Una voce fra un po’… (Mezzo in Moscow. Muscle included.)
[Photo Credit: Nöjes Bladet]
Swedish mezzo Malena Ernman blazed through the semifinals of the Eurovision Song Contest (no kidding, with those scales!) and will be showing off her vocal abilities, energizing performance skills and shapely deltoids in the big finale on Saturday.
That said: thank you, Swedish costume department, for the sleeveless costume choice. And for the dancers in the black suits.
The first start numbers have been drawn meanwhile, and it looks like a strong start of the internationally more widely acknowledged singers – the vocally strong trio of Noa (Israel), Patricia Kaas (France) and Malena Ernman (Sweden) are starting as numbers two, three and four.
I expect Ernman to land somewhere in the solid middle when it comes to the final votes (this year, there is a 50% jury voting being taken into account again) – I hope for a spot in the top third, and while I would love to see her win, I don’t know whether the general European ESC audience understands the irresistibility of mezzo sopranos.
And those arms, of course, which is an opinion many of the visitors of this website seem to share:
Meanwhile, in between preparing for “Dido and Aeneas” in Vienna, “La Voix” in Moscow and trying to spend time with her family, Malena Ernman still finds the time to blog about her experience both for the Swedish press and on her revamped bilingual website, which is upfront and personal, with lots of photo and video material. She’s even twittering (in both Swedish and English) in addition – nice pinstripes there to go with the muscle, eh, voice! – and you can join her on facebook.
Despite the strain (she did look understandibly exhausted backstage, but happy enough after making the finale – full photo coverage by Indrek Galetin (EBU) here and here – and can anyone tell me for which country the Queen of the Night is starting?), Ernman continues to come across as down-to-earth, hardworking and approachable, and charming to boot.
I hope that she can take some of the ESC viewers along to follow her into the world of opera, where Ernman has been on the international rise for over a decade, earning rave reviews especially for her portrayal of Baroque repertory.
Good news on that front of all the opera lovers, since (as Ernman blogged on May 6th) the “Dido and Aeneas” production (probably the 2006 premiere) will be out on DVD shortly.
The next thing that has me swooning (except for those arms), however, are her plans for March/April 2010 in Brussels.
One word: Idamante.
(that’s the cute Greek prince falling for a Trojan princess in Mozart’s “Idomeneo”. Lots of mezzo goodness. Happy end. Hot soprano stuff on the side, too, if they don’t cut the third Elettra aria)
*insert delighted fangirly squealing* What can I say? Non ho colpa!
Now I just need to find a conference in Brussels to go to in spring of 2010. That, or apply for a job in the EU administration. I’ll think about that while watching entries 5 through 22 on Saturday night.
In all that happy lesbian lounging and voting (how often is it that you get a mezzo soprano on regular TV on Saturday night? And sleeveless to boot?), let’s not forget that the situation of the Russian LGBTQ community is anything but idyllic. My thoughts are going out to those brave enough to walk in the continuously prohibited Slavic Pride on Saturday. Let’s hope that the international attention during the ESC will prevent or at least lessen violent outbursts of homophobia and that the Russian LGBTQ community will be accepted as a normal (and visible) part of society one day.