This may have become my favorite Così. It is just so charming.
Can one get any cuter than Lucia Popp?
Thanks to the joys of Spotify, which has just become available in NZ, I've been listening to this:
I seem to recall Schigolch praising Invernizzi some time ago, and I see whiy, this is a fantastic album and she sings beautifully.
DA, I reckon you need this if you don't already have it.
WONDERFUL! Here we go... one... ONE MOZART ARIA!... two! TWO! TWO MOZART ARIAS! AH AH AH AH HA HA! THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN! TEN MOZART ARIAS! Eleven... twelve... thirteen... four... FOURTEEN! FOURTEEN MOZART ARIAS! AH AH AH AH HA HA! I LOVE TO COUNT MOZART ARIAS!
I'm always hooked to Norma, from the very beginning with that wonderful overture. From all librettos I've been exposed to, it's the most effective on me. There's no way I can let the second act for later, that finale is such a cliffhanger! And when it comes back you go OMG SHE'S GONNA KILL THOSE CUTE LITTLE CHILDREN. I can't get enough of it.
Just watched the Cedolins-Ganassi from Liceu and although I can't really say Fiorenza is a Norma a like sing-wise, she's a fine actress and she looks damn good in this. The stanging works well and everything is nicely lit — the blue Celtic vs. red Roman is a big clichee, but man, how it works!
I've been watch a few Scala productions lately and found everything so unnecessarily dark and hot and humid. I love generous, dense shadows and I know it can work wonders, but you don't need to make the audience feel like you can cut the air with a knife.
This is the Norma mentioned by Festat, complete in youtube:
I do think the production works, in an understated kind of way. Blue and red are cliches, but they are also historically accurate, in the case of the Romans:
While at the time of the action, it's likely than the Sicambri were figthting with protections (a full metal cuirasse for the chiefs, and at least leather for the file and rank), in Britain the Celts warriors were still washing his hair with alcaline water to tye it white, and they painted his naked body entirely in blue with woad, entering in battle in this arrangement.
And yes, Cedolins is no Norma, but she did hold her own, and offered a nice performance.
Singapore Airlines is my new favourite airline because THEY HAVE OPERA DVDS in the entertainment choices. So I was able to watch the 2010 production of Rossini's Sigismondo with Daniela Barcellona who was just stonking in the title role. Now that I've had a chance to read up on the convoluted plot I'm going to watch it again on the leg from Singapore to London.