Cher Public

And the lorgnette goes to…

lorgnette_dorThe results are in for the first annual Pubie Awards, nominated and voted upon by you, the Cher Public. Turnout this year was spectacular, with some categories racking up as many as 2,647 votes. A few of the races were close, and La Cieca thinks you’ll see an upset or two among the winners, after the jump. 

Best new production at the Met:

house_of_the_dead_metFrom the House of the Dead

Worst New Production at the Met:


Best Revival at the Met:

boheme_metLa Boheme

Worst Revival at the Met:

Dutch_Boys_Lead_Party_1923Der Fliegende Hollander

Best NYCO production:

don_gDon Giovanni

Best “off-Broadway” opera production:

mondo_squirrelIl Mondo della Luna (Gotham Chamber Opera)

Best Performance by a Diva:

anna_bohemeAnna Netrebko in La boheme

Worst Performance by a Diva:

fleming_telephoneRenee Fleming in Armida

Best Performance by a Divo:

kaufmann_carmenJonas Kaufmann in Carmen

Worst Performance by a Divo:

chinese-takeoutMarcello Giordani in Turandot

Best Performance in a Non-Diva Role:

blythe_angelicaStephanie Blythe in Suor Angelica

Worst Performance in a Non-Diva Role:

invisiblemanCarlo Guelfi in Aida

Maestro of the Year:

mutiRiccardo Muti

Einspringer of the Year:

rachele_gilmoreRachele Gilmore in Les Contes d’Hoffmann

Worst Night of Filth:

dummyTosca on opening night

And now the honorary awards (the “Lorgnette d’argent”) also nominated by you, the cher public:

  • Best Bitch-fight: Luc Bondy vs. Franco Zefferelli
  • Most Anticipated Cancellation: Angela Gheorghiu (not) in Carmen.
  • Lifetime Achievement:  Charles Anthony
  • Special Recognition for Outstanding Excellence in the Fields of Tireless Indefatigability and Persistent Proflicacy: BETSY_ANN_BOBOLINK
  • Jay

    BAB’s award was richly deserved. The lady is a camp! Cosi fan Muti instead of Cosi fan Luisi? Ah, well…

    • CruzSF

      Just a guess on my part: Muti might have won because he salvaged (musically) what was a massive failure of a production, thus his achievement looks bigger.

      • quoth the maven

        Muti’s conducting was thrilling. He would have been considered great in any circumstances.

  • peripetia

    It’s hard to argue with any of the “winners” though I thought that Turandot could have swept the worst awards. That was truly a miserable run of performances.

  • Flamingopera

    Somebody completely jacked the quiz and I’m serious.

    For the “Best Performance by a Diva” Joyce Didonato was heading by far the quiz, then somebody voted voted and voted for anna netrebko so that she could win.

    Same thing for the “Best Revival at the Met”. Lulu was first for the first five days.

    And same thing for the “Worst performance by a diva”. Maria Glueghina was first by far then after a few days somebody voted a lot for Renéé Fleming so that she could win the award.

    • Flamingopera

      Same thing for “the best conductor of the year”: it was Luisi who was going to win then somebody voted and voted for Muti.

      For the “worst performance by a divo” too: Uusitalo and Licitra were first, then Giordani flew by.

    • operadunce

      Flamingopera: I’m SHOCKED! Who would do such a thing at this site? You mean people voted more than once? You would think they had an agenda or something!

      • thomas

        Well, La Cieca did invite people to “vote early and often”.

        It’s too bad Petersen wasn’t nominated for Best Diva in Lulu. Hands down my favorite performance of the year. Strange, too, that Giordani was voted worst divo, ahead of Uusitalo and Licitra. The night I saw him, he was pretty thrilling.

    • Jay

      May have been more ballot box stuffing than some of the artful stuffing in Vanity Fair’s June soccer spread.

    • MontyNostry

      Could you just remind me which show JDD was up for? Barbiere?

      • CruzSF

        Monty, Yes, JDD for Barbiere.

  • peter

    I think many of us are anxiously awaiting BAB’s acceptance speech.


    Miss Bobolink weeps.

    When she recovers, she will have a few things to say.

  • CruzSF

    Congrats to Miss Bobolink. A sweeter, juicier bird could hardly be found.

    • Jay

      Juicy in what sense?

      • CruzSF

        I often find Betsy’s bons mots so ripe, so simultaneously sweet and sour, so full of nectaricious sustenance, that I have to wipe my mouth afterward.

        • Jay

          I’m often ROTFLMFAO. La C provides the nectar and a certain Bee produces the honey. When BAB and Manou get going, OMG…


          Do you ever swallow?


          Ooops, wrong bird.

