The Salamanca “Poppea” (2006) Liveblogging Thread

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Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea” from Salamanca (2006), staged (?) and conducted by Rinaldo Alessandrini.

Cast List:

Fortuna: Monica Piccinini
Virtù: Eleonora Contucci
Amore: Anna Simboli
Ottavia: Raffaela Milanesi
Poppea: Laura Polverelli
Nerone: Stefano Ferrari
Ottone: Sara Mingardo
Drusilla: Roberta Invernizzi
Seneca: Antonio Abete
Arnalta: Martin Oro
Nutrice: Pino De Vittorio
Lucano: Luca Dordolo
First Soldier: Luca Dordolo
Second Soldier: Furio Zanasi
Valletto: Monica Piccinini
Damigella: Eleonora Contucci
Mercurio: Sergio Foresti
Seneca’s Students: Daniele Zanfardino, Luca Dordolo, Sergio Foresti
Liberto: Furio Zanasi

Libretto: Italian (pdf), Italian/English (pdf))

425 thoughts on “The Salamanca “Poppea” (2006) Liveblogging Thread”

    1. yes, cutting right to the important bits. who needs Fortuna bitching around if we all already know we’d go home with Ottone?

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        1. When the first five minutes are already the best of the night: story of this Poppea, and possibly of Rosenkavalier, too. 😉

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      1. Thank you!!!! I am really grateful for this, it seems I found a new favorite mezzo/alto. I never heard of her before. Any hints of her major performances available on dvd? I just heard her on yt with an aria of Anna Bolena in a Pido/Miller production somewhere in Italy in the 90ties, unbelievably beautiful in every sense!

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        1. i hope you’re referring to S.Mingardo? then i can give you a rather extensive list (below) 🙂 If not, please ignore the rest of this…

          though many thanks for mentioning her “Smeton”, i was completely unaware of this! I knew her mostly in early music, and she is extensively recorded on cd, and is in a few dvd that i know of. I think you might have across her as well if you saw the Ariodante with Kasarova (the puppet show) in Barcelona? She’s the Polinesso in that one, with the goatie.

          on dvd:
          Monteverdi L’Orfeo with Jordi Savall in Liceu, Cherubini Medea with Pido in Turin, Händel Aci Galatea e Polifermo in Turin, Händel Il trionfo del tempo e disinganno with Emmanuelle Haïm in Aix en Provence last year (on ARTE, 2016), Vivaldi L’incoronazione di Dario in Turin this year! (i saw it live! there’s a dvd release next year!), Händel Tamerlano at ROH, Vivaldi Gloria with Alessandrini, Händel Ariodante (with Kasarova and Bicket, that TV taping)

          cd:
          Vivaldi Juditha Triumphans, Vivaldi L’incolonazione di Dario, Händel Aci Galatea e Polifermo with E.Haïm and S.Piau, Vivaldi Armida with Alessandrini, Händel Messiah with Colin Davis, Händel Lotario, and one of my top cd’s: her solo Arie Madrigali Cantate

          She’s also well recorded on radio broadcast, two of my fav include
          Monteverdi Il ritorno D’Ulisse from the Beaune Music Festival in 2010 with Alessandrini and Händel Cesare (as Cornelia) with Alessandrini, Bologna, 2003

          Lastly, she’s also recorded with Accademia degli Astrusi, some really beautiful works including Vivaldi’s “Nisi Dominus”. Actually at this point, you can just search for her on youtube :-).

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          1. Thanks for the list, and I don’t know the Kasarova Ariodante yet, so that has first priority (as soon as I manage to leave Ottone for a while). Or should we put that on our live blog list?

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          2. Didn’t we plan to liveblog that one anyway?
            (are we meeting up this Sat.?) we could put that one first. The puppet Ariodante is pretty minimalist, but it is a good take to study singer expression in a er constrained setting.

