Cher Public

Der Pelz wird fliegen

The guest soloist at the the Wiener Opernball was just introduced as “Rumäniens Antwort auf Anna Netrebko, Angela Gheorghiu.” 

Oh, wait… apparently there is more to this story!

  • MontyNostry

    It’s OK, she thinks she’s Romania’s answer to Maria Callas.

    • mrmyster

      You know, maybe she is Romania’s answer to Maria Callas — and
      Queen Louise, too! Do you all know the story of Q. L.? I don’t know
      why Previn hasn’t opera-ized it. AG could take the title role with the
      greatest of ease.
      I actually like AG quite a bit; she’s musically solid, and when not
      over-reaching vocally (Tosca), still a pretty good singer. However
      it’s nice that Alagna has to ‘husband’ her — no job for any man
      less than a stalwart tenor :)

      • MontyNostry

        Is that Queen Louise aka Duchess Luise Auguste Wilhelmine Amalie von Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Thank you Wikipedia)?

        • mrmyster

          Yep Monty, the very one. And what a story
          she has -- funds-raising in the USA in the
          1920s etc., and it seems few of the funds
          (intended for the underprivileged), ever met
          their stated recipients. Very dramatic situation.
          Cries out for operatic treatment, and oh!
          the costuming possibilities. Ideal material
          for the ‘gay gene’ to exercise its talent, but
          the composer should have been Bernstein,
          not Previn.

          • grimoaldo

            Shome mishtake, surely.

            The Queen Louise referenced by Monty is “Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Luise Auguste Wilhelmine Amalie; 10 March 1776 – 19 July 1810) was Queen consort of Prussia as the wife of King Frederick William III. The couple’s happy, though short-lived, marriage produced nine children, including the future monarchs Frederick William IV of Prussia and German Emperor Wilhelm I.
            Her legacy became cemented after her extraordinary 1806 meeting with French Emperor Napoleon I at Tilsit – she met with the emperor to plead unsuccessfully for favorable terms after Prussia’s disastrous losses in the Napoleonic Wars. Already well-loved by her subjects, their meeting led Louise to become revered as “the soul of national virtue”. Her early death at the age of thirty-four “preserved her youth in the memory of posterity”, and caused Napoleon to reportedly remark the king “has lost his best minister”.

            I thought you meant her too, might make a good opera, yes, I can see that. But as this pretty young Queen died in 1810 she cannot have been fund-raising in the 1920’s so who can you mean?
            You must be referring to Queen Louise of Sweden( born Princess Louise of Battenberg, which was changed to Mountbatten during WW1),1889 -- 1965, who did indeed visit the US in the 1920’s but I do not know what fund-raising you are talking about, sounds like balderdash to me and please tell me what about her long and rather uneventful life would make a good subject for an opera?

          • grimoaldo

            In fact the most interesting thing I ever heard about Queen Louise of Sweden was that on her frequent visits to London she would stay at the Hyde Park Hotel and go, by herself, shopping at Harrods, walking the shortish distance there. This is a type of behaviour her British royal relatives found bizarre in the extreme as they never stay anywhere but palaces and are attended by ladies in waiting, detectives, bodyguards, flunkies, wherever they go. They were worried that she might get run over by a bus crossing the busy roads around there and as she was Queen she had no ID or passport (they don’t, one of those royal things.) “What if you were knocked down in the street, no one would even know who you were?” they said. So she got a notecard and wrote on it “I am the Queen of Sweden” and carried it around in her handbag from then on.
            I don’t really see that as riveting stuff for an opera libretto though.

          • brooklynpunk

            Mrmyster’s mention of Andre Previn reminded me……

            REST IN PEACE, DORY PREVIN…..

            …who had a profound effect on my angst-filled late teens and early 20’s…
            ( and made it impossible for me ever to think of Mia Farrow, without HISSING…!)

          • A. Poggia Turra

            brooklynpunk -- I too was an admirer of Ms. Previn’s songs -- my favorite was “Jesus Was A Androgyne”

          • WindyCityOperaman

            Dory Previn was also the lyricist for two of my favorite songs:


            A troubled and talented woman. RIP.

          • Regina delle fate

            Typical Scandinavian royals! Queen Margarethe of Denmark, an avid Wagnerian and balletomane, often comes icognito for shopping and a bit of opera/ballet to London. I was in a half-empty restaurant near Covent Garden one night when a group of five men and two women arrived, but the the men sat at seperate tables. When I asked the maitre d what that was all about he said “Oh that’s Queen Margarethe and her lasy-in-waiting -- and those are the security bods.”

          • A. Poggia Turra

            Regina -- I was told by a friend of mine who was working in a production at the old house (pre-2005) that Queen Margarethe is also an avid fan of Richard Strauss. During a run of Rosenkavaliers, she attended five of the seven performances.

          • brooklynpunk

            Windy City:

            THANK YOU for finding the “theme-song” title track from “Valley of the Dolls”, which Andre Previn wrote the music, and his (THEN) wife Dory wrote the lyrics for…I was looking fer that…and glad you found it…!

            Dory really did have a tremendous influence on my moods , in my late teens.. or, perhaps..it was just the fact that I was CONTANTLY STONED….??

        • Bianca Castafiore

          Is she for whom the bird-of-paradise flower is named (Strelitzia)?

          • grimoaldo

            No. “The genus is named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom.”
            “Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (19 May 1744 – 17 November 1818) was the Queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George III.Queen Charlotte was a patroness of the arts, known to Johann Christian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, among others. She was also an amateur botanist who helped expand Kew Gardens.”

            Also quite an interesting person who seems to have had some, I would say Africa-American but she was not American so I will say black, ancestry. Her, what was called at the time, “mulatto” appearance was often remarked on at the time and is very striking in many portraits at Buckingham Palace.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_of_Mecklenburg-Strelitz

            Don’t get me started on my old queens, folks, I know all about ’em.

          • Camille

            Bianca you have to put a notecard in your handbag that says “I an the Queen of Milano”.

            As Desdemona said, “Buona notte”.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Margarethe also saw the Holten Ring twice I believe and perhaps also a few extra Walküren as well. She talks about it in the extras on the Copenhagen Ring. Good for her. Merkel goes to Bayreuth every summer and not just for the opening. Last year on her way to hiking in Südtirol she stopped off in Salzburg for the Generalprobe of FroSch. She didnt want to cause all the attention if she would have gone to a regular performance and we certainly know from her she is glad if she doesnt have to wear an evening dress. Prince Charles also goes to Salzburg and Bayreuth and unlike the Queen likes the operas. The Queen attended a Gala Rosenkavalier at the Nationaltheater once but once had the feeling she would have prefered to be with her dogs or horses.

          • Bianca Castafiore

            grimy, the Wikipedia entry says any African ancestry is all conjecture.

      • Cocky Kurwenal

        I think she’s better than pretty good, and I also think she’s a brilliant Tosca.

        • Regina delle fate

          She’s a brilliant Tosca on record and possibly ins Kino. At Covent Garden she was all but inaudible when I went.

      • brooklynpunk
    • Clita del Toro

      Monty LOL

  • bob villa

    I guess I’ll do the honors . . .

    After it became public, that the Russian Soprano is listed in as a supporter for the Vladimir Putins latest election campaign, Anna Netrebko abruptly cancelled her participation at the Vienna Opera Ball.

    According to Austrian Press reports, the soprano prefers to stay in New York to rehearse at the Metropolitan Opera House. On February 19th she is supposed to sing in Moscow at the Grand Hall. Whether she is performing for Vladimir Putin is not yet known. Ms. Netrebko, however, does not want to talk about her support for Putin’s campaign. The list is made up of 499 names of known (trusted) supporters of Putin.

    • Thank you very much. SOOO much better than the Google.:)

      • bob villa

        I am happy to help :)

      • mrmyster

        Alors, who needs page 8?:)

    • quoth the maven

      Does anyone find it worthy of note that AN supports that murderous creep Putin?

      • brooklynpunk

        Quoth:

        It SHOULD--(AND IS) BE VERY NOTE-WORTHY, of course…

        AND.. the Press and Arts blogs are ACTUALLY full of this story…

        I THINK…unless Anna N is VERY CAREFUL in the way she is connected to this THUG (Putin).. this COULD really backfire against her career… or at least her popularity…in a big way….

