Incidental Music

Incidental Music is the title of a new novel by fellow blogger and podcaster Lydia Perovic of Definitely the Opera.  The blurb and the launch promise a book that ranges from Budapest in 1956 to contemporary Toronto with opera and somewhat tortuous relationships along the way.  I haven’t yet had a chance to read past the first 15 pages yet but those first few pages are totally Lydia and that is a very good thing.  I’ll post a proper review when I have finished reading it.

What I did do was attend the launch party at the Gladstone on Tuesday night.  It was part of the This is not a Reading series and came in two acts; La Musica and Le Parole.  The first was billed as The eventful history of the liaisons between the mezzos and the sopranos and featured four solos and four duets from soprano Erin Badua (last seen in The Threepenny Opera) and mezzo Margaret Bàrdos with Christina Faye on keyboard.  The highlights for me included Erin performing Weill’s Je ne t’aime pas.  Based on this and her Jenny in 3PO I’d venture that she could do rather well in that particular repertoire and would that there were more chance to hear it!  I also liked the duet Pur ti miro from Monteverdi’s Poppea and, perhaps most fun of all, the encore performance of Rossini’s cat duet, surely the ultimate comment on sopranos and mezzos.

The second act featured Lydia “in conversation” with Jim Bartley, as pictured in the regrettably poor iPod photo above.  What Lydia had to say was fascinating and I only wish we had had more chance to hear her.

Incidental Music is published by Inanna Publications.

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5 thoughts on “Incidental Music

  1. Yes, didn’t Erin bring the house down with that Weill? It was a 110% Je ne t’aime pas. And I LOVED Margaret’s timbre and force. I wish we could have provided a better instrument for Christina — the Gladstone doesn’t have a single piano on the premises (!) so we schlepped my own keyboard from the Junction.

    It was a great evening and it was great to have you there. I’ll see you tonight.

    • I can think of quite a lot of singers who want to do the big romantic 19th century stuff but actually sound much better and more at home in other genres. Margaret’s voice grew on me. I wasn’t that keen at first, which might have had something to do with the acoustics in the room or the rep, but I definitely warmed up to it.

      • I was thinking about that… I think we don’t get to hear any amount of chest in TO these days. The COC Ensemble has preferred the light mezzos (if they have them at all). When the singers and I chatted initially about what we can include in the program that would suit their Fach, I found out that Cherubino is not in her rep. That woke me right up. I hear so many fantastic LIGHT mezzos that I made the roles like Cherubino the norm. What, there are mezzos who don’t do (care to do) Cherubino! End of the world. NOT. I wish we had a system in place which would welcome such a voice and develop it with proper roles. She could be a Verdian mezzo. Or could maybe do Wagner. But there aren’t many opps for mezzos like that in town.

      • I suspect that part of the problem is that dramatic mezzos, like dramatic sopranos, develop slowly and so one is less likely to find them in YAPs generally. Ileana is the only dramatic female singer I remember in the ES recently anyway.

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