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Ugh! Neve!

La Cieca celebrates (if that is the word) the first snowfall of the season in New York in the traditional manner: with a video clip from La fanciulla del West.

In this production from the Royal Swedish Opera, we see Nina Stemme and Aleksandrs Antonenko in a production by Christof Loy.


  • 1
    The_Kid says:

    wow, stemme looks so….blowsy? old? something, anyway. good to see an isolde/bruenhilde voice doing this, though. maybe the make-up guy broke up with his partner, or something.

  • 2
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Stemme is quite impressive in this, especially considering that Minnie is such a difficult role to negotiate and to memorize. Here’s the whole production

    • 2.1
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Why is Minnie especially difficult to memorise? Especially given the other roles Stemme has had to memorise (Marschallin, Brunnhilde, Isolde etc).

      • 2.1.1
        Quanto Painy Fakor says:

        The roles you mention are also very difficult to memorize. Given Ms. Stemme being in such high demand and in operas filled with texts to keep in her head, Minnie is simply not an easy study (musically nearly with the difficulty of memorizing the Marschallin). It has a lot to do with the way puccini has scored his wonderful Girl. Having the scores and libretti to well over 300 opera for all parts in my head at all times, I think I know what I’m talking about. In any case, I really like Stemme’s Minnie and agree with La Cieca that there are some very touching moments in it not achieved by others in the part.

    • 2.2

      Having seen the Laggiu I keep wondering, how is this woman going to survive Turandot? She talks about it being in her schedule for some time this year or next. Turandot is such a high C heavy role and she has always had a problem with climatic high Cs.

      • 2.2.1
        La Cieca says:

        There are three high C’s in the role of Turandot.


          Only 3? My horrible bad. I was under the impression that the last duet was also high C heavy. Mea culpa, and mea misinformation. Thanks for setting me in the right path

      • 2.2.2
        marshiemarkII says:

        Indeed there are only three Cs, end of Questa Regia and two over the chorus after the riddle. I saw Dame Gwyneth in 1995 ride over four choruses and four orchestras!

        But the issue is not “high Cs” per se, as not many roles would have many more than 3, that’s a lot already, certainly in the hochdramatisch, repertoire (please don’t bring up some belcanto roles as I am excluding that group :-)). But Lindoro, you are partly right in that the final duet is incredibly high tessitura, which in many ways is much tougher on the soprano, if she is not a top heavy girl like Nilsson or her like. I saw Dimitrova come to fierce grief at the Met in that section in 1987, though she had had no particular trouble in the actual Cs by themselves!

  • 3
    Camille says:

    Cieca! You must love that phrase as you have used it once or twice before!

    It IS funny.

    Okay. Watched the clip. What is das Konzept here? Minnie the middle-aged frump’s last chance at a man to love?

    Her voice does not sound well nor happy in this part. Send her back to the Wagner wing.
    And get her a decent WIG! Jesusmaria.

    Loved him. Couple of the high notes sounded great. My money is on this guy.

    • 3.1
      La Cieca says:

      Well, to tell the truth, Camille, I found the scenes of Stemme and Antonenko together very moving, in a way like a Puccini version of Marty. If Minnie and Johnson are neither conventionally pretty nor particularly young, I think that makes their curious romance all the more moving. People often complain about how only attractive, slim artists are getting work in opera now, and I think that complaint is a little weak when it’s applied to singers performing characters that logically should be beautiful, e.g., Violetta.

      But there is nothing in the libretto to indicate that Minnie and Johnson are anything but very ordinary-looking people who happen to have extraordinary personalities.

      I would also suggest that the opera’s theme of redemption is all the more resonant when applied to characters who have some mileage on them. It’s actually pretty easy when you’re 19 years old to say “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” It’s another thing altogether, and to my mind a really majestic challenge, to believe these words in middle age.

      What’s particularly lovely in this clip is when Minnie and Johnson sit down to dinner (after about 4:30) and almost immediately they are so relaxed and “together.” Small talk and just looking at each other, and that’s all they need to be happy. Even though now and then this contradicts the literal sense of the text — Minnie is not the least “scherzosa” when she sings “Davvero? Quante volte siete morto?” or “Mister Johnson, si chiede spesso la man… per avere il braccio!” — I find it wonderfully consonant with the music.

      I agree that for a commercial video the makeup and lighting could be softer, but I can see what Loy was getting at visually. Has anyone here seen this production in the theater?

