17. September 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Announcements, Videos

September 20 is coming up soon. If I had unlimited funds and a free night you can bet I’d be at this Lucia rather than “mine”. (Opera San José offers a certain number of unpaid absences, although I only rarely take them.)

I’m sure others have viewed this Natalie Dessay YouTube video but it’s sure new to me. It uses glass harmonica rather than flute and I hadn’t heard about that either; I guess originally Donizetti had planned on glass harmonica for the mad scene. Eerie, to be sure, but kind of impractical, I would think, for many companies. (A Beverly Sills recording uses glass harmonica. I’ll have to check that out sometime.)

Now I understand why our principal flutist said someone told her they were thinking of glass harmonica! I thought she was joking. (She told me this after, as I was climbing back into the pit, I told her there had been a change of plan and the trombone would be playing the mad scene. I’m silly that way.)

The cadenza in the video is different than the ones that are being done here by our two singers. In ours the flute answers the singer. In the video the singer answers herself.

For a sort of flute/soprano version with Dessay start here. Am I hearing an oboe on two of the lines at about 8:10 to 8:22 or are my ears playing tricks on me?! And much of the flute at the end is cut out. Interesting. Of course we DO use Kalmus. Perhaps different editions show something different … could be. Even the words are different! The performance continues here if you are interested. (Side note: I sometimes wonder, for these singers, if it’s a distraction to them when their clothes are nearly falling off, if they use double sided tape in all the right places, or if they are used to that sort of thing. I’m always bugged even if my hair starts to fall in my face!) Ah … (can you tell I’m blogging while watching listening?) another E-flat major run in my part (starting from high C and going down to a low E-flat) is different in this version. The oboe doesn’t play at all while in my version I play it two different times with, if I’m hearing correctly, the soprano singing the same thing. In this version the soprano sings something entirely different.

And I thought Lucia died right after that 17 minutes of madness. But in the video I’m watching she doesn’t. Shows how much I know!

Now I’ll have to go look at the Lucia di Lammomoor score online. I’m so curious about all the changes.

But what was I blogging about again? Oh yes … the open house at the Met! Dessay is singing Lucia there. She’ll also be singing it with San Francisco Opera in June of 2008. So now, of course, I want to go!

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