White Shirt Monday: Mi lusinga il dolce affetto
[Shirt or no shirt: that is the question. Malena Ernman (Ruggiero) and Cecilia Bartoli (Alcina) in Handel's "Alcina", Zurich 2014. - Photo Credit: the one and only Monika Rittershaus for Opernhaus Zürich]
Yes, it finally happened.
Christof Loy’s new “Alcina” reading premiered in a feat of mezzo lore, genderbending glory and – of course, it is Loy! – white shirts in Zurich last night.
I could get used to the mezzo Alcina trend (re: DiDonato), although I know I will never be over Catherine Naglestad.
Also, I will never, ever tire of Malena Ernman in a suit – and the way she knows to wear it.
There are times, after spending too much time with late 19th/early 20th century repertory, when I think “Rosenkavalier” is just about the gayest opera there is, but then another “Alcina” happens and, with apologies to the birthday, nobody gets past Handel there.
The Zurich producti0n has three mezzos, two of them in suits (Varduhi Abrahamyan, so glad to see you back in a white shirt after the Carsen “Rinaldo”!) and one in the occasional negligé. Singing Handel. Also, they make out with each other and with the occasional soprano while they’re at it.
I think Christmas just came very, very early this year.