Monday, June 23, 2008

The Metropolitan Opera @Prospect Park, June 20th

Friday night we went to Prospect Park in Brooklyn for a free program under the stars by the Metropolitan Opera featuring two of its stars, real-life couple Angela Gheorghiu and Robert Alagna. They were supported by a chorus and a full orchestra. I am certainly no opera buff, but have enjoyed a performance here and there, even at the big house. The outdoors program was wonderful in that (a) it was free!, (b) we had assembled a nice group of friends, (c) we brought yummy treats, (d) we could stretch out on blankets as opposed to sitting in stuffy small seats, and (e) they sang a lot of recognizable tunes (thanks, Bugs Bunny!).

Below is a solo by each that I captured on my crappy little camera of the projection screen next to the stage. The first is one of my favorite arias from Puccini's Madama Butterfly -- "Un bel dì vedremo" (One fine day we shall see) -- sung by the soprano Gheorghiu.

This next one is a solo by the tenor Alagna -- "Nessun dorma" (None shall sleep) from Turandot also by Puccini. I first became familiar with this song watching the recently deceased Pavarotti sing it on TV, but Alagna does a pretty bang up job here:

For two hours, this ultra-talented couple charmed the crowd with their playfulness and fantastic ability to emote. Gheorghiu, with her three costume changes, was absolutely stunning to behold. Here is a video I took of the two of them together -- "Te iubebc!" from Gherase Dendrino's operetta Lasati-ma sa cânt:

Luckily, the rain held off till well after the show too. A perfect evening!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Smile! You're on Candid Camera!

I heard an interesting interview with British band The Get Out Clause on The Takeaway on WNYC last week. Not that their music is especially noteworthy (kinda along the lines of Coldplay and Snow Patrol, methinks), but they talked about the band's inventive method of putting together a video for their first single "Paper."

As Wired explained about a month ago, the British government has installed security cameras all over town in attempt to curb scofflaws. Citizens are able to request any footage in which they appear within 30 days, however. And so, The Get Out Clause used this policy to their advantage, playing as a band in front of numerous security cameras, and eventually requesting and splicing said footage to form a video on a shoestring budget.

Gotta love the DIY attitude! On the Takeaway the guys intimated that they were yet to be signed by a record label, but in this day and age of the Internet, and YouTube and overall cleverness, is it really necessary?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Breeders @Webster Hall, June 10th

Happy Birthday, ladies! Kim and Kelly Deal brought me back to my college years as they tore through a quick 75 minute or so set based mainly off their latest album, as well as a handful from Last Splash and a few Amps covers. It was thrilling seeing "Cannonball" played live, as the crowd shook the floor. I YouTubed "Here No More" down below. Can't wait to see The Breeders again when they come back for a free pool party at McCarren Pool on Sunday, July 13th (with Matt & Kim)!