Cher Public

Brunchmädchen walten dort hehr

Reactions to the Zambello Ring may have been mixed, but the response to the Parterrian meet-ups was roaringly positive, as shown by the massive turnout for the last pre-Götterdämmerung brunch. So here (well, actually, not here, but rather after the jump) are the faces behind some of the monikers. 

From L to R, going upstage along the table: Jumping Clapping Man, Johan, Bart, Axel, Richard, Michael, CruzSF; turning the corner and coming downstage again, Baritenor, Thomas, Frank, Hank, M.Croche and Dan. Your own Batty was taking the picture—unfortunately, not very competently; I will testify on oath that every one of these guys is handsomer in real life than I made them look here.

Other distinguished brunchers included Bluecabochon, Peter, SF Guy, The Other Dan and Joe Q—not to mention all the additional friends who showed up in the house but couldn’t make it to brunch. It was an absolute treat meeting everyone. And a special thank you again to Peter for dealing with the reservations.

These get-togethers have been so much fun. I hope Parterrians in other parts of the world will feel encouraged to try the same thing!

(Ring photo by Cory Weaver)

  • peter

    Brava Batty for organizing these meet-ups and for her wonderful reviews!

  • I had no idea that it was such a large gathering. Well done!

  • I said it before, an’ I’ll say it again—bravo Batty! What an incredibly fun bunch.

  • ditto…bravo! twas SO nice to meet parterrians from around the world (sweden, germany, florida, CT, etc.), all in town for a shared love of the RING, and worship at the altar of wagner. it seems everyone felt the pilgrimage was WELL worth it. i’ve already slipped into Post-RING Depression.

  • DharmaBray

    Cher Public may be interested in a complete new Ring scheduled for Melbourne 2013 with Susan Bullock, Gary Lehman and Juha Uusitalo. While excited about the director Neil Armfield, I can’t get too excited about the conductor Richard Mills. Still, we’re counting our blessings that we have another Ring at all after the financially troubled Adelaide venture of 2004.

    There’s plenty of time for Paterriens to plan and perhaps us antipodeanmaedchen to organise similar highjinks?

    • ianw2

      As I will almost certainly be an Antipodean for that season, I will gladly volunteer for the organising committee. We’ll get some opera then head to Sydney for the Red Party, Ken’s, etc etc…

  • DonCarloFanatic

    The production may be one that Houston Grand Opera has already done. Does anybody know for sure?

    Yes, I am experiencing Ring Cycle withdrawal, even foolishly contemplating the Met’s upcoming version.

    • DharmaBray

      The Melbourne Ring is a co-production between Opera Australia and Houston Grand Opera. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the cycle will be presented progressively in Houston from 2014-7, whereas we’ll get it all in one hit in 2013.

      • Baritenor

        Andrea Silvestrelli told me at the stage door of Gotterdammerung he would be singing Hagen in Houston in 2017. Texans are in for a treat.

        • CruzSF


        • I heard him sing Sarastro last year. It was first time I’ve ever liked those arias.

    • Boris Sarastro

      There has been much talk about a new Ring, not about bringing a production to Australia in the press, so I would assume it was all new. Also, the director is an Aussie who works for Opera Australia regularly, so I would imagine all new. (Not to mention, lots of the casting currently signed up..)

  • Bart

    I am hopefully attending the Seattle Ring in August 2013. Hope I see some of you then too. I am skipping the Met’s new Ring b/c I really don’t like the “machine” (seeing each installment in HD). I might be flying to NY to catch an Anna Bolena but with Angela Meade, and I noticed that the opening of Siegfried is the day before. Maybe I will see one of them live and see if I like it better in house.

  • DonCarloFanatic

    A Ring Cycle veteran (she’d seen 12 of them) I met at an SFO Ring symposium urged me to see the Seattle Ring 2013 as it’s the last time that production will be presented. I’m thinking seriously about it.

    Was just in Melbourne last year and am not interested in the massive jet lag again so soon, but one never can tell.

    As for the Met’s Ring Cycle, it’s galling that one has to commit to so many days in NYC to get a complete one. My current plan is to see the HDs.

    • CruzSF

      DonCarloF: thanks for this news. Was debating the trip to Seattle, but now I’ll certainly be there in 2013.

    • derschatzgabber

      I second the recommendation for Seattle. Check out the Seattle Opera website for production photos and videos from 2009; they give you a good idea of what to expect from the physical production. It’s naturalistic without being totally literal (e.g, Act II,sc 2 of Walkure, Act II of Siegfried,and Act III, sc 1 of Gotterdammerung take place in the same set -- staff call it “the place where people die”). Wadsworth has been using the sapling image that Zambello appropriated since 2001 to close the cycle. But he finds a much more “organic” way of introducing the image.

  • Baritenor

    I’m going through BAD ring withdrawl…to the point where I’m considering sitting down with the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings just to get something of the experience again. If at all possible, I REALLY want to be in Seattle in 2013. Maybe the Met next april, who knows? Not crazy about the machine, but I don’t hate it either. Money is of course an issue but I think, after two cycles, I’m really starting to understand (if not comprehend) the ring. The past week has truly been a highlight of my opera-going life.

    • DonCarloFanatic

      Me, too. I went to Ring Cycle 1 and it was a profound experience. I can’t honestly say I expected to feel that way.

    • Bart

      LOL Baritenor, why don’t you get some Rings on dvd, if you haven’t already. The Copenhagen Ring is a trip, and you do not seem closed to craziness. I also like the Valencia Ring. It isn’t perfect, but some of the visuals are fascinating. That could hold you over until the next Ring! LOL

      I’m glad I took a picture of that book you had. I am going to get a copy if possible.

