Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Thaïs at Théâtre du Châtelet! Formidable!
Thaïs at the Théâtre du Châtelet was stunning - oh, what a gorgeous score! Renée Fleming did a beautiful, beautiful job. My heart was literally pounding by the end. I know very little French but the music combined with knowing the story was enough (thank you Khaleem). I have never heard an audience so enthusiastic. The applause after Renée's first aria was thunderous! It was so exciting. I was blown away by Gerald Finley's powerful performance. Khaleem and I had fun visiting her backstage after and what a treat that we were at Le Zimmer having dinner when she walked in with her friends. The others in the restaurant erupted in applause when they saw her - what a thrill for everyone.
Seeing Renée at the Châtelet was especially exciting for me. Her 2002 concert at the Châtelet is shown on the Ovation Channel fairly regularly. I became addicted to it. I wondered what it would be like to sit there and listen to great voices soaring in that beautiful hall. I was mesmerised by the rythmic enthusiasm of the audience and by Maestro Eschenbach, who seems to adore Renée. Most of all, I was mesmerised by Renée herself. It wasn't easy for me, i.e. the music was not familiar in the least, but I couldn't get enough. Although she was she looked beautiful even though wasn't dressed in an extraodinary designer gown (to my eyes), her intensity in the music just drew me in. I was only somewhat familiar with her before that - Letterman, etc. Soon after that I bought "By Request". I put it in my walkman immediately and as I was walking along Broadway during rush hour, the snow was falling. Renée's voice drowned out the all of the noise and chaos around me. All of a sudden the depression of my first winter in New York and being far away from home melted away and I felt like I was in a soundtrack. Well, you know the rest of the story...now I can't get enough of her performances or opera in general. If it weren't for Renée...