Cher Public

Turning point

palindromeThe DVD of the 1980 Met telecast of Lulu is now on sale!

  • m. croche

    I don’t have a score in front of me, and I may be misremembering, but shouldn’t that very high note be a D-flat?

    • Violetta

      Prolly the violins -- this must be the section where the second part is the reverse of the first. Don’t really know where that was though.
      For someone who never really got Berg, I did enjoy the broadcast. Luisi fab! and Pederson making up for that Ophelia.

      • m. croche

        No, that particular 32nd note line is played by the piano. But you’re right it’s from the fulcrum of the opera, the interlude where Lulu is transformed from Real Housewife to Lockup co-star. Berg was extremely concerned that the fermata appear centered in the score, to serve as a visual correlate to the music symmetry -- an effect not quite achieved here.

        But any day that begins with a few bars from Berg is a fine day in my books.

        • m. croche

          er, 64th-notes (or hemidemisemiquavers, as the Vicar would insist). I have the eyes of Schigolch.

    • I do have the score in front of me, and you are correct. For finding a typo in a Berg example, you win one internet.

  • This is good news. Migenes was a great Lulu. i have a digital copy of the original telecast and the little that I have seen is pretty good.

  • Arianna a Nasso

    This is great news. What would be even more wonderful would be if the Met also would release the dress rehearsal -- or whatever performance was recorded as a test run -- so we could see Stratas in this production. Wasn’t some of that footage shown at the Met’s recent Stratas tribute? Even if the quality is compromised, it still is worth making public.

    • richard

      There may be some dress rehearsal footage, but I remember when this was telecast, in the intermissions
      they showed some footage from a sitzbrobe with Stratas. It would be nice to see that again, but even
      better, if as you say, that had some footage from the dress or one of the “special lighting”, as they were termed in those days, performances.

      The whole issue may be complicated by the logistics of that season. It was one of those big strikes, performances from Sept/Oct thru early December were lost and the season opened with a performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony in mid December with the first staged performance being the Lulu Premiere (3 act version) a day or two later. The telecast performance was the third in the run and I would guess that the MEt was really scrambling to get the other operas thrown together with the singers that were availble rapidly rehearsed.

      I had gone out to dinner the night of the telecast (live in those days) setting up the VCR to record it.
      I came home during the first act and looked at the screen. That’s not Stratas!!!! Who is it?????

      Teresa, as always, was only available for a limited number of cancellations.

  • javier

    yeah, maybe if i can see it i’ll be able to make sense of it. the story seems interesting enough, but i can’t completely appreciate it by simply listening…because it sounds like a total mess.

  • Nerva Nelli

    Carole Farley is not just one of opera’s most celebrated sopranos, but perhaps its most convincing actress. A consummate artist, her one and only role when she stands in the spotlight is to breathe so much life into the opera’s main character that audiences lose themselves in her unforgettable performances. That is the passion of Carole Farley.

    • La marquise de Merteuil

      I have to agree …

    • Harry

      Gee Nerva Nelli Calling Carole Farley one of the grae

    • Harry

      Gee Nerva Nelli calling Carole Farley one of the great actresses and singers in the World, you wouldn’t be her husband the conductor Jose Seberier by any chance , would you?

      • manou

        Harry has had a successful irony (and orthography) bypass.

        • Bluessweet

          Zinger went the stings of my heart.

  • Pelleas

    This telecast was the first opera I ever saw.

    • A. Poggia Turra

      IIRC, another significant part of the two intermissions was Stratas speaking in a solo interview setting, giving her insights into Lulu’s emotional makeup; also, some orchestra-only rehersals, with Levine instructing the orchestra on fine points of dynamics.

      As richard states, the strike wreaked havoc with the schedule. My memory is a bit sketchy so corrections are welcome, bjut I think that the new Traviata (the production before the Zeff one -- Colin Graham, maybe?) was supposed to have been telecast with Shicoff and Cotrubas in November, but that did not happen -- when the telecast did take place, Shicoff wasn’t available and Domingo was scheduled instead -- again from memory, there was some kind of kerfuffle about the staircase that Germont uses for his entrance after Alfredo’s denouncement of Violetta, to the point where the staircase was re-designed before the opening night.

  • operaman50

    That season, there were 3 telecasts: LULU (Live on 12/20/80), ELISIR (LIVE on 3/2/81), and TRAVIATA (Taped on 3/28/81 but not aired until 9/30/81). When the LULU DVD arrives … hopefully we’ll find that the intermission discussions have been included.

  • A. Poggia Turra

    On another note, does anyone have experience as to how quickly operasell processes and ships orders? I’d like to order with expidited shipping, but not if they hold orders for a long time before sending them out. Thanks for any help.

    • operaman50

      If you’re referring to “operasales” …. I’ve had very good experiences with them. They’re quite fast and efficient!

      • A. Poggia Turra

        Thanks for the catch! I was typing in a hurry, as I’m in Las Vegas and the breakfast buffet was singing its siren song!!! :D

        • A. Poggia Turra

          Apparently operasales does not offer expidited shipping, so I went ahead and ordered in an age of instant gratifiction, sometimes we have to do things the slower, standard way. :)

          Thanks again to LaCieca for the original link and to operaman50 for your confirmation of good follow-through by the vendor.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Of course, you do realize that out there in European videoland is the Paris/Boulez-led Chereau (yeah, I know, eek!) production with Stratas and the same cast as on the DG recording. I have a bootleg DVD of it -- terrible quality, but Stratas is amazing. I guess it was available on VHS in Europe at some point. Why the hell hasn’t Arthaus, Kultur or one of those others haven’t gotten the rights to it.

