Thursday, May 03, 2007
Tonight: A Concert
Tonight: Renée Fleming sings Strauss while Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Renée wore her elegant black Cinderella cut gown with yards and yards of white tulle overflowing from underneath and accompanied by a mile long shawl of white tulle to give us Strauss's Mein Elemer, from Arabella, Op. 79, Wie umgibst du mich mit Friden, from Die Liebe der Danae, Op. 83 and Korngold's Prelude to Act II, from Das Wunder der Heliane, Op. 20, Briefszene: Ich soll ihn niemals, from Die Kathrin, Op. 28 and Ich ging zu ihm, from Das Wunder der Heliane. She sounded heavenly. The house, not full at all, erupted in applause each time and she earned a standing ovation. She came back to treat us with Marietta's Lied from Die tote Stadt. It was glorious! The standing ovation at this point was an involuntary response. At intermission, we went to the green room. It was lovely to see familiar faces - friends whom we've met along the way because of this lovely lady. It is always fun to be recognized and chatted up by the Diva. Khaleem asked her about Das Wunder der Heliane and she said that she just recently listened to the whole opera and would love to see it but she's not available for at least eight to ten years. I told her we could wait. She talked to us about Thais. She loved doing it. I told her that I couldn't wait for the Met production and she said she couldn't either. She quizzed us on the differences between Thompson Hampson and Gerald Finley in the role of Athanaël. It sounds like she might prefer the gentler approach by Finley. The green room crowd was indeed happy to be in her presence...and behind the door leading into her dressing room, it was obvious that the crowd inside there was even happier as they poured champagne. Champagne usually signifies a celebration and triumph - in this case, it was totally appropriate.
Bonus with a downside: Because of The Tristan Project, Sally and I were bumped from our original third tier seats to really terrific seats in the first tier. Unfortunately, despite the great view, I didn't take my usual curtain call video. Avery Fisher Hall staff is now confiscating cameras before you even enter the house. They didn't get my camera - I'm too smart for that - but I didn't want to risk my usual risky business of filming. Sigh. I really need a pair of these.
Photo by Khaleem (I look a fright and I can't remember what we were talking about.)