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Subject: Re: Finley’s Scarpia, Vienna Jubileum FroSch
From: David Wagner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Wagner <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 25 Jan 2018 19:48:36 -0500
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IMO, the Nurse is not really wrong about the Emperor - "a hunter and a
lover; otherwise, nothing" - not wrong, must evilly meant. He's a
sweetie-pie, but maybe not the sharpest arrow in the Falcon-House. His
experience of being turned mostly to stone and then getting better seems to
gain him wisdom: it's he who correctly identifies the voices of the unborn
children, while the Empress, though delighted, can't figure out what they
are.

-David Wagner

On Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 2:59 PM, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Tucking two topics into one post.
>
> I notice that Gerald Finley has apparently flown from one role debut,
> Athanael at the Met, to another, Scarpia at London’s Royal Opera, with
> hardly a breather.
>
> Given that Finley (in my opinion) not only has an exceptionally beautiful
> baritone voice, but that he’s also an unusually intelligent singing actor
> with frequent gleams of originality in his interpretations, I’d expect this
> Scarpia to be unusually interesting. Even in concert, I found his Iago
> under Colin Davis a fascinating portrayal.
>
> Does one approaching the role for the first time in the era of #metoo let
> that color the interpretation?
>
> Any reports yet?
>
> Other topic: I notice that the Vienna State Opera is planning a 2019
> “Jubileum” production of “Frau ohne Schatten” in homage to the work’s
> October 1919 world premiere there. The few casting details I’ve heard are
> intriguing: role debuts for Nina Stemme as the Färberin and Jonas Kaufmann
> as the Kaiser.
>
> Stemme is an artist who has consistently mesmerized me with her
> interpretations as well as her singing live in everything I’ve seen her do
> (most recently Turandot in SF) but her art very strangely eludes any form
> of recording or transmission. The sound heard even in a good sounding live
> transmission sounds totally different and in a negative way. The clear,
> powerful, marble-like sound I hear live somehow crosses the microphone as
> unsteady and not particularly attractive and even the compelling personae
> she creates are for the live audience and not the camera.
>
> Kaufmann also usually looks for interpretive depths to sink his teeth
> into. I haven’t really seen anyone turn up such yet in the role of the
> Kaiser. From the outset, gorgeous blue-eyed blonde Norwegian tenor Karl
> Aagard Østvig, who sang the world premiere, set a particular tone for the
> role as a handsome stud who pours out sound but little real nuance and
> variety of character beyond his delusion and confusion in his Act 2
> monologue (“Falke, mein Falke”). It will be interesting to see and hear
> what Kaufmann digs up.
>
> Max Paley
>
> Sent from my iPhone
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