Cher Public

Kam der neue Gott gegangen

bacchus La Cieca hears that Lance Ryan, scheduled to make his Met debut tonight in Ariadne auf Naxos, is indisposed.  Subbing as Bacchus is Michael Hendrick.

  • Nerva Nelli

    Yet another indisposed debutant! Seems to be one a week.

    Good to know Fiend and Billingsgate are earning their checks…

  • The Vicar of John Wakefield

    Pity about the Commonwealth tenor. Can’t Rendall be flown in to continue the shining legacy of Remedios?

  • manou

    Sorry to hear that -- I have seen Ryan as Siegfried both in Siegfried (Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg) and Gotterdammerung (Maggio Musicale -- Fura Dels Baus production), and he was exceptional. Hope he gets better soon.

    • honorary virgin

      thanks for the endorsement of lance ryan. i’ve ordered the dvds of the “siegfried” and “gotterdammerung” from that la fura dels baus “ring” and i was looking forward to hearing ryan tonight. if he’s good, maybe he can come out to san francisco and save us from ian storey as siegfried in the 2011 “ring.”

      anybody else who’s heard ryan want to chip in?

      • manou

        Beware the wrath of the Vicar……I have never heard Storey so can’t comment. He had mixed reviews for his Tristan in the ill fated La Scala Tristan with Barenboim.

      • The Vicar of John Wakefield

        Treleavan’s the man you want-- best since Dowd and Mitchinson!

      • A. Poggia Turra

        I heard Ryan as Erik in Fliegende Hollander in Stuttgart a couple of years ago. Clear, bright heldentenor quality -- excellent control of dynamics. A bit of a “sob” effect at one point, but it passed quickly. An excellent, almost fierce actor (it was a Bieito production, so Erik was less of a milquetoast than usual).

      • Regina delle fate

        Lance Ryan was excellent as the Siegfried-Siegfried in the Valencia but much less convincing in Götterdämmerung -- he sounded exhausted, tight-voiced an nasal as if he had given everything he had three nights earlier and had little left to give. He’s a useful tenor -- like Ian Storey, who learned Tristan in three months when Burkhard Fritz pulled out of the Scala production -- but not the second coming. Of course, neither are a match for the unforgettable Alberto Remedios!

    • lorenzo.venezia

      Yes, at the Firenze Gotterdammerung he managed to sing whilst suspended upside down in gravity boots (act II) and then sound fresh and thrilling for act III.

  • Gianni B
  • MontyNostry

    Perfect headline!
    I saw Hendrick in Das Wunder der Heliane (concert) in London a couple of years ago. Poor chap couldn’t make much of an impression in that overblown, turgid piece (and I speak as someone who loves the very best bits of Die tote Stadt … well the two good bits.).

    • manou

      I was there too (trying hard to stay awake). Racette was also very disappointing as I recall (maybe I was having a nightmare).

      • Nerva Nelli

        “Dyke, ya know…”

      • MontyNostry

        Racette was a non-event as Heliane. They obviously couldn’t get either Brewer or Voigt that night — both have the right kind of voice for the role — so they just got another American soprano. And how about Andreas Schmidt’s attempt at a performance? Sad.

    • Regina delle fate

      Oh God -- I’d forgotten that Monty! I left at the intermission. That was a good advert no-one, especially Korngold. Poor Pat Racette made her London opera debut in that I think. The tenor was woefully bad, but at least Bacchus is a short part and can be sung by a lyric with stamina and firm high notes.

  • Lucky Pierre

    does anyone know how old is lise lindstrom? her webpage doesn’t say.

    • Baritenor

      I think she’s around 35.

      • SilvestriWoman

        Considering that she was not a teen when dating a friend of mine in 1991, she’s probably closer to 40. Lise, to her great credit, paid a lot of dues before getting the kind of break most only dream of.

