Cher Public

Wake me up before you catalog

wham_thumbYou know, La Cieca lived through the 1980s, just barely, and then imagine her surprise when, midway through the 2000s, there was a revival of all that 80s stuff — shoulder pads, leggings, big hair, glitter. All of it. Well, no, not quite all of it. There was one trend of the 1980s whose revival we were mercifully spared. Until just now.

  • OMFG

    And I had no idea Mozart wrote Mein Herr marquis


    Has Wenarto seen this? Has Wenarto done this? And better? Has Family Pondman seen this? Don’t let Family Pondman see this. Wait! Let Family Pondman see this. Then hide.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Lest we forget WALTER PONDMAN

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

        • OMFGG !!!!!!!! I wasn’t aware such a thing even existed. I’ll probably have nightmares tonight. W. Pondman should be locked away for what he has done to his family.

        • daviddc

          Always painful to hear the Pondmans (although Walther, the “tenor” is hella cute). They are truly sui generis.

  • Krunoslav

    Can they fuse the final CHENIER duet with “Disco Duck”?

  • operadent

    Opera Risque + The Pondmans = Operatic Hell On Earth!


      Sorry, Operadent, that title has been awarded for life to Jimmy Osmond and his stirring rendering* of “Amor ti vieta.” (qui vid.) *I use “rendering” here in its animnal husbandry sense of putting a bunch of dead pig in a vat, applying heat, and frying all the lard out.


    Is it just me or are The Pondmans starting to sound not all that bad? I mean, Bacchus isn’t really that hard a role, and maybe . . .

  • A sad sack attempt to unseat the master himself, Falco:

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Yes all that’s missing is Viveca Geneaux!

  • yes I have seen them all and yes, they all fabulous, with 900 videos on youtube, I shall spare some room for the young and fabulous…but hey, I am going 80’s…

  • but again, who can top this classic? of live performance?

    • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

      I wouldn’t mind topping the tenor myself.

      • Lucky Pierre

        izzy might sing higher if we gangbang him.


          “Consensual vs. forcible.” Hmmmm. Yes, I imagine I would scream too in such a case.

        • Lucky Pierre

          nobody said anything about forcible, bitsy.


          I apologize, then LP. It may be a generational thing. Or a linguistic thing. “Gang” implies a particular group asserting their communal will on a certain object, while “bang” has an undeniable violence to it. Around the middle of the last century (my hey day) if it was consensual, it was called “pulling a train,” as in “Hollywood King _______ first came to notice when sex star __________pulled a train for the USC football squad.”

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      How dare you try to have IZZY upstage tenor sensation

  • MontyNostry

    Is this the same Wenarto we know and love?

  • manou

    In the same vein as “Apart from that, how did you like the play, Mrs Lincoln” the first thing I noticed was how awkwardly the English text sits on the music.

    I tried to find the text of Jeremy Sams’ translation for ENO (Figaro’s Wedding) but came across these two examples

    Leporello produces a list.
    Pray allow me] Let me draw your attention
    To this long list of names and addresses --
    A complete list of all his adventures.
    Take a seat, ma’am, and read it with me,
    Here you are ma’am come read it with me . . .
    . . . Here are country girls in plenty,
    Ladies’ maids and would-be ladies,
    The nobility and gentry,
    This for royalty the page is.
    Handsome, ugly, high or humble,
    All are women, all for him,
    All are women, all for him.
    Leporello takes out a Psion Organiser.
    Listen closely, and I’ll try to explain it.
    With a system like this it’s so easy
    To recall all the names and addresses
    Of the women my guv’nor has had;
    I’m afraid that’s he’s no Galahad . . .
    . . . He’s had lecturers and teachers,
    Even several female preachers.
    There’ve been actresses and artists
    And a dozen lady harpists
    And a tuba-playing footballer
    Who liked it in the snow.
    How he does it, I’ll never know.

    They come from a old article in the Independent :

    Traduttore Traditore again.

    • armerjacquino

      To be fair, the Tony Britton version was an adaptation not a translation- it was for Music Theatre London who did musical theatre versions of various operas, cast with actors rather than singers. It’s not an attempt to render Da Ponte into English.

      • manou

        Thank you for making this point -- I was going to but did not want to take up too many column inches.

