Cher Public

  • Talk of the Town: If you’re not interested in shelling out for a monthly subscription, you can rent individual operas for a... 10:21 PM
  • Donna Anna: This just in: James Conlon announced his final season as May Festival’s artistic director (and about time, too). If you... 9:51 PM
  • Betsy_Ann_Bobolink: Thanks for commenting on the scarcity of BORIS GODUNOV performances. I can’t quite understand that. I also keep... 9:45 PM
  • Quanto Painy Fakor: Alagna – 17 Vasco da Gama video clips here: https://www.youtub lSlD6hB30l7mGcqK_0 kA/videos 8:30 PM
  • Lady Abbado: Love and sunshine in Sydney… https://www.facebo ghiuofficial/photo s/ms.c.eJxFzMkN... 7:20 PM
  • grimoaldo: Thank you! 6:54 PM
  • Cicciabella: Have a great trip! Make sure you get one of those Vasco da Gama t-shirts. Roberto is wearing one in the clip. He was feeling... 6:22 PM
  • grimoaldo: Thank you dear Camille, yes I just saw that and said thanks to QPF for giving me a sneak preview! 5:56 PM

Canned laughter

One of the delights of doing these weekly breakdowns is sending them in and then waiting patiently to see what sort of illustration La Cieca uses with it.  Knowing how she loves a challenge, the topic for today’s chat listing is “GENITAL MUTILATION.”

11:00-2:00 LRT KLASIKA: LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR from Vienna.  What an appropriate way to start.  The text doesn’t say WHERE Lucia stabbed Arturo, but you can damn betcha some of them stabs was South of the Border.  Natalie Dessay, which earns an automatic 3 F.K.

12:00-3:15 SVERIGES P2 or DR P2 at 1:00-4:30: UN BALLO IN MASCHERA from Kungliga.  No data to rate.  If I were Renato, I’d certainly aim below the Bible Belt.

1:00-4:30 WFMT American Opera Network: DON CARLOS (note it’s the French version)  from Houston.  Put-up-or-shut-up time for Francophiles.  Even with no data to rate, this is the hot pick of the day.

1:00-4:00 CBC TWO: FALSTAFF from ROH.  2 F.K.  Excess avoirdupois is its own form of mutilation, n’est pas?  Maestri and Martinez make it more than listenable.

1:00-4:30 DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTUR: DAS RHEINGOLD from Berlin.  No data to rate, but Janowski is bound to do something right sometime.  Fricka doesn’t really become a ball-buster until WALKURE, but she’s taking aim in this one.

1:00-4:00 ESPACE MUSIQUE: LES PECHEURS DE PERLES from Denmark with Larry Brownlee.  2 F.K.  Keep fishin’ for them pearls, boys, but don’t squawk if you come up oysters.

1:00-4:15 DWOJKA POLSKIE: A VILLAGE ROMEO AND JULIET.  1 F.K. like who knows it well enough to snark around?  Mutilation by drowning but you have to wait until the end.

1:00-4:30 FRANE MUSIQUE: I PURITANI from Paris.  No data to rate, but Olga Peretyatko promises much.  The only mutilation is when Charles gets his head cut off.  “Doesn’t count,” you say?  All right, let’s see how long you can go without head.

1:00-4:00 NPR World of Opera: THE ENCHANTRESS.  2 F.K. due to unfamiliarity, but it really should be better known.  Fricka (see above) could take a lesson from this girl.

1:00-5:00 KBYU: ATTILA from San Francisco.  3 F.K.  Keep it clean, Odabella!

1:00-4:00 NRK KLASSIK, NRK P2: LE NOZZE DI FIGARO – Glyndebourne at The Proms.  3 F.K., depending on your Sally Matthews tolerance level.  All the mutilation is vocal.

1:00-5:00 RADIO 4 NETHERLANDS: DAS RHEINGOLD from Amsterdam.  No data to rate, but in a heads-on competition with Berlin (above), this one’s chances are slim.

1:00-4:00 BBC 3: THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS.  No data to rate.  I bet some smart-ass director could work an orgy into this and have a real winner.

1:00-5:00 RTP ANTENA 2: TANNHAUSER from Bayreuth.  4 F.K.  Nobody gets mutilated unless you count the staff at the end which starts sprouting leaves.  A similar thing happened to me once, but there’s a salve you can use.

