Cher Public

Juan down

Barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien injured his handsome back during today’s dress rehearsal of Don Giovanni at the Met and was taken to the hospital, tweets Dan Wakin. As La Cieca writes this, Kwiecien’s cover Dwayne Croft is at the Met rehearsing the opera’s first act swordfight.  

La Cieca’s spy reports:

That’s about all I can tell you about the accident. Mariusz had told people that he was injured a while back, but that he was completely healed. He seems to think that this was a recurrence of the earlier injury. He seemed to be in considerable pain, and staff was sufficiently alarmed to call EMT immediately.

Other than that things went pretty well, but I’m sure that the accident threw off people’s timing. Croft had been involved in rehearsals, and really did an excellent job under the circumstances. (Although he didn’t seem to be expecting “Finch’han del vino” to be taken quite as fast as it was. Exciting though.)

Luisi was extremely good.  Interesting and intelligent ideas everywhere. Orchestra seemed quite invigorated by it all.

Frittoli was a superb Elvira. Marina Rebekah reminded me a bit of Edda Moser, whom I liked. Voice is a bit hard, but accurate and carries very well. She sort of bobbled the great “abbastanza” line, but I liked her a lot.

Pisaroni was very good. We’ve come a long way from the buffo approach to this role. He is equal in virility and power to the Don, just not in class: that’s what eats him.

Vargas was good. Quite elegant, and a good bit more masculine than other Ottavios. The face is rather buffo, and a bit of a problem in a cast where everyone else looks so appropos.

The production is basically a unit set trying not to look like a unit set. A straightforward unit set might have been better. The “Hollywood Squares” analogy seems to be carrying through to this production: not so hot an idea.

(Photo: Nick Heavican)

  • Satisfied

    I was just thinking about the dress rehearsal going on today…anyone in the house? How is Croft? Very good substitute choice if you ask me. Oh, to see Croft, Finley, and Kwiecien in the part this season would be too rich!

  • brooklynpunk

    I am real curious to see how this production replaces the previous “brick-wall” one..and slightly nervous, after hearing Peter Gelb describe it .last week, as “..cubes within cubes…”--isn’t that just about every other “new” design we have seen so far during the Gelb regime?

  • mandryka

    It appeared that Croft made his first entrance on very short notice. There was no interruption of the performance, so Mariusz was still writing on the off-stage floor when Croft went on. Trim and fit in snug jears, work shoes, flannel plaid shirt — with no wig or makeup — he was quite the sexy daddy.

    • mandryka

      Make that “writhing” !

      • manou

        smug jears, surely.

    • At what point did Croft jump in, mandryka? Did you see the accident or the fall or whatever it was?

      • fromthepit

        I think it was right after the death of the Commendatore. When I looked up suddenly Croft was doing the recit, in his street clothes. He was incredibly professional, no fussing, just completely solid, and he sang beautifully. Bravo, Dwayne.

    • OpinionatedNeophyte

      One hopes that will be his uniform during the prima. The Don as Colt Studio stud circa 1985.

  • CrazzyMezzo

    I was there…Dwayne Croft…AMAZING!!! He didn’t miss a beat and sang beautifully. And yes…quite the sexy daddy when he walked on stage.

    • Satisfied

      “quite the sexy daddy”

      Really? Never woulda thunk it.

      • armerjacquino



        • Cocky Kurwenal

          Hmmmmm indeed. It’s a parallel universe, or something.

    • OpinionatedNeophyte

      How were the Donnas?

      • armerjacquino

        I’d post one of the videos by The Donnas at this point but (a) the youtube would probably screw up and (b) it’s not that great a joke anyway. So count yourselves lucky.

  • Satisfied

    Also, for those in the house, how is the production overall? I adore Grandage’s work, but after (what I found anyway…) a dull Hytner directed “Don Carlos” last season, I’m reluctant to get my hopes up by another Fave Brit Director. I do so want this to be GREAT!

  • Liz.S

    I’m so sorry for Kwiecien. Hope it’s not too serious. Although I chose to purchase Finley? & Ms Dasch version. OMG… I just found Ms Dasch is replaced by Ellie Dehn due to pregnancy. Well… congrats! Do come back next season!

    • Nerva Nelli

      Dasch was really pretty bad as Countess Almaviva. Let’s hope she has a wonderful pregnancy and never returns to New York to sing.

      A shame about Mariusz, really…

      • Liz.S

        Oh really? I was looking forward to it since Ms Dasch was so charming in Bayreuth back in summer. I fell in love with her style. She looked like she’s a determined servant for “du holde kunst.” Never showed any self-appealing “hear meeeee and ignore everybody else” attitude, but I could feel the well thought out balance and harmony with other performers including orchestra…

  • m. croche

    Barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien
    padl z obloku marzen.
    “Jak bola mnie plecy!
    Najszybszy wy znajdzcie
    Croft, to nie Lara ale Dwayne!”

