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Madame XY

Versatile diva Violeta Urmana takes on the demanding verismo role of Giordano’s Fedora for the first time at… Oh, sorry, that’s René Pape as Méphistophélès in Faust at Covent Garden! (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

61 comments

  • Lalala says:

    Is Covent Garden recycling once again the “little black dress”?

  • DonCarloFanatic says:

    Worth noting this will be broadcast in the US live on Sept. 28, by Opera in Cinema, with repeats on various dates.

    Also, they’ve added some new venues.

    • UnaMacchia says:

      Perhaps this has been discussed before, but I have seen one production in the Opera in Cinema series and it was one of the more unpleasant musical experiences of my life. Nabucco (Teatro Antico, Taormina). Without going into too much detail: mediocre to horrible singing, C- production (even for a festival), non-existent stage directing, camera work was virtually random (e.g., long closeups on random choristers during the climax of Salgo già del trono aurato, sound cut in and out with crackling throughout the entire thing).

      Is it always that bad?

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    I guess Pape finally found a reason to be in drag other than his usual habits.

  • chicagokok says:

    I believe there is a DVD of this production with Angie and Roberto--it’s a great production. Keenlyside’s death scene was oscar worthy i thought.

    • Batty Masetto says:

      Sexy Simon also looks just delectable throughout on that DVD. (Not that I would ever let such mundane factors cloud my judgment, you understand.) (Oh, right, he sings good too.)

      Roberto and Terfel are also just fine. Ange, on the other hand, doesn’t work so well for me. I see where she’s aiming to go, but to me it feels calculated too much of the time.

      I respect that McVicar really seems to be aware of what a huge problem the work’s facile piety represents -- which is what I believe that big organ (-ahem-) is doing onstage. I have mixed feelings about whether he succeeds but at least he tries.

      • louannd says:

        I respect that McVicar really seems to be aware of what a huge problem the work’s facile piety represents – which is what I believe that big organ (-ahem-) is doing onstage. I have mixed feelings about whether he succeeds but at least he tries.

        In SFEO’s production this summer the “organ” grew from normal size to fill the entire back of the stage by the end of the opera, a la a Christmas tree in the Nutcracker ballet. The pipes become Marguerite’s stairway to heaven.

  • Maury D says:

    And this posting makes me think that Pape and Fleming should go on tour with a “Rene and Renee!” program, culminating in an arranged-for-two version of “The Story of Lucy and Jesse” with Pape in a dress. I leave it to others to decide who is Lucy and who Jesse.

    • perfidia says:

      Well, let’s see: “Lucy is jucicy but totally drab. Jessie is dressy but cold as a slab.” I think we all know which is which. Especially given that photograph.

    • kashania says:

      Maury: Really, it’s astonishing that Renee and Rene have not released a duets album yet. I can imagine a Papageno/Papagena duet to rival Cecelia and Bryn!

    • Camille says:

      Mr. Maury D’
      This is just the gentlest possible cattle prodder to remind you to please, please post your thought’s on Anna’ “Anna” for us--either here or on your blog, please.
      Thanks a heap if you do!

  • RDaggle says:

    I’ll say one thing for him — he is working that fan.

  • oedipe says:

    Paris is far away, I know, and they speak in tongues over there, but still, let me tell you: Parterrians are missing out on the very operatic conflict involving Alagna and the conductor Alain Lombard, a conflict that burst out into the open only a few days before tomorrow’s Faust prima, and has led to the last minute replacement of Lombard with Alain Altinoglu.
    The parties have been exchanging heated public arguments in the press and the French opera blogosphere is abuzz with rumors and virtual pie fights among the partisans of each side.
    To boot, there is talk of a stagehand strike tomorrow at the Bastille…

  • willym says:

    For some reason I couldn’t reply to operaassport’s last comment but brooklynpunk do you want to pass me a stone please?