Cher Public


La Cieca (pictured, right) would like to take this opportunity before jumping on this afternoon’s Aïda chat to address a site issue or two.

The problem with the links in the “recent comments” section not going to the correct comment is a known issue, and the hard-working parterre tech myrmidons are trying to find a workaround. In the meantime, please note that if you go to the comments feed page and find the relevant comment there, the link provided on that page will, in fact, send you to the proper place in the comments thread.

Moving forward, we will try to find a way to link correctly from the Recents Comments items, though to tell the truth this functionality is not something WordPress seems very eager to provide. (The former plugin we were using to generate the Recent Comments was apparently defective and seemed to be causing the slowdowns and crashes you remember from the early of this year.)

We’ll get the “next post/previous post” links back shortly.

Now, on another subject, La Cieca is seeking a regular and reliable parterrian who a) is already planning to see Monday night’s Met performance of L’elisir d’amore and b) is confident he or she can write and file a review of this performance by noon on Tuesday. Anyone interested should email La Cieca at their earliest convenience.

  • Clita del Toro

    I am anxious to hear from someone who heard Latonia in the house.

    • prettygirl

      I was so happy to be there today. She sounded beautiful in the house. Ritorna was very solid. Her bottom-chest/mix is really something. Her breathing was a bit high so there was a bit of urgency on her part to get off of phrases-seemed like some nerves hit her at O Patria Mia (don’t blame her at all).

      She looks like Shirley from Community-adorable.

      I don’t mind Giordani. He looked quite soldier-ly today in his garb and they made a nice physical contrast. She seems quite little next to him. And whatever one can say about his singing-he was very gracious to her and gave her much love at the curtain call.

  • Constantine A. Papas

    From the svelties- Fleming, Gheorghiu, Netrebko- we’ve come to the hefties-Moore, Meade. Does it make any difference? Absolutely none. Moore rocked; and she sounded glorious on Sirius. What a voice! Hope, she becomes one of the regulars at he Met. Giordani, as the performance went on, improved, and he sounded serviceable in the tomb scene. That’s the impression of a commoner. Now, I’m waiting to hear from the patricians, especially from those who were in the house.

    • brooklyndivo

      The voice is really something and I hope as most of us that she becomes a regular at the Met especially singing Un Ballo. I’ve suffered through Mattila in Tosca and Manon Lecaust and Latonia has this role under her belt and sings it like it’s honey. No more cover duties for her I hope. I hope as they did with Angela Meade they start offering Latonia real roles as she has the goods. I think as most artist mature in roles the shortness in phrases will cease as they did with Price and other top singers. This was the best Aida I’ve heard at the Met since Price, Mitchell, Millo and Michele Crider.

    • casualoperafan

      Tangent and not to be snarky, but Ms. N started out as a svelte but is one no more.

      Not a heft but definitely not svelte anymore

    • Feldmarschallin

      I think it was years ago where one could say Netrebko was svelte. Quite plump and matronly looking is more accurate today.

      • DurfortDM

        Not svelte but not exactly large and somewhat plump. Its not a matter of weight per se but rather her inability to carry it, proportion and, to say the least some poor and amazingly unflattering wardrobe selections. Don’t know too much about these things but I have some sense of when a woman looks good in a dress. Even now one will occasionally see Trebs accoutered in an elegant and becoming fashion. That one sees this so rarely is disturbing.

    • DurfortDM

      I think you have to take these ladies as they are. I’m not sure what, precisely, it means to say that it “makes no difference whatsoever” but , obviously, one can’t deny that the three ladies you cite had (have, in some cases) tremendous vocal talent, which were they each 30,40,50 pound heavier should not have kept them from any major stage in the world. It might have impacted their rise to real “stardom”, to an extent, but not their claim to be on these stages.

      By contrast, it is rather appalling that Nadja Michael finds herself anywhere near such stages (and that on a constant basis). Here there can be no question that it is here look and physique that places here there and while here popularity is undoubted one can indeed find this less than satisfying.

      This is all the more the case for me because I don’t find her particularly attractive, wheres I find the vocally far FAR superior Tatjana Serjan to be much much more so. A fine Verdi soprano who should and to some extent is in demand by the major houses in Europe.

      The tricky part is when one has to choose whether to cast a Latonia or a Serjan. On the one hand the former’s Aida yesterday was not only gloriously sung but gloriously performed, she is an attractive and apparently very intelligent and appealing young woman (she’s younger than me by a couple or 4 years) and on the other I find Serjan especially attractive and more than vocally adequate. So I don’t know. If forced to choose I really don’t know which way I would go. I would really need to see and hear both ladies perform multiple times before I could make up my mind. I suspect that my preference would end up going to Latonia but I really would like to conduct the investigation more thoroughly.

      In any even I hope the choice will not have to be made. If I were Pete Gelb, Nicky Bachler, Dom Meyer or Steve Lissner I’d have both frequent my establishment on a regular basis. As a fan I hope to here and see both ladies often.

  • DonCarloFanatic

    Unless someone’s report a couple of weeks ago is incorrect, Netrebko is not among the svelties anymore.

    I haven’t seen Meade act, or Moore, and that’s more significant than size. Marilyn Horne could make you believe men would fall at her feet.

    • Camille

      Many a stout-hearted man fell on the battle ground under the command of GENERAL HORNE.

  • Camille

    I just wanted to say how sorry I am you’ve been having all these problems with the site. If I had any knowledge of how these things worked, I would offer to help, but I am hoping instead that someone out there who does, WILL help you out. It all must be very time-consuming and cage-ratt;omg. so since I am not able to help out, at least I will not complain to you.

    Here’s hoping an angel will appear soon to clear away the clouds.

    Camille Beauchamps

    • papopera

      they are not problems, they seem to be ” issues ” !!

    • kennedet

      Thanks for stating my feelings also Camille. What this website offers is much more important than a few technical problems. Whatever you do…don’t stop this valuable chance to dialogue, disagree, agree, complain,celebrate, etc. Parterre box is very impotant to all who participate. Thanks for all you do, La Cieca.

  • steveac10

    The whole Gelb only promotes skinny girls canard really should die soon. Hell, the “big” girls prominent on the Met roster (and there’s more than a handful)can barely get a concert gig with the major European houses -- where there really does seem to be a marked weight bias. Look at Blythe. She’s unquestionably one of Gelb’s stars. When not at the Met, she appears to be on vacation. She shows a grand total of 2 non Met performances in 2012 on Operabase -- both as Azucena in Berlin.

    • oedipe

      Aside from size -which is, undoubtedly, an issue with most major European opera houses- Blythe corresponds much more to American than to European tastes on another, more important level: Europeans tend to dislike the loud-and-louder style that Blythe and the American audience favor.

      • papopera

        another “issue” ? its a mania !

  • phoenix

    Did anyone listen to anything else today except ‘Aida’ and if so, do they have any other performance to except that apparently stupendous Aida at the Met?
    -> I listened to Guillume Tell from Staatstheater Nürnberg on Bayerischn Rundfunk. It was the most bizarre rendition of Tell I have ever heard, so I intend to remove the internet glitches in my recording and hopefully archive it just for that very reason.
    -> French mélodies & chœurs(I recognized some by Berlioz) punctured by repetitions from different sections of the famous overture kept popping up apparently out of nowhere during Acts 3 through 5. I heard a great deal more of the ballet (albeit in separated sections) than I usually do in modern performances of this work from small theaters like Nürnberg. According to Announcer this afternoon, the production was ‘moved up’ in time & place from 14th century Altdorf, Schweiz to Paris during the Terror of the French Revolution -- Announcer explained that the French Revolution was one of the major inspirations for Schiller’s famous 1804-05 play upon which Rossini’s opera is based. Announcer also informed us that Mathilde (very admirably sung by Canadian Leah Gordon -- Bravo Toronto -- a true lyric-coloratura with an emphasis on the lyric, something I was overjoyed to hear since I hadn’t heard much of it recently) was elaborately costumed in Queen Marie Antoinette styled outfits. We were also informed that some of the charcters were guillotined at certain points toward the end of the opera; I don’t know whether Mathilde made it or not, but Announcer informed us ahead of time that the singers who didn’t make it through the Revolution would be projected on a video screen from Heaven up near the proscenium so they could still participate in the great C-Major Concertante finale that closes this magnificant masterpiece.
    -> Did you ever?

