Cher Public

  • bronzino: The role of Klingsor is such a lost opportunity– with his particular ‘amputation& #8217;, would not this have been a... 5:02 PM
  • PCally: Grummer is even better on that recording than the studio as well. 5:01 PM
  • kashania: Luvt: Is the Crespin Kundry with Kna’? I imagine she’d be a wonderful Kundry. 4:42 PM
  • kashania: Darn, this was supposed to be in response to the convo with Kruno and PCalley above. 4:40 PM
  • kashania: I listened to that Cluytens/Konya/Chr istoff/Gorr/Neidli nger PARSIFAL several months ago and Gorr is fabulous in that one. Now,... 4:39 PM
  • PCally: Saw connolly in the role in London and thought that she was the overall highlight. She’s a really underrated singer imo. The... 3:19 PM
  • Camille: Jungfer, are you listening? How does the orchestral sound mit Mo. Janowski stack up to your past experiences in vivo? 2:36 PM
  • LT: L’aria della piovra httpv://www.youtub rqPDGmA 1:31 PM

Remember me!

Take a boozy short leave of your nymphos on shore, and enjoy your weekly intermission chat, cher public.


  • 41
    WindyCityOperaman says:

    Born on this day in 1879 soprano Fritzi Scheff

    Happy 67th birthday baritone Siegfired Lorenz

    • 41.1
      WindyCityOperaman says:

      Sorry, it’s Siegfried Lorenz.

    • 41.2
      Camille says:

      The adorable Fritzi Scheff cannot be remembered without speaking of the hit which immortalised her, Kiss Me Again. Here, recorded more than thirty years after its initial success:

      This one above a parterrian had kindly pointed out to me before, but in looking for it to retrieve here, I found this mind boggling souvenir from the fifties. Only a couple years before the dear lady was taken to the great operetta theatre in heaven:

      Shocking to see this Edwardian diva transported to mid-century Middle America. Imagine Geraldine Farrar on The Ed Sullivan Show, if you can.

  • 42
    zinka says:

    At least there was a voice in the family..(Not nice,Charlie)..Varady was so exciting and not enough people appreciate her…..Born Sept.1, 1941….The collectors know what she contributed but not enough people know her worth….

    • 42.1
      Feldmarschallin says:

      Well I know that people here speak very highly of Julia Varady and she also gets very high praise in the press. She is certainly not forgotten and was a major fixture at the opera for many years with at least one new production per season. She choose her career and preferred to sleep in her own bed instead of oversees travels. Today Harteros is choosing a similiar path. Perhaps superstardom is not something that either is interested in and they both choose their family over career. And lo and behold who gets the best review of the Verdi Requiem in Luzern? Just to remind everyone the remainder of the cast is Kaufmann, Garanca and Pape but Harteros was singled out for being faultless. But both Varady and Harteros are certainly here the ones who get to pick and choose which productions they want to sing before other singers are considered. The loyalty that they show to the house is certainly appreiciated by the top management and also the public. Varady gave her farewell as Aida and there are few sopranos (Price was another one) who at 60 can still sing this demanding role with such ease and perfectly placed high C’s. That shows a career that was carefully thought out and were no mistakes were made. I doubt one can say that about other more famous singers like Fleming or Netrebko.

      • 42.1.1
        Camille says:

        Brava, Feldmarschallin. Spoken truly and correctly.

        I admire and despect this type of singer. The end result is they keep more of the voice and performing abilities intact and are truer to themselves. All this running to and fro must tear them down and accout for some of the SCHRECKLICH squalling one hears. It is too bad if we don’t have Harteros at the Met but better, I say, that one of us gets on a plane and goes through all the stress of foreign travel than an artist with a delicate instrument hanging, literally on two threads.

        That must have been quite some Requiem! Wish it was recorded.

        In this day and age now upon us of webcasts being streamed, e.g., the marvelous ones from Mûnchen and Salzburg, I would rather attend these performances, in the comfort of my home. I’ve been to the theatre enough already!

          Camille says:

          Haha! R-E-S-P-E-C-T! [Not ‘despect’, so sorry!].

          Feldmarschallin says:

          The Requiem will be given in Salzburg tomorrow and then goes to La Scala since it has the Scala chorus and orchestra. I would imagine with that starry cast that a DVD or CD will be made. But the irony of it is that the one who got the best reviews is the one who has no major recording contract (unlike Kaufmann and Garanca). Now I think both of them deserve it as well althought Garanca has brought out some very similiar CDs. And with certainty there is partial blame to lay at her feet for being not pushy enough of having a management that is more pushy but then she would have to do press things which she dosn’t want to do. I also do not comprehend how she could turn down die Kaiserin for a new production to mark the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the opera house with DVD and the works. The Salzburg Armida I will let slide but not the FroSch.

          RosinaLeckermaul says:

          I doubt if it will come back, but there’s a lot to be said for the idea of an opera company instead of merely an opera house. I do miss the days when the supporting roles at the Met were filled with reliable, good singers who became familiar faces and voices. And when there were some excellent American singers who made the Met their artistic home in addition to the visiting stars.


          Threre is already a recording of the Requiem with Harteros and Pape, conducted by Pappano. The rest are Villazon and Ganassi. Ensemble is excellently homogenous but the reading is uninspired and the engineers did a lousy job of capturing Harteros’ unique and admittedly hard to record timbre. She does some lovely thing but ultimately not very memorable or moving here, and what in reality is a fairly large voice sounds swamped here by the band.

    • 42.2

      I have often written here about Varady as I am an admirer. But the response was always “unglamorous”, “uninteresting” “not a Diva” etc. Perhaps I live in a parallel universe as I think her voicexwas EXACTLY that, glamorous. Regarding the Diva aspects, whatever they might be, I couldnt care less.

      The best Vitellia in recording history, the most nuanced Rosalinde and not afraid to tackle Die Kaiserin and make something comletely different out of her. I cherish her Saffy for Boskovsky, lovely singing of a beautiful role.

      Later years brought a vagueness over consonants, probably because she was saving energy for voice production. Also phrases tended to be less instrumental, more foreceful. But the tone production itself was healthy as ever, compact vibrato, well integrated registers and beautiful tone throughout.

      • 42.2.1
        Feldmarschallin says:

        You can also add Elettra and Elvira as two roles which she excelled in. I heard both roles in the Giovanni and while the Anna was quite good she WAS Donna Elvira. She was a great actress and came across best in roles which were more active than passive. That is why her Gräfin is not a success IMO. Let us also not forget her Russian roles where she could also convey the youth but had the power. Her figure was quite girlish and she was rather petite but always like Scotto and Schwarzkopf had her heels on. I still see her in front of me in that light blue dress as Tatjana with her white heels. Of course there was that all star Don Carlos which Price cancelled and Varady jumped in and then we were spoiled to have such luxury casting for Micheala and she somewho made this rather dull figure interesting. She had glamour in spades both vocally and as an actress. She like Harteros and not people who throw temper tantrums and have other unprofessional behavior but do not be fooled since both know very well what they will sing in what sort of production and what they will or not wear on stage. Several years ago there was a new production of Meistersinger which was premiered with Kaune. Pieczonka followed the next season and then came Harteros with a skirt below the knee and not like the other two had and which was created for the production with a skirt above the knee. Varady had similar reservations when it came to certain directors and both could benefit from being more open towards newer ideas. You would never see either of them like Denoke or Matilla naked in Salome. Even Gywneth Jones was much more adventouress in that regard and I just saw her Bayreuth Venus the other day where she shows perhaps the best set of breasts in opera.

          spiderman says:

          HAHA! Somehow Feldmarschallin manages to switch in every message to Harteros -- little obsessed, hm?

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            Fear not -- the Met season is about to start, so the HongMatosMeade megatron, the Voigt apologists and the Radvanovsky cabal will be going head to head once more.

  • 43
    Tamerlano says:

    I think it’s time Vasseline to give up this kind of music…ouch.

    • 43.1
      Krunoslav says:

      Scandalous--one of the longest running frauds on the vocal scene.

      • 43.1.1
        Tamerlano says:

        Right?! With singers like JDD and Vivica Genaux singing this music so brilliantly, what the hell IS she doing? And she gives MASTERCLASSES! Ugh.

    • 43.2
      Camille says:

      This I find to be passing strange.

      Could anyone say what the music is??

      I find her success and prominence incomprehensible. Can anyone explain such a thing?

      • 43.2.1
        grimoaldo says:

        It’s “Con l’ali di costanza” from Handel’s Ariodante.
        Can’t help you with the other question.

          Camille says:

          Hahahahaha! Thanks grimmie darling.

          So that’s one of the famous Ariodante arias. Only slight familiarity with “Dopo notte”.

          Grimmie, out of allegiance to you, I am going to make a steadfast effort to attend that Radamistowhich will be performed by Bicket et al @ Carnegie. I am afraid that Händel is my Achilles Heel but I shall make a spirited effort on your behalf and on behalf of l’auguste et superbe Marchise de M., as well.

          Whomever said that old bitches cannot learn new tricks?? Pas moi.

          • grimoaldo says:

            That’s nice cher Camille, I would love to go to that Radamisto too but my schedule is such that I cannot plan that sort of thing ahead, I only know much nearer the time, like a week before, whether I can go or not and then of course it depends if there are any affordable tickets left.It would be lovely to be there!

    • 43.3
      marshiemarkII says:

      I agree totally Kruno, she ruins both of the otherwise glorious Clemenzas she is in! Why wouldn’t they give Sesto to the Annio, sung by a glorious Garanca????? She really smells…..

