Tag: Chance

Rodelinda / Röschmann, Chance, Palmer et al. / Bayerische Staatsoper 2004 (3)

(Previous section here.)

Eduige is an unusual opera character – a woman who is motivated not by the power of love, but by love of power. She actually says this at one point, that she is motivated by a desire for power, which I didn’t notice until I watched the opera again this time, and I was so surprised that I went back to look at the Italian to make sure there wasn’t a mistake in the English. There wasn’t. Of course, this is still an eighteenth-century opera, so she has to get power via seduction and manipulation.

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Rodelinda / Röschmann, Chance, Palmer et al. / Bayerische Staatsoper 2004 (2)

(Previous section here.)

You could reasonably make the argument that Dorothea Röschmann’s voice is on the heavy side for this role. I have heard it performed by lighter-sounding sopranos, and there is a difference. That said: screw the difference, because this is a wonderful performance. Here is “ritorna, o caro” from Act II. You can hear her breathing, yes, but those highest notes just . . . gleam.

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Rodelinda / Röschmann, Chance, Palmer et al. / Bayerische Staatsoper 2004 (1)

Roeschmann - RodelindaThis was the DVD that turned me into a Röschmann fan. For most people, it’s one of the Mozart ones, isn’t it? Usually either La Clemenza di Tito or the Guth Nozze di Figaro or sometimes that beautiful Zauberflöte from 2003. I saw this before I saw any of those. I had heard her voice before, on that CD of Handel’s German Arias, but for whatever reason it was when I was watching this — somewhere around ‘morrai si’ that I found myself thinking whoa, who IS that soprano?

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Handel’s Rodelinda is one of my favorite operas. For me, it began with this DVD about which I should write some day, because I have basically memorized the thing, and I’d hate for all that obsessive listening to go to waste (It’s Roeschmann, Palmer, Chance et al. at the Munich opera in 2004).

Anyway. I went looking this past summer for additional recordings of Rodelinda. There is this one conducted by Alan Curtis with Il Complesso Barocco with Simone Kermes as Rodelinda, which is nice although sort of chilly (but I like Marie-Nicole Lemieux’s Unulfo). I like live recordings, though, and other than the Munich DVD referenced above there aren’t many really good ones.

Except the one I got from these nice people at the Goettingen International Handel Festival. It’s of a performance from 2000, conducted by Nicholas McGegan with Robin Blaze as Bertarido and Dominique Labelle as Rodelinda. It took about two months for them to send it because the person who ran their shop was on holiday when I submitted the order and by the time she got back my one Europe-friendly credit card had expired so it didn’t work, and we had several very polite emails about that, and then I gave her the new expiration date and paid for the thing and she sent it to me. Anyway. I liked it.

For those whose boats are floated by this type of thing, here are the points about it that stood out to me: