The Aix 2014 “Ariodante” Liveblogging Thread

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Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for Handel’s “Ariodante” from Aix-en-Provence (2014), conducted by Andrea Marcon and staged by Richard Jones.

Cast Listing:
Ariodante – Sarah Connolly
Ginevra – Patricia Petibon
Dalinda – Sandrine Piau
Polinesso – Sonia Prina
Lurcanio – David Portillo
King of Scotland – Luca Tittoto
Odoardo – Christopher Diffey

The production is available on YT, leave a comment if you need the link.

Libretto: Italian pdf here.

458 thoughts on “The Aix 2014 “Ariodante” Liveblogging Thread”

  1. and the title sequence already feels like Britten… I wonder what made them choose the setting?

    Oh, there’s Prina.
    And the HAUSKITTEL!

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    1. also the pix on wall, very cute!
      this priest must be an import! how is such a town with dull boys brew such a creature? look at the wrist band! that doesn’t even exist in scotland now!

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      1. ahaha…
        And I completely missed the mix over Prina.
        In my defense: I was raised Lutheran. We don’t do pix in churches.

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        1. yes. Saved by Prina.
          She does this creepy/smiling it away only to do something impossible again dynamic really well.

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          1. ugh. yes, although some of hem in those position of power (say, as of late January) don’t even try to smile things away anymore.

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  2. Ginevra is going half Aspasia and creepy Contralto Chamberlain keeps grinning…
    Was it stated anywhere why Jones made Polinesso a minister?

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    1. the one with most power? when i was growing priests were like the head of the authority (morally) . my best friend told stories of priest standing in center of town condemning people pointing fingers , beating up kids (discipline), like they’re king

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      1. You know what, I’ve also met one or two conductors of that type, well not as bad as Polinesso but definitely exploiting peoples fascination with them and their work as well as doing the “I’m your sensitive friend” tour, then boasting about it in front of others. Luckily that never worked with me.

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    1. i was busy looking at the tattoos 😉
      it’s quite something one notices all the other things even when SP flexing muscles (compliments) . It’s definitely her facial acting

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  3. Also, does Petibon have a permanent contract clause that states she will at some point in every production be dressed in something in that shade of green?

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  4. the one thing in this production I don’t really get is Daddy Dearest – he doesn’t really fit into the small town authority tone here that e.g. the brothers (not knights, but poor fishers and outcasts, I believe? Connolly’s Ariodante looks as if he’s expecting to be kicked out every minute) and Polinesso and Dalinda depicts very well.

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    1. I think that since this is a religious community, it’s the “good moral life” that counts, maybe that’s why poor fisherman Ariodante can marry Ginevra? Polinesso, who has more money and brains, playing this community nearly reminds me of business people making money with programs to help people “improve their lives”

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      1. good comparison. That whole “life coach/consulting” twilight zone with so many black sheep exploiting the insecurities of others!

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    1. and just from the way she is sitting next to Lurcanio, there is some spark there. In this version, I wonder whether they dated at some point? An whether in this setting, Dalinda as the maid is more at the fishermen’s social level than Ginevra who clearly is this town’s upper level?

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    1. kind of gives the vibe that Ariodante and Ginevra are doomed right away, the community will suck all that happiness away with its encrusted structures.

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      1. oh, that judging look that Dalinda is giving Ariodante while she holds up the liquor bottle… perhaps also Dalinda thinks that Ariodante isn’t good enough for Ginevra? And that Polinesso should be the chosen one, even if she cannot have him then?

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          1. I didn#t notice that, is Ginevra really shown treating her badly in actions or is she just one of the people not “seeing” Dalinda, taking her for granted?

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            1. i went back, starting minute ~8.30 , Dalinda held the door preventing Ginevra from escaping. This means she already knew Polinesso wants private time with Ginevra and already agreed to help Polinesso? Then at ~11.05 Ginevra finally found her in the kitchen and sort of “beating” her but it’s more the harmless sort of beating and not abuse, it was more “why did you let this happen?” . I guess i mis-saw it last night (didn’t see the part Dalinda held the door) so i reacted only to the 2nd part at min 11.05.

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            2. Dalinda would probably do just about anything for Polinesso – also “the hamrless kind of beating”, out of this context (as in “defense/reaction move”), sounds horrifying.

