Here’s me last night at Don Carlo, which is my favorite Verdi opera. (And the cast in the current production at the Met is AMAZING.) I meet people all the time who have never been to the opera: my advice is that you should go! When it works, there’s nothing quite like it. And especially at the Met. More amusingly, there were a couple of women behind me who were each like 125 years old; this guy in the middle of the row got up and walked past them three times before the curtain, and before the third time, one of the women was like “I’m sick of standing up for you — go around to the other side,” and he did because he knew he was being annoying.


Heard 157 Times


Because someone mentioned her earlier today, and because I’m becoming a fan, and because I’m excited for the Ariadne broadcast next weekend (but first Florez!), and because this was the perfect accompaniment while walking up Michigan Ave in the snow after work (though in a very different way, John Adams was too), and because maybe I like this more than the Covent Garden broadcast, and because I’m going to fall asleep to this tonight…

Nina Stemme’s Liebestod from the 2009 Birgit Nilsson Prize ceremony

Auto Nina Stemme Liebestod reblog! Btw, Liebestod literally translates into ‘Lovedeath’ which should give you some idea of what’s going on this opera, which is Wagner’s musical homage to the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (miss u). It’s a little unfair to listen to it like this, when in the actual opera — Tristan und Isolde — this occurs at the very very end of three acts of somewhat languorous yet restless dissonance (FIVE HOURS YALL) and (in addition to being the foundation of ‘modern music’ and possibly ‘modernity’ as we see it in the 20th century, e.g., you can think of this music as analogous to impressionism in painting, and not coincidentally was written in 1860) has often been compared (I’m blushing here yall) to an orgasm, and in particular one of the lady variety, after so many hours of foreplay (not really sure how Wagner pulled that off — he was a BIG WOMANIZER THOUGH LOL? and married Franz Liszt’s daughter Cosima who was a CRAZY BEYOTCHAH (although her father was awesome) AND A SERIOUS ANTI-SEMITE, maybe even worse than Wagner, I DIGRESS — but I have certainly been obliterated by this particular piece of music to a degree that has left me feeling like a shallow pool of water (in a good way, and not completely unlike what it feels like after you’ve been ____) so I understand the comparison); Stephen has regularly worked on this opera at the Met and elsewhere so I’ve had the luck to see it many many many times (it’s also a big theme in my novel yall, which is going to publish in less than 12 MONTHS) and my favorite performance of those many I’ve seen was by Jane Eaglen because her voice just kind of rolled over you like waves (and not small ones either) at the end during her liebestod, and this was a performance with Ben Heppner (who was also incredible), maybe 8 or 9 years ago when he was at the height of his powers. Interesting/sad side note is that Ben and Jane were also rather heavy during this phase of their careers and it used to — and still does — piss me off when I would hear ppl say ‘omg they were just TOO FAT to be believable’ and I would be like 1) who gives a fucking shit what they look like if they can sing like that and 2) whut — u think fat ppl can’t fall in love and long for death as much as skinny ppl? But the sad reality in opera houses these days is that there’s a real prejudice against heavy singers and they don’t get the kind of work that their thinner colleagues get unless their voices are just off-the-charts gorgeous (e.g., Stephanie Blythe <3 <3 <3) and they can basically say to management; fuck u I’m doing whatever I want, which in itself is kind of awesome. ZOMG IT’S A BLIZZARD OUT THERE YALL! xoxo MG