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The Third Annual Pubie Awards

Tanned, rested and ready to present, La Cieca invites you, the cher public, to select the best, worst and most egregious opera performances of the 2011-2012 season. Following an intricate and overly tedious nomination procedure by the parterre blue-ribbon committee, your doyenne has assembled the official Pubie ballots. You are invited to vote on your selections after the jump.

Voting closes at midnight on May 30, 2012.


  • 21
    parpignol says:

    huge New York success for Stemme who is clearly going to be the great Straussian and Wagnerian soprano of the next while; very beautiful sound; I feel like her wonderful Met Ariadne went somehow under the radar; but the whole cast was wonderful tonight; did Jokanaan lie a little high for Owens? didn’t matter; Schasching was spectacular as Herod; Sorenson very fine as Narraboth; and the Cleveland orchestra sounded so great in the Carnegie acoustic (I was in the balcony); another non-Met highlight of the opera season, along with Adriana and Atys, as mentioned in the poll this morning. . .

    • 21.1
      mrmyster says:

      You know, Parpignol, I think Stemme is THE leading Straussian and
      Wagnerian already, and has been for some time. When she recorded
      Isolde with Domingo (replacing Brewer who had been selected but
      had commitments otherewise), much of the second act was sung with
      a strained tone; she was pushing rather much. I wondered if she would
      survive. Well, she’s solved her problems. It remains a mystery indeed
      that she did not sing the Met Brunnhildes this past season and is not
      announced for next. Her casting would have gone a long way towards
      redeeming the collapsing Gelb/LePage Ring production. The Perfect Storm
      continues at the Met!

      • 21.1.1
        Camille says:

        Hi myster!
        Did not know Brewer was to have been that Isolde!! Shame.
        I like Stemme. A LOT.

        Hope to see you in summer.

      • 21.1.2
        parpignol says:

        point taken; clearly you are right; I’ve just not had much experience of her, since I live in New York; and though I’ve now heard her as Ariadne, Marschallin, and Salome, I’ve still never heard her sing Wagner; so, as you say, she is clearly already the leading diva in this repertory, but I’m just slow to realize it for lack of experience. . .

      • 21.1.3
        kashania says:

        I think Stemme has purposely refrained from singing the big dramatic soprano roles at the Met. She knows what’s best for her voice. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she’s not singing Isolde and Elektra at the Met until she’s well into her 50s (when preserving her voice won’t be as much of a concern).

    • 21.2
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      So glad you enjoyed Parpignol. I join mrmyster and others with a gentle rebuke that just because she may not have been the leading Wagner/Strauss soprano in New York so far, doesn’t mean she isn’t already in much of the rest of the world. Her Isolde at the ROH was sensational -- pity it was in the dreadful Christoph Loy production. We also had her as the Ballo Amelia -- if people are worried Mattila would have been unidiomatic, you should have heard THAT!

      I must say I am vaguely concerned for Stemme now that she has decided to sing Turandot -- she has never struck me as that kind of dramatic soprano -- but all I’ve heard in the last few years has been mightily impressive.

  • 22
    Camille says:

    Parpignol--I’ve heard her simg Brünnehilde twice in Wallüre. It was a wonderful assumption of that role. To my ear, she sounds more suited to Wagner. A wonderful and genuine sounding artist. A real pleasure.

    • 22.1
      Adalgisa says:

      I’ve had the pleasures of her Senta, Brünnhilde, Isolde and Ariadne.
      In my opinion there is no second soprano like her today.
      Any leading house that does not have her on the roster is not leading its field in at least one aspect…
      With her, I fear the MET has been in the Voigt trap, not being able to offer her attractive packages. Meanwhile the likes of Paris, Vienna, Scala and so on are not sleeping!

  • 23
    Enzo Bordello says:

    Back to the Pubies, I must register some disappointment that Ramon Vargas and Aleksandra Kurzak were not represented somehow in the positive categories. I thought Vargas as Don Ottavio delivered some of the best singing of the entire season. And Kurzak’s beautifully sung, vivaciously acted Gretel was a highlight.

    • 23.1
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Lovely to hear this about Kurzak -- I think she’s really special. Only head her live once so far, as Mathilde di Shabran, but she was bloody impressive!

  • 24

    Here’s one that should have been nominated: the superb Nina Stemme as Salome at Carnegie Hall last night. Review on Superconductor.

  • 25
    oedipe says:

    OT (sorry!): The Salzburgerfestspiele, whose artistic director is Cecilia Bartoli, has announced its 2013 program, on the theme of “Sacrifice”:

    As a reminder, this year’s Festspiele is proving a massive headache for Ceci (under HER director turban), due to Netrebko’s cancellation of a new role assumption. Mojca Erdmann will be replacing Netrebko. Lucky subscribers!

  • 26
    La Valkyrietta says:

    I voted, but it was not easy. I mean, for example, how do you decide which was a lousier production, Götterdämmerung or Faust? I am less fond of the second opera, but I voted for it because I thought that horror wasted Jonas, who was, with Pape, the best to offer there, but I feel guilty not to have voted for the first sorry mess as I usually seek the Met for Wagner. I just hope the Met does not give us seniors heart attacks the next season.