    • Bart

      By the way, the Tristan und Isolde dvd with Stemme might also offer you a quick fix too! I just ordered it from Amazon, but I think they only had two copies left, so you better hurry! I kept waiting hoping the $52 price would come down to regular dvds, but I gave in after coming back from SF. I have Waltraud Meier and Ian Storey in La Scala’s Tristan und Isolde, which I love, and that also kept me from buying yet another. I personally don’t think that one can be topped, but we’ll see. Stemme impressed me so much that I didn’t mind paying the $52 for her Isolde after seeing her as Brünnhilde.

    • mj

      I’ve got the bad withdrawal stuff going on too. I am sort of dreading the weekend right now. What ever will I do with myself without a Ring performance to attend? Went to all three cycles and I would do three more right now if I could!

      Anyway, I am curious about the singers in the upcoming Seattle Ring. Who is this Alwyn Mellor? Anyone? It’s going to be hard to go back to okay or less-than okay Brunni’s after la Stemme’s perfect (!) performances here.

      I am DYING to see Stemme sing Isolde. It says in her bio that she will be singing it in Houston. Anyone know when? It does not appear to be in their upcoming season.

      • derschatzgabber

        @mj Seattle Opera’s website has links to recordings of all of the 2013 principals. Of course it’s hard to judge a Wagner singer on a computer. Odds are, Alwyn won’t be as good as Stemme. But who is? Speight Jenkins has a rep as a spotter of new talent. Having said that, Janice Baird was a mixed bag in 2009. But the acoustics in Seattle are much better than in SF. Voices that would die in the War Memorial Opera House can thrive in McCaw Halll.

        • mj

          Thanks Schatz, I’ll take a listen.

          I was impressed the one time I visited McCaw Hall (Rosenkavalier 5 or so years ago).

          I don’t have a problem with the acoustics @ the War Memorial but then I tend to stand at the back of the house which is an excellent spot for voices.

          I did once get a comp ticket in the center of the Orchestra section for the Ballad of Baby Doe and I could not hear Ruth Ann Swenson at all. Not a problem I’ve had with her at other performances, so I think I was in a dead spot. I’ve sat in the front and side orchestra with no problem hearing voices. Also dress circle, balcony circle, balcony and the Grand Tier (best acoustical spot aside from rear balcony, i.m.o.). If money were no object (sadly not the case) I would have a subscription in the front of the Grand Tier and then stand in the balcony for anything I wanted to see more than once. Instead I just stand in the balcony. :-)

      • Don_Dano

        The Houston Tristan und Isolde should be in the 2012/2013 season. I think it is the conclusion of the four year HGO German series (Lohengrin, Ariadne and this season’s Fidelio). I wish there was info on who will be singing Tristan.

        • mj

          Thanks Don. I can’t wait! Is there a decent Tristan around? Maybe Stephen Gould? Hmmmm….

          • mj
          • Don_Dano

            Ever hear of a John Uhlenhopp. Maybe my internet search skills need updating, but he might be Houston’s Tristan


            “Future plans include Tristan for Houston Grand Opera and for Staatstheater Braunschweig.” Unless he was Tristan the last time HGO did the opera BEFORE I moved here.

          • CruzSF

            Don_Dano: I don’t think Uhlenhopp has sung Tristan at HGO yet. It looks like their last production of T und I was in 2000, and I doubt Uhlenhopp was singing the role then. In any event, HGO’s Tristan at that time was Stig Andersen (if the Internet can be believed). So you have Uhlenhopp in your future!

          • Don_Dano

            @ CruzSF Well even if I never hear of John Uhlenhopp, I’ll go multiple times to hear Nina Stemme sing Isolde

          • CruzSF

            Ditto, Don_Dano. Even if it’s the Isolde und Isolde show, I’d go.

          • lorenzo.venezia

            I saw an Isolde and Isolde, at Scala, with Waltraute M. and a tenor who simply could not be heard. She did her thing anyway, it was transcendental, but alas, is always better with a strong tristan. The virility of the Chereau production, and the strong connection between Waltraute and Barenboim, carried the day.

          • CruzSF

            lorenzo.venezia, I think that Tristan just turned in a pretty good Gott. Siegfried here in SF. Strange how times change and voices are (mostly) re-discovered.

      • CarlottaBorromeo

        Alwyn Mellor is going to drive Nerva Nelli absolutely insane!!! Actually having known her singing for more than 15 years I’m utterly baffled by her recent elevation but who knows…?

        • The Vicar of John Wakefield

          Alwyn Mellor — in the great tradition of Anna Green!

  • Camille

    Batty der Bruenchmeister--I want to see a icture of Du Allein!

    So happy you fellas all had a wonderful time at what must have been quite some Ring.
    Thanks for the tip about the Seattle Ring, probably well worth seeing.

  • Bart


    Last time I was in SF (October 2010) my partner took a pic of me in front of the opera house like this new pic, and some crabby woman screamed at me for blocking her way to a bus (the bus pulled up as we took the pic quickly). I yelled back at her and called her a bitch, and then she yelled profanities at me from the steps of the bus blocking the path of everyone getting onto the bus. I actually laughed, but this new pic from July 2011 was taken without controversy! LOL I had so much fun in SF meeting everyone! Maybe next time we could all hit the bars!!! LOL

  • Don_Dano

    I too say “Bravo Batty”. I had a great time meeting up with people during the second cycle!