      • 43.3.1
        armerjacquino says:

        Garanca was alternating with the brilliant Malena Ernman, who would also have been hugely preferable as Sesto.

      • 43.3.2
        marshiemarkII says:

        Never hoid of her? who is Malena Ernman? Is she related to Mojica Erdmann? :-) Nerva Nerva!!

          armerjacquino says:

          Marshie, Malena Ernman is a spectacular Swedish lyric/coluratura mezzo. She’s had quite a career- as well as that Salzburg CLEMENZA she’s done baroque and classical rep all over Europe, played Sally Bowles in Stockholm, represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest…

          Her singing of the big SERSE aria in this clip (from 5:21) is about the most thrilling Handel singing I’ve ever heard, if you can bear the terrible picture and sound.

          • MontyNostry says:

            armer, you’ve told us before about your shameful obessesion with Malena’s Eurovision turn. It was a great frock, though.

            I saw her give a recital at the Wigmore about 8 years ago and remember being a bit disappointed, perhaps because the Wigmore felt a bit stuffy for her and she ended up trying too hard. The voice was on the small side, if I remember rightly.

          • armerjacquino says:

            I think trying too hard might sometimes be her problem- I’ve got a recording of the Britten CABARET SONGS where every joke is HEAVILY. SPELLED. OUT.

            I discovered the other day that ‘La Voix’ (the Eurovision song) is the most played song on my iTunes. That’s a little shameful. The original is MUCH better than Netrebko’s cover version though.

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Thanks armer, I’ll watch it tonight, I really had never hoid of her at all. That’s why parterre is indispensable!

          • Camille says:

            No I wanna see that Eurovision contest again, please! That was groovey!

          • MontyNostry says:

            Here’s Malena!

          • MontyNostry says:

            By the way, which role would she be best for in a potential dream cast for A Little Night Music? Charlotte? We need a genuine Swedein there -- but she will need to be reminded to keep the humour moderately subtle.

          • Camille says:

            Fantastisch Fantaisie!!

            Thank you so kindly my darling Sir Monty!
            When will she make her debut in Gelbworld HD’s, I wonder? For is really perfect AND has a voice. I can well understand armedjacq’s enamourment of her!

            Move over, Renay!

          • armerjacquino says:

            Yeah, Charlotte every time. Although I would genuinely love to see Von Otter in that part, especially after her few lines as Mrs. Lovett on Terfel’s ‘Bad Boys’ recital -- accurate cockney accent and all. ASvO deserves to be counted alongside the Farrells, Kirstens and Upshaws as a superb crossover artist.

          • MontyNostry says:

            I think ASvO is getting a bit nearer Madame Armfeldt territory these days. Maybe, in a year or two, she could have Miah Persson as her daughter. She could be delicious as Desiree.

          • oedipe says:

            And here is more Malena (whom I love!):

          • vilbastarda says:

            And here’s more Malena:

            I, somehow, find her voice as more contralto-ish than light-lyric mezzo. I think she would me much well suited in Ewa Podles type of roles, if she can handle the physicality of those parts. She definitely has the voice, I don’t know if she has the body for contralto roles. In the repertoire that she’s singing, I find her technique imperfect, JDD is a far superior technician and voice for the lyric-coloratura mezzo roles.

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            vilbastarda, we all have a different understanding of technique, but I think Joyce DiDonato is vastly overrated in that regard. If she could do all those runs, trills, high notes and long lines with a freely produced, fully released and healthy tone, then she’d be in Garanca’s league, but with that restricted tightness, especially at the top, I don’t think one really can say she is a better technician than the hugely impressive Ernman -- she just has a box of tricks and, admittedly, a beautiful (but not all that distinctive, for me) basic sound.

          • MontyNostry says:

            Shame JDD’s pzazz and interpretative intensity can’t be combined with Garanca’s voice.

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            DiDonato can keep hers as far as I’m concerned -- she so often takes it to the point of crassness, I think. I would like to see Garanca loosen up a bit, but I don’t think DiDonato is any kind of exemplar.

          • vilbastarda says:

            Yes Cocky, we all have a different understanding of technique. To me Ernman has a very manufactured and muscled production of the voice, you can even see how tight her throat muscles are when she sings. I don’t see the same thing in JDD. Yes, her top is constricted, but that could be an anatomical limitation, rather than bad technique. On the other hand, recently I noticed that the european school of vocal technique is, somewhat in opposition to the american one. Europeans tend to “manipulate” (for the lack of a better word) their vocal production, while americans believe that loose and free is the only way. I think that the “truth” is somewhere in the middle. The European idea, taken to extreme, can lead to tightness and muscling of the voice, while the American idea, also taken to extreme, can produce ugly, immature sounds. At least this is what I think now.

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            Something that has always baffled me about DiDonato is how un-American her vocal production is. Garanca’s is actually much more consistent with what you’re calling the American school, a style of teaching that I think is becoming more prevalent generally. I’m not sure why DiDonato gets a pass as having a possible anatomical limitation -- it’s exactly the issue with tight muscles you talk about regarding Ernman.

          • vilbastarda says:

            Oh yes, and Garanca has a far superior voice (anatomically speaking) and technique than both JDD and Ernman. Too bad Garanca’s personality and musicality is not at the same level.

    • 43.4
      Hippolyte says:

      This actually isn’t the worst Handel singing I’ve heard from her, and it’s shocking to hear the supposedly sophisticated Viennese audiences scream for her Ruggiero on the Alcina DVD. Besides the utterly appalling singing, what language is that supposed to be?

      Given that her operatic roles have lately been Venus, Eboli and Dalila, why on earth does she still bulldoze her way through the 18th century?

      • 43.4.1
        Cocky Kurwenal says:

        She is shocking, and has been for years. She is just as shocking as Venus, Eboli and Dalila though -- really I don’t think she should be singing anything at all, she has so many issues, problems and eccentricities. I too am baffled that audiences applaud her when she can hardly get the notes out.

  • 44
    The_Kid says:

    Ok, I just HADTA post this: such amazing trills! Never have I heard a trill go on for so long….how about y’all?

    • 44.1
      Krunoslav says:

      “Ok, I just HADTA post this: such amazing trills! Never have I heard a trill go on for so long… how about y’all?”

      Two words: Selma Kurz (whose intonation, if not perfect, was better than this Adele’s…)

      • 44.1.1
        The_Kid says:

        While i love Selma Kurz, and adore her trademarked “Lockruf”, i do believe she IS better than poor, forgotten Marie Dietrich!

          Camille says:

          Lockruf, Schmachruf—--
          KID--whatya need to listen to, if you are a triller thriller junkie, like me, is this:

          A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, ecc. Ossia
          A trill is a thrill that no pill can kill.

      • 44.1.2
        The_Kid says:

        While i love Selma Kurz, and adore her trademarked “Lockruf”, i do believe she IS better known than poor, forgotten Marie Dietrich! As for the intonation, it is a toss up.

    • 44.2
      WindyCityOperaman says:

      I did a double take when I first saw the name. I thought you meant THIS diva . . .

  • 45
    Buster says:

    This year’s Faust nominees:

    Regie Musiktheater

    Lorenzo Fioroni, „Carmen“, Theater Augsburg
    Lydia Steier, „Saul“, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater
    Jossi Wieler / Sergio Morabito, „Die glückliche Hand/Schicksal (Osud)“, Oper Stuttgart

    Sängerdarstellerin/Sängerdarsteller Musiktheater

    Nicole Chevalier, Violetta Valéry in „La traviata”, Oper Hannover
    Ana Durlovski, Amina in „Die Nachtwandlerin“, Oper Stuttgart
    Bo Skovhus, Lear in „Lear”, Hamburgische Staatsoper

  • 46
    WindyCityOperaman says:

    Born on this day in 1834 composer Amilcare Ponchielli

    Born on this day in 1885 lyricist DuBose Heyward

    Born on this day in 1912 tenor and baritone Ramon Vinay

    Happy 75th birthday baritone Leif Roar

  • 47
    Albiani says:

    5 Reasons Why Traditional Opera Kind of Sucks (by Erin Wilson)

    • 47.1
      Albiani says:

      Another smart-alecky blogger who issues snarly one-liners trying to be funny in order to boost their readership. Sigh.

      Speaking of Jesus Christ, I’d be willing to bet more has been written on the anti-Semitism of Jesus and the New Testament than Wagner could ever hope to compete with. I wonder if Ms. Wilson takes same issue with Christmas? Re: Richard Strauss. He never asked for that position, used to shelter his Jewish relatives, and was subsequently dismissed from for refusing to not collaborate with Jews and dismissing Aryanism. I think Ms. Wilson should educate herself more prior to condemning people to “eat a bag of dicks”.

      • 47.1.1
        Indiana Loiterer III says:

        I wonder if Ms. Wilson takes same issue with Christmas?

        I’m sure she does. People do these days…

        But what really got me was the inevitable no. 3, “Shitty source material”, by which she means the usual bullshit about how lousy opera stories are. (And her main example is La boheme, yet.) I mean, what is her standard of comparison for non-comic work? 300? Those goddamned Hunger Games? What is it with people, that they dismiss everything more than thirty years old as hopelessly dated and irrelevant? I never used to believe that PC was ore than a right-wing plot to discredit the left, but faced with such stupidity I’m beginning to have second thoughts. David Horowitz, where are you? (And does that mean I can no longer be gay?)

          grimoaldo says:

          “But what really got me was the inevitable no. 3, “Shitty source material”, by which she means the usual bullshit about how lousy opera stories are. (And her main example is La boheme, yet.)”

