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FINALLY

IT’S HERE IT’S HERE

verdiprati:

FINALLY

IT’S HERE IT’S HERE

opera-confessions:

submit to opera-confessions

That’s not Gerald Finley, that’s some guy with …
wait …
*studies the eyes*
*studies the grin*
WHAaaaT?!!?

opera-confessions:

submit to opera-confessions

That’s not Gerald Finley, that’s some guy with …

wait …

*studies the eyes*

*studies the grin*

WHAaaaT?!!?

operaneophyte:

Sonia Prina “Compatisco il tuo fierto tormento” Vivaldi; Ottone in Villa

See my previous post for details on an upcoming production of this opera with Sonia Prina. There will be a radio broadcast and possibly a video live stream.

By the way now that I’ve written down my impressions of the Richard Jones production of Ariodante at the Festival d’Aix, here are a few assorted things about my opera-going experience in Aix-en-Provence:
Fortunately, the show that I saw (on July 10) was not affected by the kinds of disturbances engineered by les intermittents for the opening night. We just had to sit through the same canned speech that you see at the beginning of the video from the 12th. (I don’t begrudge them that.) There was a noisy flock of pigeons that came in to roost during the first act, and an unmuffled vehicle could be heard roaring away from the theater area during the third act, but otherwise the performance was uncompromised by outside forces.
I was warned in advance that the wooden seats at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché are really uncomfortable, and I was advised to bring a cushion. I almost didn’t, but at the last minute my boyfriend and I bought chair cushions from a Provençal textiles store in Aix. I am so glad we did—even with the benefit of the cushion, my haunches were feeling kind of flattened after a four-hour opera.
For most of the week that I was vacationing in France, a strong, cold wind known as the mistral dominated the weather. It brought brilliantly clear skies (as seen behind the festival banner, above) but it also dropped the temperature below what I had packed for. The night that we went to the opera, I estimate that it was about 59 F / 15 C, not accounting for the wind chill. In Aix that evening I bought a blazer to wear over my summer dress, and that helped, but it wasn’t nearly enough. I saw—and envied—people wearing boots and winter jackets at the open-air theater. The festival provided a fleece blanket at each seat, and I contrived to wrap myself up with just my head and my feet poking out. I was still frrrrreezing; my feet were awfully cold in my sandals. I was so cold that at the first interval I refused to get up from my seat because I didn’t want to disturb the careful wrapping of the blanket. I felt really bad for Patricia Petibon, who had to spend a lot of time onstage in a light cotton slip or petticoat; I cringed every time her hair and skirts were tousled by a cold wind.
At the second interval, the call of nature made it necessary for me to get up. Shivering, I descended from the balcony and followed a line of people of both genders who appeared to be heading down a corridor towards what I hoped would be the restrooms. I was a little surprised when I came to the end of the corridor and discovered that it emptied into what appeared to be the men’s room. There were at least three or four women ahead of me, either using the stalls or waiting to do so, so I disregarded the dirty looks I was getting from some of the men, held my head high, and studied the color of my lipstick in the mirror. When the woman ahead of me exited a toilet stall, I dove in, ignoring a guy who seemed poised to cut me off. When I came out of the stall, there were a couple more women waiting along with the men. I washed my hands and went back out through the long corridor, where I finally noticed the signage indicating a men’s room. To this day I have no idea if I was in the company of a half-dozen women who were just as confused as me, or if I was unwittingly participating in some kind of gender revolution.

By the way now that I’ve written down my impressions of the Richard Jones production of Ariodante at the Festival d’Aix, here are a few assorted things about my opera-going experience in Aix-en-Provence:

  • Fortunately, the show that I saw (on July 10) was not affected by the kinds of disturbances engineered by les intermittents for the opening night. We just had to sit through the same canned speech that you see at the beginning of the video from the 12th. (I don’t begrudge them that.) There was a noisy flock of pigeons that came in to roost during the first act, and an unmuffled vehicle could be heard roaring away from the theater area during the third act, but otherwise the performance was uncompromised by outside forces.
  • I was warned in advance that the wooden seats at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché are really uncomfortable, and I was advised to bring a cushion. I almost didn’t, but at the last minute my boyfriend and I bought chair cushions from a Provençal textiles store in Aix. I am so glad we did—even with the benefit of the cushion, my haunches were feeling kind of flattened after a four-hour opera.
  • For most of the week that I was vacationing in France, a strong, cold wind known as the mistral dominated the weather. It brought brilliantly clear skies (as seen behind the festival banner, above) but it also dropped the temperature below what I had packed for. The night that we went to the opera, I estimate that it was about 59 F / 15 C, not accounting for the wind chill. In Aix that evening I bought a blazer to wear over my summer dress, and that helped, but it wasn’t nearly enough. I saw—and envied—people wearing boots and winter jackets at the open-air theater. The festival provided a fleece blanket at each seat, and I contrived to wrap myself up with just my head and my feet poking out. I was still frrrrreezing; my feet were awfully cold in my sandals. I was so cold that at the first interval I refused to get up from my seat because I didn’t want to disturb the careful wrapping of the blanket. I felt really bad for Patricia Petibon, who had to spend a lot of time onstage in a light cotton slip or petticoat; I cringed every time her hair and skirts were tousled by a cold wind.
  • At the second interval, the call of nature made it necessary for me to get up. Shivering, I descended from the balcony and followed a line of people of both genders who appeared to be heading down a corridor towards what I hoped would be the restrooms. I was a little surprised when I came to the end of the corridor and discovered that it emptied into what appeared to be the men’s room. There were at least three or four women ahead of me, either using the stalls or waiting to do so, so I disregarded the dirty looks I was getting from some of the men, held my head high, and studied the color of my lipstick in the mirror. When the woman ahead of me exited a toilet stall, I dove in, ignoring a guy who seemed poised to cut me off. When I came out of the stall, there were a couple more women waiting along with the men. I washed my hands and went back out through the long corridor, where I finally noticed the signage indicating a men’s room. To this day I have no idea if I was in the company of a half-dozen women who were just as confused as me, or if I was unwittingly participating in some kind of gender revolution.

I am such a dork, when I’m listening to a live radio broadcast of a concert and they get to the applause I clap along too.

Notes on the Aix Ariodante

After the jump: my (belated) notes on the performance of Ariodante directed by Richard Jones that I saw at this year’s Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Not a comprehensive review; just notes on the things that stood out to me.

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