Cher Public

Doge gone

Opera Orchestra of New York just announced that it has cancelled the March 7 opera-in-concert presentation of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. “The loss of anticipated funding has made it impossible for the company to move forward with the planned production,” said a press release.

Apparently, even the Colbert Bump can’t help OONY.

  • Clita del Toro

    Why am I not surprised??? I am soooo upset. lol

    • brooklynpunk

      Dearest Clita:

      While I understand and can appreciate your sarcasm about this particular show.. it is still sort of tragic that OONY finds itself in a situation where they have to cancel a performance with such little notice… tragic, in that it indicates something very much amiss going on with the Organization-no?

      On the other hand..WTF COULD THEY HAVE BEEN THINKING OF, when they scheduled this, in the first place….??

      • Clita del Toro

        Bklyn, I agree with you, it is sad.

      • Ed

        It is my understanding that OONY was left with no choice by Mr. Domingo. From what I was told, Domingo was to let OONY know no later than October just what opera he wished to do. He waited until Janurary to do this, and said it will be Boccanegra. OONY had no time to disagree with this, and thus went along, but was not at all happy with his choice. The inferred understanding, though not in any contract, was that Domingo would do something at least a little bit novel. Firt, OONY had no opera to advertise with Domingo. Their ads for many months read “an opera with Placido Domingo.” Seemingly, this was not enough to sell many tickets. When it finally was announced a scant 6 or 7 weeks before the date of the performance, it was too late. Tickets still didn’t sell. OONY papered like crazy, including sending free, unsolicited tickets to many. Of course, Domingo is now in a run of Boccanegra performances in LA. I believe he was to fly here for the OONY performance a day or so after his final performance of this same role in LA, rehearse exactly once, and on with the show. I further believe that his actions were infuriating to OONY. As usual, he will get off scott free. He is Domingo, and it’s the classic case of The Emperor’s New Clothes. There is nothing there any more!! He put OONY in a horrible spot by waiting so long to tell them the opera he would do, and than put them in an even worse spot when he chose Boccanegra. There is no interest here, since he sang 7 or 8 performances of this baritone role at the Met quite recently. IMHO, he is the main reason, if not the only reason, that OONY cancelled the opera due to a tremendous lack of interest and lack of ticket sales. End of story. He is Domingo. Nothing else seems to matter.

        • grimoaldo

          “As usual, he will get off scott free. He is Domingo, and it’s the classic case of The Emperor’s New Clothes. There is nothing there any more!!”

          What do you think should happen to him ( as opposed to getting off scott free?) Sued, lynched, thrown to the lions? Do you think the reason that OONY gave, “loss of anticipated funding”, is completely fictitious?

          When did this classic case of The emperor’s new clothes kick in, I wonder? Because the funny thing is that your name, “Ed”, shows up in red on this site which means that if you click on it it will link to a blog or something and in your case it links to a site called Premiere Opera which seems to offer, um, unauthorised opera recordings and DVDs for sale, including no less than 415 such items starring one Placido Domingo, many of which are of performances in the last year or two, by which time presumably “there was nothing there anymore”.

          • k0000

            Gentlemen, it’s “scot” free.

    • Belladonna

      I don’t think it’s laughable. The board has worked so very hard to keep OONY afloat these past two years. There are jobs at stake. I do not appreciate your levity about their troubles.

  • peter

    I wonder if all 3 ticket holders will get a refund.

    • Let me point out that the recent Rienzi was packed to the gills.

      • peter

        Sanford, I don’t doubt that Rienzi was packed but it’s an opera that doesn’t get performed too often. I have a feeling that Simon with Domingo was not selling too well. I imagine OONY attracts a pretty sophisticated opera goer who is interested in seeing a relatively rare work with some star singers. Domingo’s Simon, as La Cieca pointed out when this was first announced was not something that people hadn’t already had numerous chances to see. It might be a donor funding problem, but it’s more likely a lack of advanced ticket sales. You have to wonder what exactly were they thinking unless Domingo promised them some new role.

