Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Midwinter Music Mania

Coming to an iPod near me in the very near future:
  • Cleopatra: Arias from Giulio Cesare, by Natalie Dessay (to be released February 8). Man, I was looking forward to this as far back as two and a half years ago, when the word first surfaced that Dessay would add the role of Cleopatra to her repertoire. She's my favorite opera singer, and Cleopatra's "V'adoro, pupille" is perhaps my favorite Handel aria. And now she's recorded it!
    Dessay is also currently performing in a production of Giulio Cesare in Paris, at the Palais Garnier. Must resist the urge to look up cheap flights to France...
I'm so excited about both of these albums! I feel as though I'm back in college! -- the era when I discovered both of these artists. Blissful afternoons of sitting on my dorm-room quilt and listening to the Decemberists and Dessay -- I really don't do that often enough, these days.

6 comments:

Dr.J said...

It´s already on youtube.
Some info about the new year theatrical season in Madrid:
two T.Ws at the same time in "public" stages:
Cat on a hot tin roof at Teatro Español
A streetcar named desire Centro Dramático Nacional
plus Beckett "The happy days" (I translate directly the title, don´t know if it´s the original one) and
Jean Genet "The black ones"
of course all of these are top-flight productions, the body of the billboard is made of local plays and long-runners like The Mousetrap.
Simon and Miller are still running from last year.

Marissa said...

Any good local plays? How's the current crop of Spanish playwrights?

Dr.J said...

Much of them are pure trash. Best ones are:
Juan Mayorga (1965), a philosopher and playwright has won the top prizes.
Paloma Pedrero (1957), there is a page in wikipedia (in english) a bit outdated but useful.
There is a great problem of political byass to get public money and in Barcelona only the texts in catalan get that. Commercial productions are quite uninspiring as they must ensure a traditional public attendance.
Probably I am a bit pessimistic, I know one actress that works in a company that performed Chekhov in Russia! with great success.
How do you like Renée Fleming Handel as compared to Dessay, is she the top american soprano of the day?

Marissa said...

Yeah, Renée Fleming is the top American soprano these days. She's a few years older than Dessay but, at this point in time, her voice is probably healthier. I have the recording of Handel's "Alcina" where Fleming sings the title role and Dessay sings Morgana. It's from 1999, so they are both in great voice. In terms of Handel style, I prefer Dessay--her coloratura is absolutely virtuosic. Fleming is known for being a "mannered" singer (crooning, etc.) and I think that that works better in more Romantic music, rather Baroque.

Dr.J said...

Still "under-the-influence" of yesterdays live broacasting from the Met of Lucia de Lammermoor with N. Dessay. Although I found her a bit "cold" at the beggining.
Why do saturday shows begin so terribly early at the Met? it ended before 10PM and that is early for Spain even with time difference (Operas usually start in Madrid at 8 PM)
Theater update: Current impression in Madrid is David Mamet´s American Buffalo, how do you like Mamet, isn´t he a bit too "obvious"?

Marissa said...

Evening shows begin at 8 PM in America too! Unless it's a really long opera like "Tristan und Isolde" or something. But the Met broadcasts in movie theaters are LIVE broadcasts of the 1 PM Saturday matinée. So the broadcast began at 7 PM your time.

That's the reason I don't go to a lot of Met broadcasts--I am on the West Coast, so they begin at 10 AM my time, and that's early to get to the movie theater!

David Mamet is pretty "obvious" -- easy to parody, with all of his curse words and masculine characters. He has also developed some weird opinions in recent years, both about politics and the theater. He doesn't think the director should do anything other than tell the actors where to stand. Which is the opposite of how it is in Europe, I know -- where the director is king!