mardi 25 janvier 2011

Domingo, the Michael Jordan of Opera

The world, musical or not, is celebrating Placido Domingo's 70th birthday. All the accolades we are hearing are true: immense repertory, rock-solid technique, unique capability for phrasing, presence and acting skills, ...

There is though one quality which has not been so discussed which I would like to mention: when Domingo is on stage, he does not play the star, he actually makes other singers perform better. Like say Michael Jordan in Basketball, the overall level raises.

One personal memory, I heard him in what could have been his last Bohème in New York in February1991. Mimi was sung by the Korean Soprano who Hei-Kyung Hong. It is Rodolfo who has the first lines of the marvellous Act 1 duo O Suave Fanciulla.When Mimi entered, Hong did not have a volume that matched Domingo (and there may not have  been tons of rehearsals) but in a split-second, Domingo had adapted to his partner and ensured that we had a glorious balanced duo.

This unique artistry from a once in a lifetime singer.

jeudi 20 janvier 2011

Do you Wordle ?

If so, then, enjoy:

PS: Wordle is here.

jeudi 6 janvier 2011

Beckmesser "in China"

Just a quick FYI. I will be in the US for my work end of January and will go via NY to see the MET premiere of Adams' Nixon in China with a review for Concertonet.

I am thrilled to hear this and at the Met. I heard the same team play it in Bobigny in 1991. Previously, I ha discovered Adams's work via the monumental Harmonium in Boston with the BSO under Rattle. I remember going into the Boston Metro and then going out to walk back to the campus where I was studying so as to stay into the same sound world.

Adams has already been performed at the Met with Doctor Atomic but this will be Peter Sellars first entry there. When I was studying at the Harvard Business School, I was musical critic for the Harbus, the school newspaper. Sellars and C Smith took their Trump-tower inspired Nozze di Figaro (was it L Hunt as Cherubino ?) and I took half of my section to hear it. I also tried to interview Sellars for the Harbus but he was too busy and could not find the time. I met him in Bobigny at the performance of an Eschylus play and was impressed by sharpness. Maybe I should try to do an interview of him if my schedule allows for it.

In any case, if you go via NY, this is a must-see.

PS: The snow storm in the US prevented me from going. This being said, Adams music lives on ...