      • 3.1.1
        oedipe says:

        I stood next to Stemme once and she is an attractive middle-aged woman (granted, her makeup was better). I don’t know what happens between reality and photos/videos, maybe she just isn’t very photogenic, or maybe she doesn’t have much luck with makeup artists.

          manou says:

          Stemme was on my flight back from Milan on Monday, and yes, she is a handsome women (no Mojca she) with short straight dark hair and very discreet makeup.

          It seems from the short excerpt above (I have no time to watch the whole thing at the moment) that Loy was going for the silent thirties film look (think The Gold Rush) -- Antonenko also sports the heavy eye makeup redolent of cinema of this period and Stemme has a very typical Chaplin leading-lady crimped wig (which admittedly does her no favours).

      • 3.1.2
        rogwood says:

        I saw the production in the theatre and it certainly worked very well, and was a huge hit with the audience here in Stockholm. Supposedly, the taping was arranged last minute so I assume that they had very little time to adjust lighting and makeup. The accentuated makeup contributed to the strong movie-like feeling in the theatre. Stemme is one of those artists whose voices sound much better live than in recordings. Still, I am not alone in worrying about her upcoming Turandots here.

      • 3.1.3
        Camille says:

        That’s a lovely explanation and feel it fully merits this year’s Syvia Bills Memorial Award.

        As far as Minnie and her Dick being a little older, well, I have no problem about that however it was done, twenty years ago, by Mara Zampieri, and enacted splendidly with that characterisation in mind. Only problem: the voice in this is really hardly tolerable. I watch it with the sound off or very low.

        The word Fanciulla, however, is a major stumbling block to overcome and the white elephant in the room here. Translated as Girl, Mädxhen, Fille, it would connote a non-sexual or maidenly, young person. In Spoleto, in 1985, a production was mounted in which the director protested—to much remonstration from nearly all the public—that Minnie was “no virgin”.
        Little old ladies left the theatre screaming down the street what an infamy had been perpetrated. It was a great deal of fun for me.
        And the Minnie was SO bad that even Bianca Castafiore wouls have wished dor Voigt instead.

        You have quoted the verses from the Lesson Scene. I will dig up my husband’s paper on this and get back at some point. This, the most important key to this marvelous opera, which is not a smarmy love story, per se, but a powerful story of redemption and regeneration and a much more important matter than a hormone-driven affair. One for which, realistically, what will be the odds there will be a happy ending? Odds in Las Vegas, I wager, are very slim.

          DonCarloFanatic says:

          I have wondered about the difference between fanciulla and ragazza. Rigoletto refers to Gilda as ragazza, and surely she is a maiden, too, in the sense you say fanciulla means. Before the duke gets to her, anyway.

          • And then Rigoletto says to her “piangi, fanciulla” which in the context is extremely poignant.

          • Camille says:

            Don Carlitos,

            What I once had of the libretto to Rigoletto in mind I have now mostly forgotten, so where is it that the word “ragazza” is used? I don’t recall. The “Piangi, fanciulla”, of course, I cannot forget, so moving as it is.
            Thank you. Camille

          • DonCarloFanatic says:

            I don’t have a libretto to hand, either, although finding a complete Rigoletto and listening to every word is not what I call an unpleasant homework assignment.

  • 4
    Constantine A. Papas says:

    The eye makeup is atrocious; and both women need blepharoplasty, pronto! Very good singing; Antonenko, the spinto of our time?

    • 4.1
      Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      Thanks! I’m gettin’ me one a dem blepharoplasties ASAP

      • 4.1.1
        Camille says:

        I agree with your sentiments, Pipo, and please forgive my dear Bianca, as she was without her smelling salts at that moment, and about to swoon.

        It sounds very belaboured to my ears, as well. Every tone placed. That is only from the segment above, though. Tonight I will try to listen to the entire work and with my super duper earphones on, too, to adjudicate better. You are not “Allein” in your reaction to this bit.

        More later and a cordial welcome from

  • 5
    papopera says:

    As heard, the two twits can’t sing the duet in toto, the usual cut is made. Wish Steber was still around to show them how its should be done.

    • 5.1
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      They didn’t sing the duet in toto, not they can’t. The decision could have been taken by any number of people for any number of reasons, I’m sure that robust singers like Stemme and Antonenko could have got through it even without coaching from a dead person, had it been left uncut.

      • 5.1.1
        rapt says:

        Your astute observation, CK, makes me think of what might be, for some parterrians, the apotheosis of the genre (and perhaps, since I haven’t recently followed Parterre as religiously as I ought to have, it’s already been suggested): the zombie opera.

