Tag Archives: Ariodante

White shirts

A break cannot be caught. Yesterday, I had a look at my rss feed reader and in the first article displayed, a question was proposed: What’s the No. 1 opera that allows a White Shirt mezzo to have their hands all over generally not just one, but two sopranos?

The Giessen production of Figaro provides a similar scene: Cherubino in a white shirt with rolled-up sleves.

The same we had with Ariodante in Baden-Baden:

What is it about the white shirts and rolled up sleeves? I’m curious about how they will dress Joyce as Octavian. And I will find out in less than two weeks!!

(@Aniklachev: feel free to post this picture if you like!)

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Filed under Hot Mezzos in Pants, Teatro

Unlimited joy and Joyce!

Vibre, mon âme, chante et proclame, chante ta joie!


Yet again, I had the pleasure of spending an unforgettable opera evening. When we did Otello last season I wondered what would make someone go to see a concertante performance of opera. Well, there’s at least one answer I can give now: a most ravishing Joyce DiDonato!

Donna Leon presented Handel’s Ariodante in Baden-Baden on Friday, introducing to the performance of Joyce DiDonato singing the title role, accompanied by Alan Curtis’ Il Complesso Barocco. A slip of the tongue of Donna Leon became my program for the evening: she talked of “unlimited Joyce” instead of “unlimited joy”.
Interestingly, she compared the plot of Ariodante with that of Othello: the bad guy plays a trick on the good guy to make him believe his fiancé was unfaithful in order to gain the fiancé and the good guy’s all other comforts. Without examining the evidence, Othello decides to act: in an endless shouting of “Il fazzoletto!” he stabs the unfaithful. Ariodante doesn’t care about evidence either. But he chooses his own death, even though not successfully. Thus, the audience is sent home with a reconciling happy ending.

It takes Handel a lot of music to work out this plot, thereby giving a lot of room to discover the beauty of his music, if one had been skeptical about it before. And the musicians took their chance to enchant the audience.

I could not let my ears and eyes from the evening’s “hot mezzo in pants” Joyce DiDonato, whose portrayal of Ariodante went right into the heart. I wanted to stop the course of time when I saw this beyond-my-mind-voice unfolding its warm magic ten meters in front of me (and not in some technical appliance). And I now know: a concertante performance doesn’t have to be any less credible, after not only hearing Ariodante’s unlimited joy, his despair, and his relieve, but also seeing it in DiDonato face and body.

After the performance I followed DiDonato’s advice to catch her at the stage door for an autograph and I met a most cordial person who didn’t stop to share her gorgeous smile. In full excitement and gratitude I tried to control the shutter release of my camera and even though I didn’t use that feature I am sure: the automatic-release-when-detecting-a-smile-function of my camera was developed for persons like Joyce!

Look at the hair! 😀

Maybe it’s worth to re-explore the thought of Der Rosenkavalier in Milano in October… Donations very welcome! 😉

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Filed under Chantez, chantez!, Hot Mezzos in Pants, Photography, Teatro