Cher Public

Two pairs of pants

“French mezzo-soprano Géraldine Chauvet will make her Met debut as Sesto in this evening’s performance of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, replacing Elina Garanca, who is ill.” (Met press release.)

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Guy, who?

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Ma-zeh-to indeed. What a strange place for a microphone -- right in the center of her hairline!

      • manou


      • actually, I think it is a great place to hide it, when done properly. It can be disguised with jewels or the hairline, specially if it is done with an opera and the character has either big hair or a crown. In this specific place, it is pretty much awful. why not disguise it in her decolletage.

    • Tamerlano

      I’ve really grown to hate that stupid duet…I don’t know what the big deal is, really. And seriously, like Zerlina wasn’t going to shack up with Don Giovanni the first time he showed interest in her.

    • Batty Masetto

      Yeah, I hate it when people mispronounce my name.

      Agree that the duet suffers almost fatally from overexposure, but I really like this version, with Keenlyside being all innocence and silky seduction while Zerlina’s looking, and somebody very different when her back is turned:

      • MontyNostry

        That Zerlina looks frighteningly like Fiorenza Cossotto. Don’t mess with the girl!

      • With a Giovanni as impossibly sexy like that, he would have not even started the duet. I would have served him papers, dipped him 3 times in the baptismal water, converted him to orthodox mormomisn and turned him and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo’s Masetto into husband bros.

      • louannd

        Musically when this duet is done well, as in the above example, well, it’s not so bad.

  • The Vicar of John Wakefield

    Shame the outstanding British Rienzi of this this Frenchwoman’s New York debut could not be featured as Titus: our own Ian Storey!

  • The Vicar of John Wakefield

    Shame the outstanding British Rienzi of this Frenchwoman’s New York debut could not be featured as Titus: our own Ian Storey!

  • The Vicar of John Wakefield

    Also, be it remembered that the first mezzo to make her Met debut as Sesto--replacing a foreigner--was the ROH’s beloved Dublin lass Ann Murray.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Quanto loves Ann Murray!

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      ‘The “pants role” of Sextus was not sung by Tatiana Troyanos, as announced. The indisposed mezzo-soprano was replaced by Dublin-born Ann Murray, in her Metropolitan Opera debut. Miss Murray scored an unqualified triumph that brought the entire premiere audience to its feet, cheering with excitement. It would not be unfair to say that “La Clemenza” did not ignite until the end of Act I, with Miss Murray’s thrilling performance of the aria “O Dei, che smania e questa.”‘

      • Regina delle fate

        Did Ann Murray ever sing Sesto at the ROH, Cocky? I think she did in Salzburg and clearly at the Met, but not, I think, at the Garden. A strange omission, no? Especially as we had the dreaded Kasarova twice. No Susan Graham in this role in Bow Street, either, though she jumped for an indisposed VK in a Zurich Opera concert performance at the RFH -- with Jonas, no less, as Tito!

  • Will

    Sadly, Vicar, Mr. Storey (whom I had liked very much as Tristan in the La Scala performance opposite Waltraud Meier) either was having a very bad night or had arrived for Rienzi in labored, reduced voice that became more precarious as the (heavily cut) performance advanced.

    However, I can offer huge praise for the BBC all-day performance of the note-complete Rienzi (including the bars for cello BEFORE the trumpet call that is generally considered the beginning of the overture) with John Mitchinson in the title role, conducted by Edward Downs. I take that performance in the car with me on long road trips and the opera makes absolute sense when not hacked to pieces; it actually seems shorter, too. A great achievement.

  • Regina delle fate

    Off topic, but a friend in Vienna has just informed me that Lisa della Casa has passed away after a short illness. One of the last of the great postwar Vienna ensemble. Only Hilde Zadek survives. RIP

    • Nerva Nelli

      Very sad to hear this. From recordings, one of my earliest favorites..

      Besides Mme. Zadek, Christa Ludwig and Waldemar Kmentt, fortunately, are still with us

      • Regina delle fate

        Oh of course, Ludwig -- she always seems to be of a different generation as her career lasted so long, but I shouldn’t have forgotten Kmentt as I saw him as the Countess’s major-domo, or was it M. Taupe, in the Fleming Capriccio in Paris a few years back. I didn’t know Lipp was still with us. What an amazing generation that was when even the soubrettes -- Gueden, Streich, Lipp, Otto, Rothenberger, Loose, Steffek -- had highly individual and very pretty voices. Listen to Erdmann or Petibon and weep!

    • Buster

      That is sad news news indeed. Over the weekend, I had the Heger Capriccio out -- such a lovely performance, with della Casa in glorious mid-sixties form, so spontaneous, and light -- recorded at the Cuvillies. Wilma Lipp is still alive as well, by the way.

      • Buster

        The Robert Heger performance is from 1960, I see. So it comes in between her earlier Capriccio, live from Hilversum (1953), and the later one for Pretre (1964).

      • Regina delle fate

        Which label is the Heger performance on, Buster? I have the Hilversum and Pretre performances but this one is presumably earlier than Pretre’s.

  • Camille

    Mademoiselle (ou Madame) Chauvet made a successful debut tonight in her role as Sesto. While not eclipsing la Garanca, she made her mark as a fluent, graceful singer. No unruly vibratos, sure stage deportment. I would like to see her as Carmen, however, as her slight frame makes it a bit hard to imagine in these pants roles.

    Brava, and welcome, and may she return often and soon!

  • justanothertenor

    Mle Chauvet was quite good in Act I, but slipped severely in Act II. Deh, per questo istante solo was sung painfully out of tune.

    • Camille

      uh-oh, justanothertenor, I was hoping that tuning issue would escape notice. It was strange, as she did it on a different note in the refrain.

      More importantly, perhaps, what is it with Filianoti’s passaggio area? One can hear him negotiating it a bar away. The recitatives were well done, but everytime he approached an F…!

  • Another off-topic, but holy hell, Charles Rosen died, too.

    I’m going to stop reading the news for a while. Someone wake me when it’s 2013.

    • Camille

      oh NO!

      The world is a smaller place without him.

      We were just speaking of him the other day as he was one of the only writers who had had a word to say about poor Beatrice di Tenda (The Romantic Generation, I believe)--we were hoping he would have been there--but I guess he would have been too sick, so not.

      May he rest in peace.