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Thread: MK's Tosca = Yagudin's?

  1. #1
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Question MK's Tosca = Yagudin's?

    There is a nice discussion going on in the Campbell's folder about Michelle's "Tosca" program. So much so that I think I'll continue it here in The Edge so more people will see it and maybe want to respond.

    This analysis "came across my desk," as they say in the newspaper business. All you opera buffs, what do you think?

    Many people have questioned why Michelle would choose to skate to "Irina's music." But is it really Irina's Tosca, or is it Alexei Yagudin's version from the 2000 season?

    Did Morosov choreograph this piece for Yagudin? Michelle's and Yags' programs used the exact same cut of music, the same placement of footwork, even the same split jump. Yags did a Russian split and MK did the falling leaf. Perhaps since Yags skated to it once and won (by default because Plushy self- destructed), not too many people have dug up his 2000 world LP yet to compare it to Michelle's.

    Analysis of music cuts:

    Morosov used the melody from E lucevan le stele, and Come e lunga l attesa. Fortunately Puccini orchestrated these melodies even in the original opera, meaning these melodies lend themselves nicely to the entire orchestra, and can stand alone without the human voice. Contrast that to Sasha’s Carmen music cuts, e.g. the Don Jose aria is orchestrated by someone else, not by Bizet in the original opera.

    Details of the music cuts:

    1. MK and Yags used the exact cuts, and placement of these cuts for the programs (with one minor difference, Yag’s Come e lunga l attesa is about 10 seconds or one musical phrase longer, because the men’s program is slightly longer than the ladies).

    2. MK’s program opened with the orchestration of the melody for Oh dolci baci o languide carezze. Puccini orchestrated this for the second piece “Mario Cavaradossi” in act 3. This is followed by the orchestration of the entire E lucevan le stele. (E lucevan le stele opens with the melody of Oh dolci baci o languide carezze.) Mk skated this up to the end of the double axel. In the story, Cavaradossi is brought on under military guard, signaling the beginning of the end, leading to the tragic ending. When all this is happening he reminisced about times with Tosca -- and the stars are shining aria.

    The music then changed to Come e lunga. (IMO not the place for the camel spin, perhaps some footwork. But I understand MK had finished a few jumps, and she really had to put a spin there.) The Come e lunga was played almost for it’s entirely. Then it changed into the soft yearning e lucevan le stelle, not bad for the Kwan spiral. The rest of the music is a repeat of the orchestration of e lucevan le stele, mainly the Oh dolci theme again. There is some variation of tempo and volume of this theme, but the same theme nonetheless, in MK's and Yag's programs. When MK started the footwork (to the exact beat of music of Yags free skate at 2000 Worlds) it was the dramatic violent orchestration of Oh dolci. In the opera Tosca just jumped off the tower screaming “Scarpia, I will see you in judgment day”, with soprano still screaming at the top of her lungs, the orchestra played the melody Oh dolci, and then the opera comes to the dramatic violent end. (Scarpia, Cavaradossi and Tosca all died violent deaths).

    It will be interesting to see how Michelle will "make this music her own," as she has done so dramatically in the past.


    So, did Morosov just dust off an old Yagudin program for Michelle? One would think that as world champion she would command greater respect from her choreographer. No wonder Morosov could create this program in two hours. What do you all think?

    Mathman
    Last edited by Mathman; 10-26-2003 at 11:26 AM.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    And as I said in the Campbells folder: the music is too dark to be a good competitive piece. It did not do much, imo, for either Alexi or Irina.

    However, I will await Michelle's final take on the music and hopefully, her skating will brighten it up.

    Joe

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    http://p068.ezboard.com/bstrawberrycanyonfsc
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    Tosca

    Nikolai Morozov, as wonderful a choreographer as he is, needs to stay away from Tosca. He did choreographed the program for Langlois and Archetto last year, too, with a different cut. I think it's the only opera he listens to.

    I compete in speech and debate, and there's this event called poetry interp, in which I participate (for those of you who don't know the event- it's basically acting, but using a poem, or a bunch of poems with a common theme), and one judge told me at the last tournament that my poem was a "damn good poem," but a lot of people had used it; find something else, or if I insist on using that poem, put other poems in with it that fit the theme, so it's not so over-done (the judging is as convuluted as figure skating's, so I won't go there). I wish figure skating judges would tell skaters/choreographers that. Tosca is beautiful, but I'm sure there are other pieces in the music they can use, rather than the pieces that all the skaters who've used Tosca (Viktor Petrenko in 1998!!, Yagudin, Slutskaya, L/A, and now Michelle) are using. I'm tempted to send Michelle my Puccini Without Words!

    (PS- Where did they get the recording for this Tosca? I still can't find it! My Puccini without Words has E Lucevan Le Stelle, but it doesn't have that violent ending that the opera has. That's the part I want...being the dark person that I am)

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    Very interesting perspective Mathman about Tosca-it would be interesting to see how Michelle inteprets the music later on in the season when she gets more used to it and more comfortable with the piece.


