Ahimè Aida

Ahimè Aida

Sondra Radvanovsky as Aida and Scott Hendricks as Amonasro in the Canadian Opera Companys Aida 2010. Photo by Michael Cooper.

The entertaining Sturm und Drang about the new Aida, which went on for a while on the COC’s social media, seems to be subsiding. Of the numerous hilarious expressions of outrage, one struck me as a perfect tag line for this blog. Going once, going twice, adopted: If Verdi had resurrected and seen what you did, he would have cursed you and died again, by one T. T.

News from the Radvanville: After Aida, Sondra Radvanovsky will be Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera at the Lyric Opera of Chicago starting November 15. She will be back at the COC for a recital on December 14. Here’s a really good in-depth interview in which she discusses what makes a good Verdian voice:

SR: …Technique! I would have to say that technique is really the most important thing, because Verdi – like Bellini and Donizetti, his predecessors in the bel canto school – requires a technique that enables you to sing high and low, loud and soft, all within one aria. And the range can be incredible, as in Trovatore or Vespri Siciliani, where I can sing a high E-natural and then have an immediate run down to a low F# – I mean, that’s unheard of, but that’s what Verdi demands.

NG: Yes, that’s nearly two octaves – pretty amazing.

SR: Yes, it’s crazy, really! So, just on the vocal aspect, it’s the pure difficulty of singing Verdi; and you have to be able to sing very high and soft; and then low and loud, and also low and soft – I mean, everything! And not a lot of people nowadays have taken the time, to really hone their technique for such singing – not just sopranos, but all voices. And I think that’s really why the true “Verdi voice” is such a rarity these days.”

And about this we won’t say a word and pass over it as if nothing happened… La Radvan will be at the Opera News-led The Singers’ Studio: Casual and Candid Conversations on January 19. Info and ticks here.

In Jill Groveville…

Jill Grove as Countess Geschwitz in Lyric Opera of Chicago 2008 production of Lulu

Click and scroll down a trifle and there it is: Jill Grove and Marilyn Horne in the same picture.

What mezzo was directed by Woody Allen in Gianni Schicchi? What mezzo played ‘the Dyke’ in the 1995 opera Harvey Milk? What mezzo was proclaimed by the Sunday Times as a sensational Ulrica, “the best I’ve heard in any theater”? Yup. JG. A good profile here, and here.

Scott Hendricks, this Aida‘s Amonasro, meanwhile, has debuts coming up at the Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper and the Met. Mazel tov!


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