ROH Spring Season and London Handel Fest General Sale

Yours truly’s purse has taken a heavy hit today as these two fine opera purveyors have decided to start their General Sale on the same day. Luckily Wigmore Hall’s is on 5 February (whew). Here’s what I got:


Boris Godunov
Lucia di Lamermoor

London Handel Fest

Ariodante – my demands are few: Dopo notte and a good Polinesso. Let’s hope so!
Maria Ostroukhova recital – anyone who includes La bocca vaga in their recital has my attention.
Berenice“She (Berenice) has her sights on the Macedonian prince Demetrio. But he loves Berenice’s sister Selene,” – my hope is we’ll get a nice mezzo-countertenor duet out of this. In any case, looking forward to Michal Czerniawski.
Elpidia (pasticcio) – Opera Settecento returns with some of our local faves

Alexander Balus was so overpriced I had to let it go. The prices seemed high in general, but the festival offers discounts for booking 3+ events.


About dehggial

Mozart/Baroque loving red dragon

Posted on January 19, 2016, in 20th century, baroque, basses, donizetti, mezzos & contraltos, royal opera house and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 111 Comments.

  1. Nice selection!

  2. Sadly no, not this time. My next opera trip is to see Benjamin’s Dream of the Song and then Written on Skin at the Barbican. Are you going to either of those?

    • I didn’t like Written on Skin and I don’t know the other one.

      • I didn’t like Written on Skin at first but it’s growing on me now, albeit slowly. I felt I was stuck in a rut of just liking opera from a particular era and I want to experience contemporary opera. I’ll let you know if I make it to the end!!

  3. d*mn, i was sooo hoping ariodante close to liverpool, ack.. but it’s all local talents? have never heard of any of their names.. they’re staging this in toronto soon with Alice Coote and Varduhi Abrahamyan!

    • VA seems to be cornering the market on Polinesso 😉 she’s a good one, too. I’d so go if I were there.

      Yes, these are definitely local talents, even I haven’t heard of any!

      • VA: i kept getting her confused with M.-E.Nesi for some reason! but seems she’s always tasked with the low voice in Händel, yay! she was the cute Bradamante in tie to M.Ernman’s Ruggiero a couple years back in Zürich.. but i somehow cant remember if i have heard her in any complete operas!
        Maria Ostroukhova: Her name sounds quite familiar for some reason, must be your review of Poppea 1.2 yr ago? “Voglio di vita uscir”: melikes! have been listening on ends.. has been the earbugs the last 3 nights! i won’t tell where i first heard it 😉

        • yea, I remember that jaunty tune! 😉 MO was Ottavia in the clever Poppea I saw here in London, yes.

          I just read about that Zurich Alcina and it sounded a bit… let’s say ME’s antics are not my thing.

          • her tap dance finale was quite fun (i love those ballet boys!) I re-listened to a couple of clips of CB’s Alcina a while back and remembered liking them the 2nd time better than the first.. but yeah, i think we had a discussion once re. ME and trousers (oy, suddenly i developed a wish for ACA as Ruggiero! with dreadlox!!)

            • Ok, here’s how I would like ME: standing there looking hot, no tapdance and no opening her piehole. But that would defeat the purpose of singing/acting 😉

              I have that Alcina somewhere and never made it through (I think the recording was also poor or something technical didn’t help).

              ACA as Ruggiero is an interesting idea, dreadlox or no dreadlox 😉 I was humming La bocca vaga in the shower earlier and then it somehow went into Bella sorge la speranza… But how about her as Alcina?