  • I heard Lance Ryan as Siegfried in the Vlaamse Opera’s Ring. Quite impressive for much of the time, though not what I would call subtle…. and as we have gone off track on to Das Wunder der Heliane, I too was at the London performance and had no difficulty in staying awake. It would benefit from pruning, but I love lots of it -- Michael Hendrick, like the rest of the cast, was hampered by the stupid decision to site them behind the orchestra, which was 130 strong.

    • manou

      A subtle Siegfried is an oxymoron (and an alliteration).

      Yes indeed, it was very silly to plonk the soloists behind the orchestra -- I was also very high up and found some of them hard to hear.

      • Mrs Rance

        And a subtle Bacchus is not alliterative, but it is surely an oxymoron.

        • manou

          Bashful Bacchus?

    • Harry

      People falling asleep…….jeepers! Over the last few hours I have listened to a complete Lucia di Lammermoor, quickly followed with Debussy’s Pelleas & Melisande. Where is people’s attention span these days? Probably having being wasted, waiting for over long intervals at some live performances to conclude.Then going back in, to rage about the type of mounted production they are seeing. Wasting a full fuckin’ night hearing to just one opera?? Which, in most cases goes infinitely -‘into the wind’ for all time in any case, the moment it finishes.
      Prune Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane the singers and orchestra search for ‘that unattainable lost chord’?…..never! Shit it is a overwhelming sonic blockbuster to the ears.
      Imaagine the MET with a 3800 seat capcity trying to mount the ‘impossible’. Thank God for recordings.

  • Lucky Pierre

    speaking of dramatic tenors, what you think of this guy?

    i see he did not sing much at the met.

    • Nemorinopr

      Gegan Grigorian!!!
      Immense voice!!!

      • mrsjohnclaggart

        The first sight of Grigorian prompted hilarity in America. But his singing was thrilling in an old fashioned way — very loud, utterly secure, heart on sleeve and tending toward crudeness but not unbearably so. Though the best Gherman I ever saw was youngish Atlantov, mid-70’s Bolshoi in NY, amazing Del Monaco like, Grigorian was not to be dismissed even in comparison, though when he lay on his back, dead, the immense stomach prompted more laughter. He made quite an effect as Dimitri too. I saw him do the ur-Forza at Kirov. He had his troubles including a slow learning curve, but poured out a fair degree of thrilling sound and meant what he sang.

        However he had earlier on quite failed to make headway as a singer and had become a butcher instead. Gergiev had rescued him but he still had the provincial crudity he probably began with, and also sported the belly and bottom of an older man. Had he been able to get more routine and work with some good, demanding people earlier he might have been consistently wonderful — he had a much greater endowment than Domingo. I do think the Met made an effort with him. I was told he was asked to lose weight, tried, had a hard time and they more or less parted company but don’t know all the facts.

        • queen amahelli

          Yuri Marusin was an interesting tenor that did the rounds with Gergiev, and can be found as Gherman on the Glyndebourne Graham Vick Queen of Spades -- a really peculiar voice, produced all over the place, with a whitish tone that had intonantion issues -- one wasn’t sure if it was half-crooned or not, but pinged fabulously at the top -- and he was absolutely possessed as Gherman, truly terrifying in the latter stages of that opera.

    • manou

      Great voice -- pity he looks like the love child of Orson Welles and Ernest Borgnine (also like Mario Lanza on an overdose of cortisone).

      • Regina delle fate

        Hahaha @ love child of Welles and Borgnine

    • operaddict

      In an opera house, my seat would not be 5 feet away from him. The size of his voice, the size of him…would fill the house, thrill the audience and get the job done in fine style. HD will be the murder of opera, except for the light ones that the pretty, young, skinny sexy singers can handle…which includes none of the ones I want to hear. Obviously the audience there didn’t mind his looks.

      • manou

        You are of course correct -- sadly the disbelief is getting harder and harder to suspend now that we have become used to close-ups and expect a modicum of veracity onstage .

        I have seen Alfredo Kraus in his sixties (or seventies?) as Nemorino, I have seen Pav in Tosca where he had to die by sliding slowly and precariously down a wall, I have seen consumptive Violettas who seemed to bear the illness very well indeed, and lots of Juliettes who looked a tad older than 13, and of course one always has to see a Turandot who has to inspire violent love on sight -- sometime not very easy to believe.

