The Carnegie Hall “Ariodante” (2017) Liveblogging Thread

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Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for Handel’s “Agrippina”, live from Carnegie Hall, NY, conducted by Harry Bicket.

Cast Listing:
Ariodante – Joyce DiDonato
Ginevra – Christiane Karg
Polinesso – Sonia Prina
Dalinda – Mary Bevan
King – Matthew Brook
Lurcanio – David Portillo
Odoardo – Tyson Miller

The concert is  livestreamed on medici.tv.

Libretto: Italian (pdf). There does not seem to be an English version around? Odd.

434 thoughts on “The Carnegie Hall “Ariodante” (2017) Liveblogging Thread”

      1. Anonymous being stray — [insert sidebar to kvetch abt wordpress’s absurdly overcomplicated login procedures if you’re using a laptop it doesn’t recognize as yours bc yr regular one is otherwise engaged]

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      1. It is not as if they were entirely unspectacular in the telecast. (Will report back on Vienna wear on the 12th)

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  1. Karg is giving me Amsterdam Susanne flashback – looking forward to teh slower pieces, too, fo…….

    wait.
    Prina is distracting me.

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  2. So much to unpack here.
    Loving the “concert staging only means we get to choose our own robes let’s act the heck out of this” approach.

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  3. I may be breathing into a paperbag over here over that JDD entrance. Very classy and gentle and Octavian-Act-II
    Also, admittedly still swooning over that first smile at Ginevra.

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  4. after seeing him in this live 10 days ago (in Stuttgart), I will be disappointed to not see Brook do his elaborate choreography with the coloratura here.

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    1. yes, I was just thinking the same thing, off hearing this with a larger voice (Diana Haller) not even two weeks ago who did this with bronze swagger and was fabulous: JDD’s take is much more “noblesse oblige” and a much better fit for her. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it is this gentle.

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        1. but I love the swagger ones, too – Connolly and now Haller and whatever it would be if Barcellona were the Baroque type… and very curious to hear where Coote will fit in!

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          1. Me too, and also how dynamcis change with the cast change (please let Bevan stay in the cast in Europe). And please don’t give me any ideas about Barcellona Ariodante, I’m suffering from a severe deterioration of ICS anyway at the moment.

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        1. Ah, don’t kill me! I have a cough to beat the band, and I didn’t want it to be immortalized in the memories of my box mates (or on Medici.tv).

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          1. right… weren’t you supposed to be there?
            I am so sorry.
            (still great to have you here, though!)

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      1. especially keeping it layered and getting those very, very actually softly seducing bits at the end of the reprise, and not going all menace here.

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    1. yes, I thought the same thing. Nice tone, carries well, and works very well with the JDD/Karg sound spectrum – less piercing brilliance, more a bit of lyrical patterns.

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      1. don’t know her, either – although with Bevan, I think I have heard/seen her before? Perhaps labeled her in some WSM?

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    1. reporting from waaaaay high up in the third balcony: Karg’s voice is very warm but she is singing too much into the book and down and not as well making it up this huge hall.

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        1. i likeher singing and voice a lot! that fast aria ahe has to sing, i think it is too fast! i would have liked it just a tiny bitslower so we can hear Ginevrea’s excitment more… but she had to almost glue to the book to keep with Bicket who was behind her

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        1. How strange, because I think JDD usually carries very well and the higher voices should in theory carry more easily than the deeper? But great to hear the Prina experience does reach you well!

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          1. yes JDD voice carriesvery nicely up in her upper range, but the lower range occasionally got drowned out. but she let it ripped much more in 2nd and 3rd act so all was well

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          2. yes, while she carried well in the broadcast, I got the impression she was pacing herself (worked well with her character portrayal) and went all out in Act III. And then the oloratura in the final duet sounded so effortless!

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          3. yeah i definitely felt that, she took 1st act veeeery light then progressively getting more and more dynamical. she isalso visibly limping

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          4. I was wondering at some point… but if anyone soldiers on even when technically unable to walk, it’s her.

