Cher Public

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin: Due to popular demand, Monday’s “Parsifal 221; has been posted at my Mixcloud site:... 7:31 PM
  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin: Cami, the link to BR-Klassik has said – from Day 1 – “Aus rechtlichen Gründen ist dieses... 5:03 PM
  • Cocky Kurwenal: D’Intino was Amneris at my first ever visit to the ROH, as a young teenager. I’ve looked out for her ever... 5:01 PM
  • Krunoslav: Actually, “bol’s hie” is plural. 4:56 PM
  • Krunoslav: One other world-class Eboli, though she didn’t seem to linger long abroad ever: Lucia d’Intino, whose Met debut... 4:53 PM
  • Cicciabella: Do the Old Norse myths are banal gibberish. Now we know. 4:38 PM
  • Cocky Kurwenal: There’s no doubt that Barton can be phenomenally classy – I loved her in her Cardiff performances. But having... 4:35 PM
  • Nero Wolfe: I heard Marc in a recital and was blown away–not only by the quality of her voice but by the sheer volume she could put... 4:04 PM


“Aus den Trümmern der zusammengestürzten Halle sehen die Männer und Frauen in höchster Ergriffenheit dem wachsenden Feuerschein am Himmel zu. Als dieser endlich in lichtester Helligkeit leuchtet, erblickt man darin den Saal Walhalls, in welchem die Götter und Helden, ganz nach der Schilderung Waltrautes im ersten Aufzuge, versammelt sitzen. Helle Flammen scheinen in dem Saal der Götter aufzuschlagen. Als die Götter von den Flammen gänzlich verhüllt sind, fällt der Vorhang.”  

And now… a song dedicated to the star of yesterday’s news cycle.


  • 1
    schweigundtanze says:


  • 2

    I rather liked that Valencia production. Too bad they can’t bring it here and use the Machine for scrap metal. Or public sculpture. Or something. Maybe they can put it on the roof of the Met as a playground teeter-totter for the wee ones.

    • 2.1
      operaguy says:

      What I think is too bad is that I think the LePage might have worked with the proper supervision. If it had been overseen by someone who knew the Met’s stage and it’s capabilities, the machine might have been scaled down a bit -- eliminating the expense of reinforcing the wings, having it parked in the wings, forcing dark nights when it rehearsed and 9 pm curtains for operas which followed it on Saturdays. Scaled properly it would have allowed decent playing space for the singer/actors to work in. A more experienced hand might have dissauded Mr. LePage from the more cheesy effects -- does Brunnhilde hanging upside down really have any dramatic impact when 90% of the people in the theatre can tell it’s a dummy? A person with a more developed theatrical sense would have realized portions would look like seesaws.

      If Lesley Koenig were still Director of Production (as she was for a short time in 2008) I believe these problems would have been addressed in the design stage and a design that worked FOR THE MET could have been produced. But Gelb is clue-free as is obvious from the theatre reinforcement necessary, damage to the schedule, it’s incompatability with a repertoire schedule.

      Of course, with some of the sillier ideas stripped away and some space made for the singers, it would have helped to have a director with a dramatic point of view. But, I think more of the singers could have found their way to better dramatic performances (a la Meier and Owens) if some roadblocks had been removed.

      By the way -- I would never let a child NEAR that thing; much too dangerous.

  • 3
    philomel says:

    I was sure Liza was going to sing “Don’t Cry Out Loud”.

  • 4
    Maury D says:

    Don’t force me to produce one of my world-renowned translations.

    Well ok.

    “From the trumpets of the together-falling hall, the men and ladies see in highest Gryffindor the washing foyer shine in heaven to. As these finally in lightest hellishness loiter, one blocks therein the sale of Walhalla, in which the gods and heroes, quite on the children of Waltraut’s, in the first of Bella Abzug, sit with sandwiches. Hellish flames shine in the hall of the gods on whipped cream. As the gods of Renee Fleming are quite hulled, it is the curtain’s fault.”

