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The lady in question

… is Anna Netrebko, performing “Vieni, t’affretta” from Verdi’s Macbeth at tonight’s opening gala at the Mariinsky.

This snippet of operatic history was supplied by a St. Petersburg-based parterre lurker (Spasibo bolshoe!) and we have arte live web to thank for the following complete telecast of the event:

245 comments

  • Archaeopteryx says:

    I must admit that I enjoyed Netrebko in this extract. I do not like her very much, finding her mostly uninteresting, but in this she did a pretty good job, very fiercly and passionate. But I find her more convincing in the Cantabile. She Cabaletta isn’t my cup of tea (where is the second verse, after all…).
    By the way, what do the Parterrians think of this Lady M?

    • Podlesmania says:

      OMG! I wasn’t expecting the reading of the letter as a whispering, freaky & scary!!

    • Bianca Castafiore says:

      Sorry, I had to stop at 2:15, I’m sorry but I find it atrocious. Impossible to listen to.

    • kashania says:

      Larmore’s tone is just too light. And her low notes are surprisingly meatless for a mezzo. All in all, she sounds like she’s having to work hard to fill out the vocal lines.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    more of these here too

    • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      I love Roberto- but this is shouting and not his best work.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      • oedipe says:

        QPF,

        This is an amateur recording of very poor quality.
        I saw one of the Vienna performances (with Garanca, before she cancelled and was replaced by Kasarova) and Alagna sang very well and was deeply moving.
        The audience loved him (and Elina): the applause lasted twice as long and was way more enthusiastic than the previous night’s applause for a very dull and routine Boheme with Opolais and Beczala.
        The reviews for this Werther run have been unanimously good.

        • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

          I know that production very well and I already said how much I love Roberto. I also know what I see in the videos and it’s not his best work.

  • lucy brown says:

    I love Netrebko, and I think she’s beautiful at every size, but as I watch these clips I’m wondering…is she with child again? Look at the shape…it’s all in the belly and the face. Boy, that would mess up Onegin, wouldn’t it?

    • Nerva Nelli says:

      “that would mess up Onegin, wouldn’t it?”

    • DonCarloFanatic says:

      A. She’s a bit old for another, although these days celebrity women do it anyway.
      B. She didn’t gain weight in her face during the pregnancy, only after.
      C. It might account for her complete assurance in that gown despite the columnar side view.
      D. Then again, she’s always physically self-assured.

      Whatever it is, you go, Anna. Eat some strudel. Keep on enjoying life.

    • pobrediablo says:

      She is becoming Caballe.

      • OperaTeen says:

        By “She is becoming Caballe”, I’m sure you mean that she is cementing her place as one of history’s great singers and singing a wide variety of rep. If that’s not what you mean, then take your nasty and baseless criticism elsewhere.

        • pobrediablo says:

          For someone who made a career based on her looks, yes, I will criticize her weight.

          • OperaTeen says:

            I don’t think Caballe went from house to house marketing herself as a famous fat lady that would stand on stage for a fee. Of course, we remember her weight, but don’t we also remember things like the SPECTACULAR high B in Don Carlo or any other of her great vocal successes? Caballe was first and foremost a singer, and that’s exactly what she should have been.

          • pobrediablo says:

            Well, I’m sorry then. Replace Caballe with Honey Boo Boo’s mother then lol

          • DonCarloFanatic says:

            Dunno if she made the career based on her looks, or if others, seduced by her looks, made the career for her. I tend to think it was her charm and acting ability that made the difference in the earlier years.

            She seems to be a serious singer with a real voice. IMO, criticism of her looks stems mostly from disappointment because she used to look even more stunning, and now it’s not the same. But she herself has said she’s done with being a girl. And she’s producing some impressive sounds these days.

            So, instead of the stripper body, we get better singing. I’d say it’s a fair trade-off.

          • la vociaccia says:

            Saying Netrebko made a career based on looks gets you on the fast-track to ignoresville. A moldier chestnut you will never find ever. Might as well go in with the whopping “Rysanek sang out of tune” and my personal favorite “Domingo was always a short tenor”

            What do these statements have in common? Queen bitchiness of the highest order with little to no basis other than something to whine about while your feet start to hurt in standing room. And no, I am not a Netrebko fan in the slightest; the one time I saw her live (Pasquale; 2006?) I wasn’t terribly impressed.

            And I’m (not) sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. None of this “I am going to complain about how looks-casting made her career, and then turn the other cheek and call her too fat”

          • armerjacquino says:

            Brava, la v. Netrebko is the owner of a major voice who was also lucky enough to be good-looking. No doubt her looks made her path easier but a voice like hers would have got her attention whatever she looked like.

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            “Domingo was always a short tenor.”

