Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Renée Fleming Hosted Largest Karaoke Night In Dresden?

La Fleming and Maestro Thielemann Toast
(Photo: Matthias Creutziger/DG)
"In what was arguably 2013’s most expensive karaoke night, Renée Fleming read her song texts live from a gigantic TV prompter screen at the back of the Dresden Semperoper auditorium. This was particularly piquant when she tried to waltz with Klaus Florian Vogt simultaneously. This year’s New Year’s eve concert in Dresden was broadcast internationally, hence the need for big-name stars and the guarantee that said stars would be tense. Fleming and Vogt are both celebrities and old friends of chief conductor Christian Thielemann, but none of them is particularly at home in the world of operetta and musicals – the stuff of this concert. It felt a little like watching Angela Merkel attempt stand-up comedy, or Vladimir Putin dance the cancan....Banks of mirrors behind and above the performance meant that the bright garb of the State Opera chorus members was revealed in all its glory, and that the audience could see itself. It also meant that the audience could see Fleming’s autocue prompts rolling backwards up the screen. Two complaints. First, since she was reading the text, why was it still not possible to understand the words when she sang? Second, no matter how unfamiliar this repertoire is to her, could she not have learnt her five songs and three duets by heart, given the prestige of the event?" [Source]

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