Someone is recording this, yes? Irony of ironies, I will miss it because I’ll be … at the opera.
These are the songs and the Program Notes that I sent to my mom as per earlier discussion. WordPress is being weird for some reason about displaying the player widget for the ones that are m4a and not wav files, but I think they all work. I also managed to include one very authentic Liederabend moment: before the Wolf song begins there is great hacking and wheezing from the audience.
(Previous section here.)
Röschmann is not the only one emoting in this performance. Werner Güra sings an “un aura amorosa” that is very easy on the ears, and in general gives the impression that Ferrando gets sucked into the game more than his friend does – by Act II Ferrando appears to mean what he’s doing. “Fra gli amplessi” is wonderfully intense (and we get bonus reprise of the gardening shears!). I enjoyed Röschmann here too – Fiordiligi’s “giusto ciel . . .crudel!” (the held high A) was great.
(Previous section here.)
In some productions of Così the two women are costumed to look very similar, almost interchangeable. Here they definitely are not. Physically the women are difficult to mix up – Katharina Kammerloher (Dorabella) is at least six inches taller than Dorothea Röschmann (Fiordiligi), and they’re distinguished by wigs as well. Dorabella’s is blonde, and Fiordiligi’s is black (the wigs belong to the characters – they come off by Act II).
I guess I should get the obvious point out of the way first: if you have ever wanted to watch Hanno Müller-Brachmann caper around in nothing but a Legolas wig and a pair of tighty-whiteys, this Così is for you. If you have never wanted to watch Mr. Müller-Brachmann caper about so attired – if the thought had never even really occurred to you – if the idea leaves you bored, indifferent, or even vaguely uneasy, rest assured that this production also contains Werner Güra shirtless, a very agitated Dorothea Röschmann armed with gardening shears, and a lot of pot. Are you sold yet?
The Staatsoper Berlin 02 Cosi fan tutte that’s set in the 70s?
I could watch that any number of times. It’s so deliciously . . . goofy. Cosi definitely has a goofy streak to it and this production just takes that and runs with it. I mean, there are Che Guevara shirts. Two of them. (Or maybe just one. I’m unclear as to whether Fiordiligi is supposed to be wearing Ferrando’s for the wedding, or if it’s a different shirt. Anyway. Che Guevara! And you thought ‘t-shirts featuring dead revolutionaries’ and ‘Mozart opera’ were non overlapping categories.) [update: there are in fact two different Che Guevara shirts. Ferrando’s is green; Fiordiligi’s is red.]
Also. Werner Güra. Whenever I hear him, I always think, wait, that’s Werner Güra. He’s very easy on the ears, and anyone who can sing “un’ aura amorosa” while sprawled in a plastic lawn chair and do so convincingly is definitely in my good books.
(Unrelated language note: unfortunately for us English speakers this is one of those German “everyone gets an umlaut” operations, so if you want to mention anyone by name, there is cutting and pasting involved. Seriously, languages-that-are-not-English: diacritical marks are unnecessary. The relationship between spelling and pronunciation is best left obscure and confusing. Otherwise, how is it fun?)