Cher Public

Aftermath the ball

poplavskaya_gala_smallLovely Marina Poplavskaya, arriving at the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier for dinner following the opening night of La traviata, demonstrates that the previous Franco Zeffirelli production has not gone to waste. The latter-day Scarlett O’Hara‘s motto: “Reduce Reuse Recycle!”

Takeaway of the gala: “Mr. Gelb made a brief speech, reassuring the guests that director Franco Zeffirelli, whose sumptuous vision of La Traviata has long been the Met’s standard, had given the new production his blessing.” (How we’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that long, rambling voicemail!)

The mot de la nuit issued from Tyne Daly, who served up “good luck” hoppin’ john to the glittering throng: “[The recipe] came right off the back of the black-eyed-peas bag that came from D’Agostino’s!”

There’s even more gala coverage at the New York Observer, with wads of giddy detail about André Leon Talley, herb-crusted veal and giant confetti bombs. Elsewhere in the roseate realty rag, the calmer head of Zachary Woolfe prevails:

Mr. Decker’s stylizations and broad, occasionally overwrought symbols, though intelligent and grounded in the music and text, sometimes distance us from the opera as much as Mr. Zeffirelli’s lavishness did. But at least Mr. Decker’s work feels new. If a contemporary theatergoer went to see Hamlet and found this set, he wouldn’t bat an eye, but at the Met, for Traviata, it’s startling, and that, in itself, is something.

Though this doubtless will come as a shock to New Yorkers, there was indeed opera news from elsewhere in the world, even if it’s not particularly merry. According to our ace reporter Ercole Farnese, the historic Teatro San Carlo has fired newly-appointed artistic director Sergio Segalini because he lost his company-furnished cell phone.

Perhaps a greater issue was the theater’s inability to reach Segalini to manage the emergency of the cancellation of their New Year’s Eve concert by Daniel Oren—which in turn suggests that the loss of the cell phone may have been an unconscious act of passive aggression, and who would blame him? Anyway, the Corriere del mezzogiorno has the complete story.

(Photo:  Elizabeth Veneskey/Metropolitan Opera)

  • don warner saklad

    A question.
    Around the web where are there free online scores?… for
    Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti, especially with Italian and English !

    …besides the French score at,_Gaetano)

    • pernille

      If you mean libretti ( presumably scores are language-neutral) then
      is a good resource. There is no English ( that I could see) for Don Pasquale, but the Italian is there in its full glory.

      • Cocky Kurwenal

        Given that the score inludes the text, they are not ‘language-neutral’.

        • pernille

          Thanks, I’ll have remember that the next time I see a C# -- I’ll have to consider whether it is a French, Italian or German one!

          • LittleMasterMiles

            Pernille, don’t be difficult. Singers need words. (Except Fleming, who needs only vowels.)

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            However much you want to split hairs and deliberately misunderstand what somebody is looking for, what good is a score of an opera without the text? And what good is a libretto for somebody who has said they want a score?

          • She apparently only needs one, maybe two vowels.

          • pernille

            I stand corrected -- or rather, educated.
            I had not appreciated the request from a singer’s point of view.
            For a non-performer however, I’m not sure I see the problem with a French score accompanied by an Italian libretto.

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            The libretto alone can’t tell you the underlay of the text against the music, and it isn’t always obvious how it works out. That’s the major issue with that, I would think, apart from the inconvenience of having to switch between 2 different sources the whole time.

    • Free scores might be found at

      browse by composer or by period.
      They usually have separate orchestral parts, as well as a complete libretto (not in the Pasquale case, I’ve checked).

      For complete librettos + translations, better check on record label sites. There are many opera CD editions nowadays which either add a Cd rom with the libretto or refer you to libretto + translation PDFs on their respective sites.

      EMI used to have such an opera series, but I see they eliminated the mini-site.
      Warner have a very extensive catalogue of online librettos + translations, try at

  • A friend of mine married a Russian bride via the catalogue system. She was a lovely girl -- brought out her old mother as a companion very quickly and fell deeply in love with my friend immediately. She only fell out of love with him the day after her residency came through and she had an epiphany that there were too many irreconcilable differences…but I particularly remember the wedding. She wore a dress not too dissimilar to this one….but the colour was white as you’d expect -- but the roses were all there just the same -- and they were very red.

    I have to say that when one thinks of great beauty, style and “haut couture,” the name “Moscow” seldom springs to mind. Potato’s and sausages are another matter entirely…………:)

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      Ruxton, I do think this is a rather out-dated stereotype of Moscow which, despite many continuing problems and issues, has become a very cosmopolitan city indeed.

  • Ps: has anyone seen Harry?