Spent the last hour listening to Kasarova’s first (I think?) recital album – the one from 1996 where she’s tangled up in a coffee colored silk sheet on the cover. It made me think of how much I would like some coffee ice cream, which I suspect was probably not the designers’ intention. She’s vocally very recognizably VK but a little lighter in sound, which is used to great effect in some of the earlier numbers, e.g. the delicately rendered selection from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, or “voi che sapete” where she really does sound appropriately pubescent-boyish. (And I just spent longer than I should have figuring out why autocorrect kept trying to capitalize the “che” in “voi che sapete” – I think it was assuming that I meant “voi Che Guevara sapete” which would I suspect make for a profoundly different sort of opera.)
I sometimes say snarky things about bel canto, but even so I thought that the Rossini and Donizetti selections were the best parts of this – Frau K makes this music lyrical and expressive, e.g. the “vedi per tutta Italia” section of “amici, in ogni evento” from L’Italiana in Algeri or Giovanna’s more anguished moments in the selection from Anna Bolena, though I remain committed to my longstanding opinion that the “bump-twiddily-bump-twiddily-bump(twiddily) ba dump dump BUMP-twiddily-bump-twiddily bump” and so on theme that recurs in that opera (you know what I’m talking about?) is both profoundly dumb and at the same time one of the best bits. It’s like a little musical scoop of strawberry ice cream.
And now based on the frequency of sugar references in the above, I believe it is time to leave off the opera and eat some dinner.