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Anna, in her own words

I was on the bus to Nürnberg today on the way to do Wagner tourism and hear Herr Sacro Fuoco tomorrow, and on the way I translated the juicy bits of the full print edition Anna Netrebko article… I was going to post it as a comment but it turns out I thought a lot of it was interesting (and touches on many of the points that have come up in the comments to the excerpt!) and it ended up long. So here is a translation minus the parts that were already posted and some parts I thought weren’t that interesting.

Translator’s comment: I think she’s pretty great and this is a fun interview. I think the critic she is describing is Wilhelm Sinkovicz from Die Presse in Vienna but I don’t have time to look it up right now. He is very picky about the lady singers he finds attractive.

The article is accompanied by an astonishingly trashy photo of Trebs and Erwin Schrott at Berlin Fashion Week, which I unfortunately can’t find quickly.

[Interview by Christoph Wirtz]

Do you read what is written about you?

Never. I also don’t have internet, I don’t like computers much. I’ve never had one.

Many don’t know that you sing other, serious things [other than light music].

I sang Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater”  in a black dress. A critic wrote afterwards, “She stood onstage like widow!” I asked myself: what did he expect? The piece is about the pain of death! I invited a few people from society to the concert and excused myself beforehand, that there were 45 minutes of serious music and no Lehár as an encore.

But it really doesn’t matter what you sing. People will come, even if they aren’t classical music connoisseurs.

Maybe they weren’t connoisseurs beforehand, but that changed after the concert. Seriously: that’s why I said yes to these giant concerts in Berlin and Munich. At the beginning I was unsure, the amplification bothered me. But now I think that concerts are a good thing. You can take the family along, not dress up, and there are also less expensive tickets.

But you earn much more from concerts than from a state opera house.

Of course. And if I wanted to, I could immediately only give concerts and earn a lot of money. But you know what? That would bore me! One or two times a year is OK, to pay the bills. Other than that I love to do new things. My heart belongs to opera.

Have you sung privately for one of these infinitely rich Russian oligarchs?

I had between 50 and 80 such offers last year alone. I accepted one of them. The date worked very well, it was a matter of half an hour, and really was a lot of money.

And?

The oligarch had to leave Russia right beforehand. So much for that.

Let’s talk about opera in the 21st century. Will it keep going slowly but steadily?

Opera is unbelievably old-fashioned, the stories are mostly boring and long-winded for our fast-paced time. The texts are mostly frightful and, even worse, they’re often sung in a foreign language. But opera fascinates us anyway, because it has something in it that we are looking for: the authentic, the passionate. The heavenly music, the voices… this beauty is timeless.

Many people are scared of opera, or find it all boring.

What? Everyone loves Puccini, everyone loves Verdi! These are of course very easy to love. But then come Richard Strauss, Wagner. It stops there. You have to prepare yourself, otherwise you won’t understand anything.

Many productions don’t help much, either, or…?

Opera has to change. The audience wants a show, something has to happen onstage. It can’t always be the same performance as decades go by.

But grand opera is a part of your Russian soul.

Maybe. Look how I dress in private: always a little spectacular? No. But I like it a lot when people dress fashionably at the opera. You don’t need a lot of money, a black dress from H&M is plenty. [She obviously is thinking of the dress I wore to the Anna Bolena premiere in Vienna. – UZ.]

But isn’t it part of high culture, to turn you nose up at such things?

It’s all the same to me, honestly. I love it when the women at the Salzburg Festival show up in their outfits. People aren’t paying so much money for tickets only to hear the music. They want to drink Champagne and be part of society. That’s part of it! Opera has always been a social event.

Surely many people exalted words from you about your sublime art.

Maybe they want to hear that I’m smart? Serious? That I sit for hours in the library? Prepare difficult roles for years? Uninterrupted practice?

And?

I’m not like that. I think about my job only when I’m doing it. Before and after I live in a whole different world. I practice only when I have to, when I’m preparing a role. My life doesn’t revolve only around opera. It was different when I started. Then music was everything for me, always and everywhere. But since then I’ve drown up, and there are things that mean as much to me, a few mean more. God, I’m getting old…

Listen to you, you’re fishing for compliments!

