White Shirt Monday: Black and White
[Going out in style: the proper White Shirt will die with their proverbial - or, as in this case, actual - boots on. Patrizia Ciofi (Amenaide) and Hadar Halévy (Tancredi) in Rossini's "Tancredi", Deutsche Oper Berlin 2011. - Photo Credit: Bettina Stöß.]
This week, I know exactly what the original Xena eposide is called!
In fact, various spring to mind, to me it’s a tie between Friend in Need, pt. 2 (which I still can’t rewatch, not even in the Director’s Cut) and – perhaps a better call, just for the lightning choices – Looking Death In The Eye.
(there are three more possibilities, of course, but I will leave those for the hardcore Xenites in the comments)
It’s too bad that Tancredi happened to late in time to make for an episode, but with all the time-traveling, this one could have been another retold myth with more queer vibes than you could shake a stick at.
What strikes me about Rossini’s “Tacredi”, time and again, is not just how the lead mezzo is granted so much bravado and swagger, but also – as exemplified above – it’s display of just how much weight the right soprano companion has in making the mezzo in question look oh-so-very White Shirt. Amenaide might just be the most femme part of the entire belcanto repertory that way. And I can’t decide whether I enjoy Patrizia Ciofi or Maria Bayo more in the role. Both of them could make a tree trunk (even a dead one) look all dashing and heroic if they glanced at it the right way.