Cher Public

A dandy intermission feature

Once the poor “fell0” has recovered, perhaps he will join in this week’s discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects.

The dialogue (left to right):

“I must draw the Curtain or his screams will alarm the House. You have no fello feeling, my dear fellos; pray unlace the dear love’s Stays, and lay him on the Couch.”

“I am so frighten’d I can hardly stand!”

“Mind you don’t soil the Dear’s linnen!”

“I dread the consequence! That last air of Signeur _________ has thrown him in such raptures, we must call Doctor ________ immediately!”

  • A. Poggia Turra

    Hmmmm -- interesting cover art for an upcoming Don Giovanni DVD:

  • Camille


    • MontyNostry

      Like some kind of soul-diva boa constrictor, is La Holliday about the swallow that girl whole?

      • Henry Holland


  • bobsnsane

    …we must call Doctor Hugh Jorgan immediately!”

    I’ll let u fine fellows finish
    the other part…duh,
    this is all I know,
    Godspeed & Good luck…

  • Marcello

    Jonas Kaufmann has cancelled “Les Troyens” in London.

  • Nerva Nelli

    “In Paris ist Revolution ausgebrochen!”

  • Marcello

    The 2013 Whitsun festival in Salzburg will feature a new production of “Norma” starring Cecilia Bartoli. This will be from a new critical edition and with a period instrument orchestra.

  • Marcello
  • Feldmarschallin

    sz first I thought this was a joke until I went on the website and saw it myself. She is also singing the Brahms Requiem. LOL

  • rysanekfreak

    In addition to our regular features at Parterre (Guess the Regie and Intermission and Criticize the Diva), I propose another one: Wikipedia Opera Error of the Week. Error of the Weak?

    I couldn’t remember the names of the characters in Massenet’s Le Roi de Lahore, so I went to Wikipedia, where I discovered the following sentence:

    “Contemporary performances include a revival by the Vancouver Opera in 1977 starring Joan Sutherland and conducted by Richard Bonynge. The same production was mounted at the San Francisco Opera and subsequently recorded.”

    I don’t think Lahore was ever presented in San Francisco. I think the writer has confused it with Esclarmonde.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      They did it in Seattle after Vancouver and before the recording, so it looks like they’ve got the city wrong rather than the opera.

    • Henry Holland

      So you went in and corrected it, right?

      [the following isn’t directed at you, rysanekfreak, because I don’t know if you did anything or not]

      Pet peeve time: people who complain about errors on Wikipedia but don’t go in and change them. It takes 30 seconds to sign up, it’s easy to go in and edit things, do it, leave a citation or proof, and just do it. I’ve made changes on a bunch of stuff, it’s easy to do.

    • Camille

      That is exactly so. I happened to have been in Seattle at the time and remember the advertisements. I considered going but had to leave town before I had a chance to hear it which makes me very sorry now. How ianw2 would have envied me!!

      Years later I knew someone who worked on the production who told me the tenor was pretty bad and how relieved he was when that character died in media res opera. Unfortunately, thanks to reincarnation, the tenor character was revived at some point and started singing again with his love, Sîta, Joan Sutherland.

      Like I said, I really regret not having had the time and space to see that. Unlike that tenor character, I doubt this gros dindon delite will be revived again.

  • Clita del Toro

    Dumb, off-topic topic: Singers whose recordings you have never, ever bought.

    Mine are: Domingo, Milnes, Caballe, Sills.

    • armerjacquino

      I don’t have any Crespin (just an accident) or any Vickers (who I consciously avoid).

      • armerjacquino

        Actually, that’s not true about Vickers- I have the Solti AIDA somewhere.

      • operacat

        Just curious. . .whose TROYENS do you own?

        • Cocky Kurwenal

          Is life without a Troyens recording so inconceivable?

        • armerjacquino


          • operaguy

            Gary Lakes as Aeneas? No thanks!

      • Cocky Kurwenal

        I don’t think I have any Vickers either. Though aren’t you depriving yourself a whole chunk of Janowitz there!?

