Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Magdalena Kozena Singing Vivaldi? Sounds Like a Winner To Me!

BBC Music magazine has announced Magdalena Kozena's new recording of arias by Antonio Vivaldi to be their top pick of the new releases among the category of opera recordings for the month of September. Having heard her sing Lascia chi'o pianga from Handel's Rinaldo, which is featured on her disc entitled Ah, mio cor!, I should think that this recital should be excellently sung. If you are interested, you can listen to excerpts of it by clicking here. One may notice that Kozena's voice sounds a little lower in this sample than Cecilia Bartoli's if we may compare the two's Vivaldi recordings. Would you actually believe that some reviewers on Amazon said that Bartoli did grave injustices to Vivaldi's works? My opinion is that if he were here today, I do not think he should mind her recording even if the arias were misinterpreted, and I do not think they were. Bartoli has always struck me as a singer of innate musicality and very erudite in her research of music in historic context, but I digress. To return to Magdalena Kozena, the mezzo soprano from the Czech Republic is married to conductor Sir Simon Rattle, who is frequently performing with her in the concert hall and on disc. Rattle is supposed to conduct at the Met soon, so let us hope that Kozena is part of that engagement. I should like to see her in a Handel opera, at least something from the Baroque era, for that is where she is at her best in my mind.

If I may remove myself from the subject of opera for the present and alight on the topic of my personal life, I should like to mention that Poteet's production of Fiddler on the Roof ended much too soon for my liking; nevertheless, I have plans to be in Steven Schwartz's Children of Eden this November and December, and I am excited that I was asked to do it. From what I understand of it, it is a difficult show vocally since the ensemble has to split into nine vocal parts in one song in particular, but I am unacquainted with it otherwise. I also have aspirations for doing the musical version of Little Women in the spring, but I am not sure that I will be cast in it. Poteet is producing High School Musical next summer, and I do not think I want to do that show. I may be asked to do it since there are few young men who want to audition for it, but if I am not asked, I think I shall abstain.

Here it bears mentioning that after Fiddler on the Roof ended, I promptly shaved my beard off of my face and cut my hair, both of which were becoming increasingly annoying to me. On July 24th I had a wonderful surprise awaiting me when I went to a friend's birthday party. A dear friend of mine who moved to New York City more than a year since came back to Oklahoma City for a visit of all of her former haunts and acquaintances. Not knowing the proper rules of decency in such a situation, I approached her upon my recognition of her face after she had seen our show that evening. I greeted her in the kindest manner, and she eagerly returned my salutation with an embrace. When I arrived at the party, which was accomodated by a local restaurant, I was informed of her presence there, so I, unaware of the dictates of propiety concerning the matter, went to her respective table and inquired whether she would spare me some few moments in conversation before she departed if this were completely commodious and agreeable to her, to which she replied that she certainly would do so. Therefore, I was surprised when she visited my table some ten minutes later before she greeted anyone else and held discourse with me. As friends are wont to do, we spoke on all of the important developments that had taken place in our lives in the interim since we had last entertained the pleasure of seeing each other, which made for interesting dialogue between us.

I beg the gracious forgiveness of my readers if I have rambled incessantly without thought to the patience of the aforementioned audience, but I was desirous to include something in laud of God's providence, for even when we think that a desire of ours is beneath the care of God, who must mange all things in the universe, He never neglects the opportunity to show us that the opposite is true. I am immensely thankful to Him for maintaining my relationships with friends and acquaintances who have removed themselves from their former proximity to me. Thank you for perusing my posts.


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