Minding “Mitridate”: 4 1/2 weeks

[Quoting, from all the future paper titles thadieu and I came up with (please feel free to add your own in the comments), the following contender: Lapels in motion: a qualitative analysis of collared structures in relation to triple-button gravity models. (also, The Queen’s Throat was already taken) – Once more, Myrtò Papatanasiu (Sifare) and Patricia Petibon (Aspasia) in Mozart’s “Mitridate”, Paris 2016]

In “Stages”, especially in the latest chapters, I do a lot of conscious framing of throats (and I do have to think of Koestenbaum at times), both in sights and in motions, or as a place of sensation, since it makes for a poignant shortcut for singing, its physicality and its sensual appeal as it ties in with that physicality.

Other than that, of course, it’s simply what happens to show when you start unbuttoning a shirt, which brings us back to the shirt above, which will likely not appear at La Monnaie as of May 5th, but there should be another shirt of sorts. We ar rooting for you, tailoring department of La Monnaie! (and I don’t think they are going for a blouse, direction-wise).

There is a first trailer out on FB this week (thanks for the alert, Dr. T!), though it appears the montage using the singers’ press photos is more a “use what’s there” moment than “this is how we will stage them, as a couple of singers who shall remain cis-gendered”.

(although… you know… political oligarchy drama with a brother and sister fighting over the same woman, with some “what will the public think?” and “but this will hurt out chances with the conservatives!”? – I would watch that. Repeatedly! I have some hopes for Farnace carrying on a messy personal/political affair with Marzio in this setting, which continues to look very political (there is a statement on the La Monnae website by the directors talking about EU summits and European values))

57 thoughts on “Minding “Mitridate”: 4 1/2 weeks”

  1. oh wow, impressive size on my monitor compared to tiny phone view!
    i know where i’ll camp today!
    right, i was gonna type up a comment a while ago.. until i got distracted and started dreaming about that plot variation… please seed the idea and spread… but please make a note that the shirt stays with the sister! (well, if you wrestle me to keep only either shirt (weep) or sister.. i’d be tempted to let go of the button (weep)..)

    Right, thanks Anik, how to start friday in style.
    Oh yes, now i remember what i wanted to say, the throat! and confession time perhaps? that i noticed it already right at the end of “Al destin che la minaccia”, while (s)he was lounging on the bench in tank top.. but my fav was the prep for the low notes at the end of “se viver non degg’io”..
    (and yes, just yesterday we were discussing about zoom-in and being objectified through work … can’t tell if this is part of it but if is.. i apologize, and plead guilty..)

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    1. Panorama size feature photos might be my favorite thing about the new theme yet. 😉

      if it is really going to be contemporary politics with according dress codes, we’ll get suit/skirt suit/pant suit, and unless they really go the sister route (which I doubt – though, hey! it’s 2016! Actually, what’s the Greek stance on LGBT rights? (if they stage Pontus as Greece/Greece metaphor, which looked like it? – Also, since MP seems strongly connected to her ethnic heritage, perhaps that will inspire a very involved performance because it touches a topic that she feels strongly about? (Greece has been raked over the coals so much in the EU in recent years, positive representation/awareness matters!)), that should involve a shirt. Or not?

      Throats and that lounging moment – let me confess right back: I do have a screenshot of precisely THAT on my HD (we still have 4 weeks to go). Objectifying? perhaps, simply because the act of gazing at someone is already implying that, but I also think being conscious of it, and trying to be respectful in one’s appreciation, makes a difference. I try, in all my capping, to give the depicted some kind of agency, or at least respect some boundaries (e.g. there are shots that I will simply not take, much less post).

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    1. i saw those fries and photos too, but didn’t want to raise awareness everytime and sound obsessed 😉
      I saw a post of D.Hansen’s fb site of his costume, a nicely fitted blue suit (which he called costume #2) .. so i guess they’re still sewing!
      (and in case you’re keeping up w/ fb.. L.Equilbey site now has rehearsal pix of Silla!)

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      1. this FB thing… that’s a vortex!
        Okay, what’s this with a Silla video feature coming up? Also, Silla “scenic rehearsals”?! For a concert performance?

