Cher Public

the art of the euphemism

La Cieca never knows quite how far to go in repeating what she “is told,” but since some of it seems to be leaking out anyway, well, she’ll try to be tactful. Apparently sometimes opera companies choose to use terminology like “laryngitis” and “knee injury” in order to avoid having to say “exhibited bizarre behavior at rehearsals” or “arrived obviously unprepared.”

  • Nerva Nelli


    “Dyke, ya know.”

  • Regina delle fate

    Considering her size and her indeed considerably flourishing concert career, Brewer has a more than creditable record in opera: Donna Anna, Haydn’s Armida, Ariadne, Ellen Orford, the title role in Gloriana in St Louis, where she has continued to sing because it’s near her home. Both Donna Anna -- which she recorded with Sir Charles Mackerras around concert performances at the Edinburgh Festival -- and Countess Almaviva at Covent Garden (who stopped using her because of the size issue). Ariadne at ENO, the Met, and, I think, Santa Fe. Ellen Orford at Santa Fe. Fidelio, Isolde in San Francisco, Färbersfrau at Lyric Opera and the Opéra de Paris. In London -- which I realise is a village compared to New York -- she is regarded as a much greater singer than Renée Fleming. Every orchestra wants her, all the leading British conductors ask for her and she is an annual fixture at the Proms, Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall, often making several appearances per season. Singers can actually have major careers outside the Met. Brewer is one of them. Of course, the big record companies won’t use her because they can’t get her pictures into the glossy magazines. It’s easier to sell Danielle De Niese. Brewer is a wonderful singer. If you consider that she is now 52 or 53, her voice is in amazing shape. She should lose weight, however, and I think Cassandra is wrong saying she is smaller than Blythe. She’s been pretty obese for at least 15 years and it may be that now the chickens are coming home to roost. It’s a great shame.

  • Sir Morosus

    # 142 I highly recommend Brewers new English language recital on Chandos. Maybe the voice is just too opulent for Mozart, but the emroidery aria from Grimes and Magda’s big scene from “The Consul” especially had me cheering. That would be a great role for her on stage.

  • Anon

    Ugh…I really wish people would learn to de-fang themselves before speaking or writing. I know Christine and she is a consummate professional. You can ask the artistic department of the Met for the test results from the Dr. that Miss Brewer was sent to here in NY (by the suggestion of the artistic dept.). If you only knew how upset she was about not being able to perform in this cycle. There was lots of crying and a lot done to try to have her sing any portion of the cycle, but as she is not allowed to walk for a week, must swim to exercise and then walk with a walker per the Dr’s orders, I doubt that this is a “rumor” as some have called it. Christine has been preparing for this cycle for the better part of 3 years and is devastated to say the least. Let’s not add to her misery and disappointment by spreading untruths.

  • mrmyster

    #144 -- Anon. Thank you for your posting on Christine; I really felt better seeing that on here after all the inuendo and snark, some even from La Cieca, who does not usually adopt that style. “Six weeks recovery at home,” is what one opera official told me. I would say six months recovery at home, during which she loses 75 lbs (just as a beginning), and that would reassure her and insure another good five years of a big-earning career. Otherwise, I have my worries. Once the knees start to go for big girls there is rarely any turning back. She is as you know, and I say this affectionately, ‘German as all get out,’ and that includes stubborn. So, this terrible Met episode may help her, finally, make up her very strong mind to do something wise concerning weight. Have you seen a photo of her at age 30? She had a fabulous figure and was beautiful. She did not have a reliable top voice until about ten years ago when the whole thing fell into place and took on that very rich tonal lustre; now if she’d take off just #100, all would be very very well and the Met could let Miss V. go out to her well-earned pasture. Hold the fort, Anon, and keep bringing some decency to this, um, er … Palace of Operatic Discussion. How do you say that in German? :)

  • Operalad

    Ein Palast der Opernhafte Diskussion.

  • Operalad

    Although that implies that the discussion itself in operatic in its scope, but not necesarily about Opera. To make it clear that the palace is for the discussion of opera, one would need to say: Ein Palast wo es alles um Oper geht.

  • mrmyster

    Thank you, Lad; I shall use that at my next opera cocktail party. :)
    (care to attend?)

  • To Miss Brewer: God speed and good luck with your healing process, and will you please come back to us in the following Ring Cycles to show everybody what you are, i.e., a SUPERB vocal talent!

    From that first Ariadne, I felt you held the potential to be the greatest Brunnhilde of this era, and it is my fervent hope that you will have that opportunity, if not at the Met, then in another important cycle.