Monday, August 23, 2010

Fascinating Dido by Malena Ernman

I already blogged about the empirical evidence that a successful (good, witty, well assembled...) production of a French opera in Paris is extremely rare. I even believe to have understood why it is so, but discussing it now would take me far from my summerish light mood... On the other hand, if you see any English opera title in Paris don't miss the chance to see it: English operas in Paris are regularly meticulously produced, with a grain of audacity, and with superbly composed production teams...

No, no, this post is not about my beloved Fairy Queen either. It's about a production of Dido & Aeneas, that was premiered at the Paris' Opéra Comique in December of 2008, and then nearly a year ago released on DVD. Besides the fantastic Les Arts Florissants and legendary William Christie, the cast of this magnificent Deborah Warner production included Malena Ernman, Christopher Maltman, Judith van Wanroij, Hilary Summers, Lina Markeby...

And there you discover again that incredible talent of Malena Ernman's (another Swedish miracle) that we've admired many many times so far  (see in particular her sensational Julie [see also this]) Visit her [very] personal website.
She must be the most talented, wittiest, funniest... hardworking singer today. A great artist!

Why do I talk about this? Because I met today someone whom I offered that DVD of Dido & Aeneas almost a year ago --someone who's not at all into opera-- and who today thanked me for the most memorable moment of refined musical beauty (just when I thought my present must have finished on a shelf collecting the dust...)

The following video-clip is... well... just a video-clip. You need to converge to Dido's lament and feel all your foundations shaken up.

Malena Ernman, singing When I am laid in earth (preceded by Thy hand, Belinda)

    Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me,
    On thy bosom let me rest,
    More I would, but Death invades me;
    Death is now a welcome guest.

    When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
    No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
    Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
    Remember me, but ah! forget my fate
Many singers recorded this aria but I believe, besides Malena Ernman, the recordings of Janet Baker, Lorraine Hunt, and Véronique Gens (yes, yes!) are somewhat above the rest...

If you looooved Malena as Dido, you might wish to check out Ah! Belinda, I Am Prest With Torment 

This is also a Wilkommen post to a fellow blogger, Likely Impossibilities, who recently moved to Vienna and who will keep us posted about what's on in Operatic Austria -- at least during 2010-2011.  

Malena will sing in a new production of Semele (dir Robert Carsen) at Theater an der Wien  which opens on Sept 15th (but I suspect the tickets are impossible to get)

1 comment:

  1. Aww, thanks! Yes, the Semele is thoroughly sold out but I will brave the standing room line, even though the Theater an der Wien's standing room sight lines are bad.