    And I was also on Speech team in highschool, and totally agree with you about the judging :D

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    I don't think anyone mentioned this yet, but it was NOT Morozov who choreographed Yagudin's Tosca, it was Tarasova. From what it was said by 2000 Worlds, the program was built in a month or less (he was using Broken Arrow and he changed it after Europeans). I believe Morozov wasn't even in the team that year.

    I haven't seen Michelle's program yet, but comparing music cuts, L/A, who used Tosca last year for their FP (choreographed by Morozov), used the exact same cuts as Yagudin in 2000. Irina's music cuts are not the same, I'm pretty sure.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, RIskatingfan. Yes, Irina's are quite a bit different. And welcome to Golden Skate.

    Thisthingcalledlove, I don't know what CD Michelle's music comes from. But I would like to check out your Puccini without words, just for my own pleasure. Can you tell me the orchestra and the label? Is Puccini Without Words the name of it?

    I have a great CD of Stokowski's orchestrations of Wagner (Stowkowski's Wagner, BBC Philharmonic). I sent it to Lori Nichol, but she hasn't used it yet, LOL.

    Mathman
    Last edited by Mathman; 10-26-2003 at 06:07 PM.

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    Rinkside
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    I beleive Morozov didn't work with Tarasova in 1999/2000 season. I never thought that music was too dark. It's a very powerful piece and suited Alexei well. He just didn't have a chance to master it between Europeans and Worlds.

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    Thanks Mathman! I'm more of a lurker

    Skyward, I don't think the problem in 2000 Worlds for Yagudin was 'mastering' the piece. The problem was in the jumps. I still think his program, skated for the first time at Worlds, was so much better than L/A's, it doesn't compare IMHO. Irina's was also very nice to watch, I thought the choreography really suited the theme.

    I'm curious to watch Michelle's program. It's not something I can see her skating, but you never know.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I hope that you'll keep posting, RI. I see that you're joining us from Europe. May I ask what country? We have a growing European contingent of regular posters now, to keep us U.S. Chauvinists in line, LOL.

    Mathman

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Mathman - I have the vinyl of Callas and DeStefano's complete Tosca. No skater can top that, not just my opinion.

    I do think with the proper cut, it could make an interesting Pairs.

    Joe

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    Go NJ Devils
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    Mathman - I have the vinyl of Callas and DeStefano's complete Tosca. No skater can top that, not just my opinion.
    Maybe not a skater, but I think Bjoerling, Milanov, and Warren did on the RCA recording

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    I haven't seen Michelle's version of Tosca yet so I cannot comment on how she interprets the music or even how it compares to Irina or Alexei.

    As someone who has seen Tosca performed on stage many times and absolutely adores the opera, the music, the story, just everything about it - this is my take.

    It is a dark and heavy story, very very dramatic. I loved Yags version of it, very dramatic and very well interpreted. Irinas however did nothing for me. Not because she didn't skate well but purely because for a lady to interpret Floria Tosca's role in the opera is very difficult to do as there are so many aspects to be considered and realtionships to be interpreted. Yag's version worked for me because the male roles in the opera are much more one dimensional and therefore easier to protray.

    Personally I always thought I would like to see dance couple perform this competively.

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    My memory corresponds with RIskatingfan's. In the '99-00 season, Yags originally skated to music from the movie "Broken Arrow." I loved it but talk about dark, lol. Yags wore a black unitard with the image of a bloody target on it. Choreographically, it ended with Yags using movement that mimed spraying fire from a large automatic weapon (aimed at the judges, natch). Anyway, Plush's program was classical and upbeat, with a costume of white pants and a gold vest. Yags and Tarasova apparently got feedback that "Broken Arrow" was too violent. Why TT didn't just rework "BA" I don't know, but about a month before Worlds she started from scratch with "Tosca." Considering how poorly Yags performed "Tosca," I'd be hard pressed to say anybody would want to copy that. Though Yags did win, it was because of Plush's meltdown, as others have mentioned. Yags looked heartbroken after he skated and both shocked and thankful when he found he'd won.

    Also, I haven't heard people say, "Michelle is using Irina's exact same music and choreography." On the contrary, all I've heard is people note that Michelle is also skating to music from "Tosca" and that it's the same music, though not the same cut, as Irina used in '02. It only makes sense since it's so recent.

    I don't think it matters that Michelle is skating to music that others have used, though I think the point RI made re the judge's response to his/her choice of debate poetry is a good one. I think what will matter most is how Michelle skates to "Tosca" and how well the choreography is refined by Nats and Worlds. It would not have been my choice to use any music that had been used by a close competitor or any well-known skater within the last five years--there's just too much great music out there, IMO--but it's Michelle's choice and she must have had her reasons.

    What I want to know is what Michelle's SP will be
    Rgirl

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    My question is does this guy only listen to Puccini. He needs to branch out more with opera's or does he not want to be creative.

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    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    One would think that as world champion she would command greater respect from her choreographer.
    So Math, what is Michelle's responsibility in this matter???

    Dee

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