  • whatever

    no real loss here, but i can’t help but feel this does is another bad omen for the local opera scene.

    but maybe that’s an oxymoronic sentiment?

  • Bianca Castafiore

    Didn’t they get some help from Agnes Varis last year to stay afloat? I guess her gift didn’t carry them over this year?

    Too bad they don’t have more of the billionaire patrons that the Met does…

    • Belladonna

      OONY could use several more millionaire donors. Anyone out there?

  • kennedet

    So….Mr. Domingo is adding his second baritone role at the Met ie. Germont (father). I know opinions will abound on this website (pro and con) which makes it very exciting because I enjoy thought provoking and stimulating debates about opera until disagreeing makes people disagreeable. However, it certainly adds to the confusion (as i have previously stated) about voice classification and the way voice classification will be perceived in the voice studio. It’s also refreshing to learn that many of the parterre box contributors have studied or are taking voice lessons. Are we to think that Domingo is the exception because of his fame and mutli-talents? Is it another PR deed? Is he really a tenor or “pushed-up” baritone? Stay tuned.

    • MontyNostry

      … and he’s taking on Papa Foscari in LA, London and, I believe Valencia. Domingo’s Doges.

    • iltenoredigrazia

      Domingo is a tenor. His entire professional career until recently was as a tenor. Yes, like many tenors he was a baritone when he started to take singing lessons. And yes, high notes were never his forte. Nevertheless, he could manage them often quite well for a while. But he always transposed the high C arias and was not one to interpolate a high note.

      Now that he can only sing in the baritone range has shown that he does NOT sound like a baritone. That’s the problem. He distorts the balance of the voices. Just as he did when he would transpose half of Otello, etc.

      • kennedet

        Let’s agree to disagree on this one iltenoredigrazia.

        Bjoerling,Pavarotti,Kraus,Gedda were famous true tenors who to my knowledge, never began as baritones. There are numerous lyric baritones who have mastered the tenor operatic fach and have had major careers.The big problem is the subjective argument regarding timbre, which will never be resolved. As a matter of fact,the true lyric baritone (I know there are exceptions)is practically extinct in operatic literature because it has mistakenly been classified as tenor. DFD would have had much more respect from the opera community if he had been a tenor. Yes, I know it’s a controversial statement but that’s what opera websites are all about (Thank you La Cieca).

        I feel all of your statements point to the fact that he was always a baritone.

        • iltenoredigrazia

          I don’t think we are disagreeing. I’m just looking at it from a different direction. I did not base my comments about Domingo on how I, someone else, or Domingo himself would categorize his voice, but on the fact that until recently his entire professional career was singing roles usually assigned to tenors. Companies hired him as a tenor. He performed as a tenor.

          To me he has always sounded like a tenor, but that’s what I hear. Tenor or baritone, I don’t find his voice to my liking in what we usually call Verdi baritones. Just my preference, as I find the soubrette sound more agreeable for Zerlina, and a baritone rather than a bass as Don Giovanni.

          Of course, not all tenors start as baritones. Certainly not the lyric tenors. But many others think of themselves as baritones when they first start. Just as many sopranos see themselves as mezzos at the beginning. And probably the way around too. As you explained, who is what and what is what can be open to a lot of discussion. Occassionally, categorizations can be fairly clear. Yes, DiStefano and Kraus were tenors and nothing else. But so was/is Bergonzi and he actually sang baritone roles at the very beginning. I’ve read that Leonard Warren had a solid high C and often would sing Di Quella Pira for friends. Could he have had a career as a tenor if he had wanted so? IMO no, the tone was too dark for a tenor. And I’m not sure that he could have sustained the tessitura through an entire performance.

          It’s the same with the soprano / mezzo back and forths. Having high notes does not a soprano make as far as I’m concerned (Ludwig). Just like being able to sing a mezzo aria does not a mezzo make (Callas).

          • kennedet

            Thank you for the clarification. Voice production,classification,fach,roles,etc. will always be subjects for debate,thought,deliberation,etc. I’m grateful opera is an art form but sometimes if there were more definitive answers to all of these queries like we find in math and the sciences, we wouldn’t have such verbal dissension.

