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Half full

Opera Orchestra of New York has announced their 2012-2013 season of only two performances. Andrea Chenier will be performed Sunday, January 6 at 4:00 pm with Roberto Alagna, George Petean, Renata (“The Forbidden Diva”) Lamanda, Rosalind Elias, Ronald Naldi and David Petershal Pershall; Alberto Veronesi conducts.  

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Despite her name, La Lamanda is not, in fact, a soprano, which means that in the cast listing above, there is no Maddalena indicated. La Cieca has learned that this role will be taken by remains TBA since Martina Serafin in has canceled this engagement, which would have been her NYC opera debut.

Then, on Monday April 8 at 7:30 pm, comes the season closer, I Lombardi alla prima crociata with Angela Meade, Michael Fabiano, Brandon Cedel and Adam Bonanni. Eve Queler conducts. Both operas will be given at Avery Fisher Hall.


  • 1
    MontyNostry says:

    Rosalind Elias as both Bersi and la vecchia Madelon -- and perhaps Maddalena’s mamma too?

  • 2
    aulus agerius says:

    Wow! That’s kinda unbelievable that Roberto looks that good only a couple of days ago at ROH! There’s a ton more pics on the Intermezzo blog. They say he didn’t sound as good as he looks but complaints were few and far between. It equally amazes me that he can still get through a lyric bel canto role like Nemorino and a few weeks later bellow through Chenier. If I weren’t already on vacation in the Bay Area, I’d consider a trip to NYC for that.

    • 2.1
      oedipe says:

      He is such a risk taker!

    • 2.2
      redbear says:

      Our French Friends at ForumOpera remind us that he was scheduled to sing this role in Monte-Carlo in the 2008-09 season but withdrew less than a month before curtain. Flying to see him would be also risk taking…

  • 3
    aulus agerius says:

    PS: Be sure to hover over the pic to get Cieca’s comment!

    • 3.1
      rapt says:

      Thanks for the tip, AA. I wouldn’t want to miss one of LaC’s brilliant pic-caption combos. I can still, after several days, make myself laugh by recalling the recent cowboy tour de force.

  • 4
    Chimene says:

    You can travel to NY starting December 12, I believe, to see Roberto singing Radames at the Met -- 5 performances…

  • 5
    La Cieca says:

    Update: there will in fact be someone singing Maddalena in Chenier. See above for details.

  • 6

    I’d do him, several times.

  • 7
    papopera says:

    Why Madame Elias must be near 100 ?

  • 8
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Margaret would have been interesting in this Chenier !

    • 8.1
      Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      Pity that Elizabeth Vidal did not have a greater career. I always thought she was lovely. Sherrill’s virile Renato is really in good form here.

      • 8.1.1
        Podlesmania says:

        Quanto, I always wondered the same. I went to see Elizabeth Vidal singing Lakmé in Nice as late as 2009 and I found she was in terrific voice (although she ALWAYS seems to be singing Lucia’s mad scene, if you know what I mean), and she barely aged in the last 15 years. Then later on I heard her in recital for the Italian republic day and she sang an “ah non giunge” that shook the rafters (waaay better than Dessay’s the same year). Last thing I knew is that she is a singing teacher in the Nice conservatory.

      • 8.1.2
        Milady DeWinter says:

