Before the beginnings of my adventures today with buses and trams and trains (public transport not my forte) I listened to a semi-interesting recital on ABC Classic FM:
Teresa La Rocca, soprano
Peter Auty, tenor
Christopher Franklin, conductor
Recorded by ABC Classic FM in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall last year
It was rather a hits-oriented recital: arias from Carmen, Traviata, Madama Butterfly, etc. I prefered the soprano to the tenor although I almost always would. I thought she made a very nice Violetta though her Butterfly took some getting used to. She also sang Ch'il bel sogno di Doretta from La Rondine. Now this was interesting. It's an aria I've heard over and over again- a favourite local soprano of mine (and, to tell the truth, a favourite of everyone in Dunedin who's heard her sing- and even some who haven't), who looks like being headed for major stardom, sang it in our national aria competition, the Mobil Song Quest and we've got it on a video which we watch rather frequently. Added to that I've also ended up with three different recordings of it: one by Montserrat Caballe, one by Kiri Te Kanawa, one by Renata Tebaldi. I've also heard it sung by another New Zealand soprano, the fabulous Deborah Wai Kapohe. Now my personal favourites have actually been the perfomances by Anna Leese (the Dunedin soprano) and Deborah, but all of the girls I've heard (including Teresa today) have done it beautifully. But the point I'm taking a long time to get to is that when you've heard something 20 or 30 times you know what to expect from the accompaniment as much as the singer. And at the risk of doing nothing more than parading my own lack of an ear for music- although the orchestra was the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, something in the piano introduction just seemed to go terribly wrong. And in fact all the accompaniment seemed off throughout- silence where I've never heard silence before, and in that silence (although this may have been coincidence) a strange tapping which matched the points where the note Teresa-as-Magda was sustaining changed. Rather unusual. Other than that there was nothing really to distinguish the concert. The second half was mostly instrumental, excepting a duet from West Side Story so I turned it off and went shopping.
My newfound adoration of Anna Moffo grows and grows..