Then and now: the “Dio ti giocondi, o sposo” duet from Otello, as telecast 34 years apart: September 25, 1978 and October 27, 2012. Read more »
Separated at birth: “Tu che di gel” goddess Renata Scotto and “Too much hair gel” oddness Johnny Weir. This is also holiday-themed breaking news because Johnny has now officially donned his gay apparel. [After Elton]
Chicago’s opera community has been abuzz about this production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera ever since the 2010-11 Lyric Opera season was announced. A sumptuous production owned by San Francisco opera, major female stars, a solid male cast of experienced Verdians, and stage direction by the legendary Renata Scotto—what more could one ask?
I attend the opera intent on enjoying myself. If the music is not my favorite, there is always something to like, be it a colleague’s individual performance, the discovery of a newcomer, nifty stagecraft or costumes, observing the movement skills of the various singers, or in worst-case scenarios, observing the audience’s boredom, carefully notating the point-of-no-more-patience. My critical eye and ear are well-known, so I try not to be cynical as I silence my smartphone and smile at the sextagenarians who own the subscription seats next to me.
“As beautiful as her singing was, [Renata Scotto] never was much of an actress.” — Lotfi Mansouri: An Operatic Journey
To get straight to the point, the main attraction of this DVD is Renata Scotto. The Italian soprano, the first to perform all three heroines of Il trittico at the Met, is simply superb. She has élan in the moments of tension and a powerful, in-depth delivery. There is not a single word in the entire work that Scotto lets go to waste. Hers is a play of colors and gradations prodded by an exceptional imagination and interpretative sensitivity. Add to this an eloquent, aristocratic, full-relief pronunciation, which coalesces with the pliability of her sound and the refinements of the [...]
In light of all the recent discussion of Norma, La Cieca thought it would be interesting to listen to a great (and controversial) Druidess of the recent past.