Friday 30 July 2010

"Nepotism" Carreras: Sergi Gimenez, tenor

Another gifted nephew of Josep Carreras. From before we know of David Gimenez Carreras, the conductor, and now it is the tenor Sergi Gimenez Carreras.

Sergi was born in Barcelona in 1969. "Sergi enjoyed musical training with María Massiá, Nuria Aragonés and Gino Bechi (Italy), the Folkwang Hoch Schule (Germany), and Miguel Fleta Pierre, Isabel Penagos and David Mason (Spain). He also took master classes with the internationally renowned artists Montserrat Caballé and Josep Carreras." (Florian Mueck)

Lyrical Gala Concert and Premiere of "Belcanto in film"
15th September 2009 at Vila-seca, Costa Dorada near Tarragona, Spain

"Belcanto in film" became a fascinating success by packing the Concert Hall to the last seat, while José introduced the enthralling Pilar Jurado (soprano), his exceptionally gifted nephews Sergi Giménez (tenor), David Giménez (conductor) and the routined Academy Orchestra of the "Gran Teatro del Liceo" in Barcelona to an enthusiastic audience.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Monday 26 July 2010

Agnes Baltsa: "Stay with me" by K, regrets or no?

Friday night I regretted going to Munich because the pain was overwhelming me. Luckily the Paracet worked. Saturday night coming back to my hotel after the Agnes Baltsa recital in Prinzregententheater and a meal with friends everything was great.

Saturday was a far better day for me than Friday could have predicted. The weather was still rainy and not summerly at all but I came not as the regular summer tourist but only for Agnes Baltsa and her Greek songs. There are many fine restaurants in Munich but it was only McDonald's and BurgerKing for me. It was just for the convenience. I found out that the salad bowl at BurgerKing is a sad affair when I compare it to what I could eat at PizzaHut in Berlin. So I survived mainly on Chickenburgers and melons. Lucky I was in Munich for the weekend only. :-)

After the recital Agnes Baltsa and Achilleas Wastor (pianist) was signing. It was a long queue. My Singapore friend and myself was almost in the front. Just like in the theater where we sat on 3rd row. Our Italian friend sat elsewhere in the theater and was in the end of the almost endless queue. But he also got his photograph with the Greek mezzo.

The recital was wonderful. Prinzregententheater is much smaller than Nationaltheater and it was completely full. Agnes Baltsa is very popular in Munich. But the small size and with so many people meant that it was warm and the air inside became thick especially by the the second part. The pianist was sweating. The piano was suffering. And even Agnes Baltsa got tired in the end. But she still sang not only the whole program but her 2 encores: Garifollo st'afti, and "Stay with me" by a famous Greek composer named K(something). Agnes Baltsa told me herself the meaning of the song (or tried to) and said the composer's name (but sadly I don't remember more of it).

Mános Hadjidákis (*1925 Xanthi - †1994 Athen)
(Klavier solo)

Stavros Xarhákos (*I939 Athen)
Áspri méra ke ja mas (Es werden glücklichere Tage kommen, auch für uns)

Míkis Theodorákis (*1925 Khios)
To tréno févgi stis ochtó (Der Zug fährt um acht ab)

Mános Hadjidákis
Óniro pedión tis gitoniás (Die Träume der Nachbarskinder)

Vassílis Tsitsánis (*1915 Trikala - †1984 London)
Horisam’ ena dilino (Und eines Tages hatten wir uns auseinandergelebt)
Sinefiasmeni kiriaki (An einem regnerischen Sonntag)
(Klavier solo)

Stavros Xarhákos
Stou Óthona ta hrónia [Zur Zeit von König Otto)
Háthike to fegári (Der verlorene Mond)

Vassílis Tsitsánis
Archóntissa (Meine Edelfrau)
Ta kavourákia (Die Krabben)

---- PAUSE ----

Míkis Theodorákis
Hartaetí (Drachensteigen)
(Klavier solo)

Spíros Peristéris (*1900 Smyrna - †1966 Athen)
Mes ston ondá enós Passá (Im Privatgemach eines Paschas)

Mános Hadjidákis
O tachitrómos péthane (Der junge Postbote starb)

Stavros Xarhákos
To praktorío (Die einsame Station]

Mános Hadjidákis
Nihterino (Nocturne)
Megali sousfa
(Klavier solo)

Stavros Xarhákos
Varkaróla (Barkarole)

Mános Hadjidákis
Páme mia wólto sto fegári (Spazieren wir zum Mond)

Stavros Xarhákos
Nin ke aí (Jetzt und für immer)

The Pianist only smiled when Agnes Baltsa was taking the bow with him. Alone he often looked stern. Agnes Baltsa was all smiles. Even to the man in the front row who took many photos even when she was singing. This time she really enjoyed the photographs being taken, and what a treat that was. And then even a Signierstunde, things could not be better.

But as the time neared midnight 3 Baltsa-fans from Singapore, Italy and Norway had to go to our hotels. And we needed something to eat. But so many nice restaurants were closed so we ended at the BurgerKing in Hauptbahnhof. We enjoyed the company and the opera talk the most.

It was lucky for me that Saturday became such a wonderful day. In a way it was even more lucky that Sunday also was a good day because traveling when one is in pain is not something I recommend at all. It started with sun and some blue sky in Munich and ended with heavy rains in Norway. But I was OK. And that meant that this holiday/opera trip was a success.

Viva Baltsa! Amigos para siempre!

For more reviews from my travels, see

Thursday 22 July 2010

Munich and back pain

Tomorrow I will be off to Munich. I hope my back pain will just go away.

I hope to enjoy the recital with Agnes Baltsa on Saturday.

Next post will probably be on Monday with "all the news about Munich and Baltsa"

For more reviews from my travels, see

Saturday 17 July 2010

Don Juan, who is he and what about the women

I have just seen two videos of Don Giovanni. One was from Salzburg Festival 1987 with Herbert von Karajan as conductor and Samuel Ramey (Don Giovanni), Ferruccio Furlanetto (Leporello), Gösta Winbergh (Don Ottavio), Alexander Malta (Masetto), Donna Anna (Anna Tomowa-Sintow), Donna Elvira (Julia Varady) and Kathleen Battle (Zerlina). The other video was from Norwegian National Opera with Knut Skram (Don Giovanni), Svein Carlsen (Leporello), Kjell Magnus Sandve (Don Ottavio), Svein Arild Thorsen (Masetto), Hillevi Martinpelto (Donna Anna), Kjertsi Ekeberg (Donna Elvira), Ingjerd Oda Mantor (Zerlina), sung in Norwegian and from 1988.

And since the second video started with the director giving his view of the opera and I read a soprano's view about Donna Anna as lying all the time and therefore not being sympathetic enough for her. The Swedish director Göran Järvefelt's view about Donna Anna being hurt by Don Giovanni's escapades because she found her self to love Don Giovanni that I would earlier have accepted is not something I can believe in. Why could not Donna Anna find herself suddenly in love with Don Giovanni? If Donna Anna loves Don Giovanni and care not for Don Ottavio then the soprano is right: Donna Anna is simply lying all the time and is not sympathetic. But that view would mean that one would find a way make the beginning of the opera something much nicer than it really was.

Don Giovanni is inside Donna Anna's home, he came right into her bedchamber. Was he invited by Donna Anna? Legal entrance. No. Donna Anna believed the man in her private, safe room was her fiancé, Don Ottavio. But it was a stranger. Her room was no longer safe, and the man ... It was rape, or at least an attempt to rape. She fought against the assailant. Her father came to her rescue, but the stranger killed him. How is this to be construed as being just an sexual encounter.

What about the relation between Donna Anna and Don Ottavio? Donna Anna is accused of lying. But could a women be open and truthful to the men in her lives about being raped? At that time it was impossible. And now?... In that society a woman needs to know when and what to say if she is not to loose all respect.

If one does not romanticize the encounter with Don Giovanni then you see a woman struggling with the effects of rape that makes it so hard to show affections to her beloved Don Ottavio. In this view Donna Anna is sympathetic and should not be portrayed as hard and unloving woman.

No wonder we have an easier time with Donna Elvira who just simply still loved Don Giovanni no matter what. We don't need to think about what a society and what patriarchy can do towards women. We can just sigh, ah, it's love... But of course, Donna Elvira only that.

Instead of asking about Zerlina's point of view, we often overlook her to go straight to Massetto. That is not fair.

Why should modern audiences ask whether or it is fair that Don Giovanni goes to hell for denying all the rules o society? Why not care about those hurt by Don Giovanni's actions? Personally I care nothing about who the commandatore should be presenting in the last act? I care for those hurt by any sociopath going around destroying other people's lives

For more reviews from my travels, see

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Thank you, Safari for helping me with Opernhaus Zurich booking

Finally. I have booked 4 tickets at Opernhaus Zurich website. It was Safari that won the prize of being both fast and working. No hiccups like Firefox, IE or Chrome. I used the systems choosing the best seat for my category. That was much faster and more reliable than to choose seat myself. The Java applets was slow and often it was something wrong. So SAFARI was faster and more reliable. It also gave me the chance to see how far the loading pages was, and that is always a plus especially when the pages are slow loading.

TOSCA 11.9.2010
with Maria Guleghina, Marcelo Alvarez & Ruggero Raimondi
LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST 20.11.2010 with José Cura, Emily Magee & Ruggero Raimondi

LA BOHEME 23.4.2011
with Barbara Frittoli & José Cura
CAVALLERIS RUSTICANA / PAGLIACCI 19.6.2011 with Agnes Baltsa & José Cura

Thank you again, SAFARI!
Maybe I will change from Firefox to Safari as my preferred browser

For more reviews from my travels, see

Monday 12 July 2010

Sie befinden sich im Warteraum des Shops

Da lieg ich...

Today I am spending my time mostly in Opernhaus Zurich waiting room.

From 1130 have I tried to book my opera tickets. It is agonizingly slow. And then when I finally after 2.5 hours I had found my tickets and was about to buy them. Then it failed. I have tried Firefox, Safari, Chrome and IE to see if things gets better. But it has failed several times already.

For more reviews from my travels, see

Saturday 10 July 2010

Finally Opernhaus Zurich 2010/2011 is online

Spielzeit 2010/2011

Wenn Sie sich Ihre Plätze für die nächste Spielzeit jetzt schon sichern wollen: Ein Kontingent an Karten für die Spielzeit 2010/2011 ist ab Montag, 12. Juli 2010, 11:30 Uhr online verfügbar.

Monday 12 July 2010 at 1130 you can book tickets for the next season on

Cavalleria rusticana/ Pagliacci:
So, 13.03.2011  Mi, 16.03.2011  Sa, 19.03.2011  Do, 02.06.2011  So, 05.06.2011  Mo, 13.06.2011  So, 19.06.2011 
La Bohème:
Mi, 20.04.2011  Sa, 23.04.2011  Do, 05.05.2011 
La Fanciulla del West:
So, 14.11.2010  Mi, 17.11.2010  Sa, 20.11.2010  Mi, 24.11.2010  Do, 09.12.2010  Fr, 17.12.2010 
Di, 26.10.2010  Do, 28.10.2010

Cavalleria rusticana/ Pagliacci:
Do, 02.06.2011  So, 05.06.2011  Mo, 13.06.2011  So, 19.06.2011 

For more reviews from my travels, see

Thursday 8 July 2010

The 3 Sopranos: Caballe, Freni & Ricciarelli

Of course, there are no 3 sopranos like the 3 tenors (Carreras, Domingo & Pavarotti). Tibur Rudas created his 3 sopranos but Kallen Esperian, Kathleen Cassello, Cynthia Lawrence never really caught on as a brand.

My 3 sopranos is Montserrat Caballé, Mirella Freni & Katia Ricciarelli. All three have a connection to Josep Carreras.

Montserrat Caballé helped the young Carreras forward as she heard his voice in a little role in Gran Teatre de Liceu. I saw MC live in 2004 in a concert with José Cura.

Katia Ricciarelli was the preferred partner. They was the optimal opera couple of their time. I saw KR live as Mimi in La Boheme in 1990 in Oslo.

Then there is Mirella Freni. Josep Carreras made many opera recordings with Freni. They naturally sang many times together on stage. I saw MF live as Fedora in Zürich in 1994s

For more reviews from my travels, see

Monday 5 July 2010

I need a new DVD player, I think

I love opera and I have opera on DVD. I love it. My TV is old, no HDTV at all and it is big and bulky. Blue Ray DVD player will be my next goal and perhaps a new TV set.

So what is keeping me from buying it? I have the money. But I am soon of to 3 weeks summer holiday and I am not staying at home. I am going to my parent's. They have TV and DVD. Another thing is that I am really that desperate to see my DVDs . I even have new DVDs that I have not viewed yet.

What I am busy with now except my IPOD. And I almost forgot my TV viewing...
It wasn't that interesting but I am trying to be regular with blogging but I am low on ideas. Sorry!

For more reviews from my travels, see

Saturday 3 July 2010

"Almost human" with Paul Curran

This post's title is from Animal Planets "Almost Human with Jane Goodall" and I approve of her message that we should work for a world were chimps and other apes is safe.

- What would be a presentation of my new project, a discussion guided by the opera manager's private experience of sexual organs and sexuality. He tried with this private argument to buckle leg of the project. . This course I perceived as extremely unprofessional and self-centered - and of course the woman hosting. Actually, I have never experienced anything like it, "said Cecilie Ore to Morgenbladet.

- - When I presented my new libretto for the opera, based on seven different types of violence committed against women in the world today, was especially two of them that caught the opera director Paul Curran interest. He began here to argue against two of them with their own sexual experiences. One was circumcision. He boasted of how many men he had slept with, and that this made him qualified to assess that male circumcision was as bad as female circumcision. Anyone who has a minimum of knowledge about the subject know that this is simply not true. There is a reason why female circumcision is referred to as female sex mutilation, and it performed well with a completely different reason than male circumcision. The other type of abuse he emphasized was rape. He believed that one can not expect the men in an extremely agitated state may be able to control their urges, and that it therefore can not be considered an abuse. And again, that I as a woman did not have enough knowledge of male sexuality to be commenting on rape, says Ore

And so the opera director of the Norwegian National Opera rejected an opera by female opera composer Cecilie Ore about women and domestic abuse etc that women experience in relationships. The male view of sexuality is more important than rape of women. I disagree.

For more reviews from my travels, see