  • 6
    quoth the maven says:

    “The usual cut” is the way Puccini originally wrote the duet. He added the high, loud ending for a later production. (This is all in Julian Budden’s Puccini.)

    The only place I’ve ever heard it is on the Steber/Del Monaco/Mitropoulos, and an ugly thing it is, too. I’ll take the “cut.”

    • 6.1
      papopera says:

      I know the score. I use the orchestra one. If its written, sing it otherwise learn Mimì.

      • 6.1.1
        Camille says:

        I hope this makes you happy, pappy

        I hope it pastes as it is my fourth attempt and I agree about the lack of this inserted end of the duet. Everyone complains about it but I like it

          Quanto Painy Fakor says:

          • Camille says:

            Grandissima Ghena
            She is missed.

            Thanks, but aside from the Italian man (Nucci?), I wish I knew what they were saying. Very moving Tosca at the end. Did not know she sang Elisabetta, either

      • 6.1.2
        quoth the maven says:

        I don’t have the orchestral score in front of me. But the passage you’re talking about was an addition for a 1922 revival, which means the opera was performed without it for a dozen years in theaters around the world. And it has seldom been heard since, which to me makes it not a “cut,” but a considered rejection of a bit of Puccinian second-guessing.

        Here’s Budden: “By general consent, Puccini was unwise to have extended [the duet] by 16 bars for a revival in Rome in 1922…It adds nothing of value, is exceptionally tiring for the singers and consequently omitted today.”

  • 7
    kashania says:

    Anotenko really is very impressive and much needed in the heavier Italian rep. Stemme does sound a bit matronly but still sounds v. good. And as La Cieca has said, the two of them do have a lovely, comfortable chemistry with each other. I liked middle-aged romances.

  • 8
    phoenix says:

    This Fanciulla is my favorite Stemme en idioma italiano -- her delivery sounds more authentic & natural here than she did in Forza & Aida.

  • 9
    Dolciamente Pipo says:

    Since this opera is so near and dear and in the interest of diversity of opinion, I have to say this clip does nothing for me whatsoever.
    I am neither an enemy of “regie” nor a lover of Zeffirelli. I have absolutely no problem with the singers’ looks. In fact, I always thought that the fact that the characters had “some mileage on them” was a given. It’s what I love about the piece. In this regard I don’t see Loy brining anything new.
    These performances do not move me. I see characters performing blocking in a cramped and shallow set…meandering back and forth. I see a lot of attention to dish washing. I don’t see anyone connecting with any moment or giving any shape to the scene. The orchestra seems to be chugging. All background noise and no atmosphere.
    Though I’ve liked her in some German rep, I don’t get Stemme in this. At. All. There is no lift to the voice. No line. She seems to be managing every moment. This is a tough role no question. But surely it shouldn’t look or sound like such hard work should it? I see her placing every tone. The top notes are dry.
    Mattila’s been raked over the coals for her Italian rep…to me this is no better, possibly worse. To be honest, I prefered Debra Voight by a long shot.
    The camera work is terribly distracting: jumping from close up to full stage seemingly at random. Though I feel for the camera man. With a set this shallow, there are really only about two useful angles.
    I didn’t find a moment of this clip convincing or illuminating. Maybe it would help to see it in context but life it too short and there’s too much to see and this did not whet my appetite for more.

    • 9.1
      Bianca Castafiore says:

      You are insane. I sat through Voigt’s horrible croaking as Minnie in 2010 or so. It was beyond pathetic. Huge holes in the middle register, no low voice, and the acting skills of pedestrian. Her Minnie and Bruennhilde rank among the worst performances I’ve ever attended in my life, alongside Gruber’s voiceless Aida in 2005.

    • 9.2
      marshiemarkII says:

      I went to the prima of Fanciulla in 2010 (don’t ask me why :-))and I have to wholeheartedly agree with my sistah Bianca.
      Bianca Non Mente!

    • 9.3
      marshiemarkII says:

      And there was no booing that I heard, but I never saw such a tepid applause, not even perfunctory would be applicable. Just like 15 seconds total.

    • 9.4
      Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      The brilliant opening film sequence made me want to watch the whole thing, which I did with pleasure. Voigt’s Minne was admirable and gruesome.

    • 9.5
      Camille says:

      My iPhone is playing tricks on me — and I posted above a response to you, in case you are interested.

      Yours truly,

  • 10
    phoenix says:

    Oh yes -- the steady line of Deborah Voigt’s camera was quite magnificent!

