Alcina (16 January 2015, Moscow webcast)

Crucial to this concert performance: earrings are all the rage on Alcina’s island and Vorrei vendicarmi is so much better in leather trousers. Many thanks to chief Alcina-head thadieu for signalling it!

Alcina: Inga Kalna
Ruggiero: Vivica Genaux
Bradamante: Patricia Bardon
Morgana: Anna Devin
Oronte: Benjamin Hulett
Oberto: Alina Yarovaya
Melisso: Oleg Tsybulko
Conductor: Federico Maria Sardelli | Intrada Vocal Ensemble, State Chamber Orchestra of Russia
Moscow Philarmonic Society Webcast

Act I

earring stravaganza

L’isola degl’earrings (Morgana, Ruggiero, Alcina and Oberto)


Overture: not as warm without period instruments but good commitment from the orchestra

O s’apre al riso: here’s the London Oberto, singing Morgana; not bad; needs better zing and perhaps more support (?)

choir interlude: pretty good, a bit behind Sardelli? nice tone but not exactly happy-delirious

dance interlude: good, gentle, finally happy in the third movement

Di, cor mio: where’s Ruggiero?! Kalna’s singing it to no one in particular but she’s feelin’ it, nice floated notes, no amazing tone but very convincing singing

Oberto’s boring aria: quite nicely sung, good use of dynamics, supportive harpsi + cello; not so boring after all

Di te mi rido: great accompaniato but not very sarcastic in intention (maestro), VG into it for sure, needs more sarcasm, lots of coloratura to navigate – needs to be more expressive; rather neat vocal gymnastics on the last mancar (di fe)

well acted interplay between Morgana, Oronte and Bradamante

E gelosia!: Bardon rocking it in leather’n’boots (how could any Bradamante have done it any other way before?!), nice cello on merce before the da capo

Semplicetto, a donna credi: very playful orchestra, more projection needed from Mr. Oronte, nice thick tone but I’d like more zing, lotsa mugging to the camera which I liked, pretty neat support from orchestra on che si mira, che sospira.

Si son quella: here’s where the battle of the earrings starts, beautiful cello, sensitively done by Kalna

La bocca vaga: not bad, VG of course into it. Mum came in and I asked her if she could tell what the mood of this aria was. She thought Ruggiero was laughing at Bradamante and Melisso because they believed in love.

Ruggiero/Bradamante/Morgana recit: explaining to my mum the relationships between the characters = priceless:

me (pointing at singers): she (Morgana) just fell in love with her (Bradamante). She’s thinking Bradamante is a he, because she’s disguised as a man, but Bradamante is a she even though she’s singing lower than Ruggiero – I mean she (VG), who’s singing a he.
mum: the synopsis must be longer than the opera

Tornami a vagheggiar: lovely, gentle, good acting from Devin (she put out a hell of a lot of energy throughout), nice da capo/winds mix. The public loved it so much they got their clap on before the orchestra finished 😉

Act II


Bradamante: I’ll rip out her throat!


Ruggiero’s omg, I been duped sorta-aria: good confusion from VG, great “reality check” feel from the strings

Pensa a chi geme d’amor, aka Melisso’s badarse aria: abandonata! crudel, da te (you know you want to sing it); not bad, nice tone, maybe needs more darkness, lovely accompaniment the low strings

Ruggiero freaks out some more when Bradamante reveals her identity – un novelo incanto?! – VG is good at confusion

Vorrei vendicarmi: orchestra needs more venom, Bardon’s trousers mean business, neat detail on coloratura, heartwarming in the B section, propely venomous on repeat

Mi lusinga il dolce affetto aka, the power of ooh-oohs: kinda great (does this one have a B section? it’s sad throughout; ok, it’s where Ruggiero gets a bit more manly – not that emphasised here), cool kitchen sink ornaments, lovely pianissime. I’m not much of a VG fan but she had my complete attention here. I was generally much in favour of her ornaments throughout the evening.

Ama, sospira: great violin, internet fail for the rest of it 😦

Ah, cor mio: thank god it’s a long one! My connection reconnected about 1/3 into it. IK knows how to sing and make it unforgettable. Great job negotiating the rollercoaster of moods, really gorgeous per ches (I stopped breathing along with her), vivid pause between the end of the B section and the realisation that she’s lost him. Has she sung Vitellia? I want to see/hear more of her in these kinds of dramatic roles of the lyric repertoire.

Oronte’s second aria: err, I needed a bit of breather after that marathon of emotion…

Verdi prati: solid but didn’t make as much of an impression as Mi lusinga. I guess I hadn’t got my bearings after Ah, cor mio. But then:

Alcina is shattered/majorly pissed off, aka Ombre pallide: dear god, IK can definitely sing/keep your attention. Ah, cor mio x 2. Major waterworks chez dehggi into the bowl of homemade potato salad (hey, I was out all day and made it home 5min before the show started). Too many great arias, too little time to get one’s breath, Mr. Handel. You expanded on the mad bit from Furie terribilli for the furious part, didn’t you?



