Thursday, November 19, 2009

La Tremenda Ultrice Spada of Elina Garanca

"Vocal registers arise from different vibratory patterns produced by the vocal cords. The vocal cords are capable of producing at least four distinct vibratory forms, blah blah blah...."

Forget what you knew till today about the registers of the human voice.
Forget what you knew till today about the breaks
between the registers of the human voice.

As a matter of fact, reconsider what you already know about the human voice.

Elina Garanča
sang tonight a unique recital at the Athens Megaron, in front of 1.500 bedazzled music lovers that cheered till they dropped.

Elegantly gowned and coiffed, La Garanča commenced the recital with a mozartian concert-aria (Giunse al fin il momento...Al desio di chi t'adora) and Sesto's Parto, parto. Her Mozart was lucid, crystal-clear, the coloraturas were fluid, the high notes were thrilling, a treat for the ear!


Time for some Bellini and after one of the typically atrocious performances of the overture to Nabucco by the ERT Symphony Orchestra, Elina sang what secondo me, was the peak of the evening: "Se Romeo...La tremenda ultrice spada" from I Capuleti e I Montecchi:

The cavatina was ethereal, her legato was from outa space, her frasseggio was exemplary, but it was the cabaletta that blew me off my seat: The volume and the quality of the low notes, the consonants that were spit out
à la Baltsa (I can't stand singers who only or mostly sing vowels), the sovracute that sent me to heaven (or to my ear doctor). Perfection!


Part 2 found Elina in a red gown and in a witty mood,
adequate for the zarzuel-0-rama that would follow.
La Canción de la Paloma, La Romanza de Socorro, Al pensar en el dueño (from Las hijas de Zebedeo) were sung in perfect style and perfect spanish, offering some pop-thrill to the less operatic amongst the audience and receiving some wild cheering.


La Carmencita could not be absent from this tribute to España and especially now, just a few weeks before Elina's debut as Carmen at the Met.
The Habanera and the Seguidille,
less the Chanson Bohème, usually send me straight to the Kingdom of Boredom and this was hardly an exception, however Elina sang all 3 arias stunningly.


The 2 encores were quite weird choices, Marechiare and O mio babbino caro.

Am I the only one who identifies neapolitan songs with male voices?
Tosti's favourite is one of those but Elina's rendition awed the audience.

Lauretta's aria is for the voice recitals what the Forza del Destino overture is for the orchestral concerts. You have heard it sooooo many times that the natural reaction should be "Gee! Not again!". Nevertheless, this Lauretta sent us home with some gorgeous floating pianissimi and lighter of heart.


-Needless to say that the ERT Symphony Orchestra, even if they played more accurately and focused than in the Juan Diego Flórez Recital back in July - under the baton of Ion Marin tonight, was once again the reason for some pretty nasty jokes during the interval. The Orchestra itself is the nastiest of all jokes.

-The programme was more on the "popular classics" side than I would have expected or hoped. After the success of Garanča
's exquisite Belcanto CD, I really cannot figure out the reasons for not singing at least 1 more belcanto aria (instead of half the history of the zarzuela at the second part - probably due to an upcoming zarzuela CD)


-Elina's superhuman voice, totally even throughout all the tessitura, no edges, no register breaks, no strain, no daubed coloraturas, perfect overall.
A lesson of (wild!) technique.

Paldies Elina!

Elina at the signing-session after the recital


Mei said...

Elina has an homogenous wide vocal range and a big voice, it's a pleasure to the ears...

What a pity she didn't sing Come scoglio...

Karin said...

Hi Parsifal, thanx for keeping us up to date so quickly. I reget that I had to miss this one. Why do critics always complain about perfection? She simply always delivers the goods and you're right I would also have loved some more Belcanto in the concerts (though I'm no belcanto fan). Lovely Pix and thanx for sharing.

mahler76 said...

δυστυχώς δεν τα κατάφερα. Ελπίζω την επόμενη φορά.

derwanderer said...

An excellent review, as usual, Parsifalito!

Strange (or not?) you start with the remarks on the registers, it was EXCACTLY what we were talking about, for quite a while, with the signora [:-)] that was my date yesterday. It was my first exposure to her voice live, and it bewildererd me. You forgot to add something on the VOLUME of her voice, big, big, big but crystaline und untained even when singing ff! I am sure that she will have no problem reaching even the most remote palcos of the MET, a feat in itself!

