Cher Public

Busting out all over

As Groucho Marx would say, this is certainly a way of beating the heat; it’s also a a way of creating it. Well, all right, it’s actually something Dick Cavett said that Groucho might say, but the point stands that at 2:00 PM EDT the Opéra Royal de Wallonie production of Salomé will be webcast live.

  • papopera

    Would be interesting to know if they are using the full original score or the reduced version published by Strauss for secondary provincial theatres. Probably the latter.

    • mia apulia

      didn’t sound reduced to me….

  • perfidia

    I am finishing my tour of duty supervising a group of students in Merida, Mexico. Between the heat, the bumpy bus rides and my constant anxiety about my students starting the second Mexican American War any minute, I was debating going home early and calling it a day. But this has totally perked me up. Thanks for making this available La Cieca.

    • manou

      I have been to Merida -- most humid place I have been to, but Palenque probably the hottest.

      There is a sort of fort or citadel there, as I recall, but nothing of any special interest, surely.

      You are most definitely due a dance of the seven veils now.

      • Batty Masetto

        If Merida was as humid as S. Florida, from which I have just returned as a soggy, wilted mess, Perfidia deserves not just a dance of the seven veils but a bathtub full of gin & tonic and a large medal (redeemable for a substantial amount of hard cash at the nearest pawn shop).

      • perfidia

        Actaully, Merida is quite a lively place, even if it is a province. If you love mounds of stone (as one of my students so charmingly put it) there are two big Mayan cities (Uxmal and Chichen Itza) and a lot of smaller settlements to visit. The city has these charming houses that remind you of Old Habana, and they have made an effort to preserve the character of the city. We used to have the same kind of architecture in the Dominican Republic, but they got rid of most of it. I love the respect for culture people have here (it is very common in Latin America, although it is changing). And yes, I am due a dance, but to paraphrase Martina Arroyo, it would have to be the dance of the 27 veils.

        • Seems like you didn’t take it for granite.

  • rommie

    i have not left my apartment today with this heat.


    • Lady Bracknell

      I totally agree — nice to have this on in the background as I do some mundane work at the office.

      • mrmyster

        Lady Bracknell: I thought you were pretty good last week
        as Brian Bedford, but your real triumph was Dame Edith
        Evans! Now THERE was an impersonation. I wonder if
        The Importance of Being Earnest were an opera who would
        be cast as Lady B? Any thoughts? Pauline Tinsley?

        • Lady Bracknell

          Oh, that’s an easy one — Stephanie Blythe. Big voice. Big stage presence. Excellent comic timing (as silly as the production as a whole was, Stephanie Blythe stole the show as Katisha in Lyric Opera’s MIKADO last season).

  • jim

    The Hérode stole his scenes, though. Kaasch was brilliant.

  • mia apulia

    Thanks for the reminder; because of a rehearsal I couldn’t tune in until the dance, but what I saw was wonderful, the broadcast making irrelevant any acoustical problems in the tent. Kaasch WAS wonderful, and Junie is ONE BAD GIRL! More power to her…..

  • Constantine A. Papas

    This is the first time I watched live opera from the internet on a recently aquired HD-46-inch flat screen. The sharpness was unbelievable and was the same as on my computer screen. June Anderson sang a “mean” Salome for her age. She must be around 60 years old. I wished I had the big screen when I watched Ana Bolena from Vienna. It is a total new experience.

  • Constantine A. Papas

    Anderson is 59 years old. She was born in 1952. BTW, for a coloratura ending up singing Salome is a vocal triumph.

    • Harry

      Maybe in some aspects, but visually …a casting disaster: ….’as the young daughter of Heriodas’….please! Probably Anderson is older than the Herod is. It only happens in opera, they say!!!

      • Simon Blackmouth

        I agree completely!!

        Because there are so many teenagers out there who can sing Salome. :/

        I’m not really sure what you expect. She was hardly a casting disaster.

  • Harry

    Well after watching and listening to the lot of it, this French Salome (as a production) was INDEED truly a shabby little shocker. Does anyone….know how to do a production of Salome, today? The Johanann had a hell of a massive wobble, vibratoless Zampieri as Herodias was lucky if she hit one single right note while squeaking and stomping about, like an old chook. Herod …’a big hit and miss’ also. I kept imaging the ghost of Gypsy Rose Lee’s mother in the wings screaming out as Anderson did her dance…….: “Do something… ….take off anything at all, you can think of!” The dance was as sexy as a worn out old boot. Never has it been matched, since Joan Hammond did it: removing 7 little handkerchiefs tucked in her dress. The severed head reminded me of the man with the bandaged head in that old film The Invisible Man. Everyone else was likewise dressed in grunge, straight off the rubbish tip. Shit, is this, alleged to be live Opera?
    Talk about ‘Kulture’ Amateur Night out in the sticks at the local hall!

    • rommie

      i enjoyed it

      • bluecabochon

        I enjoyed it, too. It was amazing, being able to watch this while working in my home office. June was incredible, and did anyone else notice the wires down the back of her neck? A body microphone.

    • mrmyster

      Joan Hammond as Salome? Awk!
      I thought Agathe was about the limit of her
      daring sexuality. Amusing and delightfully

  • Darn, I didn’t realise this was happening today and totally missed it.

    • richard

      I missed it too. But someone just uploaded the last section (audio only) on youtube:

      I have to say Juney sounds pretty good to me, only the very top of her voice is spread but an awful lot of the rest sounds pretty impressive.

      It also sounds interesting to me in French.

      • Thanks for sharing this, Richard. I agree. Aside from a couple of iffy high notes at the end, she sounds lovely. What’s impressive to me is how healthy the voice sounds. The basic timbre is still beautiful, without shrillness or stridency. And it’s not as if Anderson has played it safe, singing only a small rep of roles that don’t stretch her voice.

  • the other leonora

    Well, the extremely high notes don’t function anymore, but for a 60 years old singer the entire performance is pure miracle. The center of her voice still has the freshness it had before and has even gained in resonance. The character of Salome is so well portrayed as well! And SUNG. I mean, when will we hear again a Salome SUNG like this? Who will ever sing it, instead of screaming, speaking and declaming it?

    P.S. Has anyone taken notice of the absolutely stunning Ortrud that dear Dolora has sung last year in LA? Here you have another miracle. A SUNG Ortrud, solid like a rock. It is a paradox that this singer who actually has an authentically Wagner-sized instrument (and technique+stamina) has less Wagner in her repertory than all the contemporary “Wagner specialists”.

    • oedipe

      For those of us who are no longer teenagers ourselves, JA is still stunning in all respects.

  • rossifigaro

    i just do not find this opera enjoyable. the story is just revolting and music for the most part unappealing.
    yes, yes, yes, i realize its considered a masterpiece and i must be something of an ignoramus to not appreciate its merits. i’ve seen multiple productions -- all leaving a bad taste. just watched this one because of anderson who i thought rather magnificent especially considering her age. also have very negative feelings for elecktra. do love so much of strauss but would be quite content if these works would completely disappear from the repertoire. please don’t hate me!

  • bobsnsane

    I Hate You!

  • Pu-Tin-Pao

    Rossifigaro, there are few things more cathartic after the end of a tumultuous relationship than blasting the final scene of Salome while taking a shower and singing along…even better if you sing AND act it out!