    • 4.1
      armerjacquino says:


    • 4.2
      CruzSF says:

      HAHAHAHA. O my gods.

    • 4.3
      Camille says:

      My stars! I had had no heretofore inkling of Harry Potter’s presence in Valhalla.

      If I could, there would be an entire Ring Cycle translation by Maury D.
      And staged by Charles Ludlam.

      • 4.3.1
        kashania says:

        I second the notion of a Ring translation by Maury. It should be an option in the Met’s seat titles. Could really liven up some of those slow stretches. Imagine how much more fun Wotan’s Monologue could be?

          Camille says:

          As it stands, I listen to Wotan en español.
          Like adding Tabasco to potato pancakes, it livens things up.
          Either that or a nap. Götterweh gives me nausea

    • 4.4
      derschatzgabber says:

      Mit bang ersehnter Bottschaft, send ich die Bloggers nun heim. Ruhe, ruhe, du Gelb.

      • 4.4.1
        Camille says:

        Undso…the Welt Ende is a whimper.
        PFor 16 or 17 million Thalers I thought we were in for a BANG!

  • 5
    A. Poggia Turra says:

    Great song idea, but why not the original:

  • 6
    Clita del Toro says:

    MET cast change:
    Barbara Frittoli will sing the role of Elisabeth de Valois in next season’s
    performances of Verdi’s Don Carlo. These performances will be Frittoli’s Met
    role debut.

    Don Carlo, conducted by Lorin Maazel, opens February 22, 2013 and stars Anna
    Smirnova as Eboli, Ramón Vargas in the title role, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as
    Rodrigo, Ferruccio Furlanetto as Philip II, and Eric Halfvarson as the Grand

    • 6.1
      Clita del Toro says:

      Thank God that Alvarez is out!

    • 6.2
      Camille says:

      Clita, are you the new Brad Wilber?

      I second your yeay

      • 6.2.1
        Clita del Toro says:

        Cammie dear, I had hoped that Alvarez was out of Ballo. He will ruin the opera for me as it is one of my favorites.

          Camille says:

          Yes, I agree. At best a verismo kinda tenor.

          Who else is there available, though? Doesn’t Vargas sing Ballo in Maachera? Filianoti?

          • Clita del Toro says:

            It would be great if Vargas sang both, but I’d rather hear him in Ballo. I wonder if Alagna is around for DC.

          • Camille says:

            Good solution.
            You are now the Met Futures Man, Clita.

    • 6.3
      Camille says:

      Why is Anna Smirnova the only Eboli in the world? She was awful!

      • 6.3.1
        MontyNostry says:

        I guess because she has the notes and the volume, dear Camille. (I have to say, I didn’t think her Amneris in London was that bad, though strangely she didn’t really make any impact in the role.) And, let’s face it, rather Anna than Nadja as the lady with the eyepatch.

          armerjacquino says:

          I too don’t find Smirnova to be as bad as everyone here claims. Not great, but not terrible. Certainly preferable in this role to the likes of Michael and Cornetti, who might otherwise be cast. Although if I were running the Met I’d just automatically put Zajick down for any of the big Verdi mezzo roles.

          • CruzSF says:

            What about Christine Goerke? She sang Eboli in the Houston Don Carlos.

          • danpatter says:

            Christine Goerke was terrific in Houston recently, singing the French version of Don Carlos. Here’s a truncated excerpt:

          • Regina delle fate says:

            She’s a poor man’s Olga but still more than serviceable -- she’s Bruna Baglioni to Olga’s Flo. Sad that there is not a lot of choice among Italian mezzos.

          Camille says:

          Oh god, perish the thought!!!!!!!!!! I’ll take Smirnova over that other creature. At least she sings standing up and not belly down on the flood!!

          Urmana was very good, some years ago, however.

      • 6.3.2
        oedipe says:

        In Vienna Eboli will be sung by Luciana d’Intino next season.

      • 6.3.3
        kashania says:

        Smirnova has the notes and the power. But she has no finesse and no charisma. Zajick would be a bit heavy-handed perhaps but still preferable. And she’d bring down the house with “O don fatale”.

