Cher Public

Strange fruit

An odd week. Of the 26 operas available, just half are regular rep, so if you want the security of your umpteenth hearing of this or that, try one of these.  

Dueling Otellos, Peter Seiffert from Vienna on LRT KLASIKA from 11:00-2:00, vs. Alexanders Antonenko from London (1:00-4:30 BBC 3). Even without having heard it, London gets the win.

L’ELISIR D’AMORE (KBYU 1:00-7:00) from the Utah Opera might give you a new appreciation for The Met’s show. But look at that timing: who’s conducting? Knappertsbusch?

Esther Sumegi is cast as Aida from Wiesbaden (1:00-4:00 DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTUR.) How nice ! For Wiesbaden!

DIE WALKURE from ROH has Susan Bullock as Voigt’s separated-at-birth twin. (1:00-5:30 DWOJKA POLSKIE)

Danielle DeNiese answers the age-old question, “What would Fred Astaire have sounded like as Susanna?” (1:00-4:30 WCNY)

On the other hand, could Gene Kelly have matched Elisabeths with Rysanek? (1:30-5:00 RADIO OESTERREICH). Everyone knows Rysanek was a tap-dancing dynamo.

A concert version of DER ROSENKAVALIER (1:00-5:00 WCLV) just sounds unstaged. Dorothea Roschmann and Katerina Karneus are particularly disappointing.

Similarly, Adrienna Pieczonka can’t keep DER FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER from sinking even with its Bayreuth imprimatur. (2:00-6:00 KLARA)

Opera doesn’t get any more bread-and-butter than RIGOLETTO, but bread gets stale and butter goes rancid. (2:00-5:00 CESKY ROZHLAS VLTAVA.)

Hey, Famous Quickly, lookee here. It’s you! ! ! 2:00-4:00 RADIO STEPHANSDOM: ELEKTRA. Gee, I bet you’d make a really great Marcelllina.

Vienna’s DON CARLO sure looks good on paper, but it just sort of flops around like an uninterested stallion. 2:00-6:00 RADIO TRE. (Have you heard that Secretariat was gay?)

WFMT has not yet made up its mind whether to broadcast the SF ZAUBERFLOTE (with Alek Shrader) or the SF ATTILA (with Furlanetto. (1:00-4:30 American Opera Network.) Tempus fugit, people!

Now, if your interest lies off the beaten path, tomorrow looks more promising.

For one thing, there’s another head-to-head duel, this time between two Rienzi’s. Maybe three, because there’s some confusion about who’s singing the role from Madrid. It sounds like an announcement is made that Burkhard Fritz is substituting for Andreas Schager, but nobody changes the script. Anyway, it’s Torsten Kerl from Toulouse. Schager/Fritz is on CBC TWO and Kerl on France Musique; both start at 1:00.

LES PECHEURS DE PERLE, is almost a repertory item, especially among those hoping for wardrobe malfunctions. But good singing is also important and this one stars Larry Brownlee. 2:00-6:00 ESPACE 2 from Copenhagen.

1:00-5:00 RTP ANTENA 2, also LYRIC FM at 2:00: GIANNA DI PARIGI from Wexford, Donizetti’s “Neglected Masterpiece.” Um-hmm.

Twenty-six operas and only one of them a Baroque piece! Unheard of! Handel’s ORLANDO is the lonely little petunia in the onion patch. (1:00-4:00 ESPACE MUSIQUE.)

The remainder make good listening, but not necessarily good Chat Room fodder

12:00-1:00 FRANCE MUSIQUE: Tribute to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, with archival material not commercially available.

1:00-4:00 NRK LKLASSISK: DER SCHATZGRABER from Amsterdam. And the dedication goes out to you, Henry Holland.

1:00-5:15 RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS: Tchaikovsky’s ENCHANTRESS. The second version fromThe Bolshoi this month.


1:00-5:00 WQED: Theofanidis’ HEART OF A SOLDIER. Very earnest performance, but Hampson-bashers beware!

1:00-5:00 WQXR: NIXON IN CHINA from San Francisco. Are we getting too much of a sort-of-good thing?

1:00-3:00 WRR: TURN OF THE SCREW. No indication which commercial set is being aired. But I wish this were called “Turn of the Rivet.” I just get the giggles otherwise.

1:30-5:00 SVERIGES RADIO P2: RUSLAN AND LUDMILA. Let’s hear it for Giant Singing Heads.

2:00-5:00 LATVIA RADIO KLASIKA: JENUFA from Zurich. Is Kristine Opolais the Next Big Thing?

Happy chatting. I’m bringing chitlins.

  • I only eat chitlins if my mama made ’em.

  • fidelio101

    I went to the dress of The Tempest on Friday. I’m really disappointed that the Met mounted this instead of reviving Ghost of Versailles. It was painful to sit through.

    • armerjacquino

      I hadn’t realised it was a case of either/or. Didn’t a revival of GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES fall through a couple of years ago?

    • papopera

      Can’t blame you, from what I heard on the Internet the music sounds hideous.

    • brooklynpunk

      Each to his own, I guess--I was there also, on Friday--and I found it mind-blowingly WONDERFUL.. both musically and visually…!!!

      Oh, well…!

  • fidelio101

    I didn’t mean it was either or. I just wish it had been revived
    Instead of a new production mounted of a very in musical piece

    • armerjacquino

      ‘I didn’t mean it was either/or. I just wish it had been revived Instead’

      I may be being very dumb but I really can’t see the difference in practice between ‘either/or’ and ‘instead of’.

      Anyway, it’s a pretty safe bet that if THE TEMPEST hadn’t been programmed, its place wouldn’t have been taken by GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES.

      • messa di voce

        But it’s a great all purpose bitch phrase: I’m really disappointed they presented x instead of y. Consider the possibilities.

        • armerjacquino

          Haha yes! Like when someone says ‘Why do they always programme DON GIOVANNI? I want to hear LA FINTA GIARDINIERA’…

          • messa di voce

            I’m really disappointed they presented Orlando Furioso instead of Annie Get Your Gun.

          • I’m disappointed they programmed The Ring instead of L’Enfant et les sortileges.

          • Camille

            And I am prostrate with distress there will be yet ANOTHER Ring-A-Ding-Ding and no La Straniera.

          • Krunoslav

            Why did the Met open its season with ELISIR instead of MERRY MOUNT?

          • Why do they always program opera? At the Met I want to see Cirque du Soleil.

            Oh, wait…

  • phoenix

    Thanks Bobol! Great listing!
    a latecomer is WCLV’s Cleveland Orchestra’s Rosenkavalier (from 2007, I belive) with Dorothea Röschmann’s Marschallin, Katarina Karneus’ Octavian & Malin Hartelius’ Sophie with Welser-Möst conducting. Looks good, huh? Well, I thought it looked good in print, too -- so I gave it a listen in 2007. As I listened to it, once again I was reminded of my own personal handicap: the elusive subtlety of this performance (particularly from la Röschmann) left an open vacuum that I don’t particularly want to return to so, to each their own, proceed at your own risk.
    --> hmmmmm that original Rienzi EuroRadio broadcast from Teatro Real had Andreas Schager substituting for Burkhard Fritz. Except for a short scratchy moment in the last act prayer, I was pleased with Schager’s peformance. However, Anja Kampe (as Irene) lived up to her own last name but nothing more. NOTE: for any fans of Wagner or Rienzi, this peformance is WORTH A LISTEN for Claudia Mahnke’s excellent Adriano and the brilliant conducting of Alejo Pérez -- IMO, despite a few flaws, this is the best conducted Rienzi I have heard yet since the days of Sawallisch. I haven’t yet heard the other Rienzi broadcast today from Bordeaux -- it also looks very good on paper. You can listen to the Bordeaux one this afternoon --> and tonight (on WDAV) you can listen to the Teatro Real Rienzi (or tomorrow night on YPR and KUNR) <-- these US stations usually have good reliable audio quality.

    • redbear

      You can listen to the Rienzi from, ahh, Toulouse for the next couple of weeks on France Musique (normally). Kerl got good reviews.

  • Enzo Bordello

    “Proceed at your own risk”

    We’re not talking about a radical cancer treatment here. It’s just an opera broadcast. Change the channel if you don’t like what you’re hearing.

    And as much as I appreciate Betsy Ann’s weekly compilations, I find the dismissive 2-sentence summaries to be totally inaccurate. “Vienna’s DON CARLO sure looks good on paper, but it just sort of flops around like an uninterested stallion.” What are you talking about? Were you there? I was. The cast and conductor were cheered to the rafters. Vargas was one or two sizes too small for his role but still quite good. Flop on, I’d say.

    • phoenix


    • MontyNostry

      It’s par for the course these days for singers in Don Carlo (certainly the tenor, soprano and baritone) to be one or two sizes too small for their roles, sadly.

      • Regina delle fate

        I remember people kvetching about Ricciatelli’s Elisabetta for that reason, Monty, but I expect we’d think we’d died and gone to heaven if she was singing it today.

        • MontyNostry

          And how about Cotrubas, bless her? Still, it least she could probablu get through the part better than Popsy.

          • The_Kid

            Probably, but I always found her self-absorbed and bland. I know people say that about Joan Sutherland too, but Cortubas didn’t have that golden clarion of a voice to make up for it.

          • MontyNostry

            Cotrubas was maybe not an artist of huge range, and I capitulate less to her now than I did back in the day, but she is adorable here:

          • armerjacquino

            Monty- without doubt the best Violetta or Tatyana I ever saw live, and the best Mimi or Susanna I’ve ever seen on video. Not a spectacular voice but an instantly recognisable one, and an uncanny ability to touch the heart, based in the fact that she never did a single thing on stage that wasn’t truthful.

  • papopera

    Stradella by César Frank…… what ?

    • redbear

      Franck was 15 when he composed this. There is much interest in this across the pond.

      • papopera

        I’m listening to the Rienzi and Wagner was only 29 when he wrote it. A big pompous mess, it stinks !

  • ardath_bey

    thanks for the tip, it’s Gianni di Parigi, not Gianna. It’s the first revival since 1992 (Bergamo, with Luciana Serra), so worth checking out.

    Donizetti wrote this score immediately after Anna Bolena expressly for Rubini in hopes that he would promote a production in Paris or London. It didn’t happen and the opera only opened 8 years later at La Scala, without Rubini or Donizetti’s permission. No masterpiece but the tenor music is nearly impossible to perform as written, I’m definitely looking forward to today’s transmission, thanks again.

    • phoenix

      since 1992?

      --> Registrato il 20 luglio 2010 al Palazzo Ducale di Martina Franca:

      Melodramma in due atti di Felice Romani
      musica di Gaetano Donizetti
      versione Teatro alla Scala 1839
      revisione sui materiali autografi di Anders Wiklund

      La Principessa di Navarra: Ekaterina Lekhina
      Il Gran Siniscalco: Roberto De Candia
      Gianni di Parigi: Edgardo Rocha
      Oliviero: Paola Gardina
      Pedrigo: Andrea Porta
      Lorezza: Eleonora Buratto
      Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia
      Coro Slovacco di Bratislava

      Maestro concertatore e direttore d’orchestra: Giacomo Sagripanti

      • ardath_bey

        phoenix thanks for that correction, delighted. Yet another Gianni di Parigi for a Donizetti whore to feed on great going :)

        • phoenix

          ardath, the only reason I remember this performance was because I recorded it for Ercole, not for myself; for myself (aside from Don Pasquale), I usually prefer Donizetti’s tragedies.

    • redbear

      Gianni di Parigi? I much prefer his other city tribute, Emilia di Liverpool. No Joke! I have a recording of it!

    • brooklynpunk

      I am enjoying the “Gianni” VERY VERY MUCH--it is quite delightful..and fer those who missed it, and wish to catch it..RTE has an archive feature….

  • Salome Where She Danced

    In TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY, sexy Steve Cockring plays a 30 year-old virgin--if we are to believe he had no experience with mansex in prison.

  • LittleMasterMiles

    As much as I wouldn’t mind hearing Nixon in China again this week, the WQXR website lists a Racette/Kaufmann/Terfel Tosca for 1pm. I’dn’t be surprised if that’s a late change: this is pledge week, after all.

    • armerjacquino

      If that’s the Met TOSCA broadcast from a year or so ago, it’s hugely recommended. Gutsy and impassioned and thrilling.

      • LittleMasterMiles

        Apparently it is.

  • I can’t join the chat today but I’m listening to a bit of the CBC Rienzi. I’m interested if the tenor is indeed Burkhard Fritz. He is alternating with Heppner in Toronto’s upcoming T & I.

  • Bill

    Racette seems, from a purely vocal point of view on the Met Tosca broadcast today on WQXR, quite provincial -- the voice is fluttery, not always on pitch. Where required Terfel lacks legato -- rather blustery.
    Even Kaufmann is not found to be in peak form.
    Hardly a Tosca performance for the ages though dramatically and seen live it may well have been an effective performance.

  • reedroom

    I’ll add one more to the list: Seattle Opera production of FIDELIO transmitted live tonight, 7:30 PM (pacific). Christiane Libor (US debut); Clifton Forbis; Asher Fisch (conductor).

    I have been enjoying this production a lot, especially Libor.

    • reedroom

      sorry…that is on

      • louannd

        How do you like Ascher Fisch?

        • manou

          With schips.

        • reedroom

          Generally the orchestra likes Asher very much. I also think he’s excellent. He is conducting Parsifal in New York this season, which was also his debut in Seattle some 11 years ago. Nice guy too.

          • louannd

            People have generally commented well about him here on Parterre. I believe we heard him conduct the Herheim production of Rusalka that was streamed on the internet. I thought it was in perfect sync with Herheim’s ideas.

    • Buster

      Libor was a great Fidelio for Jaap van Zweden, at least ten years ago. I have also heard her Agathe, which was excellent too.

  • rossifigaro

    i’m always surprised at the general lack of interest in video streamed opera on this parterre site. of course i love much of the opera rep on purely musical terms, but i very much need the visual aspect to get the full impact.
    indiana university is streaming “the merry widow” again tonight at 8 pm (est)…a student production but kind of fun.
    of more interest to me is the vienna’s kammeroper’s “la cambiale di matrimonio” this sunday (21 oct) via the website “” @ 13.30 (est)….19.30 in wein.

  • Henry Holland

    1:00-4:00 NRK LKLASSISK: DER SCHATZGRABER from Amsterdam. And the dedication goes out to you, Henry Holland

    *blushes* Thanks, I didn’t get a chance to listen but a radio broadcast = it’ll show up on pirate CD places soon. It got very good reviews, so there’s that. I have 4 performances on tape of the opera and two of them are poorly done. I just want to hear a good performance that doesn’t involve Gabriele Schnaut!

    Next up for Schrekerians? Schrekerites? is the current production of Der Ferne Klang which had its premiere on Friday and the upcoming Die Gezeichneten in Köln, if Oper Köln still exists in April 2013…..

  • la vociaccia

    Breaking news: Poplavskaya has pulled out of her Verdi Requiem in Philadelphia and her replacement this afternoon will be Angela Meade(!!!). Villazon will be the tenor…in other words there will much to report. I’m going to try and get a ticket. A very placido domingo to everyone!! Ciao

    • I guess Meade instead of Poplavskaya brings the F.K. rating down a notch to 3 but Villazon keeps it high.

    • phoenix

      Yes, I understand that Popsy has chosen the much greater Lincoln Center honor of understudying Varla Jean Martin at Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater (see next thread above this one).
      -- In a few minutes they are broadcasting a T&I from Staatstheater Nürnberg with an old phoenix favorite, Lioba Braun, as Isolde. I don’t really care much for T&I, but I am going to try and record it anyway for Lioba:

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        That Lioba is well worth hearing! Wonderful hearing a woman’s voice that has such a natural bloom in those registers.

      • Chanterelle

        Lioba Braun was new to me when I heard her sing Isolde last March, in a concert version in Paris (Birmingham under Andris Nelsons, with Stephen Gould). She was a wonderful surprise — what a fresh-sounding, entranced-sounding Liebestod. Also the first Isolde I’d ever heard live who never once made me cringe.

        • MontyNostry

          Just listening to Lioba as Isolde on YouTube. She’s certainly very good, but it seems to be one of those voices that doesn’t generate electricity. Still, the voice itself has more colour than Frau Meier’s ever did (and it’s of a somewhat similar timbre).

          • phoenix

            Monty -- Lioba covers her tone quite a bit -- still, the voice itself (as you say) has a lot of colour -- personally, I hear a great deal of multi-dimensional gradations of those colours in her voice (I can almost visualize a geometric projection of sound as she sings up & down the line); she is rather discriminate in her usage of bright acuti -- but when she does (particularly combined with her soft singing) the effect can be quite often open, bright & beautiful -- as she did today.
            -- For a several years Lioba sang live performance broadcasts from various venues around Budapest on Bartók Rádió (she sang both Magyar & German music) -- the basis of of my appreciation for her comes from those wonderful, not-forgotten performances she gave. I heard her many, many times and grew to love her voice.

          • Regina delle fate

            Monty -- I think she sang Brangäne to Waltrauds’ Isolde at Bayreuth some years ago, so she is following in Frau Meier’s footsteps.

    • Camille

      So happy now I didn’t buy the ticket for Carnegie as I had wanted to hear Poppy, dammit!

      Racette cancelled on 36 hours notice with SFO in 2009 and Heidi Melton stepped up to the plate and knocked a homer out of the park.

      Yes, kashania karo, I do believe you are on target as to the
      modified F. K. rating, though there will still be plenty enough to bitch about!

    • la vociaccia

      Pooh. Rush tickets sold like hotcakes. Not a chance. I tried, Angela..

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Just finished watching the HD of the new L’Elisir courtesy of some genrous Russian pirates who apparently intercept the satelite signal destined for the theaters. As I suspected, it all looks quite lovely in the camera treatment. Netrebko really could be doing a pantomime of Katerina Ismailova for most of the act. For something the director and designers have imbued with a subtext about Italian politics, the performance is really lacking in Italianità like nobody onstage is really thinking in Italian either. When one only reads the English titles, it’s a real mess.

    • messa di voce

      “nobody onstage is really thinking in Italian either”

      “What the hell does that mean?” he muses to himself in letter-perfect Romany.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        If you don’t know I doubt I would like to hear your messa di voce

      • armerjacquino

        Oh, messa, I can help here. It means absolutely cock-all.

        (I typed that in English but I was thinking in Tagalog as I did so)

        • messa di voce

          When I read “cock-all,” my thoughts are definitely in English.

      • oedipe

        he muses to himself in letter-perfect Romany

        Just curious: where did you learn to speak perfect Romany?