Where in the world is Otter

Where in the world is Otter

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC  Earlier this month, in Wellington, New Zealand, for a Canteloube programme with the Wellington Orchestra. The perfectly à propos getup also sung Chants d’Auvergne (bonus fashionista points for the slippers). What is she saying so animatedly in that series of photos, you ask? “I cannot emphasize this enough: Lisbeth Salander is decidedly not what Pippi Longstocking becomes when she grows up. Salander as a character is problematic in many ways, which I’ll elaborate in a moment, while Pippi is a revolutionary, uniquely free role model for girls growing up, and we have so few of those around, still today, after decades of feminist cultural criticism.” (That’s what my sources tell me.)  The indispensable piano wizard Bengt Forsberg provided the summer blue later, at the post-performance reception.

AND ULYSSES SAILED TO HIS DOOM This Friday, November 25: in Los Angeles, singing in the world premiere of Hillborg’s Sirens (for chorus, soloists and orchestra) with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the LAPhil.

FRANCE, DROP EVERYTHING AND GO TO THIS On December 19, Emmanuelle Haïm conducts the birthday gala for Concert D’Astrée at TCE in Paris. The list of singers is ridic: in addition to Otter, Karine Deshayes, Ann Hallenberg, Renata Pokupic on the mezzo-soprano team, Marijana Mijanovic and Sara Mingardo carry the flag for the altos, while among the sopranos il y aura Natalie Dessay, Magali Léger, Patricia Petibon, Sandrine Piau. And that’s only to name a few. There will be men, too. Look here.

JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLES In New York City December 28-30, singing Schubert with the New York Phil (c. Alan Gilbert)

HOW TO OPERATE A CIGAR WHILE SINGING THE HABANERA In London January 23, giving a Masterclass to the Guildhall students.

ANNA I & ANNA II In London at the Barbican on February 2, singing Brecht/Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins (LSO, c. Michael Tilson Thomas). Never has a house in Mississippi looked a better prospect.

WILL THEY BE ALLOWED TO MOVE THEIR HANDS In Paris Feb 28-Mar 16 at the Bastille in the Robert Wilson-directed Pelléas et Mélisande, singing Geneviève. Not an eye movement will remain unchoreographed.

LIEDERABADINAGE ODER LIEDERABINGE? In Zurich in June, for a Liederabend.

Earlier this year, by Mats Bäcker:

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Emmanuelle Haim fest on France Musique

Emmanuelle Haim fest on France Musique

Grandes figures, the France Musique series on notable musicians, is dedicated this week to Emmanuelle Haim the Magnificent. You can listen to the entire series starting with the show 1/5 HERE, with each show’s musical lineup available in precise detail. En plus, Concert D’Astré celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a gala concert at the TCE on December 19, with the appearances of Patrizia Ciofi, Karine Deshayes, Natalie Dessay, Topi Lehtipuu, Sandrine Piau, Sonia Prina, Camilla Tilling and Anne Sofie von Otter. I’m dying to know what everybody will be singing. More about their ongoing Saison on their official website (in Flash, alas, but it’s worth the trouble).

I always love the videos that EMI/Virgin makes about her recordings, so here’s a couple:

Natalie Dessay opens with a hilarious description of Monteverdi’s “Lamento di ninfa”, and a rehearsal with Joyce DiDonato singing Ottavia’s “Addio, Roma” (which I actually liked!) concludes the video on the CD Lamenti.

Every second of this is lovely. Haim talking, the drums, Ian Bostridge’s Orfeo some of the highlights of this gem video on Orfeo.

And of course the “Voglio il tempo” from Il Trionfo with Dessay, Hallenberg, Prina and Breslik, which shows that the differences between soprano, mezzo and alto are not only to do with tessitura but almost equally timbre: