Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dream Roles (part 1)

Dream roles, everyone has one, even the top notch singers do. If you ask Joyce DiDonato she’s gonna say Violetta and Don Giovanni and a few other baritone roles. Well, I was watching La Traviata for like the thousandth time today and decided to make a list of my dream roles!
First of all is the stellar Violetta from Verdi’s La Traviata, I think this is a dream role for a lot of people. Amongst other reasons I think it’s because La Traviata is many people’s first opera love. And the part is a gift to the performer; people say you have to be three kinds of singers to play Violetta. The playful and sassy coloratura soprano for the first act of love discovery, a lyric soprano in the second act to face your reproaching father in law and make the hardest and most painful decision of your life and face the consequences, and finally a dramatic soprano to suffer because of your terminal illness until the love of your life returns to you only for you to die in his arms. That’s quite a lot, and I love it! ;)
The gorgeous Renée Fleming as Violetta in a 2007 production of La Traviata at the
Another three (maybe four) facet role(s) are the lovers from Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Those are also dream roles but I’d like to play them all at once, like Diana Damrau did just two years ago at the Bayesrische Staatsoper. Starting with the silent role of Stella, the opera singer who is thrilling audiences doing Don Giovanni. Then the creepy, creepy doll Olympia, I love her, that’s a role with which you can really play with; you can make her the most graceful thing in the world or the strangest yet enchanting perfect girl. Then there’s the poor sick yet full of hopes and dreams Antonia, with such sublime music, and I mean, getting to die because you sang too much is just so cool! And then you go to a completely different personality when playing Giulietta, a prostitute who deceives Hoffman in order to get what she wants and also ends up dying, I mean double death deal with these roles (I love to die on stage, don’t judge me hahaha).

Above we have Diana Damrau playing all four of Hoffman's loves, Stella, Olympia, Giulietta and Antonia all in the same production at the Bayesrische Staatsoper in 2011
I’m not going to make a gigantic list not just yet; these are the dream roles I can think of at the top of my head.
There are two other that I’d be more than happy to play; unfortunately I’d have to choose since I can’t play both in the same production. The awesome queens from Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda. I mean apart from the out of this constellation confrontation scene they have, the roles have amazing depth and historical richness. Maria Stuarda is such an ambiguous character, since the way she’s written in the opera isn’t really what I would expect having read her true story, but she’s proud and so strong at the very end, and that inspires me enormously. And Elisabeth is another treat, the Queen of England such an imagine, and her almost possessive not corresponded love towards Roberto that in the opera triggers Maria’s misfortunes is inspiring. These two roles make my eyes go on fire to play them someday.

Joyce DiDonato as Maria Stuarda in 2013 at the Met Opera 

Joyce DiDonato as Elisabeth in 2004 at the Grand Théâtre de Genève
Coincidently all the singers I used as an example of the roles are also my favorite singers of all time, you figure! I think the next post I’m making on this subject will be my mezzo dream roles or pant roles dream roles something like that, stay tuned!
Short post, just felt like writing something like that, and don’t forget peeps, today is opening of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, staring Diana Damrau as Violetta and Placido Domingo as Germont  in their role debuts. It’s gonna be streamed live trough the Met website, this is a moment in opera history no one can miss ;) Cheers peeps!

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