I don’t talk enough about Rossini (and even less so about La cenerentola), so le’t rectify this a bit today:
Considering I think JDD owns this role, I was very, very impressed with Semmingsen’s extra playful approach here. Wonderful handling of that hair curling coloratura 🙂
So now let’s have Non piu mesta again, also in outdoors conditions:
edit: but since I’m of the moar mezzos mindset, how about Bartoli for the final?
I actually listened to most of Nina, o sia La pazza per amore last Wednesday but then real life kept intruding. Anyway, it’s of its time and if you like that time chances are good you will like it. It’s sung by Bartoli, JK (you know you always wanted to hear him supported by… bagpipes) and Laszlo Polgar = the singing is good. By that and by their good quality choir you can also tell it’s from Zurich. That the recits are spoken (to good effect) is another sure sign. In fact there are recits but there is also spoken dialogue in the libretto.
Those of us who enjoy those knighly Tancredi/Ginevra di Scozia choruses have something else to rejoice by. They were also of this time (1789).
Those of us who find Paisiello occasionally ponderous have to sit through a few of Nina’s very (very) long ariosos, one of which reminds me of Sesto’s lament at the end of act I of Tito (and since Bartoli’s Sesto happened within memory it feels just like that – except Nina isn’t about to stab anyone, she’s merely hyperventilating over Lindoro (there’s always a Lindoro in Italian buffa)). Upon further investigation this turns out to be… an interpolated Mozart aria. As you do.
The ariosos are actually rather interesting but did I mention long? Ok, Nina has a point, because the entire opera is based on her denial of the fact that Lindoro is, in fact, dead. These days we wouldn’t be laughing at situations like these, so the question is, is this really a comedy in 2016?
…only Lindoro is not dead after all. Yes, dear reader, we’re meant to (?) laugh at this poor woman’s breakdown only to find out that her lover, whom she (thought she?) saw being killed, is alive after all. Relieved laughter ensues. But we get to hear a lyric singer get all dramatic within their fach’s comfortable limitations so not all is lost.
La Bartoli (here sounding surprisingly light and bright) sometimes simply nails it.
Recently I felt like writing about arias so it occurred to me I should have a category dedicated to moments where a singer’s rendition of an aria has stopped me in my tracks. This is why we listen, innit? So here it is: …and then I heard that, (predictibly?) inaugurated with a high octane Rossini aria.
The most important reason why I like a singer is the voice. Interpretation and technique come next, with acting and looks in third and fourth place. There are very proficient, soulful and intelligent singers out there to whom I don’t listen all that often because I don’t like the sound of their voice very much. Yet every once in a while a singer whose voice I don’t normally like goes out and surprises me with a gorgeous rendition of an aria (or maybe of an entire role) that brings out something simply beautiful and moving within their voice. It’s an enormously satisfying moment and it has on occasion completely changed my mind about a singer.