        • armerjacquino

          Just the WALKURE and the FIDELIO film I think. Not a huge problem because I have the Vienna FIDELIO DVD, and I’m not a Wagner fan. The only Wagner opera I have is a TANNHAUSER with Silja, Bumbry and Windgassen that I picked up for a fiver at the Notting Hill Record Exchange.

    • Krunoslav

      Bostridge and Petibon.

    • Mine are Danielle DeNise, Netrebko, Marcello Giordani, Marcelo Alvarez, Bocelli.

      • PushedUpMezzo

        Brightman, Jenkins, Westenra, Schafer, LadyRattle,Hilde Guden, Erika Koth

        • messa di voce

          Hong, Matos, and Meade.

        • I can actually stomach Brightman. Katherine Jenkins on the other hand would never be in my collection.

        • Krunoslav

          Gueden is well worth hearing as Strauss’s Sophie, Zdenka and Daphne and in her “Operetta Evergreens” disc…

          • armerjacquino

            I am a little bit obsessed with Gueden at the moment- I bought a 2CD collection which includes lots of Strauss and operetta, but also serves as a reminder of how good she was in Italian opera. The fach-obsessives will go on about how she was uninvolved and unsuitable, but I don’t hear that at all. Her recordings of the two Liu arias are among the best I’ve ever heard. She’s a luxury Musetta on various recordings, too, and one of my favourite Gildas, even though Protti and Del Monaco both spend the rest of that set shouting their heads off.

            The other treat on the compilation I mentioned is the way she makes second-rate stuff by Coward and Novello sound truly gorgeous.

          • armerjacquino

          • Krunoslav

            Thanks, Armer. That is *a lot* better than I had recalled, and also a lot better than what Ms. Damrau or -- God help us- Ms. Schaefer now offers in Italian rep. But it still doesn’t quite convince me that this Gilda has ever been south of the Alps.

            My parents walked out after *one act* of Protti’s absurdly late (1985) Met debut opposite the also beyond”vintage” Gilda of Peters. What a shame Parterre didn’t exist back then to cover such events! When I called NYC from California after Lucine’s one and only Met Santuzza, a pal was answering the phone “I was there!” next time someone mentions the 80s as a Golden Age…

            Metropolitan Opera House
            December 2, 1988

            CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA {590}

            Santuzza…………….Lucine Amara
            Turiddu……………..Ermanno Mauro
            Lola………………..Ariel Bybee
            Alfio……………….Alain Fondary
            Mamma Lucia………….Jean Kraft

            Conductor……………Alessandro Siciliani

          • armerjacquino

            Well, Mantua *is* pretty far North…

      • Rory Williams

        I haven’t had to buy any DiNiese, Lindoro, Nerva sends me the MP3s day of release! Pays to know a fan!

  • prettygirl

    SALOME!!! Did anyone else die and go to heaven on Thursday night?

  • Clita del Toro

    Live Siegfried from Munich is on new—Act I

    • Camille

      Clita--I am listening since beginning of B.’s awakening but can’t get into chatroom or I lose my Bayern connection!

      Why the hell can’t Lance Ryan sing Siegfried for ussens???

      • Clita del Toro

        Cammie, I gave up on the Handel, it was putting me to sleep! LOL

        • Camille

          Don’t worry--I made a hasty retreat, myself.
          This will wake you up--the last note is out of this world!
          LuvU. PS--the Swiffers from Joan have already arrived and I am putting them fo good use!

      • Feldmarschallin

        Superb Siegfried last night. Ryan and Naglestad were great. Naglestad got the biggest ovation. I was worried if she could pull it off since I remember her as Alcina and Konstanze but she did but I also doubt she will go near the other two. Ryan looks the charachter as well and Meyer much better here than as Wotan. Nagaon and band excellent. Production much better than the first two were there was not much going on especially in Walküre. Lovved how the Woodbird helped Siegfried kill Mime and then guided Siegfried in regards to Brünnhilde. She took his boots off so he could get more comfortable with her. Nagelstad very lyrical but enough power. Finally this Ring is taking off.

