Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No picture, no work. It is so very rare that there is a day that I do not bead, unless really, really sick, that the event deserves a note in my bead blog. Yesterday after grabbing the news on Google, I somehow ended up in You Tube and found out they now have complete operas. Over two hours of  performances I never would have otherwise seen. It all came in without delays to load, beautifully streamed, images as sharp as any DVD. I was amazed. All for free. So I watched three and one-half versions of "La Traviata" in one day.
First was a French production with Christine Schaffer. Her voice is marvelous but she seemed unable to move any thing but her hands. She was not sexy from behavior in spite of a tiny perfect figure. French sets were awful and the costumes were worse.
Next was an English production from Covenant Gardens with Renee Fleming. She had the body and the movements (from the waist up - when will opera costumers realize that in those huge dresses half of the actress's body is unable to emote) of a courtesan, and the looks. The sets were gorgeous and opulent and set in the 1850s. This version alone closely followed the original score so it was easy to image that this the premier performance except the soprano was TB-thin.
After watching half of this again to show it to Werner, we dug out our DVD of the 2005 Festspiel version with Anna Netrebko and Roland Villezon and we could not stop looking until the last note of joy. This is still my favorite version. The voices, the set, the ideas, the theater - all were just right.