24 June 2008

I'm not promising anything

Where has Sieglinde been, you ask? I could say, campaigning for Diva Hillary in the gay baths of Appalachia; or travelling the world's opera houses on first class; or learning how to excise my acute fear of swim tests; or starting some sort of free porn download blog elsewhere. But really I was immersed mostly in the thrilling banality of work, in the discovery of small things, in seeing my name on academic publications. So I had to work my ass off, is all. There may have been crises of identity for Sieglinde, but I'm forgetting the details now. So yeah, I wasn't doing much else the past few months-- boycotting MSNBC mostly, also leaving dozens of balcony box tickets unused. Of the ones I used, the most memorable are the three incandescent Tristan und Isoldes, each with a unique set of lovers. (I was there when the Tristan got nearly decapitated by Dieter Dorn's magic carpet!) A healthy Deborah Voigt is a formidable Wagnerian soprano, the voice now with indisputably less beauty but with a more "live" quality and secure power. She should be able to do the Brunnhildes in the coming new Met Ring production, and do in historic dimensions, I have little doubt. What else? A Peter Grimes that mostly solidified Patricia Racette's place in my pantheon of fearsome sopranos, an Ernani that put me to sleep, a Fille du Regiment (with bis!) that confirmed what I've thought of Natalie Dessay and Donizetti's opera all along. Before I forget, I'd like to supplement the terribly mean things I said about Johan Botha's Otello below, which unfortunately have been first to greet every visitor these many weeks. I saw a couple more of the later Otellos, and by golly wow: once comfortable, this man sang true with beauty and anger at once, a rare summation. This early, he is already a great Otello. Renee Fleming, your Desdemona brought me to near-tears every single time. More later.