WhiteShirtiversary: The Paris “Mitridate” (2016) & Friends Liveblog

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Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for celebrating “1 Year of The Paris Mitridate”, and adjacent White-Shirt-ness with favorite scenes and favorite screencaps.

While this isn’t really a  production liveblog, looking into the Mitridate (online via the Magic Channel, leave us a comment if you need a link) as of 9 p.m. is a solid start (libretto: Italian/English pdf)

Favorite screencaps, of “Mitridate” and others, can easily be shared in the comments by uploading them to a third party hoster and copying the direct link into the comment box. The same holds true for YT videos; gifs will only display the link. If you see empty comments, switch from App View to the actual site: images should be visible then.

357 thoughts on “WhiteShirtiversary: The Paris “Mitridate” (2016) & Friends Liveblog”

  1. Good evening/morning! Feeling sufficiently TCE?

    One window ope to comment, one with Photobucket, one with the audio-lag fixed Mitridate ready to play 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slightly late because of having a heated debate about the merits of DS9 on Facebook (I love it, but acknowledge that it is the cilantro of Star Treks; everyone feels strongly about it one way or another).

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    2. I’m with thadieu’s merged audio copy from the September re-upload, but I keep stopping for caps – right now, in the slow middle part of the overture, minute 5’00

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      1. Hi there, greeting from the mountains, trying to catch up on this. let’s see how far I get before collapsing into fresh air- and sports-induced coma.
        Thadieu, if you have a link of your merged copy, would you mind 🙂

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  2. Also, I just want to give this production props for one of the best uses of the overture I’ve seen to create context, meaning and character, all while being extremely natural. Great theatre.

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  3. awwww, i’m supposed to upload a cap… but i’m distracted by story-reading togetherness.. arms on shoulders… and ahhhhhhh, that lovely look Petibon is passing while MP is professing passionate determination to follow…

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      1. I think I’ll need to return here at a different time with the appropriate soundtrack, I think I can’t do this justice with Semiramide running in the background, and no way I’m going to stop that at the moment, they all sound so glorious.

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        1. Until the 26th, I think it is going to be all Semiramide, all the time. (we will likely return to rulers of the Eudoxian and their sons sooner or later, anyway)

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  4. One thing I didn’t realize I was hungering for was casual representation of happy, adult queer relationships. Like, what happens after you ride happily into the sunset after finding your partner? Produce quality art projects.

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    1. oh, this may be my favorite reading yet.
      working through family issues, putting on a show, having coffee with your girlfriend, sharing the morning paper, picking up after the kids. 🙂

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      1. It’s just endlessly pleasing to see real, happy, un-tortured (though obviously part of a greater struggle) queer women who are just being domestic, while surrounded by their loved ones.

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        1. yes, the balloon! I say the grasp is okay, even if it is tank top and not shirt… and if it has to be a shirt: a cap from the duet.

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          1. Ha! It’s just so nice! I am really enjoying that it is presented female masculinity instead of the pretext of maleness. And then I do feel a shift when the butch character then plays the male role. Masculinity inception.

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          2. yes, that seems to be pinging our collective ‘dars here – we talked about this a lot last year, hot it is not emulating decorative maleness,but constituting (non-toxic) masculinity in the interpersonal behavior.

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          1. i need to work on my priority.. need to really visit them in the future.. like Agrippina.. (it’s really amazing if you think about it: A.Hallenberg, singing Händel, in *such* a role. It’s really ashamed they don’t have any sort of video broadcast.. though am still miffed they swapped out R.Pokupic for a CT…)

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  5. no, this simply never gets old
    (also what Ed said: realizing how starved we are for casual, positive representation, something where we can find ourselves in a relaxed, happy light – arrived somewhere, rooted, at ease, without the need of constant auto-defense)

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  6. How are we feeling about this countertenor? Coming from choirland, I love me a good countertenor in sacred music, but I find they’re not to my taste in operas. I always want a pants role casting, aesthetically (aurally as well as visually).

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          1. We’ll teach him that one – we’re very interested in seeing which one he is. 😉 My wife’s choir sang the Chichester Psalms about three weeks before he was born, and got really verklempt about the boy soprano.

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          2. I remember the church choir contraltos giving the male alto the stink eye in more than Bach or Handel – “He’s stealing our parts!”

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      1. I think that was invented for Mehta first, in a direct line to Cencic and Fagioli… some use it on Daniels, not so sure there.
        Jaroussky, not dramatic at all. Depending on the repertory, I enjoy many – Scholl, Davies, Mead, Zazzo, Mehta, Cencic, Fagioli, and I really enjoy Dumaux, also on stage.

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    1. I thought tonight we could go wherever we want? – I am tills tuck in the recit before Parto, delayed by extensive capping and uploading and link-pasting…

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      1. I applaud your life choices.
        Opera for opera!

        (also, we really should continue that screencap-liveblog, I still haven’t made it past the start of the Lungi scene!)

