Cher Public

Intermission feature

Let not the warm days of spring tempt you too far away from this week’s discussion of off-topic and general interest subject, cher public!

  • efrayer

    Intermission Feature, for your reading pleasure: Met Episodes: The Queen and I. From an opera blue blood in the know. I’m sure many of you can relate.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Happy 88th birthday contralto Hertha Töpper

    Happy 74th birthday tenor Kenneth Riegel

    Happy 47th birthday soprano Natalie Dessay

    Happy 46th birthday soprano Veronique Gens

  • manou

    In other news, Damrau is with child and will not appear in the forthcoming ROH Robert Le Diable.

    • oedipe

      Rumor has it Ciofi will be replacing her. Not too shabby.

  • I have a feeling this video will not embed -- “not listed” --

    Anyhoo, a short documentary on Rossini’s Maometto Secondo ala Ken Burns, narrated by Frederic Chaslin, who has some bold opinions about this opera. A very nice way to market this opera IMHO:


  • bluecabochon

    On PBS in NYC area tonight: RODELINDA, from the Met, at 8:30 PM EST, Great Performances, Channel 13.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Happy 69th birthday conductor John Eliot Gardiner

  • The Wistful Pelleastrian

    Hello all,

    Is there really a difference between my position on how opera should be experienced and what Jonas Kaufmann says in today’s New York Times:

    Too many directors arrive at the opera house these days knowing little or nothing about music. Most come from the spoken theater, focus only on the text and don’t understand how to give the music its space [we would have said, “give the music its due”]. It may seem obvious to you and me, but a brilliant theater director does not automatically translate into a brilliant opera director. If I am a crack racecar driver, that doesn’t qualify me to be an ace pilot as well.

    I sometimes feel that directors devise all these elaborate concepts because they don’t trust the power of the music and are terrified of boring the audience. Opera is a truly magical art, but the magic originates primarily in the music that we singers [we would have added, “and the conductor and orchestra”] work so hard to communicate

    • operalover9001

      Yes, there is a difference. Your opinion (please correct me if I’m wrong) is that all stage business and text come second to the music -- Kaufmann clearly works hard to articulate and inflect his text, and is also an excellent actor. Not the same thing.

    • And now you are on moderation.

  • zinka

    Warren was born on Apr.21, 1911 and this aria was the last thing we heard live.He passed away before our eyes on March 4, 1960 right after this aria…A GREAT SINGER!!!!!!

  • zinka

    Diana’s Met debut…See why I think she is the greatest??????????????????

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1911 baritone Leonard Warren

    Born on this day in 1920 composer and conductor Bruno Maderna

    Born on this day in 1921 mezzo-soprano Sieglinde Wagner

    Happy 73rd birthday Sister Helen Prejean

    Happy 63rd birthday diva Patti LuPone

  • bluecabochon

    Was anyone else at SIEGFRIED today? I missed the chat as I was in the house for the performance. Not much was different from my last time seeing it and the machine functioned without incident, except Jay HMo seemed to lose his footing crossing the planks in scissor mode before he got to Brunnhilde’s rock. He seemed unhurt but was extra-careful on the Machine afterward. The only person I’ve seen negotiate the machine without any (apparent) fear is Terfel, jumping across planks with ease.

    Voigt was quite shrill but she has a warm, feminine presence, and she and Jay go so well together. Jay maintained good energy throughout and only occasionally seemed overpowered by the brass. It’s a nasal tone but there is so much to love about what he does with the role that I forgive it. Terfel was commanding, but I think was in fresher voice when I last heard him this past winter. The current Forest Bird sounded muffled and it was harder to hear her (in the Grand Tier, thank you, Lord -- if ony I could sit there always) than I recall during Erdmann’s outing.

    Flame away, but there is a pinched edge to Eric Owen’s singing that just doesn’t agree with me. I’m sure that there is a musical term for it, but I don’t know what it is, and I’m frustrated by it. There is richness and volume, but also another element that grates in the higher range of his voice. Someone, help me out here. I will be hearing in the concert Salome in May and have liked him so far, but today I heard something different that bothered me. Maybe it was simply an acting choice.

    Siegel and Konig were wonderful, as usual, and Bardon again disappointed as Erda. At least none of the obsidian-like pieces of her costume fell off as she essayed her role and took her bow; usually there’s a trail of shiny fragments on the floor in her wake. What an impossible costume to negotiate, though it’s interesting idea, making her look like an element.

    Luisi led competently, I suppose, but I do miss the way Levine could bring out the score in ways that made you tingle, perhaps at the expense of the singers, but it was oh, so satisfying. I have heard Luisi conduct many times this season, but those musically transcendent moments don’t seem to happen for me, and in the Ring, that’s a problem. The horns were in better shape today, which was a plus, and I had a great view of the pit, always a good place to turn one’s attention after one has seen enough of the fluttering leaves and running water.

    The last scene between Siegfried and Brunni seemed longer than ever; maybe I have reached my maximum tolerance for this production, as it was a very long afternoon.

    Curtain calls were quite thunderous, and there was a lot of cheering and happy screaming. :)

    • brooklynpunk

      Great Review, BlueC..!!

      …we all missed ya, in the chat….!

      • bluecabochon

        Thanks, BP! I missed you all, but a girl has to get out of the house sometime (at least this girl who works at home does).

  • zinka

    Birthday Apr.22, 1935..Voice live sounded MIKED..It was phenomenal…..really a great singer..BUT stay away from recent stuff on will plotz……………..

  • zinka

    Unbearably sad to die at 41..Ferrier born Apr.22, 1912..Bless Her!

  • zinka

    In case you have been living in Fafner’s cave…and never heard this brand of fabulous singing..TOTALLY absent least in NY..Here it is: