Cher Public

  • Camille: Oh thank you and bless you, bewildered, for that bit. I pine for your glory days and miss you so. 4:05 PM
  • Camille: It’s the New Yawk version…ostensibly the “ViEnna Version” (see, La Cieca, I got it right at last!). I brought... 4:03 PM
  • Evenhanded: Well. “Casually referring to a woman as ‘this Bitch’, however- I’d be ashamed of that.” As would I, Armer. Thank... 3:57 PM
  • armerjacquino: I agree, giving one’s all in performance can never be a source of shame. Casually referring to a woman as ‘this... 3:51 PM
  • Feldmarschallin: Lovely costumes. Cosima would have approved. 3:48 PM
  • Dabrowski: First, the obvious question: Is this Paris or Dresden? Another question, for those of you who understand singing better than I... 3:43 PM
  • La Cieca: And more to the point, which part of Venus. 3:37 PM
  • bewilbered: Elisabeth cover is the Romanian Iulia Isaev, who has sung the role (as well as Elsa) for Bucharest. 3:32 PM

Racette baiting

Protean diva Patricia Racette will perform an ethnic hat-trick in 2013-2014 at San Francisco Opera when she offers roles spanning the gamut of racial groups. The soprano’s repertoire will include Margherita in Mefistofele, Cio-Cio-San and Julie in Show Boat. [San Francisco Chronicle]


  • CruzSF says:

    Visit Iron Tongue of Midnight’s site for more details on the Racette fest. Butterfly is a last-minute replacement for something else (with Racette) that threatened to be much more expensive than planned. Presumably, Butterfly is less expensive (and a crowd-pleaser). IronTongue actually talked to Gockley and attended the season announcement (imagine that, someone doing research!).

    • CruzSF says:

      I’m shocked and dismayed that I missed an opportunity to meet you in person. I’ll try to make something happen before the SFO summer season begins!

  • zinka says:

    Andrea Chenier:Milanov,Stella,Tebaldi,Millo//Tucker,Corelli, Bergonzi,Del Monaco

    Next year..a JOKE Racette/Alvarez

    Gimme a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • RosinaLeckermaul says:

      Are any of the names you list (other than Racette and Alvarez) available to sing these days?

      • zinka says:

        Sadly anyone remotely like those singers i mentioned are not here..BUT there are some in other lands and even in the USA that would sing rings around Racette..Like Juliana di Giacomo, Latonia Mooore,etc…it is just that we cannot do Italian opera with most of what is there…we have coined the OVERRRRATED market.

        • warmke says:

          Please, this was also the theater that carried a large number of Dorothy Kirsten performances in Italian repertoire as well as Albanese and other competent but hardly inspiring singers. The Racette phenomenon isn’t new.

          (Thanks, JJ, for another chance to go off on this subject again. An early Christmas present!)

          Singers cannot become great singers in a repertoire unless they are allowed to sing roles on a stage. If companies are cowards and only cast Racette, then there will be no other singers coming up. It’s not a complicated equation.

          • phoenix says:

            warmke words right on
            - enjoyed the above clip -- it may give a hint why phoenix doesn’t like Traviata

          • phoenix says:

            ‘this was also the theater that carried a large number of Dorothy Kirsten performance in Italian repertoire’ -- yes warmke I can verify that as a live witness unfortunate enough to get the shaft from her as my first (and most dreadful) Puccini Manon Lescaut and Montemezzi Fiora. However, in her defense, despite her lack of idiomatic italian, she could cut through the orchestra with razor-edged, sheathed white laserbeam textured crescendos in La fanciulla del west -- it was very exciting to hear in the house. But the jewel in her box was Charpentier’s Louise -- totally idiomatic, much more so than I have heard from any other American singer in that role.

          • RosinaLeckermaul says:

            While I was never a great fan of Albanese’s quavery voice, she was a beloved soprano in her day and certainly threw herself into her roles. Ditto Kirsten. She saved the FANCIULLA production in the early 60s after Price had vocal problems and gave a fine series of performances. It wasn’t the greatest voice in the world, but she made the most of what she had.
            As to “Zinka’s” list, Milanov certainly had her ups and downs. Good nights and awful nights with some that were a mixture of good and awful. On stage she was risible. Stella was only at the Met for a few seasons before Bing fired her. I liked her work, but she had her detractors. As I recall, Bing fired her because she cancelled a performance due to illness but was actually singing elsewhere (La Scala, I believe) that night. The Golden past wasn’t always golden.
            When I get into lamenting mode, I lament more the current shortage of tenors who can do the Verdi roles. When Berti and Fraccaro are in demand, we’re in trouble. To say nothing of the overuse of Giordani.

          • phoenix says:

            Ah, those golden years! They weren’t always what they were cracked up to be!

  • bassoprofundo says:

    great singer.

    • Clita del Toro says:

      That Sempre libera is beyond terrible. I am surprised because Kirsten was a very good singer. OY!

      • phoenix says:

        Try this one, Clita:

        • Camille says:

          well that was peculiar…and again, transposed down a half step.

          Long ago one read a great deal about Queena Mario, wasn’t she a comprimaria at the Met, but I had never heard her.

          Yesterday I was thinking the same thing about the golden years, while listening to Nino Martini(o) sing Ernesto -- or try to -- in Don Pasquale from 1940 or so. Not so hot.

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            Giustizia! Giustizia!

            Queena Mario (one of the great diva names EVER in my view, she was born Helen Tillotson and was a Sembrich pupil) was not at all a comprimaria, but a leading house soprano: one of the major ones in Met history, up there with Hei-Kyung Hong and Nadine Conner.

            Her roles included Gretel, Mimi, Musetta, Ines (AFRICANA), Lady Harriet (MARTHA), Marzelline, Micaela, Antonia, Gilda, Sophie (ROSENKAVALIER), Nedda, Volkhova (SADKO), Lucia, Lauretta, Eudoxie, Marguerite, Olga (FEDORA), Aennchen, Mary (PETER IBBETSON) Ah-Joe (ORACOLO), Consuelo and Coralita (ANIMA ALLEGRA), Juliette, Manon and Violetta. Virtually all leading roles. She sang some Flower Maidens, but so did many other important Met artists (Amara, Bampton, M. Dunn, Elias, Garrison, Mason, Munsel, Quartararo, E. Schumann, Steber, Stratas, Upshaw, von Stade, etc etc.) Six of the above roles Queena Mario sang in new productions.

            Hers was *not* a comprimaria career by any standard.

          • Camille says:

            How interesting, and thanks to thee, O dea ex machina Nerva!

            I remembered only having seen a photo of her as Gretel with pigtails à la dessay, and drew my incorrect conclusions therefrom. Vergogna. She also became a writer of murder mystery novels ! I shall go look those up!

            Always bracing and instructive to hear from thee, O Divina!

      • Camille says:

        Maybe a part of the problem is/was because of its transposition down a half step, plus clunky piano accompaniment. Why she sang it down without taking a high option at the end is what stumps me.

        Let Dotty sing Jerome Kern.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Want fish?

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    I think I’ll move to Amsterdam:

    • Buster says:

      That is Ghent/Antwerp. David Hermann did a dull Turco in Italia in Amsterdam last season, so I’ll skip this.

      Amsterdam gets the Simon McBurney Flute. Looking forward hearing Maximilian Schmitt in that a lot:

    • A. Poggia Turra says:

      Lots of imaginative Flutes currently in Europe -- Barrie Kosky and the UK designers “1927″ take animated approach at the Komische in Berlin: