The Brussels 2000 “Agrippina” Liveblogging Thread

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Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for Handel’s “Agrippina” (2000) from the La Monnaie Brussels, staged by David McVicar and conducted by René Jacobs.

Cast Listing:
Anna Caterina Antonacci – Agrippina
Rosemary Joshua – Poppea
Lawrence Zazzo – Ottone
Malena Ernman – Nerone
Lorenzo Regazzo – Claudio
Dominique Visse – Narciso
Antonio Abete – Pallante

The production is available on YT thanks to jovi1715 and can be accessed via thadieu’s handy playlist.

Libretto: German, English and Italian (html), Italian (pdf)

561 thoughts on “The Brussels 2000 “Agrippina” Liveblogging Thread”

    1. I am imagining talking to my mother or someone official Satrudays close to 9 p.m. – “no, uh, fine, it’s – eh… I have an appointment. With… no, well, knowing them, yes. Yes, for opera. And.. well, talking about opera. And – well, heteronormativity is overrated, so…”

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  1. So…Nerone has a thing for his mother (for which it is hard to blame him) and he also looks exactly like the girls at the queer club on Saturday night in the late 90s.

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          1. the faces of the both of them! Bwahahaaa!

            (also, a pity those colored blazers went out of fashion except for Hillary and Merkel.)

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  2. Well after the Swimtrunk models in the TADW production, this looks different. (I think at this point in Vienna, Bardon already had the bariton on her office desk, stripped to his boxers)

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      1. I think I described that as one of the drawbacks of the TADW setting – that it was so much smooth surface that missed the chance to go deeper.

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    1. Actually, in the Carsen staging, I found the stripping rather cheap at first, but it got funny when Narcisio did the exact same moves and Aggripina#s reaction to it

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      1. yes (and it’s not as if it looked bad…), and it was one of the things they used throughout to address power, and especially Agrippina’s power, though I still think much remained on the surface (the figurative one) where it could have offered more.

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        1. To be honest I still have to find an Agrippina staging that really gets me emotionally invested, probably the plot, it seems to invite for cynical stagings. So it would probably take the strong stuff, like a pairing of PP as Poppea and SP as Ottone to balance that. (Hmm might be too strong to survive the evening)

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          1. do you know of this one? you can read up reviews here on Anik’s site dated back in 2008 i think, there’s a post by Anik and deeeeep in the comment sections are two veeeeeeery nice reviews by Purity. We never understood why they didn’t revive it and simply sold the costumes away…

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    1. religious type??? Oh dear…
      (the Chris O’Donnell Navy Look is somewhat more becoming than the ever-present fatigues)

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  3. no, that chaise think is working that fine, when it has both Joshua and ACA on it and if you squint at it, and – why does Agrippina keep putting her hand on Poppea’s knee?

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  4. So… what do you do when Agrippina appears in your bedroom late at night in a little black dress and calls you darling?!

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          1. Lord, have mercy.
            Look at the detail of hand-on-back – this isn’t just my personal hallucination, that is intent. Possessive intent.
            (thank you for gif-ing. Thank you for all the gifs! – and if I might add one request to the list: the push-up. For motivational purposes.)

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          2. yes, that turn by Joshua – far too smooth for a surprise, let alone lack of interest. Not sure what McVicar’s instructions were, but I am not complaining about the result.

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          3. Just to loop back here.. i couldn’t shake this at all.. it was so well intended (and deeply mesmerizing). Just speechless.
            R.Joshua’s portray is significantly different from M.Persson in 2004, where you can see the two of them “sparring” . But here..

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          4. …yes.
            I can see ACA/Persson (wait, the initials just tripped me) having more of an open confrontation in these roles, depends a lot on energy.
            Joshua is different and yes, this is mesmerizing.

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          5. YES! god yes. found that scene and watched it multiple times for research. you know. want to be accurate in my assessment.

            god yes. all that’s missing is the mirror and Carol’s red (because obviously) plaid robe.

            GULP. i have no idea what’s happening here (this crew keeps introducing me to glorious new things) but I LIKE IT and am also breathless.

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        1. I will have to find a way to make Nerone fit. Okay, that dress suit is awfully fetching. or rather, fetchingly carried.

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          1. sorry, i was very distracted trying to get the screen cap below… will have to rewind my brain… i don’t remember much about Nerone i’m afraid! except *veryyyyy* nice voice soon in the bar.. that’s just the risk when Poppea and Agrippina are giving me wild ideas..

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    1. Agathe, that’s also a mezzo who can definitely carry you off the stage, if we’re checking again for toxic masculinity.

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        1. perhaps better recording? Zazzo is generally good, and also cuts a nice figure (remembering his Cesare with haim) – kind of a feat to make him appear boring.

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      1. Zazzo is great, and I usually enjoy him a lot, but in this production, Ottone really doesn’t get much love in the staging.

