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Teresa Berganza Master Classes - Mozart: Le Nozze De Figaro, Don Giovanni

Berganza / Mozart
Release Date: 12/13/2011 
Label:  Melisande (Dvd)   Catalog #: 1  
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Omo BelloPablo GonzalesJulie CherrierSandra Liz Cartagena,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

TERESA BERGANZA MASTER CLASSES: Le Nozze de Figaro, Don Giovanni Teresa Berganza (mez); Aline Bartissol (pn) Melisande Films (DVD: 115:00) Live: Villa Viardot 2009, 2010

One of the cruelest statements to come from the sharp-tongued Bernard Shaw is “Those who can’t, teach.” Many of those who “can” prove to be the worst teachers, and many who “couldn’t,” or couldn’t do it very well, produce the finest singers. Then there is the case of those who “could” but can no longer. Many important singers after retiring teach poorly, and far too many Read more of them use the master class to prove they are better than their students. Then there is Teresa Berganza, a great artist, and, I have learned from watching this video, a great teacher and a great soul.

Early in the documentary she presents her credentials: “Eight years of piano, four years of organ, four years of theory, harmony, composition, and reading of orchestral scores, so when I was 18 I was already an accomplished musician and it was easier.” Perhaps this is a gentle admonition to the talented students with whom she is working. None of them are solid technically. Their sense of pitch and tempo, their clumsiness in the nuances of the Italian language, show schooling of poorer quality than the earlier schooling of their adored teacher. However, Berganza is able to ignite them with her passion, insights, and know-how, producing immediate and sometimes astonishing results. She is expansive during these sessions, often conducting, or standing next to the singer, indicating by facial expression or posture what the phrasing or tempo or dramatic climate demands. Her kindness, good will, and humor set a comfortable tone, giving the congenial impression that they are all on the same side, all partners sharing a deep devotion to music. “We are privileged,” she remarks in this regard. It is evident that she believes no suggestion can be effective unless it is conveyed with kindness. Taking into consideration the limitations of each singer, she never asks for more than two attempts at any given challenge. There is much humor in these sessions as well, including occasional flirtations with the boys. Her demonstration of how Zerlina should comfort Massetto in “Vedrai carino” is particularly charming.

Her most repeated suggestions deal with markings of piano and with rests. She points this out time and time again that when fortes eventually do occur they have a greater impact, and that silences electrify the atmosphere. Tempo, pitch, pronunciation, and other nuts and bolts are dealt with congenially, in contrast, for example, to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s “Why are you wasting my time?” and “Flat! Still flat!”

The accompanist, Aline Bartissol, as beautiful and stately as a de la Tour portrait, plays with exquisite style as if the orchestral reductions were Mozart sonatas. Visually the entire presentation is a delight. One views the trees and lawns surrounding the Villa Viardot built in the period of Beaumarché, da Ponte, and Mozart. It exudes Age of Enlightenment with rooms that Almaviva and company could easily have occupied. The ambiance in the classroom is airy, sunny, intimate, and filled with the faces—beautiful, thoughtful, enchanted faces—of students and guests. They obviously adore the great Berganza, but they are really mirroring the enchantment written on her own face—the enchantment of Mozart. “Mozart!” she says. “He’s our brother, our lover. He’s even our child. When you love Mozart that way! The way I do—passionately—for me, it is Mozart for life!”

Throughout this presentation nothing is said that is not important. There are words about great conductors, great colleagues, great moments. But it is useless to report them, as most of their power comes from hearing, and seeing Teresa Berganza say them.

FANFARE: Raymond Beegle
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Works on This Recording

Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Aria(s) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Omo Bello (Voice), Pablo Gonzales (Voice), Julie Cherrier (Voice),
Sandra Liz Cartagena (Voice), Laure André (Voice), Teresa Berganza (Mezzo Soprano),
Aline Bartissol (Piano), Vladimir Pinheiro (Voice), Léa Sarfati (Voice)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Don Giovanni, K 527: Aria(s) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Chiara Santoro (Voice), Jamie Rock (Voice), Aurélien Pernay (Voice),
Sébastien Lemoine (Bass-baritone), Eric Beillevaire (Voice), Sandra Liz Cartagena (Voice),
Teresa Berganza (Mezzo Soprano), Natacha Figaro (Voice), Tomeu Bibiloni (Voice),
Ahmet Baykara (Voice), Gomes Izabella Wnorowska (Voice), Aline Bartissol (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 

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