Cher Public

  • Buster: httpv://www.youtub kPn0_gU 1:49 AM
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  • Porgy Amor: Borodina does impress me as very young-looking when I return to the video performance of the Tarkovsky Boris Godunov from... 1:15 AM
  • Poison Ivy: Olga actually has three sons. Alexei who is 29/30, Maksim and Vladimir. Those two are younger and were born in 1998 and 2002. 1:08 AM
  • LT: I didn’t know Borodina had another son in addition to the one with Ildar. Gheorghiu is one I think that is definitely older than... 1:01 AM
  • Poison Ivy: Well 40 seems a pretty reasonable age for her, given the way her career developed. But, uh, yeah, singers are still pretty... 12:23 AM
  • antikitschychick: LOL noted. But do you think she’s 45? She doesn’t look that old to me…and she said in an interview a... 11:58 PM
  • Poison Ivy: Official year + 5 is a pretty good rule of thumb regarding singers and their birth dates. 11:39 PM

None so blind item

Which mechanism devised by which Canadian theatrical savant—the subject of a full-page advertisement purchased by which fucking genius in the Sunday edition of which newspaper that publishes “all the news that’s fit to print”— well, anyway, that mechanism, remember, it malfunctioned tonight during which New York opera company’s performance of which music drama named after which Teutonic hero?  Wait, don’t guess until you’ve read what’s after the jump.  

An eyewitness reports “throughout the entire second act, the far rightmost plank… was out of position. It should have been essentially vertical, like all the rest. But it was raised about 45 degrees from vertical, sticking out toward the audience.”


  • I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  • Maury D says:

    I have given The Machine, in my innermost musings just now, the nickname Ol’ Yeller in an act of wishful thinking as to its fate.

  • Maria Malcontent says:

    Maybe they were rehearsing for Springtime for Hitler

  • bluecabochon says:

    Thank God the plank wasn’t in the center -- it would have looked as if the Machine was giving the audience the finger.

  • Camille says:

    In tonight’s Siegfried, which just now finished, Katarina Dalayman WISELY eschewed any attempt at making a grab for glory with a High C at opera’s end. Smart lady.

    Sounded pretty good in some phrases. Pretty speedy sounding conducting, fer sure.

    Thank you, BlueBaby, for the information on! Have fun at the MET!

    • Krunoslav says:

      Hey, Traubel didn’t venture those Cs, nor Flagstad either after a certain point…

      • Camille says:

        Spasibo, and Right on the button there, Mr. Krunoslav. And they sound divine, too. It doesn’t matter. And that is what I am saying, i.e., that it is far better NOT to do it than to do it and sound like a capon squawking as its head is chopped off. She did holler the OBLIGATORY C in her little arioso thingey.
        After that, Basta Roberti.

        • eric says:

          I was in the house, and surprised not to hear her final high C, particularly after she did OK on the previous several high notes in that scene (one or two C’s, and one B, I think). Why wouldn’t she do the final high C?

          I didn’t realize till now that the final high C is apparently optional. I’ve just downloaded the 1876 B. Schotts Söhne full score (from IMSLP Petrucci) and in the Brünnhilde part, both the high C and the lower one are shown. Both notes are in the same size and there’s no marking that the high C is specifically optional. But it’s clear that an option is offered.

          • Noel Dahling says:

            Thanks eric, that’s fascinating! Was puzzled by Camilles’ “grab for glory” statement. Thought the High C was not an option. Heard Modle’s met broadcast and when she omitted that final note I was like WTF?

    • bluecabochon says:

      Thanks, Camille. It was great to see you in chat. It was a small but lovely group.

  • Krunoslav says:

    Perhaps Mr. Gelb should pull a David Merrick ploy and have “ordinary people” found with the legal names “Alex Ross”, “James Jorden”, “Heidi Waleson”, “Martin Bernheimer” (etc etc ) to provide worshipful quotes about this regime-defining production.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Does Lepage even stick around for all these hours of music he obviously hates?

