Video Alert: Echo Klassik 2017 aka Mezzos for President

[Joyce DiDonato singing “Thy hand, Belinda” from Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” with Il Pomo d’Oro during the award ceremony for the Echo Klassik 2017, Hamburg/Elbphilharmonie 2017]

If there is a more poignant image in music and its power this week than the tear streaking through DiDonato’s heavy make-up as she sings – being awarded for the Album of The Year für “War & Peace” – Dido’s lament at the Eccho Klassik Awards, I’ve yet to see it.

Well, there is also the standing ovation for Brigitte Fassbaender while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award in flats and with a no-nonsense attitude, which speaks to me on a spiritual level, so have your pick.

Continue reading “Video Alert: Echo Klassik 2017 aka Mezzos for President”

The Turin “Aci” (2009) Liveblogging Thread


Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for Handel’s “Aci, Galatea & Polifemo” from Turin (2017), with Antonio Florio conducting and staged by Davide Livermore.

Cast List:
Sara Mingardo (Galatea)
Luisa Baldinetti (Galatea’s double)
Ruth Rosique (Aci)
Cristina Banchetti (Aci’s double)

Antonio Abete (Polifemo)
Sax Nicosia (Polifemo’s double)

Librettolibretto (1708 version): here in English and Italian, here in German and Italian.


Rock, Swagger, Whispers: “Ariodante” at Theater an der Wien

Ariodante 2.jpg

Last night, the Grand Ariodante Tour of The English Concert started the European leg of their tour at TADW Vienna.

Short version: It was wonderful. Alice Coote’s sound bottled would make the best Scotch ever, Sonia Prina is actually Joan Jett, Christiane Karg should be cast if Todd Haynes ever directs a 1950s opera, I want to know where David Portillo buys his shoes, and the English Concert were British in the very best sense: precise, dedicated and witty with an incredibly rich vocabulary.

Of course, there is a long version.

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The Stuttgart 1999 “Alcina” Liveblogging Thread


Welcome to the White Shirt live comment thread for Handel’s “Alcina”, staged by Jossi Wieler & Sergio Morabito and conducted by Alan Hacker.

Cast Listing:

Alcina – Catherine Naglestad
Ruggiero – Alice Coote
Bradamante – Helene Schneiderman
Morgana – Catrona Smith
Oberto – Claudia Mahnke
Oronte – Rolf Romei
Melisso – Michael Ebbecke

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Liveblogging Handel’s “Alcina” (Stuttgart 1999) on Saturday

[The A.T. Schaefer shot that became the cover of the first DVD release of this production, or “how to tell the focal point of Alcina in one image”: Catherine Naglestad (Alcina) and Alice Coote (Ruggiero) in Handel’s “Alcina”, Stuttgart 1999. – Photo Credit: A. T. Schaefer for Staatsoper Stuttgart]

And on the issue of formative classics, it’s time for THE “Alcina” aka Naglestad and Coote burning down the haus in the smart and challenging Wieler/Morabito staging. Also: Helene Schneiderman. And Catriona Smith. And young Claudia Mahnke.

Bring your ice bucket (then again: better bring two. Or the whole bathtub) and meet us this Saturday, Apr. 8th, at 9. p.m. (UTC+2) for some liveblogging and, possibly, livefainting.

Continue reading “Liveblogging Handel’s “Alcina” (Stuttgart 1999) on Saturday”