No, honestly. I’ve been singing for 15 years. At some point I understood that I wouldn’t develop any further if my entire life revolved around music. You come to a point when there’s something else in life. I won’t name any names, but I have colleagues who don’t grasp this. And you can see it in their performances.

But doesn’t a little spirituality matter to a great artist?

That’s totally old-fashioned. I love my life, life is really great! There are so many wonderful things to see and to experience, I don’t want to lie solely in the world of music.

[After some discussion of the restaurant that has already been quoted:] Eating is like music. The popular stuff is often a little banal.

I don’t think so. We’re speaking of two different things. Why don’t classical singers value crossover singers much? Because they earn more money? Because they’re more popular? They sing the old stuff too! Everything else is just a different kind of art.

And often kind of tasteless.

That happens everywhere. One doesn’t need very much to turn something very beautiful into something very cheap, kitschy and sentimental. As well, a lot that is artistic and accurate lacks passion. And at the end of the day you don’t like the music you love anymore.

67 comments

  • tannengrin says:

    mon dieu, indeed. Der Erwin in MC Hammer pants.

    [img]http://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/fashion week trebs & erwin.jpg[/img]

    • Erdgeist says:

      It’s like MC Hammer decided to audition to take Rutger Hauer’s place in “Blade Runner, the Musical.”

    • Ruxxy says:

      This photo is just too cruel- la Nebs must have been preggers at the time but someone needs to tell her that frock is a car wash rag. As for poor Erwin- WTF? What a disaster! Tin Tin goes grunge. We know those poor Russians haven’t quite caught up with taste just yet but surely they can afford to hire a fashion consultant!

      • OpinionatedNeophyte says:

        I hadn’t noticed, but now that I look twice there’s definitely a lot of Tyne Daley in that photo. For better or worse.

      • DonCarloFanatic says:

        Trouble is, if your fashion consultant is the shop assistant selling you the designer dress, she has no incentive to tell you it’s not flattering.

        What looks trashy on a voluptuous soon-to-be-forty woman can look just fine on a skinny twenty-year-old. Her look hasn’t caught up with her age yet, despite all her talk of growing up and moving on.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      They may have had a great time, but this is the worst photo of Erwin that I have ever seen published. He looks like a late 50-something retired chiropractor who spends more time on the golf course than in the office.

    • Regina delle fate says:

      They both look like rent in this pic.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Thank you Zerbinetta for taking the time to set this drivel in good English. But I think you forgot one sentence when she says ‘just look at these beautiful pink bags of party favors! We got two of them.’ The queer part of the interview is when she says “At some point I understood that I wouldn’t develop any further if my entire life revolved around music. You come to a point when there’s something else in life. I won’t name any names, but I have colleagues who don’t grasp this. And you can see it in their performances.” But she still does not make as much as Bocelli, who earns much much more than she does and has seen more of the world through blind eyes than she has with her diva vision.

    • ianw2 says:

      So Bocelli is the gold standard now…? What an odd choice of example. Did you choose solely for the closing phrase?

      • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

        No, I chose it because it is known that he earns at least, in not more than ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND for his major venue concerts -- not something like the MET, and not counting the orchestra, chorus, conductor, other soloists.

        • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

          And much less for this:

          • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

            Febbraio 2012 vedrà nuovamente sul podio del Teatro Carlo Felice il M° Fabio Luisi alla direzione dell’opera Roméo et Juliette, di Charles Gounod, con la straordinaria partecipazione di Andrea Bocelli, evento che verrà pubblicato in DVD e in CD dall’etichetta discografica Decca.

            ROMÉO ET JULIETTE
            Opera in cinque atti di Jules Barbier e Michel Carré
            Musica di Charles Gounod
            Direttore Fabio Luisi
            Con la partecipazione straordinaria di Andrea Bocelli
            Febbraio 2012
            Mercoledì 22 – ore 20.30
            Venerdì 24 – ore 20.30
            Sabato 25 – ore 15.30
            Marzo 2012
            Venerdì 2 – ore 20.30
            Sabato 3 – ore 20.30
            Domenica 4 ore 15.30

        • Camille says:

          Frankly, I’d rather listen to Frankie, anyway.
          thanx

    • oedipe says:

      “At some point I understood that I wouldn’t develop any further if my entire life revolved around music. You come to a point when there’s something else in life. I won’t name any names, but I have colleagues who don’t grasp this. And you can see it in their performances.”

      Is this a new dart directed at AG?

  • Henry Holland says:

    Everyone loves Puccini

    No they don’t, some hate his music with all the fire of all the suns in the Crab Nebula. Some even work at opera companies.

    Everyone loves Verdi!

    Pierre Boulez: “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”

    But then come Richard Strauss, Wagner. It stops there

    *sigh*

    • Max Freischutz says:

      Thank you. Even some opera singers are not over the moon for every composer with works in the standard rep.

      • Henry Holland says:

        I just checked the San Francisco Opera archive and I was right, Netrebko sang in Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastary that was done there in the late 90′s, so a) either opera didn’t stop with Wagner and Strauss apparently or b) she just did it for the money.

        Aw too bad for them…. Puccini is here to stay whether they like it or not

        Thank god you’re around to alert the anti-Puccini people to that fact, it would not have occurred to them otherwise.

        He is so annoying!

        Oh the irony.

        • Baritenor says:

          This may surprise you, but oftentimes a young singer’s first priority is “will this pay me?” In the late 90s, Netrebko was very far from superstardom…she was a member of the Kirov company, and as part of that contract, she sang what she was told to sing (within reason of course.) I myself have sung/performed in many shows I did not want to. Do you think I WANT Little Bat in SUSSANNAH to be the highlight of my resume? or Opera Chorus in freakin’ Idomeneo? On sunday I have an audition to be in a children’s play/puppet show about a mischievous five year old boy from Sweden. I really hope I get it. Let’s just say I want to pay my rent next month.

          • Baritenor says:

            that should read SUSANNAH, of course, Not SUSSANNAH.

          • Henry Holland says:

            This may surprise you, but oftentimes a young singer’s first priority is “will this pay me?”

            As it should be, I have no problem with people doing what they need to do to make a career in a horrible, mean, cut-throat business that treats people like cattle.

            So the answer to my not-at-all serious question would be b). I hope she spent/invested whatever money she got from performing the Prokofiev well, she was fabulous in Betrothal in San Francisco.

      • Nerva Nelli says:

        I don’t think she meant that “opera” stops there, but that an audience for Wagner and Strauss has to prepare more to enjoy what they are seeing. A question of translating idiomatic usage. Of course she sang BETROTHAL-- also on tour at the Met-- and her Met debut, stunning, was in WAR AND PEACE.

        • La Cieca says:

          Yes, I think the context of the remark (we’ll get the “original” German soon enough) indicates the “it” means “the short list of operas that everyone likes.” The Puccini and Verdi warhorses (for example) always have an audience, but then on the other hand there are Wagner and Strauss who are, as it were, acquired tastes. (Correct me if I’m wrong here, Nerva, but I think that when Netrebko was just beginning as a singer, Wagner and Strauss were still novelties in Soviet/Russian theaters, so Netrebko may be extrapolating a bit from her own experience.)

          It’s hard to say if by “after that” she means Wagner and Strauss or “composers after Wagner and Strauss,” i.e., post-romantics and moderns. But either way, she’s talking about broad audience taste, not her own musicological opinions. In fact, she does say elsewhere in the interview “Ich kann ‘La Traviata’ nämlich nicht mehr hören! Es ist wunderbare Musik, aber du kannst nicht die eine Rolle dein ganzes Leben lang wieder und wieder spielen.” So no matter how much the public loves Traviata, she doesn’t find much appeal in repeating the same role over and over again. The tone of her remarks about the pops concerts suggests that’s not where her heart is either.

          I do think, based on what I’ve seen of Netrebko in performance, that is is a type of stage animal, even if she lacks the kind of all-consuming mania that often attends that status. In a way (a very general and non-comprehensive way, please!) she reminds me of Leonie Rysanek in that her “fire” seems to stop right at the border of the stage, and once the curtain comes down, she is a rather ordinary woman. In Netrebko’s case I think even the “glamour” is pretty much an act, done for the sake of PR rather than out of any innate hunger for approving glances.

          • Arianna a Nasso says:

            La Cieca is right. A lot of “stage animals” are rather ordinary once you get them off stage. In the past, these was concealed, but with today’s invasive media and a general loosening of behavior, we see this side more often.

          • Henry Holland says:

            The Puccini and Verdi warhorses (for example) always have an audience, but then on the other hand there are Wagner and Strauss who are, as it were, acquired tastes

            Yes, reading it that way makes perfect sense.

          • German:
            Ach was, jeder liebt Puccini, jeder liebt Verdi! Die sind ja auch sehr einfach zu lieben. Dann aber kommt irgendwann Richard Strauss, Wagner. Da endet es dann. Man muss sich vorbereiten, sonst versteht man nichts.

          • Batty Masetto says:

            Zerbinetta, your very readable translation -- and knocked out so admirably under such adverse circumstances! -- blurred a nuance or two that might help alleviate the difficulty people are having. Let me suggest:

            That’s nonsense, everybody loves Puccini and Verdi. And they’re very easy to love. But then, sooner or later [irgendwann], along come Richard Strauss, Wagner. Then it’s all over [i.e., for the newbies.] You have to do some preparation, otherwise you don’t understand a thing.

    • Pelleas et Melisande @ Most Addictive Opera says:

      No they don’t, some hate his [Puccini's] music with all the fire of all the suns in the Crab Nebula. Some even work at opera companies.

      Aw too bad for them…. Puccini is here to stay whether they like it or not.

      Pierre Boulez [on Verdi]: “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”

      How many asinine statements has Mr. Boulez uttered in his career?

      I wish someone had smacked this man silly years ago. He is so annoying!

      • m. croche says:

        For anagram fans:

        Pierre Boulez = Zero. Pure Bile.

        (obligatory disclaimer: not w/r to the music)

      • Cocky Kurwenal says:

        It is amusing that the angry young man who said that all opera houses should be blown up subsequently went on to make some of his highest fees out of the art form.

        • Henry Holland says:

          Yeah, that’s very true Cocky Kurwenal, I wonder if anyone’s every asked him about that in an interview?

          That quote will follow him to his grave, as it should. Here’s the most complete version I could find:

          The most elegant way of solving the opera problem would be to blow up the opera houses

          I *think* what he meant was: there’s so many ways of presenting theatrical productions that stuffy, tradition bound opera houses are pointless. A cruder idea might be Pete Townshend’s of The Who, before they played Tommy twice at the Met on 6/7/70, who when asked what he thought of the place snarled “It’s full of dead people, dead ideas and too much fucking reverence”.

          The late 60′s/early 70′s were not a particularly fertile time for moderate, temperate public statements.

          • Pelleas et Melisande @ Most Addictive Opera says:

            I wonder if anyone’s ever asked him about that in an interview?

            Came close here:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalmusic/3702982/Pierre-Boulez-I-was-a-bully-Im-not-ashamed.html

            ****

            My favorite Boulez quote:

            “I am 300 percent [musical] Stalinist”

            Lol.

            But Henry Sauguet said it best:

            “Boulez’s whole life has been nothing but bluff, invective, impertinence, and conceit. He’s exercised a bad influence over an entire generation that’s wasted its energies in following him…”

          • oedipe says:

            He’s exercised a bad influence over an entire generation that’s wasted its energies in following him…”

            If I had to bet on the viability of Sauguet’s legacy versus Boulez’s legacy, I would definitely not put my money on the former.
            Besides, I haven’t personally heard anyone -not even divas- bitch about contemporary colleagues as passionately and nastily as composers do.