          Yeah and number 2 is Rigoletto:

          “Oh no… he probably raped her, but she’s still in love with him, so much so that she’d rather die in his place. What a testament to love’s eternal power.”

          This sort of comment amazes me as it does not appear that the writer has noticed that the opera is a tragedy, you know, it’s supposed to be sad, it is not saying “Hey young teenaged girls if you get a chance to save the life of the guy who raped you by dying in his place then go ahead and do it to show the eternal power of love.”
          It’s like people who say Traviata shows the Victorian idea that women who have sex outside marriage have to be punished and die (umm, no, once again the idea is that is supposed to be sad) or the recent comment from another opera blogger that Trovatore is racist -- no, the opera has racist characters in it but the opera is not racist at all, quite the opposite, it is showing how awful racism is and the tragic results of racist societies.

  • 48
    Feldmarschallin says:

    Jonas almost looses his pants in Salzburg…

    • 48.1
      MontyNostry says:

      …Shouldn’t be wearing a cummerbund in the morning, anyway. Does the audience at Salzburg still wear evening dress at any opportunity too? It’s a while since I was there. Creepy place.

      • 48.1.1
        Feldmarschallin says:

        Years ago I was there for a matinee with Norman and Karajan conducting and I thought since it was 11 in the morning I would wear a blue silk Valentino suit. Well I was one of two who did not have a tuxedo on.

          MontyNostry says:

          That matinee (1986?), which must have been quite something, was, I think, the year before my first visit. I somehow doubt that the place has moved on much!

    • 48.2
      Camille says:

      ‘karmic collective desire’, indeed! What a tragic missed opportunity

  • 49
    MontyNostry says:

    But shlepping down to Glyndebourne on a hot afternoon in your glad rags is pretty stupid too, especially if you are wandering around Victoria Station at 2pm. Real ‘look at me’ stuff. If I ever go again (it’s been a while), it will definitely be a lounge suit for me!

    • 49.1
      Camille says:

      Do insist that lounge suit be one made of the finest French polyamide/polyester!

    • 49.2
      marshiemarkII says:

      Double knit of course Cammie, like the Long Island specials :-)

      • 49.2.1
        louannd says:

        MMII -- I guess you didn’t get the memo regarding nicknames for Camille.

          marshiemarkII says:

          No I did not get the memo carisssima Louann, would you please publish it again so I make no faux pas ever with my darlingest Camille Belle :-)

          • Camille says:

            Non ti preoccupare!
            In no way directed towards you, with whom I have a cordial relation in the first place.

            I do not like nicknames shortening one’s name, for a variety of reasons excepting when someone has a genuine affection for another and has specially had a name bestowed by that very same person.

            I conserve a deep affection for Clita del Toro, who called me that as friend would call another.

            There are many people not my friend here and I don’t care to have the name brought into common currency for all and sundry, that is all.

            I look forward to hearing more about Il Pirata, a magical opera but I am feeling poorly due to a bad fall today which disturbed my nerves, so I must excuse myself and bid you buona notte

            You see, dear marshie deux, I am a fallen woman in more than one way.
            Col cuore--Camille

          • marshiemarkII says:

            No problem carisssima Camille Belle, since ***I*** bestowed that one on you, we shall keep that one for ourselves, and no intrusions. As you know I also adore my cara Clitissssima!

            I am obviously very sincerely concerned about your fall, I wish you the most speediest recovery possible, so we have you tomorrow morning in tip top form again. Have a good and restful night. La Tua Fedele Amica.

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Camille Belle where are you, we MISS YOU!!!!!!
            Hoping you are OK, of course!

          • Camille says:


            Thank you very much for your concernas I do appreciate it.

            I went to bed for a day and my nerves are recovered now but it had been a bad time for the last two weeks, anyhow, and this last event just wipede out. I just never look where I am walking as I am always thinking too much. Silly old woman!!

            I don’t have a recording of Pirata and should probably get one. Too bad she didn’t record and sing La Straniera as well as it is my favourite. I have a Caballé and a Scotto recording of it and cannot resolve myself on who sings it better. An interesting work musically if not the most impossible and convoluted old fashioned libretto! Oh well Regie to the Rescue!

            Love and don’t worry now. My health is always precarious but once a fallen woman, always a fallen woman. Now fallen in actual fact.

            Sincerely and gratefully
            Camills Bells

          • marshiemarkII says:

            So glad to see you back Camille Belle!!!!!!!! I was worried about you! So glad to see you back to your old self.

            The Pirata was outstanding, the sound is really improved, and la ONLY Maria does a messa di voce that leaves you astounded, had forgotten how grand she was that night at Carnegie Hall. I have it probably now at least in duplicate, if not triplicate so I would gladly let you have one of them. If you are near Columbia…..

