“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!

Continue reading “Vienna 17/18 (and some Munich)”

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)”

White Shirt Emergency Support (3)

[Okay. It’s done. Time to put on the armor and sneer in contempt at the level of idiocy and incompetence on display (why, yes, I do feel like being petty today). – Joyce DiDonato (Romeo) in Bellini’s “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”, Kansas City 2013. – Photo Credit. Cory Weaver/K.C. Lyric Opera]

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White Shirt Emergency Support (2)

[Oh look – live footage from Capitol Hill, as the allegories of Desolation, Despair and Depression assemble to commemorate one of the unfiner moments in history. And if I am to make through today without live-conserving my liver, I have to rely on the most blinding moment of beauty and truthfulness and godness that 2016 had to offer for me. – Myrtò Papatanasiu (Sifare), Petricia Petibon (Aspasia) and Agnès Aubé (Older Lady-in-Waiting) in Mozart’s “Mitridate”, Paris/TCE 2016]

Continue reading “White Shirt Emergency Support (2)”