Monday 31 August 2009

Simon Boccanegra 2009/2010

24Oct2009 30Mar2010 8Berlin(UDL)Simon BoccanegraNew
9Apr2010 24Apr2010 5Frankfurt(Oper)Simon Boccanegra
9Sep2009 24Sep2009 7Genève(Opera)Simon BoccanegraNew
29Jun2010 15Jul2010 6London(RO)Simon Boccanegra
17Jul2010 29Jul2010 8Madrid(Real)Simon Boccanegra
16Apr2010 7May2010 8Milano(Scala)Simon BoccanegraNew
13Mar2010 25Mar2010 5Montreal(Opera)Simon Boccanegra
18Jan2010 6Feb2010 6New York(Met)Simon Boccanegra
23Jan2010 30Jan2010 4OviedoSimon Boccanegra
23Oct2009 29Oct2009 6PalermoSimon BoccanegraNew
9Oct2009 20Oct2009 6Toulouse(Capitole)Simon BoccanegraNew
8Dec2009 7Mar2010 6Wien(SO)Simon Boccanegra
29Oct2009 23Mar2010 5Zurich(Oper)Simon Boccanegra

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday 30 August 2009

March 2010: My plan

La Boheme with José Cura on March 20 + 28th. And then I hope tickets for Turandot in Sevilla with Maria Guleghina; Fabio Armiliato and Daniela Dessi March 22+25th. Booking is November 1, 2009. March will be my Puccini month.

And think: 4 years ago I saw a wonderful Turandot in Verona with José Cura. (August 30, 2005)

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Wednesday 26 August 2009

Shark Month: Save the Shark!!!!

I have enjoyed Shark Month on Animal Plane.

So I will use this chance to tell you: SAVE THE SHARK!!!

What is the biggest Threat to Sharks? ....  Soup. Shark Fin Soup. A shark like most fishes can not live without its fins. But humans fish sharks, cuts out the fins and let the shark drown in the sea.

Another threat to sharks? Hatred and fear. From fiction movies like JAWS. Are humans on their menu? No. If we were a shark attack would be 99 % deadly. But it is not. They don't like the taste, so they would often spit us out when they understand that we are mostly bone and very little blubber. Why can we still die? If we were to loose a limb we would loose a lot of blood, and add to it if we are far from hospital. Yes, we can still die from shark bite.

Why should sharks be allowed to live? Sharks have their role in keeping the oceans clean. We know so little about the life in water. So why do we think we know which species that should live.

If we kill the shark do we not kill ourselves in the end. So many species of animals have already died. Mostly because of what we, the humans, do. We don't like predators, we like the cute animals.

You have naturally thought about the famous Save the Whales when you read my headline. We think of whales as cute. They are also predators. But they are cute. Like the Panda. I love the panda myself. Innocent is what we think of it, only eating bamboo. We are forgetting that they are bears and could also be dangerous.

Save The Sharks! and other animals in need. Save the world, too!

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Tuesday 25 August 2009

Cristobal Colon: "Tierra !"

Today my copy of the opera Cristobal Colon by Leonardo Balada arrived. Carreras sound old, Montserrat sound magnificent. I have only listened to the 4 first track yet. More later...

Until then:
From Wikipedia (from the chapter Language)

Origin theories of Christopher Columbus

"Phillips and Phillips point out that 500 years ago, the Latinate languages had not distanced themselves to the degree they have today. Bartolomé de las Casas in his Historia de las Indias[30] claimed that Columbus did not know Spanish well and that he was not born in Castile. In his letters he refers to himself frequently, if cryptically, as a "foreigner." Ramón Menéndez Pidal studied the language of Columbus in 1942[29], suggesting that while still in Genoa, Columbus may have learned notions of Portuguese-influenced Spanish from travelers. In his business, he would have used a sort of commercial Latin as a lingua franca (latín ginobisco[31] for Spaniards). He suggests that Columbus learned Spanish in Portugal through its use in Portugal as or "adopted language of culture" from 1450. This same Spanish is used by poets like Fernán Silveira and Joan Manuel. The first testimony of his use of Spanish is from the 1480s. Menéndez Pidal and many others detect a lot of Portuguese in his Spanish, where he mixes, for example, falar and hablar. However, Menéndez Pidal does not accept the hypothesis of a Galician origin for Columbus by noting that where Portuguese and Galician diverged, Columbus always used the Portuguese form. Even in his latest writings, he uses quero and cualquera (instead of quiero and cualquiera) in spite of the years spent in a Spanish-speaking milieu. Menéndez Pidal thinks it is probable that Columbus spoke Portuguese, while not really distinguishing it from Spanish.

Latin, on the other hand, was the language of scholarship, and here Columbus excelled. He also kept his journal in Latin, and a "secret" journal in Greek.

According to historian Professor Charles C. Merrill, adding to the fact that Columbus never wrote in Italian, not even in his letters to his brothers and bankers in Italy which were always in Spanish, analysis of his handwriting and style made by Lluis de Yzaguirre and Father Gabriel Roura indicates that it is typical of someone who was a native Catalan, and Columbus' phonetic mistakes in Spanish are "most likely" those of a Catalan. Also, he married a Portuguese noblewoman, Filipa Moniz, the daughter of Bartolomeu Perestrello who had been made first governor of Porto Santo in the Madeiras. She was also the granddaughter of Gil Moniz, who came from one of the oldest families in Portugal, and who had been a close companion of Prince Henry the Navigator. This is presented as evidence that his origin was of nobility rather than the Italian merchant class, since it was unheard of during his time for nobility to marry outside their class. This same theory suggests he was the illegitimate son of a prominent Catalan seafaring family of patricians, bankers, and merchants who sailed across the Mediterranean, the Colom, which had served as mercenaries in a sea battle against five merchant genoese vessels 10 kilometers off the coast of Portugal in 1476, as Columbus himself recognized at the end of his life, also saying that he wasn't the first Admiral of his family, an allusion to Guillaume Casenove Coulon, Commander of the corsair ship of 1476 with whom he sailed because he was his relation, as mentioned by his son and biographer Fernando Colón. When the vessel he was in got on fire, he had to jump for his life and swam two leagues to the shore, as recalled by his descendant Historian Dr. Anunciada Colón de Carvajal. Beside that, in the 19th century Italian Historian Pessagno found the list of sailors of those Genoese ships and the name of Columbus wasn't counted among them. Fighting against Ferdinand and being illegitimate were two excellent reasons for keeping his origins obscure. Adding to that, he was also a literate and learned man, versed among other things in languages, chartography, and astronomy, in a time when only aristocracy could achieve such knowledge. Furthermore, the disinterment of his brother's body shows him to be a different age, by nearly a decade, than the "Giacomo Colombo" of the Genoese family. Columbus also said that he sailed since a very young age, which suggests a link to a family of seaman, in opposition to the Italian Columbus, who only became a sailor at around age twenty."

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Sunday 23 August 2009

Lucrezia Borgia: "Don Alfonso, mio quarto marito"

In real life Lucrezia Borgia was only married 3 times with Alfonso, Duke of Ferrari being the 3rd and last. And he loved her.

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Saturday 15 August 2009

The Opera Singer's Website v.1: Irene Theorin, soprano

In January I saw Turandot with Iréne Theorin. So I wonder how does her website look. It is simple and it only "Please visit my Agent's home page for information." And there you'll find
# Short-Bio
# Biography
# Repertoire
# Photo Gallery
And that is nice. But it is missing when and what she will be singing. If you go to news there might be something there.

Iréne Theorin

After her acclaimed debut at the Metropolitan Opera and the Washington National Opera as Brünnhilde, Ms Theorin is back to sing Isolde in Bayreuth in 2009.

Dates: Isolde/Tristan und Isolde (Copenhagen) - 10, 14. June 2009; Brünnhilde/Siegfried (Budapest) - 13, 20. June 2009; Isolde/Tristan und Isolde (Bayreuth) - 25. July 2009; 4, 9, 13, 17, 28. August 2009

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Tuesday 11 August 2009

Balada's Cristobal Colon with Carreras, Caballe to be released

Dear Customer,
We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated South Pacific (1986 London Studio Cast) have also purchased Balada: Cristobal Colon .For this reason, you might like to know that Balada: Cristobal Colon will be released on August 25, 2009.  You can pre-order yours by following the link below.
Balada: Cristobal Colon Balada: Cristobal Colon
Jose Carreras
Price: $17.99
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Other Versions and Languages
MP3 Download
Pre-order now!
Product Description
From one of the world's great opera houses, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, comes Leonardo Balada's richly melodic opera about one of the world's great explorers, Christopher Columbus, commissioned by the Spanish government for the 5th Centennial of the Discovery of America.

A superb cast, headed by José Carreras as Columbus and Monsterrat Caballé as Queen Isabella of Spain, gained critical acclaim for their performances in what The Washington Times described as 'a masterpiece...a landmark score in the lyric theater of our time'.

(message from to my e-mail-box)

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Sunday 9 August 2009

What I learned from my Barcelona trip in July 2009

Read carefully what it says about your hotel. Use Google maps (, and print it out so that you really know where your hotel is. That Shuttle bus to the hotel can be expensive (Oslo Airport hotels), ask what it cost. Not to trust the hotels website about how easy it is to find your hotel. And it so many things that you would not think about until you are there. In Barcelona in was just a baldakin with Hotel written on, and then there was an elevator up to the reception floor, and always dial nine to the reception.

My hotel in Oslo was Quality Airport Gardermoen and I liked it a lot except that it was a bit cold in the hotel room and I thought the shuttle bus was a bit expensive with 60 NOK each way. My Barcelona hotel was Hotel Continental Barcelona which I found OK except that it was hard to find and all the electric doors executed from the reception that was a bit odd in the beginning. It was a hot hour in the Placa Catalunya until I found my hotel.

I still like to book my hotel via But sometime a phone to the hotel can make your trip a better experience. Like if you have a real heavy luggage and when you phone you find that the hotel have steps up to the lobby and maybe you have to use the stairs to come to your room, then you really should try to get a better hotel unless you are very fit and find that exercise to your liking. Many hotels ought to have warnings for things like that, what you were handicapped and needed your chair there and because of the steps and such you would need help all the time. How people can build new buildings without universal availabity is beyond me. Don't they know the cheapest time to make it work well is in the planning and building period. Of course my hotel in Barcelona was in an old building but it had an elevator but I do not think it still would be wheel chair friendly environment. My hotel in Oslo was new and I would guess better for wheel chair users, but really, how would I know who don't need it.

I am just happy I don't have a disability that could make travelling a nightmare, but it should have been unnecessary for me to be happy about that. All should have the same access. I cringe when I read about somebody who offers travels and accommodation for all but at the same time take no responsibility for things like giving you your correct diet or other things. They really can't be bothered. So if you really want that vacation but really need the your diet to be the right for you, you might need to give that up. On my flight from Barcelona or to B. did I find such a travel brochure with you can ask for everything but WE will not take responsibility for giving it to you. I could go to these kind of travel just because I am lucky to not NEED things that THEY deem unnecessary. It should not be luxury to give people what they need for health and availability.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Sunday 2 August 2009

Turandot in Barcelona July 2009

If I had started my travel from my home instead from my parents' home I would not have had to stay the night in a hotel near Oslo Gardermoen Airport. And the shuttle bus cost more than I thought, 60 NOK each way from/to the airport. The hotel was OK. And I ended quite liking even my hotel in Barcelona. More about that later

July 30th, 2009 Turandot (I quote my website as it is when I write this post)
It ends with a suicide.

First I thought the whole opera ended with Liu's death. Then came a curtain of the sky filled with stars in the night. A wonderful duet started. And Turandot killed herself after "I know his name. His name is LOVE". And Turandot killed herself because he was Love, and she was Death. A night filled with horror had drowned her white dress with the blood of inhabitants of the city. Nessun dorma, he sang dreamily of glory and love, not caring that his nobody shall sleep would mean torture and death to others. Calaf only cared when his own father and Liu was threatened. And Turandot herself: fascinated by Calaf and by the sacrificial love of Liu, but in the end not willing/capable to step out of her death cult and into becoming a loving woman.

Vocally it was never any doubt about Marco Berti's Calaf. A clarion voice with both Non piangere, Liu and Nessun dorma with the closest to perfection I ever heard live. He was no tempted to hold the last tone in Nessun dorma as long as possible I am certain he would have won that contest. But it is opera and no contest. Ainhoa Arteta was wonderful as Liu. Stefano Palatchi as Timur was not so demanding a voice as he should. But acted wonderfully. Ping, Pang and Pong was Ok when one got over the costumes in the act 1 and start of act 2. Ping was Gabriel Bermundez who sang Silvio in Zurich on July 8. Sadly he was often the weak link. But in the 3rd act he was wonderful.

Maria Guleghina as Turandot, what can I say about her. She is definitely more of a Tosca than a Turandot. But maybe it was the production and director's fault. I wonder how it had been had Guleghina been able/allowed to put all her energy and acting skills in the role. She was best vocally and all when she could step free from the robotic Chinese choreography.

But other than that, I liked the production and the choreography (of the dancers)

July 31th, 2009 Turandot (I quote my website as it is when I write this post)
I hoped that this time it would not end with suicide. But this Turandot died too like on July 30th.

Still, it was another Turandot. First the performance did not start until 30 minutes later. That was because Daniela Dessi was not well but she still came. It was not possible to hear that she was not well except that she was singing softer in 3rd act and the orchestra was gentle with her. But for normal ears all was well. Not just well but splendid. And her husband-tenor Fabio Armiliato was a great Calaf. Giorgio Giuseppini was great as Timur.

Anna Shafajinskaia was Turandot. I almost thought that she had been replaced by Maria Guleghina. But Anna did not have Maria's specialties. Anna S. was in a more steely voice which was perfect for Turandot. But after Maria Guleghina's Turandot it was not enough for me even if singing and acting was more than perfect. But with Guleghina there is an extra tension, personality and charisma.

The main thing, the duet between Calaf/Turandot was acted so differently that I really hoped to the last that Turandot would choose life. But no Happy Ending. Great opera performance, but ...
More about my Barcelona trip later...

For more reviews from my travels, see

Saturday 1 August 2009

Agnes Baltsa back in Herodion Amphitheater 2009

Foto © APA

On September 15th Agnes Baltsa will sing her Greek songs in the Herodion Amphitheatre of Acropolis, Athens.After 25 years she is back. Last time was Carmen with Jose Carreras. The Amphitheatre can take 5000 in the audience. This is a new experience for me, says Agnes Baltsa, I have to use microphones something I have never done before. From Kleine Zeitung 30. July 2009.

Α. Μπάλτσα - Στ. Ξαρχάκος μαζί στο Ηρώδειο
Στη μοναδική αυτή συναυλία, που έχει τίτλο «Τα τραγούδια της πατρίδας μου» θα ακουστούν δημιουργίες των Βασίλη Τσιτσάνη, Μάνου Χατζιδάκι, Μίκη Θεοδωράκη και του Σταύρου Ξαρχάκου

Στις 15 Σεπτεμβρίου

Κορυφαία λαϊκά κομμάτια από την ...Αγνή Μπάλτσα στο Ηρώδειο

Αθήνα - Πέμπτη 30 Ιουλίου 2009

Σταύρος Ξαρχάκος και Αγνή Μπάλτσα στο Ηρώδειο στις 15/9

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