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        1. including the Crocket in the white dinner jacket at the bar! (I do like Lesbo, though, he’s just getting bossed around, as well)

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  5. this reminds me of what my friend told me just last week: that she can’t seem to be a bar alone without a guy invading her space, no matter how many times she said “no”, and the only way to get out is to say she’s “married”, that she has to be someone’s property before they piss off.

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          1. yes, please! (see why I said I wouldn’t have survived the Juditha with Ernman in the lead? She is a very good actress, with a very good physical presence)

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  6. okay, the free-style push-ups. Not sure whether I am more envious, or whether I need someone to empty the champagne cooler over my head.

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  7. i can’t find that aria in the libretto.. it might come later? i know Nerone has an aria crawling on the floor with Poppea..
    (an another tune from Il triofo)
    (and why is she wasting her time with this pouting Ottone, wasting harpsichord and.. what’s that instrument duetting with her? )

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        1. (hiding in this corner: back to this dream concept for the moment.. as one can imagine how M.Ernman’s Ruggiero can be different from ACA’s version.. and how Alcina would react to both. gosh. )

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    1. I’m really getting a weirdo rich kid vibe from the character – a young man who has no boundaries and too many resources (from what little I’ve seen, correct me if I’m way off base) – instead of Nerone the psychopath, which is more believable.

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        1. Is Vulcan blood green? Is the Delta Quadrant a long way from home? Did someone SO flirt over a photo of the big ditch with her personal ex-Borg?!

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        1. …you just HAD TO, didn’t you?!

          Well, if Janeway is a trouser role, it’s Alessandro, if she’s kind of in-between, it’s Serse or Partenope, and if it’s related to some voq-je-bang OT3 entry, it’s obviously Alcina. (in which I would probably cast B’Elanna as Bradamante, the Captain as Ruggiero and 7o9 as Alcina, or shuffle the deck and replace Ruggiero with Morgana altogether and actually, this is exactly the kind of conversation we should be having for the Whiteshirtary on Saturday)

          >

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      1. Alas, he and the wife are away visiting family in California. I couldn’t get the vacation time, so I am a bachelor this week (‘bachelor’ meaning that I am running errands and sleeping through the night).

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          1. That would be rad! Let me see how my week shapes up – if the errands get taken care of then I’d love to. I’ll pester Anik via email for the secret details.

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        1. Sleeping through the night is great, but family home is better… ? Reminds me of my first surreal conferences ALONE in the first year. Really strange sensation. Hope you’re distracted enough with the errands!

          >

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          1. It’s really odd – the house has never felt so empty. I am plenty distracted though, doing all the things (useful and unuseful) that I know I won’t have time for normally. Even got in an Early Music concert! But the boy learned how to play with toys (when he left, faces were the only toys he wanted) while he was away! I am getting videos, but I can’t wait to play with him when he gets back.

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        1. the resolution is so good that you see the wig line in the back, I believe – so she didn’t have actual Nick Carter hair.

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      1. apropos your gif magic: how about a page n your blog where you link all your White Shirt gifs? It’s quite a collection already and it would be lovely to be able to look at them all in one place.
        (Which reminds me: operation White Shirt Archives is a go, I am only lacking dehggi’s bus picture! Do you have a copy?

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          1. gif bar, gif bar, gif bar! With a harpsichordist!
            (I also love the look of the woman in the middle in gif 3: the “What does one have to do to get in on this?” stare.

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          1. it was interesting that for the tiny amount of singing she gets to do that she’s featuring in 80% of the trailer video – i haven’t listened yet, but saw.. and a couple of latest promo photos about last supper, did you see?

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          2. didn’t the see promo pics – do you have a link?
            I had high hopes for tweets because the person responsible for trailer picked out the one moment of the entire evening where the two women are on stage (though they do not pass the Bechdel, much less the WS)
            Or it might simply be that there’s just one bigger female role and that simply sells better? Or they also tried to give space to a certain debut?

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          3. pix directly from her fb site! 3 of them, 1 a painting of the last super. 1 sec, let me find link… can you see this? (else just go to her site, where she also wrote a small caption for the 3 pix)

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          4. Thank you!
            hm, didn’t get any alert in my feed. But I liked the rehearsal trailer (with ze young german director being so excited about Boccanegra, of all pieces) better than the official trailer that looks at first like the Madonna de Guadalupe throwing a carnival bash. – https://vimeo.com/202180251

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          5. yep, the *official’ trailer, plus the rehearsal footage. and MP did post rehearsal pic a few days ago, plus the promo shots now, but overall, it’s been pretty quiet (though I haven’t been pouring over the boyfest to figure out who of the guys is on what social media, either)

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          6. it got us that Semiramide, right? 😉
            (will switch this to email, and hope to send from commute in the morning. Thanks again for the gifs!)