Cher Public

The picture hat of Dorian Gray

La Cieca invites the cher public to gather “just like girlfriends—with hats on…” for this week’s round of discussion re: off-topic and general interest subjects.

  • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

    Happy Birthday, Dawn Upshaw…

    … and thanks to operalover9001 for putting this clip up on Youtube, too.

    • papopera

      That music sounds like Kurt Weill and the second ah!ah!ah! part taken right out of Offenbach.

      • WindyCityOperaman

        Hate to say it, but Dawn has gotten a lot “fleshier” lately . . . just sayin’.

        • MontyNostry

          But I’m sure the voice is as thin as ever.

          • Clita del Toro


  • quinquin1
    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Woofe -- talented kid.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Juntwait blooper (introducing the last act of Les troyens with Lieberson and Hepperner): “Ben heppner SEEMED to be born for the role” implying that was not the case.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Happy 47th birthday mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova

  • A rumination on Batmn fans who threaten critics, and opera lovers who freak out over Wagner productions with big rats and biogas. On (where else?) Superconductor.

  • zinka

    You want the true explanation as to why I am slightly insane????? I was 8..Mommy did not know about this film..I dived under my seat..remember,the portrait was in COLOR in a B/W film…..
    So you see, I have a good reason to be on parterre..

    Love CH (who will stay young forever…well,emotionally.)

  • Hippolyte

    I see that Natalie Dessay has already withdrawn from what was to be first performances as all 4 of the Hoffmann heroines in concerts at the Salle Pleyel in Paris in late November. Her replacement is Sonya Yoncheva. The first staged performances in Barcelona in February still list Dessay in the cast.

    • oedipe

      This is great news! Maybe Yoncheva is still too green for the 4 roles, but boy!, does she have potential in French opera!!!

      And here is another very young talent that opera houses should keep in mind when they scramble to find replacements for Manons:

      • Hippolyte

        Yoncheva will be 32 in December; isn’t that rather past being a “very young talent” or “too green” for things?

        • Cocky Kurwenal

          I would call 32 very young for an assignment like replacing one of the world’s biggest opera stars in all 4 Hoffmann heroines at the Salle Pleyel. I don’t know Yoncheva and I have no reason to believe she’ll be anything other than fabulous, but I think by any definition she must be a precocious talent to have got this job.

        • oedipe

          Punctuation correction: “And here is another (very) young talent…”
          Gimadieva is in her twenties, I believe.

          As for Yoncheva being “too green”: many (though not all) singers’ voices/techniques are not fully developed when they are 31 years old and I think this is true in Yoncheva’s case. What’s more, singing the 4 Hoffmann roles imposes particularly high demands on ANY singer.

          • Quanto Painy Fakor

            I wonder if the planned commercial recording of the concert will still happen. Could be a big break for Yoncheva.

          • Quanto Painy Fakor

            According to her website, she will be singing in the opening of the Olympics with Placido Domingo and she is being managed by his son.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • efrayer

    Did anyone else receive a survey from Met Opera recently? Apparently I failed. Or did it fail me?

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1920 baritone Aldo Protti

  • Feldmarschallin

    Jonas kam, sang und siegte.
    Yesterday the long awaited return to the stage here after illness forced him to cancel several months of engagemnents. The voice is there and he looks great and with a nice tan. Very rivetting Die Winterreise and extremely moving. Especially beautiful were Der Lindenbaum and Der Leiermann. 7 times he had to come out and huge applause at the end. Off to Hoffmann tonight which was unexpected since someone gave me a ticket.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      And is the vocal production much changed, as we were told the other day?

  • Feldmarschallin

    well he never sang fully out. These were intimate Lieder and not Carlos or Siegmund so difficult to tell by last night. In Linz he sang arias but have not had a chance to hear that concert. The voice never cracked and he sang beautifully with a smooth emission. Much shading, piano, few mezza fortes but nothing above that and of course no high notes. After the Hoffmann I have Wozzeck on Sunday and Mitridate on Monday. BTW the Mitridate starts at 18.30 and not 19.00 as noted on the tickets so if anyone else is going please beware. Garanca is next Wednesday.

  • brooklynpunk

    Ay fellow Parterrians gonna be at Caramoor, this Saturday evening?— just giving ya fair warning that I WILL be there, as well……!!--lol!

    ( anyone taking the Train up , from Grand Central, to attend the afternoon lectures—and wants to share a cab ride/fare from Katonah Station….?)

    • brooklynpunk

      “Ay”…should have read “ANY”……

    • prunier

      I am going and looking forward to it. I’m taking a late train up, and riding the Caramoor Caravan back home after.

      • brooklynpunk


        I am taking the Train up mid-afternoon, to try and make the 4:00 pm concert(s)…I have already hear Will Crutchfield’s lecture (at 3pm) on the influences Bellini had on Wagner-- and as fascinating as it is-- I don’t have to rush up there, to hear it again….

