Cher Public

The wanton doyenne

La Cieca (right) invites all of you to spend this intermission in a constructive way: not rioting for Italian independence, but discussing off-topic and general interest subjects, as people do.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Villazon is enough to make one barf here

    • MontyNostry

      He always makes me want to barf -- difficult to listen to and even more difficult to watch. I saw him in Werther last year and was embarrassed to be in the audience.

      • MontyNostry

        Royal Opera House

        “Tune into BBC Radio 4 on Christmas Eve at 9am/9.30pm for a very special episode of Start the Week from the Royal Opera House looking at the power of the human voice.

        “Andrew Marr will be joined by a panel including Rolando Villazón and Mark-Anthony Turnage >>>

        With rent-a-larynx Rolando in the line-up, I guess the real topic will be the declining power of the human voice.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1751 composer Giuseppe Giordani, best known for the classically-trained singer’s first song:

    Born on this day in 1888 conductor Fritz Reiner

    Born on this day in 1900 soprano Audrey Mildmay

    Born on this day in 1902 soprano Dusolina Giannini

    Happy 69th birthday soprano Wendy Fine

    Happy 68th birthday conductor William Christie

    Happy 63rd birthday baritone Russell Smythe

    Happy 61st birthday mezzo-soprano Jane Bunnell

    Happy 55th birthday baritone Olaf Bär

  • marshiemarkII

    The most magnificent Layla Claire in Messiah with the New York Philharmonic:
    In addition to Mr. Wedow’s debut with the orchestra, this “Messiah” proved notable for the Philharmonic debuts of two gifted young singers, the soprano Layla Claire and thecountertenor Tim Mead. Wearing an elegant green gown that added a splash of festive color to the proceedings, Ms. Claire, who has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in recent seasons, sang with a lustrous sheen and clean coloratura. Mr. Mead made an equally strong impression with his luminous voice, impeccable control and expressive phrasing. The bass Alastair Miles sang with conviction; the tenor Kenneth Tarver had some shaky moments during his solos.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      Glad to hear Alastair Miles’s conviction is undiminished! That’s the first reference to Kenneth Tarver I’ve seen in years, he was a lovely singer c.10 years ago at the ROH.

      • MontyNostry

        I always feel Alastair Miles is a bit underrated. People tend to think of him as a ‘solid’ singer, but he is more than that. Kenneth Tarver got a good review in this month’s Gramophone, if I remember rightly. One of those excellent bel canto tenors who has been sadly overshadowed by JDF, I suspect.

      • Nerva Nelli

        Accoridng to Operabase, in the last 4 years Tarver has been singing leading roles at Buenos Aires, San Sebastian, Madrid(Escorial), Toulouse(Capitole), La Coruna, Berlin(UDL), Dresden(SSO), Washington Concert Opera, Brussels(Monnaie), Stuttgart, Santiago, the Wildbad Festival, Liege, the Budapest Festival,the Concertgebouw and the Opera Comique- with some major conductors and producers.

        He even did “Aureliano in Palmira”in London (at the SBC.

        He has issued some major Mozart recordings with Jacobs and is on a Jacobs DVD of BELSHAZZAR from Aix (in the name part) with Rosemary Joshua, Bejun Mehta, Neal davies and Kristina Hammerstroem.

        • armerjacquino

          Best Fenton I’ve ever heard. By a mile.

  • Camille

    Anyone but an operaomnivore like Camille could probably not digest four, yes 4, operas in one day, so I suggest you just hear two short comic operas, the Mannes New School production (see above right in La Cieca’s schedule of daily events), a combination of Stravinsky’s Mavra, a delightful froth of silliness, and the slightly longer La Scala di Seta of the Swan of Pesaro, Signor Rossini (did he ever write anything which was less than genius…?).

    Best of all, FREE ADMISSION, just go to the ticket office to get yours. Help these young kids out for you will be glad you did! Maestro Joseph Colaneri is in charge.

    • Nerva Nelli

      “Signor Rossini (did he ever write anything which was less than genius…?)”

      Yes. ARMIDA, for one! And some of the short comedies are only serviceable.

  • efrayer

    Has anyone else heard about the $100 million bond the Met just issued? AND they’re planning on raising $60 million for renovations! I don’t know whether to be encouraged by this news, or concerned. The NYT recently posted an article about the state of technology at the Met--now that had me worried.

    • DonCarloFanatic

      Intermezzo covered the bond issue in good detail.

      As for the renovations, anyone who saw the backstage work at Aida or Ballo shown on the HDs during intermission and/or scene changes must realize that the Met needs a major technical overhaul.

