Cher Public

Cape fear

anna-turandotAnna Netrebko and a ten-kilo evening cloak perform “In questa reggia,” complete and live! 

  • aulus agerius

    Seems like it took her a minute or 2 to warm up (some slight intonation issues) but that quickly passed. She reminded me of Ghena! She seemed so self-satisfied at the end -- rightly so. She also seems to just open up and sing unlike Calleja for example in recent Norma who goes through facial contortions just to get the sound out.

  • La Cieca
  • Goodness, I hope she does the role soon. This a fabulous “In questa reggia”.

    • Chenier631

      Yes, this was a wonderful rendition.
      I am hoping she will sing this at the upcoming Richard Tucker Gala here in NYC.

  • Opera Teen

    The singing is mighty impressive and very assured, but the REALLY exciting news is that she’s mastered “Turandot Fingers”!

    • Big Finn

      She IS so self assured and the build-up is majestic. But the recuring wobble in the voice goes beyond my personal comfort zone as a listener, and I am amused how the costume is so geared towards the German standard of appreciation of glitter; to me she looks like an iced christmas tree tree with tons of cheap silver lamé :)

      • DonCarloFanatic

        Could you please explain how to recognize a wobble? I heard the bit of hoarseness in the opening few seconds, but I don’t know how to identify a wobble.

        • spiderman

          If THAT is a wobble 3/4 of all opera singers dead, reitred or still performing have one. :)

      • Art Arcas

        I wouldn’t call it wobble. To my hears it seem that her vibrato is captured rather harshly by the microphone.
        Otherwise, that dress… girl.
        Have no gay friends?

        • Everyone has their own line they draw for when a vibrato has loosened to the point that they consider it a wobble. Personally, I’ve always had a high tolerance for slower vibratos (perhaps because I started with Callas as one of my first singers when I got into opera). Anna’s vibrato has loosened over the last few years but to my ears, it is far from a wobble.

          • Armerjacquino

            A general, but useful, rule of thumb is that if it sounds as if it’s under control, it’s vibrato, and if it sounds like the singer can’t help it, it’s a wobble.

        • Big Finn

          There’s glitter and then there’s GLITTER :)

  • Bravissima!! Now THAT is how an award should be accepted!! She took her time with it, and sang it at a slightly slower tempo (took some extra breaths) but she really let it build and worked. The orchestra also sounded fabulous; super lush, lyrical and not too bombastic. Dress and hair are fabulous. Esp the hair!! This should be a great role for her, although I think Puccini in general suits her very very well.

    As a totally superstitious aside, I think that little rasp we hear at the very beginning of the aria is a good omen based on all the slight little rasps we heard in Bolena :-P. The opera Gods are definitely in her favor.

  • And now, a comparison because it’s always fun!

    She may not be to everyone’s taste but one thing’s for sure: This chanteuse ain’t chirpin no more.

  • Anne-Louise Luccarini

    Thrilling voice. But the beginning is like treacle with no dotted rhythms.

  • NoelAnn

    This is wonderful! I am curious to hear how it sounds in a house, If the voice is large enough for it, recordings and tapes are deceiving. I’ve always been a fan and would hate to see her do damage.


    Damn, Mama can sing. But who dresses her?

    • DonCarloFanatic

      I strongly suspect she dresses herself. La Stupenda wore enormous outfits, too, to keep in scale, one presumes.


        Annishka ain’t that big.

        • DonCarloFanatic

          No one is that big. When I first saw Ms. Sutherland live, I thought she was a giantess.

          • Art Arcas

            I remember reading that Dame Joan was 187 cms or 6 feet 1.6 inches tall.

            Probably one of the tallest sopranos ever? (as contralto, Clara Butt was nearly 2 mts tall).

            I love this useless trivia!

            • Nyssa of Traken

              I saw one of Dame Joan’s final Lucias at Covent Garden in the 1980s and my abiding memory is still the disparity in size between her and Carlo Bergonzi which was exaggerated by her voluminous costume and wig. I think at one point he walked behind her and completely disappeared from view…

            • MissShelved

              I saw Dame Joan and Pavarotti in L’Elisir on tour (yeah, THAT long ago) in the huge Cleveland venue, sitting in the nosebleed section with other starving college students. I knew nothing of them at the time, but saw two tiny, pale-colored X-silhouettes way down there. When I finally got my turn with the opera glasses, I realized that those thin costumes were appliqued on the front of acres of dark, camouflaging fabric. I was a little startled, but by then I just didn’t care!

            • Gualtier Maldè

              Actually Joan and Big Lucy never sang “Elisir” together onstage -- Sutherland sang Adina on that Decca recording only, never onstage. Pavarotti sang Nemorino on Sutherland’s 1960’s Australian tour but Elizabeth Harwood was the Adina. You definitely saw “La Fille du Régiment” on May 2, 1972 in Cleveland per the Met archives.
              Those costumes with the vertical white strip in the center against a dark background are called “skunk costumes” by costume designers and costumers. It is a slimming device where the bright center strip elongates the silhouette and the dark on the sides creates the optical illusion of a thinner body shape.

            • MissShelved

              Yikes — brain fart — I meant Fille du Regiment!

            • MissShelved

              And yikes again — I did a lot of costuming throughout college (theatre, not opera, tho) and never heard that term. Delightfully descriptive!

    • MisterSnow

      Looks like some strange combination of Omar the tent maker and vintage Bob Mackie.

  • Niel Rishoi

    I’ve listened to this several times now, and I really enjoyed it. I am amazed that she has gotten to this level, and quite well, too.

    I am surprised that more have not chimed in. Maybe they are “tsk-tsking. Not me.

    I have heard so many truly wretched accounts of this for so long now. Or at least, the singer is not fully up to the demands.

    Anna is. The voice is voluptuous, substantial, and beautiful in tone quality. There aren’t any parts of her voice, nor in her singing that make you cringe, or feel like she is in any way over her head.

    I suspect, though, through some hints, that she is still refining and learning how to handle this voice she has evolved to having. There are a couple of places where the tone, especially on low, could be slightly more pungent, less opaque. Right at about 6:37 and 6:49 she sounds pressured. The C is shining, and secure; I’d like it to soar just a tad more, maybe held a bit longer: but it is still the best high C in the piece that I have heard in a long, long time.

    “Principessa Lou-Ling” is just gorgeous, with a shimmering, pristine legato. Moreover, you hear the mournful sorrow “put over” quite vividly.

    The knockout section, though, is the dramatic buildup to, and the marvelous security of “quel grido!”, and the conclusion of the phrase: it flashes with lightning-bolt force -- it is a sheer pleasure to revel in how confidently she tackles it.

    “Confidence” is the operative word here. Netrebko exudes it, and she embodies the best of the terms star, diva, prima donna. Animation, yet focus, joy yet seriousness, are all implicit in her being. She’s “into” the musical and dramatic personage of not just the character, but Anna, the by-now sagacious veteran. There’s nothing tentative or “held-back” about how much she puts her entire being into communicating with the audience.

    All of a sudden, Turandot’s “In questa reggia” is actually compelling -- and memorable -- again.

    • She usually has a longer high C in her than what we get here. I want to hear her in the complete role because she has the ease on top, the volume overall and the beauty of tone that we often don’t get when dramatic sopranos take a break from singing the heavy Wagner/Strauss roles. And she has the temperament. I think Radvanovsky could sail through some of the music thrillingly but wouldn’t have Netrebko’s temperament.