it's actually been determined, by sampling recordings of opera singers made over the course of the 20th century, that the average rate of pulsation in vocal vibrato seems to have decreased over time, mainly during the post WW II period. Vibratos vary normally in rate of pulsation, but it seems unlikely that the human vocal mechanism has changed in such a basic way. Naturally slower vibratos don't necessarily develop into wobbles, but changes in vocal pedagogy that favor slower vibratos might plausibly be setting singers up for this problem.

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    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    .................................................. .....
    Last edited by annaw; Apr-07-2020 at 19:13.

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    Senior Member Helgi's Avatar
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    Hmm, I feel like I've had all the lessons I need for now in wide vibrato. Thinking of DeYoung's Venus and more recently Princess Eboli. Think I'll skip the Aida.

    I watched Don Carlo today, had a tab still open from this weekend

    Loved Poplavskaya as Elisabeth, a beautiful performance in both singing and acting I thought.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helgi View Post
    Hmm, I feel like I've had all the lessons I need for now in wide vibrato. Thinking of DeYoung's Venus and more recently Princess Eboli. Think I'll skip the Aida.

    I watched Don Carlo today, had a tab still open from this weekend

    Loved Poplavskaya as Elisabeth, a beautiful performance in both singing and acting I thought.
    I enjoyed Don Carlo immensely. Aida is pretty good apart from the tenor.

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    Senior Member Sieglinde's Avatar
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    Tézier is just on a whole different level than Lucic... it's like comparing Ludwig the Holy Blade (to stay close to the name) to the Celestial Emissary.

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    Senior Member vivalagentenuova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I wonder how many opera listeners have come to think that wobble is just normal vibrato in classical singing. It does seem inescapable these days, especially in voices that purport to be of "dramatic" calibre. An interesting fact is that it's actually been determined, by sampling recordings of opera singers made over the course of the 20th century, that the average rate of pulsation in vocal vibrato seems to have decreased over time, mainly during the post WW II period. Vibratos vary normally in rate of pulsation, but it seems unlikely that the human vocal mechanism has changed in such a basic way. Naturally slower vibratos don't necessarily develop into wobbles, but changes in vocal pedagogy that favor slower vibratos might plausibly be setting singers up for this problem.
    Interesting. Caprino is a relatively common problem in old recordings, but I've almost never heard a real wobble in a historic recording. The only prominent singer of the generation right after Caruso who I recall having a wobble is later Lauri-Volpi, where he wobbles pretty badly on high notes. He had a caprino when he was younger though.

    I agree that wobble has become a bigger and bigger problem in recent times. Antonenko has a dial-up vibrato in that Aida performance. Although there are a few notable instances of caprino. Calleja, DiDonato, Brownlee and a few others currently have caprino.

    I'm watching with trepidation the 2010 Fanciulla. I attended the livestreams of both the 2010 and 2019 Fanciullas and I must say that I didn't really like either, although Marco Armiliato conducted the latter performance with exceptional ability. He did it from memory and was able to really manage a dialogue with the singers. If they had been better, it would have been an truly special performance. As is, it's a great orchestral recording of the opera with mediocre singing. Still, the 2019 singers are all around preferable to the 2010 and I don't know why they chose that. Lucio Gallo in particular is horrible. A wooden, colorless voice with a wobble on top. Sigh.

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    Senior Member Helgi's Avatar
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    So I watched Aida, glad I did — what a show, production wise. I was happy with Netrebko and Rachvelishvili was very convincing! As for Radames... well.

    That makes it six and a half hours of Verdi for me today.

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    Senior Member vivalagentenuova's Avatar
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    Gave up. Voigt has some clarity in the middle, but the top is so nasal and collapsed. The bottom is there but not strong. But Fanciulla has its fair share of exposed high notes, and so I spent the whole time dreading the next one. Didn't really make it out of Act I. Giordani could have a great voice, but wobble, other problems. Gallo is incomprehensible: how did he get famous? During his aria, some passages were straight tone, some wobble, sounding off pitched and dry. Lucic was way, way better as Rance in the 2019 performance, if not nearly ideal. Orchestra did a good job, though nothing really inspired in the parts I listened to.
    If you want to watch this opera, try this:

    Not my first choice cast, but overall decently sung and with some charm.

    Just the Poker Scene, unfortunately:


    But this is the really good stuff, though audio only:

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I came away from the Met's Fanciulla charmed by the realistic production and feeling forgiving of some mediocre singing. Isn't that what Minnie asks us all to do? Forgive? How can we deny Minnie anything?

    Though not a fan of Deborah Voigt's post-bypass voice, and convinced that dramatic soprano repertoire was never for her - the high notes were desperate and under pitch - I'll credit her with a devoted, heart-warming performance. About Giordani and Gallo I shall not speak (consult vivalagentenuova), but I'll put in a good word for Ginger Costa-Jackson, whose firm mezzo as Wowka provided the best singing of the entire performance. I recall her as Lola in the Met's Cavalleria Rusticana a few seasons back, completely outsinging the Santuzza, Eva-Maria Westbroek, one of our current wobble queens. Considering the disconcerting coincidence that the best vocalist in yesterday's Aida was the tenor who sang the messenger in Act 1, I have to ask what it says about opera today when the most attractive voices we hear are the comprimarios.

    Fanciulla is a peculiar opera. Maybe being an American gives me both a special affection for it and a certain cringey feeling while watching it. Those gold miners singing "Hello!" to each other don't convince me for a minute that they aren't Italians playing a wild west comedy. It takes me half an hour to begin to be persuaded that the whole thing isn't ridiculous, but once I'm hooked - it happens toward the end of Act 1, with the waltz tune that becomes a love theme - I'm in for a good time. The atmospheric score, hybridizing verismo with Debussy, is certainly the reason; what other reason could there be? I wouldn't call the opera Puccini's best-shaped work - Act 1 is slow to work up a heat, and the interruption of the action in Act 3 for a stand-and-sing aria by Johnson is certainly a mistake - but the exchanges between Minnie and Johnson are psychologically delicate and moving. Besides, Minnie insists that I forgive any faults the work may have. For her I'll do anything, and so should you.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Apr-08-2020 at 07:38.

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  22. #89
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helgi View Post
    So I watched Aida, glad I did — what a show, production wise. I was happy with Netrebko and Rachvelishvili was very convincing! As for Radames... well.

    That makes it six and a half hours of Verdi for me today.
    Yes I had see it live. It was a good, spectacular production which suited the Met stage. The ladies were good as was the baritone. Pity about the tenor!

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  24. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Neither act 2 nor act 3 was up to act 1. Kaufmann was excellent, vocally the strongest member of the cast, with Terfel not far behind (not exactly a Wotan voice, but he made the most of what he has). I'm not keen on any of the women; Blythe was solid but not remarkable, Westbroeck has an intrusive vibrato, and Voigt was skinny threadbare Voigt. But the opera made its impact regardless of vocal deficiencies. I expect even less from Siegfried today, but we'll see.
    I saw it in HD when it was originally screened in cinemas and the thing that impressed me most was the conducting. The whole thing sounded so incredibly beautiful. Especially Wotan's Farewell and the Magic Fire Music. Are we allowed to say that James Levine was a magnificent conductor?
    Last edited by damianjb1; Apr-08-2020 at 11:42.

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