          • Henry Holland says:

            Even if he no longer believes as he once did that opera houses should be burnt down

            Imagine that, even Boulez can change his mind about something he said in 1967!

            I FINALLY found the magazine article in Google Books in which he made the infamous statement (I’ve been looking for years), it’s from Der Spiegel in 1967:

            http://tinyurl.com/3vahfwd

            (sorry for the laughable bits of the translation, the original is here:

            http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-46353389.html)

            **********

            BOULEZ: I can think of two people: Peter Brook and Ingmar Bergman. The directors are real. Anyway, I’ll ask a director who is not burdened by the operatic tradition.

            SPIEGEL: Mr. Boulez, you think you can realize your modern music theater in a very conventional indeed our opera houses?

            BOULEZ: Certainly not. As we come to another reason why there is today no modern opera. The new German opera houses look very modern -- from the outside, inside they are still very old fashioned. In a theater, where the repertoire is mostly played, but since you can only bring great difficulties with modern opera -- it’s unbelievable. The most expensive solution would be to blow up the opera houses in the air. But do not you think that this would be the smartest?

            SPIEGEL: There is no doubt director followed your suggestion …

            BOULEZ: You can play in the existing opera houses, the usual repertoire, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Berg and about; would necessarily experimental stages for new operas are affiliated. This seemingly nonsensical requirement is in play mode so largely realized.

            SPIEGEL: So that would also be less financial risk, which enters into any director, if he puts a contemporary opera on the board.

            BOULEZ: Yes, the load in each case a “successful” opera, opera must present a public appeal fell away happily. On such a small stage could be risking all sorts then, while the great opera houses downgrades as museums.

            ********************

            I take all that to mean: if opera is to move forward from it’s 17th -- 19th century roots and be truly modern, doing it in a traditional opera house, no matter how modern the exterior, won’t do. Yeah, blow ‘em up!

            If I’m doing it right, that issue of Der Spiegel (a weekly) came out at the end of October, 1967, about 5 months after the protests against the Shah of Iran attending a Zauberflote at the Deutsche Oper ended with Benno Ohnesorg being murdered > the beginning of student protests.

          • Henry Holland says:

            La Cieca, PLEASE add a Preview or Edit function! Please?

            The link to the original German article doesn’t have a ) at the end, duh:

            http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-46353389.html

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            Oedipe, I’d say Boulez has a viable legacy, or at least deserves to. As far as any avant garde C20th composer will have a legacy anyway- it might rest solely in the hands of musicologists. In about 1999 or 2000 he had something of a residency at the Edinburgh festival, and I went to every event connected with it- performances of various major works including his first world premiere in decades (actually a revision and expansion of a pre-existing work, but the result, ‘Sur Incises’ was really beautiful), an interview, and a lecture he gave about Le Cite de la Musique in Paris, during which he was surprisingly light hearted and engaging- quite the opposite of what I’d read about him, or gleaned about him trying to plough through his Orientations. I hope there are people to champion his works after his death- things like Pli Selon Pli are great works for the concert hall and for me, they’re a welcome change from the norm- or would be, if they were ever programmed!

          • oedipe says:

            I’d say Boulez has a viable legacy, or at least deserves to.

            Cocky, Boulez is ALREADY a Monstre Sacré -at least in France- and the fact that the mere mention of his name can elicit almost as much controversy and bile as the mention of Netrebko/Gheorghiu/Fleming is, to me, a very positive sign.

          • Henry Holland says:

            Oedipe, I’d say Boulez has a viable legacy, or at least deserves to. As far as any avant garde C20th composer will have a legacy anyway- it might rest solely in the hands of musicologists.

            Hmmm…Stockhausen? Maybe he wrote too much to fully digest (370 pieces), his “I’m from the star Sirius” thing might be off-putting to some, but I’d say the Klavierstucke, the awesome Gruppen, Stimmung and some of the smaller works (including those with electronics) will be part of the repertoire. One of these days the Licht operas will be performed as a cycle, that would be quite the event.

            Ligeti? Is he even considered avant-garde any more, or is that just the early stuff like Atmospheres and Lontano (two of my favorite pieces of music)? The acceptable face of the avant-garde.

            Xenakis? Again, wrote too much and is ultimately too abrasive for most people, but I can see some of his stuff being performed in 2182.

            Nono? Hmmm…I don’t think so, his politics are very dated and that works against him, plus he doesn’t seem to have the clique of followers that Boulez, Stockhausen, Ligeti and Xenakis do.

            ‘Sur Incises’ was really beautiful

            The Los Angeles Philharmonic recently had a celebration of the life of their former GM Ernest Fleischmann and Mr. Boulez conducted that. It probably goes on for a little too long, but it’s ravishing when the percussionists switch to steel drums, the sonorities are just magical. I’m SO glad I finally got to hear it live, in such an authoritative version.

            I’d say pieces like L’marteau sans maitre, Pli selon Pli, Rituel in Memorium Bruno Maderna, Sur Incises, the solo piano pieces, the two late pieces for violin and a few others will be performed long after he’s gone.

            during which he was surprisingly light hearted and engaging- quite the opposite of what I’d read about him, or gleaned about him trying to plough through his Orientations.

            I think he’s very much of the times he lived in. In France and Germany after the war, it must have seemed insane to want to go back to the world that was now a smoldering ruin; the late 60′s and early 70′s WERE insane, my dad (who’s only 5 years younger than Boulez) was convinced we wouldn’t make it to the 1980′s, Boulez lobbing his rhetorical bombs seems almost tame now compared to what the Baader-Meihnoff Group were doing. It seems he’s enjoying his dotage, content to genially rip minimalism and Stravinsky’s neo-classical period and his other no-no’s and making Grand Pronouncements.

            I just wish he’d come out as a gay man, I’d love to officially have him on the team.

            I I hope there are people to champion his works after his death

            Susanna Mälkki and David Robertson spring to mind, there’s others of course.

            Cocky, Boulez is ALREADY a Monstre Sacré -at least in France- and the fact that the mere mention of his name can elicit almost as much controversy and bile as the mention of Netrebko/Gheorghiu/Fleming is, to me, a very positive sign

            The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about

            -O. Wilde

    • operalover9001 says:

      No, I think Netrebko’s comment about “It stops there” was referring to the popularity of the works, not whether the later works were popular or not. And I think her point is quite valid -- Verdi and Puccini are more popular than Berg or Korngold.

    • Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Henry, I think you’re being a bit selective in your interpretation of Netrebko’s meaning there, at least as translated by UZ. I think the following sentence, “you have to prepare yourself, otherwise you won’t understand anything” reveals what she actually meant- that it’s all a question of accessibility, that’s all. And it is perfectly true that it is easier to sit through most Puccini or Verdi and enjoy the tunes without attempting to engage with the text at all, whereas if you try to sit through Strauss or Wagner or pretty much anybody else writing subsequently without preparing yourself, by familiarising yourself with the text or at least engaging with it by following subtitles or something, you will most likely be bored. This, at least, is what I assumed she meant without really thinking about it- what you assumed she meant could also be true, but I think it’s unfair and ignores some nuances in there, such as they can be detectable when she was presumably speaking in an acquired language which has now been translated into another.

      • messa di voce says:

        Actually, doesn’t Netrebko not speak German, so it went English to German back to English?

        • I wondered about that but the German was very idiomatic and there were no dead Denglish giveaways, so I thought it could also have been in Russian. Lots of Germans (particularly those who were educated under the DDR) speak Russian.

      • Henry Holland says:

        You’re correct CK, now that I take the time to think about that. Not a controversial statement by her, I’d say, but a sad one. I was simply going for the quick snark, not a deep philosophical discussion about why opera became “difficult” in the 20th century.

    • Pelleas says:

      Yes, I’m sure that’s what she meant by “everyone”--every single person in the entire known world.

