Where I share my inspirations, new work announcements and whatever else I find interesting. To view my artwork or read any of my performance reviews please see the link to my homepage in the sidebar. Offended by occasional male nudity or awesome homoerotic art content? This is not the place for you.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Una Voce Poco Fa...who sings it better? Part 3




Where is Callas in all of this you might ask?  Well to me she deserves a post of her own for this aria.  No-one really comes close to her use of vocal colour and technique, it's simply extraordinary and you will never be able to hear it sung any other way again...at least I haven't ever since I was introduced to this recorded gem many, many years ago...enjoy this rare Callas excursion into comedy, something she rarely did and here it's difficult to resist her charms.

#WAOpera #OperaInThePark #Rossini #BarberOfSeville #Callas #MariaCallas

Una Voce Poco Fa...who sings it better? Part 2


As I mine the archives once again in search of Rossinian jewels in preparation for tomorrow night's Opera in the Park presented by WA Opera I decided the way to go was down the Coloratura path with these two remarkable ladies...both famous for their Rosina's during the 60's - Gianna D'Angelo and Roberta Peters.

Given the reputation Emma Matthews (tomorrow night's Rosina) has for her Bel Canto singing I'm hoping we'll be treated to a display akin to these.  I hope you like them, while not to everyone's taste they are certainly a lot of fun.  Do you have a favourite?


                       

#WAOpera #OperaInThePark #Rossini #BarberOfSeville

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Una Voce Poco Fa...who sings it better? Part 1

 

In preparation for this coming Friday's Opera In The Park event held annually by the WA Opera, this year it's the silliness that is Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, I'm re-acquainting myself with some of the Barbiere recordings from my collection.

It's long been a favourite of mine and it never ceases to amaze me of the differences in approach that divas take when singing Rosina, depending on your voice type and preference of course.  Personally I'm constantly torn between the gorgeousness that a rich mezzo/contralto brings to the role and that of the vocal fireworks that an excellent coloratura can display.  Both of course have their merits and my preference changes depending on what mood I'm in.

Tonight I'm in the mood for some smoky mezzo tones and thought to give you examples of two very well known Rosinas from the past - Marilyn Horne and Giuletta Simionato.  Who do you prefer?

                   

#WAOpera #OperaInThePark #Rossini #BarberOfSeville

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Two Divas...One Album




Two of the greatest Divas of the mid to late Twentieth Century had birthdays this week, Renata Scotto and Mirella Freni.  I have loved both for many years, in very similar repertoire and both for sometimes very similar reasons.

Rather than a sing-off of one of their most popular shared roles I thought I'd share this rarity of a disc - a series of duets recorded in the studio around 1980.  It's rather luscious and captures both ladies at their absolute vocal peak, especially the track above and the extended Act 2 duets from Norma which conclude the album.  Expect ravishing singing from both singers and a fitting vocal combined birthday tribute.

#HappyBirthday #TwoDivasOneAlbum #MirellaFreni #RenataScotto

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Self-Portrait Sunday


Swan Knight, 2010 Digital



                                                           



Monday, February 16, 2015

Tonight's Required Listening...


...is Jonas Kaufmann in one of my most cherished tenor roles...Massenet's gorgeous answer to the ideal of the Romantic Hero...absolutely useless to society but who cares when you have music as gorgeous as this? I give you...Werther.

     

#JonasKaufmann #Opera #LendMeATenor

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Great News!


This morning I awoke to the amazing news that the OperaBox production of Donizetti's Anna Bolena which I designed the set and projections for has been nominated for a Fringe World Award.  I have to say that I'm rather chuffed that the first show I've designed for many years has even been nominated against such stiff competition in the Theatre category.

The Awards are announced next weekend on the 22nd February...please keep you fingers crossed for us.  Thank you to such a great team of dedicated people who have helped make this the show that it was...and one that seems to have made an impact on the local opera/theatre scene.  OperaBox I love you!

I think this is good excuse to repost the video I uploaded of my backdrop animations...if you haven't seen it yet (if you're a friend of mine I know who your are ;-) ) do me a favour and check it out.


                             

#OperaBox #30DaysofPerthect #FringeWorldFestival #Donizetti #BelCanto #Opera #AnnaBolena

www.blairparkinson.com

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Victorian Opera - The Flying Dutchman


Tonight sees the much heralded opening night of Victorian Opera's 3D excursion into Wagnerian territory with their new production of Die Fliegende Hollander.  There's been a lot of hype around this production due to it's use of modern cinematic 3D technology for the decor and the fact that the people responsible for the projections are from Deakin University using their Deakin Motion Lab.

It's quite a starry cast including Oksar Hillebrandt and Lori Phillips as the doomed lovers and Australians Warwick Fyfe, Liane Keegan and Bradley Daley in supporting roles.  Richard Mills is conductor and Roger Hodgman directs, this show which is destined to tour.

Have a look at the video below which describes in more detail the technology behind the production and enjoy this glimpse into the future of opera design.  There is a welth of information at the VO's excellent website...http://www.victorianopera.com.au/what-s-on/the-flying-dutchman/ check it out and if you have the luxury of being in Melbourne for the next few days do yourself a favour and go see it.

           

#Wagner #3DOpera #VictoriaOpera #FlyingDutchman

www.blairparkinson.com

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Joyce!


To one of the great shining lights (not to mention a young Bette Midler lookalike) of our modern day opera world I wish you the most wonderful of birthdays - Joyce DiDonato.

Not only is DiDonato one of the great Mezzos of our time, she is a champion of LGBTQI rights and not afraid to make a stand for what she believes, as envisioned by her recent video of Dido's Lament that's gone viral.

Today's post however is a tribute to her great sense of humour and style, and what is perhaps her most famous role...Rosina from Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  Enjoy.

                                                        

#Diva #HappyBirthday #OnThisDay #Opera #BelCanto #JoyceDiDonato #Rossini

Thursday, February 12, 2015

In honour of a debt I can never repay...


...Franco Zeffirelli...your influence on my life knows no bounds.  I wish you the greatest of birthdays.


                                                     

#OnThisDay #Maestro #HappyBirthday #Zeffirelli #Callas #BelCanto #Norma #Opera