[Picture of Danielle de Niese]I have been really busy lately; not merely the usual flat-out binge of a deadline killer, but also because I am moving office premises again!

As I love Opera, so I made time to watch the BBC Four Opera Season, starting with Tony Pappano’s “Opera Italia” on Monday night. Two things made me sit up and take note.

First was that Stephen Fry’s Wagner programme was next up in the BBC Four Season. Back in August I was following Mr Fry on Twitter as he made this programme, so it was nice to finally get to see it. Fry’s tweets in this regard encouraged me to post on RICHARD WAGNER on this very site.

Secondly, Tony Pappano’s programme had a singer that caught me on a lovely bit of Handel.  Now I have always been a sucker for Baroque and Handel, but this woman had a great voice.  Really good, with a distinctive warmth and rich quality.

I looked up and was surprised to see a good-looking lass called Danielle de Niese. So immediately I became a fan — of course; what’s not to like?  It’s all there — the whole package.  She’s young enough to be around for some time, so I can relax a bit knowing the future’s in good hands!  She kind-of reminded me, looks-wise, like our own Nicola Benedetti (even though Nicola is Scottish/Italian)!

[Embedded Video clip of “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Handel’s “Rinaldofrom YouTube]

Anyway, she was on again tonight — a programme called “Diva Diaries” — and it was superb; lots of insights into that world, and into Danielle’s personality as well.

I immediately checked her out on-line: she’s got a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/danielledeniese), and official website (www.danielledeniese.com/), she’s on Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_de_Niese), and she tweets on twitter (twitter.com/Danielledeniese).

[Embedded Video clip from YouTube]

Please go check her out. She’s what opera’s all about these days — youthful, good-looking, mixed race and truly global. Part Sri Lankan, Ms. de Niese was raised in Australia before moving to the United States of America.

Please also check out the BBC television season on Opera — Antonio Pappano was the youngest conductor to lead the orchestra of the Royal Opera House in London — where he is now the Musical Director. Monday night for a few more weeks, and I’ll bet there are more new finds to come.  Ooo, bring it on!


4 Responses to “DANIELLE DE NIESE”

  1. davedevine Says:

    There seems to be too much fuss surrounding Danielle de Niese. There are always going to be people who will want to show off their opera-buffishness (and who cannot sing a note themselves), what can y’do?

    In my opinion, Danielle’s looks (both meanings of the word) and her personality is good for opera; she’s reaching out and connecting with a different audience.

    Diehard opera lovers can still listen to Suzi LeBlanc, Dame Kiri, Louise Fribo or even Philippe Jaroussky.

    Let’s face it, the general public are not being exposed to such artistes.

    Instead they are getting fed opera from pretty dubious sources — Hayley Westenra, Susan Boyle, and Becky Jane Taylor.

    Most folks don’t get entangled with technicalities such as Danielle’s minor ninth vibrato, her breathing control, the angle of the head, jaw movement, or Austrian style intonation.

    In my humble opinion, some technical “failings” can be written off as interpretation, individualism, or even “modern” or “new” (and so will encounter problems from the conservatives). In which case, bully-for-her.

    I like to take my music as I find it, I don’t mind technique-speak, but I do mind comparisons between artistes; music is non-competitive (unlike the music business).

    At the end of the day, Danielle — for me — has “something” in her voice that I honestly like, and that allows me to overlook other things.

    I used to cringe at some weird accents in opera, but as you mature you get over that and look for what music is made and how it connects. If there is emotion in the listener, then Job Done.

  2. davedevine Says:

    Oh, and as to Fry on Wagner — well, enough Jewish angst already!

    You don’t have to like The Boomtown Rats because you liked what Bob Geldof did for African Aid in the early ‘8os.

    You do not have to agree with Bono because you like U2.

    You do not have to take drugs and throw TV sets out of hotel room windows because you like The Who.

    In my opinion, it is largely unimportant what the composer was like, what he believed and even what the music was intended to be about; if you like the work, if it connects with you on an irrational, emotional level, then Job Done.

  3. davedevine Says:

    Finally, I would like to make special mention of Juan Diego Florez — I really ought to have mentioned his name in the context of the Opera Italia! programme. He’s fantastico!

    So are Pietro Spagnoli and the amazing Sarah Connolly.

    I wonder if Florez gets problems because he’s young/ good-looking? What about Erwin Schrott? Or is it always just the women?

  4. […] and Tal Wilkenfeld — and any need for classical for Autumn, and this was met in the form of Danielle de Niese or […]

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