          PushedUpMezzo says:

          Borodina could still hack it, and, at a push, Patricia Bardon or Karen Cargill. Surprised K Jenkins hasn’t been cast yet -- can’t be long now.

          • MontyNostry says:

            I’ve only heard Karen Cargill on the radio. It’s a nice, and quite distinctive sound, but it didn’t seem substantial enough for Wagner, which I know is her special thing. What’s she like in the flesh?

      • 6.3.4
        derschatzgabber says:

        @ Cruz, yes Christine Goerke sang Eboli in Houston. And she sang it very well indeed. She also acted it very well. Eboli’s theft of Elizabeth’s jewel box occurs between Acts III and IV. In the Houston production, Eboli was seen bringing Philipe the box in the prelude to Act IV. And from Philipe’s reaction, you could see that the theft had not helped Eboli’s relationship with him. Over the course of Act IV, Scene 1, Eboli’s fall from grace with both Philipe and Elisabeth was presented very effectively in Houston. Goerke’s portrayal of Eboli’s fall was very well acted.

        If the Met ever invites her to sing Eboli, she will have to learn it in Italian. So far, I think she has only sung Eboli in French. Or maybe the Met will decide to give Don Carlo in the original language some day.

          operaguy says:

          The Met won’t give Don Carlo in French while Gelb is in charge -- it would take the staff too long to explain to him why French is the original languuage. They are probably having the same trouble with the planned Guillaume Tell, or Guglielmo Tell or William Tell or what ever it ends up being.

          • Camille says:

            That is a shame when there is still a viable francophone Don Carlos still standing, namely, Roberto Alagna. And I believe Ramon Vargas sang it in French, when done in Vienna some years ago. Didn’t Levine also have something to do with it being kept in Italian translation, as well? I seem to recall reading something to that effect.

          • CruzSF says:

            From previous discussions here, Levine was mentioned as the obstacle to a Met Don Carlos.

          • Camille says:

            Oh, that was where I read it, Cruz—here on parterre? Thanks, and I wonder where?

            Well, likely that Levine is not returning——better not say that.

            I sure hope to god we don’t get. GUGLIELMO TELL over a GUILLAUME, though. That would be ugly.

          • CruzSF says:

            I read it on Parterre, but I don’t remember who wrote it. Isn’t someone on here a friend of Levine and can answer definitively whether the man hates Don Carlos?

          • It’ll be a one-hour ‘family friendly Christmas opera’: “Billy Tell and the Magic Arrow!”

          • It’ll be a one-hour ‘family friendly Christmas opera’: “Billy Tell and the Magic Arrow!” Brought to you by Apple computers.

          • semira mide says:

            It’s in Italian, and I cannot imagine it better in French. Of course it is Muti conducting…..

          Camille says:

          Derschatzie—-has that Houston broadcast of Don Carlos yet occurred? I have not paid careful enough attention and fear it has passed by.

          • derschatzgabber says:

            Alas, I wasn’t ever aware that there would be a broadcast. I do hope that someone recorded that broadcast.

          • Salomanda says:

            Camille, it’ll be one of the Saturday afternoon broadcasts at some point this year, I think the HGO broadcasts are Sept-Oct? It was definitely one you’ll want to hear.

          • Camille says:

            Oh THANKS, Salomanda, so very very MUCH!!
            I will make a note of it on my Calendar so as to help to remind others, as well, at the appropriate time.

            We are all meeting at the tomb of Carlo Quinto, a subdivision in la Casa della Cieca. No smoking jackets required, however, masques are strongly advised.

            Thank you again, Salomanda.

          • Salomanda says:

            As always Camille, my pleasure :) I’m glad A. Poggia pointed out the exact date, I’d hate to miss it. It was truly a wonderful night in the house when I saw it.

          CruzSF says:

          Thanks, derschatzgabber. Goerke’s Web site lists Eboli in Don Carlo(s) in her repertory, so maybe she’s also prepared to sing it in Italian.

          • Salomanda says:

            Cruz she’d definitely have to learn it in Italian, but if the Met asked her to sing it I don’t think that would be an issue ;)If only…

          • CruzSF says:

            At the rate the Met is losing singers, she should expect a call very soon. :-) (And I’d be glad for that.)

      • 6.3.5
        Clita del Toro says:

        Cammie: As Myra Hudson would say, you are too kind.

          Camille says:

          BThat is a shame when there is still a viable francophone Don Carlos still standing, namely, Roberto Alagna. And I believe Ramon Vargas sang it in French, when done in Vienna some years ago. Didn’t Levine also have something to do with it being kept in Italian translation, as well? I seem to recall reading something to that effect.

          • Camille says:

            Sorry for the repeat, fellows. Screen flipped.

          • operaguy says:

            It’s quite possible that was his decision in the past … but I am speaking of the future and, as we all know, Gelb is Director of Production and Levine is on the DL.

          • Clita del Toro says:

            Speaking of Levine, I think that it is really strange that we never hear news of him. No updates, no nothing--unless I have missed them.
            Something weird is going on.

          • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

            There was a letter from Levine to his colleagues at the MET posted on 12 May 2012 backstage on the “Public Bulletin Board.”

          Camille says:

          Nothing is too good for you Clita! Not even The Best of Everything.

      • 6.3.6
        mrmyster says:

        There was a UTube of the recent Eboli of Goerke
        (Houston was it?), and she knocked the spots off
        of O Don Fatale — and if you can do that, you can
        do the whole role with ease. The Met needs to heed
        the old saying, Buy America!

          MontyNostry says:

          I have to say that, having seen a couple of videos of Goerke in recent weeks, I can’t think why she hasn’t been a major star for years -- she seems to have been ‘bubbling under’ for far too long … Just look at this ‘Come scoglio’ from 2001 (which I posted here a weeks ago). That’s what I call a real voice -- even if there is a slight lack of personality in the singing at this earlier stage of her career. (And to think of the amount of jean-creaming that happens over squeaky coloratura sopranos with generic tone …)

          danpatter says:

          I posted the clip of her Eboli above. In addition to a stunning “O don fatal” she sang a stunning Veil Song, all the coloratura firmly in place.

  • 7
    Feldmarschallin says:

    We had Smirnova here and she was nothing special at all. Nest season will have Ganassi who I am looking forward to.

    • 7.1
      Camille says:

      Ganassi! Now there is someone I like! Did not know of her singing Eboli, however.

      Yes, it would be good to give Goerke a go at the eye patch. Good old ‘”Kojack” was effective, five to ten years ago, don’t know about her now. Anyone. But. Michael!!!!!

      • 7.1.1
        armerjacquino says:

        Ganassi sang Eboli in the Met’s production when it was new at CG. I presume that means she was at least considered for the Met run- I wonder if the house might be too large for her in that role?

        Goerke would be a fab choice, agreed.

          Evenhanded says:


          I remember that Brad Wilbur had Ganassi listed at one point, but she withdrew and I never found out why. I would LOVE to see a Ganassi Eboli. IMO, she’s very underrated and should get better offers from the Met (and elsewhere in the US). Her resume shows a staggering compilation of bel canto roles (and plenty of other stuff, too).

          Goerke sounds like a very interesting choice as well. Why the heck doesn’t she make her way back to the Met, I wonder?

          • Will says:

            I remember that when the previous production of Don Carlo was originally announced, it was to have been in French and if I remember correctly, Kiri was to be the Elizabeth, And then repertory system inertia (and perhaps the scarcity of potential covers and alternates who knew it or were willing to learn it in French) kicked in and we were once again given the undistinguished Italian translation.

          • Salomanda says:

            Evenhanded -- autumn 2013, she’ll be singing in Frau.

          • semira mide says:

            Unfortunately the acoustics are pretty bad.