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          3. I worry if it might be too early for Agathe 😉
            but for me, i *love* that, and it is really highlighting my “type”: my focus on body angles, because they’re all “tilting” and using small facial + hands expressions to get points across, in addition to musical phrasing. me *loove* that ariodante, so i’m all in 🙂

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          4. (We’re hiking again today, so I probably won’t get to post the alert until tonight or tomorrow)

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          5. ..and I was worrying, seeing the puppet approach, that it could become super-boring over time, but it seems it won’t be with your company!

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          6. it may seem a little daunting at first, but the setting really allows for in-depth analysis of small-scale phrasing and gestures.

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          7. i’d love to it to be on our liveblog down the line.. i’m also musing at the possibility that her Ottone works for you (and not at the entrance) because you didn’t hear a full Ottone from SPrina before? 😉

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          8. Hehe, maybe. But, apart form the label ‘Italian contralto’ both singers are very different, at least voice-wise, which makes it rather easy to just see both takes as completely separate versions? And it also shows that one can have more than one type on voices and vocal approach.

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          9. Thank you for this impressive list. I am ahamed to confess, that I knew of the Barcelona Ariodante, but only had ears for VK so far and did not have the nerv to follow this puppets show to the end. I captured the Aix Trionfo but did not watch it yet. Same for Tamerlano – mea culpa! I ordered DVDs of the Alto Rapsody and Aci Galadea… yesterday. To see the positive aspects: There are a lot of pleasures waiting 😉 and the summer will be full of excitement (Salzburg, Currentzis/Sellars, Crebassa, Dumaux etc)

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          10. Thadieu: just received the Brahms alt rapsody DVD from Lucerne festival 2014 with Nelsons conducting. Are you interested in a “working or test” copy? 😉

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          11. (oh, thanks Brigitte, but i have it! i captured it in fact, both video and the radio broadcast.. and i liked the radio sound so much that i merged it with the video.. that version i uploaded was sadly being striked down by arte… but not before someone else downloaded it and up it again. so if you stumble on a version on tube where there’s a female voice speaking at the end, that was my merge, now happily preserved. that person also puts in subtitles..)

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          12. let me know what you think. i ended up last night listening to it again in loop while working, it has a strange hypnotizing effect and just swept me up again… Given that i don’t understand German, i think it has a different effect because i only hear the music and the “phrasing” and expression, without really knowing fully the meaning.

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          13. …“listening“ to your conversation, so many interesting points. And I just want to step in on the „weak knees“ point, because for me, Mingardo’s voice is very special in that regard. I’m only just getting to know her voice better, yet, there are not many other singers who have the same profound effect on me on the physical level, (stomach fluttering, getting flushed, holding breath… you get my point) Now, I was just listening in to the Brahms extract on YT and spontaneously burst into tears, (OK, it’s Brahms, we have to take that into account), so that should come with a warning, too, and is maybe not so suitable as interview preparation :-). And, as you pointed out, the combination with the dress and long hair here is very interesting, because in general, women in very female attire practically cease to exist for me in the sense of romantic interests. So, the physical effect here must be a primarily vocal one, (we have already sorted out the „“priming“ effect of Ottone in fatigues to get interested in the first place).
            Maybe this does not make sense, but it seems to me she can incorporate very raw emotion into the basic „colouring“ of her voice, thus getting beyond means of phrasing, text delivery etc which is of course all excellent as well?
            Btw., I didn’t listen to the words, their meaning seemed totally irrelevant for me at this point, so much more interesting things…..

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          14. “At the beginning what got me in touch with Bach was not my voice but my piano-playing. However, when I started my signing career I wanted to develop that further because I was attracted by the music of Bach, Monteverdi and Vivaldi. In that period of music there was always an accent on what I thought of as the gravity of the voice and within that I found something that suited my own voice. That particular quality is largely missing in Italian music by the likes of Puccini and Verdi, so for me when it comes to that era the German repertoire is better for my voice and I like Brahms and Mahler who feature in my work in the concert hall.”

            excerpt from this nice interview on the occasion she was in London singing Tamerlano. This one is quite insightful for what she described above and her singing path.

            Agathe, i might come back to ask you more about Brahms later after your trip.. given i know nothing a priori but you seem to suggest otherwise?

            If i find the other interview (in Polish!!) i’ll drop here as well, it was also a very detailed one where she described her approach, her path, and her background.

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          15. Hey, what she says about Brahms suiting her voice similarly to early music is very interesting, because I have also noticed that other singers, usually at home in earlier repertoire sing Brahms as well, like Christiane Oelze or Monica Bacelli. So, apparently Brahms suits such voices. Thank you for linking the interview!
            The major fault about Brahms is, that he has not written an opera, otherwise, I think there is a lot of great music for you to explore, beautiful Lieder, for example. In general, very emotional music, sometimes quite heavy, so I like his not so heavy pieces best, like this (symphony No1, 3rd movement, very popular, very beautiful).

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          16. Brahms Lieder! We will be here all day!! Can’t wait to get home and read the interview.
            (Actually, I can wait a little. Guess where I am, thadieu, seated on the floor but without tortilla 🙂

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    1. you just set yourself up for lots of disappointment afterwards! 😉

      (I think I started with the Harnoncourt/Ponnelle Poppea – also Poppea! – which has a tenor Nerone…)

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    1. I thin I am getting enough the idea. Polverelli is warming up to it now, took a minute.

      But that very first impression: 1) why is there a GUY stepping from the house? Wrong. 2) Why is Polverelli not in red velvet and trousers pining after Ciofi Giulietta? Wrong,

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  1. the white-haired guard is pretty good, too. I like his approach.

    (this was a fun scene in the Guth staging at TADW – about the only one with the guards singing around actually brushing their teeth and singing through toothpaste froth)

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  2. That tenor singing as the guard, i think it’s also quite well known? let me grab his name…Furio Zanasi , and isn’t the 2nd guard Lucano in our most recent Poppea?

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      1. yes, I was about to say that she sounds a lot more Belcanto/Romantic than Early Music. But a mezzo Poppea is a nice choice. Because Mezzos.

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          1. funny, I think I imagine her, out of early music, more easily in Rossini than in Mozart.

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  3. nerone looks like the lost 4 brother from that “Brad Pitt is an 90s hair oaf pining after Julia Ormond and doing stupid things on the side” movie)

    …90s hair is no Drag King Hair.

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      1. yes. He has the best hair flip so far, though.

        Work with what you have, if it cannot be rolled up uniform sleeves…

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        1. whereas this is another Arnalta styled after an extra in an Almodovar movie. Is that a wig or a scarf? And is he a tenor? Or a low CT who also uses chest range? Interesting mix.

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          1. but his style of singing is really wearing on me. i remember increasingly fast-forwarding his part

            OHHHHH< here' comes Ottavia, please pay attention!

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          2. The Arnalta is technically challenged. The register switches don’t seem choices.

            Ottavia, on the other hand, has be spellbound within a mere minute.

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          3. you know, she does give me some ACA vibes. Something in using dynamic range to rack up stage intensity, or perhaps it is the other way around.

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        1. no, she she is generally billed as a soprano, but she has sung more than one mezzo range part – perhaps also something that makes me think of ACA.

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          1. (and we get the bonus of her acting!!! these are the moments i thought being an italian helps with phrasing in understand the minute nuance? where to drop quickly, where to sing a word sharply, where to draw it out, abrupt stop in phrase, etc..)

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          2. yes, definitely, and especially in Monteverdi when it is still so close to declamation. I also enjoyed that about the Schwetzingen Poppea.

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      1. now imagine i saw this, and then i saw the Boston earlier music festival version, where they wrapped both Nutrice and Arnalta head to toe and have them super tame moving at 1/2 speed (elderly).. not to mention the Goddesses also totally wrapped up in serene pose..

