Angela Gheorghiu at Staatsoper Munich - 27.07.2009 - Gala Concert

......Another report. This time from Munich. Ok, I traveled a lot this year and it’s not over yet. But I simply couldn’t resist the temptation. This trip was planned some time ago. I found out some months ago that Angela Gheorghiu has a concert in Munich. After cancelling the second and third performance of Traviata in June, she sort of promised on her website that she’ll be there for the concert. First I wated to go to Copenhagen on August 15th. But the flight was too expensive. So this was reconsidered. Munich was a better idea also because of the Festival that takes place here every year. Besides her concert there were several other productions:
Otello – July 25th
Jonas Kaufmann in concert – July 26th
Luisa Miller – July 26th
Angela Gheorghiu in concert – July 27th

,,,,,,Four days dedicated to good music. I’ll talk first about the last concert as this was the main purpose I went there. It was my first Angela concert. Didn’t know the program but on the website of the Bayerische Opera there were the composers. So I figured out what she was supposed to sing. Marius Manea, a very talented Romanian tenor, joined her for this concert. We went to pick up the tickets on the first day we got to Munich. Next to the backstage door there was a big poster with her. Everything seemed to be ok.
......That evening we saw Otello. More about this production in another post.
......Then the next morning we saw Jonas Kaufmann. It was a lied recital. And who do you think I spotted in the hall? Angela, of course. She was in the first box next to the stage, on the right side. What a nice gesture she did. But they sung a lot together. And they’ll sing even more next year (Carmen at the Met and Adriana Lecuvreur at ROH). Now I knew for sure that there’ll be a concert the next evening. After Jonas’s concert we went to the backstage door. A lot of people was waiting for him to come. We were waiting for him too but…. there was somebody else inside there who should come out. Exactly. Angela. And she came. Greeted the people that recognized her. We were waiting on the sidewalk on the right side of the backstage door. All the people were trying to get inside. But there was no point in doing that and it proved to be a good decision. Because Angela turned left and came directly to us. Always some words in Romanian help us start a conversation. This time it was a simple “hello”. And again to my surprise (more pride than surprise. Pride and joy and excitement…call it as you want) she recognized me. It was the second time. And the third time was to come. She asked us what we are doing there. Well….that was not very difficult to figure out. When I think back about the first time I saw her… it was in Vienna, last year, after Faust…I’m blushing. I wasn’t even able to stand. Lucky me there was a wall behind. Breathing was difficult too. All I could say was thank you. Now things are a little bit different. I can focus easily. With some effort, but I can speak. We talked a little bit about Jonas’s concert. Then some more people came to her to as for autographs. She sort of changed the direction of the queue. That was very nice. She left about 10 minutes after with her friend, Mrs Mioara Manea Arvunescu. That meeting made me happy. I think I had a big smile on the face the whole day long. It’s incredible how a word or just a look can change the state of mind.
......The waiting was long. Too long. I wish the concert was that evening. But no. I had to wait one more day. "Luisa Miller" was very interesting. Another modern production. But this time it made sense. And the artists did their best. Especially Mrs Stoyanova.

The poster at the stage door, announcing the concert.

After Mr Kaufmann's concert
Two of the people I met there. Mrs Lia and her Italian husband

......The next day had to be spent wisely in order to avoid thinking of the butterflies in the stomach. The big night was closer and closer. We visited Schloss Nymphenburg. And this took as almost the whole day.
......And the long waited evening arrived. It was a full house, as expected. Some beautiful moments were to come. We had very good seats, row 4, 109 and 111, links (left). As I go to concert very often I know that the soloists stay on the left side of the conductor as look at the stage. The view was perfect. The concert was perfect from my point of view.

La forza del destino – Verdi
La Wally – Ebben? Ne andro londtana (Wally’s aria) – Catalani
La Boheme – Che Gelida manina (Rodolfo’s aria) – Puccini
Manon Lescaut - Intermezzo – Puccini
L’elisir d’amore – Caro elisir (duet Adina, Nemorino) – Donizetti
Cavaleria Rusticana – Intermezzo – Mascagni
L’amico Fritz – Suzel, buon di (duet Suzel, Fritz) – Mascagni
Luisa Miller – Quando le sere al placido (Rodolfo’s aria) – Verdi
Madama Butterfly – Un bel di vedremo (Cio Cio San’s aria) - Puccini
La Boheme – O soave fanciula (duet Mimi, Rodolfo) – Puccini
Gianni Schici - O mio bambino caro – Puccini
Muzica - George Grigoriu
No puede ser
La Traviata – Brindisi – Verdi