To the programm now: I enjoied the whole thing quite immensly, BUT I can't prevent myself thinking that a 50% "charity" oriented choice of pieces is a waste of talent.

YES, the Bellini was awsome, in every aspect, and fits her voice perfectly. I loved the Clemenza "Parto" as well. The K.577 [SUNG! We caught you! for once, your predictions were innacurate, not even the Lecouvreur encore promised! But errare huanum est, thank gods you are still human :-) ] could have been the second best proposition, had the orchestra not massacred it and had Elina been more 'warmed up". Even thus I adored it, what a velvety tone, and breathtaking nuances!

The second part was like an overdose of pralines, you love them, you take one after another, it is still delicious but void of "protein". I focused mostly on her voice, brio and style during the zarzuelas and found the Socorro piece the best overall. I was bored during Carmen and, like you, prefered the "Tringles des sistres". Elina's voice is quite perfect for the part but I found her rendition more "alabastrine" than fiery. I would have been far more interrested in listening to what she can do with the "Tralalala's", "Bel officier", the castanuelas and the cards scenes.

As time goes by, I tend to become as allergic to Tosti's songs as a taliban is to a piece of exposed female skin, but I have to admit that the very quick tempo she sang Marechiare and her brio, almost crushed my aversion of that particular song. On the contrary, being the child that I am, I admit an addiction to "Babbino caro" and found her mesmerising in that.

I prey that next time we will have "meatier" music on the menu but, even thus, I can only say thank you to the organisers for inviting this true "glory of the human voice" at her absolute prime!

PS: From the back of the parterre where I was seated, the public seemed to behave very well, given its "social anthropology" and the virus-infested season. The orchestra, VERY bad in the K.577 and in the Nabucco overture (revised by... Schoenberg, as you put it, hehehehe!) was (almost) decent it the rest. But I can't prevent myself thinking that these people simply don't like music, they are dull, flat and unmusical even when they hit the notes, mas o menos, accurately.
PS2: I hope you got me what you have promised, compadre...

Anonymous said...

First signing photo, the hand is mine (thanks to paparazzifal)!!!
Elina was great (especially in Romeo)

Parsifal said...

But of course I started with the registers! I couldn't believe my ears! No flaw at all! No break! No "empty" notes! No "faked" low notes!

I didn't mention anything about the volume coz I was very close and I couldn't tell how the voice sounded for the rest.

In any case...this was a wonderful demonstration of vocal art, and I will eventually forget the horrendous orchestra (the Nabucco overture revised by Schoenberg for example)

Anonymous said...

τι να πω...όλα τα ψώνια εδω έχουν μαζευτεί?Ελληνικά βρε ανόητοι χάθηκε να μιλάτε?Αλλά είσαστε της κουλτούρας βλέπεις,κλασσική μουσική κ δήθεν....απαράδεκτα πράγματα γιατην εποχή μας.Όσω για την συναυλία του Ρουμάνου μαέστρου κ της (ρωσσίδας) τραγουδίστριας τι να πω τα ίδια κ τα ίδια χρόνια ακούμε απο διάφορες κ διάφορους, βαρετά κομμάτια,σε ανούσιους λαρυγγισμούς.Μουσική?0

Anonymous said...

και υπογράφω σαν ανώνυμος γιατι δεν θέλω να είμαι εγγεγραμμένος εδώ.αλλά ξέρω ότι δεν θα το βάλετε το κέιμενο μου που έστειλα πρίν γιατί υπάρχει λογοκρισία.ευχαριστώ.

Γρηγορης Αντωνοπουλος said...

Δεν μου αρέσουν τα ρεσιτάλ με άριες. Προτιμώ να παρακολουθώ ολοκληρωμένα έργα.
Είμαι βέβαιος, πάντως, πως η η κυρία Garanča έχει πολύ όμορφη φωνή και η παρουσίαση εδώ επαγγελματική, όπως πάντα.

Τις καλησπέρες μου!

Parsifal said...

Ναι, κ σήμερα που ξύπνησα το πρωι κάτι με έτρωγε αλλά δεν μπορούσα να το προσδιορίσω... Get a life, αγαπητέ, κουμάντο εδω μέσα κάνω εγώ κ όχι εσείς.

