B-flat-boying

Jakub Józef Orlinski tells iNews, “Stage directors love performers with an acrobatic ability. I included one of my power moves, the windmill, when I sang Erismena at the Château De Versailles.”  Read more »

Farinelli from heaven

Many contemporary opera-lovers must rue that they can never hear such 19th century icons as Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient or Adolphe Nourrit or the Garcia sisters, Maria Malibran and Pauline Viardot. But my impossible wish would be to hear one of the great castrati who dominated opera for most of the 18th century. I’m not the only one intrigued by these (mercifully) now-extinct musical anomalies—it’s a fascination that continues into the 21st century as heard on three variously compelling recent castrato-oriented CDs by countertenors David Hansen, Franco Fagioli and Philippe Jaroussky. In addition, the latter’s current US tour stopped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Grace Rainey Rogers auditorium Tuesday evening. Read more »

You must meet my knife

castratoWhich cord does one snip to make a castrato? So goes a running joke in The Last Castrato by Guy Fredrick Glass, a play about Alessandro Moreschi, the last living castrato and the only one ever recorded. Much of his career was spent as the first soprano of the Sistine Chapel Choir, both because of his virtuosity and because there were no other venues open to castrati by the end of the 19th century. Those who take issue at Stoppard or Shaffer are probably not going to be pleased with the historical accuracy, but Glass presents a chilling image of the last castrati growing old and watching their former patrons enforce silence upon them. Read more »

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star-flaming

Yuriy Mynenko represents Ukraine in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competion — though probably not with this particular selection!

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that’s a countertenor, baby!

More light entertainment from the First Annual Pitchy Awards: the prancing panniers of Max Emanuel Cencic. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5awkNNA7XFM” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

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