Cher Public

  • parpignol: I thought it was a recycling plant, didn’t realize it was an alcohol distillery; is that for sure? I thought Elisabeth... 12:15 AM
  • Camille: Hopefully, La Manuelita will have time in retirement to contemplate this sound advice about red lips on older women:... 12:10 AM
  • DerLeiermann: Sonya sounds good. 12:05 AM
  • Camille: Remembering the tempests that tossed the last such trip across the pond, and as this is an occasion of the utmost importance,... 11:47 PM
  • Camille: This is how most of us know Alma: httpv:// m/watch?v=zWFEy1lV UMI Or as this: httpv:// m/watch?v=cQDil... 11:41 PM
  • Bill: Will – I was able to view and hear the tapes. Vocally, the Otello sounded vile but it was obviously more a rehearsal for... 11:36 PM
  • gustave of montreal: Abomination !! 10:33 PM
  • pasavant: What language is Otello singing? It certainly is not Italian! And singing flat too! 10:24 PM

Lepage turner

“Near the end of Robert Lepage‘s production of Wagner’s Die Walküre, which opened at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday, there is a moment of arresting visual beauty. The raked stage slowly rises and, with the help of projections, turns into a looming, stark, snow-covered mountain. It’s a breathtaking transformation, one that encapsulates everything that’s wrong with Mr. Lepage’s work.”

The first deep reading of the Lepage Ring is by Zachary Woolfe, naturally.


  • WindyCityOperaman says:

    OT, but am majorly bummed this morning to learn about Sir Robert Tear’s passing last month. There was nothing in Opera News, local obits or, gasp, here on Parterre box (and if there was, my apologies, but still, you posters from across the pond . . .).

    Always liked his singing and admired his musicianship. RIP.

    • armerjacquino says:

      There were quite a few posts here about Tear last month. As you say, very sad. (He was never knighted, by the way)

  • il_guarany says:

    Slightly off-topic, but it has to do with Sieglinde: I hear that Pieczonka will sing Die Kaiserin in Vienna in March. At first I didn’t think it would be a vocal match -- I think of her as a lyric soprano along the lines of Schwarzkopf-Te Kanawa-Fleming. Then, I remembered she is a gorgeous Sieglinde, a role that as far as I know these three ladies never sang. And Tosca is on her rep too (which Te Kanawa did sing but wisely dropped ere long).

    Are the vocal demands of Sieglinde comparable to Die Kaiserin? I think Die Kaiserin has a broader range of emotions and styles, but vocally would they be similar?

    • La Cieca says:

      Kaiserin is much higher.

    • armerjacquino says:

      Among lyrics, Janowitz sang both- although she only did the Kaiserin early on, and dropped it PDQ. And Studer of course, but then Studer sang everything.

    • stevey says:

      Vienna will not be her role debut, either. She sang Die Kaiserin in Florence last year and got excellent reviews (I recall the vast majority of them going on and on about how, apparently, ‘lyrical’ her Empress was…)

      • il_guarany says:

        Thanks, everyone! At the risk of irreparably ruining my standing here, there’s a lot of Studer I do like. I’m watching that Salzburg Frosch again, and she sounds gorgeous in it. Yes, I should have thought of Studer re Pieczonka’s Marschallin
        - that reckless eclecticism more often than not paid off for her (more so than Voigt’s, I’d say).

        • La Valkyrietta says:


          Voigt is a good woman, but, yes, eclectic, so much so that at times she even reminds me of La Chonga, “La Chonga estaba bailando peteí emboyeré, que no era ni balseado, ni conga, ni chamamé.” :)

    • kashania says:

      Kaiserin is closer to Chrysothemis.

    • Feldmarschallin says:

      Sieglinde is quite low actually. Opposite of Kaiserin. For Kaiserin you need those easy top notes which a great Sieglinde doesn’t need. I heard Studer do both and she was actually quite good in both. Maybe even excellent as Kaiserin. Rysanek of course was the most famous soprano to sing both but she did come to grief with some of the first act of Walkuere sometimes. I heard Westbroek in Paris give an amazing performance of Kaiserin but the top wasn’t as easy as Rysanek or Studer.

      • La marquise de Merteuil says:

        And I don’t think Rysanek ever sang the D in the opening scene either.

        • richard says:

          Sometimes she did and sometimes she didn’t.

          As the years went on she sang the d less and less.

          But she certainly did sing the d the first season I saw her back around 1971

        • Feldmarschallin says:

          the recordings from the 50′s have the high D.

    • fistfull says:

      all of the parts mentioned for this so called soprano are too demanding…. and kaiserin is not only stretching it but will probably ruin her….. I would bet money she backs out…….

      • kashania says:

        I think Pieczonka’s voice has the right colour and weight for Die Kaiserin. She has a solid upper register. Just because she has sung Sieglinde all over the world doesn’t mean that she has a low-lying soprano. I have to say I don’t understand the description “so called soprano”.

      • Feldmarschallin says:

        so called soprano? how are you referring to? Pieczonka? Well she has sung the role already and has gotten good reviews. So far she has been pretty smart with adding new roles to her rep without ruining her voice or career. Or are we talking about Rysanek who had a career of about 40+ years.

      • Evenhanded says:


        Please, I’ll take your bet: I could use some easy money.

        Pieczonka has proven to be an extremely thoughtful artist, and has added roles cautiously over the years. Her voice is absolutely seamless and solid from top (gleaming) to bottom (steady, unforced). She received pretty much rave reviews for her debut as the Kaiserin in Firenze last year, and sounds quite spectacular in the short bit she got to sing in the recent Gala for Ioan Hollender in Vienna.

        Her voice fits nicely between ‘lyric’ and ‘spinto’ -- and she is able to encompass roles (some, not all) from both categories with ease, grace, and assurance. She is a solid musician with a firm command of all the qualities one might desire in an ideal Kaiserin, except perhaps for Rysanek’s well known histrionic embellishments.

        AFAIC, Pieczonka should be at the Met every year like Fleming, Netrebko, etc. The Viennese are lucky to be able to hear her so frequently.

        • fistfull says:

          barf…i must have landed in the lesbian corner… she should sing Mozart……

          • Melot's Younger Brother says:

            I’ve heard her as the Countess.

          • Feldmarschallin says:

            she has sung Mozart. There is a Donna Anna from the Wiener Staatsoper on DVD. I never heard her in Mozart but find others are better here. But she is quite good in Strauss and Wagner. She is a bit placid on stage sometimes. Her Eva was a bit mature but granted those were her last ones I heard. She is quite good but not great in my opinion. Her Lisa and Ariadne were quite good. Her Marschallin was a bit on the surface and didn’t move me the way Schwanewilms or Denoke or Jones has. Perhaps the Ariadne worked so well is because Ariadne can take a singer who isn’t necessary a stage animal. For every Damrau, Callas, Varnay and Moedl you get a Fleming, Florez, Sutherland and Bergonzi. Some singers are great actors and some are not.

  • sorella says:

    • Feldmarschallin says:

      actually the Senta and Kaiserin were two of her better roles I find and I was skeptical before hearing them althought not live since I didn’t know how she would handle the tessitura. Those roles lie considerably higher than her usual fare. But the top was quite good and came without effort. I would like to here the Sieglinde again too albeit in a different production than the old Met one. I think she needs a good director. Her Orfeo CD of Strauss and Wagner is very nice.

  • il_guarany says:

    Ooh, that was fabulous -- and even more fabulous of you to share it. *smooch*