I am sure that it is to the delight of all of my readers that I have attained twenty years of age since my last post to you. My birthday was upon the twenty-seventh of December, and I spent it with my family celebrating Christmas Eve, for our original schedule for this event was altered due to a blizzard that presented itself to us on Christmas Eve afternoon. I am rather nervous about growing older, for it seems that life does pass me by in so many ways, but I remain content lest my readers should consider me an ungrateful wretch.
I do not wish to bore my readers with news of myself when I have so much that I could say in other matters, so I shall not, and I will proceed. In the world of opera, I must say that I greatly anticipate the Met's Live in HD presentation of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, and I hope to be in attendance of it at my local cinema. Renee Fleming and Susan Graham are my two greatest reasons for seeing it, but the whole cast make this a performance not to be missed. How did I ever become so obsessed with opera? I could think of many other obsessions that would be less fortunate for me to possess, so I continue with my adoration of such an elegant form of art. This production exposes such elegance splendidly.
I understand from Opera News magazine's website that tenor Rolando Villazon will be performing again in March. He is scheduled to perform in Vienna in a staging of Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, which offers us an excellent opportunity to see if he still retains his voice. If he does, and why should he venture a return to opera if he did not, do my readers think that he and Anna Netrebko will reunite as stage partners and opera's preferred stage couple again populate the stages of Europe? I wonder what the Met has scheduled for him in the near future.
Yesterday I unfortunately found another insult to the classification of classical vocal music, and the name of this newfound perpetrator is Filippa Giordano. I listened to her rendition of O mio babbino caro, and I was appalled at the aria. She ruined it. I need say no more than that, for I have sufficient faith in my opinion of this singer at least, and I offer my additional critique of her sound as a merit of my knowledge of this subject. Giordano sounds much like Sarah Brightman upon one's first acquaintance with her, but one quickly removes this first opinion when one delves deeper into the recording. At some points she belts the phrases for dramatic emphasis, and these sound more like screams than anything else, and at other times her voice sounds filled with too much air. If we are to treat her voice as that of a classical opera singer, which is a delineation that she has not refused to embrace, we must also include that her voice lacks body, and the orchestral arrangements that accompany her selections are infused with elements of popular music. Her setting of the Habanera from Bizet's Carmen easily comes to mind at the mention of this, and it is most despicable, but I dwell on this for far too great a length of time, and I shall remove myself from it.
Finally, I wish all of my readers a belated Happy New Year, and I pray that God blesses them with all of the desires of their hearts. I thank all of you for reading and for making my first year of blogging a memorable one!