        • Cocky Kurwenal

          I have fond memories of a Naglestad Tosca at the ROH, in which she was superb. Like you, I wasn’t sure it was going to work, because I’d only seen her as Alcina previously, but she was fabulous, and very well suited to the role from all points of view. I see she has Minnie in preparation -- that could be great.

        • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

          Naglestad’s Senta was the best thing about the Martin Kusej Dutchman for DeNederlandseOpera in February, 2010. I had never heard her live before this, so am not too surprised to learn that she is a good fit for Tosca and the Siegfried Bruennhilde. That Amsterdam production is available on dvd from Opus Arte, btw, though there is little love for the Dutchman himself, Juha Uusitalo, on Parterre, and I have to confirm that he was nowhere near the level of his Wotan from the Vienna Walkure that I saw in December 2007.

        • Camille

          Feldmarschallin, bitte—
          May I congratulate you on having the good luck and good sense to live in a city wherein one may hear a legitimate sounding SIEGFRIED?!! Tuning into the very end of the third act yesterday, I was surprised and heartened to hear such a Siegfried und Brünnhilde. Not Flagstad and Melchior, but neither one was a FAKER. München is really sounding good to me, plus that beautiful theatre, sigh.

          • PushedUpMezzo

            a legitimate sounding SIEGFRIED

            Given his parentage?

          • Camille

            Hahahaha! Got me there!

            Pushed Up Mezzo, there is a question that must be posed to you:
            As such, do you now consider yourself a

            A. Dramatic Soprano,

            B. Hochdramatisch Sopran, or

            C. Falcon…?

            Thank you for your thoughts.

          • PushedUpMezzo

            My fach is a matter of opinion. Falcon would be complimentary. Started off as a Woodbird, but heading towards Herodias.

          • Feldmarschallin

            yes Camille and don’t forget the good beer. Plus today we have di Donato and Brownlee in Cenerentola. Cannot be better cast IMO.

          • The Vicar of John Wakefield

            “…today we have di Donato and Brownlee in Cenerentola. Cannot be better cast IMO.”


            Kern and Brecknock would have made short work of that workaday ‘Yank’ pair; today we have Christine Rice and Nicholas Sharratt.

  • Cocky Kurwenal

    Ghena Dimitrova in Roberto Devereux -- remarkable:

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1938 soprano Elizabeth Harwood

    • PushedUpMezzo

      Lovely and very versatile lady. Her Scottish Opera Fiordiligi and Lucia were achingly beautiful and some of her contributions to Mackerras’s Messiah with Janet Baker are still unmatched and not oratorio-droopy at all.

  • operalover9001

    Siegfried from Munich video:
    One of the more attractive Siegfried/Brunnhilde pairings today, both visually and vocally?

    • DonCarloFanatic

      Somehow I missed video, but I caught the last act audio just in time for the good stuff. Lovely.

      • Camille

        I could not get video either. Glad I checked it out as it was so much better than the Met’s Siegfried.

        • operalover9001

          Oops, I didn’t mean that there was a video broadcast -- I was just watching the trailer/interview things the opera house put on youtube.

  • Vivaldi

    I read someone speculating Harteros will cancel Desdemona in London. Can someone elaborate on that? Is she sick? Did she cancel performances lately?

    • armerjacquino

      She’s cancelled or been replaced for her last two scheduled CG appearances- as Angelica and Mimi.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      Where did you read it?

      • Vivaldi
        • Cocky Kurwenal

          I can’t view your link, but the only thing I can find on Intermezzo re Harteros and Otello is a purely speculative poll, which is along the lines of what everybody has been thinking. So far, I don’t think there is anything whatsoever to add any particular fuel to the fire or confirm it one way or the other. But I’d be pretty surprised if she did show up at this stage. I’ve held off booking for now -- there are still lots of tickets available, and I don’t want to commit up front for Harteros only to get Poplavskaya or somebody.

          • Vivaldi

            Poplavskaya -- God forbid. Better still Fleming who is in town at around the same time….
            I have tickets for both Troyens and Otello. Kaufmann is off. I truly hope Harteros, whom I havent heard yet live, will not cancel.

          • Feldmarschallin

            A few weeks ago she still had plans to go to London for the Othello. Of course singers can get sick or the Garden might tell her to stay home. But she said she was going to London and this as recently as the second week of May. I believe she is in Berlin now for the Boccanegra with the Staatsoper.

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            Renee has done the production before as well… but yes, I hope Harteros comes because if she does I’m sure she’ll be fabulous.

            I note Renee is singing in the Queen’s jubilee concert, so we can enjoy her in HD splendour on BBC1.

          • grimoaldo

            Interesting speculation / gossip / maybe inside info from Royal Opera House workers on that thread about Jonas’ cancelling the very high profile new production of Troyens:

            “Nikolaus Vogel said…
            Stop panicking guys and gals -- word from the opera house has it that Jummy Jonas is -- like his compatriot and colleague Frau Harteros -- suffering from a terminal case of ALAS (Acquired Lazy Angela Syndrome) otherwise known as rehearsalitis. Another theory is that he didn’t leave enough time to learn it and didn’t realise how difficult Aeneas is. Those may be just vile rumours, however …..
            Intermezzo replies -- given the aversion to new productions and rehearsals he has disclosed in recent interviews, I regret to say that rumour has a ring of truth about it.”


            He has also cancelled a Wigmore Hall concert:
            “”We regret to announce that, due to illness, Jonas Kaufmann’s concert with Helmut Deutsch on Sunday 10 June 2012 at 7.30pm has been cancelled. There will be no replacement concert.”

            and it is unlikely that he will appear as planned in the Proms performance of Troyens:

            “Although it is unlikely that Jonas will appear at the Prom performance he has not yet formally withdrawn. We will keep you updated.”

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            Interesting Grimoaldo, but I think it fails to make the connection with the Wigmore Hall and Albert Hall concerts, both of which are surely engagements that would have required next to no rehearsal, and the latter of which especially would presumably have been pretty lucrative -- why cancel those if there isn’t really anything wrong with him?

            Does anybody have the actual interview quote handy where he mentioned being less keen on lengthy rehearsal periods? It’d be interesting to scrutinise it again, because it does seem as if a little more is being made of it than Kauffmann really intended, to me at least.

          • armerjacquino

            If Kaufmann’s cancellation means no TROV Act 4 scene in the Albert Hall concert I will cry.

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            Armerj -- the RAH website does say they’re trying to get hold of another tenor, so there’s everything to play for.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Well if he cancels the London 4th Act Trovatore you can always come to München next summer for the whole opera since I doubt he will cancel that. Festspielpremiere ´with Harteros as Leonora and perhaps even a DVD. Aeneas is pretty long and he does sing very often so I asked myself when and how is he going to learn the Troyens? He is also in the process of building a house or has just built a house on the Ammersee so he can take the SBahn to work!

          • messa di voce

            That doesn’t jive with the Met Walkure, where he showed up for the rehearsals and cancelled the performances.

          • oedipe

            Another (related) hearsay: after a conversation with a ticket selling agency, a French opera blogger commented that there is a direct correlation between singers’ ability to sell out and their cancellation rate. Just saying…

          • ljushuvud
          • decotodd

            Maybe kaufmann’s voice teacher told him the set was too dangerous! The anti rehearsal theory doesn’t make much sense as to why he’d cancel several presumably lucrative recitals. In all seriousness hope he gets better soon. For his sake (andone as I have tickets to the Ariadne in Salzburg) .

          • m. p. arazza

            Ever since hearing Gelb say “We hope…the machine will be kind to [Van Aken]” on the broadcast, I’ve had this paranoid suspicion that Kaufmann actually was somehow injured in the rehearsals. I’ve tried to ask this here before, but does anyone know, was there not a final dress rehearsal, and if so, who sang it?

  • verliebtenmadeleine

    Interesting article about a big new John Adams piece premiering next week in LA, “The Gospel According to the Other Mary”. A sequel to “El Nino”, it recounts the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Looks to be a major event!,0,7221690.story

  • ianw2

    Does anyone else find the last line of this review hilarious, or is it just me?

