Now that I'm home, and all booked for A Touch of Venus, I can at last take a break from pouring every cent I own into funding the arts in Australia and remember that singing happens here too.
For one, Falstaff is all of a sudden very nearly here. Not Verdi's this time, but Salieri's. I have to say, I'm just so terribly in love with Opera Otago for putting this on. This is a city where even Puccini and Mozart are rarities, so to see an actual rarity produced is an especial thrill. I believe it's to be performed in English, which is understandable if a shade disappointing, but a very minor quibble - to complain would be nothing short of ingratitude. I can't believe how time has flown. Falstaff was originally supposed to be staged in October last year but in the end had to be postponed. At that point it seemed an eternity away: and now it's only a month or so. The postponement meant a few cast changes, but from the details here it looks nevertheless like a promising cast, especially as it contains my very favourite local singer. Who knows who she is. (I hope.)
Even sooner than that, what with semester beginning next week, will be the weekly Marama Hall recitals. For all the musical glory of the past few months, I've all the same missed hearing local singers. When I've been home, there has been nothing on; and in truth there's been very little on, other than Messiah, while I've been away. But with the students back, it begins again and I'm happy about that. I'm intending this year to do what I did last year and go to almost everything, vocal or otherwise. My horizons always need broadening, and at $2 it's hardly a huge financial burden. Presumably the Semester 1 recital calendar will appear shortly, though any music student who wants to give me a preview and make me feel special is more than welcome to do so.
I don't think I've yet mentioned here Dunedin's upcoming Carmen. It's many months away still, but a date for the calendar nonetheless and as I say, time flies. Rather luxuriously cast, with gorgeous New Zealand sopranos Deborah Wai Kapohe and Anna Leese singing Carmen and Micaela respectively. Very nice. Except, well... I shouldn't say it. And as with Falstaff, I don't ever want to be ungrateful for anything in this opera-starved city. But did it have to be Carmen? I'd be hard pressed to think of anything I'd feel less inclined towards seeing. Which is not to say I won't go. I will of course, possibly more than once. Apart from anything else, it'll be a wonderful performance to have seen in years to come, when Anna's a superstar. And who knows, maybe it will change my mind about the opera. Maybe.
And on another, but still New Zealand oriented, note, it rather warmed my heart the other day to see that US-based New Zealand soprano, Marie-Adele Macarthur, who sang Donna Elvira for NZ Opera last year, continues to attract accolades and admirers. Very nice.