Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tristan and Isolde - a Saturday morning to die for

Nina Steeme

Sasha Arutyunova for The New York Times

Michael Cooper writes on or around Tristan and  Isolde when he talks about Nina Stemme in his article "Nina Stemme Takes on her Biggest Opera Assignment Yet."

Tonight, I am pretty sure that I have been poking around the internet too long when I see a note on my computer screen telling me that I have already read my 10 free articles with the New York Times for this month, and  asking me, do I want to subscribe.

But I can't help going out and finding reviews.  They all seem just too delicious to me, in my search to get informed before I go to performances.

Today's opera was a thrill for many reasons.  Sitting beside David was fun -- his first opera.  Grade VI seems like a good time to start.

I was worried about the length for him as a first time viewer, but then thinking that it is no longer than a ride from the Shuswap to Calgary, I could see that the length was no problem.

I loved sitting beside Bonnie in the opera as well -- 3 generations of us, listening to Wager.

The themes are dark and complicated, but I believe David will only hear and see what he has the intellectual capacity to understand in the arts, so there was no problem there.  He did tell his mother that one of the themes was about sex and did she feel that was appropriate for him.  I guess she felt it was, for she let him go.

I don't know if it is just me, or if this happens to other people, but there are times listening to Wagner when I can feel chills going up and down my spine, or even the hair raising on my arms when I heard some of the music.

I was interested to hear Maestro Rattle say that in the second act, when the voice of Brangane is heard off stage with her warning to the lovers, that he has to concentrate on not being overcome with the richness of the sound himself.  I was glad to hear him say that and to listen more intensely when those strains were heard.

I shake my head at myself, when I listen to the opera and to the educational add-ons.  I heard someone pronounce maestro in a new way, and then he made it plural with maestri, something I had never thought about.

Many of the melodies of Tristan und Isolde are familiar to me now.  Familiar but not boring.


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