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          5. I remember reading on her blog way back when that she used to have ankle trouble now and then? Nothing directly affecting singing, but it might be a drawback. And she still went all in.
            And also I would assume she’ll be aware of this being one of the last few shows before a break of sorts, however minor.

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    1. caught it in the 2nd intermission – LOL. “I’ve read all about it” or also “I’ve been writing songs about it”

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          1. exactly.
            You could clad all of Italy in concert performances 😉

            And I think Brook’s King works well in this “I am actually heartbroken” with JDD’s more straightforward-plain Ariodante: similar takes.

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          1. ( i will have to relisten tonite if any of u have captured? i am now suffering heayvy attack from AC (and allergy) and nose not working so i cant breath/ hear Joyce or Karg well in their gorgeous arias, soooo frustrating

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          2. ah, sadly not me 😦 but I have lots of caps… I need the capture machine. In this case it even slipped my mind. But I have a feeling it might surface somewhere…

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          3. ah great u are keeping a safe copy. i was stuck at airport again and now just made it home for zz. looking forward to catching up more on this tomorrow, hopefully with a functioning nose too

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          4. You think one extra is enough for the replay? But I’m still drawn back and forth whether to enter the re- re- re-playing now, maybe better to keep it for after the live experience?

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  5. in Stuttgart, at this point, he is sobbing on the floor. So whatever he is doing here: it is not half of what he does in a staged version.

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      1. I think it would be overkill here for me if I hadn’t seen him do this with utter intensity and commitment on the stage a few days ago. This is such a core scene in Stuttgart, where they prep his reaction to Ginevra, and where the production also completely dismantles hegemonic masculinity, and it is great.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know Fritsch enough for that, but will keep that in mind. (all your favs tonight, hm? with exception of Pisaroni)

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          1. I raise you a Petibon, McVicar, and cackle at your choices then. (I know it’s just a warmed-up staging, but I take my cheap joys where I can get then)

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          2. and there would have been TWO just from last year to import. Also the Bösch one (from Munich?) is better, I gather.

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          3. I actually like this production but so many things have happened in region in question in the past decade that there’s no contest. You can’t just go lalalala, sandbox and silly, overdone visuals anymore.

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          4. I shouldn’t judge, I haven’t seen it, but I look at what early McVicar did (that Poppea!) and then at what he has done in recent years and I am preemptively underwhelmed.

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          5. I see your choices, ROH:

            …and I’d like to point towards the original (pining stare, rocking the hair do, and certainly vocally up to par, plus ample experience in the role):
            #WHYROH? #WecouldhavemetagainROH!

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      1. lots of small variations in color and varying the phrase length in tension, made it sound a lot less repetitive, and that is A+ work here.

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          1. yes, at times, but she usually does later rep. Lots of song work. Just thinking that she must be really smart, both musically an intellectually, to pull of this interpretation. It it is Handelian, to a point, even though she clearly comes from another vantage point.

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          2. hahaha.
            but this happens – I still need to write my review for the Biondi/Genaux/Rancatore Hasse, and I think I enjoyed Rancatore’s idiosyncrasies mostly because the sound production kept reminding me of MP.

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        1. Absolutely! Maybe that’s why they were just very quickly getting over with it because there is no way to make it seem realistic.

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          1. After recent experiences, I know recommend wrestling it out. But it is really just one and a half recit lines, so either yo go silent sword fight, or there is nothing to work with.

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          2. just have to get rid of the bad guy. She still looked funny as she walked off. I also liked the camaraderie between her and JDD at “curtain” call.

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          3. Yes, and the few moments of “dialogue” between Ariodante and Polinesso were very strong, I guess they also enjoy acting with someone so experienced.

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          4. also experienced in that particular part, and someone who is good at acting and enjoys it.

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    1. but JDD can do it, and masterfully so.
      This tends to be a bit of an overlooked or drab piece, but this right here was close to the best Ariodante bit tonight.

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      1. dehggi, talk to me about shared favorites starting with “N”. 🙂
        which reminds me that we need to slate in that Ariodante with Nesi pronto!

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          1. yes! I can see gentle, but still a volcano eruption, as in cascading lava without the sputter.