        • brooklynpunk

          … IT HAS, AS A MATTER OF FACT.. made me decide not to seek her out, in live performance… as much as I respect her vocal gifts…

          • Clita del Toro

            As I am not a big fan, no problem for me. I do not seek her out and will not seek her out. She will sing Mimi here in Chicago next year--how nice--and who cares?

      • Feldmarschallin

        I dont think she is the brightest bulb in the box. She doesn’t come across as being an intellectual. But even she must have somehow heard that Russia and China were the two countries who vetoed sanctions against Syria and have Assad cover so he could murder more and even make it look half-way legal. An end to his torture regime cannot come soon enough.

        • quoth the maven

          Actually, I’ve heard she’s quite sharp and engaged. Which makes this news that much more perplexing and upsetting.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Like the time she said she likes to get really drunk and she also loves to shop? I am sure almost everybody has gotten completely drunk at one point in his or her life but it is not something to boast about and certainly not as a celebrity. And there were many opera singers before her who were impeccebily dressed but one never heard them talk about how much they like to shop. In the documentary on Schwarzkopf for example it seems like she never wore the same evening gown twice and her jewelley collection looked pretty staggering to me as well. But never did she mention either of them. Jones was another one with amazing gowns and jewels but if you are a real diva there is no need to say how much you like to shop because the public will see it for themselves.

          • quoth the maven

            Feldmarschallin--I think we’re both working on limited evidence. Meanwhile, when it comes to diva’s personal behavior, I’d be wary of citing Betty B. as a paragon of anything.

          • MontyNostry

            For all her sins, Betty B was undeniably a fine-looking woman. She did have an enormous tuchis, though.

          • brooklynpunk

            …PERHAPS.. Betty Blackhead didn’t mention where her jewels came from that often, as they MIGHT have been obtained by rather dubious means, eh?…

          • MontyNostry

            I met Betty a few times in her retirement years and tried not to think about what she might or might not have done in the earlier stages of her career. But what I can say with certainty is that the emerald ring she wore was bloody enormous.

          • iltenoredigrazia

            Feld, Tebaldi admitted liking to shop. I remember her once talking about she and Callas going shopping together, obviously before the trip to Buenos Aires. Supposedly Tebaldi gave hints to Callas on how on makeup, etc.

            I sort of remember Caballe also talking about going shopping in New York.

      • Bianca Castafiore

        Well, should we boycott Susan Graham as well for supporting that war criminal GW Bush?

        • quoth the maven

          It certainly made me think less of her.

  • Bianca Castafiore

    Can someone translate the article? Merci.

    • armerjacquino

      Bianca, cara, bob villa’s post *is* a translation of the article.

      • Bianca Castafiore

        I didn’t realize it was so short… Mille grazie, aj.

        • Bianca Castafiore

          Ok, I’m gonna try not to let the politics get into my opinion of this singer…

          • Clita del Toro

            I am.

          • Regina delle fate

            Anna was looking plumpissima and ever more Babushka-like at the back of the stalls for Erwin’s prima in Don Giovanni at Covent Garden last night. I wish the Donna Anna -- the worthy but screechy Carmela Remigio -- has been taken sick and Nebs had come to the rescue. Hubby’s been spending lots of the gym but this time he didn’t throw wine all over his loose pants so that we could see what was inside them. Kate Lindsey’s debut made me think of the reactions to Mojca Erdmann’s Z at the Met, though she wasn’t inaudible. She was miles better than the Greek lady who preceded her, however. Even Pavol B sounded a bit gauzy….and don’t get me on to the conductor. They need to bin the Zambello production and get some stars into the cast.

        • aulus agerius

          Famous Last Words, BC……LOL

  • Gualtier M

    Okay who did Richard Lugner take has his date this year? One of the Kardashians? Nerva Nelli? Marshiemark II? Maybe Angela herself?

    • Nerva Nelli

      Fuck off, Miss Thang-- you’re just jealous because I attend every year with Bjorn Casapietra.

      • Bianca Castafiore

        Well, that’ll come in handy when the toilets overflow in Vienna…

        (ducking)

        ;-p

        • Camille

          Bianca, girl, you had BETTER duck, as Nerva’s gonna get you!