  • 11
    Clita del Toro says:

    Met Ballo clips (sorry if this has been posted before).

    • 11.1
      grimoaldo says:

      I think that looks rather wonderful.

    • 11.2
      papopera says:

      WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THE MET BROADCAST, its total silence since 20:30 and its now 20:45. Silent entr’acte or power failure ?? I”m waiting for Amelia.

      • 11.2.1
        armerjacquino says:

        Fine for me in the UK, using Firefox to stream from the Met website.

        For once, insomnia has its uses. I’m excited to hear Radvan in this part, and isn’t there an argument that this is Verdi’s best single act?

        Ecco l’orrido campo- Teco io sto- Odi tu come fremono cupi- V’e se di notte. That’s quite a half hour.

          armerjacquino says:

          Oh :-(

          I’m not one of the Rad haters, and I think she’s in fine voice tonally, but she’s been flat for pretty much the whole act so far, except at the top.

          Alvarez sounds ok, though.

          MontyNostry says:

          It’s weird -- I think Ballo is a fantastically put-together opera, with some glorious music, but it doesn’t move me (apart from the ensemble when Riccardo is dying).

      • 11.2.2
        DonCarloFanatic says:

        My Met stream dropped out several times. I kept having to start it up again. But it was far better than recent Sirius live.

        Oh, lord, the audience is booing the production like crazy, and MaryJo Heath is ignoring the boos.

          Bianca Castafiore says:

          Same here. I only caught bits here and there. Frustrating that the stream doesn’t ever seem to work smoothly. Sondra sounded harsh sometimes and I’m not a fan of that crazy vibrato. I thought I heard boos at the end… That was a scandale!

  • 12
    Bianca Castafiore says:

    The great Minnie of Matos at the Met:

    • 12.1
      Camille says:

      Thank you, Bianca. Good times.

      Do you happen to know—was this the debut performance or the subsequent one?

      She really was very convincing in the role and ’twas a pity she could not have sung at least half the performances, if not the HD. She seemed to galvanise the others as well. Here, Giordani sounded quite good.

      Tootles and make sure Irma prepares your fish course for this evening *just so*.

      Your fan,

      • 12.1.1
        Bianca Castafiore says:

        Camillerrima!!!! I don’t know, but I assume it’s the first performance. Wasn’t that streamed live via Sirius or on the Met’s website? As you know I was at both of her Minnies, they were stupendous. If only the Met’s casting department had any sense… She’d been a great Cassandre, Turandot, Elisabetta or Amelia this season.

        Irma is preparing monkfish for tonight. It’ll be delish…

        Mille baci a te, carina.

          Camille says:

          If the Met’s casting department had any sense…

          If they had sense they would have Erdmann as the hat check girl on the concourse level (playing spin the bottle with the Pateons), with The Gulag as Head of Security and overseeing the parking lot.

          But they don’t have any sense, Blanche.

          • Clita del Toro says:

            Cammiest, Sounds like a new, fun game.

            Q: “If the Met’s casting department had any sense…”

            A: They would cast Latonia Moore as Amelia.

          • Camille says:

            Right, Clita.

            At least I believe she is busy. That reminds me, I’ve got to tell our friend in Detroit about her upcoming Aïda next spring.

            Clita dearest, you heard Leonie sing Ballo, right? Was it better, I hope, than her Elisabetta in Don Carlo? You must have heard Zinka, too?

            While we are at it, whom else can we re-direct into another Met department? Like Berger?


          • Bianca Castafiore says:

            Well, you know, they have Sondra as Tosca next year and Racette as Leonora this year. It is backwards!

            Look who they got for Eboli this year? Smirnova! Is that the best they can find for this part? Ridiculous. And let’s not even get into Troyens…

            Irma!!! My salts!!!!

          • Clita del Toro says:

            Cammiest; Everybody knows that Leonie was flawless in every role.
            I kinda liked her in Verdi (I know, lol). Who doesn’t like 12-tone music?

            I saw Zinka (my first Amelia, and wasn’t that impressed at the time). Also Crespin and Nilsson, I think-- Ricciarelli as well.

            Let’s redirect Giordani to the restaurant as a busboy.


          • Camille says:

            The Smirnova encore I find stupefyingly idiotic.

            Put a cat on the stage to caterwaul through it and it would be a damn sight better. And I refuse to believe she is the only mezzo in the world available or “up” to the vaunted Met standards, good enough to sing the part, a juicy and much coveted one, at that.

            Like you said, Blanche, no sense. Only somebody, somewhere, foisting their management Genda on us and making money off the poor public too cowed or whatever, to swallow it all down.

            For my part, I’m still on strike for Wendy White. Giustiia!

          • Camille says:

            Clifa darling del Toro—

            Yes, that was what I was thinking when listening to her Elisabetta—”gee, didn’t know Arnie Schoenberg had a hand in the rewrites of Don Carlos”.

            Leonie was sui generis. You have to take the bad with the good because the Good was Great. Had I never had the opportunity of having seen her in action, I would never have believed it. Thank god I did.

            I have an early recording of her singing Macbeth, auf deutsch, which is hairraising. I think she sang those Verdi parts in German first, so maybe they were “set” there and the switch to Italian upset her balance. I don’t know but it is a theory.

            Zinka’s recording with Marian Anderson was such a disappointment to me — I think one needs to listen to her forties recordings for her finest. I loved her though, and grew up with her Tosca recording. A great voice.

            I’d love to kiss you but I have to wash my hair! Say hi to Maria, Greta, and JC!


          • marshiemarkII says:

            CammiBelle, of course everything Leonie did was the greatest! what would you say if I told you I have a Ballo with Bergonzi and Jean Madeira (magnificent) from 1962!

            By the way, MMII is only into yellow diamonds :-)

          • Camille says:

            So it is YOU touring around with The Tiffany Diamond, MMII -—
            Bring it on home. I miss it!

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Not not quite CammiBelle, but this will do for now:

    • 12.2
      ducadiposa says:

      Thanks for posting this. What strikes me is a very idiomatic sounding Minnie -- moreso than Stemme or Westbroek. After hearing this again, sung so affectingly by Matos, I don’t think I’d hesitate to say this is my favourite Puccini opera. I never cease to be amazed by the incredible insight the composer gives to these characters. It is so touching -- to me much more so than than perhaps more easy sentiment one finds in Boheme or Butterfly. These are real human beings, warts and all. Minnie’s triumphant entrance in the final act, and her subsequent questioning of the miners “Hey, I’ve given you my life…don’t I deserve some happiness now?” always brings me to tears. I guess it’s kind of obvious why this opera doesn’t enjoy the popularity of a Boheme or Bfly (what is it exactly…hardly any big arias? a more challenging tonality? more through-composed?), but to me, it might be Puccini’s masterpiece. I actually enjoyed Voigt’s performance (HD) well-enough, but wouldn’t argue that this is much better sung…a fuller-sounding tone, more consistent through the range, especially the mid and low range. Still love my Neblett/Domingo recording though!

  • 13
    Bianca Castafiore says:

    How about Eva-Maria:

  • 14
    veal seduttore says:

    Thanks so much for the Matos -- I heard her sing it (instead of the dreadful, simply wrong Debbie-do-bad) and was knocked out. Why isn’t she better known -- or at the Met frequently? A real spinto…

  • 15
    Clita del Toro says:

    I can’t get on the chat because of a new java fuckup. I downloaded it, but it won’t work! What a drag!

  • 16
    phoenix says:

    There’s a phony Adobe update going around that puts on something called explorer.exe that fucks up your internet. Do a disk clean up and run antivirus.

  • 17
    Dolciamente Pipo says:

    Excellent. Now that I’ve passed my trial by fire on the Parterre Comments board I can relax.
    I didn’t mean to suggest that Voigt was perfect in the role (and I should add that I only saw the HD)…that would perhaps be “insane”…my ideal Minnie lies elsewhere…BUT, her performance engaged me in a way nothing in this clip does. Still, having read some other comments, it sounds like it might behove me to go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing to get a better sense.
    Not sure I’ll find the time…what with the Warlikowski Lulu up and running.

    • 17.1
      marshiemarkII says:

      Well you did Dolce!
      You only had four queens jump all over you! when I first came it was like 30??? :-) :-) :-)
      But it does get better with time. Soon you will be one of the gurls!

    • 17.2
      Bianca Castafiore says:

      Caro Pipo, I didn’t realize you were new here! I didn’t mean to be harsh on you. I just don’t find a performance satisfying when a performer spends so much time trying to make appropriate sounds that won’t come out. As I said, I find it a scandal the Met keeps pushing on us someone with less than half of the registers required to sing… Gioconda, Minnie, Bruennhilde, Cassandre? Are you kidding me? Sorry, your time to retire was about 2006.

      Likewise, Gruber in 2005 spent 90% of the time trying to make some kind of sound but nothing came out. Only at the end of the opera the voice seemed to be kicking in gear, alas too late.

