Cher Public

forever and ewa

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The Gran Teatre del Liceu has posted 70 clips from a variety of their opera productions over the last decade or so. Great singing and improbable regie: who could ask for anything more?

  • Lindoro Almaviva

    Some of this stuff is priceless, some completely forgettable. I wish some of this would make it to DVD. I heard the Nozze di Figaro was a nice production. Seems that the Poppea and the Cesare might be worth just because who is in the cast. The Ballo just because it is the Infamous Bieito production with the shitting chorus.

  • Lindoro Almaviva

    And I forgot to say that Carlos Alvarez has to be one of the sexiest baritones to grace the stage these days. Those who appreciate a hairy chest might go directly to the Don Carlos excerpt.

  • Alto

    Having attended many Liceu performances, I’m a great admirer. Their production of DEATH IN VENICE (an opera that I saw in its U.S. premiere and had never warmed to until I saw/heard what they did with it) is one of the most opera successful productions of any kind that I have seen. There’s a video of it.

    Another great video of theirs is of Montsalvatge’s UN GATO CON BOTAS.

  • Tamerlano

    My only issue with the Liceu is that damned Maria Bayo! She sucks! Podles sounds remarkable in this clip, though. The octave drop at the end is fabulously effective!

  • Hans Lick

    The thing I liked about the Cesare was Tolomeo still singing an aria (interpolated from another Handel opera, a tradition that goes back at least as far as Handel) after having been beheaded. Also the enormous Rosetta stone hanging from the ceiling.

  • SilvestriWoman

    I just listened to the clip of Bonney singing “O, quand je dors” and nearly lost it. Exquisite vocalism but, more importantly, she can put more honest emotion into one song than most singers in a season of opera. With Lorraine gone, Bonney’s probably the finest recitalist alive. Some years ago, she closed with Copland’s Emily Dickinson songs at Ravinia, Margo Garrett at piano. At the end, Garrett, like many of us, was in tears. Unbelievable…

  • MontyNostry

    Interesting, Silvestri, I’ve generally found Bonney a classy singer, but not touching. On the other hand, she was excellent as Zdenka in the horrible production of Arabella at Covent Garden in ?2004? with Mattila and Hampson.

  • Scott Rose

    Ich kriege Gaensehaut beim Zuhoeren.

  • SilvestriWoman

    MontyNostry, I understand what you’re saying. For instance, Bonney’s Sophie is lovely but doesn’t strike the heart like Donath or, of course, Popp. She can be a very cool customer. When I first saw her in recital, there were two young queens behind me who were touching the border of obnoxious in their shouts of adoration. Before encores, Bonney gave them a look that quieted their ardor, allowing her to continue. (Oh, and the encore was an utterly simple rendition o “O waly, waly.”) In that same Ravinia recital, though, she sang some Swedish songs with so much feeling, I thought she’d spontaneously combust.

    I do believe that recital is her true forte. More than many -- most? -- opera singers, she knows how to calibrate her voice for the recital hall.

  • MontyNostry

    Is Bonney singing again, by the way? She took some time out in the last year or two, didn’t she? I think her life was going through a bad patch.

  • judycadanna

    It is a nice change to see Podles beautifully costumed as a lady, and it was beautifully sung, and obviously heartfelt-- but her thing of singing with eyes closed is annoying. Perhaps not a big deal in the house when you aren’t seeing closeups, but that kind of ‘in the moment’ stuff is for American Idol. On the other hand, perhaps she was told to do so by the crap director who thought it would be good for Sesto to distractingly clean his sword, as if a son would ignore such an outpouring of grief from his mother, as if a singer would ignore Podles while she is singing, as if the audience wants to have their focus stolen by some stage business put in by a director who is directing Handel even though he thinks Handel is so boring that not even Handel characters find it interesting… And that bit clutching the head was too stupid. So this is ‘Salome’ all of a sudden? Took me completely out of the moment and undermined all the work Madame had done up to that point. Fucking directors-- is there any wonder that Zeffirelli productions lumber on for 25 tired years? Whenever someone tells a lawyer joke, in my mind I replace lawyer with ‘director’.