Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dream Mezzo Roles

So, these last few days I’ve been wanting to write so much, almost like in the beginning of the blog when I’d post every day. Ah well, who listened to La Traviata on Thursday night? It was quite something hun? This one I really wish I was actually seeing, I mean, Placido and Diana in roles debuts, it’s too good to miss. Well there is another radio broadcast on the 30th so I’ll have to make do with that.
I’ve decided to make the dream role thing a series, I already got loads of categories like Dream Pants Roles, Dream French Roles, Dream Baroque Roles, Dream Mozart Roles… But today I decided I’d talk about roles I’m not very likely to play, My Dream Mezzo Roles.
This is in no particular order, but the first role I wrote down was Carmen from Bizet’s Carmen. I mean, she is all kinds of awesome, and absolutely can have the world on the tip of her finger. Apart from the fact that the music written for this whole opera is just perfection, and one of my favorites, the character is so iconic that I’d love to give it a go. She’s a proud woman which I like a lot, plus you get to die on stage maybe being murdered by Jonas Kauffmann, you never know… (So not gonna happen!)
Vesselina Kasarova as Carmen
Another French heroin(ish) that I’d love to play is Charlotte from Massenet’s Werther. At first I must admit she kind of annoyed me a bit because she wouldn’t just give in and run away with Werther. But in this sort of situation you have to put yourself in their shoes but not with your 21st Century they can get a divorce anyway eyes but with their eyes and see how they were brought up and such to see that it is absurd and against everything they believe leaving one’s spouse. It’s sad, but true, I’d love to play the parts they are together in the third act and she almost gives in, it’s such a dramatic role and I love it.
Alice Coote as Charlotte
Still talking about the fantastic roles Massenet wrote for mezzos one of my biggest dream roles is definitely Cendrillon/Lucette in his Cendrillon. This one is mainly because of the beautiful, beautiful music that is written for Cinderella, and who never wanted to play a princess, hun? It might as well be in French and with lush and melodramatic melodies! Plus the trio from the third act makes it all worth it, and the way Prince Charmant and Cendrillon love each other is so different from say Cenerentola and her whole “let good reign” motto. They are indescribably in love not just dazzled by one another, and that I think is super!
 Joyce Didonato as Cendrillon in the 2008 Royal Opera House production

Now let’s go, back, back, back to one of favorite baroque characters, the most definitely unstable Dejanira from Handel’s Hercules. I say that Dejanira’s mad aria “Where Shall I Fly?” is hands down the best mad scene/aria EVER! I know what you are gonna say, what about Lucia? Yeah, I get that a lot, but think about it, Dejanira just killed the REAL love of her life, not someone she was forced to marry, but someone she wanted to grow old with and whom she utterly adored, and she, with her suspicion killed him. And the fact that she starts also hallucinating is fantastic, but it’s not the nice kind of hallucination like in Lucia, it’s the sisters or whomever that have come to judge her and punish her. Awesome role!
Alice Coote as Dejarina
Something I just could not leave out is Rosina from Rossini's Il Barbieri di Siviglia one of the sassiest roles in opera. I mean she has beautiful arias and musical interventions and actually is smarter than anyone else in this opera. Sure she gets fooled by Figaro and Almaviva to think Almaviva is Lindoro, but she makes up the most ridiculously brilliant excuses to get out of trouble. Plus she is the kind of strong proud character I love (funny how these are always the Spanish girls, Carmen, Rosina, Beatrice). And it’s comedy, as much as I love to die on stage, making the audience laugh does something to me, it gives me a lot of joy, that sometimes I laugh myself because I’m so happy they laughed at my joke, but I have that under control now…

Vesselina Kasarova as Rosina

Last but definitely not least is the amazing Béatrice from Berlioz’s Beatrice et Bénédict. I’ve already played this character in the Shakespearean play Much Ado About Nothing and I must say it’s one of the most fun roles I’ve ever played. She’s , just like Rosina, sassy and impetuous, plus you get to real spit on the guy before you say, “Ahh, ok, I love you too, let’s get married”. The fights they have are absolutely delicious and their vocal exchange is hard to match!
Joyce DiDonato as Béatrice in the Houston Grand Opera in 2008
That’s basically it, again my examples of the roles floated around my favorite singers (aka Joyce DiDonato, Vesselina Kasarova and Alice Coote). Today I have a pretty wild party to go to, and still have to make lunch. Yesterday I made risotto while singing along to Danielle De Niese’s Cleopatra arias and Joyce DiDonato’s Furore. So when my mum asked me what was my secret because it tasted wonderful I just said “Well, I sang on it” hahaha I’m pathetic, ok bye!

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