        Also, a-ha-ha, for whom are the pink shirts on the hangers next to the blue suit wardrobe fitting?!

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          1. no video yet, but talk of “look, here’s a photos from us making a video about it, which will follow soon”
            (let’s see how staged they bring it to Vienna…)

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        1. ps- the fb vortex: depends on how many you follow 😉 (i only have 10 or so.. but normally i only start digging at co-cast or opera house sites if i know a certain singer i’m following is there 🙂 )

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          1. …on a related note: in the long run, I may have to do a post contemplating director’s choices when it comes to staging masculinity/masculinities.

            If you put short hair/a short-haired wig on a female singer, it does not by default give her more masculinity. It just gives her short hair (and, if the wig is bad, it gives her awkward short hair – looking at the Vienna Flimm “Clemenza” here. And, oh, I think we all could name a recent example of a female singer creating a great portrayal of sensitive masculinity while sporting long hair).
            If you put a shirt and a tie on a female singer, that does not automatically make her look masculine. It makes her look like a woman in a shirt and tie.
            If you bind and stuff a female singer, you may alter her silhouette, but even *that* does not necessarily create masculinity.

            *sigh*
            Masculinity is a relational attitude, generally within a power grid.
            It’s not the physis, it’s how you move it (center of gravity? Use of space?), particularly in relation to others.
            And if you get that? (thinking e.g. of Hallenberg’s Arsace!)
            You don’t even need the trappings.
            Many singers clearly get that. With quite a few directors, especially when it comes to masculinity on female bodies, I get the feeling that they don’t.

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          2. i have always enjoyed VK’s take on trouser roles when she was just with her own hair (i think) and she seemed to be able to do that a lot. Even with wigs i recall her hair was always on the “long” side.. and i always imagine the moment she walked in with those swaging shoulders those directors said forget the wig, no need! (i was never quite a fan of the wig in Zürich..)
            But yes, i always thought you get masculinity via your movement / posture / gesture (neck bending up always gives it away 🙂 ), etc., and no matter how you try to masquerade the outside look it doesn’t give you more than just a female in drag appearance.
            Have to think.. but the approach I much prefer is to dress her up taking her physicality into account, then talk about energy toward the partner / gestures / postures / movements…
            (on the taking physicality into account: that is to design for women and not for men. and the thing about open collar / unbuttoning is it gives the nice \/ shape (VK’s Orphée!) to account for the general smaller shoulder spreads instead of closing it /\ ). But yes, a post to discuss, call it initial research for that one paper? 😉

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          3. I would like to click “Like” at least three times here.
            Yes, we need a research post.

            Also so much yes on “need to design for a (individual) female body” and not just throw on some stuff from the Men’s Department.

            VK is a good example of longer hair working fine; as is Ernman, or, as the sample I looked at most recently, Hallenberg’s ponytail in “Semiramide” (besides, good luck in getting THAT HAIR underneath a wig and not have it look like Egghead. Make-up Departments can work witchcraft, but this much witchcraft?!)

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          4. it was quite interesting watching A.Hallenberg in a trouser role! and i was thinking i have never seen her acting in fact until now (the more reason to see Agrippina!)

            And i must admit it was quite enjoyable watching this certain soprano in this female role + her interaction with her female partner <– this is an interest interaction in that she's about as tall here and i imagine her female partners in general are about similar height or less.. which requires quite a bit of anticipation in energy.. one example was when she was being come at at fast speed and had to take 1,5 steps back to counter + spin around, which reminds me of to her interaction with PP during "the grasp" + just before the duet (love the balance analysis!) And i wouldn't have mind seeing her in Alcina with VK as Ruggiero, should make for fantastic interaction!

            in any case, in general i thought both did a fantastic job with the portrayal, AH with those circle running :-), and MP with the revealing of an inner-troubled + vulnerable queen character, quite a contrast to this image i saw with ACA's clip — i would have loved to see that queen too!) — i know, i'm getting us a bit off topic but just have to find room somewhere to mention my enjoyment for Semiramide 😀

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          5. As I I would ever mind talking about Semiramide!

            Hallenberg to me, simply has wonderful energy, in whatever role she takes it to – much like Connolly.