1:00-5:00 WQED: LE NOZZE DI FIGARO from San Francisco, but is it the Prey/Popp or the Pisaroni/DeNiese?  2 F.K. for the former, 4 F.K. for the latter.

1:00-3:00 WRR: HANSEL AND GRETEL.  2 F.K. for von Otter and Bonney.  Being baked in an oven for “Way To Go Of The Week.”

1:30-5:30 BARTOK RADIO: SIEGFRIED from Budapest.  No data to rate, but the first two installments have not been promising.  Remember, dragons have genitals too.

2:00-5:30 CESKY ROZHLAS VLTAVA: Dvorak’s ARMIDA from Prague.  No data to rate, but oh wow, Ball-Buster Deluxe.

2:00-6:00 ESPACE 2: GIOVANNA D’ARCO.  2 F.K.  It’s official!  Maria Agresta is now the most-played soprano in history — with just one opera.  History is the one getting mutilated here.

2:00-6:00 KLARA: STRADELLA.  1 F.K.  If you haven’t heard it, this is worth catching up on.

2:00-6:00 LYRIC FM: TRISTAN UND ISOLDE from Dublin.  No data to rate.  I think these two should have gotten married.  Once the potion wore off, it would have been Blood-lust City.

2:00-5:00 RADIO SLOVENA TRETJI: ALCESTE.  3 F.K. Good, but not great.  No mutilation to speak of, but Admete does let his wife die to save him, which seems a bit churlish.

2:00-4:30 RADIO STEPHANSDOM: L’ELISIR D’AMORE.  3 F.K.  Bergonzi and Peters.  Uh huh.  Tell me about Adina and Nemorino, King of the Wussies.

2:00-6:00 RADIO TRE: DAVID ET JONATHAS.  2 F.K. for a really absorbing performance of a little-known work, but let’s deal with a father killing a son who leans a little to the left.  Odd that it wasn’t reported on Fox News.

2:30-6:30 RADIO OESTERREICH: MATILDA DI SHABRAN.  2 F.K. for unfamiliarity, but again it deserves a wider hearing with Peretyatko and Florez.

Remember, just two more weeks of Free-Form Chat before The Met Season starts again. Chat Room has been completely refurbished and that moldy spot in the corner has been treated.  Wit, Wisdom and Weltschmerz for everyone.


  • Avantialouie says:

    La Cieca is MUCH more imaginative than I in selecting apt illustrations. I would merely have used a portrait of Calixto Bieito: he provided the can and I provided the laughter.

  • il commentatore says:

    I’m listening to the Houston Don Carlos. The ladies are impressive, and Jovanovich is pretty good. I won’t comment on the lower mens’ voices. The tragedy is Patrick Summers, whose conducting is painful wooden and, I guess you could say, “efficient.” Also, in the intermission he claimed that they were performing the 1867 score, but they aren’t. They’re performing the 1885 Modena version in French, but with a few ugly cuts and a few bits of the 1867 score added to no particular effect. Does Summers think this is all too complicated for the audience?

  • phoenix says:

    Camille, how was the Don Carlos? I didn’t hear the whole thing so I really can’t give an honest opinion, just a few impressionzzzz from here & there: some truly dramatic histronics from T. Wilson, who sounded (I suppose) appropriately matronly (like a midwestern Zinka) as the step-mother of Janovich (whom I found more sincere & natural). Don’t get me wrong, T. Wilson is a 1st rate singer and should be welcomed at any House -- it’s just a matter what I hear in her voice. I forgot who the Filipo was, but he sounded even more matronly (even his wobble had hairs growing out it) -- certainly old enough to be T. Wilson’s grandfather. What did you think? I didn’t even get a chance to hear Goerke, who probably was the best of the lot.

  • Bill says:

    Phoenix -- I listened to most of the Houston Don Carlos
    and all in all it was pretty wretched. I suppose
    indeed Goerke was the best of a very sad lot but
    I did not like her voice all that much either rather hard driven.

    • phoenix says:

      Thanks Bill for your keen obersvation -- the truth has set me free!

      • Camille says:

        Phoenix dear—
        Totally out of commission today and could not listen as I arose at 4:30 am to drive Monsieur Camille to the airport. Alas, upon my return I was unable to sleep until around noon—so I lost DC this pm.

