Final Alice is based on the last two chapters of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and is sung by soprano talent Hila Plitmann. This performance was completely amazing. I was was nothing less than ‘awe-struck,’ that’s the best way to describe it. I didn’t really take notes during the performance because I wanted to really just sit there and observe.
Hila Plitmann basically stole the show, and well she should because it centered around her performance as Alice and all the rest of the characters in the story. The symphony at times would play loudly, and occasionally drown out her voice, yet I was still mesmerized. Some of the scenes were way out there, like nothing experienced before. Others were softer and very tonal, with memorable melodies and music.
During the post concert chat with Leonard Slatkin, Hila Plitmann and composer David del Tredici, conductor Slatkin asked Ms Plitmann “How do you prepare for this?”
Ms. Plitmann: “It’s the best challenge out there. I had an interview the other day, and I was told about something you had said about what it takes to prepare for something like this as a singer and I feel that the wonderful think for me, I don’t know how it happened in my life, but somehow the set of skills that I have seem to fit with this. There’s a lot of things I can’ do but this I seem to be able to do.”
Mr. Slatkin: “The range, low-A to high-D, so we’re talking two and a half octaves”
Mr. Tredici: “But I think the terrible thing is how it sits high for so long. The occasional high note is not so hard but a low note is high-A, I mean the way it stays there, in that first aria. Then you have to talk – I was wondering, is that a problem to talk and sing, alternating it?”
Ms. Plitmann: “It’s not so much while it’s happening, right now you can hear my voice is a little, sounds like a chipmunk, and that’s part of the process of having to do something like this”
Audience question: “I have to commend you on that tremendous performance. It’s incredible to even memorize that sort of body of work, and to work in not only the opera, but the speaking parts and know the story line and the timing — that’s just an incredible thing. While that popping was going on (problem with the microphone) to keep your train of thought, that was amazing” [My friend Miklos Sarkozi]
Ms. Plitmann: “Thank you so much.”
Mr. Tredici: “And let me say, the way that Maestro Slatkin shaped one hour – the way it was shaped makes an enormous difference – it was just masterfully done.”
Mr. Slatkin: “It’s a journey, the fact that the piece begins and ends the same way, with that one note in the oboe, it sets off the journey, and I’ve done this piece 5 or 6 times over the course of 5 years.”
I anxiously await the next time Hila Plitmann appears with the PSO!
ps: sorry this post is late, I’ve been busy all week taking photos of immature Great-horned Owl chicks…