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          1. My “get up at 6 to finish leftover work for class” morning just got a lot more amenable 🙂

            >

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          1. this suddenly reminds me of our plans to abuse of your printer for some quality opera wall statements. Dehggi’s Sesto knife moment and others!

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        1. (ja, i was debating a bit about the coronazione of _the_ shirt.. and the Lungi shot i current had for “Opera”.. i still keep the latter, there’s something soo lovely about it..)

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        2. Actually I would be up to watching the whole thing again because last live blog was a bit disturbed by the strange sound quality and cuts by the new, polished, so why not do a nostalgic live blog revisit of the original one. But maybe everything has been said by now, have you counted comments on this?

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          1. I am not beyond doing mets on my meta, or simply fangirling all over this again. Would be interesting to see if impressions have changed with time (and I still need to do more screen caps)

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          1. yes, we’re sorry, Ed – you’re first-in-class highbrow discussion, and we’re all “here, have another screencap isn’t this gorgeous” tonight.

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          1. The White Shirts would obviously be on a permanent cycle between some Kasarova Romeo that was criminally untaped, and Paris, TCE, February 2016…

            Liked by 1 person

      1. for the tomb balloon. Yes.
        and you did, the moment of that overwhelmed adjust-eye shift, and it was quite fitting in my existence than having to adjust to the existence of THIS.

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  7. On the subject of whiteshirtery in general, I just wanted to say that this is the best, and I’m so glad we are all chatting about this stuff. This blog, and the associated community, are part of what got me into opera which is now one of my favourite things. And besides the joy of finding others that inhabit that niche within a niche that is queer classical music fans, it’s just awesome to be able to talk about opera through the lenses of feminism, gender studies and identity politics – to engage with it in the same discourse that I would with visual arts or contemporary theatre (or pop culture).

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    1. Like, opera is a cultural product, and yet somehow classical music gets this free pass for being somehow removed from current cultural discussions because of its place in the western cannon. Somehow, as “high art” it should just be replicated and venerated without any critical thought (and I’m talking the general perception). Specificity and more contemporary portrayals (like including casual lesbianism), actually does more justice to the original art in my view, because it makes the performance relevant and alive. It’s doing something other than just being pretty (though, I’d say that enhances the pretty, and turns the pretty into beautiful). Which is another reason I think this production is so arresting.

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      1. I find it is also linked to not creating superficial polish (which is part of treating something with faux reverence, in not letting it really come close to oneself by putting it far away in “pretty” costumes)

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  8. And also, I would like to brag that recently released Canadian stamps include one of out, lesbian soprano Adrienne Pieczonka. Sure, they’re commemorating an important new opera, but I choose to focus on the gay soprano. I got excited by stamps yesterday, people.

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      1. I hope I will make it to Lungi tonight, that’s the goal – barely done capping “Soffre il mio cor”… I’ve fallen into a screencapping hole and I cannot stop!

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  9. Also (and this may sound like blasphemy), the tailoring here is just so much better than the iconic Salzburg Tito (please don’t hurt me – M.P can just really wear a jacket).

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    1. no, it’s true – well, for one, the Salzburg Tito still struggles with the bulky late 90s cuts and broad ties, but the tailoring here is simply spot on – the shirt, but also the cut of the pants is really a work of art. A pity de Vivaise never clothed VK in pants…

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      1. She pulls of the shirt very well, but I wanted to fix Kasarova’s tie so bad (having formerly worn similar). And poor Garanca looked so young in her giant suit. Why didn’t they hire a lesbian to be in charge of costumes? But the singing and all the rolling around on the floor was quite nice. 😉

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          1. (i would definitely have benefited.., severely lacking knowledge ing tying a tie/ribbon. For the longest time i thought it was the same way as how we tied the red communist ribbon around neck, for which we were tested vigorously, with peer competition every day on achieving its symmetry and ease of taking off..)

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          2. For getting off a tie, Brussels gets no points for speed, but for music-timed execution.

            …there are special communist tie-knots? You know what we will have to do to pass the time next time in the standing room queue, then.

            Bowties are an issue because hardly anyone wears them any longer and it is SO difficult to find one that is not pre-tied and fixed. How is a self-respecting White Shirt supposed to practice?

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      2. we had a chat (more like a duel between Anik and Dehggi) over this 😉 , where i stepped in to mention something along the line VK can handel a shirt.. but it’s not _the_ shirt tailored for her as in the case here.. if we want a fair comparison, i’d compare it with VK’s Orphée’s shirt (and collar)

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  10. And one of the thousand reasons I love this production:
    when in the final cadenza in an aria that was brimming with joyfulness, there’s suddenly a more serious note…

    …and how that mood shift is immediately acknowledged and answered:

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      1. oh, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it
        *le sigh*

        oh, and here the start of some Magnificent Slouching (why be content with one soprano in olive when there could be two?)

