Two days ago, the fabulous, lovely, and awesome Bel Canto specialist, La Grande Madama Elena Mosuc, celebrated her very special day. I consider this album review to my personal birthday gift to her. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
In the span of a day, I reached 544 subscribers. That is fifteen more awesome people, who subscribed to my channel and hopefully enjoyed the content I have to offer and for that, I thank you all and I wish you well in your lives. Usually, I would be all happy and enthusiastic that I reached 100 more subscribers to my channel, but I thought this “update” or lack thereof will suffice due to everything that happened. I know that the change in the whole YouTube Partnership Program where nowadays one has to meet 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time put me at a point where I was almost depressed, but I had this to remind myself. I should be extremely for all of the reviewer friends and the friends in general, who are passionate about the same stuff as I am, whether it be opera, anime, music, cartoons, or movies. On top of that, my main goal was neither fortune nor fame, even though these two sound exciting and wonderful, I cannot keep my hopes high nor be consumed and engulfed by fame too much, it was just finding the joy in sharing what I love to my viewers because if I didn’t start my career as a vlogger who makes reviews from opera to anime, I would not be here for all of the singers, voice actors, and actors who put in a lot of effort to the works they did, which range from excellent to mediocre to awful. For all that was and is worth, I am grateful, delighted, and blessed to know that there are people who enjoy the work I do, see the effort I put in despite the screw-ups, and seem to encourage me every single time and that’s something precious. Along the way, I even gathered tips and tricks from reviewer friends to true professionals in terms of how I should improve the overall quality of my video reviews. I know that the possibility for me to be a YouTube Partner, as well as posting my content on Steemit, all while balancing my academics, which by the way I received an average of B+ with the German equivalent being 2+ in the first part of the qualification phase, my acting career, as I am going to be performing Werther once again between Spring and Summer and between those seasons I have a new film role, and giving myself time to go to Behind the Voice Actors to obtain new and original roles for my own personal pride and joy, is for me to avoid doing a boring 9 to 5 job in something that I deeply loathe, believe me, there was one time I was an assistant in washing the glasses in a hotel far from Berlin and although I was paid rather well I knew this was something I was not going to do for a long time, or, even worse and Heaven forbid, move back to my parents’ place without anything to look forward to and I have been doing my damnedest to avoid that ever since I moved to Berlin at 20 years old. I know I was thinking about starting my own YouTube channel in my late teens after watching some rant videos with the main topic being what was wrong with Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel. Even before all that, I was on YouTube to watch cartoons, anime, opera singers singing different arias, and classical music pieces. Yes, my priorities were still centered around school and my prospective career as an actor, voice actor, and singer, but there was something on the back of my mind that told me, “Hey! Try your luck on YouTube.” I was invited by a former schoolmate to like his sister’s video of her singing for a contest and that was how I started being a YouTuber, yet I did not know what I was going to do. Like I said, at first I was an aspiring actor looking for gigs until I decided to do music-related reviews, while also putting in anime, cartoons, and movies in the mix. I enjoyed what I did and I still am to this day. In spite of all the crap going on, I have to keep my chin up and keep on going with the video blog-style reviews because the only thing worse than failing is throwing in the towel, sitting around complaining about the current situation, and doing nothing at all. Yes, my YouTube Partnership will run the risk of being lost. I know I might not hit 1,000 subscribers and several views in the span of 30 days. However, despite all of this, I need to be there for you, my dear viewers, because through your boundless support, you gave me the inspiration to keep going on. I know some of you are not going to stick around for me, but that’s life we all come and go. My YouTube Partnership might end up going in smoke, but my passion, determination, and will to keep pushing on will never die! I want to wrap this by thanking all of my 544 subscribers who have kept up with me for quite some time. I also want to thank the many reviewers and video-bloggers who have not only done their damnedest to make such amazing pieces of work but I have also considered them more than my friends but my extended family including Evan Burris Trout, William T Jones, Tony Whatley II aka The Black Critic Guy, Taylor Wyatt aka Whyboy, James McLoughlin aka Jambareeqi, Logan Ridenbaugh aka Hewy Toonmore, Eli Stone aka Cartoon Hero, Brandon Nichols aka Hardcore Kid, Chris Lee Moore aka Rowdy C, Mike Jeavons, Megan Wessels aka The FanFic Critic, Rachel LS Charman aka EyeofSol, Christine Tsuzaki aka The Asian Critic Chick, Dani Bollenbacher aka The Animated Heroine, Rowna Sutin aka cantorandopera and her husband, Stewart Sutin, James Daniel Walsh, Patricia Miranda, Ross Faries, Adriano Bordoni aka Madhog,…
I know I am still rather perturbed in light of what developments have been happening on YouTube. In spite of that, I want to use this opportunity to invite you all to subscribe to my channel and take a gander at the content I have to offer. I know I have been using this plug for countless of times but it has to be done because this is a reminder that just because my channel only has 529 subscribers does not mean I am going to wallow in self-pity. I do not just do these vlog-style reviews of operas, concerts, musicals, ballet, anime, cartoons, and movies for kicks-and-giggles. I put in a lot of effort, research, heart, encouragement, and of course, I take my career as an online reviewer very seriously. It has been my mission to not only voice out my opinions via this platform and do so in a way that does not make me come off as mean-spirited nor pushy nor pretentious but to also create genuine, healthy, and long-lasting relationships with my fellow actors, voice actors, singers and musicians of several genres, animators, creators, filmmakers, artists, and reviewers. Through my reviews and through loads and loads of inspiration from many of some fabulous reviewers, who I am glad to call my friends, I felt like I fulfilled making some well-meaning relationships, be it on Manic Expression, Team Night Saturn, Channel Awesome, Steemit, and many other platforms. I don’t want to bore you too much with a history lesson but I essentially started off as an aspiring actor wanting to be noticed for my craft, as it is the 21st century and some casting directors will end up searching for a video of someone doing a monologue in spite of the fact that the camera quality may not be amazing. It was not until the night before my 21st birthday did I decide to release my first vlog-style review of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at the Deutsche Oper Berlin starring Edita Gruberova and Pavol Breslik. From this point forward, this was my experimental phase, as I made more vlog-style reviews. I did not want to confine myself to reviewing music, so I made my first anime vlog regarding Space Dandy when I had a stopover in Washington Dulles. I even branched myself out into doing movie reviews, as that was what a lot of my reviewer friends were doing. Whilst making these reviews, I was initially hesitant on becoming a YouTube partner because I did not want to whore myself out and I was rather hesitant. However, that all came to a head in June 2014 when I finally said, yes I will be a YouTube partner. I did not receive my first YouTube payment of 71 Euros until June 2016, as it took me two years to achieve that, which was far from easy as I was still branching out and of course my schedule in my old acting school did not really make it possible for me to watch certain operas and concerts, as several days were intended for rehearsal. The next payment I ended up getting took me 1 year and it was 74 Euros. These days I am really lucky to use Steemit for my overall revenue to increase, as I have a pretty strong following on that particular site and I do enjoy posting my stuff there as I do get something great in return, whether it be payments or people who are genuinely supportive of my content. Speaking of followings, whilst I may not have the most significant amount of followers ever, I was glad to know some of my favorite opera singers and some fellow opera fans recognized my work. Anna Prohaska, whose concert I saw in Salzburg in the summer of 2014, automatically recognized me as the guy with the vlogs. She even remarked that my work was informative and people can learn a lot. One of my opera singer and opera fan friends recognized me through a review I did of, I believe, The Magic Flute in the Deutsche Oper Berlin. I even made a lot of great friends with a lot of the opera singers of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and I cherish each of them for being such down-to-earth and amazing people. This all got to the point where the Deutsche Oper Berlin even subscribed to my YouTube channel, which was one of the best moments I had so far, as I did make a lot of my reviews based on the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s productions. I even met the likes of Evelin Novak, Katharina Kammerloher, Pavol Breslik, Diana Damrau, Thomas Hampson, Waltraud Meier, Cheryl Studer, Adrianne Pieczonka and Evelyn Herlitzius. I even achieved my biggest dream of seeing Elena Mosuc perform the role of Violetta Valery from La Traviata, of course, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and she herself loved my review of her performance in one of her signature roles. During my time in Pesaro last summer, some of my friends who performed in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims were so thankful that I not only came to see that production but also make a review of it. Some of them even remarked my review as interesting and thoughtful, so much so that the conductor, Michele Spotti himself, gave me his business card once he recognized me. Through all of these happenings, they were all blessings because I knew deep down that this was what I wanted and I achieved it because I kept soldiering on and I was not going to go up in smoke any time soon. Mind you, I have become so familiar with a lot of operatic topics from the popular works to the rarer works to the many singers of the past and present to even the Fach system, which categorizes vocal types and each of them has their own traits. I was all but thirteen years old when I became familiar with the Fach system, fifteen…
Let us see how such an iconic tenore di grazia and a rising, young lyric soprano embody this iconic Shakespearean couple in this production, which is essentially an amalgamation of pop and pomp, with their insurmountable vocal chemistry and magic. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
In honor of Juan Diego Flórez’s birthday, which he celebrated yesterday, I present to you a review of his Mozart album. It is true he did record Marzio from Mozart’s early opera Mitridate, but how does someone as dashing, classy, stylish, and enticing like El Gran Señor Flórez hold up, especially with arias sung by Belmonte, Don Ottavio, Tamino, Ferrando, Idomeneo, and Tito? Enjoy this review and let me know your opinions as well.
The years roll by. Even more so, our dearest Mademoiselle Pretty Yende has been gaining in grandiosity, virtuosity, grace, elegance, and stature, as evidenced in her latest album. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
Let’s get this double bill Verismo opera review marathon on the row. First, let us see how this gorgeous dramatic mezzo will rise up to the challenge to take on the tragic, anguished young will-to-be mother, Santuzza, backed up by a great cavalcade of singing superstars. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well. Roberto Alagna and George Gagnidze strike again and this time they are joined by a young lyric soprano, Danielle Pastin, who sang the role of Nedda, after taking over an indisposed Aleksandra Kurzak. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
Diana Damrau and Giacomo Meyerbeer. This is indubitably a most celestial combination, especially considering the fact that it has been a magnificent dream Frau Damrau has accomplished ever since she studied his music during her university years. Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.
When I look back at my time as an online music reviewer who focuses mostly on opera, chamber music, Baroque music, classical music, concerts, folk music, and ballet, I accomplished certain things and got acquainted with different artists, and all of these facets have made me who I am today. As an infant, I would end up listening to Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, and orchestral music in general as opposed to vocal music, as I did not become an opera fan overnight. I was initially a fan of the Disney animated musical films and the live-action musical films like Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. From age five to age ten, I took ballet lessons, even though I knew for a fact that I was not going to end up as a danseur. On top of that, it became a holiday tradition for me to watch Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker on VHS starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland. At age nine, I had my first violin lessons. With time, patience, and discipline I grew with this instrument. This was also the age where I was first introduced to Andrea Bocelli and Charlotte Church, though I did have my prior experiences with the Three Tenors and Maria Callas. Even more so, I had my first recorder lessons and I started to become familiar with the vocal types: sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass, which was especially useful for choir singing, which I also did sparingly when attending mass. I even had a go at singing as