        Surtitles can be even worse : last week at the Jonathan Miller’ Cosi at the ROH, Despina’s “..Dèe saper ogni gran moda,/Dove il diavolo ha la coda” translated as “must know what’s what”

        What? What!!

        PS (for the Vicar) Sally Matthews was terrific as Fiordiligi….

        • Buster

          A good one, thanks. Tannhäuser starts with Let’s go to the beach.

        • The Vicar of John Wakefield

          Salutary to know that young British singers are upholding the Mozartean legacy of Price, Harwood and Roocroft, q.v.

        • manou

          Esteemed Vicar -- I did not realize you are also the opera critic of the London Times :

          from which I have extracted this illuminating passage :

          “The American soprano Lisette Oropesa does get round the fiendish notes of Martern aller Arten, but her tone is desperately thin at the top. Not for the first time I wonder why a British company has imported a foreigner to sing a role that several homegrown singers could deliver at least as well. Much the same is true of Petros Magoulas, the Greek bass who sings the harem-keeper Osmin. He looks the part — swarthy, full-figured and bumptious — but his bottom notes are feeble.”

        • MontyNostry

          As usual in that article, Lebrecht includes some misinformation (this time more through ignorance than design). Susan Bullock is not in the same generation as Kate Royal — Bullock must be around 50 now and Royal must be around 30. And Lebrecht is hardly a ‘caring’ journalist who has always shown concern for the long-term viability of an artist. He’ll do anything for a story.

        • armerjacquino

          Interesting to be informed that Ann Murray was both British and a Wagnerian, too.

          Lebrecht’s an idiot.

        • MontyNostry

          Murray has sung Waltraute, hasn’t she? (Though I hate to defend scornin’ Norman.)

        • armerjacquino

          Maybe. But to call someone whose career was made in Mozart, Handel and Strauss a ‘Wagnerian’ is like saying Maria Callas made her name as a Beethoven singer.

        • MontyNostry

          How he has maintained any kind of authority is beyond me. Sheer chutzpah, probably.

  • Buster

    Off topic, but Rita Gorr celebrates her 84th birthday today. Even Vina Bovy was envious of her whenever they shared a stage in Ghent.

    I was lucky enough to catch her 1997 Madame de Croissy in Dialogue des Carmelites. The way she gave everything in a modern staging (Robert Carsen) was incredible -- she sang the part as if she sang it for the first time.

    Just love the look on her face here:

    Happy Birthday!

    • iltenoredigrazia

      Gorr was Azucena in my first visit to the Met in 1963. I remember every bit about her performance, particularly in the third act, where she acted truly demented. Big round voice. A few weeks earlier I had heard her as Amneris in my first broadcast Aida. Have a tape of that and love her. I’m sorry I never got to see her Dalila and for some inexplicable reason she wasn’t given the broadcast.

    • kashania

      Also a fearsome Fricka on the Leinsdorf Walküre.

  • The Vicar of John Wakefield

    A minor “regional” artist, not a patch on Our Own Linda Finnie.

  • Donna Carlo


    À propos, thought you might want to savor this particular bonbon from yesterday’s Boston Globe, anent an impending student production:

    “The loose translation of “Cosi fan tutte’’ is “that’s the way it is,’’ and all we can picture is a cast of opera singers belting out “I like it, uh huh, uh huh.’’ Mozart’s music and Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto didn’t fit that in, but the comic opera is full of women in disguise, seduction, trickery, and fiancée swapping (uh huh, uh huh).”

    I like loose. I like louche, for that matter. And Walter Cronkite of fond memory. So I may end up assisting, as they say en France.

    If so, I’ll let you know how many women show up in disguise.

  • Lucky Pierre

    this one is way better than any of your videos above:

    ya’ll have to watch it.

  • This is erotic film director Tinto Brass’ version of Così fan tutte, also obsessed with the derrière.

  • Nerva Nelli

    Q; What keeps the Pondman home and yard dry?

  • Nerva Nelli

    A: Dikes, ya know.

  • The really sad thing about the Pondmans is that underneath the awfullness there is obviously a very strong musical streak which possibly could be brought out or developed with a decent teacher. It is likely that what we are hearing is the result of “a well meaning father or mother knowing best” -- awful shame.