    • phoenix

      You are very, very welcome!
      -> And many thanks to you, too! I am so glad someone else tuned it in since it was certainly worth it and, for the most part, it was an excellent musical performance, among the best I’ve heard from that theater.
      -> According to Announcer, Claudia Braun (not Michaela Maria Mayer, as advertised on sang Jemmy in this performance. The remainder of the cast spoken by Announcer was the same as that listed on
      -> You know we all have our personal preferences in performing style. I am more than willing to overlook a staging I don’t quite understand or agree with as a tradeoff for a great musical performance … since the latter is much less common than the former, in actuality I don’t care where or how they set these things if the musical values become manifestly admirable as the performance proceeds. But I do understand that there are individuals (such as that superficial rag doll known as Unfaithful Zerbinetta), who are willing to do just the opposite: overlook abysmal musical performance in order to give a free ride to a great, nay, monumental stage production.
      -> In Tell yesterday, with the exception of Taehyun Jun regaling us with his warming up exercises as Leuthold in Act 1, I found a performance as interesting and even more creative than the Proms’ Tell with his Highness (I forgot exactly what title they gave him) Pappano, who is a great conductor for sure.
      -> The greatest handicap of this broadcast was the unequal and quite-often far too distant miking. The evolving set and stage action (placing the singers all over the place and rarely in front of a mike) were noisy much of the time, adding to the audial maze one had to pierce through.
      -> Star Jewel in the Crown of this performance IMO was conductor Guido Johannes Rumstadt. I previously heard him conduct a very good Meistersinger, but yesterday’s Tell was exceptional -> the tempi brilliantly secured ALL THROUGH the performance.
      -> Martin Berner as Tell was extremely musical & sounded like a singer in his prime; unlike many presentday senior citizen William Tells, Berner was plausibly in his prime so that he could have a young son like Jemmy (the very pretty sounding, soft-toned, lyrical Claudia Braun).
      -> Leah Gordon as Mathilde sang her entrance aria in Act 2 for Heaven, but she had a bit of dropout in the duet that follows with Arnold -- during the sections with the fiendishly difficult low-reaching cadenzas of coloratura. Once she warmed up her performance was both memorable & exemplary. Her singing of the duet at the beginning of Act 3 with Arnold was probably the best I’ve ever heard that piece of music performed. However, she does not have a big voice, and that may save her for awhile from the tortuous caverns of such operahouses as the Met.
      -> Uwe Stickert is Germany’s bel canto answer to Klaus Florian Vogt. I must admit I think that technique works just as good or perhaps even sometimes better in bel canto as it does in lyric Wagner. Stickert sounded very youthful -- just as I would imagine Arnold to be. He sang qute well and was not noticeably off-pitch anyplace, not even in his treacherous aria & cabaletta. It appeared that this performance was vocally-dramatically cast with the texture of the singer’s voices as the prime consideration (and not their publicity agent’s clout).

      • A. Poggia Turra

        phoenix, first off, thank you so much for your review/report.

        In your first post, you talked about the insertion of parts of the overture and of some non-Rossini music. The only thing I can think of that resembles that is the Grand Duchesse that Theater Basel did a couple of years ago (I saw the Arte telecast via YouTube). Marthaler really deconstructed the piece, and stirred in a lot of non-Offenbach music. A little bit of a shame, as Ann Sophie von Otter was the Duchesse and Norman Reinhart was a very good Fritz.

        In your second section, you mentioned Uwe Stickert. The name rang a bell, and I verified that I had heard him in May 2005, as Rodrigo in the Rossini Otello at Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar. My memory is foggy, but I recall a very young, stocky singer who gave a very promising portrayl. I remember thinking that once he cleaned up his runs (a little smudged in 2005) and grew more confident as an actor, he could have much success. It’s wonderful to hear that the early promise has cpme to fruition.

        • phoenix

          Poggia, you are far more fortunate than I as regards the Rossini operas. Only in my later years did I become interested in them, and really only found the tragedies (particularly the ones he wrote for the Spanish singer Isabel Colbrandt) and of course Guillaume Tell, fascinating. But! alas! from fascination it gradually progressed to fanatacism.
          -> I wouldn’t quite label yesterday’s Tell as a ‘deconstruction’; Rossini’s masterpiece is too solid & powerful to be brought down by a few ditties thrown in here or there. The first 2 acts were played out pretty much as written; it was only beginning in Act 3 forward the non-Rossinian pastiche became manifest. I suspect conductor Rumstadt was obliged to agree to this sort of a potpourri sectionalization by an ever so gallant but galvanizing production team from the Staatstheater Nürnberg; such production teams tend to be even more powerful in Deutschland than here.
          -> All the more amazing was Rumstadt’s conducting of Rossini’s actual score, as well as his idiomatic renditions of the Berlioz mélodies (the only pastiche additions I knew). The additions did not really take up that much of the performing time and they never interfered with Rumstadt’s unbroken unified vision of the work as a complete musical entity.
          --> Someting I wasn’t aware of: Found the following advertisement for the annual summer presentation of Schiller’s William Tell at Interlaken:

  • I was in house and agree with the raves. Yes, a few choppy phrases from nerves, but a terrific instrument and very accomplished musicality. A fan is born! (Well, confirmed. Loved her in Edgar.)

    • mia apulia

      I was not there, only at home with my dear radio (certainly dear since it brought me today’s broadcast). When I heard/saw Moore in person as Aïda a couple years ago I don’t remember her having had the short phrase issue she had today and one can certainly imagine and hope it was just nerves. I too hope we can hear more of her in a variety of roles congenial to her and her growth. I would imagine that after today she’ll have to be damn careful not to let “them” (at the Met or elsewhere)burn her out with too much too soon. We need her around for a long time.

  • casualoperafan

    On Sirius the soprano sounded more than promising! I would buy a ticket to hear her live in suitable rep and wish her all the best. Hope this gig gives a little rocket launch to her career.

  • Well I will be at Elisir tomorrow night. Anyone else going?

  • Feldmarschallin

    Hi Ivy, I am not going but La Cieca is looking for someone to review the performance. Perhaps you are interested? Check in with her since I don’t know if she found someone already.

  • m. croche

    OT, but…

    It’s a good day for Anna Netrebko -- Putin wins the election with 61 percent of the vote.

    • DurfortDM

      61%, huh? A well chosen number. Convincing yet, given the conditions, almost plausible. If all those people looking for a fair election outcome are dissatisfied with this judicious selection they are indeed hard to please.

  • Clita del Toro

    OT: Eaglen in Met Götterdämmerung, 2000, on Sirius. I saw her in the Ring twice, once at the Met and once at LOC. I thought that her Met Gott. Brunnie was the best had I heard from her: it was excellent and pretty exciting. I also sawyer Isolde with Heppner.

    Her LOC brunnies were not good.

    Now listening to her in the scene with Gunther/Siegfried, I have to say (never thought I’d say this) she is very good, aamof, much better than Voigt in this opera, both vocally and dramatically. Act II coming up.

    • reedroom

      Yes, Clita, I agree--once upon a time she had the goods. She did several Rings here in Seattle, as well as her first ever Isolde with Heppner in his salad days. she has/had a long history with this company (made her US debut in Norma, I was in the pit!). Exciting voice but rather boring dramatically, IMO.

      Voigt could have been great in those hoch-dramatisch parts but sadly the voice is ruined now.

      • Will

        As a veteran of three Eaglen Ring Cycles And her early-U.S. career act 3 of Gotterdammerung with the Boston Symphony, I can say that in all three Ring Cycles, Gotterdammerung was her best Brunnhilde. She was more animated and more dramatically involved than with either of the other Brunnhildes. Vocally, however, she never equaled the Boston Act 3, which amounts to the Immolation with a few lines to warm up on.

        There’s a 1986 BBC TV series called Lost Empires that includes a Music Hall scene in which a young and relatively svelte Jane Eaglen knocks out an impressive “Rule, Britannia!”

        For what it is worth, I thought Voigt’s Gotterdammerung was significantly better than her Walkure or particularly her Siegfried, at east in the performances of each that I attended.

        • Clita del Toro

          I totally agree about Gott. being her best of the three. She really got quite animated in Act II, and I think it was Gunther she pushed and almost knocked him over LOL

          Btw, just heard her Immolation--excellent!

          • Clita del Toro

            Or, it could have been Siegfried. But it gave me a chuckle.

          • derschatzgabber

            I saw several Eaglen Ring Cycles in SF and Seattle, and agree that Gotterdamerung was the Ring opera that brought out the best in her. I was also very impressed with her first run as Isolde in Seattle (much better than her singing on the MET DVD).

            I was looking for old articles on the current Seattle Ring production, which featured Eaglen for the first couple of presentations, and came across this article in the Seattle Stranger (a local weekly). What do others think of this author’s take on Eaglen’s voice?

            “Question: Jane Eaglen is supposed to be one of the great living sopranos. She’s sung Brünnhilde for Seattle Opera’s world-famous Ring Cycle since, like, forever. But she isn’t on the cast list the opera just sent out for its 2009 Ring. What’s the deal? Is anyone shocked by an Eaglen-free Ring?

            Answer: In a word—whether you hear it from gossipy opera queens or vocal technique experts—no. Jane Eaglen has become a sad symbol of excess and ignorance in the opera world, a casualty of bad thinking about bodies and voices.

            The increasing pressure for perfection in opera has had plenty of mainstream press. There was soprano Deborah Voigt’s gastric- bypass surgery, tenor Jerry Hadley’s suicide, and reports of drug abuse—steroids, cocaine, opiates—to cope with overextended schedules and demand for “star quality” (read: hot bods). Opera is an increasingly image-conscious industry, and Jane Eaglen’s is a name that conjures a certain size as well as a certain voice.

            Even by passé fat-opera-lady standards, Eaglen’s girth is problematic. It limits choices for directors (she gets winded just walking on stage) and puts unnecessary strain on her body, which compromises her singing.

            Seattle Opera General Manager Speight Jenkins said in a Seattle Times interview that the decision to recast Brünnhilde was not based on Eaglen’s weight but just “to make a change.” So, we’re left to infer, her voice is the problem—except that Janice Baird, the thin soprano chosen to replace Eaglen, has a voice that is uneven, uninspiring, and blowsy, and not any better-equipped for the challenges of the role.

            More importantly, Eaglen’s voice has shown signs of wear for some time; hints of ungainliness have been ignored for over a decade.

            Eaglen simply isn’t a dramatic Wagnerian soprano. She never built her lower register, which is key to having a full and beautiful voice. Even her upper notes are becoming erratic and pinched. At best, hers is a lyric soprano, pushed to its outer limits. Nature cannot be undone, and it will invariably humiliate those who try to work outside its laws.

            It isn’t just Eaglen, though—the late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen a boom in singers who can negotiate the florid writing in baroque, classical, and bel canto opera, but a steep decline in the quality of dramatic Wagnerian and verismo singers. There are several reasons why: impetuous young careerists who fly all over the globe and stretch their voices thin, the decline of critical listening and quality training, and the anatomy of current beauty standards—casting tends to favor small, pretty women with small, pretty features that which often correlate with small, pretty voices that are completely unsuitable for stentorian sounds. (Ironically, this is also a problem for Eaglen: For all her girth, her throat and facial structure are average sized.)

            The mystery isn’t so much why Eaglen was cut from the 2009 Ring, but how she got this far in the first place.

            It was a series of fortunate events: Seattle Opera launched her into divadom with her American debut in Norma in 1994; she sang on the Sense and Sensibility soundtrack in 1995; critics raved about her first Brünnhilde in Chicago in 1996, which, of course, caused a stir. The opera world had been looking for a new Brünnhilde since Birgit Nilsson, the last of the great dramatic sopranos, retired in 1984. In recordings from the early to mid ’90s, Eaglen’s voice isn’t great but it does the job. She became, wrongly, the new It Girl of the dramatic soprano repertoire.

            Now the masquerade is over and Eaglen finds herself in a peculiar spot: a major artist whose body and voice have been pushed beyond their capabilities and usefulness to the stage. Eaglen is getting less work—her schedule lists nothing at the Met and just a few regional houses and concerts—and has devoted more time to teaching at the University of Washington and Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program. Teaching is always a dignified way to bow out.

            The opera houses that have employed her in the past won’t get off so gracefully. They won’t hire her but they can’t explain why—they’re too polite to say it’s her weight, but they are not going to suffer the embarrassment of admitting they were wrong about her voice all along.

            Janie will be fine—perhaps even better off than the gals who are crazy enough to stick around in the biz. I’m waiting for someone to crack under the pressure and become opera’s first Amy Winehouse—cutting herself and shooting up in the dressing room between acts. Which is fine with me; she just better be able to sing the shit out of some Wagner when it’s her cue.”

          • grimoaldo

            derschatzgabber, the funny thing about Eaglen was that she was a much bigger, if that is not an unfortunate word to use in this case, Wagnerian star in the USA than in Britain. Covent Garden never had her as Brunnhilde or in any Wagner, I don’t think, so I never saw her live and what I did see her live in I did not enjoy much. I did not like her singing or her voice. What I have to take issue with in the article you quote, though, is this:

            “The opera world had been looking for a new Brünnhilde since Birgit Nilsson, the last of the great dramatic sopranos, retired in 1984.”

            Ha! Has this writer never heard of Dame Gwyneth Jones?
            Certainly a very great dramatic soprano and a very great Brunnhilde. Marshie would say the same of Behrens. Also I saw Anne Evans and Deborah Polaski as Brunnhilde and although they may not be what people think of as the archetypal “dramatic soprano” they were both wonderful, superb, moving and beautiful.
            Then the last line of the article hoping that a Wagnerian soprano will come along who will emulate Amy Winehouse and cut herself and shoot up in her dressing room, though an original thought, is rather unfortunate, is it not, now that Winehouse managed to destroy herself.

    • DermotMalcolm

      OT, too. Just read a review in the Guardian of Tristan und Isolde in Birmingham. Lioba Braun is much praised in it.
      Has anyone heard her live?

  • Youtube clips from yesterday’s Aida are up:

    • MontyNostry

      Indra Thomas is currently singing Aida at the Royal Albert Hall in London (amplified,sadly). Purely vocally, this is pretty impressive too, though the expression is less specific.

      • MontyNostry

        A link to Marina Schaguch as Desdemona came up alongside Indra. She might look a bit like Tony Pappano in drag, but I do like the way she sings. (Saw her once in recital in the mid-90s and thought she was destined for stardom.)

        • Camille

          After having heard la Krassimira sing it last year, I can’t hear anyone else!!

          Heard La Shaguch in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanthe about a dozen years ago and it was very, very good, indeed. Wonder what has happened?

      • OpinionatedNeophyte

        I’ve never been Indra Thomas’ biggest fan (Angela Brown either) both, to my ears, have unpleasant vibrato. Very little about the singing seems secure or genuinely warm.
        All unlike our dear Latonia. I feel as if Indra is asked to sing big dramatic soprano roles because she’s built like Jessye Norman…but maybe they are not for her.

        And dear Camille, it is wonderful to see so many warm to Latonia’s artistry, it really does beg the question, how many more deserving singers are out there who haven’t had the chance.

        • MontyNostry

          Latonia hasn’t not had a chance. It just the Met has taken a (shamefully?) long time to pick up on her. She was at AVA, she was in the Met auditions and she’s had successes around the place, including in concert in New York. Even Covent Garden, which isn’t the best house at grabbing young talent (apart from the egregious Popsy, of course!) has already cast her as Liu (2009) and Aida (2011), albeit in second casts. That Liu marked her out as a star for me, having read good things about her beforehand. Interestingly, her Turandot was Jennifer Wilson, another singer the Met has passed on to date.

        • Camille

          The important thing is, dear, that one of those singers was saved from oblivion yesterday.
          That’s something to be grateful for in the not so wonderful world of opera of today.

          This time my husband scooped me!! He had heard her sing in the Edgar and already knew of her--so has enjoyed this infrequent status and his I-told-you- so’s!!

          • MontyNostry

            Dearest Camille -- places like Covent Garden and even Hamburg and Trieste aren’t oblivion. There is life beyond the Met! But I’m delighted she has had a success at the US’s iconic house.

          • Camille

            OH NO, of course not, and that was not my implication. And thank god she had had the experience singing Aida in a house as large as Covent Garden, before this baptism by fire yesterday, for it probably saved her. Hamburg I don’t know about.

            MAH, as she is an American singer, and the Met is the most important American house, the one whose imprimatur marks an American singer out for bigger success in America -- what with the attendant publicity of the broadcasts and the HDs--shame there wasn’t one scheduled for yesterday afterall--it is very important for her career to get a break there as well. It is important to her as well, I am sure, to be known in her own country. That’s all I’m trying to say.

            What I am trying to decipher now is how, being a Councils Audition winner, she has not had more of a presence here before. Perhap she has, in a number of heart-warming roles like Vierte Magde in Elektra, or something of that nature and has gone under the radar. Or maybe I just missed her.

          • MontyNostry

            … and I even think she sang Aida even better at Covent Garden -- there wasn’t the tension around the register breaks that I sensed yesterday and the top notes and floats were freer -- but obviously there was less pressure on her in terms of both the occasion and the size of the house. I hope we still get to see her in Europe now she has had her big Met break. I somehow doubt Covent Garden has taken advantage of its slight lead in this matter. After all,who need Latonia Moore for Verdi when you can have Marina Poplavskaya (who has been announced for Hélène in Les vêpres siciliennes here, God help us!

          • Camille

            OH NOOOOOOO!!!!!! No Top Parts allowed in Les Vepres!

            I was considering hearing that one, so thanks for being my Brangaene!! Why is she such a fixture there? Has she some powerful advocate? I’m very sorry for you all to have to be repeatedly subjected to her Verdi ‘stylings’. I did like her take on the role of Elisabeth and the singing was passable there, but after that Traviata, I gave up. I cannot begin to imagine what she will make of Helene, a role that is at least twice as hard as Violetta.

            Maybe there will be a cancellation? Perhaps good old TBA, one of the best sopranos to listen to, wlll substitute instead??

          • MontyNostry

            Popsy was on the young artists’ programme at Covent Garden, so they feel some ownership of her, and presumably Pappano approves (and she makes a change from Malin Byström, I suppose).The Henri doesn’t seem to have been announced yet. If he’s going to marry her, they’d better find a tenor over 60 who can still sing a top D. Chris Merritt, maybe?

          • operalover9001

            re: the ROH Vepres: Schrott is singing Procida, I believe, and Netrebko just sang the bolero in concert with Barenboim -- hopefully she’s singing it and Popsy is in the second cast??

    • Clita del Toro

      Olivero I just listened to the clips and am now listening to yesterday’s Aida, broadcast from Alaska. I liked her O Patria mia better the second time and am ready for a third.
      Latonia sings it her way, and makes one want to hear it HER way, not Leontyne’s or Tebaldi’s. The sign of a good singer.

      • Camille

        That is just what she said in the little backstage interview, Clita, that she went deep into the character and tried to find it out for herself, rather than trying to imitate the greats of yesteryear. This pleases me greatly. She does find her own way, and evokes for me a real sense of Aida’s hopelessness and longing, which is so many times lacking. Usually, what I hear, is just a big primadonna moment. Very interesting. The little technical things will smooth themselves out, with repetition and are trivial, in comparison to what this lady notably achieved, I feel.

        Thank you so MUCH for posting, Olivero, as I missed the Ritorna vincitor yesterday and was very chagrined with myself for having done so.

        Still, I am quite amazed at this entire event, and it gladdens my old heart. Thanks again to OpNeoPhd, for having brought her name up repeatedly in conversations, saying “where is she?” Yesterday, at least, she was where she belongs.

  • Earl Koenig

    Now if only we could have Latonia Moore as Aida and Urmana as Amneris! Here’s a fairly stunning judgment scene from 2000 with Urmana as Amneris:

    These kinds of roles always brought out a measure of temperament that I find lacking in her portrayals of prima donna roles (Aida, Leonora, etc.).

    • Camille

      Wow. That was an anatema su voi the way you want one!

      Whatever possessed her to fach-hop up to Aida, when this so perfectly suited her voice, I wonder….more money, more gigs?

      Kumdry and Co. (Santuzza, Eboli, Gioconda, etc.) are one thing, but Aida is a whole different ball of wax from these others, or at least the way I hear it.

      Thans, Earl Koenig, that was a pleasure.

      • steveac10

        What else could it be besides the money? She could still be the go to Amneris, Eboli and probably even Carmen had she not decided to take the jump. She looks and sounds amazing in this clip.