a boy soprano, even though I did realize how my voice was changing as an eleven-year-old and I can no longer sing treble. Before and during the time I was ten, I exposed myself to the huge names in opera like Kiri Te Kanawa, Leontyne Price, Cesare Siepi, Hermann Prey, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Joan Sutherland, Renata Tebaldi, Lily Pons, Frederica von Stade, Montserrat Caballe, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Victoria de los Angeles, Giuseppe Taddei, Jussi Björling, Christa Ludwig, Jessye Norman, Ezio Pinza, Rise Stevens, Renata Scotto, Helen Traubel, Kirsten Flagstad, Anna Moffo, Richard Tucker, Grace Bumbry, Cecilia Bartoli, Bryn Terfel, Ruggero Raimondi, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, Susan Graham, Alain Vanzo, Alain Fondary, Alain Vernhes, Gabriel Bacquier, Franco Corelli, Nicolai Gedda, Angela Gheorghiu, Jose van Dam, Cheryl Studer, Waltraud Meier, Siegfried Jerusalem, Giulietta Simionato, Fedora Barbieri, Ebe Stignani, Carla Gavazzi, Gigliola Frazzoni, Gina Cigna, Iris Adami Corradetti, Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, Elena Obraztsova, Mirella Freni, Marilyn Horne, Brigitte Fassbender, Renée Fleming, Ruth Ann Swenson, Samuel Ramey, Agnes Baltsa, Edita Gruberova, Regina Resnik, Kathleen Battle, Barbara Hendricks, Regine Crespin, Beverly Sills, Shirley Verrett, Wolfgang Brendel, Lauritz Melchior, and many other huge names in opera. Even more so, I started to be a fan of Italian and French operas. I did not start warming to German operas until much later in my life. This came to a head when I begged my parents for us to go to Italy, so that we can see some opera and some places of great music. From there we had a tour all around Italy and we even passed by the Arena di Verona, though we did not get to see any opera. However, I did find a huge opera book I knew from the back of my mind I was going to love. Even more so, this was when I was my maternal grandmother’s most loyal concert buddy, although our days of going to concerts together became more sporadic in my teen years. From age eleven to twelve, I got myself introduced to classical crossover artists like Amici Forever The Opera Band, OperaBabes, Mario Frangoulis, Josh Groban, Russell Watson, and Hayley Westenra. Yet I also got myself into the likes of Giorgio Tozzi, Nicola Zaccaria, Tito Gobbi, Mady Mesplé, Gwynne Howell, George London, Leonie Rysanek, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Olaf Bär, Lisa Della Casa, Catherine Malfitano, Milena Kitic, and Carmen Giannattasio. So much so, that during the time my maternal grandmother and I were in New York, I bought myself an opera magazine and this and I started to get myself familiarized with certain music review terminology. It was also at that moment we were either at the New York City Opera or the Metropolitan Opera House, that I saw a picture of Kathleen Battle. The tour guide was so amazed that an eleven-year-old boy like me can automatically recognize a face like hers. My gran and I even saw Alcina starring Christine Goerke and Madama Butterfly starring Chen-Sue Panariello and Brandon Jovanovich at the New York City Opera House. Speaking of being twelve, I acquainted myself with singers like Anna Netrebko, Marcelo Alvarez, Leontina Vaduva, Bruce Ford, Salvatore Licitra, Ryoko Sunakawa, Juan Diego Florez, Rolando Villazon, Erwin Schrott, Ana Maria Martinez, Adrianne Pieczonka, Alice Coote, Elizabeth Futral, Margaret Thompson, and Lawrence Brownlee, just to name a few. I even found myself admiring the Chinese lyric soprano, Ying Huang, whose CD of Italian opera arias I bought when I was in Manila for my fall break with my parents and siblings. I have enjoyed listening to it so much, and I hope to review it. During the time I was on a pilgrimage to Lourdes in France, Madrid, and Barcelona in Spain, and Frankfurt in Germany, I was able to pick up on languages so effectively, so much so, that I had a go in trying to speak Italian to a young Italian man by the name of Omero. He did correct me and these days, I might consider myself a tad bit fluent, all thanks to the bel canto and verismo operas I listen to and the conversations I hear on YouTube. By Christmas 2004, I was ecstatic to have been given that same book I saw in Italy when I was ten by my parents and maternal grandma. This became my reading material as this left me hooked from beginning to end. Everything about it was so…
This was yet another historical piece of work from Meyerbeer to add to my accomplishments of operas I have been longing to review for the longest time. The question remains, how well does this illustrious cast headed by Gregory Kunde, Clementine Margaine, Elena Tsallagova, Derek Welton, Noel Bouley, Andrew Dickinson, and Seth Carico stack up? Enjoy the review and let me know your opinions as well.