There is no getting around what this stirring scene that opens Richard Strauss' opera Der Rosenkavalier is all about. Everything in the music depicts a morning of frantic and illicit rumpy-pumpy between the Marschallin and her younger lover Count Octavian.
Just as you would coach a singer, make sure you are taking appropriate breaths for the phrases you are singing, as otherwise it is here you will start feeling ill! This will also have the advantage that you are not tempted to rush a phrase because you are running out of breath.
Finley's Bluebeard is caring, soft-spoken, and deliberately gentle. The scene opens in silence with him preparing to bring Judith home. He's so excited to see her, he kisses her photo and practically skips out the door.
Though this excerpt can be frustrating at times due to its technical challenges, I promise it gets easier. Nevertheless, if I can, I always avoid starting with it in an audition, as it works best for me when my fingers are a little warmed up and I'm feeling a little more comfortable with my surroundings.
Whatever the staging, the atmosphere the music creates is oppressive, nasty and yet sometimes tender, and without a feel for the context of the whole piece, you will always struggle to recreate the senseless violence of the maids in this opening scene.
Sometimes the full-fat beginning of Der Rosenkavalier is also requested. The key here is to pace the excitement in the right way, as on stage a lot of love is being made.
There are some shows that never leave you whether performing in them or experiencing them. Of The Sea is one of those. Not just musically and visually. This piece made an impact.
You won't be bashing out the chords of "Bennie and The Jets" while singing along to your heart's content. Your task will be to play some of the most difficult ensemble moments in the entire opera repertoire, singing every part and every ensemble.
The last of the four songs is actually quite dark in a way that fits the quizzically gothic ending of Bluebeard's Castle pretty perfectly, so it ended up forming an arc that actually did somehow add to one of opera's most perfect endings.
Toni Marie Palmertree, who portrayed Floria Tosca, delivered a truly remarkable performance. Her voice was powerful, clear, and expressive, capturing the complex emotions of the character with ease. Palmertree's acting was equally impressive, embodying Tosca's fiery temperament and vulnerabilities masterfully.