Cher Public

  • Rackon: Yes, God’s and Monsters is a wonderful film – McKellen should’ve won the Oscar that year. Director and star re... 1:02 PM
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  • messa di voce: You’re channeling Steane: “The great contribution of . . . Farrar was a simple matter: she would sing broad... 10:14 AM

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.


  • kashania says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

      sorry…that is on

      • louannd says:

        How do you like Ascher Fisch?

        • manou says:

          With schips.

        • reedroom says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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

    • kashania says:

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

    • phoenix says:

      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 says:

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

      • Chanterelle says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

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

    • Camille says:

      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 says:

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

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    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 says:

      “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 says:

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

      • armerjacquino says:

        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)

      • oedipe says:

        he muses to himself in letter-perfect Romany

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