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            3. it’s one of those grey areas of privilege, perhaps? Not noticing bordering on actie mistreatment when taking someone’s help/position and one’s own for granted?

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            4. indeed, if you think about it, even in this context, it is still mis-treatment. Even more clear is how Ginevra almost doesn’t acknowledge Dalinda’s presence except when looking for service / someone to blame. Dalinda, on the other hand, is always aware of everyone’s movements. Look at her heartbreaking reaction to Ginevra leaving, while Ginevra is not even exchanging a single motion to her. One could almost see Ginevra as aloof and spoiled (until the honor system kicked in, then fav daughter/sister/fiancée = toilet.)

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            5. Yes, although the Ginevra leaving moment, , I’d let slide for Ginevra who is wrapped up in her trauma and perhaps has to shit everyone out to be ale to leave in the first place? But all the earlier instances, where she does not acknowledge Dalinda (in a way, worse that ‘treating like a servant’), absolutely. And, yes, Dalinda is slated as her lady-in-waiting in the libretto, I believe, but since they removed royal class from the staging and made it more contemporary, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It makes me think – hey, FF, how about a TV rules opening here? 😉 – about films along the lines of “The Help”, but also structures that reproduces inequality and lead to things like the recent Golden Globes, where, again, black people were staged/awarded through the eyes of white people (#HiddenFences and all that – the whole issue of not seeing, not truly seeing, someone next to you whom you have always looked at, if at all, as othered)

              >

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            6. Absolutely yes to what you both said and her treatment of Dalinda underlines Ginevra’s princess status. As you said, thadieu, she seems spoiled, maybe this playing around with the mussels and leaves also shows her as a more superficial character, oblivious to the hardship of the other villagepeople’s lives? It may be obvious but I only just noticed how she is also clearly standing out in dress, being the only one wearing something “pretty” while the female village people are dressed in that woollen stuff as the men. Also, regarding dress, Dalinda is clearly not a part of the community of village people as well. Did Piau say in the interview that Polinesso indeed newly turned up in the village as you suggested? Maybe him symbolizing an escape of this limited world plays a role in Dalinda’s fascination with him (in addition to voice, attitude, hair, glasses… sorry, I’m getting carried away).

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            7. Yes, Piau speaks of Polinesso as “coming into this comunity”, and establishing a gold over them through his charisma and intelligence (hair was not mentioned, but I think we can add that to the list).

              Good point about the shells and foliage!

              >

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    1. The liquor glasses uncomfortably remind me of all our bourgois neighbourhood standing in front of our door with bottles after we moved in and we didn’t have any liquor glasses, what a faux pas (no, I’m not really sorry, they managed to be pretty happy with cake and beer afterwards). Still, there remains a bit of an uncomfortable feeling since I would rather not test my neighbours views on many things.

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      1. well then, from the bottle, cheers! 😉

        (but yes, truths divulged under liquor are not things you want to know of some of your neighbors…)

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  5. i think she’s too experienced in life for wide-eye boy
    she might also be an import! someone with a troubled past-life and hardship who drifted to this island and being mistreated by everyone
    Look at that lovely smile hearing nice things being said about her (so touching)

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    1. I would interpret her as quite unexperienced she hasn’t know much love and now is being desired by two attrative people at once, I also think she acutally knows Lurcanio is the good one but then, Polinesso…

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      1. oh, also an interesting take – like the one who always stood in second row and never got a chance at romance who is now suddenly in another position? I like this idea.

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      2. oh, also an interesting take – like the one who always stood in second row and never got a chance at romance who is now suddenly in another position? I like this idea.

        How does the ire at “Io son fidel”? and the vigorous glass-polishing fit in?

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      3. so many of her glances and facial expressions gave me the opposite impression. We had people like her coming up to the city from the countryside when i was little. Their faces are full of hardship and god knows what kind of abuse they endured, so they appeared both inexperienced in having on the receiving end of compassion and naïve but you have the impression they’ve been through a lot in life.. And they’re often being mistreated as they’re looking for job as servants due to lack of education/money and being alone

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    2. yes, touching is a good descriptor here.
      it’s this – oh, and he sings this beautifully! – “I really enjoy this, but I know it would never work out” expression that Dalinda maintains (which is why this is Ariodante and not Traviata, where she throws caution to the wind and moves in with him two minutes later)

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    3. I don’#t think she is an import, quite the opposite, she has done nothing then cleaning the Schnaps glasses all her life, while Ginevra is a bit like the princess of that little community

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      1. yes, I get that vibe, too – someone who has always been neglected and who after much mistreatment now also reacts strongly to a chance of power and attention.

        …and there comes the princess, ruining her happy moment again.

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  6. This is a really good moment, staging-wise, with Lurcanio and Dalinda not even looking at each other, and him pining away while she is making out with Polinesso and then being charmed by Lurcanio’s declarations. – And look at what Piau does with her face, Dalinda suddenly looks *happy*!

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      1. really, here we are, sighing over the tenor (but really, it#s a mix od the part and how he does it – often, the Lurcanios are such bores, but he is adorable. And he’s got those upper register piani…)

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      1. yes, and I think she also plays him in a way, in so much disbelief o hi own luck, that he will later much more easily accept the lie of having ben betrayed by her.

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  7. I always have to laugh at the toddler puppet crawling all over the stage and the stressed-out parents running after them. Spot on.

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    1. while i always see the puppet show as the traditional “expectation” that one must comply to. (reminds me of a friend who was touring a city with her bf for potential academic jobs for them both, and they kept telling her about school district)

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            1. (the worst are the ones that talk! where in the middle of the night you try to creep out of the kid’s room after enduring lying next to them for 2 hours until they fall asleep, then step on one of those “hallo, LET’S PLAY, tùm tà rà rum, peep peep” )

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        1. True, but I also agree that hinting at kids all the time at a wedding is intrusive and could be very hard to bear if a couple decides not to have or can’t have kids.

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      1. now that i understand the story, i really like the staging and SC’s portrayal. I disliked it so much the first time because she completely ruined my “Ariodate the handsome courageous knight” bubble

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  8. Ariodante is already fighting first doubts (wonderfully sung doubts) — and Dalinda is trying to convince herself it will be okay because they others hae treated her so badly that she deserves to do this…

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  9. This is where the setting also works well to create credibility – Polinesso is a moral authority in the community, and Ariodante does not know that he is also interested in Ginevra.

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      1. making this whining just outside her room even more difficult to handel 🙂

        and now i’m thinking so much less of Luca.. in addition to the father who heard the first bit of news and immediately imprison her, grrrr

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        1. yes, that’s tough to sell today (hopefully!), it’s the casual misogyny that’s already in the tale in Ariosto (though Ariosto does have some pretty progressive views in his work overall) – same with the same plot device in “Much Ado About Nothing”: guilty until proven otherwise, and perhaps even still guilty when proven innocent.

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          1. ( i was soooo clueless about the story for the longest time i couldn’t even remember the name of Ginevra the character because i couldn’t understand why she was “whining” nonstop 😀 )

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      1. More or less:
        “Live, and punish her that way and avenge your betrayed honor that way.
        To stab yourself over an unfaithful woman is falling too low, don’t do that.”

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  10. Connolly has sung this many times, and in incredibly moving ways, but perhaps this is the most moving one of them…? (I will change my mind when I hear another one of hers, perhaps, but until then…)

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    1. (but now i’m having so much dislike for Ariodante sorry helpless i’m the victim self to identify, argh! We might have to watch the puppet show Ariodante together down the line for me to understand why i got such a different impression of Ariodante there…)

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      1. well, i we start thinking about it that way, we will need a lot of liquor for most of our opera watching… Ariodante is really a prime example for “plot would be happily resolved if people would only talk to each other instead of jump to conclusions”

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        1. I’m really wondering already how they will bring the story across in concert, not much room for critique there, but then, very experienced actors, curious to see JDD’s portrayal of Ariodante’s character.

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          1. yes, I am even more intrigued after last night. I think she sang him onstage in Geneva, in 2010? But if anything, taking the cue from her Romeos, it could be a completely different take this time around.

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      1. perhaps this is the coldest scene of the evening – having her sing an aria that is actually romantic as a battered abuse victim who cannot get out of the dynamic she’s in.
        And at first it seems even Polinesso is pensive and stopped short by his own actions (though ones who are halfway sorry and continue anyway are the worst…), but just as easily gets drawn back in.

