Sound and Clouds and Thunder (22)

[All the energy and sheer joy of music-making you’ll need to make it through another week of 45ish Dystopia and other countries willfully abolishing democratic structures (and Heaven only knows what the French will choose today on that front), packed into 6 minutes: Diana Haller (Ariodante) with Ruggiero’s “Sta nell’Ircana” from Handel’s “Alcina”, Stuttgart 2015- – Clip with thanks to Vesna Zelic]

Continue reading “Sound and Clouds and Thunder (22)”

Wrestling Rousseau: “Ariodante” in Stuttgart


To get this out of the way: no, this evening is not like “Alcina” (nothing will ever be like that formative “Alcina”), but if the legendary “Alcina” is one Baroque bookend of Wieler’s Stuttgart years, then this “Ariodante”, staged by Wieler and Morabito. may well be the other.

The concept looks at the intersection of class and enlightenment thought, juxtaposing baroque affect against classicist emotion and the question of identity warred between them. Literally: in a boxing/wrestling arena.

Continue reading “Wrestling Rousseau: “Ariodante” in Stuttgart”

White Shirt Monday: Velvet Jacket Tales


[“Whom are you calling shuffled to pageboy state, lalala, I cannot hear you over the sound of being fabulous in velvet down to the tips of my shoes”: Hibla Gerzmava (Anna) and Martina Belli (Smeton) in Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena”, Milan 2017.  – Photo Credit: Marco Brescia, Rudy Amisano]

Continue reading “White Shirt Monday: Velvet Jacket Tales”

From Anik’s Kitchen: Brioches

If you pass through Vienna, do make a stop at Kaffeeküche down in the Jonasreindl, a small cornerspot in the middle of an underground traffic station (Schottentor). They sell what is likely the best coffee in town and they also sell Parisian Brioches: tiny perfect fluffy things of subtly sweet white bread. And to top it off, they offer them filled-on-the-spot with chocolate or Marillenkonfitüre (apricot jam). Take the latter. Heaven.

They are closed on the weekends, though, so I had to come come up with a second-best thing made from scratch. Verdict: The whole batch was gone within an hour of making it. Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo – we will make these wherever we go.

Continue reading “From Anik’s Kitchen: Brioches”