          • Clita del Toro

            Yeah, Simionato had a better high C than Tebaldi, but I wouldn’t want to hear her sing Aida! ;+)

  • Will

    Two things seem to be at pay here — major donor gifting and box office. If the first is drying up, I would agree it looks bad for OONY and another cancellation is not going to look attractive to potential angels.

    If the latter is involved, however, not only does it hurt OONY but it could be an indication that Placido is no longer a guaranteed box office draw.

    I just checked the site and there is no notice of the cancellation. Not only that, the casting of all other roles is still not announced, so nobody has been keeping up the site, another bad sign.

    After the first slaughter of companies at the beginning of the economic downturn, things seemed to have stabilized a bit, but 2011 has been a bad year and 2012 may not be much better. Glimmerglass has announced that it would up in the black on last season. Given the trend, that counts as a major accomplishment.

  • Wait! Does Ms. Bartoli know that Domingo is singing the Malibran version of this aria?

  • il Rogo

    Queler offered to do anything Plácido wanted. Unfortunately, he wasn’t burning to do anything new and made the easiest choice: an encore of the baritone role of Simone.
    Everyone who was at all interested has already seen it elsewhere since he’s been singing it everywhere for at least two years now. The cancellation means loss of more work for professional singers and orchestra players. Couldn’t Plácido have picked something like Boris Godunov and learned it? Boris only has 20 minutes worth of actual singing and fits Plácido’s present vocal range, if not color.

  • xcountarchosx

    This is just another case of domingo screwing over another opera company. Here’s what he did at Florida Grand Opera.

    He was supposed to sing the opening performance of Luisa Fernanda. Anyway they were selling tickets more for more than 1500 dollars a seat. So basically they put this whole thing together for him and stand to make a good amount of money doing it. However here’s the kicker. Day of the performance, a few hours before curtain, Domingo says he cannot sing. He’s “sick”. So general director comes out and tells the people he’s sick, boos boos, then Domingo tells them. However, what he’ll do is conduct. Conduct. Or rather what he calls conducting. Now obviously he’s breached his contract right? Wrong. Because of a technicality, in that he still “performed”, Domingo demanded his full fee. He didn’t say “Oh i’ll just take a quarter of it because i didn’t perform” no he took it all. On top of that, they had to issue massive refunds of ticket sales that left the company wondering of the Romeo and Juliet this year would even happen. And now next season is in jeopardy. He could easily have taken less money or let the company know more than a few hours before curtain but no. He doesn’t make enough money stealing baritone roles that good young ACTUAL baritones can sing or conducting where good REAL conductors can conduct. No he is a PARASITE. He attaches himself to whatever company he can and sucks them out of as much money as possible before moving on to the next. Why? Because he’s Placido Domingo and he can do no wrong. Companies are struggling and he’s on national television he could tell people to donate but no he’s the reason they need donations because he’s taking their money. Just wait for the day he sings Iago to Kaufmann’s Otello with some russian wobble fest as Desdemona. I mean they already have Hampson singing Iago to Cura’s otello lmfao it is going to be the absolute worst production in the history of the met. Thanks Gelb.

    • xcountarchosx

      Excuse me the second performance he was supposed to sing it was a gala.

    • kennedet

      Unbelievable Story!!! Someone should write operas about what takes place in opera companies. I have heard similar stories but not with names like Domingo. I think his status should be on stage and not in the pit or in administration. Years ago, I saw Domingo in a video in which there was a major mistake at a voice competition. He called the wrong singer out for a winning prize and had to rescind it immediately which left the singer embarassed, humiliated and angry.I agree that money is always the bottom line. This is what happens when you promote people to GOD status.

  • Porpora

    I’ve been told- and read- that a donor did not come through with a pledge of 250K. That is a matter to consider, no? Or was that the reason OONY gave to gracefully let Domingo off the hook? Whatever the case, it’s very bad press to have to cancel a performance. It doesn’t inspire anyone to give or maintain OONY.