Absolute Classics: Und in dem Wie…

[Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding: Kiri Te Kanawa’s last Marschallin, Opera Cologne 2009/10. – Photo Credit: Opera Cologne, Season 2011/12 program book]

While I was collecting the material for the most recent White Shirt Monday on Adriana Bastidas Gamboa’s Rinaldo, I stumbled upon this photo and have to confess I was nearly moved to tears.

I knew that Te Kanawa sang one last Marschallin in Cologne last season, but I hadn’t seen photos of it. To see such an iconic singer say farewell to such an iconic role of hers is much like the 1st act monologue, even if on another level.

And just look at the photo (click to enlarge)! – I still find her stunning. Then again, I was the scrawny teen who went to school with a writing folder decorated like this (no, I’m not actually posting this here):

Finding this Rosenkavalier photo really has been a trip down Memory Lane for me. I think I need to draw out the 1982 DVD for dinner tonight! And possibly also the Covent Garden one with Howells, and the Ponnelle “Figaro” with Freni and Ewing.

12 thoughts on “Absolute Classics: Und in dem Wie…”

  1. The only reason I got up in the middle of the night to see Diana and Charles’ wedding was because Te Kanawa sang during the wedding. No interest in the royals, but she was more than worth the lost sleep! Thanks for sharing this photo. She is still stunning after all these years.

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  2. Yes still stunning and working hard in Cardiff this week on’ The Cardiff Singer of the World’. A great Mezzo won last nights heat. I’m in for a week of shear pleasure listening to these talented singers

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  3. Dame Kiri and the ROH Kleiber/Howells/Bonney Rosenkavalier were the reason I bought a DVD recorder with a VHS slot – still works a like a dream!

    I agree with PL. We are being spoilt here in UK with the Cardiff extravaganza. I know there is a geographical issue with BBC TV and iPlayer but there are excellent radio broadcasts happening, including the finals of the song competition as well as the main prize. Here’s a link to some of the goodies in case anyone can access.: – on radio –

    http://eyesometric.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/cardiff-singer-of-the-world-song-prize-heat-3-on-bbc-radio/

    and on TV – http://eyesometric.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/bbc-tv-coverage-of-cardiff-singer-of-the-world/

    And watch out for that fabulous Russian Mezzo!

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    1. thanks, Eyes!
      I’ve been keeping up only through your posts, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for that Russian mezzo 🙂

      I stillr efuse to let go of my VCR for very similar reasons – there are a few opera broadcasts which I only own on VHS and I simply cannot let go of the chance to rewatch them.

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  4. Interesting. I had a chance to hear her sing the VLL at Carnegie this year and sat in the 1st row directly opposite her. It was a bit quickly paced (I don’t think she appreciated the pace either) but still compelling and in certain parts of the voice quite beautiful.

    A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to hear and see Anja Harteros in her debut as the Marschallin. She is getting close to 40 (as, is alas, – if a tad slower – this commentor) . Her youthfulness was almost as striking as her as the beauty of her voice and her person. Or did it seem that way to me? Die Zeit indeed.

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    1. yes, I’ve always marveled at how KTK is leaving the Marschallin just as Harteros is starting to sing it – that would be something like fate, if one is inclined to believe in such concepts.

      Oh, to hear KTK’s VLL live! I guess that one will remain a personal dream of mine. Hers (Solti recording) were my first and I still have her interpretation in my mind whenever I listen to a new one.

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      1. That was my first VLL too. When I was getting into these things – circa mid 90s – she was pretty much the numero uno soprano and especially in this repertoire so it was a natural choise and for me still very memorable recording. I mention it above but it bears repeating that Dame Kiri’s performance was compelling for more than archival reasons – though the voice is of course past its best.

        Apparpos of the CSotW discussion in the other post – they seem to get ot right often enough. Stemme (incomprehensibly) finished second but Die Harteros won in 1999. And while she was attractive enough it would seem that her tonal luster and technical facility were more than adequate to take home the prize.

        Be that as it may she has certainly become MUCH more attractive over time but (and again perhaps this is just the perception of a rough contemporary) it is not the mature beauty of a “Marschallin” but rather beauty that radiates a youthful freshness (luckily also quite evident in her voice concomitantly with the richness) not often associated with the role.

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