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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.