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            Goerke sang there almost every year from 1995 -- 2000, 2000 -- 2004, and then in 2009. I guess it looks like she got into a bit of a rut with them, being thought of as some kind of 2nd or 3rd tier singer and possibly a cover artist. Her focus now seems to be on the major dramatic soprano repertoire and as we all know, the Met is slow to react. They’ll probably have her down for Elektra in 2017 or something.

            I saw her in Rusalka in 2009 and I have to say that while I found her impressive, I didn’t enjoy her performance one little bit. It’s an unsympathetic role I suppose, but she struck me as not very natural on stage, and I found the basic timbre pretty ugly. Well produced and large though, so I’m sure it probably would be something I’d admire in a role like Elektra or Kostelnicka.

          • Evenhanded says:


            Thanks Semira! I spend almost zero time looking through videos online, so I had never seen this clip of Ganassi. She seems pretty damn great to me, even though the voice is just barely large enough to cope with an orchestra on stage. Not that I’m surprised, and I think it’s an excellent assumption. With her long history in bel canto, I’m sure the Veil Song is equally excellent -- and ALL of it would suit her even better in the slightly less brassy French version. I have never understood why Ganassi -- as excellent and versatile as she as been for a LONG career -- has no web presence, no recording label, very few recordings in general, etc. Thanks for sharing.

            Will and Cocky -- thanks for the info on Goerke. I am very surprised to realize she had sung at the Met for so many seasons. I’ll have to go look at the annals to see what roles she sang. It seemed to me that she simply dropped off the scene for a good long while. The dramatic repertoire seems a stretch, but I’ll wait and see and hope for the best.

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Evenhanded, where did you get from that Ganassi can barely be heard above the orchestra?????? when she sang Adalgisa to Eaglen’s Norma at Carnegie Hall back in what 97 or 98? she completely smothered Eaglen in their duets. The Norma-Adalgisa duets are not the most dramatic parts of the opera, granted, but the voice was so much richer and fuller than Eaglen that she walked off with all the honors and ovations, and Eaglen was well…. singing Brunnhilde you know!
            I have no idea what she sounds like today, as that was my single data point live, but if she developed naturally, and with the excellent technique she had back then, she should be still singing quite spectacularly. I see no reason why her Eboli couldn’t be for the ages, and if my adored friend Cocky saw her recently and liked her, I can imagine she is still great! She sure sounded like a rocket in the Carnegie Hall Dress Circle for that Norma. I was in the first row, and wow what a sound carried up there!

          • semira mide says:

            There is no orchestra here, so it is hard to judge if she could have been heard over it.

            But it is from this spring so it gives some idea of what her vocal “estate” is these days.
            She was pretty memorable in last summer’s Mose in Pesaro. She seemed to fight her way through some(temporary) vocal difficulties and gave it her all. Stunning.

          MontyNostry says:

          Well, we can look forward to the ever-pleasant Christine Rice in the role in London next season, I believe.

          • PushedUpMezzo says:

            Of course you mean the fragrant Rice, Mary Archer of the lyric stage

          • Regina delle fate says:

            Ever-pleasant!!!! lol -- what a put-down Monty -- but you’re spot-on, as per

    • 7.2
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      I saw Ganassi as Eboli in London and she was brilliant. I’m less sure I’d be gagging to hear her sing the role at the Met, but then again less likely things have happened and turned out fine. It’s just that my experience in Vienna last week has made me think the actual house in which one is singing is a bigger issue than I used to think.

      I read a very enthusiastic review of D’Intino in Opera recently -- she’s somebody who seems to have been highly regarded and working away in these dramatic Italian mezzo roles for years -- at least since the mid 1990s. I guess the fact that she largely works in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain means she is less on our radar than some other singers, but by all accounts she’s among the best in the world today for this repertoire.

  • 8

    Sorry for the double post above. I will blame it on said technology and the crappy Wi-Fi at a Columbus Circle Starbucks.

  • 9
    Camille says:

    Thanks again, A Poggia Tura, for posting the actual dates of the entire Houston season. I will be there!