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        1. Had this aria in my ear the whole night, now re-listening, I think re-watching the whole thing last night made me appreciate Piau’s Dalinda even more (no, the Kittel has nothing to do with it).

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          1. yes, her performance really mde a stronger impression on me, too, this time. (Linked in a production interview with her above)

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        1. yes, looks more like Polinesso planned to frame Ginevra all along.
          (would also be sad if it had been Dalinda – outlet for unfulfilled fantasies, perhaps, and then Polinesso comes along and makes use of it)

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      1. and now for hte actual victim -this bit with Ginevra is SO GOOD between Petibon and the pit, with all the rubati to express her still half-drugged state, and her anxiousness.

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    1. the horror.
      but Polinesso as a hidden villain works for the story- if everyone knows he is evil, it makes the plot even less credible.

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    2. you can really see why my bubble was so busted, Ariodante was so high on the pedestal for me for such a long time, dated back to discovery of “Scherza infida” from VK’s Schwetzingen’s recital age..

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  11. Ginevra should take Dalinda with her when she leaves town
    (now i really like this Dalinda, she’s the only one who eventually stands up!! whereas this type of personality can really fold and disappear into irrelevance)

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      1. It seems to be a universal rule that a truly great opera evening needs a scene with Petibon on a bare wooden table, in mortal peril and extreme distress, singing her heart out.

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            1. yes.
              what did I read the other day on Twitter?
              “If the guy was drunk, he could not help it, if the woman was drunk, she deserved it.”
              I really cannot look at this.

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        1. oh, finally spotted the link! i got it now: in reader mode the links are always missing, so i didn’t see this… and then many comments came in later and i lost track entirely of where earlier comments went. But this clip really deserves to be posted twice! 😉

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    1. Though my anger at daddy is even worse. It does not excuse Ariodante’s reaction, but in the original I guess those two didn’t really know each other well so maybe not much base for trust? (Still, why not talking?) Ariodante’s betrayal gets more pronounced in the modern setting. Btw. does Ariodante know Ginevra is going to be killed in the original story and accepting that as long as he believes her untrue to him?

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      1. footnote: my anger at Ariodante is purely because i have thought of him soooo highly since 2010 when I first heard VK sang his arias.. She was in such good poise and her (his) sorrow was so deep I thought he was a very romantic and courageous character.. and then i found out what he is. It’s a self set-up 🙂 . As for the father, ja, i was very pissed once i saw the translation in London last year and his first reaction upon hearing the false news of his daughter’s action. Before that, i never paid attention to him but just knew his music from some 6-year of listening!

        This Ariodante appears too self-sorry to even care for Ginevra, well, except for the initial reaction where he wanted to bust the door and Lurcanio stopped him.
        It’s quite un-nerving seeing this “honor” system at work. I think this might be the first staging (?) that actually gives Ginevra a venue, because it seems all the other ones I’ve seen (only 2 🙂 ) just have everyone kisses make up and all happy.

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        1. yes, at least here it is addressed in te staging, usually it is sold as forgivable, even if with a wince — it’s really centuries of gender politics. Ariodante was of course supposed to be heroic and ‘good’, his behavior stood in no contrast to the idea of a hero.

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      2. in Ariosto, if I remember correctly, it’s Rinaldo (whom Ariodante replaces here, in Ariosto, Rinaldo is helping him sort out his sh*t) who hears that Ginevra is threatened with death and rides in to protect her as her champion? Or Ariodante dueling with his own brother? There are so many duels in the Furioso, I don’t remember… – so I guess we could say that Ariodante is willing to risk his life for her “even if she cheated on me”, which is still passive-aggressive, but not as callous as “Ah well, I’ll fake my on death and then tehy’ll kill her, serves her right”.

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        1. Interesting, but I think he is not meant to be faking his death (but yes, a good interpretation)? Actually, interesting that a failed suicide attempt was apparently not beneath the honour of historical heroes.

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          1. yes and now – it epended on age. A seasoned hero/ruler could of course NOT be unhinged by love, but a young one… still okay. More or less.

            (I looked it up again: Ariodante tries to kill himself, but then it’s Rinaldo fighting the duel against Polinesso)

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    1. SUPERcreepy. sorry, but that is the kind of thumping that does not belong in a bed. Also, this town really only owns one bed.

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          1. they probably took away the child. Or harvested her ovaries after knocking her unconscious.

            Yes! Ginevra starts packing!!

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            1. it wasn’t all bad – too much offering of what it claimed to critique, but at least it was food for thought.

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    1. just wanted to agree, than Polinesso started to sing and I changed my mind, thinking she could do something else. I’m afraid I’m sometimes kicked out of the story a bit by SP

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    1. but the hand-holding now could almost be cute.

      GOD What is it with all the people in Ginevra’s bedroom?
      (well, I guess it makes sense, since it is the town’s only bedroom?!!)

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      1. but there is also the small, very poignant moment of the father leading Ariodante away from Ginevra just as she might have listened to him, as if to say, “the girl does not really matter, you stay here, I can find you a new one”.

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    1. Thank you for hosting! i’ll have to relisten to some part again after getting my milk tea here to start the work day.

      Soooo fun to catch up with you both again! and yes, i’m ready for more SP next week!

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  12. I’m glad you… is “enjoyed” the word? Were engaged and creeped out? And I’m very sorry I wasn’t here to join you.

    Well done for recognizing the hitchhiking gesture! A lot of people don’t.

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    1. P.S. Yes, it’s supposed to be that Ginevra makes drawings of Ariodante while they’re courting. So Polinesso draws pornographic sketches in a similar style and plants them in Ginevra’s bag in order to frame her. The blocking was a bit clearer in Toronto. (And Polinesso’s sketches made more exaggerated.)

      Also, an interesting thing: did you notice Ariodante sweeping over a pile of Bibles during Dopo Notte? Or was that added post-Aix?

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        1. I had a junior backstage job in the production here, so I certainly heard most of it but didn’t see much through the box-like set. The reason I know the blocking specifics above is that one of my jobs was proofreading and distributing the Assistant Director’s notes.

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    2. 0h, that’s right, you were in recent verrry close contact with the concept! .-) (Any insights as to why a priest?!) Engaged and creeped out and over the moon with the delivery, yep, that’S pretty much it. Would have been great to have you and your insights along!

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      1. Why a priest? Hmm. On that topic, I’m finding it hard to separate what I read in press reviews versus what came from the directors. I do recall they wanted him to be really creepy and obscene.

        The storytelling advantages I personally see in Polinesso-as-priest is that it allows him to dominate the hearts and minds of an entire small town, throws his hidden evil into sharp relief, and calls to mind real-life sexual abuse scandals. When I described the production to some priests* I know, they recognized the trope immediately.

        * woman (Anglican) feminist, queer-friendly anti-oppressive priests

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        1. Thank you for more inside insights!

          Yes, that intersection of moral authority and (veiled) abuse. I was surprised by how much drive that added, in giving Polinesso more power, and also in having his desire for Ginevra not on the open. And the creepiness level worked, definitely. I mean we do get starry-eyed over the delivery of Prina (or Abrahamyan), but the actual character: horrifying!

          >

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  13. omg, Agathe (and Anik!, and others): have you seen this clip! omg, the haircut! and earings! and you know who i’m talking about! I was gonna link, but no, i’ll put it right here to facilitate watching 😉

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      1. ps- oh, and the interview is wonderful too! when one is not distracted.. she talks about the staging, the idea of women being portrayed, how it’s still true today, her repertoire, why Polinesso is a priest (?), amongst other things.. Please feel free to paraphrase her.. i will likely need to watch 10x to understand 1/10th of the content due to lack of vocabulary..

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        1. Let’s just say I didn’t sleep too well after watching this yesterday evening! As to the interview content: Yes, would you mind translating a bit Anik? I got most of the last part but it seems my limited French gets wiped out of my brain during the first minutes. Denim vest, well, if anyone can wear it, it’s her (with those trousers).

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          1. And with the hair. Which is a delt-level legit point and may even top JDD there or come darn close at least…

            My French has seen an unexpected boost these days because the Sr Valkyrie has taken to the musketeers and pirates and all I’ve done this weekend was act an evil French Playmobil Marine Captain with a Mozart wig, a horrible accent, and lots of assorted French vocabulary.

            >

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            1. How cute, are those the ones with the red frocks? Those are Englishmen at ours. Also, I made progress counteracting gender conformity in my youngest, she’s now playing to be Yoda with mask and light sword for a change.

