Cher Public

So shines a good chat

We need a ray of Light (pictured) in these dark times, so you are invited to choose your chat Fodder (and Mudder) from these retooled presentations.  

12:00-2:00 (?) DWOJKA POLSKIE:  CARMEN.  By eliminating the troublesome (and possibly spurious) final act, this performance of CARMEN ends as it should — Jose back in the village with Micaela, Carmen leading the high life with Escamillo.

12:00-3:00 LRT Klasika:  JUDAS MACCABEUS from The Proms.  Two rival street gangs make peace when one of their groupies gets a zit just before The Prom.

12:00-4:00 ESPACE MUSIQUE:  DAVID ET JONATHAS.  Saul blesses the union of David and Jonathan who ascend the throne as co-queens.

1:00-4:30 WFMT American Opera Network:  FIDELIO from Houston.  Karita Mattila introduces the Finnish finale, finishing the opera in Finnish.

1:00-5:00 CBC TWO:  ORLANDO from La Monnaie.  By staging the opera on 42nd Street in Orlando, Florida, the director is able to introduce the big chorus number, “We’re in the Monnaie.”

1:00-5:00 KBYU, WQED:  LUCREZIA BORGIA from San Francisco.  Lucrezia’s dotty Auntie Dotie enters at the last moment to resurrect everybody.

1:00-4:00 NPR World of Opera:  Either A LIFE FOR THE CZAR from Montpelier or EUGENE ONEGIN from Riga.  If NPR can’t make up their minds, I can’t be bothered

1:00-6:00 WCNY:  IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA from Houston.  An angry mob, driven mad by a Rossini crescendo, storms the villa and impales Ambrogio in the mistaken belief that he is Rob Besserer.

1:00-5:00 WRR:  LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST.  Returning to the saloon to drown their sorrows, the miners discover that Minnie has sold it to a cadre of Albanian sex-workers.

2:00-5:00 Bayerische Staatsoper Telecast:  Wildmann’s BABYLON.  On a triple-bill with ADOLESCENTLON and EARLYADULTLON.

2:00-6:00 BBC 3:  GIULIO CESARE from ENO.  Ottavia comes off pretty well, getting the pizza franchise for all of Rome.

2:00-6:00 DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTUR:  A survey of the works of Hans Werner Henze.  RIP, little Leftist, your work is done.

2:00-6:00 RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS:  THE TSAR’S BRIDE from Riga.  Citing a typographical error in the original, the director has devised that it is The Tsar’s BRIDGE which is destroyed, so a quick trip to the dentist sets everything right.

2:00-6:00 FRANCE MUSIQUE:  LA FILLE DU REGIMENT from Paris.  A happy ending is assured when Natalie shows she can still sing as well as she did ten years ago.

2:00-5:00 NRK KLASSISK and P2:  ELIJAH from Bergen.  Staged in a Country-Western bar, the high point is the line-dance version of “Poor ol’ E-Li-Jah, he never had a date.”

2:00-7:00 RADIO CLASICA DE ESPANA:  LES TROYENS from The Proms.  A hard-hitting expose of the high fashion industry, audience members are urged to “Troy this Awn.”  “Naow, troy this one awn.”

2:00-6:00 RTP ANTENA 2:  DER FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER from Bayreuth.  In a mash-up with IOLANTHE, Van der Decken discovers that while he can fly from the waist up, from the waist down, he’s a neutered cocker spaniel.  Under such circumstances, Senta’s suicide not only makes sense, but becomes rather admirable.

2:20-5:00 DR P2 KLASSISK:  STRADELLA by Cesar Franck, as opposed to the version by Cesar Devious.

2:30-5:00 BARTOK RADIO:  ROMEO ET JULIETTE from Stockholm, 1940.  “Do you like Bjoerling?”  “I don’t know; I’ve never bjoerled.”

2:30-6:00 CESKY ROZHLAS VLTAVA:  SCHWANDA DER DUDELSACKPFEIFFER.  Due to another typographical error, the first porno opera “Schwang and his Doodlesack” never saw the light of day.

2:30-5:30 RADIO OESTERREICH:  MACBETTO.  Nadja Michael was busy elsewhere, so this version has Jenifer Larmore, so you can put down your knives.

2:30-5:00 SVERIGES RADIO P2:  Unander-Scharin’s THE ELEPHANT MAN. Sabu’s life story set to music.

3:00-7:00 ESPACE 2:  L’ELISIR D’AMORE from Lausanne.  In a hard-hitting expose of the condensed milk industry, Elsie, the Mordant Cow reveals that each of her four spigots produces a different vintage.

3:00-7:00 KLARA:  AGRIPPINA from Vlaamse.  When a psychotherapist convinces the empress to “get a grip on yourself,” peace descends on Old Rome.

3:00-8:00 LYRIC FM:  LE ROI MALGRE LUI from Wexford.  Leroy and Louie are best pals.  They terrorize Poland by spray-painting fart jokes on all public monuments.

3:00-6:00 HR2 KULTUR:  FIDELIO fom Turin.  Since this is the Turin’ production, we’ll have to wait until they unload the bus-and-truck to see what it’s like.

3:00-6:00 LATVIA RADIO KLASIKA:  OBERTO from Paris. As a sassy, high-class revue, “Oh, Bert, Oh” traces the actor’s life story.  Don’t miss the second half — “Tricks in the Parks.”

3:00-6:00 (?) RADIO SLOVENIA TRETJI:  SIEGFRIED.  A million laughs under its new title, “Hellza-Pappano.”

4;00-6:00 RADIO STEPHANSDOM:  LAKME.  “Lak me?!?  You’ll LUV me!!”

4:00-7:00 RADIO TRE:  SEMELE.  Due to the Vow of Silence being taken by all Handelian sopranos, this one comes in two hours shorter than usual.

  • manou

    A foretaste (or foreskin?) of Babylon from Intermezzo (plus list of live webcasts to come);

    • Come for the German genitals, stay for the stirring post-Straussian music?

    • Batty Masetto

      How can anybody resist an enticement like this:

      “The monumental metropolis of Babylon is the setting for an upheaval in the history of civilization when two cultures collide. While the Babylonians still practice human sacrifice, the Jews – confined here in exile – have abandoned it. The opera traces the conflict by way of the love between the exile Tammu and the Babylonian Inanna, a priestess in the Temple of Free Love. When the gods unleash chaos on the universe, the days on Earth are thrown into confusion and the Euphrates overflows its banks: it is the Flood. The priest-king promises that peace and order between heaven and earth can be restored by a human sacrifice, which the Babylonians commit amid a drunken feast. Inanna descends to the underworld to bring the sacrificed Tammu back to life, so she can be united with him. Love triumphs in the end, and ancient sacrifice gives way to a reconciliation between heaven and the human race. An agreement establishes a new world order in which we still live today: the seven-day week, based on an orderly cycle of recurrence.”

      Since its Fura dels Baus you can bet the production will be even zanier than the libretto. Count me in.

      • And here I’ve been wondering where the seven-day week came from.

    • Batty Masetto

      Y’all HAVE to tune into Babylon. GABRIELE SCHAUT playing the EUPHRATES RIVER!

      Buffering problems but what the hell, this has got to be camp beyond belief.

      • oedipe

        I am trying to tune in, but the reception is simply awful.

        • oedipe

          Like the singing of yore, German technology is not what it used to be!

          • Chanterelle

            Indeed, the worst quality webcast I’ve ever seen was the Bayreuth LOHENGRIN in 2011. Half the screen was broken pixels. And they CHARGED for that.

        • Chanterelle

          Same here, Oedipe — guess it’s not just internet on the east coast.

          The trailer was fun, at least.

          • Clita del Toro

            Chanterelle, I watched the Lohengrin from my laptop and the reception was excellent???

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Star Wars’ George Lucas is cause for great rejoicing. If the reports are true, he is donating the majority of his fortune (including the 4 billion dollars he will receive from Disney) to education.

    In 2010, he made a commitment to The Giving Pledge, saying: “‘I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future — and the first step begins with social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children. As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt—as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.'”

