To get things started, I have been listening to Maria Stuarda on WQXR all day today – We had the good fortune of seeing said opera at The Metropolitan Opera last week and now to sit in my home listening with a clear picture of what’s occurring on the stage is a true feast of the imagination.
I am slowly learning to appreciate the virtues of Bell Canto and coloratura (not even sure I’m using the terminology correct here.) Suffice to say – as a child I laughed at women who could make their voice waver like a fluttering piece of fabric (fodder for a future blog posting) and I was in slight dread of an evening of “park ‘n bark” but I was to be shamed of my naivete by Joyce DiDonato’s entrancing performance. Words will never be able to reach the heights she brought me to that night, to the degree that I had to remind myself to breath at the end of her arias. As I listen now to the heartbreaking conclusion of this opera playing over the radio I know the Saturday afternoon audience, typically hyper ready to applaud at the drop of a hat, is holding still their hands as Mary Queen of Scotts laments the ending of her life. I think they actually are forgetting they have hands until the opera concludes and that is awesome.