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    1. in what way? i *really* like her Ottavia, the moment she appears, i stopped all things and intently listen.. she phrases similar to S.Mingardo (difference is in voice timbre, texture…)

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        1. yes, because she can do empress, as we have seen in the Strasbourg Calisto. And she did it there in a 1950 dress and in housewife imaginary too.

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  4. Waving from (very warm) Denver, hope y’all are having fun! Having a cold drink before the slightly later show than we thought, still selling well which three cheers for that. Though I’m sure Mingardo in fatigues will be a much better option than silly white boy in same. Especially compared to Amazons. 😊

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    1. Nerone’s suit reminds me of the times men’s suits still had leg space to move and a break. I wish that would come back.

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        1. the jacket is horrible, and the pants are also too large, but in comparison to what is en vogue now, they don’t look like sausage peel at least, and they don’t stop at ankle length.

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        1. on the plus side, he is not wearing his jacket here.

          (and I demand equal opportunity: why do the tenors get their white shirts ripped off?)

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          1. why not cut out the middle CT then.

            (the tenor actually has a nice tone. Neither menacing not seductive, but not unpleasant.)

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      1. Poppea seems to have a hard time to let go off Ottone here? I hear her cursing, but I don’t see her walking away all that much.

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  5. oh, Poppea looking at Ottone and being too vain to just let me him go and playing him some more instead parading there… cold.

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        1. a very gentle/gentelmanly Ottone. Reminds me, in fact, of Mingardo’s contralto Ottone on the Handel Agrippina in Zurich.

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          1. Mijanovic, of course, but I will leave that comment uncorrected because it says a lot about this Ottone. 😉 – sorry about the heart attack.

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    1. i would be willing to skip to the Seneca-free future (unless Ottavia or Ottone lurk in the corners somewhere)

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    1. good plan, we need to clean tomorrow anyway.

      (and Valletto carries a lot better here, despite a pretty high speed – did they readjust the mic, or does this bit simply sit better for her?)

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        1. Also knows as “The shirt you didn’t really need to unbutton because it was see-through anyway, but points for dedication.”

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    2. but also here, they nicely switch the power balance – next thing you know she has Valletto backed against the pillar and calls the shots.

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  6. okay, Mingardo/Milanesi is some next level of stage energy, and here Ottone’s hesitancy and Ottavia’s ire are encapsulated extremely well.

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    1. now if only someone were still conscious to get you a cold drink, but I think we are not doing much better.

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          1. Drusilla’s reaction to the gun, though.
            I don’t think there has been much in psychological staging here, but she manages to sneak in bits.

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          1. okay so there have been a few, but I wouldn’t complain about more, either.
            (I also hope Haller keeps Cesare in her rep because I really want to hear/see that one)

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          1. at this rate my students will get a slide show in the morning, and no lecture!

            (can I make columns about pottery somehow?)

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          2. when I did my PhD, my go-to title on the blog was “Assyrian Pottery”, so I still refer to much of my work as pottery. (although I might have to reconsider, I just saw that Culturebox has a featurette up on Mireille Delunsch (Poppea to Von Otters Nerone in Aix) whom I hadn’t seen in a while and barely recognized, and who is also an expert in pottery works.

            Apopros Aix, this summer, I hope for Liveblog chances of the d’oustrac Carmen, and of Cappella Mediterranea with Cavalli’s Erismena.

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      1. apropos clothes, I think Arnalta stole her wig from the Vienna DonG. Can it speak? Could you hide a drawer full of kitchen utensils in there?

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  7. The band does a got job in getting out the fun of the music, but I agree they are sometimes a bit too loud. But that might be an acoustic thing as well

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    1. I’ve already suruved bling capri Poppea (Nerone/Poppea duets where the voices don’t cross are intrinsically WRONG) with hopes of now returning to Milanesi at 18:20.

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        1. and these little tension stretches on e.g. “laaaagrima”.
          Why doesn’t she burn down the place?! Why does she simply walk off without a fight?!!

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        1. She has been in a few Alessandrini recording projects – more Italian circuit, more concert repertory. I don’t get why she isn’t more known. Even apart from singing, she has really good stage skills.

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          1. it could still be “how well” one is heard in haus though? sometimes i don’t catch it until i can hear a singer in the haus to really understand why.

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          1. and then she is simply gone. Lately, I want to yell after all Ottavias “Come baaaaack!”

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          2. So this Nerone right here… sorry, but can I please have Schwetzingen back to make the ice cubes in my drink melt?

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  8. *hopefully checking each of the four people running out in fatigue shirts despite knowing that Ottone’s last scene is already over*
    *still being disappointed*
    *hopeless*

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    1. jeah, talk about anticlimatic finale.
      i recall coming out knowing very well Ottone & Drusilla’s music, followed by Ottavia, and confused why there’s this hype and the title “Poppea” 😀

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      1. (and then i showed up at a BEMF concert with Stray, *full* of knowledge i *know* Monteverdi’s Poppea… and flipped off the chair with D.Hansen’s Nerone’s music — i realllly can not handel his voice, it was beyond my nature)

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        1. and that was my path to this opera. In addition to the sterile goddesses in serene poses, and the gender-strict Arnalta + Nutrice (wrapped head to toe).. that was 1 year 2 mo worth of clueless until Nerone appeared on my radar (hence Poppea)

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          1. a long and winded road and — oooh, the cheers for Mingardo.

            (we may have to revive Agathe after that smile?)

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      2. oh, just look at this super fast “I son tuo, tua son io, mia vita sì…Sì”; and now compare it to the super slow and sensual take from Schwetzingen and… yeah, no competition there.

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  9. wait, does Poppea wave two members of the Chippendales into her new imperial quarters in the end when she has nerone distracted and he isn’t looking?!

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  10. It is such a pity she is not in many more productions, and how can people prefer CT voices, I don’t get it- But thadieu, I want all your fan insider knowledge! And so looking forward to Il ritorno!

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        1. Puzzling out common denominators is so much fun. I think I have an idea, but am still working on how to phrase it – something along the lines of a masculine-associated performance of power but interacting with something non-binary confined… but I may be completely off. Looking forward to reading your papers on the issue.

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    1. ps- since you asked.. here is my “fan insider knowledge” 🙂 .

      Before we all hang out here, i used to hold a “solo” show at my place where i just talked to myself and documented my musical discovery. Dehggi once commented she was impressed that I commented on my own post (haha), that she saw there were replies and went into a post and it was all me and myself chatting about music , hihi. But you get the gist. Unlike Anik who knew SM’s work since forever, I truly got into SM only beginning 17/Aug/2014, when i saw her Brahms Alto Rhapsody with Andris Nelsons at the Lucerne festival (and later i captured a moving interview she gave where she said C.Abbado was such a mentor to her that when he passed away she felt like pulling out of the concert, but decided to do it to honor him). In any case, the discovery was almost purely in concert settings.

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      1. ps- dropping 2 clips in particular: because her Italian singing was “making sense” to me automatically, i was exploring other languages as well (just by chance during discovery) and i think it different language is when you can hear more her “musical” phrasing. 1st sample: German. (that whole 1-hr documentary is worth sitting through):

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  11. oh, this has been fun and fatigues. (Thanks for skipping the Roman bath scene, though.) Good night/good day, everyone, and thank you for joining in. I’m about to fall asleep on the keyboard…

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  12. I’d like to continue to trail of “type” here (instead of going back to that Poppea with 800+ comments that my browser fails every other time to load 🙂 )
    And, just tentatively, not sure how long this will be.. just my thoughts and personal definition of “types”, likely already touching on so many of the points you all have discussed but I didn’t quite catch (there was a lot of ideas and words i didn’t have a grasp of).

    Types: i think i have 4 categories for this: 1. vocal expression type, 2. movement types, 3. “vulnerability” type, and 4. voice type. I went a bit deep (soul searching 🙂 ), for exactly what draws me in, and if i have to rank all my types, they go in the order i listed above. All these are extremely personal I’d say, e.g., what works for one as “effective vocal expression” might not work for others at all, or what is consider “effective movements” for one is not for others. Though I’d draw the distinction that this has not much to do with the typical “butch”, “femme”, “macho”, “pony-tailed”, etc. For me, it is really coming from the “honesty” level, the core balance of a movement or a portrayal. I’d use the 4 singers i find exceptionally effective for me as examples, specifically how i got into them:
    a. Kasarova: Romeo on radio recording, with static images on the clip, and visible translation from Smorgie
    b. Sara Mingardo: “Brahm’s Alto rhapsodie” concert, and her Polinesso in the puppet Ariodante.
    c. Antonacci: her “Tancredi e Clorinda” narrative, her Agrippina from Paris, and Rhodelinda from Glyndebourne
    d. Papatanasiu: Paris Mitridate, of course, and her Semiramide.

    Listed above are what drew me in to investigate and become “devout” fan.. Even though I listed (4) for vocal type above, i think it goes hand-in-hand with (1): that i can physically (my physical makeup) hear these singers very well, and I identify deeply with their vocal expression. I’m very (self) convinced that if these singers didn’t click for me on (1) (which requires 4 for physical makeup), regardless how well they wear a white-shirt or with a white-shirt or how they act, it would not stick. So that’s the most important “type” for me. Then, for the next two types (2) & (3), I’d quote myself here from the report in Munich in 2012, as to what majorily wired the brain to the VK’s “worshipping” level 🙂 :

    It’s all in the timing of the phrase when/what she does with the hands + body.

    This, i think, makes sense. If someone’s voice works for you on the vocal expression level, and their movements/balance emphasize it, the brain goes into overdrive. And here i don’t really mean the movement in a white-shirt setting. I think it works extremely well of course, but I’m really thinking in the sense of balance / trading with partners (or alone or with groups). So, i extracted my from my evidence bag my 2 examples 🙂
    Here’s one, from S.Mingardo’s Ottone, i recall identifying with it the moment i saw it, and immediately drew connection with what I saw in Munich (in the next comment, coz i think i can only hook up 1 link at a time). So, the movement shows hesitance, thoughts, vulnerability, sensitivity, perhaps not making a bee-line toward partner(?). I don’t mind bee-line at all! but i do enjoy very much “seeing” the thinking process, the fighting within inner self, the little self-doubt, the tentativeness, and how these movements are made to give you quite more layers into how the character is thinking. There’s the entire space and time on stage and it’s being made use of. Back to these singers in my “group”, I think i discuss a lot about their movements, momentum, balance, all hand-in-hand with the vocal expressions.

    We discuss of course, that there are certain things that click with us and we then can investigate further in the singers’ other body of work. This of course, can get also a bit biased: are we already so tuned in that we start “seeing” hints in everything.. and that we don’t see in others simply because we don’t spend the time? But as I argued in the post with Papatanasiu’s Alcina: it’s also their craft to draw us in. At the same time though, perhaps because I’m predisposed to search for these types, in particular expression & vulnerability, i lose interest quickly (self confession) if somehow the versatility is not there, that is you see “sameness” across their entire body of work rather than “deep thoughts”, flexibility, versatility. For VK and Papatanasiu, my level of deep appreciation was heightened when seeing their female roles, VK with La Belle Helene! and Papatanasiu with Semiramide. For ACA and Mingardo, it’s a flip :-), seeing them in male roles! (Nerone and Ottone).

    Finally, there was a discussion i think, regarding our “projection” and that we perhaps also viewing ourselves in the performers’ actions. I think that’s true with me: perhaps what I’m searching for is a display of vulnerability (both in self and in others) and thus when these performers click my box my antenna goes red-code! That’s likely when sometimes i can’t “identify” or “see” things from other perspective or what they try to bring across, due to my “preferences”, and thus categorize them as “not working for me”.

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    1. (oops, i think i messed up a “em” somewhere after the Munich quote, hence everything is in italic after).

      Here comes the 2nd example.
      And here I’d like to go 1 level deeper in the types (1) & (4) I mentioned:
      “voice type”: this is a rather hand-waving word, but I’d use VK as the prime example in the sense that she has many colors, shades, and dynamics, and the “shape” of the phrase that combines all of that and context. Not sure if i use the right “terminology”, but by “color” i mean when they go fff there’s a “ripping” sound to it if needs be, or the ability to go from ppp to fff in very short time, and drop back to ppp all within the same phrase, as well as being abrupt and stretch as needed. Whereas for Mingardo + ACA + Papatanasiu , the dynamics are just a little bit less (from what i can hear), and it’s more in the shaping of the phrase based on the use of the language, specifically Italian. Coincidentally, A.Hallenberg is mounting onto my list after that eye-opening experience at Carnegie hall as Vagaus.. so much that Stray and I spent *one* hour scratching our head post-concert asking “how did she do it?” and i proceeded to forget my laptop at the hall 😮 (and a whole story of me trying to break into it at midnight…, with flight out at 5am next morning and prep for meeting in San Diego pressing..)

      But to go back to the emphasis on “physical makeup” of a person very quickly: after Carnegie’s Ariodante i still can confirm i don’t hear C.Karg well, even after Anik, Agathe, and Dehggi went into details on her voice & technique. so there you have it, whether one can “hear” is already the main thing, never mind “see” 🙂 ).

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      1. Thank you for writing up all of this!
        ❤️❤️❤️
        So much to think about – I am tempted to ignore the lecture I have to give tomorrow morning and just do this for the rest of the day and tell my students it has lot to do with pottery…for… reasons… ?

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      2. just quickly getting back to the ‘colours’, I think it is mostly not so much used for changes in dynamics (referring to the ‘loudness’) but more in the sense of the ‘flavour’ a voice has, what it reminds us of, so examples of colour descriptions could be ‘bright’/’dark’, ‘warm’, ‘piercing’, ‘muscular’ and endless more possibilities of more inventive verbs. Mingardo as Ottone, for me, has a magnificent variety of colours, which she uses in line with the characters emotional state, in the beginning she sounds very soft, dreamy, in happy expectation, then there is a lot of grief and pining, or, in the Poppea scene a short breakout of fury mixed with desperateness as well (the ‘spietato’ monent).
        And yes, yes, yes, about how he uses language to shape phrases.
        Sorry, I’m not very coherent in this discussion, too much Ottone 🙂

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        1. ps2- yeah i couldnt bring that as clear across: there are 2 things: colors and dynamics, and it is great asset to have both and to combine them as needed. for eample sometimes you (I) hear singers with good range of dynamics but the color (and weight? shade?) remains too uniform to resolve (for the ears makeup)

          Funnily enough, i dont hear (resolve) S.Mingardo’s color as well as you described! and it gives me the same feeling when i hear you describing C.Karg’s voice. That s what i mean when i mentioned for me i could hear VK’s intensity (dynamics + colors) the best, and it is a bit less so for SM , MP, and ACA (for them ears)

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          1. again a good argument for how individual hearing has such an influence – VK has always been attacked for overdoing it, but this just goes to show that or some people it works just perfectly.

            In my case, i perhaps hear more extremes with VK, but I appreciate them for exactly that?

            but yes, the thing with good dynamics but uniform color… so much. And I get a but of this with Karg, and, after MP, also with Persson, and it also links to vulnerability: Because if you stay inside the color line at all times, you don’t take risks, and vocally, it is the little risks that, for me, create the vulnerability, or the actual space of communication where an artist interacts with a specific space at a specific time, and where it has to move beyond sheer beauty?

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          2. …and, thinking further about more ‘uniform’ voices (I had to read that part twice to get past the uniform association, haha), there are also cases, for me, where you very much like the basic timbre of the voice on an instinctive level, but the fact that colours don’t vary much prevents you from getting completely nuts about it? I think, for me, Anett Fritsch may be such a case. Mia Persson is probably a great artist, but she just so does not click my boxes on any level including those you described.

