“Beefcake and hamantaschen may seem an odd menu, but in the New York City Opera’s first season in two years, they somehow make a balanced meal.” [NY Post]
Catching up with Aida in HD rebroadcast. Dolora Zajick inhabited Amneris almost completely. Even though she reminded me of the love child between Kaye Ballard and Mindy Cohn, she impressed me by staying in character even when the action was elsewhere. And she so wanted Radames, that much was clear. She couldn’t take her eyes off his nether regions when he was around. She practically licked her lips. She did have a tendency to stare at Aida’s chest from time to time, but her expression spoke of jealousy to me.
As for the others … pretty good voices, I thought. I didn’t notice Botha or Urmana straying wildly, vocally. Botha is better heard than seen, as his acting — as someone here said — is limited to “eyes open wide,” “point in that direction,” and “eyes open wider.”
I was very happy to see some darn animals. I saw what I thought were two donkeys backstage during the intermission, but the only animals I noticed walking onstage were horses. The animals did live up to the hype. Hahaha.
Dear CruzSF… I’m not a a member of the fach police at all, but I thought Botha was a little light for Radames… which is odd since I understand he used to be a baritone. Now, what was that weird tension going on between Fleming and Zajcik? That interview was AWKWARD! What went down during that San Francisco Herodiade?
I didn’t find Botha too light for Radames at all. His voice is definitely not italianate but has the right weight for the role. Did he used to be a baritone? Interesting. I don’t hear any baritonal residue in his voice the way one hears in other baritones-turned-tenors. But then again, I could never hear much baritone in Bergonzi’s voice either.
It could be that the audio at our theater was a little flaky. Renee’s interviews seemed to blast out, but the opera was a bit muted.
kashania, in Fleming’s interview with Botha, they talked about him being a baritone before.
Urmana said she used to be a mezzo. How often do singers change voices? I had no idea it was common.
CruzSF: I think that most mezzos with a good top at least flirt with the idea of singing soprano roles. And dramatic sopranos often turn to mezzo roles in their late years (Varnay, Rysanek, Marton). Mödl started as a mezzo, switched to soprano, and the settled back to mezzo.
I noticed that weirdness between Fleming and Zajick, too! I chalked that up to Zajick’s otherworldness. Her stage presence was unlike any other that I’ve ever seen in my 7 years of opera attendance. I could not stop watching her. Her energy seemed so … odd. I can’t think of another word for it but I don’t mean “odd” in a bad way at all. She was just different.
With Fleming, I think Zajick was trying to cut through the crap … the formal pleasantries of an intermission interview. But you’re right, that tension was palpable.
I see Botha as Otello on Dec 2. I think of this role as a dark tenor role (not because it was written that way — I have no idea about that — but because I’ve heard it that way in the past on CD).
And didn’t both Fleming and Zajick say they had only sung together once….during that Herodiade? But I thought they did a Rusalka not too long ago. I guess it didn’t help when Renee “accidentally” called her Dolores!
No Expert: Your right. Fleming and Zajick appeared together the last time the Met did Rusalka (not last season but the time before that). I guess it was a memorable experience for them. :) It’s not as if their characters didn’t have to interact or anything…
Better a Turandot come down some ramp than ‘out between daddy’s legs’ in one production. Her old father suspended up high, with drapes ‘covering his legs’ all the way to the stage floor.
Then we had that stupid Turandot a la Fritz Lang’s Metropolis from Vienna with Gabrielle Schnaut(Shout!)and Botha where (in the Berio ending)Turandot : descended on that form of a 92nd floor elevator platform. As well, poor Liu become a corpse on a hospital trolley.
Harry, you’ve persuaded me that sometimes, I should be grateful for a ramp and just a ramp.
Did your Turandot come from between daddy’s legs astride a jackass?
Fleming seemed to need flash cards for every little comment. I don’t get that. Does she use them as a nervous tick? Surely, she could memorize the comments or improvise. Doesn’t she like jazz? Right, getting the correct name for a valued colleague of your home company should be priority number one. LOL.
All that being said, I do like the cd of that San Francisco Herodiade.
I’ll have to check it out. I haven’t heard it.
No Expert, do you mean the Herodiade with Fleming, Zajick, Domingo and Pons?
That’s the one. Domingo, Fleming, Zajick and Pons
kashania, I’ve just learned that Caruso late career voice had “baritonal qualities,” which made me think of Domingo now. Maybe the singers here can educate us about the vocal changes that come with use (I won’t say “age”).
I just ordered the Herodiade with that cast and the SFO and Chorus. I know nothing about the story, so it’ll be a surprise. It’s almost like Christmas!
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