Cher Public

And in the ‘how’

Yesterday’s first installment of a selected Rosenkavalier video overview covered two classic filmed performances, one from the 1960s and one from the 1970s. Today’s continuation closes out the 20th-century selections, crosses the millennial mark, and includes the first of our performances to depart from the opera’s prescribed 18th-century setting.   Read more »

Enough with the whirling!

It’s time for lazy stage directors and lazy sopranos to find some other gesture besides the chain of clumsy pique turns (AKA “whirling”) that is the cliché go-to opera shorthand for “joy.” Nobody but drag queens actually twirl in real life, and they’re doing it ironically. Sopranos, take note that the waltz music the orchestra is playing doesn’t really exist in your character’s reality, so there’s no need to dance all the time, even if the director can’t come up with something interesting for you do do. And it looks just plain silly for a big middle-aged woman to go pirouetting around like some eight-year-old fairy princess. Stop whirling! Read more »

Laureate

dame_kiriLovely, legendary, litigious Dame Kiri te Kanawa is among the distinguished divas and dudes of the lyric stage to be honored at the 2011 edition of The F. Paul Driscoll Awards for Outstanding Achivement in the Field of Excellence. Also tapped: maestro Riccardo Muti, soprano Patricia Racette, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and tenor Jonas Kaufmann. The gala dinner (sometimes known as the Opera News Awards) on April 17 promises to be (as always) one of the season’s premier meet-and-greets. [AP]

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Lady Dada

As if her elegant carriage, pristine soprano and knockabout comedy skills (as enjoyed in La Fille du Régiment) were not sufficient claims to fame, Dame Kiri te Kanawa has branched out into the composition of surrealist poetry.

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