        I totally agree with Quanto Painy Fakor’s comment on Elizabeth Vidal. I think the problem was competition with Dessay in virtually the same rep at the same time, and the Duse of Fioriture won the day, generally, in terms of international fame.
        Vidal, however, not ashamed of her coloratura chops, and not the “Possessed” (thinking Joan Crawford with high notes)variety of actress comme la Dessay, remained popular in France but never really broke any where else. True, some of her vocalizations bordered on the insane (her vocal rendition, IN key, of the Meditiation from Thais, or the fabulous arrangement, written for Christine Nilsson, I think, of the Act I Kermesse Valse from Faust must be heard to be believed. I’m a believer, and Vidal truly had that top octave extension. Dessay was good, OK, great, to the top F or even F#, but her assaults above that tone, early on, never sounded comfortable and I think that they ultimately cost her.
        Vidal, on the other hand, and as recently as last year if you scour the Tube, remains in voice and with top extension intact. No doubt that la Dessay is/was a wonderful and important artist, but I only really totally loved her as Zerbinetta and in the virtuoso Mozartean repertoire: the very best Queen of the Night I have ever seen “live”, and that first album of concert arias -- on par with Gestzy and Gruberova. The clarity of the Mozartean line kept her on her toes and pre-empted the yowl-ish attacks and condescending attitude she exhibited in the more standard coloratura rep.
        Vidal’s Zerbinetta 1.0 is on the Tube, and vocally, it is simply stunning, but she is a somewhat tiresome actress of the flouncy mode.
        Still, neither had Modo Robin’s fully resonated range to B in altissimo, or her weird, elfin charm and simplicity, although in terms of polished fioriture they could sing rings around her.

      • 8.1.3
        Evenhanded says:


        If you ask me, Vidal had the scale of career her singing technique deserved. The voice was/is nothing special (easy access to the ultra high extension via whistle voice, aside), and her technique is horrid.

        I will not deny that she deserves praise for her gusto, but beyond that, she doesn’t offer much in terms of interpretive finesse, refinement, phrasing, breath control, tonal coloration, register integration, textual clarity, or -- dare I say it -- dignity. She has always seemed to be rather over the edge in her NEED to show off the ultra high notes, at the expense of pretty much every other aspect of good quality singing. Much like Mado Robin, there is a certain curiosity in hearing a singer with access to the stratosphere, but what else could propel her to the level of stardom reached by Dessay?

        At this point in her career, I find Dessay unlistenable. But at one point she had it all: charm, better than average acting skills, intelligence in phrasing and use of texts, and on and on. Vidal is extremely provincial in comparison. The strange hooty sounds she makes may appeal to a contingent of the French public due to their longstanding tradition of Mesplésque rattly tweety birds, but it is easy to see why Vidal’s artistry hasn’t really traveled well.

          Milady DeWinter says:

          You are aptly named, evenhanded, and I do agree with you up to a point. I don;t think Vidal was as bad as you say, but the voice itself, apart from the stratosphere, is not particularly lovely, and when I mentioned that she was an actress of the flouncy variety, that did include her compulsion to really grand stand those top notes, in a cutesy, sort of unappealing way. Still, I am fascinated by her.
          As far as Robin, she could, and did, deliver some very heltfelt, meltingly lovely chansons etc., sans aigus, and radianted charm and modesty. Nor did she ever grand stand those sensational top notes per se -- they were always just octave up interpolations at the traditional V/I or tonic spots. Mesple was altogether different -- a complete technician, a vast repertoire, including many 20th century works, and a tasteful approach to ornamentation. The voice itself was touched with too much vinegre for non-Gallic audiences though, I agree, but I still admire her.

  • 9
    tannengrin says:

    Would this be a good time to bring up Monsieur Alagna’s preparation routine, again?

    • 9.1
      damekenneth says:

      When is not a good time? Watching this certainly is part of my daily routine.

    • 9.2
      Milady DeWinter says:

      This man is so changeable/sexy/youngish/oldish from one moment to the next. I find him the most changeable face on Planet opera. And I mean that in a good way, but he always reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with the girlfreind who continually changed, depending on the light, from gorgeous to “go away”.
      Yes, I would “do” him a good deed also, regardless of the lighting.

      • 9.2.1
        oedipe says:

        I find him the most changeable face on Planet opera.

        YES! I have never come across anyone like him! You look at pictures taken within a short period of time and it is as if they were pictures of different people that bear a certain resemblance to one another. And it’s not just the pictures, I have seen him in person on several occasions and he changes all the time, a very complex physiognomy.

  • 10
    Albertine says:

    \well, that’s part of his charm! I’m just back from ROH: terrific performance and most appreciative audience.

  • 11
    PushedUpMezzo says:

    More of the same