  • Gualtier M says:

    I was in the house. The out of place plank wasn’t really that noticeable. I was more bothered by the fact that in Act II a mountainside waterfall suddenly opened up to become Fafner’s lair. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade blow up head of the Dragon is as cheaply Mattel looking as ever. The other really noticeable mistake is that after the Plastic Toy Dragon Head thingie is stabbed by Siegfried, the giant Fafner in his usual form comes out (Hans-Peter Koenig)and does his death scene. BUT: the plastic dragon head is fully visible on the floor behind the machine -- it still has light on it and the machine is still partly raised. So you can see both Giant Fafner and Dragon Fafner (looking like an abandoned kiddie toy on the floor) at the same time. Bad, bad direction.

    Dalayman really was pushing and scraping up to those B’s and C’s. I was in the house. Barked them out and can’t gracefully float a high line. Suspect she needs to move into some zwischenfach repertory for a five or six years and then move into Klytaemnestra and the Modlrollen. Lovely artist.

    First time that I actually saw the last scene transformation -- the stunt double Siegfried looked like he nearly fell off the machine when crossing the fire. Also he was wearing a sleeveless jerkin (Hunter Morris had a shirt under his jerkin) and was showing some very gym-toned bare arms and biceps that clearly didn’t belong to our singing Siegfried.

    Hunter Morris had a great night -- paced himself beautifully. No vocal breakdowns or exhaustion during the forging scene. Tired just a bit in Act II but recovered so that he was still fresh in the final love duet and made some dulcet phrases after singing for five hours.

    Bryn was good and did manage to surmount the orchestra in the Act III invocation to Erda (Wala erwacht or whatever). The voice gets a little Bayreuth barky and hectoring. Siegel and Owens were rather deluxe vocally as the Nibelung siblings. No character singer distortion and they sang notes and legato lines with not unpleasant tone. Still put across complex characterizations. Bardon has to work for the lowest notes in Erda’s music. Would prefer her as Waltraute or Fricka. Good singer though.

    Otherwise, the orchestra played well for Luisi -- horns were in tune all night. His fleet and transparent conducting suits this section of the tetralogy very, very well.

    • eric says:

      I was in the house too. I agree with everything you’ve said.

      I was unhappy with the first act. Morris wasn’t singing well, and Terfel wasn’t singing well nor acting well. But Act II and III were better. Maybe Morris was just conserving his voice. If a sub-par first act for Siegfried is the price of a good second and third act, that’s not a bad trade-off.

      I like the staging of the Wanderer-Erda scene. Compare it with the previous production, where Erda is confined by that net (like a trapped animal)… in this scene they really interact. There’s even some sexual tension there, even sexual menace from Wotan/Wanderer.

      Similarly the Siegfried/Fafner scene, after Fafner is mortally wounded, is very effective: we see the personal interaction between the two characters. Fafner is a real character, rather than an amplified disembodied voice. I was not bothered by the still-visible dragon hidden but still slightly visible. If we have to suspend disbelief by seeing a dragon turn into a giant, little further suspension of disbelief is required to ignore a dragon puppet and concentrate on a live singer.

      And (is it heresy to admit it?) I’m getting used to the Machine. I objected to it for all the standard reasons over the past two seasons. But we have to accept that this is the production we’ll have for the next so-many years. Though I grieve for the loss of the Schenck production, I don’t want to hate the production that I’ll have to live with from now on. I’d prefer to get beyond my objections… and fortunately, it seems, I can.

      • Sempre liberal says:

        Was there as well. I sat on the left, so I didn’t realize the far right plank was out of place — just assumed it was balanced by a far left plank (like the French parliament.)

        Anyway, I too didn’t hate the machine. I enjoyed the visuals, did not find it too intrusive. Yes it was creaky, but many sets are creaky. My main objection is not artistic, but cost — did it really cost $11 million?

        The orchestra was great tonight — the best sounding Siegfried band I have ever heard.

        Loved Morris — he’s a fine actor and a really valiant singer. Terfel also is coming into the role (though his costumes by Kid Rock are a little much, no?)

        • parpignol says:

          I also didn’t hate the machine, though I hate the dragon, and I think they need to calm the raging flames at some point during the final duet since after a while it becomes ridiculous to be looking at the same absolutely static raging flames; I thought Terfel gave a great performance; and everyone was much better and more musically comfortable in the roles, with the orchestra, with the machine, and as an ensemble than they were back in November; I really like Dalayman, but don’t think this was a good night for her, or perhaps this particular Siegfried Brunnhilde is least well suited to her problems of control up on top; and that said, I think she might have risked a final high note with plenty of cover. . .

      • marshiemarkII says:

        Parpignol and Gualtier, two ladies whose opinion I respect and admire confirm the same thing I heard about Dalayman in that horrid Gotterdammerung last week. She has NO high notes. I do not believe that she was having a bad night last week, and if she was having a bad night in Siegfried this week, then she is always having a bad night it seems……. I have heard many a singer sing under less than propitious circumstances vocally, so I think I know what that is. In her case it seems this is her current voice and technique, a shouty, blowzy upper middle, blown out of proportion with the rest of the voice, and nothing above (or below). It is remarkable how some singers get a break with expressions like “a lovely singer with some rough (or non-existent) high notes” and others like the divine Netrebko get skewered for the slightest, and I mean the slightest transgressions, like the Anna Bolena trills, which were perfectly acceptable or better. I mean a Brunnhilde WITHOUT high notes is acceptable????? Not even at Chemnitz Stadttheatr I hope. The greatest role in all opera has to be sung according to specifications ALWAYS! And Dalayman at this point has no bottom notes either, that are so important in Gotterdammerung!, I mean can you imagine a phrase like Allrauner Rachende Gott to go for naught? Inaudible? This is insane that she would get a break on that. Now obviously I am not advocating her replacement, who by all accounts here is maybe actually worse, Oyyyyyyy time to retire Wagner then, not only the hideous, insignificant Machine and the Metopera Disco Go Go Immolation.

    • bluecabochon says:

      GM, a reliable source informed me that the faux slip by Siegfried while crossing the scissored fire planks is a planned bit of staging. Make of that what you will.

      I agree that seeing the dead Fafner balloon and Fafnet the giant is confusing, unless their idea is that the dragon, which looks rather snake-like, has shed its skin…or it’s just bad direction. At this point, whatever, right?

    • Nerva Nelli says:

      “Bardon has to work for the lowest notes in Erda’s music.”

      You are speaking of the greatest Met contralto since Patricia Payne (not to mention Theodora Orridge…)

  • eric says:

    Fortunately the malfunctioning plank (or whatever those things are called) was fixed for Act III.

  • brunettino says:

    I saw the Gotterdammerung in HD, and what struck me about the machine and the planks is that there is a constant series of parallel lines you have to look at -- they never go away, which felt very confining visually, and conceptually you felt like each scene was trapped within that structure. To me, the Ring should suggest infinities of many kinds, and all those regimented ceaseless lines make any sense of such expansiveness impossible to see, feel or imagine. Maybe it is different in the house.

  • grandtier says:

    I wonder how much aluminum is bringing at the scrap yards these days?

  • Clita del Toro says:

    The idea that the Ring needed a some sort of unifying set element for all four works and in every damn scene is ridiculous. There is something called the music with its leitmotivs that has worked very well to do that. The Machine to too limiting in many ways--I don’t care how many twists and turns it makes or how many projections are used to visually alter it. To the scrapyards is right!

  • Clita del Toro says:

    And to those who say that they dislike the Machine at first, but are getting used to it. What an endorsement!

    Maybe Gelb can put the following on the sides of NYC busses:

    “Go enjoy the Ring; and don’t be afraid of the Machine, you’ll get used to it.”


    • kashania says:

      “The Machine. It grows on you… sort of”.

      • SacredMonster says:

        So does Cancer…and I don’t want that either.

      • Porgy Amor says:

        “Without noticeable problems…worked just fine, it seemed, and even creaked a little less.” -- The New York Times. Put that in bold type over a WALKUERE production photo of Terfel and Voigt with the “eye” displaying the Windows logo.

