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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)


  • 1
    Satisfied says:

    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!

  • 2
    brooklynpunk says:

    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?

  • 3
    mandryka says:

    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.

    • 3.1
      mandryka says:

      Make that “writhing” !

    • 3.2
      La Cieca says:

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

      • 3.2.1
        fromthepit says:

        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.

    • 3.3
      OpinionatedNeophyte says:

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

  • 4
    CrazzyMezzo says:

    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.

  • 5
    Satisfied says:

    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!

  • 6
    Liz.S says:

    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!

    • 6.1
      Nerva Nelli says:

      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…

      • 6.1.1
        Liz.S says:

        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…

  • 7
    m. croche says:

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

    • 7.1
      manou says:

      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! “

      • 7.1.1
        m. croche says:

        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”)

      • 7.1.2
        Liana says:

        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 says:

          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!

          • Liana says:

            Manou is our Lady-of-Pun…

          • Liana says:

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

          • Liana says:

            Thank you, that is :)

          • manou says:

            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.

          • Liana says:

            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 says:

          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?

          • Liana says:

            Exactly what, Batty :) ?

          • Batty Masetto says:

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

          • Liana says:

            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 says:

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

          • Liana says:

            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 says:

          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….

          • Liana says:

            I think even Tuwim had a difficult start :)

          • m. croche says:

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

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

          • Liana says:

            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 says:

            “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

          • Liana says:

            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.

  • 8
    manou says:

    Translations can be a bola in the szyja.

  • 9
    Liz.S says:

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

  • 10
    veal seduttore says:

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

    • 10.1
      Indiana Loiterer III says:

      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).

    • 10.2
      ianw2 says:

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

  • 11
    veal seduttore says:

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

    • 11.1
      La Cieca says:

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

    • 11.2
      manou says:

      Radiant Pogostick -- nice moniker for a Parterre poster.

    • 11.4
      kashania says:

      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.

  • 12
    irontongue says:

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

  • 13
    fidelio101 says:

    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!

    • 13.1
      Camille says:

      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?

      • 13.1.1
        fidelio101 says:

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

          tatiana says:

          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 says:

          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)

          • Ruxxy says:

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

  • 14
    brooklynpunk says:

    “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..!

    • 14.1
      Uninvolved Bystander says:

      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.

  • 15
    louannd says:

    I hope MK gets well very soon.

  • 16
    Constantine A. Papas says:

    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.

    • 16.1
      Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      A real countess.

    • 16.2
      Alto says:

      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.

  • 17
    jimupde says:

    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.

    • 17.1
      justanothertenor says:

      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.

      • 17.1.1
        Alto says:

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

          armerjacquino says:

          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.

  • 18
    veal seduttore says:

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

  • 19
    La Cieca says:

    Mariusz to have back surgery today, Dan Wakin says.