......The first part seemed sooooo short. It lasted for 45 minutes or so. But for me there’s never enough. They were both nervous at the beginning. I guess that Marius was more nervous. It was a big thing for him. To sing in Munich in front of 2000 people. And more than that, to sing with Mrs Gheorghiu. But he did it well. There was a slight trace of roughness in his voice due to a previous cold, maybe. But as the show moved on he did better and better. Honestly. The the audience supported him from beginning to the end. I don’t know if he heard, but there were a lot of "bravo" for him after each aria. He has a powerful voice and he’s also charismatic. Una Gelida Manina.. and then the aria from Lusia Miller. I simply loved that. He should have been on stage one night before. I hope that the director of the Bayerische Oper was there. And that encore…No Puede Ser… was great. We wanted to show the support. In Romania everybody would have jumped up from the chair and applauded. Here people are more conservative. Nobody rose. But again, many people said "bravo". Which is very good, taking into consideration that the same audience can boo (as it happened in the end of Luisa Miller. The target was the young tenor that replaced Ramon Vargas).
......Mrs Gheorghiu impressed me as she always does. She sung everything I wanted to hear. Form Un Bel Di to Musica and Granada. No comments about the voice. I’m way too subjective. I forget to breath. I know the music, I know the lyrics and my mind follows each note. I can’t hear or see anything else. It’s like magic. I tend to notice every detail, such as the moment when she closes her eyes before starting to sing. Those two-three seconds of concentration. I wanted to listen to her singing something from Traviata. I had an attempt this year to see it. In Berlin. But she cancelled. I’ll have two more chances next year. At the Met and at ROH. Maybe one out of two. Or maybe both, who knows. They sung Parigi O Cara. And in the end, Brindisi.
......Before the show my friend and I talked about the encores. We said there will be three. One Angela, one Marius and one together. But the crowed applauded so much that there 5 encores. Two Angela - O mio bambino caro and Musica, one Marius- No Puede Ser and two together – Granda and Brindisi. We also guessed three songs out of five. Musica, Granda and Brindisi. I would have loved to hear again Vissi D’Arte. But when I heard Musica I was so proud that in the end I rose and applauded despite the nasty looks I go from the people behind. I had to do that.
......And the dresses…. She looked so good. They were three of them as you’ll see later on. But it’s not only about the dress. It’s also about how you wear the dress. That’s what gives elegance. An up straight position, a certain look… she’s unbeatable. And people absolutely love that.
......At the beginning of the first duet she looked straight into Marius’s eyes. From where I sit I could see her look. "You can do it. I’m here. We’ll both do our best". And she supported him throughout the show.
......I couldn’t help hearing some small problems. There was a slight lack of synchronization at the beginning of Un Bel Di. The orchestra went faster than Angela. She looked at the conductor, than at the concertmaster…In the end the conductor, Keri-Lynn Wilson, managed to solve the situation. Also the last note of Suave Fanciula was a little bit ...different. They didn’t remain on the stage. As in opera, they went backstage so sing the final notes. It’s a very high note for the soprano and it’s difficult to take it in piano, as required. So this alternative is used. There was somthing wrong with that sound. I don't know how to explain it but let's say it was different from every Boheme I've listened to. The most obvious mistake was at the beginning of Granada. The trumpet has in intervention right before the singers start. Well… either the player wasn’t paying attention to the conductor or he was sick or something. That sound was horrible. It was false. The audience laughed. The conductor had a big smile on her face (not very professional I may say). This unpleasant incident broke the concentration of the singers for a few seconds. They were prepared to start singing and then… laughter. What could have been the feeling in that moment? They looked at each other, breathed deeply and went on. I heard her singing Granada several times (the concert in Prospect Park and then the concert in Jordan), but never live. This was a complete delight.
......The concert lasted more than 2 hours. And it seemed like 15 minutes. This always happens after great moment. You’d like them to go on forever. And this is the time when I start waiting for the next Angela’s concert. For me it’s in October. More precisely October 2nd, Royal Festival Hall in London.
......We went at the backstage door. There were so many people there waiting. The first one to come out was the conductor. But she was in a hurry. Then Angela came. She couldn’t get outside because there were too many people inside asking for autographs. She signed programs and photos and made everybody happy. There are several types of people in this large gathering. Those who go there just because they attended the concert and want an autograph, usually the locals. They don’t usually get involved in a conversation. Then there are those people who saw the artist several times, they know many things about her/him and want to show the appreciation. Besides having the program signed they talk about future appearances and what they liked most. And there is also a third category, those for whom the autograph is just a pretext to talk again with their favorite artist. Those who follow her/him to several performances in different parts of the world. And the pleasure is even bigger when the artist knows who you are. What an incredible feeling. They see a lot of faces everyday, hear a lot of nice words…so that’s why I think that in the end it’s an honor when you hear "you are X. we met there". First time I thought it was a coincidence. But the meeting in the previous morning proved it was not. Two or three people around me asked me if I know her because they heard her calling me on my name. Well, no. Maybe I was in the right place at the right time. Hope someday you’ll experience this. We changed a few words then she left. A few seconds later she turned towards us and said "good bye, girls".
......We went back home with a big smile on our faces and hearts full of joy. It was exactly how we wanted it to be.