      It’s a figure of speech. Good god. Does the need to pick people apart really need to go so far as to pretend ignorance of things like that?

      • Henry Holland says:

        It was snark to make a point, calm down Beavis. That attitude of “Everybody loves [name composer here]” is not unknown, however, I’ve seen and read people not believe that someone doesn’t like Mozart or Verdi or Beethoven or whatever other sacred cow, that they aren’t universally beloved, they literally can’t believe that’s true.

  • Thank you, Zerbinetta; I was very glad to read more of this!

  • P.S. if y’all have questions about the parts I left out I can answer tomorrow (in between the Kaufmann recital and the Harteros Rosenkavalier, yes I am gloating), my internet right now isn’t so good. The picture posted above looks like it’s from the same event as the one in the magazine but it’s not nearly as tasteless.

    QPF, I did include the part about having a life outside singing. If there was something about party favors I missed it. ;)

  • Buster says:

    Good one! -- you can almost hear her talk, and see her grin. Thanks a lot. Enjoy your concerts, I am very curious how that FROSCH will turn out.

  • Bosah says:

    I’m not like that. I think about my job only when I’m doing it. Before and after I live in a whole different world. I practice only when I have to, when I’m preparing a role. My life doesn’t revolve only around opera.

    On the one hand I applaud this. Balance is important. On the other, it must be an exaggeration. I’m curious as to how an artist can progress with this thought process.

    The one question I get from this interview is -- How long will she want to perform opera? I wonder.

    I do seem to recall Fleming saying similar things in the late 90s. Actually, now that I think about it, at nearly the same point in her career as Netrebko is now. Fleming obviously changed her mind. I’ll be interested to see what Netrebko is saying and doing 10 or 15 years from now.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    coppia iniqua! Now this. Someone is spending a fortune for PR surrounding these concerts. Very glamorous. See http://www.leiweb.it/iodonna/
    [img]http://parterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/coppia iniqua.jpg[/img]

  • Regina delle fate says:

    I wanna hear more about UZ’s Wagner tourism in Nuremberg….

    • I’ll blog about it tomorrow (not here, on my own blog, which you can get to by clicking on my username)! I found the church from Act 1 as well as a Hans Sachs statue (and its interesting history) and some other fun stuff. I’m off to Bayreuth for Meistersinger next week--it was topical.

      • Camille says:

        Liebstes und Treuestes Zerbinetta!

        I will so much miss your missals aus Deutschland und Wienerschnitzelwald!!!

        I do wish you well back home, and hope you will continue to report in, but it has been very nice to have a lively, young, and intelligent lady such as yourself reporting back to us and I. for one, will miss the news from DemelLand.

        Viel Spass und Erfolf und all that stuff and do keep on, keeping on.

        yours admiringly,
        Camille

        ps -- do not forget to go to Die Neue Gallerie for your Sachertorte and do you know of a little restaurant named “Rolf’s” down on -o gott -- where? wohin? 23rd Street and 3rd Avenue — anyway, it’s down there and it is echt kosher kitsch and pretty good.

        • Thank you very much, Camille, I’m very flattered!!! I’m glad that my travels have amused and informed people other than just myself and my friends (my original target audience).

          Once I can face Austrian food again (it is not that rich in variety and right now I don’t want to think about another Tafelspitz) I will seek out Rolf’s for sure. I’m sure after about two months I’ll want my Schnitzel and possibly even my Wiener Staatsoper back. I think I’ll want to go to the café right away, though!

  • OK, so the critic who said she dressed like a widow was not Sinkovicz, because he didn’t review that concert, the second-stringer at Die Presse did. I’m not sure who it was, though.

    And this is the astonishingly tasteless photo:
    http://www.succomedia.com/res/offers/00205218_1.jpg

    • scifisci says:

      wow, where did those come from??? Is Anna pregnant or did she get implants when no one was looking?

      • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

        Holly Hormones, Batman!!!! That’s really raunchy Salad days personified. I am surprised at both of them.