Sunday, October 6, 2013

Trip to NYC - Day 3 - Shopping / Cosi Fan Tutte

Hey guys! First I’d like to apologize, I didn’t post yesterday right after I came back from the opera because of a very simple reason. My mum forbade me to turn on the laptop because I needed to get some sleep for today, but anyways, here I am now so let’s get down to it.

My mum made me wake up early and we had breakfast at a not so good place. After breakfast we went back to the Hotel and I vocalized a bit just not to be completely out of shape when I go back home. Then we decided that it was high time we went to Times Square since this is like one of the first things people do when they get to NYC. We walked there, it was a nice walk and it was as busy as can be. We went to Forever 21 and I don’t even need to say that we spent the entire morning and noon looking for cheap clothes and succeeding. We got a lot of cheap great stuff for me and my sister (who made quite the list that little devil!).

me and Patrick at Rockefeller Center
Then we had lunch at Oliver Garden and I basically spent my entire meal talking to Luis Otavio (aka my opera bff) on the phone and telling him about everything that had happened on Friday at the Met. Then me and my mum just walked around, went to Rockefeller center, the Lego store, the works and I got something really cute, PATRICK! I’m taking him everywhere I go now, I’m retarded, I know. Gosh we walked so much, we went to this fancy cult bookstore that had this GIGANTIC opera encyclopedia that had this:

Yeah, this is a pic of a production of L'incoronazione di Poppea with Jonas Kaufmann and Vesselina Kasarova, but it says that Poppea is another singer. Anyways, the shop is pretty awesome, but the books are pretty expensive. By then it was 5 in the afternoon and we went back to our Hotel to get ready for the opera.

Around 7 we left the hotel and went to the Met. I met Kelsey and we talked about everything opera until the last second we could possibly talk. This girl is the absolute best, do follow her on tumblr everybody!

Me and Kelsey before the performance
Then I went to my fabulous orchestra seat, I picked my seat quite well, row P to the right, great view of the stage and close enough to see facial expressions! I took Patrick with me, he was excited to see Danielle DeNiese.

View from my seat done by Patrick
Something was off though. The chandeliers weren’t lowered, they were already up when I went to the auditorium and they didn’t come down at intermission.

Well, let’s get down to the opera. James Levine takes the podium and there’s a huge ovation. About 1/3 of the audience (including me) gave him a standing ovation, it was an amazing feeling. To actually see a LEGEND conduct something he loves thoroughly. After the clapping was done some people screamed “THANK YOU” and “YOU GO JIMMY”, the whole audience laughed.

Now, seeing James Levine conduct was insane, I feel like I just ticked one of those “things I have to see before I die” item off the list. The production was so adorable. First scene the boys are boasting over the fact that their lovers fidelity and Don Alfonso is so not buying it. Now, I didn’t know this, but the bass playing Don Alfonso was in the Adriana Lecouvreur ROH dvd I bought, he was the Prince, Maurizio Murano. This first scene already set the tone of the whole opera, light hearted and funny.

Scene changes and the loveliest scenery of a peaceful beach is revealed, they even have a ship! The girls sing the lovely “Ah guarda sorella” with ease and lively. But along comes Don Alfonso to disrupt everybody’s happiness.

I really loved the way they decided to not go with the obvious interpretations of these characters, because quite frankly, they are rather boring. Of course, Dorabella is still wilder while Fiordiligi is resolute in her faithfulness. But both girls played with their character’s personalities in a way that made them more human, likable, and yes, funny. Isabel played a rather curious jolly Dorabella, which I think goes back to the essence of the character but was extremely fresh. Then Susanna played Fiordiligi ever so faithful and sometimes serious girl, but who also had a twinge of curiosity as to what lies beyond her horizons.

When they find out their lovers are leaving and are forced to say goodbye they throw the most hilarious tantrum in which they sometimes even opted to ‘whine’ the music instead of singing it, which I thought was beautiful. Well after much tears and Please Don’t Go comes forward one of the people I have been looking forward the most of seeing in this trip, Danielle DeNiese. Now, you guys read my blog and you know she’s my baroque soprano queen, so when she came in literally pulling her house by a rope I couldn’t help but smile. Dani is absolutely amazing in this role, she’s probably the best Despina I’ve ever seen, she gives the character her very special spice, which is quite wonderful!

The girls come back and there is more drama and whining done fantastically by Isabel and Susanna. One other real nice aspect of the work they did was that the whining wasn’t irritating, it was actually quite funny. We wanted them to whine, they whined funny and now with the addition of Dani’s fiery Despina and her ironic comments it was really a treat!

Now, when the guys came up dressed as some sort of Arabic princes I had to control myself not to laugh too loud. Everybody’s acting in this production was superb and more importantly the exchange was incredible because they were all at the same level of energy. As they try to woo the girls Susanna slaps them back her a powerful and resolute rendition of “Come Scoglio”, she got quite a big ovation for that. And although Dorabella is without a doubt on her side it’s interesting to see how she’s already looking at them with curious eyes.

The boys think Don Alfonso has lost the bet and commemorate of their lovers fidelity but Despina and Alfonso have other plans. The guys pretend to drink poison because the girls have denied their love. Their spasms of death intercalated with their laughing at their lovers’ reaction is quite funny. But when Despina comes back dressed up like some oriental doctor I couldn’t help but simply burst. As she waved around her magnet the boys would toss and turn and the girls were in change of keeping them quite. That gave them the perfect opportunity to grab and hug them as much as they wanted while the ‘doctor’ would them it was the effect of the poison.

Everybody in the audience was having a blast, loads of laughter and cheers! As the act ended almost everybody in the auditorium had a smile of their face. I went to the Grand Tier to meet Kelsey and there we talked as much as we could about what we had just seen. But good times go by so fast it’s such a shame. Back in my seat and second act begins.

Despina is trying to convince the girls to loosen up and have some fun and flirt with the two strangers since they like them all so very much. This scene is quite funny and as Dani sang “Una donna” and danced I was suddenly brought back to Giulio Cesare! The girls FINALLY loosen up and go to meet the new comers. The four of them sit on a bench and there’s the scene that I would like to call “Awkward silence”. Eventually they head off, each in a different direction with a different girl.

It takes a lot more to persuade Fiordiligi than Dorabella but eventually both girls are head over heels in love with the strangers. Plus, they totally agree to marry them! The last part, which involves the false marriage, the lovers return and etc was true hilarious. The girls’ desperation, the boys’ fervent acting and Despina and Don Alfonso pretending like they knew nothing. Ah, it was incredible!

As the curtain went down thunderous applause came from the audience. It was really a triumphant closing night for Cosi Fan Tutte!

Right after the curtain call ended I rushed down to the stage door because I wanted to talk to the three girls! My mum was, to put it nicely, pissed off. She had her reasons though, it was cold, it was midnight and she was tired. Kelsey met me down there and I noticed there was the same group of 5 odd looking people who had been there the night before taking pictures and getting autographs and stuff. My mum was on the verge, she would tell me, in Portuguese obviously, “Look at these people waiting, they are all crazy and the singers will think you are crazy too. What’s the point of that? They won’t give you the time of day!”. My mum was right in one thing, those people were indeed crazy. When Matthew came out and tried to explain he had to be up at 5 am the next so he couldn’t sign anything but promised to sign whenever he came back, it was scary. They really started shoving stuff up in Matthew’s direction for him to sign as me and Kelsey stood there dumbfounded. I was like “Oh man, these people are crazy!”. Matthew did go away but gave me and Kelsey a very polite and nice good night.

Every single person who came out they would, for loss of better word, harass with their thousand of things they had for them to sign. It was very creepy. But eventually Dani came out and I suddenly saw her a few feet away from me and was very scared. I mustered up my courage and went to talk to her, she was super nice but told me she had to be somewhere and was super late. While we were talking one of those insane asylum fugitives simply came up between me and her asking for a picture. Seriously, I wanted to KILL HIM. Dani was very gracious and said yes, but asked him to excuse her because she wanted to sign my cd. I seriously did not have the lack of manners he did to ask for a picture with her since she was in such a rush. But she was very sweet and told me it had been such a pleasure to meet me. I was happy, but pissed at the old fat guy wished he’d trip and drown in his own fat. Ah well, that’s life.

Then Susanna Phillips came out and she was also so very nice. We told her we’d been tweeting her and we chatted quite a bit about the opera and the take they had in it. She was so thrilled that we had enjoyed ourselves thoroughly with their performance, she was truly so very nice!

Then Isabel Leonard came out and she also was very sweet and nice. We also discussed with her their new comic take on the piece and she was very kind while talking to us.

At the end of the day I was very happy, I’d gotten to see so many people I adore doing music from one of my favorite composers. But I was kind of shaken by those creepy people at the stage door, what they do is truly sick. Stuff like that does not happen in my country, at least not to my knowledge, or at least not to opera singers.

Well, I’m not going to write a whole on today because I didn’t do anyway opera related, just massive amounts of shopping and walking. I’ll write a little something later, bye everyone!


  1. I didn't know that such creepy ppl exist in the opera world! I'm naive I guess)))

  2. I'm sorry you didn't get Matthew's autograph or anything. Better luck next time. Rest assured though, when he's not in a hurry, he's really very kind and gracious.

    1. Oh, I'm sure he is. He was very polite to me and my friend back then. Those stage door people were the ones who were completely out of line!