            I was laughing so hard at the “running in circles” after you had pointed it out in your post. It is a good movie to suspend energy, though – and it also made sense psychologically there: you want, but you don’t quite dare, and as long a you don’t do anything, the answer still is’T no, so…

            Height really is a factor – I mostly remember it from dancing and, in case of leading, leading men or women taller and/or heaver than myself, and it really required a different kid of prep, kind of re-adjusting your center gravity depending on the angle. I cannot imagine having to sing in addition to that.

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          6. off i go to enjoy a small walk in german winter weather (it’s snowing here!) but would love to come back to this point.. as somehow i never quite thought about the balance (mainly b/c i watch a lot of VK 😀 , and she just seemed to “have” it in the balance..) and it didn’t occur to me until we get “our” Sifare with a little touch of femininity + humanity that i really enjoy observing more…

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          7. oh, that pondering fits it perfectly with Austrian spring, or so I hear 😉 (although the forecast is rather abysmal – sorry!)

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          1. oh, thanks – I didn’t know! and even if they do a concert version only, if it is staged elsewhere, it will get a different drive. I’m curious!

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          2. HA!
            Thanks to (now) M8an6eb (<3), the Silla is already up at their new channel (I won't watch it before Wednesday, but perhaps one should download it for security reasons).

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      2. apropos FB – according to evidence today shared by a certain soprano,

        a) the sister plot is not happening (but at least the wig isn’t blond)
        b) on the bright side: Shirt! (and tie) The fit does not seem to equal THE Shirt, though.

        (aside: THE Shirt was probably bespoke and not RTW – usual issue if you put women in RTW men’s shirts: the collar sits to loose. Ironically, the only way to camouflage that is to leave the top unbuttoned)

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        1. 1 eye opening after nap…
          the wig is not bad! (i was expecting worse, along the line of Garanca’s in Salzburg..) , i like the profile back view, they did an ok job with the hairline from forehead to side-ear, creating this cute student-portrait look :D.
          what’s RTW?

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          1. Ready To Wear, as in store-bought.

            And, no, not bad at all. (but what is it with Garanca and short-hair wigs?!) Much better, I think, than the look from the Carsen production they originally wanted to import to La Monnaie.

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          2. lots of rehearsal pix up on le lab ‘s fb site now 🙂

            (sorry for big pix i dont remember syntax for linking on phone… you could change to linking if prefer.)

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  2. @”Being objectified through work” and NOT taking certain screenshots: Today I stumbled on a male gay baritone fan site, searching for Joao Fernandes and they don’t seem to have such scruples. Anyway, the reason I searched for Fernandes was this staged(!) performance of Aci, Galatea e Polimefo in Copenhagen (again, maybe you know this, but just in case and I hope this doesn’t embed itsself again):

    Yes, it’s Sonia Prina again, but then, she is also very interesting regarding your discussion on stage masculinity, being someone who really seems to incorporate her male characters. Funnily, in the Alcina of Teatro Real you could sometimes see that in the scenes wearing a suit she would sometimes forget about Bradamante’s supposed discomfort in her “male role” or overdoing it at other times, while in the scenes wearing a dress she was convincing as a woman. Probably, when you are so used to portray male characters this becomes part of your “stage personality” and may be linked to clothing.

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    1. …Barihunks?

      Yes, they are very enthuiastic about celebratic attractive singers, with a lot of “no shirts” posts. Some of those shots, I personally would not post, but to each their own.

      I don’t mean the YT embeddings. And Prina would really be another case to discuss more in-depth, alos in vocal attitude, and against the backdrop of being Italian.

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      1. Barihunks, that’s the one. I actually had to fight the impulse of deleting my browser history immediately. But then, it mostly seems to be singers posing without shirt, not taking shots from productions, so maybe they don’t mind.
        Prina’s vocal attitude, yes, she’s very special and I’m usually not even that much into contraltos…. But with her I think part of the fascination is also the way she throws herself into her roles, she’s just so convincing and doesn’t seem to mind at all to break any role expectations, which are probably more pronounced in Italy. (And then, let’s face it, she’s cute, too…)

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      2. Is the Semiramide somewhere to be found in the web? I have not really been a fan of Rossini’s operas so far but MP and Hallenberg may be a good reason to try again.