            Yes Straniera I also love, in particular the grand scena finale when Caballe really goes into the vagina voice (you know what I mean, trying to be polite :-) ). This weekend has been all Maria all the time. Finished the Poliuto, Pirata, Traviata on Warner (fabulous!!! spacious and no distortion) and the Athens Concert (sublimely good sound now) and right now the Dallas rehearsal, also in stunning sound, and what performances!!! I am right now on the third or fourth coppia iniqua and she gets wilder and wilder, and in such great voice (no nerves? no audience?) is this new Myto a private Ardoin tape? the sound is unbelievable!

          • marshiemarkII says:

            you probably know the story that the only Maria boarded the Christina yacht (for the first time) with the score of Straniera visible under her arm. Of course she probably never looked at it during the trip, and the rest is history as they say……

          • Camille says:

            Ah yes indeedy, I do know about that story of boarding the Cristina with that score. What a pity and a loss for the musical world.

            Now that I come to think of it, I wonder why Sutherland did not take up the score to Straniera??????? Strange, as the duet portion of same with that countertenor, Richard Conrad, which she left to us was a stunning piece of singing.

            Don’t worry about me, marschieII—as someone used to say to me “Bad grass never dies!”. And lastly--what in heaven’s name is ‘vagina voice’???
            It does not ring a bell with me!

          • marshiemarkII says:

            I am not at all familiar with the St Joan duet. I must dig it up, but what I love (or loved as I haven’t heard it in decades, college days actually) was the big plunges into the chest voice that Caballe does in the final scene. In the early 80s there was a group of queens (including a dear friend of MrsJC who is no longer with us) who had special words, code words really, for everything, and in that lingo:
            chest voice = c**t voice :-)

      • 49.2.2
        marshiemarkII says:

        Mia carisssssima Cammille Belle -- now I shudder to call you anything else lest I run afoul of cara Louann’s memo.

        Re: Polyester and Fire Island, never ever ever!!!. Maybe chic spandex? Of course MMII is so past her “sell by date” that she hasn’t graced the old Pinos in many many moons, eons ago actually, a proper girl must always know her place……

        But the polyester I was referring to was the kind favored by Long Island housewives in the late 70s when they “dressed up” to come to town for a Broadway matinee, remember those double knit suits in colors like aquamarine, or lavender or baby blue? I think John Waters really did a good job immortalizing them, so as to inoculate future generations forever against the virus of tackiness :-) :-) :-)

        Psst, I am now on the new Myto Il Pirata with the only Maria!!! what glorious score, how could Mme Fleming have ever dared to sing THIS role. Bellini was really a gift from God to humanity, you are right! But did he take him so soon from us!

  • 50
    Albiani says:

    “Zachary Woolfe is the most important thing that has happened to classical music in a long time”

  • 51
    Camille says:

    MADAME LA CIECA! Our Intermission Feature from Last Week is now so overpregnant it has become OctoMom! Can you please return from the salon de beauté from your mani/pedi/facial and anti-cellulite treatments to feed your starving children, please?

    Now I am worried about you. Are you cleaning up after Isaac???

  • 52
    Camille says:

    MARSCHIE II !!! Achtung—cannot find where to put this so will tack it on the end of this donkey:

    Superb Sutherland and Richard Conrad in Alaide’s entrance strophes plus duetto. Mr. Conrad was a countertenor back in olden times, long before the popular vague of the lSt two decades.

    • 52.1
      marshiemarkII says:

      Wow Wow Wow Camille Belle what gorgeous sounds she makes, she really is “metafisici”. It really is one of the most glorious voices of all time no doubt!!!!
      Brava St Joan!

    • 52.2
      Camille says:

      That is strange. After all these years of not hearing her sing this, I believe I have come to prefer the Caballé version, especially her languid opening tempo:

      Maybe I shall repair to Casa della Scotto to listen to hers as well.

    • 52.3
      marshiemarkII says:

      Caballe is also metafisici in this:

      • 52.3.1
        marshiemarkII says:

        The cabaletta starting about 7:00 is simply spectacular!

        But here, same version better sonics, you really hear the voce di vagina (MMII tm :-))

          marshiemarkII says:

          that was the cover of the LPs I had in college, ah the memories……

          • Camille says:


            Well then,

            After exhaustive listening to the posts of my beloved Strange Lady, I have to concede the palm to Montsy. Simply sublime.

            Renata is absolutely wonderful in certain portions and so is St. Joan. I could not choose between them. Montsy just whups ass, though, no two ways about it.

