Like Prohaska’s more recent recital disc, Behind the Lines, this one, recorded in 2010, is a collection of songs from a wide variety of time periods and in several languages, held together by theme. In this case, the theme is the figure of the siren. (Also, some day, I would like to see a soprano not sport five different come-hither looks in the album booklet. I’m sure it is possible. Actually, I know it is – I have a Handel recital CD on the cover of which Maria Bayo is wearing a woolly turtleneck and looking merely friendly; it can be done. But anyway.)
This production of Handel’s Alcina, directed by Katie Mitchell and conducted by Andrea Marcon, turns upon the complex and many-sided relationship between sand, flasks of bright blue liquid, and a luggage scanner that spits out taxidermy specimens. There is also BDSM.
By Anna Prohaska with the ensemble Arcangelo, from Salzburg last month. For those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you will like. (With thanks to Kristin for pointing me to it!)
We will begin with an open letter to Anna Prohaska:
Dear Ms. Prohaska,
Please please please please please come and give a recital in New York.
This live recording of Die Entführung aus dem Serail conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin follows those of Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni, the latter of which I bought because Joyce DiDonato was in it, and the former because why the hell not, and also Miah Persson. Both of those proved to be mixed bags. So is this one. There is some overlap of casts, but the only singer common to all three is Rolando Villazón, which choice – well, as they say, nobody likes it, but it keeps happening.
I was excited to get a chance to see this performance, for reasons – or rather a reason – that you’d probably guess. I love how Dorothea Röschmann (here, the Marschallin) sings, and I have never had the pleasure of hearing her live before.