White Shirt Monday: Dapper Edition


[That’s a White Shirt. No sh*t, Sherlock. – Tuva Semmingsen as Rosmira in Handel’s “Partenope”, Copenhagen 2009]

A queen mad to marry, and a handful of crazy suitors: all the plot opera seria really needs. In theCopenhagen Partenope (available on DVD)  Inger-Dam Jensen channels a slightly older AU Emma Swan, and there’s both Andreas Scholl and Christophe Dumaux after her (think of them as Robin and Daniel, respectively), and there’s Tuva Semmingsen’s Rosmira (and why is there no AU yet with a genderdisguised REgina wooing away a FTL Princess Emma?) who does not only know how to handle a ‘stache and bowtie, but who would also make a poster child for the White Shirt recruiting branch:

I want you to join the white shirt army[I. WANT. YOU. To Join The WHITE. SHIRT. ARMY. – Tuva Semmingsen as Rosmira in Handel’s “Partenope”, Copenhagen 2009]

Could I please have this one  as a wall poster?

23 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Dapper Edition”

    1. I haven’t met her, but a wonderful singer and a good actress in any case!
      She sounds as if she is a lovely person, as well (though yes, I know, no projecting allowed, but her performance reminds me a bit of the Hunt or Baker line: soulful).


  1. I’ve often wondered what it’s like to sing in a ‘tash, let alone kissing a soprano! The ‘tash can seem to take on a life of its own eg. Ernman’s Orlovsky.


    1. Ah, Ernman… *sigh*
      uhm, where was I?

      ‘staches. I guess when kissing the right soprano, it’s the last thing on one’s mind…? 😉


  2. Thanks for the OUAT/Handel crossover imagery I needed in my life. 😉 That AU sounds like a great idea… Also, I’ve always thought Regina would be an opera fan; the only question is, which is her favourite? Maybe something with a satisfying villain or a tragic queen.


    1. Alcina? (Regina does have a bit of a Naglestad vibe)
      Maria Stuarda?
      Dido and Aeneas?
      Macbeth? (or Lady Macbeth of Mzensk, which would hit far too close to home?)


    1. oh, I am *SO* very aware of that Alcina, Lang!
      I tried to organize a trip and a ticket (it’s not actually Bremen, it’s a town about 75 minutes away from it, even though it is billed as “Bremen”), but so far, no luck. (it’s also a money issue this year – postdoc with no proper job and fancy festival events don’t really mix well)


  3. I have the DVD but I was very disappointed in that whole production. Pretty much everything about it – the amount of countertenors in potential trouser roles, the sets, the acting and/or directing, the camerawork, the relatively boring music for a Händel opera… Not to mention the cover with Semmingsen exposing her breasts in a suit of armour she never actually wears on stage – that’s just so unnecessarily… Danish. The ‘stache I approve of though.


    1. I have the DVD and I enjoy it, but I also like both Scholl and Dumaux, so I don’t mind the countertenors. The filming, I found odd at first, but then I read that they had to combine the DVD from different performances and simply had to work with all the material they had – perhaps that’s what gives the montage feeling. The staging, I found fair enough (mind you, it’s not Tcherniakov or Warlikowski or Herheim, of course), the quotes in the sets, too.
      Although I think I got it with another cover image…?!


  4. This is personal taste and I would like to say I like this Partenope production, the camera angle was unconventional and it took me some time to get used to, but on second viewing I loved it. Normally I prefer mezzo/contralto over CT’s, but for this production I think both Scholl and Dumaux did good jobs, Dumaux was better.

    I agree that the cover photo with Semmingsen wearing the exposing armor is very uncalled for.

    @Anik, Yes, yes! Let’s hope a recording will float up on internet one day, better some day soon. 🙂


    1. I looked up that cover photo and yes, that’s not what’s inside the package, independent of what one might think of those contents.
      Dumaux is my favorite one in this one, too. (and in some other things). He also makes such a good Tolomeo.


  5. Oh I just want to clarify – I have nothing personal against Scholl and Dumaux, they (and Jaroussky) are my favourite countertenors. I also love Dumaux as Tolomeo and I recently saw (or rather heard, I was too far from the stage to actually see much) him and Miah Persson in Mitridate at Drottningholm, which was lovely.
    Ah, the lack of footage explains a lot! I just get annoyed that it’s either extreme close-ups or the full stage, never something in between. But I think it’s mostly the production – I think they deliberately made Semmingsen very unconvincingly masculine. Not that the actual men are very manly either so perhaps that makes up for it to some extent. Still, she has to rip off her clothes for no apparent reason and nervously adjust her false moustache all the time. So my objections are very much from a partial white-shirt point of view, but I also get bored by the beige/brown and crowded party setting with the table and the (unnecessarily) moving walls.


    1. wow, Persson and Dumaux in Mitridate and in in Drottningholm to boot, that must have been fantastic!
      I didn’t mind the party/table setting (as far as the plot goes, I find it a plausible set up, you need some shared space that allows for duels and intrigue), but yes – there is something about the White-shirt-but-not-all-the-way that was a little jarring, but I guess it is because it’s a travesti part and Rosmira is suposed to be a woman, and to be struggling with having to masquerade as a man?
      Under that aspect, I also bought the stripping scene (a bit like a desperate Bradamante pulling off her clothes to reassert her being a woman in a woman’s body) – anything gratuitious about it was the camera, I found Semmingsen truthful to the conflict and the aria in question. (we all know that Semmingsen can deliver a convincing portray of masculinity if asked to do so)


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