            All for now and buonanotte from
            Camille Bells

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Cammilita Belle look what you hast wrought!!!! You brought memories from my earliest youth, it was that recording above in LPs of course that persuaded me that there was a world beyond the Only Maria!!!! because that full voice dramatic singing was the equivalent (if not ever the same,) plus that voce di vagina (MMII tm), again, was as close to the Only Maria as you could get. And THAT was so many years ago…… and thanks to you I have reacquainted myself with that Strange Woman. Very special

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Sorry I have not heard the Piccola Renata just yet, to be able to opine, but I was really busy today. But soon we shall return to that glorious Strange One.

          • Camille says:

            Now I cam sleep in santa pace for that makes me so very happy

            The witching hour doth strike! Hence away

            Big hugs amd love
            Cow Bells

          Vergin Vezzosa says:

          A deep thanks to Camille and MarshiemarkSegundo for the Straniera postings. I had totally forgotten about the Stupendous One’s excerpt and appreciated a refresher on MC and RS. I agree that Caballe’s is the belle at the ball, especially since in the Scotto I think Sanzogno (?) moved Isoletta’s number someplace else in the action and upset the already marginally coherent plot.

          Thanks also to the Kid for the Beatrice clip over on the Anna Bolena thread and to Hippolyte for the heads up on the Meade Beatrice at Carnegie Hall in December. I have never managed to hear it live and am just bursting with anticipation.

      • 52.3.2
        Camille says:

        How utterly glorious she was.

        It is wonderful to hear her sing a C in alt in full voice, not laden with those ppppppppp’s that Clita DT didn’t care for.

          marshiemarkII says:

          I had the same problem with Montsy as Clita, when she overdid the pppp she drove me to distraction, but when she let it all out there was no one like her! I saw both Montsys, including a tu che la vanita that was sung between ppp and ppppppppp in dynamic range, vile!!! but in some recitals at Carnegie Hall she really let it rip and how!!!

          • Camille says:

            Oh say, MarschallinII, were you there at her Carnegie concert in the spring of 1979? Unforgettable, divine madness

    • 52.4
      Krunoslav says:

      Cher(e) Camille

      Wouldn’t one say that Richard Conrad was singing as an “haute contre” on this LP set? And at a time, the mid-60s, when Alfred Deller and Russell Oberlin were both very well-established a countertenors, if not as frequent stage performers?

      Sorry for the literal-mindedness…

      • 52.4.1
        Camille says:

        Oh do not be sorry at all as upon hearing Mr. Conrad again I immediately felt that he was not a countertenor, or not quite exactly. I am afraid to be at a loss for the exact definition of terms for the ‘haut contre’, but somehow feel it may be a better definition of what he is representing? I do not know very much about this category of vocal production. Perhaps Mr. Conrad is singing more in the manner the French did before the advent of the almighty god of l’Ut de Poitrine?? I do not know, once more.

        Yes, Mr. Deller and Mr. Oberlin, very true, however did they sing any romantic ottocento operas to speak of? I always associate Mr. Deller with earlier epochs of music and Oberlin I fear I knew naught of at all, at that time.

        In the sixties these fellows were as scarce as hens teeth. Bad analogy, perhaps, but you get the idea. One would scarcely have found them on any regular basis at a major opera house, I think.

          marshiemarkII says:

          I also thought the same thing but didn’t want to be contrarian, but Monsieur Conrad sounded to me like a “man”, albeit a high tenor like Nicola Monti for example, as opposed to today’s countertenors that sound like gurls, e.g. mezzos or contraltos.

          By the way L’ut de Poitrine = voce di vagina, if the ut is the low ut, of course! and so much more elegant :-)

          • Camille says:

            Voce di vagina equals a high C????? Bb no good?

            I’m glad you’ve trademarked it as well!

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            The very first time I put on that record when I bought it at the tender(ish) age of 15, I had only heard of Sutherland out of the 3 listed singers. For some reason, I started with the Semiramide duet and after Sutherland’s initial exposition, I was perfectly sure and confident that this must now be Richard Conrad, tenor who I am listening to. If I am not mistaken (I might be) the mezzo comes in in b-flat major -- it wasn’t until Horne hit an e-flat a compound minor 3rd above middle c in about the third phrase that I thought I’d better check the box, and realised the error I had made. Imagine how confused I then was on hearing Conrad’s delicate cadenzas in the Straniera number!

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Camille Belle, in trying to be camp I think I obfuscated rather than clarified the delicate definition of Voce di Vagina (MMII tm).

            I know that what you meant by L’Ut de Poitrine was the idea of Rossini tenors taking the chest voice all the way up to high C (who was it the first, Rubini?) which had not been done up to that point, with high tenors singing only in head voice, and sounding more like Conrad than Jon Vickers.

            Somehow I got carried away with the sheer camp sound of L’Ut de Poitrine and retrofitted it to fit with the voice needed for a LOW Ut, namely a genuine plunging Voix de Poitrine, which is the very definition of Voce di Vagina (MMII tm). Somehow it all became more confusing than clarifying.