......During this cultural trip I met some very nice people. First of all, Marie. This was an unexpected meeting. She came to me and said "you’re Irina". I said "yes, but how do you know?". "I read your blog" was the answer. Imagine that! I heard the same line from another nice lady. Sorry I don’t remember your name. But if you read this post leave a comment so I know who you are. Maybe we’ll see each other again sometime. Then Mrs Lia and her Italian husband. We saw eachother in the morning of the previous day when waiting for Mr Kafmann to come out and again after Angela’s concert. Very nice people.
......After Mr Kaufmann’s concert I met Christina. She’s a fan of Jonas's and also of Anna&Rolando. Visit her blog. You’ll find many nice things there. Nice meeting you Christina. Hope to see you again.
......I also met Christine. I didn’t know she would be there but I should have imagined because she lives in Munich. Again, it was a pleasure meeting you. You take beautiful pictures. No wonder that Angela took them.
......As you see, this trip worth millions. I saw beautiful things (there’ll be other posts about Jonas Kaufmann’s concert and also about Otello and Luisa Miller) and met great people that share my passion for music and also for Angela.

Bayerische Oper

During the first part of the performance. That dress was pink.
At the end of the concert
The conductor, Keri-Lynn Wilson
......A big thank you for everybody involved in this. See you all very soon!

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  1. Thanks for the report Irina. I think I know the Christine you are talking about. I know her and her family and we are good friends. She lives near Munich and I met them last time for La Boheème with Anna.

  2. It was a pleasure meeting you =) Great photos you took ! Angela's dresses are always really beautiful !

  3. Mi se pare cam putin 2 arii interpretate de AG singura in timpul concertului.Noroc de cele 2 encore ale ei!

  4. You may not remember me but we met at the Palau de la Música, to attend the concert with Cecilia Bartoli last year. You arrived with Teresa. Do you remember?.

    Yo has been fortunate to attend this wonderful concert by Angela Gheorgiu. In Barcelona we had no such luck, as Angela has canceled her concert in January. Hopefully we will have a new opportunity.

    Congratulations on your wonderful photos and I wonder how you can make them from inside the theater, where there is very little light. What kind of lens are you using?.

    We wait for your other chronicles of the Bayerische Opera. I love the way that you explain us your experiences.

    Kisses from Barcelona and look forward to seeing you in the near future.

  5. Hi Gloria!
    I remember you. In fact I remember every person I meet during my trips.
    Thanks for your comment. Angela is a great experience every time. Don't worry, I faced several cancellations. But I move on to the next performance.
    I have a regular Fuji camera. Noting special.

  6. Hi Irina!
    Interesting report! You are so incredibly lucky to be able to go to so many wonderful concerts and operas all over Europe! After my London adventure, I've no upcoming plans (well, except for Annick Massis in La Juive, a Renee Fleming concert, and a Cecilia Bartoli concert - but those are all things I don't have to leave the country for). I'm really adamant to see Angela Gheorghiu for real in her next London Traviata run (and the London production of Manon & Simon Boccanegra), which reminds me I really need to find a job on the side of my studies now in order to save for that adventure! =)

    If you're ever attending a concert in Amsterdam anytime soon, let me know!

  7. Hi Laura!
    For the moment nothing in Amsterdam. But I've never been there so it's part of my future plans.
    I think I'll be in London for that Traviata you're talking about. I'm pretty sure of that.
    Keep checking the blog from time to time. Or leave an email address so I could contact you.
    I would like to see Renee Fleming. I saw La Bartoli in barcelona. And I'll see her again soon.
    Who knows, we might meet someday.

  8. Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple