Parlando: The COC Blog

6/15/2012

2012/2013 Artist Basics: Anna Christy

What she's singing with us: Anna Christy will be singing the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. She plays a young, fragile woman hovering on the boundary between sanity and breakdown who is forced into a marriage with a man she does not love.

Where you might have seen her: She's sung Lucia at the English National Opera, in the same gothic David Alden production you'll be seeing on our stage. She's particularly noted for dazzling, high-flying coloratura roles like Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann (which she sung at the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (which she sung at the Lyric Opera of Chicago).

Interviews and profiles: In this interview with Opera Brittania, she talks about the visceral effect of a beautifully-sung high note or gorgeous lyric phrase: "it’s not just something you hear, you also feel it, you sit up on the edge of your seat and it fills you with excitement. That for me is what’s special and unique about bel canto opera." 

Sneak preview: The Opera Critic has an excellent photo gallery of the production of Lucia di Lammermoor we'll be presenting (where Anna Christy also sung the title role), as well as a collection of reviews.

Christy shows off her coloratura chops – and a hot pink costume – in this famous aria from Leonard Bernstein's Candide, "Glitter and be Gay." Robert Carsen's production directly invokes Marilyn Monroe's iconic performance of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," and Christy gives the audience her best Marilyn (if Marilyn were an operatic soprano).

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2012/2013 / comments (1) / permalink

6/13/2012

2012/2013 Artist Basics: Isabel Leonard

What she's singing with us: She'll be making her COC debut singing the trouser role of Sesto, Tito's best friend and lovestruck betrayer, in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito.

Where you might have seen her:  Isabel Leonard is a Metropolitan Opera regular in such roles as Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and Dorabella (Così fan tutte).

Interviews and profiles: The uber-stylish W Magazine called her "Opera's It Girl" in this 2009 Q&A, and the Washington Post, calling her "the whole package," raved that "whatever the 'package' is, Isabel Leonard has it: looks, stagecraft and a pleasing midweight mezzo-soprano voice that can be sultry or floating, and moves with astounding ease." This 2010 New York Times profile discusses the special vocal and performance challenges she experienced after giving birth to her son Teo, and in the feature "Warm Up" with WQXR, she reveals the details of her pre-performance routine.

Sneak preview: Large portions of a 2009 Così fan tutte at the Salzburg festival are available on YouTube, including Leonard's performance of Dorabella's aria "Smanie implacabili." The aria begins at 1:55:

 

Photo of Isabel Leonard © Jared Slater.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2012/2013 / comments (0) / permalink

6/8/2012

2012/2013 Artist Basics: Bill Viola

What he's doing with us: As a video artist, he collaborates with legendary director Peter Sellars in our upcoming production of Tristan und Isolde.

Where you might have seen him: His video art for Tristan und Isolde has been seen in Paris, London, and Los Angeles. His artwork has also been exhibited at the MoMA in New York (1987), the Venice Biennale (1995 and 2007), the Whitney Museum of American Art (1997), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2002), the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the National Gallery in London (2003). He is the winner of a McArthur Fellowship and was awarded the title Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government.

Interviews and profiles: In this video of a speech Viola gave at Otis College of Art and Design in 2009, he shows the video piece "Fire Woman," one of the final images seen in Tristan und Isolde (you might recognize it from the cover of our 2012/2013 brochure), discusses how video and digital media have changed the way we think about art, and gives some advice to the aspiring artists in attendance. In this shorter video segment, Viola talks about how artists must always "ask why."

Tristan und Isolde & Inspiration: In the video below, Heidi McKenzie interviews Bill Viola about his inspiration behind the videos and imagery in Tristan und Isolde, spanning from his experiences as a child to influences from Eastern culture.

Sneak preview: the video below from the London Philharmonia has lots of performance footage from the concert version of the Sellars/Viola Tristan und Isolde. You can get a good sense of the nature of the video work, and hear from the technical director responsible for ensuring it flows smoothly in performance. You can also see some of his non-operatic art online: The Lovers, Acceptance,

Photo of Bill Viola © Kira Perov.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2012/2013 / comments (0) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001