Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday + Luisa Miller 2014

Christmas celebrations in Oslo with relatives. I even got Christmas presents.
I especially loved the socks. But even in Zurich it was too cold to go out to see an opera dressed like that. It even snowed a bit in Zurich, but then rain took over. 

Since I stayed in a hotel in Oslo during Christmas I am now a friend of Scandic Hotels. I wonder if it is a bit like being a Facebook friend. Anyway that how it is. But how do one remember all the hotels one has a number at? So after good food, presents and family time I was off to Zurich to see Luisa Miller on December 27th.

Late evening flight to Zurich on December 26th. Arriving in Zurich Airport at 22 and then to my hotel Radisson Blu in the airport. Eating breakfast at McDonalds at 0930, lunch/dinner at Pasta & Pizza at 1500, then off to Zurich train station Stadelhafen ( or something like that) and had late dinner at 1800 in  Asian fast food restaurant. The late dinner was expensive for me as ate only half of it, mostly I was there because I used to eat there almost each time I was in Zurich so I was on memory lane. 5 minutes walk to the opera house in the rain. At 2000 the opera started.

Carlo Rizzi conducted. He had now more gray hair but as most vigor as before. Last time, and first time I saw this opera was in 2000 (March 4th) also in Zurich and with the same soprano as Luisa Miller. Elena Mosuc was great as Luisa, even better than in 2000, and she was great in 2000 also. Ivan Magri was a just as wonderful as Rodolfo just like Elena Mosuc as Luisa. Such beautiful voices and acting beautifully too. Leo Nucci was a powerful Miller. The most surprisingly beautiful voice was the voice of Vitalij Kowaljow. Conte di Walter was just so pleasing dressed in beautiful white cloths and such a beautiful voice one could almost forget that he is one of the villains. Judith Schmid was Frederica and she was all and more that one could wish for as Frederica. 

The use of revolving stage was overused and the chorus was treated more like props. And then we had Wurm sung beautifully by Wenwei Zhang. Maybe I should call him Wormtongue. A villain is Wurm there is now doubt that it is true. So the director makes him look and act as a villain in all times. There is now need to make him move his neek and head in strange ways just to make him villainous the director should have been much more subtle. Other than the overuse of revolving stage, using chorus as props and setting Wurm up as just villainous it was a wonderful production of Luisa Miller.

2014-12-27 Luisa Miller (G. Verdi), Opernhaus Zurich

Graf von Walter = Vitalij Kowaljow
Rodolfo = Ivan Magri
Federica = Judith Schmid
Wurm = Wenwei Zhang
Miller = Leo Nucci
Luisa Miller = Elena Mosuc
Laura = Hamida Kristoffersen

Carlo Rizzi, conductor
Philharmonia Zürich
Chor der Oper Zürich​ 

Musikalische Leitung - Carlo Rizzi
Inszenierung - Damiano Michieletto
Bühnenbild - Paolo Fantin
Kostüme - Carla Teti
Lichtgestaltung - Hans-Rudolf Kunz
Choreinstudierung - Jürg Hämmerli

December 28th, 2014. Early up to get the early flight to Oslo. And then waiting in Gardermoen for my flight home. So at 1400 or so home and Happy Birthday to me!!!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

2014-12-13 Los Diamantes de la Corona (Asenjo Barbieri) in Teatro de la Zarzuela

2014-12-13 Los diamantes de la corona (Francisco Asenjo Barbieri), Teatro de la Zarzuela (Madrid)

CATALINA - María José Moreno
DIANA - Marina Pardo
REBOLLEDO - Fernando Latorre
DON SEBASTIÁN - Gerardo Bullón
ANTONIO - Joseba Pinela
CRIADO - Antonio Gómiz
UJIER - Xavi Montesinos

Oliver Díaz, conductor
Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid
Coro del Teatro de La Zarzuela
Antonio Fauró

Music director - Oliver Díaz
Stage director - José Carlos Plaza
Sets and lights - Francisco Leal
Costumes - Pedro Moreno
Stage assistant - Jorge Torres
Costumes assistant - Carmen Mancebo
Lights assistant - Pedro Yagüe

Why go to Madrid to see this zarzuela? Well, I did buy a subscription for zarzuelas mostly because I wanted to see Carmen as zarzuela. You know I should have gond on November 29 that was my subsciption day but the cold and feeling sick and suddenly the flights was too much money. Still, I did not give up on Los Diamantes de la Corona. So I can go another Saturday, December 6th or 13th. And 13 won. The traffic in Madrid is just massive. Because I had an early flight on Sunday I stayed in one of the hotels around the Madrid Barajas Airport. Tryp Alameda Aeroporto this time. Took taxi to anf from the theatre, almost 30 Euro to the theater and less than 25 home. Free 24 hrs transfer bus to/from airport. Not too expensive and free internet.

Beautiful singing and lovely production. Great fun and surtitling in Spanish and English. A full theatre. Lots of Bravos. A lovely theater night but not something I needed to go to see more times not like La Chulapona by Moreno Torroba.

Monday, 8 December 2014

I am dreaming of a White Christmas

I am dreaming of a White Christmas, not a KKK Christmas.
NEVER a KKK Christmas. NOT a Christmas only for White People. My dream of Christmas is a Day, a Week, a Season we all can enjoy whether Christian or not. It should not matter who we are or what we are doing this should be a season of Love.

It looks like here in Norway we will have a White Christmas as it has been snowing. But still... White Christmas does not sound so great after Ferguson, after all those Black men, women and children killed by cops. #CrimingWhileWhite shows that the police can be compassionate if you are White. If not White then you are no good, a thug, no matter if you were just sitting somewhere, shopping, or on the phone etc. If you are white you can go in town with your assault rifle and nothing happens but then so surprised when the White people use their guns to kill. 

My dream of White Christmas is a dream of a colourful Christmas where we are all human and worthy of being tried in a fair legal trial. First all are assumed innocent and only real, factual behaviour is used against you. Whiteness should give you nothing for free, Blackness should never take anything from you. Feelin fearful should not give you free chances. It must be proven that it really was a danger or that previous encounters showed that the could be grounds to be fearful. But NEVER, NEVER should killing be the first thing, ever. DO NOT KILL. DO NOT LIE. For police to lie should mean losing their job, for police to kill when there was other options, lose their job. Naturally police abuse should mean a prison sentence in the least.

White Christmas is so near....

Colourful Christmas is so far... When will there be justice for all? When? Can we, Europe, Africa, Asia, America, Australia & New Zealand, rally for justice in USA? Can we be against all police violence no matter where and who? Can we, please?

Of course, I wish you all a happy Christmas, but I am so sad...