About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Now the confusion IS complete,..

not only on the operatic side but also,
so I heard, on the Aeros side.

Who lost BIG to the Bulldogs, who bit out whole chunks-which included Hackett, Gillies and more.  La Morte d'Aeros?
Well, not exactly, it IS only one game, albeit a big disappointment for the fans who believed in miracles and another sweep?
On the other hand the Binghampton Senators did get their sweep!
And swept the upstart Checkers right off the board!
So now THAT will be music to the ears and eyes of trusty fans of Brust and Locke... y'all remember them, don't ya?
'nuf said about Hockey for now.

And the confusion about the plot (what plot-really) in Il Trovatore is still eminent.
You take a tenor, a soprano, a bariton, an mezzo,various chorus, prominantly male,
and you get Il Trovatore.
Why this opera IS so bewitching to me?
Well, for one it IS the music, stirring, pasionate, lyrical, solemn.
Parts are sooo hummable, and parts are so ....well, hummable.
For another are the voices. All 4 protagonists must be able to sing well, sing it with passion, sing it with feeling and belief.
Even if they don't really get it, the convoluted plot, I mean. And that one is.
Believe me, convoluted to say the least.

You have a witch who curses a child, who dies.
Whose father  then kills the witch, who adjures her daughter, Azucena, to revenge her.
Who does by abducting one brother of the dead child and in momentary confusion throws her own son into the flames, but then raises the abducted child, Manrico, lovingly as her own.
Meanmwhile the brother, Count di Luna, keeps looking for the witch's daughter, also believed a witch.
The Child Manrico, meanwhile grows up to become The Troubador, who fights against the Count. His voice has 'bewitched'  Lenore, who has fallen in love with him, while she is being desired, and courted, by Di Luna. She vows to enter a convict rather than give herself to Di Luna, IF she can't have Manrico.  Who was injured during a  battle with Di Luna's forces. As soon as he hears that about the convent rushes to her to take her with him. And so he does, but...soon he hears that his 'mother' Azucena is imprisoned by Di Luna, and rushes to her side.  Now both are in prison.

Lenore, to save her beloved, agrees to give herself to Di Luna, but before she does Di Luna will have to release Manrico. He agrees. But Manrico will not leave Azucena, who now tells him in her confused state of mind the story of his being. Lenore, takes poison, and dies in Manricos arms. Manrico IS executed.

Azucena screams at Di Luna, that he actually killed his own brother and then dies herself. 
Bodies do litter the stage.
And Di Luna is left with only his hair to tear out in anguish.

Now you tell me .. is this convoluted and confusing, or not?
The saving grace for this opera IS the music, the singing and ..
well, the music and the singing! 
And in this Met production the oh so, manly chorus members singing the Anvil Chorus...;-0!
It is some of the most beautiful and subdued music, and some IS stirring!

And the 4 singers at The Met did it justice.
Dolora Zajick is a fierce Azucena. She has the range to sing soft floating high notes to gutsy chest tones, all projected 9n an almost viscerally style.
Zajick and Alvarez-The Metropolitan
Marcelo Álvarez's lyric voice gets stronger as the opera goes on. He is not really a true Verdian tenor.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Count di Luna, with warm tone, great visual presence and beautiful clarion sound, makes Di Luna one elegant aristocrat instead of the ususal 'nasty' avenger.
Hvorostovsky and Radvanovsky-The Metropolitan
Sondra Radvanovsky as Lenore is beautiful, and has stage presence. Not having a dramatic soprano she does not quite sound as big as the role requires, instead she often sings with soft, breathyness. And the chorus is doing well, vocally AND physically, especially in the Anvil chorus :-). The stage is done in a very Spanish-Goya type fashion!
Gianandrea Noseda conducts the orchestra well overall.

Anvil Chrous Males ... photo The Metropolitan!

And here are some excerpts by other well known singers to give you the flavor of Il Trovatore.


operalover said...

You would have me confused with this opera plot, if I had not seen it myself.
A 'very manly' chorus-such a good description.

artandhockey said...

Il Trovatore does take some time to come to grips with the plot, doesn't it?
Thanks for reading my blog.