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          3. I’m still trying to figure out if it is the basic “timbre” I go for, or the way it is adapted (in colouring and dynamics) to the music situation, in any case it has a quality (maybe a lot of it ‘pining’) that leaves me quite defenceless (just listening to the Bach cantata). And yes, there is a lot of vulnerability in her voice, as in the acting.
            But so interesting, how the basic things we look for in a singer are very similar, yet we find them in the right way and dose in different singers (but how nice to find a common denominator in Mingardo!).

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    2. Thank you, very interesting, I wanted to reply in detail, but only just made it to the end, getting so caught up in the ‘example’ and now I will likely spend seminar day getting distracted about Ottone/Drusilla’s relationship (and the world clearly needs more columns, they are so useful :-)). More later!

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    3. Many interesting thoughts and I think a lot of it works more globally, at least I can find that the same is true for me in many aspects. Vocal expression type, yes, extremely important, it’s the main feature to transport a character’s feelings in an opera setting, making us connect, and I guess the difference between people who have different singer types, is just that the way of delivery or even simply amount of ‘expression’ that works effectively for us personally can be different. And expression interconnects very closely with ‘vulnerability’, because that is usually there in the singing as well as acting/Body language. Vulnerability, yes, certainly a very important point for me as well, I think I once talked about the ‘cuteness factor’ but I think ‘vulnerability’ describes it much better, thank you! (even when the example scene Ottone/Drusilla has a further dimension because he uses her to get over Poppea, but maybe he is not aware of this while his body is aware of it, or maybe he knows this is not an honorable way to act and that’s why he is hesitating, or is he really hesitatingly getting to like her?… )

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    4. I need to get back to this again, because the vulnerability point made me think a lot and makes so much sense. And I suspect this also links to why, for me, in opera, women (in trousers :-)) generally work better than men. Part of it may be the projection thing, and it makes sense that it plays a bigger role in an ‘artificial’ display of characters than in real life. But I think it also may be because woman are usually better in letting a character (including male heroes) be vulnerable. And in the rare cases that I am really much impressed by a performance of a male singer, it is often when they manage to break that rule (i.e. Pisaroni as Argante, who was fighting with his desire for Almirena, getting quite helpless in his conflict between what he could do and what is right).

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      1. YES!
        I want to reply to everything, at length and am still between classes (lengthy faculty meeting coming up tomorrow, though…)

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          1. But I think I need to get into more detailed vocal analysis for that (takes time) because the rest is pretty obvious isn’t it? On the outer level there is the sportive person in a position to help others (of course he is in the medical squad in my imagination, not running around shooting people) displayed by the uniform, while arms and wrists already tell, he is more vulnerable than the uniform wants to tell us. Then this very gracious way to move in that uniform in a combination of self-confidence and vulnerability. And finally that very direct transporting of emotion, by facial expression, but more so by the voice, because, as you said, some quality in it cuts straight though all rationality.
            …need to stop swooning, I’ve got a talk to prepare for a conference next week (what a coincidence there is Barcellona singing Tancredi in the area, cough)

            Liked by 1 person

          2. You organized that conference single-handedly, admit it 😉

            …and yes to everything Ottone!

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    1. YouTube is a treasure trove – thanks to the people who make these older recordings, often still from VHS, available.
      (Donizetti seems so wildly late for her… cannot wait to check it out)

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      1. ( i think it was the same for ACA: that in their early career in Italy everything was Rossini and Donizetti? I read she even sang Cenerentol! but this role was such really lovely, check out her eye glance, after the leaning on the wall…)

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          1. Bridelli also has a channel, that was where i heard her Sesto
            (and S.Mingardo also sang Ah mio cor 😉 , she gave me some idea on which soprano to cast for swapping voice as Ruggiero ..)

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          2. I think it’s a fan channel? But dedicated to her. I will have to check for the Bridelli one.

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