Ian Bostridge made his debut with the Grammy-winning Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, the Little Orchestra that Could, last night at Milan's Auditorium di Milano. Those of you who were there, Opera Chic included, were treated to an intelligent and thoughtfully lyric readings of Britten and Lutoslawski by Bostridge's clean, clear tenor that highlighted a scarily deep understanding from the Cambridge & Oxford educated Englishman (Bostridge trained to be a professor of literature, and is a published author of an Oxford historical monograph on witchcraft). Maestro John Axelrod, our guest conductor, found the perfect balance by matching Bostridge's deep, introspective layers while spiriting away gravely tension in a clean, streamlined, graceful etiquette.
More on the breathtaking concert later in OC's full review; more on Axelrod's appetizers and desserts: a two-for-one Berlioz Blowout, his Roman Carnival Overture and Symphonie Fantastique; more on Bostridge's insanely idiosyncratic voice; more on Axelrod's excellent sustainment and Eight Extremes Fist Kung Fu styles later. This was a concert of full-on brains, brawn, and beauty between the two musicians.
For now, O.C. will leave you with Bostridge, who was featured in Vivimilano, Corriere della Sera's weekly compendium of what's going down in Milan (photo above). The London tenor was described as "raffinatamente pensosa" (elegantly thoughtful) and "uno dei cantanti piu' eleganti e magnetici in attivita'" (one of the industry's most elegant and captivating tenors) especially for his intellectual, loaded readings of Britten, Monteverdi & Janacek.
Tomorrow night -- really sadly, without OC since she still is in New York -- Bostridge makes his belated debut & takes Milan in a recital full of 100% Schubertian beauty.
The night program's almost makes us weep that we won't be there. Even worse, if he encores some Henze.
Im Frühling D 882 Űber Wildemann D 884 Der liebliche Stern D 861 Tiefes Leid D 876 Auf der Brück D 853 Aus Heliopolis I D 753 Aus Heliopolis II D 754 Abendbilder D 650 Ins stille Land D 403 Totengräbers Heimwehe D 842
Auf der Riesenkoppe D 611 Sei mir gegrüsst D 741 Dass sie hier gewesen D 775 Die Forelle D 550
Des Fischers Liebesglück D 933 Fischerweise D 881 Atys D 585 Nachtviolen D 752 Geheimnis D 491 Im Walde (Waldesnacht) D 708s
Our beloved Ian Bostridge, former post-doctoral fella at
Corpus Christi, Texas, Oxford, has never been to a pop concert. But he went clubbing with Netrebko, and allows that "there was certain Romanticism in punk - Sid Vicious was an archetypal Romantic tragic figure".
After moving into cabaret, maybe he should go and see
his first pop concert? "I saw a documentary about Bob Dylan and would
quite like to see him. In the programme they had footage of these old
blues guys doing amazing things with their voices. It reminded me of
some of the avant-garde music of the 1960s."
does, however, confess to having gone to his first nightclub last
summer, having been persuaded by the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko.
was the night before a performance of Don Giovanni in Amsterdam and
Anna said, 'Let's go clubbing'. We ended up drinking until four in the
morning. I woke up the next day at midday and couldn't even speak, let
alone sing. Somehow after four hours I managed to get my voice back. It
was a fun night, but I don't think I'll do it again."
Too bad that on Dec. 7 Opera Chic will be stuck in Milan at la Scala, dawdging paparazzi & rawking some improbable demi-couture at la Prima (the Barenboim-Chéreau Tristan that has us already bored to tears one week before the actual performance); because the place where we'd much rather be is London, the Barbican to be more precise: Britten's Billy Budd will come to life under the mad baton skillz of Daniel Harding and with the voices of our main man Ian Bostridge, and Nathan Gunn, John Relyea, Jonathan Lemalu, Matthew Rose and Andrew Kennedy.
As Comandante Bostridge (by the way, if you don't have his Henze CD, that insanely fierce piece of work, you're automatically not one of the cool kids and OC will not invite you to her parties) himself has explained in an interview,
When I ask him how he sees the character of Vere, Bostridge responds 'I don't really.' But is he a sympathetic character, for instance? 'I think I just have to sing it and see. It's not the way I work, really; I don't subject the person I'm playing to psychoanalysis. I do it, then you take away from it what you want as a member of the audience. I think that's particularly pertinent to Britten, because it's the way he works. He makes everything very ambiguous – the music conflicts with the libretto and you're never quite sure where you are. It's very unsettling. I don't think it's really possible to sum up some of these characters in a straightforward way – which makes them rather real, in fact.'
Instead of savoring the beauty of Bostridge's phrasing and of Harding's ownage of the LSO, OC will be at la Scala trying to survive among the bad plastic surgery, the logorrheic politicians, the TV supercheesy celebrities, the cabana boys, the perennially agitated fashion designers in black t-shirts, the meatpacking industry magnates with bad combovers, and their generally ho-baggy escorts. Listening, to add insult to injury, to Reichmarschall Wagner.
Not to mention, our real problem for that night is, Louboutins or McQueens?