    • Henry Holland

      It’s not just you. It’s as if Mr. Ashley remembered at the very end of his word count that he should mention the singing and, oh yeah, the conductor.

      The opera itself sounds interesting, I’ll have to seek it out on the usual sites.

      • ianw2

        Benedict Andrews is fabbo, as I swell with Antipodean pride.

        I seem to recall that Coleman-Wright’s occasional forays into the US have been greeted with the usual ‘Commonwealth artist’ sniffiness. Its been so long since I’ve heard him, I have no idea how he’s sounding nowadays.

  • Henry Holland

    I did a search of PB and didn’t see this mentioned so here goes….Earlier today I went to see the documentary about young ballet hopefuls, First Position. It follows six dancers, ages 10 to 17, as they compete at the Youth America Grand Prix, scholarships and futures on the line.

    It’s only in the last two or three years that I’ve become really interested in ballet, so I saw this with fairly un-jaded eyes (a client of the company I work for used to dance with the National Ballet of Canada and other companies, she was jaded about the film). Her criticism that it’s standard documentary fare is true enough: follow these kids around, do up-close-and-personal bits with them and their families, get to the finals, see who succeeds and doesn’t.

    While it doesn’t belabor the point --it’s a feel good movie at heart-- it does hint and show that ballet is a brutal, cruel profession to pursue. The things these kids do to their still-forming bodies is almost agonizing to watch. What’s even worse is that in a time when companies are cutting back on the number of slots available, the competition is even fiercer than when Ms. Jaded Client was dancing.

    My favorites are (then) 11-year old Aran Bell, a dorky kid who just happens to have a real talent for ballet and Michaela DePrince, born in Sierra Leon and with a backstory that almost defies belief. What really comes through as well is that parents basically give up their lives so their kids can do this. The financial outlay is enormous, the sacrifices they go through are incredible. Trailer:

    Yes, it’s a bit formulaic and yes, it does ladle on the sentimentality a bit more than I’d like, but I really enjoyed it, highly recommended.

    Anyone else see this? Thoughts?

    • ianw2

      I’m keeping an eye out for it to eventually (if ever) reach the Antipodes. I’m still waiting for Wiseman’s La Danse though, and am very irritated I missed that when I was living in the States. I’m not usually a movie-goer to begin with, so these things tend to pass me by.

      I’m hoping its sort of a Spellbound with fouettes. Is that true?

      • Henry Holland

        I’m hoping its sort of a Spellbound with fouettes. Is that true?

        Hahaha, yes, same type of documentary, though the spelling-bee kids should be eternally grateful that their activity doesn’t deform their feet, cause torn muscles at the age of 12 or any of that.

        Or maybe it does.

        • ianw2

          I saw Spellbound again recently and made the mistake of googling what happened to some of those kids.

          Sadly, for one or two of them it did not end well. Its sort of ruined future viewings for me now.

  • A. Poggia Turra

    The Wolf-meister has been out to the Land of the Plastic Lotus to see The Dude, Mariusz in his tight white Rodarte costume, etc., in the LA Philharmonic’s new Disney Hall production of Don Giovanni:

    • lorenzo.venezia

      Interesting. I attended a Dudamel Don Giovanni at Berlin Staatsoper in 2009 which might as well have been a concert performance for its minimal set and utter lack of props (no book nor even an iPhone during “Madamina”) and was underwhelmed by his conducting; yes, he is brilliant and wonderful but he still has a LOT to learn, especially about opera. But bravo and an A for effort. LA needs all the help it can get!

    • Henry Holland

      Land of the Plastic Lotus

      Hello, 1969 called, it wants it horribly dated reference back. The time of losers from east of the Rockies coming out here to “find themselves” or marry 3 women in 5 years while having orgies in hot tubs or do EST or start murderous cults and all that other nonsense is long gone. It’s as dated as thinking that Times Square is a run down shithole of porn theaters and drug dealers.