          She’s been seen in a dark alley with Sparafucil, plotting, waving bags of golden ducats in his face, SO…I would tread lightly.

          How is your vocalising going these days? Still using ‘Ah, je ris!, or do you also use ‘Dis-moi que je suis belle, et que je serai BELLE, eternellement’? Good one, ‘dat.

          Bonne nuit. I am a little sick with respiratory woes so I have to stop the madness, right HERE.

          BFF,
          Camilletta

  • m. croche

    Perhaps it’s time to pull the Josef Haslinger thriller off the shelf again…

    http://www.amazon.com/Opernball-German-Josef-Haslinger/dp/3596135915/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329436822&sr=8-1

  • Some of the ugliest dresses I’ve ever seen, but Angie’s dress begs for more clever descriptions than I can come up with:

    http://tinyurl.com/7zzxc8t

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • mrmyster

    My apology on ‘Queen Louise of Romania’ — obviously I meant Queen Marie of
    Romania. Sorry about that mis-print of the royal name. Everything else I wrote
    was on target — all the fund raising dinners and meetings across the USA. There
    is a vast literature on this. Just go to Google or Bing and write in Queen Marie of Roumania the there it will unfold. I don’t know why I wrote Louise! Maybe I
    had “Depuis le jour…” running thru my so-called brain! :)

    • oedipe

      I think this is the Queen Marie you meant, mrmyster: here she is together with King Ferdinand of Romania, and their son Carol II, who became legendary for…being oversexed and having a lot of scandalous liaisons. King Michael of Romania is the son of Carol II.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Prince_Carol%2C_King_Ferdinand_and_Queen_Maria_of_Romania.jpg

      Ange seems to prefer royals to political thugs. Here she is, in the company of King Michael of Romania and his son-in-law.

      http://upload.is.free.fr/img.php?img=9c7hhaa6.jpg

      • Regina delle fate

        Um -- she used to be a big fan of Ceaucescu, I recall. Didn’t she put a Romanian song into one of her first Decca albums because it was the dictatorial old thug’s favourite? I remember thinking at the time that that remark might come back to haunt her. Unless it was a rare example of Ange’s irony!

        • oedipe

          Really? Do you think performing artists had a choice at the time of the Ceausescu’s?

          • MontyNostry

            But didn’t she make her Decca album after Ceaucescu was dead? She didn’t have to worry about keeping him happy by that point.

          • oedipe

            C’mon Monty, NOBODY with even a drop of common sense would have paid respect to Ceausescu after his death, even his children disavowed him! It would have been as if a German artist had paid respect to Hitler right after the war.
            Maybe the album was recorded several years before it was issued.

        • MontyNostry

          Irony? Probably pragmatism.

      • mrmyster

        Yup Oedipe, see above.
        Thank you.

    • Regina delle fate

      Haha Mrmyster -- what a can of worms you’ve opened now!

    • grimoaldo

      Ah. Thanks for clearing that up. There were quite a few old Queens named Louise so it was rather confusing.

  • cosmodimontevergine

    Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
    A medley of extemporanea;
    And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
    And I am Marie of Romania.

    Dorothy Parker

  • tannengrin

    Considering Angie’s reputation, she may change the programming to do some Salome (not quite her fach, I know) at the Ball, presenting the head of whoever originated that quote on a silver platter, lovingly decorated with some schlag and Mozartkugeln.

  • Clita del Toro

    Anna’s latest recording.

    • oedipe

      • Clita del Toro

        LOLOL They are singing, “We love Putin!”

      • You can pull them in half and there’s a smaller version inside each one!

  • Regina delle fate

    Oedipe/Monty -- re Ange and Ceaucescu. The dictator died in 1989, and the album of opera arias by Verdi, Massenet, Catalani, Bellini, Puccini, Boito, Gounod and Donizetti, ending, oddly, with a song from a Romanian operetta, by Grigoriu, was recorded in 1995. But I was reporting gossip rather than an interview, as I mistakenly posted. I was told the “Ceaucescu’s favourite song” story by someone who worked on the record. But it may have been a joke, I suppose. Apologies.