Monday 28 September 2009

You've got to be carefully taught

Listen to Mandy Patinkin singing You've got to be carefully taught from South Pacific. But is it true that one has to be taught before one are 7 or 8 to hate all the people your relatives hate. Yes and no. We all carry our biases deep inside but naturally if you are taught from a young age to distrust etc all people that are not White or that gays/LBGT are disgusting, then you will most likely believe it as an adult. But we have more than family as sources of bias: TV, radio, books, newspapers, even school can give us more bias against other people that are different from us. And sometimes we even can have strong bias against our own kind. BUT. In reality there are only one, THE HUMAN KIND. Still, prejudice die hard, just like bad habits. Good habits, on the other side, has to be maintained all the time.

Now don't forget to
LOVE not hate
FORGIVE not avenge (revenge)
LISTEN not shout
UNDERSTAND not impose your own opinion before you learn, understand the other person
RESPECT the weak part not just the strong part

the TRUTH are more than not to lie. To tell the truth is an active doing, to not tell a lie is just a passive thing.

But back to Mandy Patinkin, Criminal Minds' Jason Gideon. Profiling of serial killers are that science or just bias set in "science". Not all single men who bedwet as children becomes murderers, do they?

For more reviews from my travels, see

Saturday 26 September 2009

Carmen, Il Corsaro and Jose Cura

This is what I am looking forward to Carmen in Munich (October), Il Corsaro in Zurich (November), and in December José Cura in Oslo.

José Cura as Don José in Munich October 4, 7, 10. I will not see all 3, just one. In the end of November it will be Vittorio Grigolo as Corrado in Il Corsaro in Zurich. I hope I will like the production. In Mid-December will José Cura sing in Oslo for the first time. I am excited.

CARMEN, everybodies "favorite opera" or just the most played. One of the most famous operas, that's certain. Very little of this opera would you only hear in the opera house or when playing the complete opera. The orchestra music, chorus, arias, duets etc are almost all famous. But every time I go to the opera house knowing all the music but I am often surprised almost about what comes first especially when it comes to act 1. I have seen Carmen 17 times already. It really have to be special for me since I have been too used to the music and so it has faded a bit for me. I love Agnes Baltsa as Carmen and I have 3 performances of Carmen that I still remember with fondness, 2 with Baltsa, 1 with Cura. Deutsche Oper Berlin 2000, February 5th and Finland National Opera 2002, May 15th both with Agnes Baltsa and Alberto Cupido. And then it was Arena di Verona 2003, July 29 with José Cura and Marina Domashenko. (That is the one that should have been on DVD).

For more reviews from my travels, see

Thursday 17 September 2009

Greek newspaper article about Baltsa/Xarhakos concert

Θερμό χειροκρότημα για Μπάλτσα
«E» 17/9

Το κατάμεστο Ηρώδειο υποδέχτηκε με τον πιο θερμό τρόπο την Αγνή Μπάλτσα, η οποία επέστρεψε εκεί 25 ολόκληρα χρόνια μετά την τελευταία της εμφάνιση.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Does it matter? Black or fat in opera

My idea is that it should not be hard to be black or fat singer in opera. Of course, we would like to have singers who looks like our ideal Alfredo or Violetta. But then we have voices, glorious, wonderful voices. Should they be excluded? Opera is not movies or even straight theatre. It is theatre where voice and orchestra set the mood and reality in opera.

Ever heard people say they can't believe in opera because people are singing in opera and not talking. But internal discussion in films or the story teller in films don't make the movies not possible to go to. And theatre do they say they can't believe because people live in houses without roofs and the rooms don't have 4 walls.

Opera says believe in this reality with orchestra, people singing arias, duets, sixtets, etc.

Montserrat Caballé is one of the wonderful voices we would not have seen and heard if opera should be more realistic. Mmmm. Because all real women as thin.... No.

Many wonderful singers are lost from view when only white people are considered for "white roles". We cannot loose more great opera singers, singers like Annabelle Bernard, an African-American soprano from New Orleans who sang in Europe but not in the US. It has been lucky for Europe that the US was so unkind to their AA opera singers. But I don't think Europe is without racism.

As I try to come up with names of people of color as opera singers only a few pop up and they come every time: Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle, Barbara Hendricks. But they are not the only one. It makes me feel so ignorant. And I did not know that Annabelle Bernard was an American, and even less that she was African-American. My white background made me think she was white like me. What a voice she had? Creamy, wonderful sounds. I am too young to even the possibility to see her in opera.

More PR for the not-white opera singers, please...

For more reviews from my travels, see

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Agnes Baltsa in Greek news articles

She is singing today (September 15) in Herodion Amphitheatre, Athens, Greece.