      From the link:

      Silence greeted Mozart’s winking quotation of his own “Nozze di Figaro” during the final scene. It was an opera in-joke in search of an opera audience

      Or maybe it’s just a tired old joke not worth chortling over and anyway, at Disney Hall those chortles can be heard loud and clear, maybe the audience wanted to listen to Mozart, not their damned neighbor showing how sophisticated they are.

      yes, he is brilliant and wonderful but he still has a LOT to learn, especially about opera

      It eventually worked out with Salonen, but he had a LOT to learn when he started here too, though from a different perspective: Salonen knew nothing of Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, that sort of thing, hardcore modernist that he was. It’s just disappointing that with Dudamel, we have to deal with the learning curve of Salonen’s successor too.

      At the end of the NYT review, they link to a new “opera” company here, The Industry. Dumb logo aside --who the hell wants to be reminded of an LAPD helicoper?-- there’s this bit of hilarity from the bio of the Artistic Director, Yuval Sharon:

      Having false impressions about the city from his student days in Berkeley and seven years in New York, Yuval was surprised to discover Los Angeles to be a city full of curiosity and innovation, an inspiring frontier for artistic creation

      Wow, what a shock that bit in bold is. [rolls eyes]

      LA needs all the help it can get!

      What it needs, opera-wise, is for Domingo to get the hell out of town for good, stat, and let the new President and CEO, Christopher Koelsch, do his job and implement his plans. Oh, and for Long Beach Opera not to implode.

      Christopher Koelsch:

      • A. Poggia Turra

        Hi Henry,

        As a fourth-generation Californian wjho went to college in L.A., I too am well over ‘auslanders’ who come to LA with idiot preconceived notions. The ‘plastic lotus’ reference was in homage to a certain former L.A. Times critic who was (overly?) fond of the phrase.

        On a lack of laughtuire at the ‘Figaro’ quotation, I’ve been to about 12 live Don G’s in the US and Europe, and don’t ever recall an audience chortling or guffawing when the quotation from ‘Figaro’ is played. To me, like a lot of other inside jokes, it’s more to be savored afterwords (when analyzing the work and/or the performance), not DURING the performance (may have been different during Mozart’s time, of course).

        On The Dude’s inexperience in opera, well, his CV was well known when he was selcted. Common sense tells you that if you want someone with the vast operatic experience of a Carlo Maria Giulini, you don’t hand the keys to your orchestra to a 26 year old (youth bringing other factors into play, of course). That said, it’ll be interesting to see how the Rigoletto at The Bowl goes later this summer *I’m anxious to hear Peretyatko’s Gilda).

        • ianw2

          The other issue, which I think HH nails, is that the quotation just isn’t that funny. If the Catalogue Aria, which was probably a knee-slapper when written, gets a titter its usually from the antics of the Leporello, not the music (or whatever joke has been hidden in the surtitle).

          I mean nobody has to wipe the tears from the eyes or pees just a little when Adams quotes Wagner (or is it Strauss? I can never remember/care) in Nixon in China.

          I’m a bit surprised recently at how much of a conservative critic he’s becoming- both the “why is nobody laughing?” of this review and the recent “HD means people aren’t clapping as I would like” piece.

          • armerjacquino

            I was at a Sondheim concert once where someone laughed loudly and ostentatiously at the Rosenkav quote in ‘Weekend In The Country’, and then loudly explained to his companion that ‘it’s a quote from Die Fledermaus’.

        • Henry Holland

          The ‘plastic lotus’ reference was in homage to a certain former L.A. Times critic who was (overly?) fond of the phrase

          Oh gawd, one of those awful Bernheimer-isms that, much as I’m a huge fan of his writing, drove me nuts (see also: slushpump). Sorry for the snippy tone, BTW, APT.

          I just checked the date of the Wozzeck being done at Disney Hall and was happy to see that it’s Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia, not Dudamel and the LAP. I really should read the season-announcement press releases better…

      • oedipe


        Thank you for mentioning the link to “The Industry”. It’s the kind of trend that I’ve been expecting to see in opera, sooner or later, based on what has been taking place lately in contemporary art. Though still in its infancy, I think this could represent an interesting new direction, now that the Regie movement is becoming increasingly déjà vu, self-centered and stale.

        Here is the link, if anyone has an interest: