Fidelio was pretty darned good today, and Friday was OK too. At least judging from the Globe’s review:

…prior to last night’s performance, it was announced from the stage that Brewer herself had been fighting a cold, though she would still be singing. In the end, Brewer proved more than up to the task. One could detect some tentativeness in her Act I singing but she gained strength and confidence as the evening wore on; she gave a brave and affecting performance.

Her character is the opera’s heroine, Leonore, who disguises herself as Fidelio in order to rescue her unjustly imprisoned husband Florestan, sung with fine ardency and vocal strength by Johan Botha.…

It was an exceptional evening for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, who distilled the collective yearning of prisoners for freedom into a sound of great force and even greater tonal beauty. The orchestra’s playing in Act I was less fastidious than usual, but with Levine’s sense of this score’s pacing and architecture, the music ultimately built to a deeply satisfying and duly triumphant finish.

Which is to say, the opera has a kick-ass finale. I will note, however, that devoting only one line to Botha’s performance is pretty criminal. The first phrase he utters in his solo aria, “O Gott,” is spectacular in its despair and vocal power, and it gets better from there. And that chicken soup that Christine was having? I, like just about every other member of the chorus, want some, if it has that effect on people.

And that line about the TFC having a “sound of great force”? Translation: if the men in this group ever decided to form a full-time men’s chorus, judging from the way the group sounded during the first half, no force of nature could stop us.

Cooking Korean

Lisa and I are trying to branch out a bit and eat healthier, and for me that means trying some more Asian recipes. Tonight we cheated, buying some pre-marinated boolkogi from Trader Joe’s and trying a recipe for generic Korean greens. The recipe wasn’t bad, but in retrospect I would have used a stronger vinegar and some hot sauce. The bookogi, on the other hand, was excellent.

Which brings me to my question: is there a good Korean cookbook out there for beginners? I haven’t found one I like. If you have a favorite, contact me with the link below this post.