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            2. He has a blue frock (and I think he is supposed to be English, as well, but the French accent is a lot more fun to do).

              Points for MS. Yoda! The Sr. Valkyrie is kind of over Yoda at the moment (too bad), but at least we’ve reached a point where he has realized that Princess Leia is kind of cool and will not be disrespected in our house. At the moment, every time they paint with watercolors, he starts painting his fingernails “Like Mom!” with enthusiasm.

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            1. it’s a rehearsal shot, so I kept it a little under wraps… WSM spcial edition for those who read the comments 😉

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            2. Oh yes, of course. I so much enjoy seeing rehearsal footage in general, but it’s right to consider it’s not meant for the public eye.

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            3. for the public eye, perhaps yes – but when the distinction between role and singer is not that clear, I don’t put them up for the WSM kind of appreciation.

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            4. I’ll have to look up that scene in the original, I don’t remember Dalinda grabbing his hair? Maybe because it made more sense in rehearsal 🙂

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            5. I didn’t remember that, either! So perhaps that really didn’t happen because it’s hard to do with a long-haired wig that is tied back. You would disarrange the etire hairdo/wig, I suppose.

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            6. Of course I had to research that. The scene happens in the original but she just touches the hair/wig very lightly, yes, probably not to disarrange everything, another reason why they should have skipped that wig.

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            7. there will be a long list of reasons why they should have skipped that wig, no.s 1-10 being “But the actual hair looks so much better!”

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      2. I stumbled over it looking for Aggressive Glass Polishing for Sound, Clouds and Thunder yesterday – unless there is a secret Prina interview I am not seeing?

        >

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        1. no no, i’m sure it was the one you’ve linked… sorry, i didn’t see your link, you know these liveblogs = me barely waking up 5min before, then rub rub eyes, then turn speakers on, then “start”! 🙂
          meanwhile, i did go back to check out those trousers again, and the belt!
          Funny when the clip just started i thought “oh, SP must be taking a break, they’re putting in some dummy-dude so Piau could rehearse with… then she turned around with earings… must be the facial expressions and *hair*, i was too distracted, only got a tiny glimpse of the trousers mentioned…

          But before all of this, i wanted to say I’m very glad we’re watching these together, because it allows us to see other singers who sometimes we might “skip-over” (in looking, still listening) and thus not appreciating fully their acting / phrasing / portrayal. For me, I was most influenced with SP’s Cesare in Toulon, and now with this, i realized how superb she is. This character Polinesso can be very 1-D if one is not thinking carefully with acting/phrasing. So even as Agathe said when she (SP) does something she’s doing it 100% effort, there’s still a lot of deep thoughts and consideration to bring out a believable character and not over-doing it.

          2 years ago when this first came out, I had so much issues with just about everything (including SP’s way of doing coloratura!) and only remember how great S.Piau was! I did watch this again after London… but finally really get to know it via our discussion. very much love. the finale is now also on tube :-).

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          1. I only linked it in yesterday in the comments.

            after seeing this, I wondered why they gave Prina a wig in the first place, but, to follow Agathe#s prompt, I guess then a) Ginevra would have chosen him and b) I guess the aging rocker/reborn minister/seniority thing only worked with the long gray wig. But DAMN.

            Also, after this, i am SO looking forward to rewatch that Carsen Rinaldo. – Sat., usual hour again?

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            1. uhm, this hair, jeah, this beats *all* .. i don’t think JDD came close 😉 . That, and the swagger! i also don’t get why they swap out her trousers!

              yes, usual hour sounds good! i’ll share the version i have without missing ending.

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            2. thank you, great! Probably easier to handle than the DVD behemoth…

              JDD comes from the opposite corner (so much more marketed (not necessarily self-presented, but marketed) via staged femininity, which is perhaps also something U.S. specific?), but I am just so glad we have both to admire. Also, now I have to rewatch the clip again for trousers. Oh, the sacrifices one makes for informed opinions…

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            3. Yes, usual time Saturday!
              I think, even if I have learned to be fond of the Hauskittel, we have not appreciated Piau in this clip enough, yet. Much nicer hair than original Dalinda as well!