        Audiences nowadays are more demanding as Peter Gelb seems to know very well. Sad, but true.

    • Harry

      Shouldn’t he have been cast as Jabber in Star Wars who Princess Leia strangles.

      Was he the same tenor that Gregiev used, in that video of La Forza from the Kirov? All I can vividly remember was, that the tenor and the baritone were yelling and way off key at times.

  • Constantine A. Papas

    Kim’s coloratura was amazing. I thought I was listening to an old recording of Lily Pons. Did Hendrick use a little falseto? Rather strange for a Wagnerian tenor. Maybe he had a bad voice day.

    • mifune

      He was announced as ill after the intermission and seemed to be clearly struggling.

      I have to say, if you want to boo a new production, fine. I think it is often misguided, but ok. If you want to boo a conductor, whatever floats your boat. But usually I think that if you want to boo a singer, that’s just bad taste. If you want to boo the cover, who was announced as ill, on the night of his Met debut, as some jackass up in the Family Circle decided to tonight, then you are among the dregs of humanity.

      • calaf47

        Sorry…but I was in the house tonight..and the booing came from the Orchestra/Grand Tier level. It was NOT Family Circle. The poor guy was struggling and certainly did not deserve the booing he received. Nina Stemme was RADIANT for the whole performance.

      • mifune

        I don’t think that’s right. I was sitting in the front third of the circle and it sure sounded like it was coming from behind me. Could be it came from both?

      • Nerva Nelli

        For the record, it was not Hendrick’s Met debut- it was to have been Ryan’s.

    • Nerva Nelli

      There was nothing amzaing about it. She was pretty adequate, which means to say that she should not have been asked to do her first Zerbinetta on the Met stage. She is a nice young talent and likeable but her top is not under complete control and she is not the mistress of the stage Zerbinetta needs to be. The pauses were sometimes unmsical. If you thought that-- or what Pons provided- was great coloratura, NO WONDER you think Netrebko is so terrific.

      • Mrs Rance

        Kim was only ok. Not much point or intent in her performance or singing. Back to the birdy type in the role. Another cutesy stage presence like Damrau. I like a more womanly Zerbinetta.

        • Harry

          Zerbinetta…..She should have had both her ‘birdy’ and the ‘womanly’ aspects of her character, on display by the end of the Opera.
          A little calmer….a little wiser, about life.
          Too often it is cast as just a ‘show-off’ role.

  • LuciaDiL-AmourL-AmourToujoursL-Amour

    Baphomet, in the illustration, looks like the demon sheep in Carly Fiorina’s web campaign ad.

  • Constantine A. Papas


    Well said. BTW, this blog has been cruel to singers too. It’s a sport that some enjoy playing in the name of art!

  • senti questa

    but the real question is: how was miss stemme?

    • calaf47

      Absolutely radiant!!

      • parpignol

        Stemme was terrific, great performance, made me so sorry we haven’t been hearing more of her in New York; especially gorgeous in the middle and upper middle, maybe less at ease at the very top; Kim was adorable and had some very nice vocal moments in the second act, but I thought she totally failed in the exquisite prologue duet with the composer; her troop was charming along with her; very nice and touching performance by Connolly as the composer, though I would prefer a somewhat fuller voice in this part; didn’t Lotte Lehmann create the role? the tenor was an embarrassment, but he was sick and the cover and the role is damn difficult; sometimes he opened his mouth and almost nothing came out, sometimes he just didn’t sing the big notes at all; I didn’t hear booing down in the orchestra, though I did hear a cell phone ring and ring and ring during the prologue; Petrenko took the final love duet rather quickly and there were moments when it seemed that both tenor and soprano were having trouble following, though of course they were also clearly not rehearsed with each other; production looked great!

        • Nerva Nelli

          Connolly has a nice sense of line but has neither the top nor the bottom for the role and it is a colorless instrument, as ineffective though less shrill in the music as Ann Murray was with the Philadelphia Orch back in the 90s.

          Kristine Jepson last time out was FAR better. But she isn’t British, is she?

        • Mrs Rance

          No wonder Petrenko took the final duet quickly!

          I was looking forward to a Bacchus named Lance!

        • MontyNostry

          Connolly has become a bit of a heroine here in the UK. I have only heard her on CD and, I agree, the sound has little character or real substance. Murray’s voice at least had a penetrative quality, though never much allure. Neither of them has a Composer voice to my ears.

        • armerjacquino

          Connolly was a wonderful Octavian at ENO last year. She’s an incredibly intense stage performer- I think a lot of what makes her special would be lost on radio or record.

      • I didn’t hear any booing in the orchestra. Poor guy, I hope he gets another shot under more favorable conditions.

        Stemme was AWESOME. Kim is cute but was one-dimensional and had some trouble towards the end of that killer aria (which I, of course, know quite well).

      • Regina delle fate

        Hear, hear, Armerjacquino. Connolly’s voice is probably a bit small for the Met and she hasn’t been invited to sing the role at the ROH. And of course, we had Ms Jepson singing the Komponist at Covent Garden when Ms Garanca decided to drop the role from her repertoire. She didn’t look great in the part, but she sang very well and got very warm reviews.The best recent Komponist in London was surely Ms Graham in the infamous Not-the-Debbie-Voigt-Ariadne revival.

    • mifune

      Agreed. She was glorious. Made the whole evening for me.

    • senti questa

      so delighted to hear positive things. i think that settles it. road trip!

      • CL in DC

        I made the trip up from DC and am thinking about going again for the matinee in a few weeks. Stemme was fantastic -- very strong and secure. I thought Kim and Connolly also did a good job.

  • Constantine A. Papas


    Stemme sounded terrific on Sirius. Effortless, with secure top and a caressing legato. And the orchestra was well balanced, giving breathing room to the singers. I’m amazed how well the performance came over Sirius.

  • operadent

    I agree, Stemme was wonderful and Kim won me over.
    I was in third row Balcony and all the booing I heard was coming from the upper parts of the Family Circle.
    Idiots -- booing a sick cover (who could also be called a sacrificial lamb) is a disgrace.

  • mandryka

    On a good night, Debbie V. really rocked this part. I don’t expect ever to be thrilled in quite that way at Ariadne. But Stemme was excellent, at times really sensational. Kim was OK, but not up to the level we have come to expect in the role at the Met. (Particularly drab in comparison to Damrau’s megawatt stage presence.)

    The poor tenor. Just about everyone seemed very sympathetic. The booing was really ignorant and unforgivable. There were times he looked simply terrified. The Met owes him. (Some fat bitch was mouthing off in the elevator that she had the phone numbers of three tenors in New York who could have done better. She was lucky not to be smacked.)

    The orchestra was wonderful. Spacious and luscious. Some rather daringly fast tempi, but I liked them.

    I’m going back at least twice. Which shouldn’t be too hard, since there were close to a hundred empty seats in the balcony tonight, which is rather unusual. Such a wonderful opera! Hard to believe it’s been 48 years since those ravishing Rysanek/Bohm performances in its first season here.

    • bewilbered

      Hendrick’s web site says he will be covering in two operas at the Met next spring. The roles are not given, but based on the time frames and his listed repertory I’m guessing Bacchus again and maybe Gherman for the earlier period. Maybe Tambourmajor in Wozzeck, though he doesn’t yet list that as one of his roles.

  • uwsinnyc

    I was at the performance last night and have to say that Stemme was truly great. I remember loving her after the Dutchman years ago but the voice has grown since then into a richer and more “Wagnerian” sound. The bottom, middle and top were all secure. I can now understand that she would make a credible Isolde, esp in a smaller house.

    Kim was fantastic too though I agree with those above that it was bordering on the overly cutesy/pip-squeaky end and I too prefer a somewhat fuller-voiced Zerbinetta.