      • oedipe

        Intermezzo is a smart lady but she should avoid offering alarmist opinions about things she doesn’t know or understand. She criticizes the Met’s floating a 100million$ bond issue without knowing the exact terms of the offer: nobody does, they haven’t been set yet! And she doesn’t seem to have a clue about the importance of taking advantage of refinancing opportunities, or about companies’ financial leverage and the ways to interpret it.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1895 soprano Hildegard Ranczak

    Born on this day in 1907 soprano Marion Talley

    Born on this day in 1925 tenor André Turp

    Born on this day in 1928 British bass Donald Adams

    Happy 74th birthday composer John Harbison

  • zinka

    Here are some names for you:

    Radvanovsky, Netrebko,Damrau,Dessay, Di Giacomo, Moore, Meade, Wagner, Monastyrska,Giannattaso, and now as of last night’s Aida, I add soprano Hui He, a superb young lady who joins an array of marveous sopranos who now seem to be able to thrill audiences as not in recent days. I am even getting used to not hearing enough chest voice from most of them because i think thi is the training of today, and there is so much more to them that I am succumbing.
    Last night, Mme.He showed that she could sing with such great beauty and control of tone that I was totally captivated. In the “Patria mia,” she began that most treacherous high C piano, and swelled it to a long-held forte, concluding with a gorgeous A pianissimo, the likes of whcih I have not heard in ages. Like Monastryska the week before, she showed a rich,gleaming tone in middle,upper middle, and top registers that made an otherwise somewhat flawed Aida quite a beautiful evening. (The “flaw’ is that Alagna, a fine artist, does not have the heroic tone for Radames, and should stick to Romeo,Nemorino,etc, and roles that show him off to best advantage. He also takes that B flat at the end of the aria, and in the Nile duet in pure falsetto, which I feel is “cheating.”
    So happy to hear Mme.He,who will return next season as Mme.Butterfly. Nice to be able to enjoy some fine sopranos at the Met these days.Now,all we need is Giacomo Lauri-Volpi’s successor.

    Love and happy Holidays
    Charlie (whose favorite opera is still Aida)

  • Bianca Castafiore

    I tried to reply to Bobsie, but somehow this is not coming through. Have you tried this?

  • Bianca Castafiore

    Are we not allowed to mention certain websites here? I was trying to respond to Bobsie about libretti online but my posts are not appearing in that thread.

  • zinka

    From Opera-L

    Here is an approximate translation of the German by Google translate.

    Piotr Beczala: “There is for me a black list of directors’

    Ljubisa Tosic 19, December 2012, 19:18

    The Polish tenor singing with a cold, Linzer experiences and directors

    Vienna -- Piotr Beczala’s in the mood. The Pre-Christmas right merrily, the
    tenor would be after the State Opera Bohème at the Christmas in Vienna
    concert (“Quite a serious, serious thing to rehearse”). The mood in no way
    detrimental is the fact that the man from the Polish Czechowice-Dziedzice
    (born in 1966) has just signed with Universal Multi-CD an exclusive contract.

    However, the conversation turns to the chapter opera direction, it is somehow
    uncomfortable. Since Beczala knows, suddenly slightly dark, no mercy: “For
    me, these people are really crazy and try to reinvent the new opera, nothing
    is lost in this genre I’m sorry -- I’m quite hard for the director asserts.! that he
    was a creative force, he is out for me. thank God there are people who know
    about music, and opera can of course be re-told. But the core has to be
    there. we are all artists, the creative is the composer! ”

    Interpret something new was “a lot harder than it virtually reinventing. I can
    do that, think of what some people do in a half hour using a half bottle of red
    wine. A correct interpretation, however, is difficult.” Yes, Beczala has rejected
    many offers to this effect. “There is for me a black list of conductors and
    directors with whom I would not work.” With some of them, “I have worked
    Others are on the list because they have a great reputation -… In certain
    circles I will not mention any names”

    Is foreseeable that with this stance he will never sing in Bayreuth, Beczala will
    then leave it be not. “This is your statement, I can not confirm that. But I can
    not confirm that I will be singing there. Who knows I probably will not sing
    Lohengrin sitting on a crocodile. I have no problem with Lohengrin, when I
    have a Swan get. A real. ” Beczala can afford such rigorous positions. As a
    tenor with a twist in the high notes he has arrived to right at the top. He has --
    by his definition -- climbed the third step of the career ladder.

    The tenor at the Linzer opera house

    Beczala: “The first stage -- this is the house tenor who does everything I was
    in Linz, where I sang in a season eight premieres and 120 performances in the
    first season that was very dangerous, and we have in this situation.. two
    possibilities: One is stronger, or you sink. ” At that time he had a teacher “who
    has accompanied me through this hard time. Virtually every weekend I was
    with him. A house tenor has no choice. You can discuss a bit, but whether it
    is heard is not safe. In addition: As a young Polish singer in Austria in 1992
    had not many options. ” Also with the work permit was complicated -- and the
    atmosphere is not particularly rosy:

    “In the house you got to feel that one is from Poland and at any time could be
    rejected. From the third time I had to sing, however, pretty things, and I owe
    Conductor Martin Sieghart, who was then music director. That one of the
    Gage could afford anything is another matter. ” This will also be at the Zurich
    Opera House, where he then climbed “the second stage”, have become a little
    bit better.

