"I've been singing Handel and Rossini and Wagner and Verdi and Schubert and Brahms my whole career. What's the difference if I'm doing that or doing Irving Berlin and Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer and Barry Manilow? It's all music and it’s all just different styles and I enjoy singing them all."
The whole episode is an opera, guys! The barber thing, the memorable music from The Barber of Seville, it's all very self-aware. It's even got the Rossini-style comedy devices: people hiding in closets, slapstick scenes involving Newman — Don Basilio, maybe?
Garden of Vanished Pleasures is available to stream through October 10, and you should watch before it's gone. I'd say this is one of the more mature, well-produced digital items I've seen, and I'm not really surprised that it comes out of Soundstreams.
I think the night, strangely, was best summed up by the opening act: BLO elected to open the evening with the prologue from Cavalleria's much-beloved double-bill partner, I Pagliacci, with Arrey singing Tonio's line.
The Italian-born conductor led Calgary Opera production of La bohème in 2019.
Wilson may be my new favourite interpreter of Wagner. Her Isolde did things to me, made me stop and zone in. Wilson always impresses me in her attention to detail; it's very clear that in the practice room, she has given attention to each note she sings.
The Tongue & The Lash features some of the night's best singing. Markel Reed as Baldwin orates with a steely baritone that comes with some bite; tenor Jonathan Johnson exudes an easy power that's slightly unnerving — even a bit colonialist — in his portrayal of Buckley, fan of racial segregation.
Simple and evocative language, a close relationship between visuals and text, even a few great rhymes thrown around — this is the stuff of excellent children's literature. And in case I'm not clearly driving my point home, the stuff of great operas.
My psuedo-psychological theory is this: I'm not so much anxious for the shows themselves (although, I can still feel the stomach-pangs that hit me all last year, each time a cancelled production popped up on my Google calendar); rather, I'm naïvely waiting on society to rewind, to go back to "before".
Star mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, Grammy-nominated countertenor Anthony Roth Constanzo, acclaimed stage director James Robinson (who directs both Fire and Porgy at the Met), and David Lomeli, Santa Fe Opera's Artistic Administrator and Casting Director at the Bayerische Staatsoper — they'll all join Blue for a 90-minute discussion moderated by Opera America CEO Marc Scorca.