White Shirt Monday: Alpha Romeo II


[Things to do if you need a pick-me-up on this Monday morning: 1) Have a friend send you a message saying “But have you looked at DiDonato in Barcelona?” (the things one misses when looking at sopranos in Brussels!) because oh my. 2) Do a Google image search on “DiDonato +Capuleti” and sigh happily at the bounty. And be grateful that there are singers who throw themselves into a heartthrob Romeo or five with the same gusto as into mad queens or spunky maidens.- Patrizia Ciofi (Giulietta) and Joyce DiDonato (Romeo) in Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”, Barcelona 2016. – Photo Credit: Antoni Bofill/Liceu]

There are singers who proclaim in many an interview they give just how *odd* it is to play trouser roles or how happy they are to retire them, soon. Others, thankfully, don’t feel quite as limited by offstage gender presentation or ideas of  “naturalness” (on the opera stage, to boot. The mind boggles.)

I’d happily watch e.g. Petibon sing a potted plan or the third star from the left or an ant colony, and am convinced it would resonate with me (in shocking news, it would not make me think she actually is an ant colony offstage. (But if she were, that would be none of my business)).

I will also watch and listen to DiDonato giving us as many Romeo portrayals as she is willing to create and I will love every single one of them.

We’ve had Velvet Ponytail Romeo in Paris. We’ve had Leather Lacroix Romeo in Munich, and San Francisco, and now Barcelona. We’ve had Space Knight Romeo in Kansas and Godfather Romeo in Zurich. Not to forget a slew of concert appearances with “Se Romeo t’uccisse un figlio”, or with the full part, as recently in Berlin (look at this photo gallery because sweet merciful Zeus!).

We are so lucky.

(In related news, I’ve got my “Ariodante” ticket for next season and I am one very happy camper.)

8 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Alpha Romeo II”

  1. she s becoming one of the last few mezzo-in-trouser standing at the onslaugh of CT in houses… i still remember her Romeo in Zürich (and how she jumped over the window!)
    yesterday i saw a clip of Ciofi in this production (phone cam) on tube, and we still remember the interview she did at intermission w L.Poverelli in Liège “we are so often lovers on stage” (or something like that) in her adorable french, if i recall.. that qas such a fun live blogging event!
    (i need to plot my way to hear JDD live as Ariodante..)


    1. her concert Ariodante is touring pretty extensively – TADW on May 12th 2017, if you’d like to join me! Agathe said she was catching it in Germany… and wasn’t it stopping at the Barbican, too? I think dehggi mentioned something along the lines. So: solid chances. 🙂


  2. Hey, will you slow down your posts, I’m not getting anything done this afternoon… Ant colonies, chuckle.
    I recently read an interview with A. Kirchschlager and she said she finished singing Octavian when at a certain age she had started to identify more with the Marschallin, not mentioning gender at all, very nice I thought.
    And by the way, congrats to Austria for the election results!


    1. We had the live ticker running in class and my students suddenly started applauding… Thank God, despite the horrible amount of near 50% of voters having chosen a right-wing extremist.

      I like Kirchschlager’s stance, heard this from other singers, too (and those who don’t make gender an issue are usually the ones who never protested the repertory in the first place)



    1. Oh, thank you! (That should make for a swashbuckling lecture script on my part today. Poor students?)



    2. having this on right now – I forgot how happy listening to Ciofi can make. I think I’ll dig out my JDD/Ciofi Handel duet album at home later 🙂

      (the audio on demand of the Capuleti is downloadable, in case anyone wants to listen at a later point)


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