              • a bit harsh? 🙂 . she (ME) has her way of doing things and has her audience. I do occasionally enjoyed her singing (e.g., that Agrippina in Brussels in 2000, i was quite amazed how well she sang). I might have my opinions.. but have never seen/heard her live, and Purity who had seen this particular Alcina had some really nice things to say about how the whole show fitted together with ME contributing to its success (and when not knowing, i keep mind open to what madam Purity recommended 🙂 , and i love dancing! ).
                ACA as Alcina! yes! interesting i haven’t thought of that.. though i really enjoyed her Vitellia. too bad she abandoned Händel so early.. but since she’s suddenly singing Purcell now, there might be a chance hopefully.. there was an interview (in French) earlier last year where she mentioned she’d continue to sing Monteverdi.. then talked about her fav Poppea production (the super dark Bologna one) and mentioned casually exploring Nerone’s psychology.. (oh how i’d love to see her analyzing Ruggiero, can’t separate this from lox for some reason!) JDD sang Alcina so clearly it’s within ACA’s range.. perhaps no-one has approached her yet re. the role? ( i still secretly hoping someone will also approach her re. Orfeo!!)
                – shower: hum a bit louder, wasn’t it how R.Viz..something.. was discovered? 😉

                • heh, he’s another one who sounds better in the shower 😀 if anyone discovers me it’ll be true what Callas fans keep saying about opera going down the drain 😉

                  yea, ME was good in that but otherwise not my thing at all and that dance routine she does in EVERYTHING got old really fast.

                  have you heard ACA’s Tornami a vagheggiar? Not the right voice yet I like it a lot!

                  hehe, I just found out she also sang Parto in that recital. Unsurprisingly not a whingy Sesto. Like with Romeo, though, I think she sounds a bit too girly.

                  I would go if she sang Monteverdi again somewhere.

      • darn it, i melt again.. something about her voice, gets me every time! i like that Parto muuuuch more than Tornami a vagheggiar actually! the first “mio”, the way she descending the scale, making it dark.. (i’ve had my share of live “parto”, and besides VK and a few others.. it’s often you have this on-the-light-side re. heft.. and when it comes to that, i like her tone much better than the typical soprano/light mezzo sound..)
        (may be i have to move this over to some fangirl post instead of hijacking this :D, but since we’re on the subject, here’s also my general “impression”, esp while listening to “ornami a vagheggiar” (and “intorno all’idol mio…“): there’s often a lack of coherent “rhythm” and even the more-than-once occasions of off-pitch, but i think that’s why i really like it, it’s very “real”, makes one (me) paying attention to the point of the entire phrasing, vulnerability, raw emotion, a host of other things.. )

        it’s funny to check out those 1990s recitals, her rep was all over the place 😀

  4. Did you get Damrau in Lucia? You will have to tell me how she is! I heard her in Traviata after the children and I was SO disappointed….
    Re: Ariodante, I’m going to Amsterdam this weekend, Sarah Connolly as Ariodante and Sonia Prina as Polinesso!! Same production as in Aix en Provence. Excited!!

    • sorry to barge in.., Amsterdam Ariodante, woow!! (i heard Damrau on a live radio broadcast also as Violetta, she was very good!)

    • oooh, that great production! I’ll be curious to read about it 🙂

      I liked her Violetta two years ago. Why were you disappointed?

      • Damrau as Violetta sounded very out of brearh to me 2 years ago. Maybe a bad night, but she sounded like she was struggling. Breathing every other note. I am a bit obsessed by singers breathing though.
        But do let me know about her Lucia. I will post my review of Aruodante on my blog next week 🙂

        • I’ll keep an ear out for elephant breath 😉 I like Damrau so much as an actress I might have an easier tome getting over certain vocal shortcomings (she’s not my favourite soprano voice).

          To be fair my reason for going to see Lucia is her, I’m not the biggest Lucia fan. Though it would be interesting to see Kurzak as well…

  5. I translated into English the review I wrote about Traviata 2 years ago, if you want to read it. Here it is!

    While translating it I realized that I actually liked Damrau a lot. I just was a bit disappointed, not a lot. 🙂

  6. Now I am scared of “La bocca vaga”…sitting here and thinking “What’s the catch?” 😉

  7. Hm, I agree with that, though I’d say I see it as a mad scene (especially the B section with a huge reference to “D te mi rido semplice stolto”).

  8. ps- sorry i failed to credit you fully for some of your original ideas here that mapped into my opera dream/wish list..
    but i’m here trying to find out which comment section you posted the whiteshirt polished tank

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