            Yeah -- yawn!

            This could with truth (however) be said of Flaviano Labo and Salvator Novoa.

          • Bluessweet says:

            6′ 2″ (1.87 m)

            Plácido Domingo, Height

          • Jamie01 says:

            “don’t we also remember things like her SPECTACULAR high B in Don Carlo”

            We? OperaTeen, my kids are older than you, and I don’t remember Caballé.

          • operalover9001 says:

            Age (or lack thereof) certainly doesn’t stop people here from reminiscing about the good old days of Ponselle and Lind…

  • Donna Anna says:

    Are the pit and the stage so deep that singers had to wear earpieces? (Well, some of them: Borodina and Pape).

  • Bianca Castafiore says:

    Can someone tell me how to download this whole video? Can it be done?

    • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      Interestingly, it does not download easily from the Arte-Web feed. But you can capture that with SKIFTA. The embedded version here can be capured with JAKSTA. WONDERSHARE as a version that will capture Youtubies. All of those programs are for APPLE. I don’t do Windows. The complete gala is also hiding on Youtube and elsewhere. I just purchased the great BEAMER app, which is an AIRPLAY video player that does not need to function with ITUNES and plays so many formats via APPLE TV to your big screen TV.

    • DonCarloFanatic says:

      Intermezzo has it via YouTube, which is an easy download. Flashgot’s good.

  • Bianca Castafiore says:

    Scusi, what is the opening number?

    • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      Prokofiev, Romeo And Juliet: “Montagues And Capulets” sequence.

      • Bianca Castafiore says:

        Dankeschön, Quanto. I wish there was a listing of numbers and performers. When I heard that piece, I thought, Russian, and rather modern…

    • m. croche says:

      Speaking of that “Entrance ofthe Knights” film sequence at the opening of the concert: what’s up with blurry, do-not-adjust-your-set object flying around the Mariinsky II ? It looks for all the world like one of Harry Potter’s quidditch snitches.

  • Bianca Castafiore says:

    Does anyone know or have heard tenor Will Hartmann?????

    • armerjacquino says:

      He’s the (excellent) Tamino on the McVicar/ROH ZAUBERFLOTE. I haven’t watched your YT, but maybe it’s from that production?

      • Bianca Castafiore says:

        Yes, the YT clip is from ROH 2003.

        What a lovely voice. Why haven’t I heard of him before? It’s like Quinn Kelsey. Nobody told me about him until the gala on PBS. You Parterriani are not doing a good job of keeping me informed!!!!!

        Hartmann also sings Erik. Isn’t that mostly a heldentenor’s domain?

        • Bianca Castafiore says:

          I see in his bio he also sings Don José.

        • Cocky Kurwenal says:

          Tamino is classic young Heldentenor territory, and Pelleas of course is shared with baritones, so maybe it’s all part of one coherent master plan? I don’t really recall much in terms of specifics from when I saw him, but the idea of Erik doesn’t surprise me.

    • Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Saw him as Pelleas in Edinbugh in a wet suit, and in Flute at the ROH. Liked him both times.

      • Bianca Castafiore says:

        OMG, there’s very few YT excerpts of him but I found this. I hope this was a rehearsal because the Violetta sounds awful, but check out her dance !!!!!!! at 2:24….

        • armerjacquino says:

          Not a rehearsal, a TV film, judging by the tag. Not heard of the Violetta but her rep seems to include Norma, Salome, Minnie, Tosca and Lucia. Cheryl Studer is back!

    • Loge says:

      He was wonderful as Laca in Jenufa in Berlin last year.

  • Niel Rishoi says:

    Zajick’s “Vieni t’afretta” :

    • kashania says:

      Thank you for posting this. I think Zajick sounds tremendous here. Shame about the retake on the final high B but other than that, terrific.

  • -Ed. says:

    I feel vaguely guilty for not liking Netrebko much. As often as I have seen her and listened to her, she has yet to curl my toes. The great singers linger in the mind; after listening to Netrebko, my thoughts never turn back to her performance. A Russian Sills.

    • oedipe says:

      The great singers linger in the mind

      Interesting notion. Maybe that’s how one becomes “addicted” to some voices, feeling the need to listen to them over and over again. Though I suspect it is a very personal thing: we don’t all react in the same way to a given singer.

      • -Ed. says:

        I wonder if some of the greats don’t plan it that way. Why are Callas and Caballe and Sutherland and the ambulatory Pavarotti and my dear Zajick lodged in my marrow, to cite a few examples, while Netrebko passes my tympanic membrane and evaporates? Perhaps it’s all just some psychological trick.

        No. NO. Being thrust back in one’s seat by a great singer performing a great role is no trick.

        (Not that I’m against tricks, mind you..)