    What I hope happens next is the Met opening up its video vaults to offer up the other productions that Polygram/EMI never touched -- Jessye’s Bartok/Schoenberg evening, Bubbles’ Norina, Renata’s Trittico or Carmelites, again with Jessye, Ewing and Crespin’s Old Prioress en anglais! A virtual treasure trove.

    • I have a bootleg copy as well that I got on eBay. It is a great performance (the snippets I have seen).

      I have been wishing for that Carmelites for ages, as well as for the 2 Domingo Otellos (great for a 2 DVD set), the Morris Giovanni, and several others.

  • bluecabochon

    Is there a chatroom for tonight’s Lulu broadcast?

  • bluecabochon

    There’s only three of us there! :(


      Oh boy, everybody sitting around saying things like, “This is sure some masterpiece, isn’t it?” “Yup, a real masterpiece.”

      • bluecabochon

        Hardly! It took awhile but it has been fun, for me anyway.

  • Amnerees

    I was a huge Stratas fan, but this cancellation was a turning point for me. I went out the day before the broadcast and bought a new, hi-fi VCR (with a simulcast switch to tape the audio from WQXR simultaneously--remember those?) and set it up to record this important evening. When I played the tape later that night, I couldn’t believe my eyes. THIS was the face that numerous men and one dike couldn’t resist? I’ve wondered ever since why Stratas decided on a no-show, and I would like to know if there was a really good excuse for it. Perhaps she wanted to demonstrate how important she really was. I never saw her in the role, alas, and I never counted on seeing her again in any of her announced appearances. I subsequently recorded the two Pizza Boy porn flicks and some old Victory at Sea segments over the Lulu.

  • A. Poggia Turra

    The rights to the 1979 Paris telecast were held for a time by a Tokyo-based company called Dreamlife. They also had rights to the 1975 Orange Norma with Cab and Vick, and also the 1980 Bastile Day Nozze de Figaro with Janowitz, Popp, van Dam et al under Solti (the production is by Strehler, who makes a very old-fashioned physical production vibrant with “real” people on the stage).

    It was a torturous ordering process with many faxes, etc, but I finally did get all three DVDs. I wonder if those eBay copies came from those Dreamlife originals?

  • Lucky Pierre

    boys & girls, i was at the big barn tonight for lulu. wow… i didn’t think i’d like it and i didn’t at first, but the end was shattering. marlis petersen is a true star, what a wonderful singer and actress, and she doesn’t look bad either. her voice is prettier than dessay’s or damrau’s or any of a number of “prima donnas” out there. i can even see a tosca in her future, maybe in smaller house. gary lehman’s voice live sounds less dark than on the radio last time (siegmund). james morris can still sing, which is a relief from what i had heard before. it was quite an evening, and surprising to me, much better attended than armida or flying dutchman (who’d thunk?).

    spotted outside afterwards, bjoerk and her hubby.

  • Jay

    As the last scene of “Lulu” unfolded, I started to dread the walk back to my hotel (51st & Fifth) at 12:15 a.m. What an intense performance, more than making up for the previous night’s “Armida” travesty. From mieda to magnificent in just 24 hours.

    James Morris and most of the rest of the cast and Fabio’s conducting and the Met orchestra were stunning. Fortunately no Jack the Rippers were lurking about midtown last night. But then I’m not a pisces, so why worry?

  • Lucky Pierre

    jay, it was quite a performance, wasn’t it? i however did not enjoy the dim lighting, i could not make out the performers’ faces too well, in the back of the orchestra section. but the conclusion of the opera is shattering — marlis petersen was wonderful.

    i don’t know how the previous night’s armida went, but i wrote here before that i attended the armida of 2 or 3 weeks ago, and i enjoyed it very much, renee was having a good night. however, i do not understand audiences sometimes. who’d thunk that lulu would be a hit? there were very few defections last night even though the show went on past midnight. i think all the standees expecting empty seats were sorely disappointed. the cast got a deserved standing ovation and several curtain calls.

    the armida i attended, in contrast, barely got one curtain call since so many people had decamped before the end. very sad. i was talking with the security guards at the rush line, and they didn’t understand it either. they didn’t expect the crowds they got for lulu; on the other hand, they couldn’t give away tickets for flying dutchman. not all rush tickets were sold, if you can believe it! FD and armida were not well attended, but lulu and the nose were. who’d imagined it?

    • Jay

      Lucky Pierre, I still can’t get Wednesday’s Lulu out of my system. And yes, it’s pretty amazing Lulu and The Nose sold and some other shows didn’t. (Lulu had only three performances, though and Levine has built an audience for the two Berg operas.)

      I was in row E for Lulu, so I had a good view of the stage, but the lighting was indeed too dim in the last act. After all, there is supposed to be mondschein. There were also very small number of defections where I was sitting, compared to the mass exodus after Act II of Armida the previous night.

      I’m already planning a Wozzeck/Capriccio April 2011 trip (and wondering if Andrew Davis would conduct Wozzeck if Levine decides not to do so; admittedly very premature spectulation).

  • operaman50

    Just received my LULU DVD ….and ‘wanted to report that the video quality is excellent … the audio even offeres DTS 5.1… is spread over 2 DVD’s (#1 is Acts I and II…#2 is Act III)…..but there are absolutely no EXTRA FEATURES …. no interviews….or intermissions from the original telecast.