    Hopefully, new projects in music and opera education will be implemented throughout the USA as a result of this.

  • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

    The Lyric FM Roi Malgré Lui is a live broadcast. It is of course the Bard Summerscape co-production, which left JJ (among others)cold. I did not see it on my Wexford trip this week but will tune in. Alas, Swimming Trunks Guy cannot expect to score highly on the radio, so I may tune out again pretty sharpish if the work is as poor as JJ says it is.

    I saw the Delius Village Romeo and Juliet, a strong production of a decidedly uneven work. It is genrally considered to be the long straw this year, though the Cilea cast wowed the crowd. You may have heard l’Arlesiana last Saturday, as I did. Much of it came across as “the usual verismo squall” to these ears, though Annunziata Vestri and especially Mariangela Sicilia show promise, and I may like to hear Dimitri Golovnin in other repertoire.

    A Village Romeo and Juliet was mounted with support from the Delius Trust. Good-to-excellent in all departments, and very well sung, I am happy to report that Wexford has all but sold this run out. The work itself, “a lyric drama in six scenes”, is problematic; but the whole team made such a good case for it that I would like to see it reach a wider audience.

    • Krunoslav

      A Wexford witness said Swimming Trunks Guy was even worse vocally on the Auld Sod than at Bard.

      • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

        Come to think of it, Kruno, not one of my informants commented on his vocal performance. All appraisal centred on his other assets. Who knows -- perhaps he’ll end up ‘singing’ in the new Widmann show? Pitch and tone may not be such an issue there.

  • brooklynpunk

    Our power/heat/water FINALLY came back on this morning, at 5AM--since going out Monday at 7PM--

    Did I miss ANYTHING???…LOL!!!

    • havfruen

      No, but we sure missed you!

      • brooklynpunk

        THANK YOU…!

        ..YA MIGHT wanna wait until I get to take my FIRST shower in 5 days, before you say that,,,LOL LOL !!!

        • manou

          Welcome back Brooklyn -- glad to know you are well even if slightly whiffy.

        • havfruen

          Ah, but on the internet, nobody knows if you have showered!!

          • Bianca Castafiore

            What part of Brooklyn are you at, BP? Most of Brooklyn seem to have survived Sandy ok, but I hear not in the coastal areas…

    • papopera

      Not to worry, we have about 300 Québec Hydro linemen en route to the US to assist our friendly neighbours.

      • manou

        300 people are going to wash Brooklynpunk??

        • papopera


        • Batty Masetto

          No, 300 people are going to wash Papopera’s mouth out with soap.

      • louannd

        I might add that New Mexico Public Service Electricians one the east coast as well to help BP get that water hot.

  • Krunoslav

    Someone was asking recently about Gregory Turay’s whereabouts?

  • I enjoyed much of Le Roi Malgre Lui at Bard and it should be even more enjoyable on the radio without the visuals.

    I’ve heard Larmore’s Lady Macbeth and it’s pretty astounding.

    I’ve also heard part of the Franck Stradella and it’s gorgeous. The first act has a lot of really lovely choral writing.

  • papopera

    Thanks for the opera repertory minus the usual trivial comments. Urgh..

  • operacat

    Spent yesterday catching up on AMERICAN HORROR STORY and this morning listening to Giacinto Scelsi so I feel prepared for whatever Jorg Wildman and the folks at Munich have in store for us in the BABYLON webcast.

  • Lucia Lammermoor

    Just had an epiphany: George Lucas should stage an Opera… Or Star Wars as an Opera!

    • Chanterelle

      Don’t they already call that genre “space opera”?

      • Lucia Lammermoor

        “space opera” ? really? Links please!
        Am jumping around the house singing: “Luke, I am your father”… The perfect Cast: Darth Vader: Rene Pape, Luke: Kaufmann, Lea: Guleghina or Netrebko, Yoda: Nucci or Corbelli, Han Solo: Abdrazakov or Hvorostovsky… If only dreams could come true…

        • oedipe

          With music by John Williams, of course.

        • armerjacquino

          C3PO: David Daniels

          R2D2: Diana Damrau.