    • 98rsd says:

      I think a certain portion of the audience is afraid to say they like the production because of the loud, negative voices (like the ones we find here).

      For me, the Schenk production, with it’s fire of foil strips under red light and other underwhelming effects was wildly overpraised.

      While I’m disappointed that the direction of the new production is no more inventive than the Schenk, I prefer the magic the machine conjures up.

      So sue me.

  • tannengrin says:

    It may have been intentional -- as a tribute to the tower at the World Trade Center site receiving the beam that makes it higher than the Empire State or whatever the hubbub was. Kind of an acknowledgement that elsewhere in NYC even more metal is taking center stage… Or maybe it was to welcome the Space Shuttle? I’m sure some spinmeister at the Met can have some fun with this.

  • Asta Bilis says:

    You guys crack me up!! Your schadenfreude over the MET/Gelb/LePage is very tiresome. Give it a rest. When the Otto Schenk ring came out it was criticized for being “old-fashioned”, having “no point of view”, “trite”, etc. The LePage staging does some things well, other things not so well like most Ring stagings have done over the years. Quoting from a review when the Schenk Walküre was new: “The company’s last cycle was a troubled venture shaped by Herbert von Karajan … leaving behind semi-abstract sets filled with swirling galactic images. This new “Walkure” directed by Otto Schenk with sets by Gunther Schneider-Siemssen is a traditional item that looks like a holdover from the “Ring’s” premiere in 1876…. — this production nudges neither mind nor imagination. … At the Met there is no sense of ritual, no sense of passing to another realm.” By the time the Schenk Ring was retired, many hailed it as a masterpiece.

    The LePage Ring possibly relies on the technology too much at the expense of digging deeper into the characters psyches but it doesn’t denigrate the work or trash it. I prefer to rejoice in what it does well and hope that the things it doesn’t do well can be altered in future revivals. On a purely aural level, last night’s performance of Siegfried was very fine. The first act was one of the finest I can remember and Dalayman’s Brünnhilde (except for the top B’s and C’s)in the third act was beautiful and expressive.

  • zinka says:

    Here is how we destroy the MACHINE…and bring back the old production…….

  • zinka says:

    REMEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I always cried!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • marshiemarkII says:

      Brava Zinka, now THAT is how you handle the tessitura of the final pages! Pure liquid incandescent gold!

    • kashania says:

      Ah yes, my first timing hearing or seeing the Ring was as a teenager watching this telecast. Fortunately, my parents let me stay up to watch this though it was a school night and it went past midnight. I knew nothing of the opera and so was completely unprepared for the overwhelming effect Immolation. And I remember excitedly telling my mom all about it they next day (“She kept singing and singing. It was amazing”) Thank you, Hildy!

    • Lalala says:

      A little trivia—and someone correct me if I’m wrong (and I’m sure you will). This is, I believe, a spliced performance. In 1990 when this was taped, there were 3 Gotterdammerung performances. The first, a Saturday matinee, Siegfried Jerusalem and Hildegard Behrenz were both ill but performed anyway--they were not in the best of voice and announcements were made. It was obvious they weren’t at their best but it was good for them to perform so that good video footage could be obtained for the broadcasts that were to follow in June. At the second performance, Hildegard sang (Jersualem, I believe, cancelled). However, it was in this performance where she was hit on the head by the falling set pieces at the end of the Immolation Scene (which was in clear view of the audience). You don’t see that happening in this clip. The third performance, Hildegard did not sing due to her injuries. What this means is that I believe the audio is from the 2nd performance (or a rehearsal before the show ever opened) and the video (at least during the demolition) is from the first performance. Hope that makes sense.

