Monday, March 3, 2014

Manic Mozart Monday – Vesselina Kasarova is Vitellia (in Recital)

This audio recording is from her 1997 Mozart Arias recital disc with Colin Davis conducting. She makes Vitellia sound angry, desperate, and yes, at one point even a bit tired. Imagine what Frau Kasarova could do with this on stage (and with Maestro Harnoncourt conducting!) Add her to the list of Sestos I'd love to see move over to Vitellia!

I, for one, would like to see her in a few more girl's roles (even though, I think we all agree that she's an awesome Mezzo in Pants!)



8 comments:

  1. A fascinating prospect indeed, Rob! :oD I doubt she'd ever do Vitellia, tho. That Act I trio with Annio and Publio sounds pretty deadly even if she omits the high D at the end (murderous tessitura if there ever is one). I'd love for her to do Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, tho. The lass can really do dramatic mad scene like nobody's business. :o)

    In the meanwhile, I'm enjoying her take on Vitellia's Rondo, of course. She's right up there with Dorothea Roeschmann for me on that. Deliciously dramatic! Thanks a bunch!

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    1. Janet Baker took a couple bits in that trio down a third (I think) without damaging the music too much, and did something creative to avoid the high D.

      Mozart wrote some of the music (including the trio) before he knew who'd be singing, while most of the aria were composed after the cast was set. That trio seems to be the biggest outlier. But also, I've read that Non piu di fiori may have originally been a concert aria, written well before the opera.

      Either way, that one trio makes the role nearly impossible for most mezzos (and some sopranos); but the rest of the role lies uncomfortably low for most sopranos. All that said, Röschmann still rules as Vitellia!

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  2. I got excited for a moment there when I saw the beginning of your post's title! VK would be an amazing Vitellia, even if (like Dame Janet) she had to do a few work-arounds.

    I didn't know that about the composition history (some bits written before it was cast; rest after) - where did you find out? I am searching for spring break reading, so if there's a good book out there on Mozart operas . . .

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    1. sorry if I teased you :) and sorry for the delay in responding. I have been under a proposal-writing rock myself!

      I know I've read about the composition process in more than one place. I think there's an Oxford U.P. book that's exclusively about LCdT. It even has photos, although i think the newest ones are from the Drottingholm DVD.

      However, a wonderful book that blends musicology, synopses, and biographical material is called "Mozart and His Operas" by David Cairns.

      In his Tito chapter, he mentions that once the libretto was ready, Mozart was "free to write the ensembles and choruses and to start on the arias of the one leading singer whose voice he was familiar with...Tito....To compose the obligatory display pieces for the prima donna (Vitellia) and the musico (Sesto) he must wait till Guardasoni [the intendent of the opera company in Prague] returned from Italy with information about the vocal styles and capabilities of the singers he had succeeded in engaging."

      Cairns skims over the early operas and starts digging in with Idomeno (which is quickly becoming a close second favorite of mine --after Tito)

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    2. Books: sometimes writing them sucks. (Good luck with your proposal! I hope all goes smoothly)

      Thanks for the info on the Mozart book - I need to read something that is not about colonial America for a change.

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    3. W. A. Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito (Cambridge Opera Handbooks)
      is the other one I was thinking of. It has pictures!!!

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