    • manou

      Google he say :

      Mariusz Barihunk April
      fell from a cloud of dreams.
      “How bola me back!
      You find the fastest
      Croft, Lara, but it’s not Dwayne! “

      • m. croche

        Many Poles will contend that’s a significant improvement on the original version.

        (the most significant loss in diacritic-unfriendly Parterre-land is the kreska on the a in “bola”, which would help google recognize the word “pain”)

      • Ok, just a few words. 1. spadl, not padl (both with a barred l read “w”). 2. The fourth line doesn’t make any sense at all.3. “pain” is “bol” (mark above o). “bola” (diacrytic a)is “they are hurting/they hurt (“back” is always plural in Polish). Lesson finished :)ps.bol and szyja together would give sthing like boli mnie szyja i.d “my neck hurts”.

        • manou

          I knew you could be lured back to the site by posting cod Polish (speaking for myself, of course, a Google-Polish cheater, whilst m. croche is in quite a different class)!

          I trust you are well, and I do hope to see you again without having to prod you with a 10 foot pole -- we need more polish in the comments here.

          • Hear! Hear! And I love your pun!

          • Manou is our Lady-of-Pun…

          • Tnak you, manou, I’m fine, just busy, and the met chats are a bit late for me these days. But I keep lurking :)

          • Thank you, that is :)

          • manou

            You see, Liana, there is a concerted effort to entice you back here -- Polish limericks (with deliberate mistakes, n’est ce pas m. croche?), painful ulcers in odd places and various other inducements.

            And it worked -- after all every self-respecting jungle needs lianas.

          • I’m really, really honored. And I think I’ll try not to think that the bait I’m still chewing on is Mariusz Kwiecie? combined with ulcers in, well, odd places and, last but not least, spleens. I’m really scared to find out what it says about me…

        • Batty Masetto

          What a disappointment to learn that szyja is just “neck,” Liana! Here I was all pleased at learning the Polish word for something a lot more … shall we say, anatomical?

          • Exactly what, Batty :) ?

          • Batty Masetto

            Umm … spleen? Yes, that must have been it. A pain in the spleen. Yes.

          • That would be “sledziona”, Batty (mark upon s). But if you thought, just by accident, of another body part, which I do not even dare to name on such a site as Parterre, I must inform you that the expression “pain in the, ehm, not exactly spleen” does not exist in Polish. The counterpart is to say that someone is an ulcer in, ehm, same.

          • Batty Masetto

            That sounds far more painful than its English counterpart, Liana!

          • And more disgusting too. I mean, it must be really disgusting to BE an ulcer.. Ok, I think I have to bring my imagination under control.

        • m. croche

          Yes, I confess my lame limerick was a bit of Liana-bait. But it worked. Welcome back, Liana, and many thanks for the corrections! Julian Tuwim I am not….

          • I think even Tuwim had a difficult start :)

          • m. croche

            And speaking of Tuwim, a little offering to atone for my sins against the Polish language…

            Szymanowski-Tuwim: Slopiewnie, op. 46 “Kalinowe Dwory”

          • Thank you very much :). Although, if I remember well, many critics thought this was one big sinn against the Polish language, since there is not one word which Tuwim didn’t twist, in a very weird and, mostly, quite funny way. But, as he said about himself: Nie mam zadnego zajecia/Jestem tylko lowca slow/ Czujny i zasluchany/Wyszedlem w swiat na low (diacritics omitted, translation to be provided upon request :) ).

          • m. croche

            “Low?” Bardzo ciekawy. My dictionary is not Tuwim-proof…

            While I’m at it, I might as well annoy the classicist today …

            Cui peccare licet peccat magis

          • Ah well, just one little change… As for Tuwim: “I do not have any occupation/I am just a hunter [lowca, with a barred l) for words/Alert and listening/I went out into the world for hunting (low, barred l, mark upon o). Btw, I’ve never heard that Szymanowski fragment, so thanks again for the youtube.

  • manou

    Translations can be a bola in the szyja.

  • Liz.S

    NYT is saying Mattei plays on the opening night!!! —

    • bassoprofundo


      would much rather hear Croft.

      • manou

        beware the wrath of louannd…

        • Uninvolved Bystander

          And Uninvolved Bystander.

      • FiorentinaNJ

        OMG me too! Sorry to jump in, but I’m a Dwayne Croft fanatic; I love to see and hear him as much as possible. I remember his Don Giovanni years ago at the Met -- gloriously ELEGANT and sensual singing with such a rich, smooth tone. His Don was bad, but not as cruel as others, (like Terfel whose Don is too rough, imo). I almost fell over when he picked up Zerlina (Maria Bayo? I think) and carried her off. He’s a perfect Mozart barihunk. Sexy daddy indeed! Who remembers his hunting outfit in Nozze with Fleming?

