Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cerco, cerco

Through the trackless byways of cyberspace, what leads people to this particular blog?  Well, a number of kindred spirits searching for "opera obsession."  But many land on this page with more specific goals in mind; in honor of these opera obsessions, I thought I'd share some juicy tidbits on the singers who are most often sought after.

1. Eva-Maria Westbroek: I haven't seen her yet, but she will be my next Sieglinde, and was posted about accordingly.  By all accounts a thrilling performer and a genuinely nice person, here she is as a very sexy and appropriately formidable Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

2. Diana Damrau: reviewed in La Fille du Regiment.  I'm a bit surprised that I haven't spent more time oohing and ahing over her, to be honest, for I do love her.  That secure, sweet tone is just ravishing, and then she seems so sweet as well!  I have firm plans to be present for Le Comte Ory.  Meanwhile, here she is in Der Rosenkavalier:

3. Jonas Kaufmann: breathlessly reviewed in Tosca and Carmen.  Like Damrau, disconcertingly charming off-stage, and exciting on it.  Here he is as Mario, fit to moisten the handkerchiefs of Puccini-susceptible audiences everywhere: 

4. Cecilia Bartoli: seeing this wonderful artist live is very high indeed on my opera- and concert-going wishlist.  Meanwhile, I adore from afar, while she continues being inexhaustibly fabulous.  Here she is with "Son qual nave," which is on Sacrificium and which never fails to make my jaw drop: 

5. Peter Mattei: now, I feel that I owe an apology, and a thank you, to all those interested in this fine Swedish baritone.  An apology that this blog has been barren of material on him, and a thank you for stopping by anyway!  Mattei is another singer I have yet to experience live.  One of my deep regrets is missing the monumental From the House of the Dead last season; the end of a grueling term is my only excuse.  So far, my only experience of him has been via last summer's Lincoln Center showing of the Bartlett Sher Barbiere... so here he is, hamming it up as Figaro.  Recommendations of how I should expand my experience of Mr. Mattei gladly accepted! 


  1. Interesting! Very worthy candidates you have there.
    My favorite Google term that led someone to my blog is "can Placido Domingo still sing?"

  2. Oh dear! Well, I hope they were enlightened. My most cryptic is, without question, "sunny Leon nun." Mystery abounds!

  3. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard Peter Mattei sing "Ich will Jesum selbst begraben". Event: Matthaus-Passion, Year: 1999, Concertgebouworchestra Amsterdam, under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. Absolutely incredible. Brilliant voice. I'm glad I still have a copy of this event. Easter or not, I could listen to it every day.

  4. Wow! Thanks for sharing, Rob. I also LOVE the Bach passions, and that is a sublime musical moment. Mattei is part of a powerful cast for next spring's Queen of Spades at the Met; I will have to mark my opera calendar. According to www.bach-cantatas.com, Mattei has recorded the Matthaeus-Passion under Abbado, so I'll keep my eyes open for that as well!

  5. Since I have a Google alert out for Peter Mattei, this is how I found your blog. "Queen of Spades" is a spectacular production and actually the best reason to see it is Vladimir Galouzine who, in my opinion, has no equal in this type of Russian opera role. Mattei's Prince Yeletsky is a gloried cameo consisting of one (gorgeous) aria (which basically made Hvorovtovsky a star) and one scene. I definitely recommend going to one of the spring "Bohemes" in which Peter will be singing Marcello. And look on YouTube for his recent performance at the pre-wedding gala for the Crown Princess of Sweden. He sings "Deh vieni alla finestra" but it's his appearance that makes it such a hoot.

  6. Well, welcome, LinGin! Galouzine is another singer on my "wish list" so I am very excited to hear him in Queen of Spades. I hadn't realized Mattei was on for the spring "Bohemes", so thanks for the heads-up. And you're right, the "Deh vieni" is something else... that may be the only time Don Giovanni has appeared in a pair of black, square-rim glasses!

  7. Added you to my RSS feed and looking forward to your reviews from the Met this season. I used to have two Saturday matinee subscriptions but I've been priced out so I'll be going to performances on an irregular basis. But definitely "Queen of Spades" and "Boheme" in the spring.


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