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Nothing can stop the fan

There's some fruitcake out there who apparently wants to kill me!Commenter emerita Poison Ivy (now a blogress in her own right) takes on the dark side of fandom over at Poison Ivy’s Wall of Text. Find out what the fan did!

Actually, it’s not quite as horrific as what happened to poor Lauren Bacall—by which I mean starring in this stinkeroo:


  • operadunce says:

    Well, since this is the thread about fan behavior, I guess it is not OT to report on my euphoria following my attendance at Renee Fleming’s recital in Ann Arbor this afternoon. What phrasing, what breath contol, what vocal color! I know it was mostly a song recital, not opera, but what glorious and expressive singing! In top form, no scooping, just beautiful singing by an artist who loved every word she sang with an audience hanging on every note. No claque, just a 3600 people glowing in the light of an incandescent performance and expressing a collective sigh at the end of each selection. For those of us in the boonies who do not get to see her in person very often, it was a day to remember. Wow!

    • Bosah says:

      I saw her at Carnegie and that was the general reaction there, too. She actually ended her encores and people stood there stomping and cheering for about 2-3 minutes before she came back again. This was during a blizzard and (almost) no one left.

      What did she sing? I hear she does a different recital in different parts of the country.

      We had Schoenberg (I personally didn’t like this at all), Zemlinsky, Mehldau, Korngold (beyond sublime) and Strauss, with one Bernstein in the encores.

      • Bosah says:

        BTW, here’s the NYT Carnegie review:

        Though Ms. Fleming is sometimes criticized for being interpretively fussy, her singing here was beautifully direct. When evoking the lover’s rapture breaking to the surface in “Ansturm” (“Onslaught”), her voice throbbed with tremulous intensity. But during an eerie passage in “Letzte Bitte,” when the imagery describes blood glistening like the night sky, Ms. Fleming’s sound was focused and spectral. …

      • operadunce says:

        She sang pretty much the same program that she sang in Quebec. No Zemlinsky. Instead, three songs by Henri DuParc. I actually liked the Schoenberg, but she didn’t lead off with it as she apparently did in New York. Instead, she started with the Mehldau. Strauss in the first half and Korngold after intermission. Also included the four arias from Verismo that she’s been doing in concerts, the Puccini and Leoncavallo Bohemes and Zandonai’s Conchita. Three encores--O Mio Babbino Caro (I thought “Oh, no”, but she sang it exquisitely), Strauss (Zueignung) and Korngold (Marietta’s Lied). There was a little presentation to her by the Ford Motor Company Fund and a fund-raising dinner afterward, so I guess she had to cut it a little short. :) No foot stomping, but sort of a collective “mmm” after many of the selections. Hill Auditorium has a wonderful, warm acoustic and Harmut Holl was a sensitive and artistic partner. By the way, the place was sold out, approximately 3600 seats.

        • Sanford says:

          I’m not a huge fan of RENNNNAAAY’S but I think her Marietta’s Lied is gorgeous. And I would imagine her O, Mio Babbino Caro is, too.

        • Bosah says:

          Thanks. Sounds interesting -- very different than the NY program.

          Don’t want to exaggerate the stomping -- it wasn’t the whole place in unison. ;) But, it was fun. I think triggered by I Feel Pretty, which was corny but people loved.

          Glad you enjoyed your recital!

          FYI, Marietta’s Lied from Quebec, Jan ’11:

          • operadunce says:

            I left out an important fact. We got the New York gowns, not the Quebec ones. :) Also, she spoke to the audience quite a bit, which I gather she did not do at Carnegie. She seemed really comfortable and said she was having fun. We were too!

          • Bosah says:

            LOL. How could you forget the gown info?! ;)

            Wish she’d have chatted at Carnegie, but from what I gathered from people there, she wanted to do a very traditional recital there. We also got a bunch of Met singers in the audience, which probably also made it more formal.

            She apparently chatted quite a bit at the signing afterward, though.

            Oh… and for the Joyce DiDonato fans, OTT or otherwise, Virgin Classics is giving a free download today. (aprite, presto aprite)

          • Sanford says:

            Exquisite. And, I think, one of the best pieces in her repertoire.

            As a paranthetical note, someone suggested I sing the baritone aria from Die Tode Stadt, but it’s so high that I would actually need to be high to sing it. :-)

          • papopera says:

            It would be timely that the Met revive DIE TOTE STADT, a magnificent spectacular opera. It has not been performed there in 90 years.

  • I find it’s often far more convenient to forgo the booing and let out with a good HISSSSSSSS. Other audience members can’t tell where it is coming from and those in the know, may hear your HISSSS and join in. I remember once in the LATE 80′s where Mme Sills was singing Gilda with the Opera Company of Boston, a role she had no business attempting at that point in her career. Let’s just say the upper reaches of the balcony sounded like it was filled with snakes as the volleys of HISSSSS rained down.

    • pernille says:

      Only problem with that is that the performer may mistake the hiss for a “bis”.

    • kashania says:

      Didn’t Sills retire in ’81 or ’82?

      • No Expert says:

        Indeed, kashania, I believe all of Sills’ last official performances were in 1980, and she sang Jingle Bells at the White House Christmas 1981. That late 80′s Gilda, must have just been a dream, a terrible dream.

    • La Cieca says:

      I question the “no business.” Sills was a very loyal artist to Opera Company of Boston and Caldwell, and her presence in the season doubtless sold many tickets. I know Sills’s Gilda only from her (late, but approximately contemporaneous with the OCB performances) studio recording, and though the voice was very worn by that point, she had an astonishing grasp of what makes this music “go,” how legato works in moving a line forward, how fioratura can be shaped to simultaneously embellish musically and enlighten dramatically, and so forth. I would say these qualities are all “reasons” for singing Gilda even if the body is too old and tired to accomplish all the singer’s laudable aims.

      So, basically Sills was being hissed for being old and at the end of her career? How kind of them to let her in on this information which obviously had been concealed from her by her well-meaning family.

      • Unfortunately, Mme Sills was unable to bring any of the virtues you extol from her “recorded” Gilda into a live performance in the house. She frankly sang poorly, labored through the whole performance, and even cracked a few times. The role , al vivo, was simply beyond her.

  • Sanford says:

    Buster… I like the Zenford, although I’m not sure if it means I’m calm or you’re saying it with a Yiddish accent.

  • DonCarloFanatic says:

    I can’t see myself booing at an opera or any live event—-unless they are sacrificing small children, or similar. It’s upsetting to hear others boo when you enjoyed yourself thoroughly. Perhaps you lack the refined taste the hecklers have, but still, as a paying member of the audience, is it fair that you must put up with others’ vitriol? Silence is just as meaningful and not as intrusive.

  • I read the post and while I do not necessarily agree with all the points I have to say that it is not only wonderfully written, but a good eye opener and food for thought.

    And more food for thought:

    When the comments are said about la Rad they are hyperbolyc-overblown nonsense (fair assessment)

    When they are applied to Poplavskaya, Fleming and Netrebko (just to mention a couple) they are to be considered the truth and fair assessments of their art.

    Just saying kids; just saying.

  • stignanispawn says:

    The movie, The Fan, is such a piece of dreck — the book by Bob Randall is a fun read — all notes, letters, etc.

    • Harry says:

      stignaniispawn: The film The Fan with Lauren Bacall is a fully fledged ‘turkey’. I suspect was a not a happy shoot. Perhaps the artists just lost total confidence in what they were filming. The biggest tell tale to this proposition…go to the scene where James Garner (as her husband) comes into her crowded backstage dressing room, embraces and kisses her. Turn the sound down during that scene -- - and just enjoy observing the clear hostile body language between two actors, acting out a scene.

      Th climatic scene is sheer ‘unintentional comedy’: where Bacall in a tight pants suit is confronted by the knife wielding stalker on the darkened stage of the empty theater is a hoot. In an fine act of trying ‘some strange passive anger management technique’ to calm him, Bacall savagely smacks the guy over the face with a riding crop!!???