Very well drilled orchestra, great timing.

Credete al mio dolore: lovely cello accompaniment

Un momento di contento: quite a lovely-bittersweet rendition of one of my favourite Alcina arias. But then I kinda like ’em all.

Ma quando tornerai: clipped, venomous A section = great, reminds me a bit of Auger’s version. But generally speaking, IK reminds me (in her stage manner) of Roschmann.

Sta nell’Ircana: very quick tempo and the horns are modern (maybe for the better) but neat ornaments (although not the last one) from VG; vocally she needs more power. I like that she’s definitely into it.

All’alma fedel aka Bradamante’s one boring-ish aria: Bardon “the redeemer” makes it very neat

Me restano le lagrime: slightly more subdued, still vintage IK Alcina

choral interlude: neat

Barbara!: girl has ‘tude, nice projection when needed

Non e amor ne gelosia: hells yea, really good meshing the three of them, not enough applause for this exciting trio done right.

I had a ball. I don’t know that it was the best Alcina ever (not my favourite voice for Oronte; the tempi felt a bit funny on occasion, sometimes too quick, sometimes too slow, Ruggiero needs a bit of tweaking as does Morgana) but I couldn’t tear myself from it. In conclusion I think it’s officially my second favourite opera.

Like I said, I was very impressed with Kalna’s interpretation – there are so many sides to Alcina and she was on it time and again – Bardon’s directness in singing and interpretation and Genaux’s ornaments and Mi lusinga. As soon as it ended I wanted it to start over. Luckily, there’ll be more in February 😀

About dehggial

Mozart/Baroque loving red dragon

Posted on January 17, 2015, in baroque and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. epic failure on my attempt to wake up at 11am for this broadcast… i finally got just before “Sta nell’Ircana”, thought it was fun but true she needs a bit more power, but i don’t think power is her strength but rather flexibility. lasted until just before “barbara!”, then fell asleep, then up again for trio.. finally up one last time to see if the soloists joined in with finale chorus, they didnt. quality of video was great on my screen, lost internet in and out of “All’alma fedel” but managed the first section to get impression: i like Patricia Bardon’s dark tone! (but would like a bit more expressiveness…, was too sleepy to check out boots!! leather you said?)

    hilarious commentary, love the synopsis tackle 😀

    “Oberto’s boring aria” : hey it’s actually my favorite of his arias, i still remember getting goosebumps every time the violins make entrance in the Wien radio broadcast!

    “Ama, sospira”: absolute criminal to lose internet connection during this! It’s my fav Morgana’s aria!

    i go check if they leave it up for re-watch, else will wait for yt :-), did manage to grab the rest after i woke up including trio

    • ps-i i love the screen cap! girl power! (didn’t notice earings, might have been too sleepy)

    • ps- i back again, armed with clip, not of “entrance violins” but “exiting violins” 😀 . actually the whole scene was very touching in Wien, his best aria for sure, the Japanese kid rocked singing it too. i think something about the way both kids sing, very straight forward in tone, quite different than that in the voice of a soprano, thus conveying innocence + loss more effectively (to my brain)

    • shame you didn’t get up on time, it was good. The whole earring started with Alcina’s, which I liked. Then I noticed all the ladies beside Bardon sporting large dangly earrings as well. Btw, I really liked Bardon’s outfit, even beyond the trousers and boots (I think the trousers were leather but I’m not going to bet).

      I think you’re right about VG, maybe Ruggiero isn’t the best – emotionally – for her. She could try Ariodante if she hasn’t yet.

      • of course she did ariodante loooong time ago, that was how i learned about the opera actually 🙂 . But i don’t disagree that emotionally she could capture Ruggiero’s “nasty” side (sorry but i will always have the image in head of VK heckling poor Bradamante around on stage prodding fingers poking face gurgling chest tones, just down right nasty :D) . It’s interesting as you noted, Ruggiero has many facets, nasty, puppy-in-love, confused, tender, macho, not easy to portray the entire array.. Of course i missed the last Alcina run with JDD + Coote + co that everyone was talking about so still only have Wien in head..
        ps- i did remember like Bardon’s pink tie-dye-like shirt + tightly fit leather-like trousers!! before i noticed her voice 😀

  2. You are a rascal Dr T! I heard IK at the Barbican with VK and the Japanese kid. I enjoyed her singing but found her rather matronly, especially when it should have been Harteros. Minkowski and band were spectacular.

  3. Yea, the heckling was one of the funniest things on that DVD. Ruggiero is fairly complex, I agree. He’s a lot less shallow than he might first appear. I sympathise with his predicament as explained in Verdi prati.

  4. just saw someone posting this entire thing up now here.

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