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Photo finish

La Cieca’s choice of chat topic today is of course I Capuleti e i Montecchi, as webcast from the Bavarian State Opera at 1:00 PM EDT. Our own Betsy Ann Bobolink, however, naturally has her own ideas, as she will expound after the jump.  

It’s a beautiful day for the races here at Parterre Park for the 55th Annual Swish Stakes, second leg of the world reknowned Triple Tiara. There’s an extraordinarily crowded field — 31 entrants — but by far the favorite is DON CARLO (1:00 RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS) despite earlier reports that he was brought up lame with the substitution of Massimo Giordano Marcelo Alvarez for Andrew Richards.

Strong contenders are ROMEO ET JULIETTE from Vancouver Opera (CBC TWO, at whatever time it happens to be in Canada) with Gordon Gietz as Romeo and Peter Volpe just standing around.; LA CLEMENZA DI TITO with Elina Garanca (DWOJKA POLSKIE at 1:00 and LATVIA RADIO KLASIKA at 2:00); and CYRANO DE BERGERAC from Madrid with Placido Domingo in the saddle (RADIO CLASICA DE ESPANA at 1:00)

A trio of yearlings are making their first appearance on any track. Judith Weir‘s MISS FORTUNE and Gerald Barry‘s THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST from BBC at 1:00; Nicola Porpora‘s SEMIRAMIS at 1:20 on DR P2; and de Marco Antonio Portugal’s LO SPAZZACAMINO PRINCIPE at 2:00 on ESPACE 2. Wait, that makes four, doesn’t it? Hey, ya want John Nash, call Russell Crowe. Which brings up another subject. Why would anybody name their kid “Portugal”? I don’t think we have any composers named ‘Fred Massachusetts’ or ‘Elsie Oklahoma.” And if you bring up Emma Nevada, you’re just going to make me mad. Or Paolo Washington. Or Joe Montana.

In the middle of the pack for the Run for the Forsythias are quite a few who come up lame in the stretch. WERTHER with Rolando Villazon (11:00, LRT KLASIKA); TALES OF HOFFMAN from Chicago (various stations, various time); LA GIOCONDA (1:30 CESKY ROZHLAS); LE COMTE ORY from Geneva (1:30 NPR); I VESPRI SICILIANI from Geneva ( 1:00 RTP Antena 2), EUGENE ONEGIN from Los Angeles (1:00 KUSC); MAHAGONNY (1:00 DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTUR), and LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR from Chicago (1:00 WFMT) despite the efforts of jockey Susanna Philips.

Some entries are from stables with good track records. NIXON IN CHINA from Canadian Opera (ESPACE MUSIQUE at noon); DIE WALKURE from Vienna (2:00 KLARA): ORLANDO from Brussells (1:00 NRK KLASSIK); LUISA MILLER from Florence (2:00 RADIO SLOVENIA TRETJI); and PETER GRIMES from La Scala (2:00 RADIO TRE), plus one thoroughbred, DIE WALKURE from Covent Garden, 1957, with Rudolf Kempe riding Birgit Nilsson hard. (2:00 RADIO STEPHANSDOM)

Rounding out the field:
Matthias Goerne sings “Winterreise” at 1:00 on BR KLASSIK
A fundraiser on KBYU at 1:00
Rene Jacobs‘ recording of COSI on WRR at 1:00

and . . . . . THEY’RE OFF !


  • 1
    Hippolyte says:

    I believe the Don Carlo in Amsterdam is Massimo Giordano, not Marcelo Alvarez.

  • 2
    Will says:

    Well, there are composers John Ireland, Sigismondo d’India and Irving Berlin, author Anatole France, etc. etc.

    • 2.1
      oedipe says:

      It was rather common practice in Europe, Italy especially, for Jews to change their names -for reasons related to European history- and adopt names of cities, or even countries, as in the case of Anatole France.

    • 2.2
      m. croche says:

      Toponymic names aren’t all that unusual, right? We have the librettist for today’s webcast, Felice Romani. Most any nobleman’s name, such as Dohnanyi, would also qualify (my favorite: Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf.)

      • 2.2.1
        m. croche says:

        Yes, this is what happened with Mr. Portugal. He called himself Marcos Antonio, but the success of his works brought him important court posts and eventually aristocratic rights. At that point, he acquired an aristocratic final name: da Fonseca Portugal.

      • 2.2.2
        Loge says:

        I once downloaded a Bellini libretto with the online translation. It was “The Pirate One” by Happy Roman.

