Die Fledermaus, December 1998, Photo by David Bazemore
Archive for January 2011

Time for today’s Traviata clips! Here are two very different takes on Violetta’s “Sempre libera.”

First, a delightfully ridiculous version by Anna Moffo (I’m not sure which is my favorite part – her hurling her goblet on the floor or her gazing at the camera through a conveniently-placed gauzy veil…) perhaps the precursor to ridiculous opera music-videos LIKE THIS?

Next, a sensitive and intelligent concert performance by Patricia Racette – capped off with an gorgeous – and enormous- high E-flat- enjoy!

Gabriel Manro Great review in Opera News for baritone Gabriel Manro! He was seen here as a reporter in Séance, and will join us again this year as a member of our Studio Artist Program, where he will sing the Marquis and cover Germont in Traviata.

“Under general director José Luis Moscovich, Palo Alto’s West Bay Opera dared, for the first time in its fifty-five-year history, to undertake one of opera’s “big ones” — Verdi’s “La forza del destino”. Thanks to the major casting coup of baritone Gabriel Manro as Don Carlo the results were more than credible.

Manro was still performing in Los Angeles Opera’s “Il postino” when Forza opened on October 15. Gifted with a striking, sinister baritone that remains strong, even and sonorous throughout the range, he tore into Verdi’s music on October 23 with a vengeance. Manro’s towering portrayal declared his readiness for major roles in houses far beyond his Southern California base.”

~ Jason Victor Serinus

With Santa Barbara’s own International Film Festival kicking off tomorrow evening, I’m starting a mini-festival right here to highlight some favorite Traviata clips…
(thanks to Youtube!)

To start, here’s Glimmerglass’s 2009 production, which featured a trio of men from our own Santa Barbara cast: Ryan MacPherson as Alfredo, Malcolm MacKenzie as Germont and Michael Krzankowski as the Baron.

Here is Ryan singing the Brindisi (Glimmerglass’s Mary Dunleavy sings Violetta).

I have to add Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu’s amazing London performance of “Sempre libera,” which I adore – you can see why it made her an overnight star! On a side note, we will have an up-and-coming Romanian star of our own with us for Trav: bass Gabriel Vamvulescu will sing Doctor Grenvil in our production – luxury casting, to be sure.