Is the title too Harry Potterish? Ah well, this has been a week of studying languages (Italian and French mostly, I’m kinda running away from the German), talking a lot about opera (I really had a blast at the #operarox live show, really, those people are awesome, they get me! It’s so difficult to find people who are willing to talk about opera nonstop), and watching new stuff (new to me, this stuff is ancient actually).
Sarah Connolly as Cesare and Danielle De Niese as Cleopatra
Well, I’m gonna talk about the two last operas that I saw, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Monteverdi’s L'incoronazzione de Poppea both productions from the Glyndebourne Opera and also staring Danielle De Niese as the leading lady. What I think is super cool about these baroque operas is that gender isn’t really an issue, I mean, you have women playing man and man playing women and it’s ok. And it works, and that for me is awesome, especially since I came from a very theatrical background where gender sometimes really doesn’t matter.
Danielle De Niese as Poppea
and Alice Coote as Nero
Well I automatically feel in love with the two leading couples! I love this more fiery kind of love that both have as opposed to sweet and tender one, I like love with action! Also I think it’s so cool how both ladies start off maybe not really in love with the guys, but then fall helplessly for them (especially Cleopatra, she turns out to be so devoted to Cesare!). And really, I don’t blame them because, those guys are really something! I don’t know if it’s the fact that they are Emperors, they have that power allure, although the power doesn’t attract me, what does it’s the attitude and the posture one has when it has absolute power. Does that even make sense?
Danielle De Niese as Cleopatra
Sarah Connolly as Cesare
I particularly like the scene in the second act where Nero is singing a duet with one of his senate companions (I really don’t know who that guy is actually) and they are talking about ruby red lips, delicious, irresistible, and it’s just so sexy! The music, Alice’s face changes with every passing phrase, Nero seems to at first be talking about Poppea’s lips, but then he looks at his fellow differently, and at first it’s an odd feeling for him, but then he kinda surrenders to it and just enjoys singing about the guy’s lips. And then singing about it isn’t enough, he has to kiss him, so he does and it’s a very “hold your breath” moment, he seems to enjoy it and but then he can’t do that, so with all his absolute power and grace he drowns the guy, still singing about the red lips! For me that was unbelievable, it was so intense, I loved it!
Alice Coote as Nero
Well, I don’t care about what other people say baroque opera rocks!