Με άρωμα Ελλάδας... η Μπάλτσα στο Ηρώδειο
ΑΘΗΝΑ 15/09/2009

Επιστολή αναγνώρισης του Μίκη Θεοδωράκη στην Αγνή Μπάλτσα

Μίκης προς Μπάλτσα

Προσωπική επιστολή στην Αγνή Μπάλτσα απέστειλε ο Μίκης Θεοδωράκης, ενόψει των συναυλιών της στο Ηρώδειο (15 και 17/9), χαιρετίζοντας την απόφασή της να εμφανισθεί μετά από 25 χρόνια στο χώρο με έργα Ελλήνων συνθετών και ποιητών. Στις συναυλίες, σε μουσική διεύθυνση Σταύρου Ξαρχάκου, με τίτλο «Τα τραγούδια της πατρίδας μου», θ' ακουστούν τραγούδια των Τσιτσάνη, Χατζιδάκι, Θεοδωράκη, Ξαρχάκου. Στην επιστολή του προς τη διάσημη μεσόφωνο ο Μ. Θεοδωράκης μεταξύ άλλων αναφέρει ότι «ο μελωδικός τους πλούτος δεν έχει τίποτα να ζηλέψει από τα θαυμάσια και μοναδικά αριστουργήματα που με τόσο μεγάλη επιτυχία υπηρέτησες σε όλη σου τη ζωή».

Η Αγνή Μπάλτσα με το συνθέτη Σταύρο Ξαρχάκο.

επιστολή απέστειλε ο μεγάλος συνθέτης Μίκης Θεοδωράκης στην Αγνή
Μπάλτσα. Με αυτήν, χαιρετίζει την απόφαση της καλλιτέχνιδος να
εμφανιστεί στο Ωδείο Ηρώδου Αττικού, επιλέγοντας να ερμηνεύσει Ελληνες
συνθέτες και ποιητές, στηριγμένη στη συνδρομή του Σταύρου Ξαρχάκου.

Μπάλτσα Αγνή / μεσόφωνος
Μαζί με τον Σταύρο Ξαρχάκο θα εμφανιστεί σήμερα στο Ωδείο Ηρώδου Αττικού η διεθνούς φήμης μεσόφωνος. Στη συναυλία θα ακουστούν τραγούδια των πιο γνωστών ελλήνων συνθετών, όπως του Μάνου Χατζιδάκι, του Βασίλη Τσιτσάνη κ.α.

I do not understand Greek myself except that Αγνή Μπάλτσα means Agnes Baltsa.
For more reviews from my travels, see

Thursday 10 September 2009

The place to be in September: Athens, Greece

Agnes Baltsa and Jose Carreras will be there in the Herodion Amphitheatre but not together: Greek songs with Baltsa and Xarhakos on September 15, extra concert on September 17, and September 19 Carreras concert. More about Carreras in Greece at Parsifal's blog.

For more reviews from my travels, see

I have a new PC, after the old said GoodBye

My old harddisc is now incomunicado. Only experts can open its secrets. The laptop w/o it's disc is now about to be recycled or something.

I have to find what ever I need again. Luckily I have stored some of my photos and music in a online safe haven. It just will take to time to get GBs into my new machine. From Fuijisti Siemens to HP. And I had hoped for an ACER. Well, that will teach me.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Placido Domingo's new role: Simon Boccanegra 2009/2010

My photo of Placido Domingo in Vienna, May 31, 1998.

Question to myself: Am I going to make 2009/2010 to be my Placido Domingo Simon Boccanegra year?

More dates on

Berlin, Germany
October 24, 27, 30, 2009
November 7, 10, 13, 2009
March 27, 30, 2010
Staatsoper unter den Linden
Simon Boccanegra

Simon Boccanegra = Plácido Domingo
Maria Boccanegra (Amelia) = Anja Harteros, Adriana Damato (27.03.)
Jacopo Fiesco = Kwangchul Youn, Ferruccio Furlanetto (27.03.)
Gabriele Adorno = Fabio Sartori

New York, USA
January 18, 22, 25, 29, 2010
February 2, 6, 2010
Metropolitan Opera
Simon Boccanegra

Amelia: Adrianne Pieczonka
Gabriele: Marcello Giordani
Simon: Plácido Domingo
Fiesco: James Morris

Milan, Italy
April 16, 21, 24, 28 - 2010
May 4, 7 - 2010
Teatro alla Scala
Simon Boccanegra

Simon Boccanegra = Plácido Domingo, Carlos Alvarez (other dates)
Jacopo Fiesco = Ferruccio Furlanetto, Giorgio Giuseppini
Amelia = Anja Harteros, Adriana Damato
Gabriele Adorno = Fabio Sartori

Zurich, Switzerland
March 23, 2010
Opernhaus Zürich
Simon Boccanegra

Isabel Rey (Maria Boccanegra/Amelia Grimaldi)
Placido Domingo (Simon Boccanegra)
Laszlo Polgár (Jacobo Fiesco)
Roberto Aronica (Gabriele Adorno)

London, England
June 29, 2010
July 2, 5, 8, 13, 15, 2010
Royal Opera House
Simon Boccanegra

Plácido Domingo = Simon Boccanegra
Marina Poplavskaya = Boccanegra’s long-lost daughter Amelia
Joseph Calleja = Gabriele Adorno
Ferruccio Furlanetto = Fiesco.

Madrid, Spain
July 22, 25, 28 - 2010
Teatro Real
Simon Boccanegra

Simon Boccanegra = Carlos Álvarez (17, 20, 23, 26, 29), Plácido Domingo (22, 25, 28)
Amelia Grimaldi = Inva Mula (17, 20, 23, 26, 29), Angela Gheorghiu (20, 25, 28)
Japoco Fiesco = Giacomo Prestia (17, 20, 23, 26, 29), Ferruccio Furlanetto (22, 25, 28)
Gabriele Adorno = Roberto Aronica (17, 20, 23, 26, 29), Marcello Giordani (22, 25, 28)

For more reviews from my travels, see