[Made it to Friday! Mood: Valkyrie.
– Smash the patriarchy, and smash this early morning meeting with the faculty advisory board, where tenured people bitch about equipment and recognition, while the rest of us counts the months until our fixed-term contracts run out without chance of renewal because this very board decided that they do not want to encourage people to seek tenure. Burn ’em, and get new cheap PhD students instead, and then burn those, too! – Ride of the Valkyries, Wagner’s “Die Walküre”, Valencia Nuremberg 2014.]

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“Qui d’amor, nel mio linguaggio”: Don’t plagiarize it.

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Nice review. If you want to know why it feels familiar, you know where to go (or, my recent English Concert “Ariodante” review has found stunning similarities (minus the fangirling, and really, that’s taking all the fun out of it) in the one posted on OperaToday, and I’m not amused by it).

Tonight, we’ll be doing an impromptu session on structural plagiarism, which, for some of my students, is a concept that is hard to grasp.

Structural plagiarism is if you don’t cut-and-paste directly, but just steal thoughts and structures, specific details or catchphrases from something and use them, deliberately refashioned here and there, as your own work. My students are usually baffled that this can be recognized and called out, but let me give you a perfect example:

Her timbre is incredibly rich and beautiful, though it is never just about beauty. Her voice is a Mahler’d ray of sunshine, bronzen and burnished and deep, joyful in a way of won through anguish. There is that rhapsodic slant that always, and more than in any other singer, reminds me of Fassbaender, not only in tone, but in how she approaches tone as a narration. […] her voice struck me as the serene and the lamenting in perfect balance. She still has that edge of bold recklessness in there, but also so much more gentle nuance.

These are the first lines I wrote on Alice Coote’s singing in my “Ariodante” review. Note the cluster of adjectives (in bold). And now have a look at this:

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Continue reading“Qui d’amor, nel mio linguaggio”: Don’t plagiarize it.”

Vienna 17/18 (and some Munich)

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While the TADW 17/18 announcement doesn’t even have a publicized date yet, the Staatsoper did hold its press conference yesterday, which I would have missed even if livestreamed (was it?) because of conferences of my own.

Given that it is the Staatsoper, I commend Meyer for programming a few things off the beaten mainstream path (and for hiring Susanna Mälkki to conduct one of them). My main question of “But the Ariodante?!” has been answered: Sarah Connolly.

Yaaaaaaaaay! Way to score a lead with Vienna Staatsoper in one of her signature roles.

Let’s hope the winter won’ t be too hard and long because that will be a long couple of days in the standing room queue!

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