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  6. JDD has a gorgeous “line” but I’ve never been pushed on the ornamentation American singers do with Händel. (Lieberson included)

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    1. interesting how there are schools so diverging, and how it basically goes back to handful of singer-teachers and their scores!

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    1. And another laugh at “My brother is back and so is my passion”? Is the NY audience not familiar with Baroque plotworks? (hoboy, have we got news for you and they are called Cavalli..)

      but very good point, I actually meant to say – and perhaps my favorite take on Dalinda regarding Polinesso after the pained Seeräuber-Jenny version.

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        1. Magic, Deities prancing on Clouds, kings: Baroque.
          Deities popping up from the earth proclaiming doom, burning down the entire planet, sopranos dying: Romanticism.

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          1. Only Romantic deities are fodder for endless debate over social metaphor and compositional intent, while Romantic dying sopranos are just tediously indicative of gender business as usual (with really great music).

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          1. i was thinking just that, whether the germans are a bit shy in public… was a bit strange during that goooorgeous cute duet at the end where Joyce tried desperately to connect

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          2. Yes, in tendency I guess Germans are more introverted. And it as a pity here, because she was clearly not able to look across the concert staging here, probably would have worked much better in a staged version. I found myself yearning for PP here. But to be fair, I think acting “ridiculously happily in love” with not much room for interpretation or moving around is probably much more difficult to act than the Polinesso/Dalinda dynamics.
            Funnily enough SP said in an interview once how in a concert performance things were very different because you more or less remain you own self and how she i.e. wouldn’t kiss someone in concert, it seems she has clearly changed her mind in both respects! But it also seems there is a general tendency for much more acting in concert, like in the Biondi Capuleti in Bremen last year, wich was also very good. Still, I understand it is more difficult to act some things because you can’t hide behind a director’s decision.

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          3. Also a matter of what conventions you are used to, I think – concert stage opera, especially early music, is really lighting up in recent years (perhaps because 4 hours of da capo is hard to stomach for some audiences otherwise?). You wouldn’t do this in a Beethoven 9, but if you have a character, yo have a character.

            And yes, I would agree that Dalinda/Polinesso is easier because it is far more out there.

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          4. Well, I certainly don’t mind the lightening up, even if I could easily stomach 4 hours of da capo arias in any form of presentation with this cast.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. and what a great evening with you all, too.
      Good to see you, Laura. And stray, I hope you’re curled up comfortably on the couch with your cough letting up soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good night everyone and thank you for commenting along (and see you on Tuesday for the Cavalli, if you’re free!).

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      1. The Cavalli, if thadieu’s/Genaux’s intel is right, won’t be an issue – unless there is geoblocking, there will be freely accessible replay for a year.

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  8. Prina didn’t wear a jacket in Kansas City – just a sleeveless (and sideless) top which showed off a large tattoo on her back just below the nape of her neck and another on her arm.

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          1. I don’t know, probably more Hanseatically cool? But maybe if they leave of the AC, it could get warmer in the course of the evening? Sorry, I guess the undignified fangirling alert is blinking brightly already.

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  9. The cast announcement for Dalinda has been changed to Mary Bevan on both TADW and Elbphilharmonie! Can’t say I’m too sad about it, although I’m sure Joelle Harvey would have been very good as well and hope she recovers soon.

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    1. I don’t know Harvey, but after the Carnegie broadcast, I am looking forward to hearing Bevan live!

      >

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    1. I so wish we could have swapped places – with the small venue an impromptu fangirling in the street, you would have been even happier than me. #heyijustshookhandswithprinanobigdeal

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        1. It really should have been you instead of me. And you would have come across smoother than me, which, frankly, is not a challenge. 😉

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          1. speaking of which, I am 3 hours into my review and still have 8 of 13 pages to go…

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  10. Oh, and Dehggi, I just see you’re going to catch it tonight as well? And then again at the Barbican? How cool! And I’m expecting a detailed account of any variations in SP’s hairstyle!

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    1. Sharp undercut on both sides with solid fauxhawk and a razor detailed back. Most people WISH they could pull this off that well.
      Outfit deserves an extra paragraph – evil volants and tube neck and tattoos and all.

      Liked by 2 people

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