Merry Christmas to you all!

As the rain pours down and washes away any remaining hope of a white Christmas and a huge pile of presents sits temptingly downstairs, I would like to quickly thank you all for reading my blog – I hope you all like it so far! And so all that remains for me to say is:

Merry Christmas to all and to all

a good night!

  We will celebrate this year with some beautiful Diana Damrau Christmas carols:

Weekly Video #6

Dolce Suono realises that she neglected to post a Weekly Video last week and so there will be one today and one tomorrow. There will also be a third (!) on Tuesday because next Sunday DS is away (in Köln. Has anyone else been there?).

So, for today she has chosen Diana Damrau (in honour of the recent good news) singing ‘Les oiseaux dans la charmille’ from Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Although this aria never sounds quite the same after you have heard La Stupenda sing it, this is a gorgeous version by Damrau and in the setting of a very interesting (for interesting, read weird) production. And some nice doll acting adds to the humour of this aria.

Big Post of the News of the Week

Even as I type this post, the Echo Klassik Awards are underway in the Konzerthaus Berlin. The hosts this year are Nina Eichinger and Rolando Villazon. There will be performances by Alison Balsom, the Leipziger Streichquartett, Khatia Buniatishvili, David Garrett, Philippe Jaroussky, Anna Prohaska, Erwin Schrott and Klaus Florian Vogt. Other winners (the Meistersingers of Berlin!) include Jonas Kaufmann (19th Century Opera Recording of the Year) for his recording of Fidelio conducted by Claudio Abbadio, Renee Fleming (Female Singer of the Year) for her album Poèmes, Riccardo Chailly (Conductor of the Year) and Daniel Barenboim (Lifetime Achievement Award).  For a full list of the prizewinners and a fun interactive piano, go here.

Dolce Suono is delighted to reveal that Diana Damrau has had another baby. According to unknown sources, it is another boy who is called Colyn. Anyway, a huge congratulations to Diana and her family (the first picture is of her with her son Alexander and the one below that is Alexander with Rolando Villazon)!

Pavarotti’s 77th birthday was on the 12th, two days after Verdi’s 199th (Dolce Suono regrets that she was unfortunately unable to post on the day itself). So, because on the 10th, you were overloaded with Verdi, here is some refreshment in the form of Pavarotti singing one of DS’ favourite arias from one of her favourite operas by one of her favourite composers! A fitting celebration!

And, one last personal note: If you have any thoughts on my posts, please comment and tell me! I would love to hear feedback from any of you who read this blog! Thank you and keep on reading and enjoying opera!

2012/13 Season at the Met

Plenty of highlights to look forward to in the Met’s new season. My picks are:

  • L’Elisir D’Amore – In a relatively Netrebko-free season, this is her main appearance, alongside a cast including Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecien and her husband Erwin Schrott. Good line up for what will hopefully be an entertaining show.
  • Un Ballo in Maschera – Part of the Verdi/Wagner bicentenary celebrations, this stars Marcelo Alvarez, Sondra Radvanovsky and one of my personal favourites, Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Radvanovsky and Hvorostovsky are known to sing well together and I look forward to discovering a Verdi opera I know very little about.
  • Roberto Alagna returns to Aida as Radames. Let’s see if he can keep his blood sugar levels low this time.
  • Dialogues des Carmelites, famous for its haunting end, does not often come round so this is something to look forward to.
  • Ildar Abdrazakov as Don Giovanni, accompanied by Mr. Netrebko as Leporello.
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  • An interesting Traviata, with Damrau as Violetta and Placido Domingo sings Papa Germont for the first time.
  • What the Met claims is “a rare opportunity to witness Berlioz’s vast epic Les Troyens”, completely ignoring the very recent performance at Covent Garden
  • JDF returns in Le Comte Ory and Elina Garanca in La Clemenza di Tito
  • And of course the return of the vast Ring Cycle which has completely divided opinions. Personally, I love it, which is saying something given that I am not normally very patient at all with Wagner.
  • Also, a Don Carlo with Ramon Vargas although personally I would be more interested in Covent Garden’s upcoming production, starring Jonas Kaufmann.

Most of these performances will be broadcast in cinemas. For the full brochure, go here.