            So final definition:
            Voce di Vagina = Voix de Poitrine = Chest Voice

          • Camille says:

            Very well then liebste Marschallina!

            The first Ut de Poitrine came feom the throat of one Gilbert Duprez, whom I have never forgiven for the wholesale destruction of the career of The Great Adolphe Nourrit, a genial gentleman of an artist whose life ended so tragically.

          Krunoslav says:

          “In the sixties these fellows were as scarce as hens teeth. Bad analogy, perhaps, but you get the idea. One would scarcely have found them on any regular basis at a major opera house, I think.”

          No--no more than one would have found Richard Conrad!

      • 52.4.2
        Camille says:

        It is chère Camille.

        I am a little old lady.

        One with a sordid past, however, so undue reverence and courtesies are hardly necessary.

  • 53
    Nerva Nelli says:

    NT: ANNALS OF IGNORANCE, continued

    WHY does Allan Kozinn consent to cover mainstream opera, about which he evidently knows and cares little? Today’s NYT review of JENUFA not only tells the story in depth (of an opera repeatedly heard in NYC most recently in 2007 at the Met) and fails to specify how the greatly reduced orchestration in the Opera Slavic performance he heard affected the work (we are told it “conveyed that energy fully”, that’s it.)

    It also characterizes JENUFA as “a throughly wintry work” of “almost ceaseless grimness”. So much for the Jano scene, the extended drunken dancing at Steva’s entrance, the big Act I concertato ( minor key but hardly “grim”), Jenufa’s Marian prayer, the dance and song of the marriage crashers and the radiant final scene. This grimness is said to be apt as “much of the… Russian and Czech repertory… is set in dark, chilly landscapes.”


    and better still


    Surely one unit set of an onion-domed igloo by the Winter Canal would serve equally for all of these works (and the “cool, Nordic” voices they require)!

  • 54
    Feldmarschallin says:

    Kent Nagano accepts Göteborg contract for 6-7 weeks per season starting from the fall of 2013.

  • 55
    Feldmarschallin says:

    Here two shorts excerpts of the Verdi Requiem from Salzburg plus a review. The ladies came across better apprarently as the men.

  • 56
    Feldmarschallin says:

    I have been meaning to write a few words about several new CD’s which I have recently acquired. I have been seeing the new double Martha Mödl around for a few months now and thought at first that it was all old things that I had on complete recordings but other than the Sieglinde from Bayreuth 1954 it is all new to me. What surprised me the most was at how easy and free her top was in the Götterdämmerung from Vichy 1957 under Georges Sebastian. That and the Tristan excerpts which are from two venues (1955 Royal Festival Hall under Leitner and 1958 Prinzregententheater under Keilberth. Here like in the Götterdämmerung she is in excellent voice with a free and easy top which isnt always the case with her. There are also Wesendonck Lieder from 59 with Keilberth conducting which are different from the ones I previously knew. On the second CD are also later things when she sang smaller roles and it has Bluthochzeit from Fortner, Melusine from Reimann and Pique Dame. These are all from the 60’s-80’s. The name of the CD is Martha Mödl The portrait of a legend on Profil Hännsler.
    Next are Tristan excerpts from the Met from 1933 with Frida Leider on Edition Frida Leider. I have most of the other things on various labels from the Met 30-40s and have to say this is one of the worst sounding recordings with sometimes on minutes of music and not in very listenable quality. But Leider is in stupendous voice as is Melchior and Schorr. The bonus is the Brangänge of Maria Olszewska which was new to me and what a voice she has. Again only for those interested in great historical singing since the quality is not very good.
    The Frida Leider society also has produced a CD of Getrude Bindernagl which I only knew from a Liebestod in the past. What a great dramtic soprano with a huge voice and easy top. Other than the Tristan there is no other Wagner and she sang quite a diverse repetory such as Margarethe, Eboli, Figaro Gräfin (quite good), Oberon and Aida. I listened to all my finds at least 5 times which in my book means they are worth listening to.

    • 56.1
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Interesting stuff, Feldmarschallin. Personally, when it comes to Modl who I do really admire and enjoy, I find that the febrile intensity is so strong and so intense that everything comes out a bit the same, so she isn’t a singer I’ve ever collected duplicate performances of (as in the same role on different occasions). However, Modl in Gotterdammerung with a free top IS a rather novel notion and I’ll bet it makes a difference.

  • 57
    zinka says:

    Born Sept.10, 1924..I’ma Shmuck had a range of 6798 octaves…especially when she gets MADDDDDDD!

  • 58
    zinka says:

    When La Cieca sees this version this week at La Fenice..he will get up and yell…”Ma,Verdi non ha scritto questo!!!”
    But he DID!!!!! I prefer it the way we hear it..but if we did not know..we would just accept it….