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          2. The pants get into view with the denim vest!
            Regarding coloratura, yes, her way is very special although by now I like it very much. But actually vocally Polinesso is not my favourite part for her because it doesn’t give her so many opportunities for more sensitive passages, which I think she does in a superb way. Looking forward to our Rinaldo meeting in that regard (and in many others). Also, I’m crying why there is not more Monteverdi recorded with her because the way she paints phrases there… good lord!

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            1. well, there is the take on Vorrei baciarti (of all possible duets) with Invernizzi… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bepRjKRSZQA

              And yes, her coloratura style took some adjustig for me, but it’s actually pretty close to early Baroque singing manuals in a throat production of very fast runs that are a little flatter in overtones in some spots, but are very relaxed and have speed… Similar case with the front projection of Genaux, which I also appreciated more after ‘unhearing’ the modern romantic approach and reaing up more on early belcanto technique (16th ctry). True that Polinesso doesn’t offer much in the way of sensitivity. Fantastic swagger moments, though.

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            2. Oh, yes, than there’s a bit more on the “Amore..” album and Orfeo (Speranza) and than only those few jovi clips of her Ottone but it could be more. Reminds me, you have that album I trust? Do you have Rodelinda with Mijanovic as well?

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            3. Her technique is really difficult to grasp and I’ve often read it described as curious or technically flawed. But I think that’s because this type of true alto voice is very rare, so other singers can’t do it the same way, especially working so much with chest voice in the lower ranges. I find her high notes very well projected, respecting limits of the voice, and of course you can’t expect the same fullness in the higher parts as from a mezzo.

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            4. it reminds me of what you said about artificially darkening timbre at some other point – Prina does not do that kind of unifoming of timbre. and I never get the impression that she forces or unduly fabricates a color.

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            5. Yes, I guess, that’s because she is just using her authentic, naturally strong voice without the need to make it bigger and after reading up on that very interesting article, I better understand how her style (at least in parts) does fit the early baroque technique described. She also does a lot of tone shaping with the mouth it seems.
              When I wrote that about darkening of timbre I was referring to creating a fuller, more mezzo sound (e.g. when you sing a mezzo aria as a soprano), similarly to what L. Claycomb said in the VK video, but now I see how that is of course also connected to the school of modern singing, where a full-bodied, u-shaped sound is sought after. That’s super interesting, more reading to be done and thanks a lot for the reference.

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            6. Actually, I’d like to read up on what you write about early baroque singing technique, you’ve got any literature recommendations on that?

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            7. this is a good start (absolutely check the illustrations!), but a lot of it is in the actual 16th/early 17th ctry treatises (most of them in Italian) and much of it is implied because things were understood as given, and meanings have since changed.

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            1. tada

              (For those who’d like to “practice” their ffmpeg skill, here’s the syntax to produce the identical vid:

              ffmpeg -i bigvideo.mp4 -acodec copy -vcodec copy -ss 00:54:57 -t 00:03:43 temp.mp4

              ffmpeg -i temp.mp4 -acodec copy -filter:v “crop=1140:610:0:30” Shot_Glass_Polishing_Technique_101.mp4
              )

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that the one I linked above? The Piau interview?

      But yes, I do get Agathe’s point about the hair in the beginning (hey, Agathe, is ‘hair’ your version of ‘delts’ when it comes to personal poisons?) – can translate a bit later if my students leave me some time. Have a late afternoon meeting where I should be able to disconnect. >

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      1. Yes, Anik linked it first in a demonstration of “how to drop a bomb very casually”, I nearly fell of my chair opening this.
        But it definitely deserves a more exposed place!
        You may have caught me there about the hair. Actually, on second thought I think the long grey hair is the only thing that is really hard to bear with fully costumed Polinesso, and in comparison,….aaaargh!

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        1. I swear I was really only looking for more Piau. But then you pointed out the hair and I had to rewatch and… well… needless to say, today’s WSM is especially for you (including the hair).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, thank you very much for both! Also, check out PP at minute 6 getting mildly impatient with fellow people on stage and pressing a leaf into a slightly puzzled assistant’s arms.

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      1. Had to do more research on that, I had missed that interview so far. Very cute the glasses on PP as well, now I got ideas about getting new computer glasses soon.
        Also: Was Polinesso’s styling maybe inspired by composer Ryuichi Sakamoto?

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