        All was not lost, however,as Monsieur Camille, upon arriving back in the big apple, turned on WQXR and listened in between dozing. He said he gave the women a C+ (at best) and the men all were getting a D–(again, at best). Does that answer your question? Also, if you are still interested, he says hat ‘QXR usually archives the operas for a week. Now, I don’t know so do check to make sure. I will give it the old college try when I get up the guts and find my score.

        Bill, doubtlessly, got the measure of things, as he always does, and so well.

        Ich muss schlafen! Take care to stay on the right side of Sheriff Joe, for chrissakes!

        • Camille says:

          Sample of turkey wattles --

          It makes me sad to hear Ramey out of shape now, and I understand he has to go on working, but I conserve a lot of wonderful memories from 10 to 30 years ago, still.

        • phoenix says:

          Thanks Camille ~ ¡dulces sueños!

  • The_Kid says:

    Hi folks, happy thanksgiving, and may I trouble you for some advice? Would you give a good rating to the 1992 Rahbari Cavalleria Rusticana, with Evstatieva and Aragall (Decca)? Is it well-sung? Would you buy it?
    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • phoenix says:

      Kid, I never heard that recording -- actually, it was not so many years ago that I first began to like Cavalleria -- when I heard a performance of it from Lisbon broadcast on radio with Matos.
      - But I loved Evstatieva when I saw her as Lisa in Pikovaja Dama, Elisabetta in Don Carlo and Maddalena in Andrea Chenier -- and also heard her on the radio as Aida in broadcast -- I was a fan. I felt she was underrated and should have gotten more exposure on the circuits. This was a a long time ago, however. I know she sang Cavalleria at the Met around those years this recording was made. Aragall: a refined stylist and a very good singer in his day.

    • armerjacquino says:

      It’s on Naxos, I think, rather than Decca.

    • The_Kid says:

      hi phoenix, thank you so much. i gave in to temptation and bought it (it was dirt-cheap, anyway), and i rather like it. not quite as good as the other two cavs i have (bruna-rasa, melandri, poli; mascagni, and guelfi, corelli, simionato; gavazenni), but aragall makes a nice and restrained turiddu, while both santuzza and mama lucia are vocally sound. all in all, a good recording.

  • Bianca Castafiore says:

    More of La Pendatchanska, the confrontation scene in Maria Stuarda from Toronto:

    • kashania says:

      Thanks, Bianca! I had no idea this existed. I saw this production and Pendatchanksa and Farnocchia were fabulous. Can’t wait to listen to it.

  • Bianca Castafiore says:

    Carissima Cammillissima! How was your TG day? I hope you didn’t overdose on dessert as I did! Hope you had a great day with your loved ones!!!!

    • Camille says:

      I overdosed on gravy, Bianchissima dearest, and love for my Monsieur Camille, as he got away briefly from grind and NYC. Now I am exhausted from all the work but happy we had the time together as last year he was writing a paper and could not be disturbed.

      Did Cap’n Haddock show up, with fleurs in hand, and withOUT that funny little boy???

      Sorry not to have time to check out Alex Penda. I have heard a great deal about the Ermione of hers. Too bad as it was before my time here.

      Have you seen the Clemenza of Toto yet? Garam is worth the price of admission, alone! Many other fine contributions, as well. Intend to go to the HD.

      Thank you for your kindness to a tired old lady. C.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Alagna’s cover for Andrea Chenier

  • louannd says:

    The entire production of Vinci’s Artaserse with its five countertenors (Cencic, Jaroussky, among others) is now online in three parts:

    • oedipe says:

      Thanks Louannd. This is a delightful show (at least to those of us who don’t think baroque opera is stuffy and boring and needs updating along the lines of Enchanted Island).

      • louannd says:

        Now, WHO on earth would thank that M. oedipe? :)

      • louannd says:

        I also wanted to say that though I only have my own ears to rely on, it is delightful to hear music that is refreshingly simple (perhaps deceptively so) that highlights the underpinnings of the more sophisticated GFH and other more eminently renowned Barogue composers. Hopefully, that’s not too silly a thing to say.

    • guy pacifica says:

      Thank you for posting this — it’s completely marvelous.