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400k and counting

A short post to mark the 400.000th visit on the blog. And to thank everyone for reading every single day! The journey goes on!


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VIDEO - Angela Gheorghiu's masterclass in July 2012

Did the happy dance today. This video is pure gold. It's Angela Gheorghiu's masterclass held in Italy last Summer.
Lucky those people who had the chance to learn from Angela, to absorb each and every piece of advice like a sponge. Lots of Handel, followed by Rossini, Puccini, Verdi and bits of Mozart in the end. What do I see here? Five arias, four young singers eager to improve, a big smile, a genuine talent for teaching and a tone of patience to take each aria note by note and to explain what's the best way to sing it, to make it perfect. 

Take E strano..Follie..Sempre libera (around 36:30) for example. You know me, I like to know what's behind the final product, behind the aria delivered on stage, the research, the hard work. So I found out where to breathe, how to support the notes, how the singer should preserve her strength to be able to finish this difficult aria, how to pay extra attention to each sound, how to sing the words as they are pronounced, to make them understandable for the audience, how to be confident in order to make people live the music. 

Looking forward to the Masterclass #2!


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Something I like...less

This is MET's new production of Rigoletto. Familiar tune (great voices, no comments on that), unusual image, right? According to the director, he wanted to make it modern and more American so he placed the action in... Las Vegas, the Duke looks like Sinatra or Elvis Presley, you choose (this was the intention when he was dressed in a white tux and asked to sing into a wired mic) and owns a casino where the act I opens. This is part of attracting more people to the opera by showing them what they're familiar with, far away from the original idea. 
But if you're curious how the rest of the opera looks like, the live in HD broadcast is on February 16. Or visit MET's website to see many videos from the final dress rehearsal, including Damrau's Caro nome.


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NEW - Recital in Los Angeles, March 17

Thought I'm gone? well, no. Still here. It took me some time to fix the bugs on the blog. The slideshow is working again and there's direct access to press and career sections. 

New recital announced recently on the other side of the pond. Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, California. March 17. Tickets are already on sale on the website of the venue. It's a small venue so hurry up!


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Something I like

Don Carlo is a beautiful opera and very dear to me and I love this aria in particular. Heard it in tens of versions, both live and recorded. I listened to Keenlyside in Vienna last year and it hit me like a hammer. Dreamed of it for a week. Will listen to Mariusz Kwiecien at Royal Opera this Spring. For this post I chose an older interpretation, an amazing voice I was introduced to recently. Giuseppe Taddei was one of the greatest. After listening to his Posa, I also tried his Scarpia (and there's a terrific recording of Tosca on YouTube with him as Scarpia, di Stefano as Mario and Price as Tosca, with Karajan ruling over Wiener Philharmoniker)

Speaking of Don Carlo at ROH, for those interested the tickets for Spring season go on sale this Tuesday at 10am (GMT). There's a not-to-be-missed combination of Donna del Lago (JDD/JDF) and Don Carlo (Kaufmann, Harteros, Kwiecien, Rice, Furlanetto) in May. Happy shopping!

Have a snowy weekend!


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As never seen before

These phrase spread on the internet this morning when newspapers discovered these beautiful photos on Facebook, referring to Angela Gheorghiu's choice of wearing traditional Romanian costumes for this photo shooting. Tend to think Romanians are very attached to their country no matter what they say, they get nostalgic all the time and really, really appreciate a high profile person speaking so nicely about her home country. 

Honest, heartfelt and signed, the statement generated some thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. See for yourselves:
Wherever I go, I take my loved ones with me. Some are in the concert halls, but most of them are in my heart. We meet every time I come back to my native country. I revisited the Peles Castle, a place that reminds me that my largest family is, in fact, Romania. With this photo shooting I wanted to show again to the world how beautiful my country is and how much I cherish it. (Facebook)

The photo shooting took place at the Peles Castle, in Romania. Could this be turned into a series of photo shootings in different spots in Romania? They would certainly do lots of good to image promotion and bonding to a unique place.

May I have a fav? Sure, the photo below. Be sure to check out the other photos on the Facebook and official website.

Photo: Cosmin Gogu. Source: Angela Gheorghiu's official website

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Operas on YouTube

Just when I was about to say that nobody thought of gathering all the operas posted on youtube in one place I found this blog, Operas on YouTube. Hundreds of hours of music, different versions of the same opera (there are 12 Carmens, 12 Elisirs, 9 Don Pasquales, 15 Trovatores, 14 Rigolettos and no more, no less than 30 Traviatas). 

It's not exactly fair for the artists to have the entire production posted online, referring especially to the newer productions, instead of people buying the DVDs, but for those can't get to a particular opera house or were born too late to see all these amazing artists performing live, this is gold. 

Glad to find here several versions of Bellini's Maria Stuarda. Currently listening to it in preparation for the MET broadcast on Jan 19. I really appreciate JDD's mezzo voice and can't wait to listen to her performing the title role. She used to sing Elisabeta but now she took the big step in singing one of Bellini's queens. So this is my weekend's delight.

Sit back, hit the play button and enjoy yourselves! Have a great Saturday!

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Beauty on beauty in More US

On inside and outside beauty of the Romanian women in a conversation with More magazine US. There's one picture on the website of the magazine
Photo @ Christian Witkin

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O, mio 2004 babbino

First post in 2013. It's the fifth year of posting. Thanks for reading and do keep on following! 

This aria was the encore of the concert in Bucharest in 2004, recently uploaded on YouTube. Voice and piano, best combination possible! Looking forward to the recital at La Scala. 
I've been looking for this concert for ages. I was in college back in 2004, I remember there were posters everywhere in the city but the tickets were too expensive for my tiny, student budget :( I'm still sorry I couldn't go. Ehhh. Happy that someone thought of uploading it. You can watch it HERE.


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