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  11. ps- Ed, my left screen is now this dynamical mess:
    upper left, very blurry: Sifare desperately trying to find a route down. far right: Aspasia running for cover. middle blur: brute in hot pursuit of Aspasia. Lady on right: where Aspasia is searching for comfort. guy walking up stair: keeping Sifare far and away from Aspasia. And finally, guy in middle: static while the world whirls in chaos.

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        1. I’ll probably start popping in and out though – doing some housework to make sure the place is nice for my returning family. Good thing our place is so small I can hear the speakers pretty much everywhere.

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      1. There are certainly caps I have taken more than once, but y guess that is just to say how much impact or how many layers a moment has, that I want to commemorate it repeatedly.

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  12. And, with a hat tip to Eyes, “A Day In The Life Of A Pink Skirt” – the more I watch this, the more I enjoy how these two play off each other, too.

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        1. I logged out at 1:14 – just pre-Lungi. A few final caps to come… this was fun, with enough leisure to stop and go after specific moments right way!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. In case I’ve stepped away from the computer when everyone heads to bed, thanks for another great hang out! I’ve enjoyed everyone’s screencaps and commentary immensely!

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          1. yes, full in inspiration.. although occasionally (when ACA’s Nerone is involved it seems..) i have a hard time picking things up after drooling..
            have a wonderful afternoon!
            I think Anik has passed out, surrounded by her caps 😉

            Liked by 2 people

  13. Next time, this scene:

    Just now, in watching the first few seconds, from this later-released angle, it is such a sensation of dread when Sifare rushes forward and keeps his eyes most of the time on Mitridate: always on the abuser, not a moment safe enough to look at Aspasia, whom he desperately wants to save. Chilling, and it holds until Mitridate breaks the moment and Sifare steps away, knowing his attention in him now, and not on Aspasia.

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          1. it *was* v-day yesterday, and the vietnamese shop gave me 1 extra milk tea free 😉 . do we have a program for this saturday? else we could continue with our cap party 😀

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          2. I had thought about Orphée after the caps you posted, but that would mean creating a file off the DVD and I don’t think I’ll get to that until Sat.
            We could also do another Handel, or watch that Lucio Silla from Milan with Crébassa and Peretyatko, in case Agathe is back already?

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          3. i have stacks of Orphée’s caps on my computer 😉 . i have 2 copies in avi and mp4, but sadly they both have horrid sound. I don’t understand why people could mangle up the sound so much.. perhaps we keep that for when there’re more people since it’s a classic? i’ll go with whatever you recommend this time. currently still fighting with (and swearing at) talk..
            oh, did i hear it right, this is the debut for Barcellona in Munich? (or only role debut?)

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          4. did they say that in the broadcast? I should have listened better to the opening remarks.
            We could always do the Herheim Rusalka on Sat.? I feel like some intricate Regie MP (and seeing as we can’t get a copy of the the Antwerp/Gent Amelia Apetheosis…).
            We could always do the Herheim Rusalka on Sat.? I feel like some intricate Regie MP (and seeing as we can’t get a copy of the the Antwerp/Gent Amelia Apetheosis…).

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  14. So I’m watching this again (as I do), and taking a screencap here or there (as I do… ahem). Going through them at the end, I discovered that I had grabbed the EXACT SAME moment from the duet as I did almost a year ago. Down to the millisecond, it’s the same moment.

    …At least my aesthetic is consistent?

    For interested parties, it’s this one:

    https://uofi.box.com/v/mitridate-duet-cap-2016 – April 2016
    https://uofi.box.com/v/mitridate-duet-cap-2017 – March 2017

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        1. Once upon a time, I wrote my first novel (finished it ten years ago, come to think of it). I think ever since then, I have been barred from talking about hands in public.

          But quips aside, I think what makes gesture/touch stand out is also the costumes and lightning: relatively dark, mono colors, not much in the way of frills. Tying a lot into French acting studios of the 20th centuries, actually, and I would put that on Hervieu-Léger and his formatting.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, GGeek.
      a) I ❤ your millisecond aesthetic because Words. Fail. Me. at that cap.
      b) you remind me that we really need to continue our capping party since I ever even made it beyond the start of the pre-Lungi sequence.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. this reminds me, i think it was you, GG, who requested the radio broadcast? And also Agathe requested the radio broadcast merge with video… I’ll upload that merge version again later today and send email to you both..

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          1. The Radio broadcast is the best in sound because it’s the least having been tampered with. White Shirt Vinyl!

            >

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          2. And so sorry to exploit your technical expertise all the time, but any chance you had your machine running over the weekend?

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  15. My DVD delivery has been scheduled! June 9! Everyone say prayers or send good thoughts to the opera gods that the audio isn’t f*cked and they use more footage from the first cut. *fingers crossed*

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    1. fingers crossed in tandem ans looking forward to your video/audio verdict! (Including cut scenes and blooper reel 😉 )

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