      You have survived the vipers’ nest that is Parterre Box. Now you will do just fine. Just watch out for … Ugh… Nerva!

      • 17.2.1
        Camille says:


        You should have TM’d that one, MMII!!

        I am sure that Bianca will get good use out of that phrase if she discovers it.

        Don’t worry, Barneys’ jewellry is way too expensive as well. Pure as driven snow diamants are the only Chewells good enough for a Princess von Werdenberg, so I DO understand.

        I go slumming at Tiffany’s, meself.
        Hope all goes well on your block with electricity, etc.

          Bianca Castafiore says:

          Camillissima!!!! That was I who said that, not marshiissima…

          • Camille says:

            Lol! Don’t want to get in trouble with the Trademarks Department!

            About the first performance, I do not have any idea whether it was on Sirius or not. It was on the 20th of December, though, so it could be checked. I heard the second performance in my car and it was still good but it sounded as though she had surprised by it having occurred at all. She was probably in medias res with the upcoming, at that time, Isoldes.

            She certainly would have been a very welcome change as Turandot. Will there ever been an end to the lockhold the Gulag has on this role?

            Tootles, cara Bianca! Thanks again for posting.

          • Bianca Castafiore says:

            The 2nd performance was due to Voigt cancelling so it was not expected. It was great but not as incandescent as the first one. I think the maestro (Armiliato?) rushed things a bit at the end of Act I (?), you know that magic moment when Minnie goes out into the snow and sighs… I forgot exactly how it goes.

  • 18
    phoenix says:

    Pipo, I had just checked de Munt website last week and the Lulu video wasn’t up yet -- or was it up and I screwedup trying to find it?
    -- At any rate, many thanks Pipo for your video Lulu reminder above -- I’ve got it going over here now.
    -- You have been privileged to be so ceremoniously welcomed by such a canatrice noblesse, MarshiemarkII, pictured below (in her prime) as Elisabeth in

    • 18.1
      marshiemarkII says:

      8-) :-) :-)

      • 18.1.1
        Camille says:

        Love your earrings, principessa MMIItm.

        Did you get them @ Barneys, perhaps?

        Best and kindest—

      • 18.1.2
        marshiemarkII says:

        Barney’s?????? for earrings?
        Carissssima, MMII is strictly Harry Winston! :-0

    • 18.2
      marshiemarkII says:

      But fenice cara, you bad gurl, you could have at least found me in more appropriate garb:

      • 18.2.1
        phoenix says:

        But that was your long-awaited and much cherished Met -- debut 5 January 1885 as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser! How can you dismiss the glory of that consummate occasion!

          Camille says:

          Phoenix—who was that girl?

          Didn’t recognise her

          Thanks for advice about that bad Adobe download ’cause I think I did get it and now I have to get rid of it or go to the Geek Squad.

          Keep warm.

          • phoenix says:

            Camille, she was a favorite singer in her day (and she was born in the early summer, too, like me!):


            The best way to get rid of the explorer.exe is to go into Computer, right click on Local Disk (C:) and do a Disk Cleanup; then click on Properties and do a complete Disk Check. Make sure you have the latest updates on your antivirus program and also run a full system scan from that antivirus program. if the Adobe update pops up again trying to get you to click on it, run a quick scan and a Live Update from your antivirus program.

          • Camille says:

            Oh my goodness, thank you so much, phoenix.

            I had not seen that photo of Materna before, nor did I realise she sang Elisabeth at the Met! Very interesting.

            It’s not certain whether I downloaded that last night, for checking again today it did not appear but I got a security warning, et cetera, but not certain if new. In any case, thank you so much for the advice and information for it is much appreciated that you troubled yourself.
            Mucho spasibo—C.

      • 18.2.2
        marshiemarkII says:

        Of course there is nothing to be dismissed caro fenice, it’s just that MMII doesn’t want to be remembered as the Allmaechtger Jungfrau, she is much more the Allmaechtger Konigin [von Mineshaft ;-)]

          phoenix says:

          Oh yes, of course -- by far MMII’s greatest role in both width & depth -- how well I remember the old production! Such anticipatory excitement as we waited for your entrance down the grand staircase!

          marshiemarkII says:

          Fenice!!! Here I was expecting to see me at the Metropolitan Opera grandstaircase, for my unforgettable Allmaechtger Jungfrau, and you pull this!!!
          Bad bad gurl!
          Oh the memories….. oh rimembranza io fui cosi!