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        1. For once, I actually have the DVD of that one, so I didn’t watch it online – but perhaps thadieu has better sources? Sorry tht I’m not of much help!

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  3. Ups, no, I didn’t specifically wanted to show you Prinas naked shoulder, but linking you to minute 14 for a really nice “Sorge il di” 🙂

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  4. I actually zoomed backwards through your blog to tell you how much I liked the composition of this screen cap. I’ve been thinking about it since and never made time to look through your blog (btw, it might be a good idea having an accessible monthly archive, I knew it was an April post but that was all, I didn’t even remember who it was in the pic (although, err, I should’ve guessed…) and it was a slight nightmare going backwards as my comp is slower than I thought in loading pics. But, anyway, awesome framing 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the the feedback, both the artistic and the logistic. I’ll look into adding dropdown archives – I used to have them, but when I nixed the sidebar to unclutter the blog, they fell victim to the changes. I try to keep the footer widgets to a minimum for people loading pages on mobile devices on the go, but you’re right, the search function or the tag system don’t help much when you don’t know who is in a photo, or what opera the post was about (although yes, you would have been right with the obvious guess, but that would also have meant quite a few posts to wade through!)

      >

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    2. of course if i was visiting you wouldn’t have to spend time navigating coz i’d have told you precisely which tab i had (amongst the 20 currently opening 😉 ).
      there’s a way to go back without loads of loading: for this you’d directly enter: aniklachev dot wordpress dot com / 2016 / 04 (or might be just 4 instead of 04) , then it’d just load posts for those months. additionally you can mannually type (for the month of mar and feb for example which i navigated back a bit 😉 ): /2016/04/page/2 or page/3 etc.
      happy navigating. i have to load the pages again now.. coz i had to close them all last wed while presenting a public talk..
      (but note i have that profile from the first bond post bookmarked for fastest access..)

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      1. heh, it was you showed me the post, if you remember 🙂 cheers for the tip, I saw that search done to my blog, must’ve been you then?

        then again, zooming was like a quick “news” bulletin 😉

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        1. of course i remember, many posts, many clips 😉 . i think at one point i had almost all of Anik’s feb + mar posts (relevant to mitridate) opened.. while showing up at your place jetlagged…
          (and oh jes, i did quite a bit of this type of search through your blog, as well as Anik’s. very useful esp. for Anik’s blog coz i normally would vaguely remember only the year and content but not month..)

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          1. finding the “right” picture is important! i once spent 3 hours (at your place actually) looking for Akira Kurosawa’s cloud picture for my Jommelli’s Il Vologeso post (that only I knew apparently, as nobody cared to click on it 😀 )

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          2. 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. UTC+2 again? I’ll ask Agathe…

            Anyone else up for some Mingardo/Haim/… fangirling?

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          3. …now I ended up reading the Kurosawa paper. When I read your Jommelli post, the link must have slipped right by me.

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          4. 🙂 . there was a yt video of explanation of how Kurosawa composed his frame which I really enjoyed too (during that part of 3-hr searching for cloud)

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          5. I clicked! look it up, it has at least one click 😀

            I agree it’s important, which is why my hair catches fire when I have to do it – from the overwhelming importance of it…

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          6. just out of admin curiosity: is the tagging function of any use to you? E.g. everything that’s Paris Mitridate is tagged “Paris Mitridate 2016”, all the White Shirt Mondays are tagged “White Shirts” — and even though opera is the biggest category, it would at least eliminate the kitchen recipes and the writing entries.

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          7. i remember the tagging used to be only cosmetic and totally useless for me, but just now i clicked on something on my own blog and it led to posts only relevant to the tagging! I think indeed it was your blog Anik that I clicked on the tagging in the past and it led to nowhere in particular… but also perhaps because your way of tagging is different than mine, as I tag by singer names rather than broad (totally relevant WS) subjects

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          8. true – I rarely use singer names (only started to do so lately), mainly because I prefer to keep the log under the radar. But I will probably be using more of them. The rest of the system is part broader terms (white shirts, queer musings on opera, screencaps or livestreams….), part side commentary. I’m still figuring things out after eight years!

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