Saturday, May 22, 2010

La donna e mobile

From one baritone to another; I've been geeking out over Swedish singer Peter Mattei recently. He sings primarily in Europe, but the Met gets him every once in a while. I'd really love to hear him live, particularly in Don Giovanni. I've read him named the greatest Giovanni since Siepi, which is saying something. The Giovanni of my heart will always be American Samuel Ramey, who I saw perform it on a Salzburg Festival telecast when I was but a wee thing. But even the crappy minimalist production available on YouTube featuring Mattei just blew me away, and far better is this concert version of the famous seduction duet.

Two random notes about Mattei:

1) Sigh. What's a fan to do when you can't get to see a live performer live? Another post will follow shortly on this theme regarding Michael Sheen's upcoming Hamlet.

2) As I was remarking recently to a fellow blogger, sound is a funny thing. I don't know what exactly it is about the frequencies of Mattei's voice, but he sounds just okay out of my computer speakers. Then I plug in the good-quality headphones and almost fall out of my chair. Granted that the computer speakers can make anything sound crappy, but generally speaking, a good singer will still sound good. Somehow, all the resonance gets sucked out of Mattei's voice. Thanks, Toshiba.


Linda said...

Don't mean to brag (uh, maybe I do) but I traveled from Philadelphia to NYC four times in April 2009 to catch all four of Mattei's Giovannis. Just a magnificent voice and stage presence. He will be back at the Met next season for Yeletsky in"Queen of Spades" and Marcello in "Boheme." Unfortunately, as of this writing I don't see him down for the Met's new "Giovanni" coming in a couple of years but one never knows.

Heidi said...

Wow. I both envy/hate you and bow in admiration. I've always thought Marcello was kind of a crap part, frankly -- he doesn't get any good aria to himself. But Pique Dame is on my list for a possible long-distance trip, which is quite a commitment.

Linda said...

I've already seen him as Marcello (Anna Netrebko was Musetta and they were by far most beautiful couple on stage) and he makes the most of it. Most of the reviews singled him out. Interestingly, this time Netrebko is singing Mimi to Beczala's Rudolfo but I'm not sure who is the Musetta.

I don't fall in love with many singers (but I enjoy more of them that way) but Mattei is special. I was directed to your blog because I have a Google alert on him to and your posting made it into my mailbox. I just added you to my RSS feeds and I'll be looking forward to reading your posts.

Heidi said...

I love his Figaro, too. Hope you enjoy reading. I've been addicted to MetPlayer lately, so there will probably be more opera posts in the near future.