        • Jay

          BAB, Don’t be robin me of any secrets.

        • manou

          Non ho studiato ornitologia.

        • CruzSF

          “Non ho”: that’s our Betsy!


    Thing One is “WTF is ‘proflicacy’?”

    • The quality or characteristic of being prolific, of course.

      • manou


        • Well, in this age, you should never step out without your profilacy, you need to be safe.


          Prophelactictitariousness should taught in the schools, but, alas, it is not.


          Damn these old fingers. That should obviously be ‘prophelacticitariousanism.’

  • Graefin Geschmutz

    La Cieca, judging from your no-comment (so far) to opera dunce above, I gather there was no way for you to monitor & control multiple voting by the same party. A pity that the ‘Lulu’ revival lost its lead in the best revival category, since--surprise!--I think the ‘Lulus’ this season were among the best things I’ve heard at the Met in recent years. In their wake--I heard two in the house--I’ve been listening to the Boulez/Stratas recording as well as the Levine/Malfitano pirate from 1988. Im a huge fan of Chereau, Boulez, & Stratas, but boy do they get everything wrong in the ’78 recording! The scale of the piece is miniaturized, the performance is all but affectless, the orchestral account without inflection, and the theatrical tone deadly serious, killing all the black comedy. The Levine, by contrast, is hugely scaled, radiantly expressive, and often hilarious (like the recent Met performances). What a pity he had to bow out from this revival, since he has been giving some wonderful performances of late, although not the recent Tosca (maybe he’s bored with it); I’m thinking primarily of his recent work with the BSO.

    • It does look like there were a lot of votes cast by a very small group of voters — this is strongly suggested by the large number of votes in several categories and a significantly smaller total number of votes in other categories. For next year’s Pubies La Cieca will set up the voting so each reader can vote once a day, and that should produce a more representative result. (This despite the fact that the posting got more pageviews than anything since the year-beginning Carmen chat.)

      • CruzSF

        To be fair, La Cieca, you DID say “vote early and often” (as thomas noted). *I* voted only once in every category for which I felt eligible, but we can hardly blame people for following instructions. (or CAN we …?)

      • La Cieca: Think of it this way. You now have your own PUBIE-GATE!

  • well, congrats to all the winners. Like with every award given, I do not agree with several of the recipients (Nebby as Mimi, specially given the other choices?; Tosca a night of filth, given what we witnessed in Turandon’t?)

    That being said, just like La Cieca said, it is an honor just to be nominated. I hope some of the “worst” nominees are indeed notifies of their prize and come forward to claim the fruit of their effort.

    • Flamingopera

      It was supposed to be Joyce didonato but somebdy jacked the quiz by voting a lot so that Netrebko could win.

      • Well, it happens in the best of circles. Several years ago the movie Crash won Best Picture when it should’ve crashed at the door.

  • havfruen

    Too bad we can’t vote for “best picture associated with the winners” I would pick “Miss Fern” -- Much better than the actual costuming and sets for Atilla.

  • soubrette27

    Another great “off-broadway” event was Grapes of Wrath at Carnegie. Mmm barihunks…


    I just noticed they’re called “The Publie Awards. I’m so glad you didn’t do something tasteless.


      “Pubie Awards”! ! !

      Fuck it; I’m going back to bed.

      • CruzSF

        As my mother always said: don’t look a Pubie in the mouth.

        • Very progressive, your mom.

        • Jay

          Pubie… is this a type of flossie? Getting back to opera, I’ve heard PD didn’t conduct the D.C. Hamlet prima last night. Since no reviews are yet posted, can’t verify. Maybe a Parterrian was there??

        • CruzSF

          kashania, Sure, why not? She’s been called worse. :-)

        • CL in DC

          Jay, WNO’s website lists Domingo conducting the following dates: May 22, 24, June 1, 4. Patrick Fournillier is conducting the other three (May 19, 27, 30m.)

  • Flamingopera

    Here are the real winners, before somebody jacked the quiz, for:

    Best Revival at the Met: Lulu
    Best Performance by a Diva: Joyce DiDonato
    Worst Performance by a Diva: Maria Guleghina
    Worst Performance by a Divo: Juho Uusitalo
    Maestro of the Year: Fabio Luisi

    • Thank goodness someone out there cares about the integrity of internet straw polling. I have faith in humanity again. :)

    • Jay

      FlamingOpera, thanks for posting the REAL results! Great screen name; goes nicely w/ the avian part of this thread.

    • Il faut parterre

      Yes, Flaming, these are the REAL winners.
      But since Cara Cieca gave us an open invitation to multi-vote (something I did not do), why are we bitching about those who followed the directions??

      Of one thing there can be no doubt: The Divine Madame BABs does more to stimulate, educate, and tittilate than anyone but LaC herself. Betsy’s award was richly deserved. (May I suggest that in future this award should be referred to simply as “The Betsy”?)

      • Jay

        Software to block multiple voting attempts is expensive and not always foolproof. Since we know who the real winners are, let’s hope the ballot box stuffer(s) “peddle their dubious wares elsewhere.” Thank you Countess Charlotte Malcolm.

        Even if we don’t know for certain if “The Betsy” is more or less of a mouthful, I second Il Faut Parterre’s suggestion that it’s a great name for the Indefatigability and Persistent Proflicacy Award.

    • Well, I am not offended for Giordani’s win as Calaf. That Calaf was serious competition to Usitalo; probably one of the worse performances ever captured on video, period.

    • richard

      Thanks!! These results look much more like how the voting was progressing.

      Too bad fans and anti-fans felt the need to skew the results for their pet likes and dislikes.

      • SF Guy

        Of course, if the vote-skewers had been doing their thing on a daily basis, would anyone have caught it?

        In any case, if only those who actually saw the productions live had voted, it would give the shows which played more performances an unfair advantage (Boheme over Lulu). Best not to take any of this too seriously.

        • Best not to take any of this too seriously.

          Too late!!! LOL

          As far as I’m concerned, whenever Licitra is up for any “worst” category, he should automatically win.

        • SF Guy

          The only time I’ve seen Licitra live was the 2006 Don Carlo in L.A., and he actually sounded pretty good. I must have lucked out, however, because the L.A. Times reviewer mentioned that he was in much better voice than the last time he’d appeared there.

          Since he’s our Dick Johnson in Fanciulla next month, I’m hoping lightning will strike twice.

  • Clita del Toro

    I agree with Flaming’s picks except:

    First of all Uusilato is no divo in my book, so he can’t be the worst in that category.
    Giordani, is a divo of sorts in some people’s opinions, so he should get that award. He definitely sucks (or maybe it would help if he did?)!

    • Flamingopera

      Is Salvatore Licitra a divo for you? It’s because he was second after Uusitalo.

      • After they both took turns at Calaf and proved utterly incapable of singing the role with any resemblance of voice, power, finesse and style; they should have been tied at 1st and should share the price.

  • DonCarloFanatic

    Any word on the DC Hamlet? I’ve been bombarded with cheap ticket offers, but haven’t bitten so far because the last several times I saw the WNO, I got burned.

    I liked the Met HD Hamlet but certainly am not familiar with this opera. Nobody does it for 100 years, and suddenly the Met and the WNO do it in the same season. Why does this keep happening?

    • CL in DC

      DCF, I went to the dress rehearsal Monday night. I still consider myself a bit of a newbie to opera and am unfamiliar w/ Hamlet so I can’t really get into technical stuff, but I enjoyed the overall experience. I thought everyone sang well and I found the staging to be very interesting in a good way. Futral did a spectacular job w/ the mad scene. I’m thinking about going again -- I saw it w/ Chioldi so might try a night w/ Bonner.

      • CruzSF

        CL, was the house sold out? When I checked for seats for this coming Monday’s performance, the least expensive seats I could find were $100. It looked there were quite a few well-placed seats in the $150-$190 range, though.

        • CL in DC

          Cruz, it wasn’t a full house during the dress rehearsal -- they close off the front and some of the middle section of the orchestra for the tech staff. But there was a sizeable crowd. WNO tends to use the dress rehearsals for school groups and donor appreciation perks. I’m not sure about the opening night crowd though.

          Check Culture Capital for discounted tickets -- I’d say it’s worth the price.

        • CruzSF

          CL, of course, how silly of me. I was so anxious to hear news of the production that I promptly forgot that you said “dress rehearsal.” Thanks for the link, too.

        • CL in DC

          No prob. I do hope that you go. I really felt that all of the artists gave top performances (Sam Ramey and his wobble included) and that the staging was thought out and executed quite well.

  • mrmyster

    Carlo: Two rave reviews on Opera-L from two experienced
    opera lovers whom I tend to trust. Seemingly Eliz. Futral learned
    the role of Ophelia in nine days and sang the spots off it. Both
    posters were enthusiastic about the entire cast, and best of all
    Domingo did not conduct and was replaced by someone who
    knew what it was all about.
    Go on, Go! Then come tell us how it went for you.

  • La Valkyrietta

    Congratulations BAB for a most well deserved award!

    I think manou should have gotten an Ogden Nash achievement award or something like that.

    For the record, I only voted once for Renee. :)

  • Drammy

    BABz is cool on the Internet! /salute