Upcoming Liveblog: The Schwetzingen “Poppea” (2017) tomorrow


[Headwear, neckwear, shirtwear, nightwear… Emanuela Galli (Poppea) and Giuseppina Bridelli (Nerone) in Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea”, Schwetzingen 2017]

While we did sort-of liveblog this “Poppea” as it aired on May 7th, the timing was such that many of us could only catch bits and pieces of it, so it’s on the schedule for a more leisurely rewatch tomorrow night, May 26th, at 9 p.m. (UTC+2).

Continue reading “Upcoming Liveblog: The Schwetzingen “Poppea” (2017) tomorrow”

The Spoleto “Ariodante” (2007) Liveblogging Thread


Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for Handel’s “Ariodante” from Spoleto (2007).

Since, clearly, we haven’t yet outmaxed our “Ariodante” quote for this spring (Haller! DiDonato! Coote!), we’re adding Hallenberg to our liveblog list, in a staging by John Pascoe and with Il Complesso Barocco under Alan Curtis.

Cast List:
Ann Hallenberg (Ariodante)
Laura Cherici (Ginevra)
Marta Vandoni Iorio (Dalinda)
Mary-Ellen Nesi (Polinesso)
Zachary Stains (Lurcanio)
Carlo Lepore (King of Scotland)
Vittorio Prato (Odoardo)

Libretto: Italian (pdf).

Sound and Clouds and Thunder (25)

[Women leaders who get their wings cut by less qualified people of privilege, while fighting against patriarchal structures and power abuse: welcome to orienzalized Old Egypt, welcome to today.
Fiorenza Cossotto (Amneris) in the Judgment scene from Verdi’s “Aida”, NewYork/MET 1980s. – Clip with thanks to crewmantle.
PS. Those with cut wings? They will grow claws, and dig deeper.]

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Sound and Clouds and Thunder (23)

[On the importance of stars: If the road seems endless and your steps are faltering, look up. Which I don’t mean to sound quite so Hallmark, but what I definitely mean is that perspective matters. – Theodora Baka (Alceste) singing “Son qua stanco pellegrino” from Handel’s “Arianna in Creta” – Clip with thanks to thebarroque]

So we have survived a 100 days of 1461 days.

Feels much longer, doesn’t it?

The prospects of what power abuse and unsound decisions will likely lie ahead for the remaining 1361 are frightening. (as is the fear that we may become numb enough to accept things are normal. They are NOT.)

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Upcoming Liveblogs: Handel & Cavalli Baroque Double on Sun/Tue


[“Gay? As in merry?” – “No, gay as in yep-I-am. I figured between the dogs, outdoor sports, women-only bathing spaces and the white shirts/tunics, it was kind of obvious?” – Someone buy Diana a clue. (Also, it’s the 20 year anniversary of the Puppy Episode.)  Vivica Genaux (Diana) and Elena Tsallagova (Calisto) in Cavallis “La Calisto”, Strasbourg 2017. – Photo Credit: France3/Culturebox]

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Sound and Clouds and Thunder (18)

[Reasons to smile: Ann Hallenberg singing “Già presso al termine” from Veracini’s “Adriano in Siria”. – Clip, again, with thanks to jovi1715]

Another week, another reminder that nepotism and sexism are not normal and are, in fact, largely outlawed in some happy places – even if no one speaks up. And we need to speak up. Everyone’s side job: keeping democracy safe and up and running.

And what better way to energize than with some Ann Hallenberg?

There is so much stupendous technique and so much joy (also, foxiness) and beauty in this recording that it feels like a day at a mental health spa – just take the syncopic repetition as of 4:28!

Listening to Hallenberg, to me, always comes with an added sense of something being imminently and unrefutably right with the world.
Like the world is in balance, even when it is not. Perhaps it is a general Swedish mezzo thing because I also get this with von Otter (and sometimes with Ernman, too): their singing is a compass that gives us an aural assurance of the world being able to be in sync. And for a few precious minutes, it is.

Listening to Hallenberg these days signals, to me, hope. (and anyone of us who can should be heading to Antwerp to catch her “Agrippina”)

Continue reading “Sound and Clouds and Thunder (18)”