When all else fails

My head is empty. There is no blogfodder therein. And of course, these days, one is allowed to sigh and shrug and let it go, but what I’ll do instead is…opera! Don’t watch if you’re not in the mood. I won’t know.


Formerly-here-blogged-about soprano Anna Netrebko in preposterously fine form singing the big scene from Il Trovatore to a bunch of German people. She is twice joined by the offstage voice of almost equally exciting tenor Jonas Kaufmann, only some producer wasn’t content to leave well enough alone and the cameras swoop backstage to show you him. Howdy, Jonas! Netrebko doesn’t get to act here because it’s a concert performance, which is a shame because she’s an unusually good actor for a singer, but oh well.

I’ll put one more on in case anyone is in an opera mood. C’mon, Lane, you know you are.

I will make it as different as possible for the sake of novelty. Old instead of recent, tenor instead of soprano, German instead of Italian, embarrassing acting instead of reasonably restrained concert gestures, way shorter and…possibly lip-synched? Still marvelous singing, though. American tenor James King in Siegmund’s big “hey sis, let’s do it!” number from Die Walkuere. Seriously, fifteen minutes later the act ends and they are boinking like Teutonic, leather-lunged bunnies.


6 responses to “When all else fails”

  1. LP says:

    Smearcase, I look forward to viewing these. What little opera I have seen I’ve truly enjoyed – though in each instance my tickets were either free (in DC) or absurdly cheap (in Russia). I imagine the self-induced pressure to enjoy a seat I paid $150 for would severely dampen the pleasure of the experience.

    I’m curious: What did you think of the scene in “Philadelphia” where Tom Hanks’s character waxed rhapsodic about opera? I thought it seemed a little too cheap: gay guy gets all frothy over Maria Callas to show the homophobic straight guy how spiritual he is. But I know some people found it moving in its own Hollywoody way. Your thoughts?

    Here’s the clip, in case anyone missed it way back when.

  2. J-Man says:

    Wow – what an exquisite voice. For a Soprano, she has the ability to produce some very dark timbres, which is just lovely.

  3. FPS says:

    LP: You know, I mostly liked that scene, as I recall. It’s about a mile over the top, but I don’t think anyone making it was unaware of that fact. I’m reluctant to rewatch it because I think I might hate it a little now. The thing is, there’s a certain type of gay man that actually does get that religiously attached to Callas. Callas’ Widows, some wits call them. So it’s cheapish but representative of some real thing. Yeah no I liked it. And in all honesty, I’m nearly that religious about Callas, I just don’t blather at Denzel Washington about it much.

    J-Man: yes, her voice is an odd beast. She started out as a lyric chirper and though she’s only 40, her voice has gotten darker and quite large. It’s just delicious in person, and I think records fairly well.

  4. FPS says:

    Upon rewatching, it’s a little cringey. I still basically like it in concept, but I don’t buy Tom Hanks’ execution of it, or maybe Jonathan Demme’s.

  5. Tim says:

    “Teutonic, leather-lunged bunnies” – wow.

  6. lane says:

    i’m not really in an opera mood… but thanks for the encouragement!