    • Liz.S
  • veal seduttore

    Is the Met anti-Crofts? They underuse both Dwayne and Richard….

    • Indiana Loiterer III

      Actually, up to the time Gelb took over Dwayne Croft was omnipresent at the Met, even in roles which his dark but heady bass-baritone never suited at all (e.g. Germont & Posa).

      • mandryka

        And Billy Budd.

    • ianw2

      Not really. They even sent Richard out as Loge, for which he was very unsuited.

  • veal seduttore

    And who is Rodion Pogossov, the guy singing Figaro tomorrow eve? Any good?

    • “In the title role, Rodion Pogossov has the makings of a star with his crisp baritone and megawatt stage presence.” New York Post

    • manou

      Radiant Pogostick -- nice moniker for a Parterre poster.

    • I’ve seen Pogossov both as Figaro and Papageno in Toronto. He has a good voice and lots of charm. He is a natural on stage so what he lacks in vocal glamour, he makes up in acting.

  • Press release from the Met has Peter Mattei singing Don Giovanni, not Croft.

    • iltenoredigrazia

      I sure hope Mattei is the Don on Oct 29.

  • fidelio101

    The set is a real bore. I mean it looks like a New Orleans boarding house with a very mixed clientele popping in and our of shutters. Kind of like “Laugh -In”. All you would need is Joanne Worely as Dona Anna, Goldie Hawn as Elvira and Ruth Buzzie as Zerlina.
    When the highlight of the afternoon was a burst of fire, you wonder what the director was thinking. Uniformly great singing. Crofts insertion was so smooth that it took me a bit to realize he was not there from the beginning. Its a shame he’s not doing the opening!

    • Camille

      Don’t you think Goldie Hawn would be a better Zerlina? I mean, “la ci darem la mano” and “batti, batti o bel masetto” needs a bit of a flirt,huh?

      • fidelio101

        Yes but Ruth always wore that hair net and was more the peasant type LOL

        • tatiana

          Hmmm…sounds familiar. Weren’t people saying the same thing about the “Peter Grimes” production of a few years ago. I seem to remember the “Laugh-In” comparison being made then too.

        • OpinionatedNeophyte

          You’re telling me that Zerlina isn’t supposed to be dressed in a formal evening ball gown, with pearl earrings? What were you thinking Herbert.

          (beautiful singing, but still, so ridick)

          • I wonder how many people were reduced to shaking shrivelling messes before this little number was finally committed to film.

  • brooklynpunk

    “Pisaroni was very good”

    I am very glad to read that he came across as such, as I was real excited hearing him give a preview, singing the Catalogue Aria, last week, at an event sponsored by radio station WQXR/NY… he also has a very sweet face, and manner , about himself…


    He is Thomas Hampson’s Son-in Law..!

    • Uninvolved Bystander

      Mattei and Pisaroni have sang the Don and Leporello together in quite a few performances so they are used to working together. I imagine that was one of the major considerations in getting Mattei to jump in.

  • I hope MK gets well very soon.

  • Constantine A. Papas

    Has Thomas Hampson ever been married, of he has a son out of wedlock? The last I heard was that TH is in a relationship with a woman of nobility, living in Vienna.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      A real countess.

    • Alto

      He has been married twice, with a grown daughter by the first marriage. He has lived with Andrea Herberstein (the divorced-wife of the now-deceased Count Herberstein) for many years and considers her children his own. They were married comparatively recently and emphatically do not live in Austria, for legal reasons. This has been true for several years now, as has been his absence from the State Opera’s stage.

  • jimupde

    Yes, Thomas Hampson has been married. Twenty-some years ago when he was first coming into the the music scene he appeared on one of those Richard Tucker Awards specials on TV. There was a brief bio-sketch on him which said that he was soon to be married. Very soon afterwards I read that he was in the middle of a divorce. If this marriage lasted long enough for them to conceive a child, I would think that a son from this marriage would still be too young to have an operatic career.

    • justanothertenor

      He has a daughter. Her name is Catherine, and she can be followed on twitter at catecool. I would venture to say she is in her late 20s, early 30s.

      • Alto

        That’s Andrea Herberstein’s daughter, and she’s the wife of Luca P.

        • armerjacquino

          I know have the phrase ‘I am the wife of Luca P…’ running through my internal jukebox, set to an insistent little tune by John Adams.

  • veal seduttore

    Thanks for all of your info on Rodion Pogossov. I’ll report tomorrow -- anxious to see the new Almaviva.

  • Mariusz to have back surgery today, Dan Wakin says.

    • CruzSF

      Oh hell. Best wishes to him.

    • OpinionatedNeophyte

      How terrible, I hope for the best.

    • Alto

      He and Jeemy can share a ward?