Well, gang, I've been doing some serious role work, listening to recordings galore and working on my high Fs.
The past few days of listening have sold me on a couple things.
A: I do not favor the light, tweety sound in a Queen of the Night. Nor do I favor the robot sound. It doesn't have to be like that to be right, people.
B: There is just nobody who does full-voiced, effortless legato Mozart like Edda Moser. Her Queen is RIDICULOUS, and the F in "O zittre nicht" makes you want to stand up and cheer.
For Konstanze, I'm loving my girl Edita Gruberova. Plenty big, but small when it needs to be, and actually, you find out with this role, that it should be small whenever it can be small. A girl has to save when she has three bravura arias pretty much back to back, the highest 39-page (in the Barenreiter) quartet ever, a 20-page duet, oh, yeah, and then the finale. I had a fabulous coaching last summer on Konstanze, and the conductor I was working with reminded me that Mozart wrote the orchestra parts with the singer in mind, with a lot of light writing in between the heavy parts so that especially in the very difficult, virtuosic moments, you do not also have to be pumping full tilt. You can take it easy sometimes and save the bravura for the end of the aria.
It is intense stuff, but the best, most refined, sensible music in the world. It takes very little time to learn it because it is so smart, but to sing it well and properly takes FOREVER. You have a real sense of history and duty when you sing these things and it is not to be taken lightly.
These are the things I am learning. And washing it down with a lot of seltzer water and iced tea because it is hot.