Wednesday, March 7, 2007

One Great Picture After Another: Gracias, Rolando.

Rolando Villazon is rapidly becoming my favorite opera personality. That’s PERSONALITY. Earlier this morning I posted the picture of him flying off a mechanical bull (scroll down) - now I’ve found another picture of him, screaming for a caption.


I received some great caption suggestions! These include: (names hidden to protect the guilty):

  • Look at the shine coming off that thing! I can see my tonsils! (LH)

  • You used my lotion again? Have you no sense of personal property? (LH)

  • Oh my gosh! What kind of moisturizer are you using? I simply must get a bottle for myself! (RR)

  • So THIS is what you've been hiding! (Unprintable!) :) (RR)


With one misstep, Anna turns the performance into a soprano duet.

(Scott, from comments)

Thanks for the caption ideas, friends, and keep sending in those entries!

The lovely lady with Rolando here is the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. In the picture above, they are playing Alfredo and Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata. The two work so well together, any production or recording teaming them is virtually guaranteed success.

If you want to hear Rolando and Anna sing, click here. A clip of them singing the Brindisi will start playing. The performance is from the 2005 Salzburg Festival, and features Eastern Washington’s favorite operatic son, Thomas Hampson.

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

...with this test of the Emergency Alert System."

The National Weather Service test cut into our program at 7:56 this morning, interrupting Frank DeFord's piece on NPR listeners' name suggestions for the brothers of the racehorse Barbaro.

To hear the interrupted piece, click on this link to read or listen to DeFord's commentary.

In Every Opera, There's Downfall.

(AP Photo/Roberto Pfeil, Pool)

What the hell was Rolando Villazon doing Saturday on German TV?

Seems the Mexican superstar was riding a mechanical bull, wearing a jacket of what appears to be a red velvet. I don't know if that was meant to evoke the matador, seeing as he was on a bull (of sorts.) Was it maybe a stray costume from Carmen? At any rate, it's a pretty discordant convergence: velvet, mechanical bull, airborne tenor.

A mechanical bull. Will he soon come up with an album of re-interpreted country songs? (My hero Placido took his pipes to Annie's Song, which is...well...oh, never mind.) Will Rolando belt out The Yellow Rose of Texas? Well if he does, it will have to wait. His album just released last month contains zarzuela arias, with the orchestra conducted by none other than: Placido Domingo. I have to get it! Rolando really is excellent: I love that dark-chocolate-and-brandy feeling of his voice. Gotta hear how he interprets those zarzuelas, which often ooze raw emotion.

I hope Rolando has a good chiropractor.

And an ego somewhat sturdier than Roberto Alagna's.

If you understand German, here's the video of Rolando's German interview.

From an earlier post: opera writer Michael White says Rolando looks like Mr. Bean.