Video Alert/Mezzo Alert: Herheim’s “Pique Dame”

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[The Eisenstein morning frock from “Fledermaus”, this time not worn by a tenor (and what if Alfred had been a mezzo?). Bonus points for the necktie. Anna Goryachova (Polina) in Stefan Herheim’s reading of Tchaikovsky’s “Pique Dame”, Amsterdam 2016.]

Timely reminder that ARTE Concert (and The Opera Platform) are livestreaming “Pique Dame” tonight, June 21st, at 6.55 p.m. (GMT+2). Mariss Janssons conducts.

It’s Herheim, so it will be thought-provoking and well-crafted and I would also watch it happily if it were entirely without mezzos and/or white shirts (I may have watched his “Rusalka” recently, and it’s simply a joy to see smart concepts and singers who engage with them).
But behold, there are white shirts! In addition to Herheim being Herheim, there is the overall angle here of staging “Pique Dame” as a Tchaikovsky biography of shorts, also addressing his queerness and the images reception history has chosen for that, down to the alleged drinking of cholera-infected water (in July, the new biography by Philipp Ross Bullock will come out, with an in-depth look into letters and diary entries – I recently heard him speak on the issue and his source material is incredible).
And in the course of this reading, we apparently a graced with not not one, but two mezzo sopranos sporting white shirts and neckties: Anna Goryachova as Polina, and, of the grande dames of Russian mezzoism, Larissa Diadkova as the Countess.

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[Larissa Diadkova (The Countess) proving that white shirts and ties never go out of style and always count as an ace up your sleeve in the game. – Tchaikovsky’s “Pique Dame”, Amsterdam 2016.]

26 thoughts on “Video Alert/Mezzo Alert: Herheim’s “Pique Dame””

  1. tuning in.. i remember liking the music in the version w/ S.Ozawa and VK.. and just 2 days ago i saw a couple of clips of Anna Goryachova singing a trouser role (looking like a metal rock star?), nice acting! and quite a dark voice..

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    1. ps- great, just after the discussion about Tchaikovskly being homosexual, i lost my feed… could it be the russians are listening in? this reminded me of the world cup in 1986 (!!) when the Soviet Union lost to Belgium and they cut the feed so we didn’t know the score until 1/2 a day later when my brother had to cycle into the town center to read up the news…🙂

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      1. Back to report *very* interesting so far (1st intermission now), but i might have to quit because the connection is sooo terrible … i hope to be able to come back and re-view this. An interesting note of almost all russian cast, and of course what Herheim is trying to bring across regarding Tchaikovsky homosexuality.. I was hoping to understand Polina’s role a bit more but the disconnection made it quite difficult to follow.. It might be worth it to listen in to (i think it was) Herheim at the beginning explaining his idea and concept for the staging before the first Act (I hope they keep that piece there too).

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        1. I hope it will be available to download tomorrow or the day after that, with explanations (ARTE usually does not edit their streams, right?) – and will join the discussion then (guess who had no intentions of sleeping until about 15 minutes ago…) But yes, I also wondered about the queer reading with the cast, especially since Tchaikovsky’s gayness it not part of the official memorial culture. So no matter where a person stands or even identifies personally, some parts of the approach will stand out more from a cultural viewpoint. Then again, if you’re in opera, you’re around queers anyway, and if you sign on to work with Herheim, I will simply assume that you’re smart enough to want to get somewhere with your interpretation and not be stifled by prejudice.

          >

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      2. …a bike ride to know the game results? Wow. (what happened yesterday, actually? Same thing?)

        And I remember the 86 worldcup! mexico! The mascot! The players with their mullets! (first worldcup where I was at Panini sticker age, which might be a very German thing)

        ARTE has up a note that the video is being encoded, so I hope t will be up in two days, just like the Mitridates were. (still no schedule on any Aix stream, though. I keep checking!)

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        1. Panini sticker? i read “Platini sticker”🙂 (which was what my older sister was collecting.. she and I used to fight because i was cheering for Germany.. and France *always* lost to Germany) That was the first tournament that i was finally old enough to understand the game.. and Mexico being 1/2 way around the world we had to stay up until 2am to watch. This was at the time we didn’t have alarm clock so my brother and I had to take turn waking up every other hour to make sure we wouldn’t miss the game.. and let’s not mention the cheater with his “hand of god” business😉 )

          on the note of broadcast.. there’s a new very short interview w/ PP on tube that gave us a glimpse she’s singing Ariodante + Alcina arias for her currently touring concert series.. i was so sad to see France Musique not broadcasting her event in Auver..

          and tomorrow, ACA can be heard live from Turin via crappy Rai radio3 singing Carmen..

          and on the Aix front, E.Haïm’s fb site has been updating: the orchestra was rehearsing with her in Paris on Sunday, and today they’re on the train to Aix🙂 , will keep you posted with more developments..

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          1. yes, those “Platini” albums!😉
            we still do not mention “the hand of God” (although it ties in with a very interesting idea of entitlement and heroism and masculinity)
            Thanks for the PP link – I’ll fit that in before my lecture, and then I hope I’ll be home in time for “Carmen”, with Rai3 having a good day.

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          1. we will have to make a date after our coinciding abroad stays to take an in-depth look!

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          1. I’ll be away from my DSL as well, so no chance of streaming or downloading… ARTE keeps things for at least a few weeks, in most cases, so we should get to those and then have our own festival at the end of July!

            And yay for some PP on our summer schedules, too! So we’ve got quite a few of our favorites to listen to during summer break, too (I’d still like to add a few more…)

            >

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          1. There is no link, really. MP gave the station and the date, no link or exact hour (though perhaps Greek TV is like Spanish TV where things are announced for a certain hour and easily happen half an hour later?). The channel (ERT1) has a live transmission, but I didn’t manage to access the line-up for the previous day, nor did I see any online repository. I guess they should have one? I got the impression of it being the Greek RAI. And the concert might have been part of the Epidaurus Festival? I was strapped for time, though, and had to rely on Google Translate.

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          2. ah ok, thanks. we’ll look around toward end of Jul then, hopefully somebody captured it… something is fishy on my fb setting though coz i clearly get zero feeds…

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          3. I got the alert 24 hours late – must be FB tinkering with algorithms again. Didn’t they annouce this week that htey want to “prioritize” feeds of friends and family? Kind of counterproductive for artists who try to inform their fanbase, and fans who want to stay informed at a respectful distance.

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          4. you’re heading out tomorrow already?
            OK, let me try and get pt. 1 of “Bond” up before you leave, should be online in a few hours (I fell asleep last night when I originally wanted to finish it).

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          5. 🙂, no rush, i’ll still be at lower latitude until very early sunday morning, then snail speed + little time for 3 days , then no speed…
            (ps- yes, i think it’s fb pretending to know what i want.. coz i get things delayed.. or not fed at all.. and then sometimes 5 days later all at once…, which originally i don’t mind, but for live things like this it’s very frustrating.)

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          6. this has been sitting on my hard drive for so long, I really want to finish up at least pt. 1 (there will be three parts)

            FB keeps making shortsighted decisions… at least I got the note on the Trionfo opening today (unless that was actually posted yesterday?!), and the 14 Juillet announcement also came through.

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  2. ARTE still says “encoding in process”. I hope they *do* put it up eventually!
    Also, still no schedule on any Aix streams this year.

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