          Camille says:

          …who also, happily, wrote The Sleepwalking One Maiden.

          • Batty Masetto says:

            Not a patch on Anthony Total, who wrote “A Ball in a Mask” (“Un testicolo mascherato”).

          • Sempre liberal says:

            I believe A Ball in a Mask had the music written by Joe Green. It sounds like it could be a baseball opera. Oh, yeah, it was set in Boston…

          • Camille says:

            Dunque, it’s about Le Calze Rosse??

            Or are they in Boston? I think so…..

          • Camille says:

            That should read “The Sleepwalking Maiden One”.

            Now I understand where Gilbert and Sullivan started from….

          Camille says:

          Oh yes. My fave Bellini opera, “The Strange Lady”.

  • 3
    opera-cake says:

    I’m not nitpicking, but just to tell you that it was NOT the dreaded Marcelo Alvarez who stepped in to replace Andrew Richards, but Massimo Giordano who sings the role in a particularly touchy and tender way. It’s just to encourage you more to listen to this quite special rendition of Don Carlo (orchestrated in a very special way too — YNS)


  • 4
    Clita del Toro says:

    I can’t get on the chat using my phone or my friend’s computer.

  • 5
    Clita del Toro says:

    C&M is fun as are Lacroix’s over the top costumes.
    Anna is Anna, what can I say. Love the music.
    During intermission, Anna seems very nice. I think she did a good trill earlier on.
    Unfortunately for me, everything Anna sings sounds the same.

  • 6
    Clita del Toro says:

    OMG, Nada Michael is being interviewed and on the stage she is in the requisite slip.

  • 7
    louannd says:

    Chat room still going if you’re interested.

  • 8
    wacky-salome says:

    Giordano did a very good job, especially considering the fact that he was flown in about a week before the premiere. Kind of worried about Andrew Richards though, he seems to be going through some major vocal issues. The word in Amsterdam is that he was fired from the production because he just wasn’t up to the task. I hope things take a turn for the better soon.

  • 9
    louannd says:

    I know it’s WAY too provincial for most of you, but tomorrow at 2 PM PDT and 5 PM EDT, Stephen Costello and Ailyn Perez will be LIVE from LA in La Boheme on KUSC radio. Hopefully I will see you provincial types in the chat room.

  • 10
    parpignol says:

    Jennifer Wilson made her debut in Vienna this evening as Senta, a very successful debut, I thought; beautiful tone, steady and secure from the middle up to the top, nice control and modulation, a nice bloom on the big notes, and plenty of volume for the very big moments; almost no stage presence at all, but it hardly mattered; I haven’t heard her since she stepped in to replace Jane Eaglen in Goetterdaemmerung in Chicago some six years ago, and she’s better now; how will she be in five years when she finally reaches the Met? this performance (with Dohmen) was so much better than the Voigt-Uusitalo revival at the Met some years back; and there was a wonderful Estonian basso singing Daland, Ain Anger; we’ll hear more about him; Graeme Jenkins conducted; routine production by Chrstine Mielitz. . . why does Senta seem to immolate herself at the end? wrong Wagner opera?

    • 10.1
      Camille says:


      Are you listening, luvtennis?

      Thank you very much for reporting in on her, parpignol.

    • 10.2
      Nerva Nelli says:

      “Jennifer Wilson made her debut in Vienna this evening as Senta, a very successful debut, I thought; beautiful tone, steady and secure from the middle up to the top, nice control and modulation, a nice bloom on the big notes, and plenty of volume for the very big moments”

      It is IMPOSSIBLE, the creature is not GERMAN or even EUROPEAN, she did not imbibe from birth the BLOOD TIES to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Weber that are the ONLY route to the SACRED works of the BLESSED Wagner!!!

      • 10.2.1
        Quanto Painy Fakor says:

        That “creature,” as you so kindly call her, will be making her Bayreuth debut with the premiere there of Rienzi ! Who would have thunk it?

          Camille says:

          Oh saints preserve--! That is that terrible song Christine Brewer insists upon singing as an encore, even on an album with an aria from Alceste. Sigh.

      • 10.2.2
        marshiemarkII says:

        No Nerva, the main problem is that she is FAT (mortal sin for Senta, a gorgeous young girl)

    • 10.3
      peter says:

      Did I miss something? When is Jennifer Wilson going to be singing at the Met?

  • 11
    Clita del Toro says:

    Berlin philharmoniker/Rattle/Walkure is on now. Live.