    • marshiemarkII says:

      Lalala, you have the sequence of events EXACTLY right, the rest not so much. This is the story exactly as it happened. The video that you see here, and in the DVDs (obviously), is indeed the first performance in which both Behrens and Jerusalem were announced as sick. Stunning as this video is, is what Behrens sounded like even sick. The Immolation on the night of the accident was a million times better than this, the voice working perfectly in all registers, and she fully in command and feeling free and ready, and rearing to go for the third performance, which was to be the “official” telecast. The trauma of the evening would have been enough to make me forget every detail (let alone twenty two years alter), but I happened to listen to the complete Immolation, at her attorneys office in 2005, and it was indeed a staggeringly sensational performance, every phrase longer, with more note value, and completely free. It could not have been used to splice into the video telecast for at least two reasons, first the 1990 technology was not good enough to do the synchronization (not even to change one single flubbed high C from Jerusalem which is left intact), and second by the time it was broadcast in June 1990, the complete tape of the second performance was already a subject of litigation, so it most definitely could not be used in any part of the released video. And unlike some idiotic rumors spread at the time by her then manager, and later through a well-known book writing polemicist, there was NO FOOTAGE of the dress rehearsal. The first performance was the “video dress rehearsal” and so on as you describe. I know all of this with absolute certainty, because it was ***I*** MarshiemarkII herself who had to do the monumental effort needed to persuade her to allow the release of the tape for broadcast. It was scheduled for US nationwide broadcast on the last week of June and she was scheduled to make her San Francisco debut in a complete Ring (stunning!) in early July. She served notice to San Francisco that she might not be able to sing at all due to her remaining trauma with the Immolation music. And she would not know until a concert performance at the Vienna Musikverein in early June, if she could sing the Immolation at all. She did! and had a great success. Immediately after she notified San Francisco she would sing after all, and I taking advantage of the euphoria of the moment, was finally able to persuade her that the first Gotterdammerung was more than good enough for release, and she finally relented and agreed to the release for broadcast only a couple of weeks later. The Met had been on pins and needles all that time not knowing if they would or would not be able to show it in public. That is the truth and the only truth!!!!
      If you care you can compare the video with the radio broadcast, and you will find that they are one and same note for note, including Jerusalem flubbed high C in Act II. So that stunning DVD is indeed Behrens sick!

      • kashania says:

        Marshie: Do you know if they used the exact same performances for the PBS telecast that they later released on video?

      • Lalala says:

        This is all well and good but indeed, if this is the first performance, splicing had to occur. Jerusalem ended up basically marking much of the performance —there wasn’t much voice left. He struggled in all three of the performances as I remember. I was in the house that day (in fact, was at the theater for all three performances). In addition, an extra rehearsal was called to do some taping of portions of Act 3. I strongly suspect that some of that was indeed spliced in (that was the reason for the extra rehearsal in the first place)—I’m not saying this was any of Behrenz music. Indeed, it was possible to splice in those days. That the Met didn’t do more of it is a surprise to many.

    • marshiemarkII says:

      Yes absolutely Kashie Adorato, the PBS release IS what I described above. It was a very traumatic time, as she was still suffering the physical effects of the accident, and psychologically she was inconsolable that she had been robbed of the third performance, when she expected to really deliver her big thing, as she always built up to the last performance in any given sequence, and this one in particular! The thought that they would use the first, when she knew she had been sick, would make her very angry, as she felt her reputation would be tarnished with a product that was less than her best. I listened to the broadcast over and over, and would tell her, it is more than fine, it is glorious, other than a very short patch of roughness in Zu Neuen Taten, the rest is glorious vintage Behrens, etc. But she would not relent, “No, I do not want to have what I consider inferior product to be released for posterity”. There was a lot of pressure from the Met, and her management that she had to agree to the release. It was too late to pull it off the air, in such a short remaining time left, and so on. Even if patches could have been made, there was no time for that either, hence the Jerusalem flub remaining. So finally when she had the great experience at the Musikverein, she was so excited when she called, and I said “what about the Met tape, will you please release it, it is glorious, I have heard it a hundred times and there is nothing wrong, it will be a disaster if it is pulled back in the last minute……”. The next morning she called again, and said I have called the Met and given my verbal OK for the release. I was of course in heavens!!!!! But Kashie Aodrato, if you could only listen one day to the night of the accident, the final pages are simply the most glorious singing she ever did probably, pure distilled gold…………
      Anyway, after the telecast they started to prepare the home video release on VHS and Laserdisc and eventually the DVD, all exactly the same original PBS tape. The litigation was not settled until 2005……..

