Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Trip to NYC - Day 5 - Meeting Anna Netrebko / Norma 2

Hi everybody! I’m again so sorry I took a while again to post here. My mum again is making things very difficult. Let’s get down to it then.

On Monday we actually went back to Century 21 way down town where the Twin Towers feel so we could get some stuff for my grandma. I ended up buying a lot of girly themed house stuff, like dish washing scrubs with flowers and things for a very good price. The clothes there are far too expensive but there are some things that are affordable. We went to Lancome to buy my grandma’s 235785 non aging creams and we ended up getting two rather nice gift bags!

We came back uptown and had lunch at P.J. Clarks, seriously this place dropped from the heavens, it’s so good and so near the Met! I went to the Met Store to get in line for the “Meet Anna Netrebko” thing at 2:30, she was coming out at 3:00 and the cue that real big already. I made a friend while I waited. I’m making loads of friends in this trip! He’s Russian and he was so very excited to meet Anna as was I! It was good I found him since that half hour was spent with a nice conversation. It was so ridiculous, because we were at the bottom of the stair case and all of the sudden someone says “IT’S HER!”. And we see Anna going up the revolving stair case waving and blowing kisses as the most perfect modern diva! She had gone past me and I didn’t even notice! What? Yeah.

Well after that the feeling of my heart beating in my throat came back. As we got closer and closer I was getting more and more excited! My new found friend went first and she was delighted to see someone from her home country there. Then it was my turn. I told her I was from Brazil and that it was actually watching her that I fell in love with opera. She was so happy about that, she was very gracious and very nice, signed all my three cds writing my name in each every one of them. We had a picture taken together and then I told her that I would probably look real bad in the pic because I always looked weird in pictures with people I really liked. She then laughed and said “Oh, that’s not true. But in any case, just do the fashion pose” and she struck the pose and I imitated her and we both laughed, it was AWESOME!

Me and my friend left the store dazzled, star struck really, we couldn’t stop laughing and smiling! Even as the most horrid wind blew out of nowhere we were still smiling and talking. He headed on his way eventually and I met my mum and we went to the Juilliard Store. That shop, is AMAZING! It has quite literally, everything! Shame the stuff is really expensive, so I only bought stuff I knew I’d be using in the present time, two Mozart vocal scores, one of Don Giovanni and another of Die Zauberflute and a book on Style and Singing.

I forgot to say, it was freaking raining, that crazy wind actually was a warning to crazy rain! So we went back to the hotel in one umbrella, me clutching my new acquired sheet music as if my life depended on it. We got back to the hotel, changed and then prayed that the rain would stop. Well it did, and before you could say ‘banana’ we were off to the Met for a performance of Norma.

We got there and my mum couldn’t believe how high our seats were, Family Circle Premium, but it’s still Family Circle. I must admit I’m not really afraid of heights, but when I entered the auditorium I was very afraid. Being there in the middle between the Balcony and the Family Circle looking down it’s very scary indeed! We went to our seats and my mum wasn’t feeling so well because of the height, it’s very high, and very scary.

Well, the opera starts and I’m so excited! It’s also amazing how the sound in the Family Circle is so clear and good! As my mum said it’s as if she’s singing right next to us! Needless to say Sondra totally rocked it! Gosh, her Casta Diva is so incredible. Placid and powerful, and then she explodes at the cabaletta and you just wanna sit there listening to her sing ‘till the end of time. I think that one of the best things about her performance, apart from the impeccable singing, is that you can see character transformation. Norma is such a complicated and difficult role to play not just because it is highly demanding vocally but because the character goes through a roller coaster of an emotional journey.

I love it how in her cabaletta just after her Casta Diva you can see the placid, strong priestess that she puts across to everybody else but also the woman in love and the mother. And I’m gonna say it once more, Sondra’s voice is beyond anything I’ve ever heard. You people GOTTA see her perform live. Her voice is huge plus it has such a distinctive and magnetic color, it’s really to die for, and you will probably never hear anybody sing the way she sings, it’s really something out of this world.

But back to Norma, as the story unfolds and we have that amazing moment between Norma and Adalgisa.  At first is pure delight with the two of them melting their voices together to voice their love for the same man. It’s fun to notice how even though their lines are meant to entwine they are very different and the contrast is very well made by the performers, although I must confess Sondra’s brilliant color voice outshines her fellow singer.

Then it kept building up and more and more until the last act and my absolute favorite part. Norma is furious and vindictive and all kinds of awesome and I can only imagine that must be the most fun part to play of Norma, although it must be very draining. She is just so maliciously glad to have for former lover’s fact between her fingers, when he says “Norma?” and she replies “Norma!” it’s like ‘BANG, karma is a bitch!’. From then on it’s awesome awesome awesome. I loved how in this staging he’s almost all the time on his knees while Norma talks to him. I thought it was so incredible how Sondra was able to come across with a color to her phrases which was quite unique for this scene. Resolute, decisive but also still in love deep down, she’s harsh but there’s some sweetness to her tone. It’s quite incredible!

At the end I was a mess but a good mess! Didn’t have time to get too depressed because Sondra was so kind to put me on the backstage list and as we went down ALL those stairs I couldn’t help but giggle like a six year old. Well we got to the security guard and gave our names and he let us in, we went to the dressing rooms area and oh my God I was freaking out on the inside. There were about 7 people waiting for Sondra there, we waited for about 10 minutes and she came out. My mum was kind of tired so she sat on one of those chairs and I told her “Many very important booties sat in that chair, you know that, right?”

Well I went to talk to Sondra and she greeted me like we were old friends. She is such an amazing human being! We talked for a while about many many things and really, she’s the best! Such an amazing person, a real role model. I can't begin to describe how incredible it was for me to actually meet Sondra and talk to her. She is, hands down, my favorite soprano and kind of like one of those people I look up to and say "I wanna be like that when I grow up!". So I'm really surprised I didn't cry, I almost did though, but I was too happy to have time to cry. But again, every time I travel back to the memory of the times I saw her I cry. Happy tears though :) 

In the dressing rooms corridor
Guys, that’s it for this past Monday! Now I’m gonna hit the showers because I have Onegin in exactly one hour! BYE!


  1. New favorite quote: “Many very important booties sat in that chair, you know that, right?”

  2. Sondra!!! I am upset that there will be no HD transmission of Norma(((, I'd love to see her there!