    “Stage Two means to be back ensemble member, but a member with a free
    walk for guest-After four years but I have said that I do not want -- I had
    gotten so many offers Then I got a guest contract -- I stayed.. because until
    two years ago. ” The lucky freelancers met his Zurich employers Alexander
    Pereira then in Salzburg, where he sang in La Bohème -- and this is actually
    sick, “From the health point of view I would not be allowed to sing the
    premiere, but it was all very close, there was no cover.. This had to take
    place. ” As a kind of reminder of the house tenor time. (Ljubisa Tosic, THE
    STANDARD, 12/20/2012)

    One has to admire a singer of principal.

    THAT”S MY MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1919 bass Ernst Wiemann

    Born on this day in 1924 baritone Giangiacomo Guelfi

    Born on this day in 1928 tenor Bruno Prevedi

    Happy 72nd birthday bass-baritone Domenico Trimarchi

    Happy 68th birthday conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

    Happy 66th birthday conductor Christopher Keene

    Happy 59th birthday soprano Nadine Secunde

    Happy 54th birthday tenor Thomas Randle

    • Nerva Nelli

      Sadly, Christopher Keene died in 1995, of AIDS.

      • WindyCityOperaman

        Thanks for the correction Nerva. Died when he was only 48. Tragic.

  • Camille

    Jingle Bells got you down? Beat the Blues with the Bells and go back to Bach!

    Turn to (89.9 FM NY). for their annual Bach Christmas Bash.
    Starting tomorrow night, Saturday, December 22nd at 9:00 p.m. It runs throughout the end of the year right up to midnight and January 1st! At that point you should be kissing someone other than Santa Claus, so your holiday blues should be over.

    With best wishes for a Happy Holiday to the Par-Tyriens, all over the world.


  • We spend our time traipsing through the Brooklyn Botanical Garden looking for a hurdy-gurdy man. No it’s not the Zodiac Killer, it’s Schubert’s Winterreise performed by baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert. Review on Superconductor

  • zinka

    OK..That’s it…I am joining the new NRA ( NO ROTTEN ARTISTS) and from now on, my compatriots and I (all escapees from Bellevue) will be able to “take care’ of Met staff members,singers,etc.) who have the following flaws:

    1.Divas with no chest voice.

    2, Tenors who sing baritone roles.

    3. Tenors who do not sing high notes in act two Aida

    4. Anyone who looks like Kurt Baum

    5. Aida divas who could hide the pyramids behind them (They Sphinx!!)

    6. Singers who need mikes (The new King in Aida and Mrs.Alagna..sorry, are adorable,but…..)

    7. Stage Directors at their curtain calls for the first perf.of a new production, unless you can tell what opera it is.

    8. Prompters who are louder than Birgit Nilsson. (Ever hear some tapes???)

    That’s it!!!! Any more suggestions and/or possible normal new members..let us know.

    9. Singers who never heard of Zinka Milanov

    Carlo Corleone

    • RosinaLeckermaul

      I second Zinka’s NRA list! Brava!!

      • MontyNostry

        Talking of Zinka, I found this on YouTube the other day, from 1945. She really sounds magnificent here.

        • zinka

 the Parterre supreme Kunc authority(No comment!!0 I adored her after she came back..The C was problematical but the gorgeousness of the voiced was for me radiant as compared to the 40’s,when the top was better….but there was a bit of vibrato I did not love then…but in the 88 (count them) times i saw her…most of the time it was heaven…

          • MontyNostry

            zinka, when did Zinka ‘come back’?

          • Feldmarschallin

            I believe she came back in the early 50’s after Bing started. She hadnt sung at the Met since about 45 or so. Perhaps a year or so earlier even. She went back to Europe with her husband and then must have layed low since I don’t think she sang in Wien during that time but in the 30’s. Early Milanov is always better IMO especially the things from the 30’s and 40’s.

          • MontyNostry

            Thank you, Feldmarschallin. As I said, that recording from 1945 really shows what all the fuss was about.

          • rapt

            Here’s the scoop on Milanov’s hiatus from the Met archives:

            [Met Performance] CID:144390
            Aida {491}
            Boston, Massachusetts; 03/22/1947
            [Met Performance] CID:155730
            New productions
            Cavalleria Rusticana {342}
            Pagliacci {379}
            Metropolitan Opera House; 01/17/1951
            Debuts: Hans Busch, Horace Armistead, John Robert Lloyd, Max Leavitt

      • zinka

        Thank you so much..Maybe I AM a lgend in more than my own ass.

  • zinka


    Not bad ladies…..

    • Famous Quickly

      I made my acclaimed Met debut opposite Warren replacing the *first* Zinka, whose musico-dramatic sensibilities bespoke the Austro-Hungarian deep provinces before the First World War. This younger (?) one seems as bibulous and sentimental as the hillbilly drunk opposite whom Roz Elias, Nicky Gedda, George Tozzi and I salvaged VANESSA. That was--of course--after I reworked my technique with Danise, enabling me to star as Carmen, Eboli and in all my RING roles at the Festwochen and for Sir David at the Garden and then come home to face… Marcellina.

      Stop me if I’ve told you this before!

  • zinka

    May I wish all of you,and that includes Mara Zampieri’s grandma, a wonderful holiday season..You all make my life and the lives of others so happy….It is a pleasure to know you.

    Love and happy Holidays

    Charlie Corleone