  • Feldmarschallin

    Just back from a disappointing Hoffmann. Villazon has hardly any voice left. Massive reduction of volume and struggling and forcing. Schimmer long gone. Rae has the extreme top but tiny and nothing in the middle. Damrau did so much more with shading and differences between piano and mezza forte. The less said about the other two the better. The best singer on stage who was quite good was Angela Brower. This performance was hardly Festspielwürdig and would have been fine at the Stadttheater Meiningen but not at the Staatsoper.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      I thought thast Damrau cancelled ALL of these two performances. I’m surprised Villazon did not cancel too. So sad that this production was not festival caliber.

      • FragendeFrau82

        QPF, I understood Feldmarschallin to mean compared to Damrau in a previous performance.

        • Feldmarschallin

          Yes Damrau has had a very bad case of bronchitis since Feb. which she has not been able to get rid of. That apparently is the reason and not the pregnancy. She sang high pregant Aminta during the Festival two summers ago and had no problems whatsoever. I would have prefered Marlis Petersen who just sang all the roles in Wien to great acclaim.

    • manou

      It seems somebody liked Villazon’s Mozart:

  • oedipe

    Now I am really looking forward to the Hoffmann at Salle Pleyel in November. No idea what John Osborn will be like as Hoffmann, but the rest of the cast looks very good on paper:

    Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble
    Choeur Aedes
    Marc Minkowski : direction

    Sonya Yoncheva : les quatre héroïnes
    John Osborn : Hoffmann
    Laurent Naouri : les quatre diables
    Michèle Losier : Nicklausse, la muse
    Jean-Paul Fouchécourt : les quatre valets
    Eric Huchet : Spalanzani
    Laurent Alvaro : Crespel, maître Luther
    Sylvie Brunet : la voix de la tombe
    Marc Mauillon : Peter Schlémil, Hermann
    Julien Behr : Nathanaël

    • Odd: it seems like Dessay would be much more obvious casting in Brunet’s role.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        Evil sneer!

      • Nerva Nelli

        Or maybe Dessay as Franz, demonstrating *la methode* in song, dance, clown and transliterating Cyrillic?

  • brooklynpunk

    Bring back full length Ballet-in Opera stagings….!!!

    (…WELL-- (MAYBE) ONLY IF one can cast such wonderful dancers as Fracci and Ealing were, in their primes….!)

    Anyone know who choreographed this??

    • manou

      Brroklyn -- someone with the lovely name Micha van Hoecke

      • brooklynpunk

        I KNEW that you would provide the answer, manou….!


        • semira mide

          Brooklynpunk, there is also this.
          The choreographer was Flemming Flint who was formerly with ( and brought up in the tradition of )the Royal Danish Ballet. The tradition goes back to August Bournonville, who was active at the time of Rossini ( in fact Rossini wanted him to be a singer) Anyway, here is part of the clip from the La Scala “William Tell” with the beloved Cara Fracci

          • brooklynpunk


            THANKS…and I know this ballet VERY WELL, as Bournonville ismy very favorite choreographer (after Mr. Balanchine, of course….)

            I am always bummed out when a production of “Tell” tries to leave out, or deeply cuts the dancing segments.

            NYCB does excerpts from the “William Tell” dances, when they perform “Bournonville Diverttisments” (sp??)-- a piece I WISH Peter Martins would revive for the Company, as it has been out of the rep for a decade or more (after all, Martins is a Dane , himself--and started out at The Royal Danish Ballet…)

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1926 baritone Andrew Foldi

    Happy 65th birthday soprano Colette Alliot-Lugaz

  • On Superconductor a review of the new documentary Wagner’s Dream, which could have been subtitled “A Man, another Man, and a Machine.” And no, the dorky snake from Siegfried didn’t make the final cut. Nor did the poppin’ heads.

  • Camille

    Has anyone here seen Saariaho’s “Émilie”, which opened on Thursday night? Elizabeth Futral in the part Mattila originated at Lyon? Have seen the UTubes…..and still deliberating.

  • phoenix

    Did anyone hear the Trovatore broadcast today from Castell de Peralada in Catalunya? I am still not a great admirer of Angela Meade (particularly when she rewrites the score) but I enjoyed her Trovatore Leonora today -- she was particularly good in the Act 4 duet with Count de Luna. She seems to run into difficulty around the passagio -- she cut very short a note in that area (Act 1 Tacea la notte) but in it’s place she immediately went above the break to a lovely sustained pianissimo (sounded awkward but at least she kept on singing). When she deigned to sing in full voice she sounded richer than I remembered her sounding in Ernani -- but I wish she would shape & mold a more dynamically rhythmic legato line -- often she seemed to jump from one group of phrases to another with very little musically connective coherence (like she was going down a checklist of items -- quite a technician, isn’t she?). Her best assets are her beautiful sustained upper register pianissimos and her keen fioratura attack. Her intonation on a another sustained note around the passagio went awry in D’amor sull’ali rosee when she tried to crescendo it -- but being keenly aware of pitch she corrected it immediately. Misha Didyk attempted the high at the end of Di quella pira -- something came out but I am not exactly sure what.