      • kashania says:

        Thanks, Marshie.

      • eric says:

        mmII: Very interesting. Thanks for the stories.

      • A. Poggia Turra says:

        Someone (perhaps on Opera-L) once told a similar story about a spliced telecast from the 1984 Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. That was the year of the premier of ‘Il Viaggio a Reims’, and there was a telecast on RAI (parts of which are on YouTube).

        Going from memory, the story teller stated that Francisco Araiza (Liebenskof) was ill and missed the performance from which the telecast was going to be taken from. They supposedly spliced in tape of Arazia from the fourth (last) performance of the run, the only one that Araiza sang (Dalmacio Gonzales did the others).

        Hopefully another Parterrian remembers the facts in more details, and corrections are requested and welcome.

    • danpatter says:

      Gosh, I loved that old production. Saw it several times, in various pieces and once as a cycle. It’s still my idea of a deeply satisfying production. I sure miss Levine.

    • marshiemarkII says:

      OK Lalala, you continue to make interesting points so I will try to address them. I think I made it very clear that Behrens’ music is unaltered from the radio broadcast of the first performance, and you seem to accept that. You also have amazing recollections of the time, it is true that they called for an extra take of the third act, your mentioning it brought back the memories of Behrens bed-ridden, as she was for 22 days as required for a post-concussion recovery, telling me about this. Obviously she could not participate. I don’t know whether it happened or not. My main concern at the time was to be at her side and worry about her suffering.

      Now, I carry no water for Jerusalem, and I think he wasn’t very good either in Siegfried or Gotterdammerung (God! Goldberg in the CD version is SO much better, without being glorious either), I was in the theater for all the performances, but I also don’t agree that “he was marking much of the performance”, other than sounding awfully tired at the end, and the now infamous ferociously flubbed high C in Act II. Since I was with Behrens at her home every day, and not at the Met editing studios, I have no idea if any of Jerusalem’s music was spliced of fixed, but if so why didn’t they fix the C? What I do know however, is that it was an extraordinarily chaotic and frantic time at the Met. The accident occurred on April 28th, and the last performance seven days later. At that point it was realized that all they were going to have of Behrens was the first performance, and most of the second was unusable because it had a different Siegfried, and the magnificent Immolation was off-limits. As I have said, shortly after the tape was “legally” off-limits to boot, so no chance. And Behrens herself, not in the most rational mood lying bed-ridden and upset, was not very cooperative either. The Met was quite desperate as the PBS broadcast was already announced to the world, for the last week of June. You get the picture? It was panic time really. The Behrens permission came at the end of the first or second week of June, so barely two weeks left for the PBS broadcast………. I really do not know how much splicing could have they done for Jerusalem, but I repeat I do not know for certain, and it’s outside of my scope of involvement.

      Now technically could they do splicing?, the answer is an emphatic yes!, they did it for Domingo in 1985!!!!! In Recondita Armonia, he took a horrific crack at the B during the live telecast, which was heard by the whole world, and yet the subsequent home video appeared with a resplendent B. Those tricks, however, were not available to everyone.

      I’ll tell you one more little story. The glorious Elektra video (just reviewed here a couple of weeks ago) was taken, again from the also radio broadcast, last performance. The stunning high C in jauchzt (at the end of the Mommy Dearest scene), if you listen in a really good stereo system, you can hear a tiny tiny sound drop-out of no more than a few microseconds. So since she had left me as her point of contact with Brian Large during the summer of 1994 to follow up on the edits (mostly of facial takes as the music was agreed with Levine that it would be the last performance), upon discovering that tiny drop I insisted that he replaced the C with the one from the previous performance, that was also taped, and in equally glorious shape. He said he would do it, and I went several times to the Met for edit checks, and he would always show me a different version with better and better facial takes, etc, but the C was always the same. Finally I was called to hear the final version in late August, and lo and behold the C had not been changed. I was very upset and made it clearly known, and he just said “Oh I tried but it was not technically possible, but don’t worry it’s a great C as it is” Of course knowing they had spliced the B for Domingo NINE years earlier I was skeptical at best that it was not “technically” possible, but that was the final tape, and there was no splicing to be allowed. So there, some people could get their splices, and some just couldn’t.

      • eric says:


        What do you mean when you say the tape of the performance with the accident was legally off limits? I don’t know why it couldn’t be used, as long as the participants concurred. Who objected to its being used?

        Also, it’s interesting to read your description that she was really injured and bedridden for several weeks. I don’t remember reading that at the time. The Times articles suggested that she was treated but released and OK afterward. I just checked again the Times archive and didn’t see any follow-up stories suggesting that her injuries were serious or lasting. Possibly I just missed some press reports … but I wonder why it was apparently not generally publicized at the time that there were serious after-effects.

      • marshiemarkII says:

        Eric regarding the use of the second GD tape, it was assumed from the very beginning that it could not be used. It was a given in all discussion that it was off-limits, because of the disaster (no pun intended) that no one wanted further publicized. The tape simply became radioactive. The idea that Lalala first broached here, of using the second soundtrack to the first GD video, brilliant as it sounds in hindsight, was never suggested by anyone as possible, mostly because people didn’t want to touch the tape with a ten foot pole. A couple of weeks later, a legal case had been initiated and all evidence was subject to “discovery”. I’ll leave it at that….. Quite frankly it didn’t occur to anyone “oh we can make an exception for this if we all agree, etc” for several reasons, first and foremost, Behrens’ obsession was “they robbed me of my third performance which was going to be the real one!, the second showed how good I was heading for the BEST”, etc, etc, she was not terribly rational, and at that point she felt the best was to not allow release of any Gotterdammerung, period. Twenty two years later, and knowing how GLORIOUS even the first one had been, it is easy to second guess, etc, but you have to understand the time and short time frame to make all these decisions……. I wish today, with case settled, and with today’s technology they would edit the Immolation with the second one, and re-issue it on blu-ray, oh we can dream…., it was such glorious glorious singing, even for HER magnificent standards……

        Regarding her injuries, well yes she was indeed far more injured than the impression that was made by the first press release, which indicated that she had been injured by “a Styrofoam beam”. Well the Styrofoam beam was a steel core surrounded by Styrofoam, and covered with hardened burlap to create the stone beam look! Each beam weighted 300 lbs, so you tell me what kind of injuries result after a head-on collision with that?

        She suffered immediately after a severe concussion, which was determined on Monday, after CAT scans and MRIs, and subsequently she had developed a herniated disk on her neck, and after the psychotic episode in the San Francisco Immolation scene, was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder by a Stanford psychiatrist. Do you think that qualifies as “light injuries”? A little bit like those “smart bombs” that kill only “the bad guys” by following perfect paths down the chimneys, but somehow end up with entire devastated cities (Shock and Awe ya’know) that nobody cares to imagine that were once inhabited by human beings, perhaps?

        • eric says:

          Wow. Thanks for filling us in on this.

          I knew that she was having issues after that -- heard the vocal difficulties and was sad -- but I had no idea of how it was related to the accident.

        • Lalala says:

          Gotta say, knowing Hildegard’s work, I can’t imagine that she “saved” anything in either performance that she sang or was going to give anything extra than she’d already given for the third. She was a committed singing actress and always gave a lot—even when she was under the weather in the first performance.

          The extra rehearsal did indeed occur—it was available for splicing. And Jerusalem had very little voice in the first performance.

          If you watch the video closely, it actually appears that a splice possibly takes place just as Behrenz heads to the fire at the end. When I first saw the video (and knowing the situation very well), I actually thought they spliced right then and there--I even thought, at one time, that it wasn’t even Behrenz on stage during that final clip (all the singing was over). I thought it was even possible to splice in the soprano who did the third performance just for that visual effect. The mechanics of the final scene worked perfectly in performance #3.

  • blanchette says:

    blue that was VERY funny