TO GO, OR NOT TO GO ?
is was the question
photo: Richard Hubert Smith for ETO
Some opera lovers are indeed fortunate.They live in areas of the world where going to live opera performances is commonplace or at least relatively easy to accomplish [if you've got the money!] Some opera lovers have the means, the time and the personal circumstances which allow them to experience quality opera in their own locality or further afield and I’m very happy for them, even though I may sometimes grit my teeth with envy in a very non-British way!
Others, like myself, live in places where live performance with professional companies, including the trend towards HD, is virtually non-existent. They may also have circumstances which make travel difficult or impossible. So .. we feed off the exploits of the lucky ones. We read avidly, pour over photos, listen to recordings, work on scores from the library and watch videos. These recordings become well known and well loved, like comfortable old slippers [ we do hate to throw those away, don't we? ] They seep into the consciousness, embed themselves into the ears, eyes and emotions and we become reliant on them for soul nourishment.
So, when an unexpected opportunity arises to experience an unfamiliar version of a very familiar opera a quandary must be faced. Stay with the well-known, trusted and beloved? or risk it and face disappointment, not to mention the financial cost.
For instance – can anything at all come anywhere near ……
Sesto in Barcelona with a wicked looking knife. [screengrab from YouTube video]
OR ESPECIALLY THIS
Sesto in Salzberg with Dorothea Roschmann. Photo is a screengrab from Salzberg production. Source unknown but it has made many a White Shirt
drool smile -
thank you, whoever you are!
Yes, I have a particular love for a particular opera, character and performer -
have you guessed who it is yet ?!!
I came across Vesselina Kasarova’s Sesto on various blogs last year. So much was said about the haunting beauty of Mozart’s music, the striking originality of the production and the stunning performances in La Clemenza di Tito, [ Salzberg 2003 ] that I first absorbed all the excerpts I could find and then I bought the DVD. I was immediately smitten and fully understood why some people have raved that there can be no other Sesto but Kasarova.
Just imagine being a singer cast in that role with much of the opera loving world saying, or at least thinking, ” follow THAT” English Touring Opera are on the road this Spring with La Clemenza di Tito ( Mozart ) Fantastic Mr. Fox (Tobias Picker) and Il Tabarro/Gianni Schicchi ( Puccini) and I have decided to risk it on the Mozart. I have booked my seat, read the reviews and will try VERY HARD to go with an open mind. After all if I don’t like the singers I can concentrate on the orchestra or the production or the scenery or the costumes or the conductor and avoid AT ALL COSTS making any comparisons!!
So … watch this space. Eyes [ that's me by the way if you're new around here ] will soon be writing her first review since going to Alcina at The Barbican last December.
And if you want to make up your own mind about Kasarova’s Sesto, put those two words into YouTube and enjoy the results that various people have put up there! Even if, in the end, you disagree with me and many others, you will enjoy finding out!
Whether you are going to the opera or not
HAVE A WONDERFUL WHITE SHIRT WEEKEND !