Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Favorite Clip - wait for the shake

I was zipping around YouTube today and ran across a wonderful clip. In it, soprano Anna Tomowa-Sintow [R.] and tenor Luciano Pavarotti sing "Teco io sto" from Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera at Grand Théâtre de Genève. Their conductor is Riccardo Chailly.

Although Pavarotti seems to be struggling a bit physically - the voice is as glorious as ever. Tomowa-Sintow, although not known for her ability to consistently produce a stunning pianissimo sound, is a dream in this duet... she certainly gives an amazing example of what it means when a singer "rides the breath". Especially around the 6:00 mark when, during one of Verdi's more treacherous phrases, she just hooks into her breath support and rides it all the way to the end.

Speaking of the end - when you get to it, you'll notice something that has always made me laugh about Pavarotti.

Sometimes when you're singing a duet and you get to the climax (for lack of a better term), it's not always easy to hear when the other person is getting ready to cut off. So, traditionally there is usually a sign that one singer gives to the other as a subtle hint that it's time to cut off. Dearest Pavy Paverson would generally grab his leading ladies to communicate his need to end. Unfortunately, in this instance, it looks like he's getting ready to shake poor Anna. Wait for it...

Enjoy "Teco io sto" from Verdi's Un ballo in maschera!

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