Parsifal said...

@ Γρηγόρη, τα ως άνω απευθύνονται προφανώς στο ανώνυμο.

Αν συνεχίσουν έτσι τα οικονομικά των θεάτρων μας δε μας βλέπω να έχουμε κανονική σαιζόν σε μερικά χρόνια (όπως πχ φέτος) κ θα εκτιμούμε τις ιδιωτικές μετακλησεις -που το Μέγαρο κ η Λυρική λόγω κόστους δύσκολα θα μπορούσαν να υποστηρίξουν.

Ενδεικτικά σας αναφέρω οτι ο Ballo in Maschera που είχε προβλεφθεί για τον Ιανουάριο από τη Λυρική σε συμπαραγωγή με το Μέγαρο, έχει ήδη ακυρωθεί λόγω μεγάλου κόστους (αν κ μαθαίνω οτι οι πραγματικοί λόγοι είναι άλλοι που οδήγησαν στην ακύρωση)

Anonymous said...

Ποιοί είναι οι λόγοι της ακύρωσης τελικά;
Και γιατί κρατούνται μυστικοί;

Parsifal said...

Η επίσημη ανακοίνωση κάνει λόγο για δυσβάσταχτο κόστος της παραγωγής. Οι ανεπίσημοι λόγοι έχουν να κάνουν με ένα περίεργο μποϊκοτάζ του οποίου αποδέκτης έγινε η ΕΛΣ...κ μέχρι εκεί θα ακούσετε από μένα.

mahler76 said...

αχ καλιαρντέματα στον κόσμο της όπερας. Τρελαίνομαι. Βασικά η Λυρική αν δεν μπορεί να κάνει νέες παραγωγές γιατί δεν ανεβάζει ξανά την όπερα του Ξαρχάκου?

Parsifal said...

Μη δίνεις ιδέες...κ μη μου το θυμίζεις...

Carina said...

Υπάρχουν άλλες πηγές πληροφοριών κάπου, αφού εσύ φοβάσαι μην εκτεθείς;

Anonymous said...

Θα ακολουθήσουν κι άλλα τέτοια μποϊκοτάζ αυτή τη σαιζόν;

Parsifal said...

Δεν είναι θέμα έκθεσης, αλλά δε σκοπεύω να γράφω φημολογίες...

Δε γνωρίζω αν θα ακολουθήσουν κ άλλα τέτοια...δείτε τα καστς κ βγάλτε μόνοι σας τα συμπεράσματα σας. Αλλά ποιά καστς, αφού ο Σαμψών έχει ακυρωθεί προ πολλού κ τώρα ακολουθεί ο Μπάλλο....δεν έχουν μείνει κ πολλά.

Anonymous said...

Yes, why is it that I too loathe Carmen's arias...and the opera as a whole in fact yet it remains one of the most popular operas.

Anonymous said...

Yes, why is it that I too loathe Carmen's arias...and the opera as a whole in fact yet it remains one of the most popular operas.

Anonymous said...

Ηταν σούπερ η Ελίνα!!!

Η ορχήστρα όμως νομίζω πως έχει γίνει cult :-) Και δεν ήταν ο ήχος. Τα ντυσίματα επίσης. Ο τύπος πρότελευταία σειρά από το τέλος στα πρώτα βιολιά φορούσε μάυρο τζην, λινό σακάκι και παπιγιόν!!! Το ταίριαξε δε πολύ όμορφα με παπουτσάκι αισθητικής αλβανού οικοδόμου. Με το δίκηο του έκατσε απ΄έξω ώστε να μπορούμε να τον θαυμάσουμε όλοι!

Γρηγορης Αντωνοπουλος said...

Έχεις δίκιο Parsifal, ο οικονομικός παράγοντας υποθέτω επιβάλλει τέτοιου είδους ρεσιτάλ. Τι κρίμα που ακυρώθηκε ο Ballo! Τι μας έμεινε πια να δούμε φέτος από ολοκληρωμένη όπερα???

FleurduMay said...

I also like Elina Garanca, she is a lovely artist.
Congratulations, you have an amazing blog, I will come to visit whenever I can;)