          • manou

            R2D2: Tito Beltran.

          • MontyNostry

            R2D2 -- Barry Banks or Mary Plazas.

          • armerjacquino

            Surely R2’s chirps can only be done by a high coloratura? Maybe Audrey Luna or Cyndia Sieden.

            I think Botha would probably be a better casting for Yoda, since it’s a role which calls for staying totally still.

            And since Han is both the cool one and the one who gets the girl, I think we do a vocal switch there and cast Kaufmann. We can get a nice pretty barihunk to wander about vacantly as Luke.

            Cameos for Samuel Ramey and Marilyn Horne as Uncle Owen and Aunt Maroo.

          • MontyNostry

            Hate to say it, but I think of an even more suitable Star Wars character for Botha to play, but I don’t want to be too nasty.

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            Domingo for Emperor.

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            Monty- the role to which you refer is reserved for Camilla Tilling.

          • armerjacquino

            Monty- we’re not doing Return of the Jedi yet!

            Actually, when we do, there’s any number of perky young lyrics to play the Ewoks.

          • MontyNostry

            armer, I’m afraid I don’t know one Star Wars movie from another. I saw a couple of them when they first came out and they never did it for me. I just thought they were rather silly, even when I was 17 or whatever. On the other hand, I’ve always found the Star Trek movies rather satisfying, though I haven’t seen them all. That being said, Juha Uusitalo would be perfect as that Wookie character. And the young Toby Spence as Luke, I think.

          • MontyNostry

            Oh, and Vivica Genaux as Leia.

          • MontyNostry

            … and I’ve always thought Dave Prowse, the man behind Darth Vader, looks a bit like Tom Allen.
            Though Vader would hardly be a lyric baritone.

          • la vociaccia

            Have we gotten to the prequels yet? I vote Villazon for Jar Jar binks.

        • Agnese di Cervia

          Try Aniara by Karl-Birger Blomdahl.

          • Agnese di Cervia

            Aniara rehearsal

    • ardath_bey

      Wagner already staged Star Wars with the Ring 150 years ago, I’ve always found the themes of Lucas’ Force and Wagner’s ring granting the power to rule the world very similar. Lucas is someone to admire, though not a great director of actors he’s nonetheless a great and underrated cinema storyteller. It’s incredible that he’s donating the entire $4 billion from the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney to the cause of Education, how noble.

      Off topic: Giordani knocked it out of the park last night in Turandot, I never heard him sound this good, simply spectacular. Brugger and Theorin were also excellent, but Giordani walked away with the show no doubt.

      • damianjb1

        I was also at that performance. I thought it was the most peculiarly conducted performance of Turandot I’ve ever heard. I heard things in the score that I’ve never heard before (which was interesting) -- but some of the tempos killed the momentum.

  • quinquin1

    WEBCAST of BABYLON works perfectly well NOW (since one hour)!!! You guys missed Gabi Schnaut though…

  • rossifigaro

    am hoping they will rebroadcast “babylon” it was hinted that they might in their twitter feed. just lost patience with the poor quality and once it was improved the lack of english subtitles made it completely senseless (though on wonders if their inclusion would have made a significant difference). switched my viewing to the 2nd part of the schumann cycle with the chamber orchestra of europe under sequin (via medici)-it was really quite wonderful -- especially with the aurally and visually mesmerizing capucon violin frere -- renaud(?). believe the final installment of the cycle is tomorrow @10.30 am.

  • oedipe

    I managed to watch most of Babylon. I found the music appealing, though not particularly original. The composer makes extensive use of declamation and of falsetto singing. The singing was generally good.
    But this work is plagued by a very common disease of contemporary opera: the libretto is bombastic, pretentious and basically empty of humanity. The characters are slogans, they don’t interact in any meaningful way, they don’t evolve and have no depth.
    Granted, the Fura dels Baus staging (which reminded me of Lepage, what with characters all decked up in strange outfits and moving around in front of pretty projections) didn’t help much.
    At the end, the composer was greeted with loud applause and seemed deeply moved: that was the only truly emotional moment of the night, IMO.