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Cher Public

  • Buster: Great! Hope you enjoy your trip. Note that the boxes are unsuitable for manspreading. 7:01 AM
  • La Valkyrietta: Before someone (Kruno?) corrects me, your friend is not Richard but Henry. :) 6:19 AM
  • PushedUpMezzo: You two have finally convinced me. Will definitely try to get along to Liege for my first... 6:18 AM
  • La Valkyrietta: Another Zinka type anecdote. Your friend Richard lets out a fart in public, you tell him... 6:16 AM
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  • umangialaio: Feldmarschallin, where art thou? Searching words for ineffable Harteros? U 5:00 AM
  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin: This is exactly what they did. Keenlyside attempted to sing Act II, but conked... 4:01 AM
  • Buster: Thanks Camille, to you too! The (renovated) opera house in Liege is beautiful. Lots of elderly... 12:33 AM
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  • zinka: The old standing line was a “life unto itself.” I just cannot figure out why,wearing a... 11:59 PM

The chat with nine lives

Thanks for your feedback, cher public. La Cieca has implemented the new chat software with your suggestions at La Casa della Cieca, which will officially relaunch Thursday, January 17, at 7:25 PM for Le Comte Ory from the Met. And don’t forget Saturday, January 18 at 12;30 PM, the premiere of Operavore (featuring a certain little-known doyenne) followed by Maria Stuarda!

205 comments

  • zinka says:

    How could anyone not think she was the LAST of the great verismo ladies?????

  • WindyCityOperaman says:

    Born on this day in 1898 baritone Carlo Tagliabue

    Born on this day in 1903 tenor Charles Kullman

    Happy 77th birthday baritone Renato Bruson

  • Ilka Saro says:

    We have the terms cavatina and cabaletta to refer specifically to music featuring a soloist. Sometimes the cavatina is seen as an “aria”, sometimes the two together are seen as the “aria”. I have a question about the musical structure behind this.

    I’ve been aware for a while that this structure wasn’t just used for arias in Italian operas in the first half of the nineteenth century. It was also used for duets, trios and ensembles. Most of the ensembles in Maria Stuarda follow this structure. Slow part emphasizing long legato phrases, followed by a part in a quicker tempo, often requiring more coloratura are bravura style singing. But the terms “cavatina” and “cabaletta” are never used when the same structure is used for a duet or a trio.

    Is there no term for this? I know I can’t say “in the cabaletta of the Maria/Leicester duet”, or “the cabaletta of the concertato section at the end of Act I of Ernani.”

    • m. croche says:

      Here’s a first, tentative answer, which bel-canto and/or Verdi scholars may elaborate upon (or contradict).

      As substitutes for “cavatina”, which does imply a solo singer, you can use “cantabile” or “adagio.”

      “Cabaletta” still works for duets or trios where the quick-tempo final section follows the strophic cabaletta structure.

      For act finales where the slow-section was a concertato, use the term “finale” or “stretta” for the final, quick section.

    • marshiemarkII says:

      Isn’t stretta more used in German opera like the classic are Ich folge in Abscheulicher and the equivalent in Ah Perfido (can’t remember the words but after Per pita of course) or the end of Non mi Dir? I haven’t heard it used in bel canto where it seems to be always recitative, aria (cantabile, cavatina) and cabaletta. Cabaletta can be in duo, the most memorable I can think of is Si vendetta in Rigoletto!

      Cavatina is also used in German opera with Leise Leise the classic example.

  • Nerva Nelli says:

    ““Cabaletta” still works for duets or trios where the quick-tempo final section follows the strophic cabaletta structure.

    For act finales where the slow-section was a concertato, use the term “finale” or “stretta” for the final, quick section.”

    Interesting, However, I have heard the term “stretta ” applied to the (awkward) “Si fuggiam” section of the Radames/Aida Act III duet, and that is not directly leading to the finale. Was that usage incorrect?

    • m. croche says:

      Oh, hopefully I won’t get myself into trouble here. All cabaletti are stretti. By the time we reach Aida, most would be more comfortable with the more generic term stretta. But the strophic he-said/she-said/they-said form of traditional duet cabaletti is still clearly discernible in this case. Use whichever term you think will be understood with the fewest problems.

    • La Cieca says:

      No, that is a cabaletta, though in a slightly modified structure from the classical form for duets, in which the “paragraph” is heard three times, e..g, he sings, she sings, they sing a due, perhaps with the soprano on the melody and the tenor singing descant. This is the structure of “Gran dio morir si giovane” in Traviata (though generally conductors take a cut that omits the final repetition) and, in fact, the last pages of Aida which is a slow cabaletta in almost pure classical style. (The only innovation here is in giving the third statement to both singers in unison and the descant and coda to a third voice — Amneris.

      Ordinarily when we speak of a cabaletta in this context, it is as part of the “gran duetto” pattern of introduction/cantabile/tempo di mezzo/cabaletta.

  • vilbastarda says:

    Just returned from the NYC trip, and I’ll give my 2 cents on the performances on Saturday. I saw them both, to maximize on my rare trips to the big city.

    First Il Trovatore. I’ll start with the good parts first. The most surprising was the conductor. That was indeed true to the verdian spirit conducting. Everything was in place: rhythm, dynamics, accents… I’ve never heard before of Daniele Callegari, but he should be one of the major stars of any opera house. I’ve never heard such good conducting from more prominent conductors such as Luisi, or Benini, or Armiliato. Plus, Callegari had a confidence that orchestra picked up upon, and delivered. The second good thing, but not less impressive was the chorus. This Met chorus seems to improve season after season in the last years. Another nice surprise was Ferrando of Christophoros Stamboglis. He has a big and very pleasant voice, very well produced, and delivered consistently throughout.

    Now, things that could’ve been better. First Angel Meade, isn’t she a dear… She truly possesses a beautiful voice, warm, round, very pleasant. Unfortunately she almost seems to not be aware of it’s beauty. I’m saying this because at time she produces this underdeveloped sound, almost white. I guess this is what others said as being bright, shrill. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was a problem just yesterday. I saw her in Bolena last year, and had the same impression. In my opinion Leonora requires a more dramatic vocal presence than Bolena does, and this is why her shortcoming was more evident. In a way she reminds me of Ruth Ann Swenson: beautiful voice, but somewhat underdeveloped. I really hope that Meade will evolve, and learn how to produce her voice for a stage like the Met, she has all the goods, she just seems immature for it yet. I believe this is a fault of voice teachers too, I have witnessed numerous times how voice teachers encourage this kind of “white” sound, as being healthy. The idea being that a “child like” sound should be natural, while a more mature sound could be manipulated and over darkened. BS, a “child like” sound will not lead you anywhere.

    I think enough was said about Blythe. I really felt bad for her, it must’ve been horrible to be on the stage, and realize that the voice is not working, not even to hit the pitches. To her credit, she improved in the second part, but it wasn’t long lived. At the beginning of the 3rd act she sounded like the glorious Blythe that we all love, but it didn’t last. This just shows that even a consummate artist like her cannot just open their mouths and sing, it is still hard work, and there are days when the voice simply is not working. We should even more appreciate the artists that give us great performances, or even OK performances, as it is not easy by any means.

    Berti was adequate, but constricted at times. Markov has a beautiful voice, but the placement feels very back, sort of like Hvorostovsky few years ago.

    Than the evening belonged to Stuarda and JDD. Even though there was a lot of bitching around here that her voice is ugly, and bleaty, that she committed sacrilege by transposing, etc, etc, she almost single handedly made this production glorious. Yes, her voice is not the most beautiful there is, she sounds constricted on the top (though much less than few years ago), her vibrato becomes caprilo when she seems to try to hard, but non of these matter too much. She is a complete artist and delivers. Everything is put together: perfect musicianship, and respect for the music, deep understanding of the character, intelligence, and ability to communicate all of these. From the moment she enters the stage, to the last beat of the opera, she breathes and exhales Stuarda and Donizetti’s music through every pore. I can only imagine that this is how it must have been at a Maria Callas performance. Now, Joyce’s voice is not Callas’, Joyce has a rather modest instrument, but she knows how to make the most of it, unlike some singers with big and glorious voices that rest on the laurels of it, and deliver mediocre performances. She also seems to have limitless breath. In the prayer, she held that note longer than anybody I heard (on recordings).

    Elza Van Der Heever was an adequate Elisabetta. Somehow I expected a bigger voice. On the radio sounded almost Wagnerian, but in house was surprised to find it rather modest. The top is big, but the middle and low are not. It might be another case of “too young” for this role/stage. But she sang with character, and delivered a believable Elisabetta.

    Polenzani was good, very nice voice, just rarely a bit pushed. He is what I call a “house tenor” not too memorable, but nothing to complain either, which at the Met is a big deal.

    Benini though was atrocious: rhythmically was all over the place. Poor Joyce had to speed up or slow down him several times (she was the one with taste here, he was not), I even spotted Elza signaling to him to slow down at one ensemble moment. Dynamics and instrumental accents were off many times. Plus I couldn’t sense the confidence that was present in the morning with Callegari, and hence the orchestra played a little more erratic.

    A bit of trivia. I noticed that in this production the codpieces were significantly less impressive than in Bolena. Was that on purpose, to show the reduced masculinity in this opera, was that the trend of the period?!? What will happen in Roberto Devereux? Anybody else noticed this?

    Overall, a very rewarding weekend, even with all the shortcomings, we are all human, and not everything is perfect all the time.

    • bassoprofundo says:

      “Yes, her voice is not the most beautiful there is, she sounds constricted on the top (though much less than few years ago), her vibrato becomes caprilo when she seems to try to hard, but non of these matter too much.”

      Perhaps not for you.

      • vilbastarda says:

        Picking nits. The total is more than the sum of it’s parts, in this case. Yes, there are shortcoming with the voice, but the singing is grand, and it sounds better in the house than on the radio.

    • Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Interesting what you say about Meade. On the radio, to me the timbre was most unpleasant. She also seems to have lost a lot of facility up top, already at this relatively early stage. It seemed she could do a forte or a sort of detached mezza voce during which she had to tread very, very carefully, and sadly nothing in between.

      • grimoaldo says:

        Meade made her debut at Vienna in September in Vespri, a performance just broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and I thought she was terrific. Others who saw it live agree:

        “”Arrigo, ah parle ad un core” was as close to perfection as one could hope for, finely shaped throughout with effortlessly spun pianissimi and a fearless approach in the aria’s precarious chromatic scales.”

        http://theoperacritic.com/tocreviews2.php?review=mp/2012/vsovespri0912.htm

        earning an enthusiastic, prolonged ovation.

        “The best performance in the cast came from soprano Angela Meade in the character of Elena. She is a young singer who is destined to have an important career in my view: her voice is wide and attractive, she knows how to handle it and proves very reliable at both ends of the tessitura.”

        http://www.seenandheard-international.com/2012/09/21/viennas-musical-vespri-siciliani-spoiled-by-an-old-production/

        But on Saturday the voice sounded very fluttery and she cracked twice. Can she really have “lost a lot of facility up top” in the last couple of months?

        vilbastarda says:

        “Markov has a beautiful voice”

        Not in my opinion. That performance sounded like a competition between tenor and baritone as to who could make the uglier sounds, with a performance from the Azucena for the ages all right, but in a negative way. People here often mention Livia Budai as an Azucena who was booed off the stage, but she can’t have been worse than Blythe was on Saturday.

        Whole thing was atrocious.

        • vilbastarda says:

          It’s possible that the microphones for the radio broadcast were not doing full justice to the voices. In that case I don’t even want to imagine how Blythe sounded, as she was pretty bad in house as well.

        • Gualtier M says:

          Blythe was clearly sick -- please don’t extrapolate from one underpar performance that this is her current level. Meade I think sounded lovely -- I relistened to the BBC feed of the Met broadcast. She sounded unsettled and nervous and has a better Leonora in her but what she does have is so much better than what is out there currently. I mean if you want to talk about overbrightness, flutteriness and edge -- is Radvanovsky free of those qualities? I find Meade’s timbre much more conventionally beautiful. I think there is a backlash going on here. I am not buying into it. I give Meade a thumbs up, Blythe a pass while Berti sounded pressed, clumsy and ugly. But the biggest disappointment for me was Alexey Markov -- from his earlier work I expected much better.

          • Clita del Toro says:

            I don’t know that Blythe was “clearly sick,” but we might find out tomorrow evening when she sings Azucena again. I am not a big fan of her loud singing style--did not especially like her Amneris, Fricka or Ofeo either. Her voice may be “a force of nature”, but her singing/art is not, imo.

  • marshiemarkII says:

    Just came back to reality from a breathtaking concert at the Morgan Library. Emalie Savoy demonstrated once again that she is one of opera’s greatest promise at the moment and what a pleasure to see her development from almost exactly a year ago. The voice is simply gigantic when she unleashes the full glory of her magnificent instrument, but she can also scale to a gorgeous thread as she did in the sublimely beautiful “Sanglots” from the 5-set Banalites, as well as a gorgeously vocalized “Hotel”, as if I needed persuading that Francis Poulenc has to be the greatest composer of the 20th C (well the greatest Richard Strauss is really 19th C right? :-) ). Those two songs in particular, with such strong reminiscences of the glorious vocal lines of Blanche and Madame Lidoine of course! Ahhhh that French vocal line…..She was memorable! Then came a stunning “Bella mia Fiamma, addio” from Mozart, that displayed her huge and very broad middle, almost Varnay-like (and showing all the potential for the big Wagner parts), and yet she had no trouble nailing a stunning high D (in-alt). The girl has everything!!!! She repeated her Armide warhorse “Le perfide Renaud me fuit”, even more rounded and beautiful than she had done in the full opera last February. She is definitely both subtly elegant and incredibly dramatic, the audience gave her a prolonged ovation at the end.

    It was meant to be a duo concert with Matthew Polenzani, but he withdrew and instead we had the magnificent Anthony Dean Griffey. What a beautiful and also immense voice, and what a great artist he is, giving a heart-wrenching, devastating account of Jimmy Mahoney’s aria that was also breathtaking, and two gorgeous songs from the Schwanengesang, in particular a glorious “Staendchen”, and here we come to the glue that held all of this together: the most magnificently great Ken Noda. Few words can describe how great his playing is!!! Is there really a greater pianist in the world today? And what a luxury!!! these young artists get to play with an artist of the stature and scale of Ken, he really has no equals!!!!!!

    The concert ended with a marvelous account of Gershwin’s “Let’s call the whole thing off”, Emalie showing her best comedic skills, what a grand girl she is!

    The audience went nuts, it was packed with movers and shakers, and le tout New York, and last but not least, the good housekeeping sign of approval, Lois was there!!!!!!!

    • Nerva Nelli says:

      Griffey and Noda were indeed excellent and Lois was indeed there.

      Behrens Foundation favorite Miss Savoy clearly has talent but--let’s be honest-- her voice today often sounded shrill and even screechy (the D flat was just TERRIBLE) and the bottom empty. (Softer middle register stuff was quite lovely.) Granted the Morgan’s acoustics are not ideal for large voices, but Griffey’s tenor sounded warm and appealing.

      Next to Griffey, who made every syllable come to life, her failure to make the French “lived” in the Poulenc-- *not* a good choice for someone not an expert diseuse-- was not flattering. The Armide was better but still not exactly accomplished by professional standards.

      The people I spoke with after agreed with me-- several were even harsher on Savoy. If MM II actually heard her as sounding the way he describes her in his might-have-been-penned-before-the concert *parti pris* raptures, I can now understand the disparity in his descriptions of his GREATEST BEST EVER GLORIOUS idol and what the rest of us heard for all those years from the comparable Hildegard.

      • oedipe says:

        Nerva,

        I didn’t attend the concert so I have no opinion about it. But I am curious: who would you consider an expert diseur/se in activity today (taking into account the fact that you haven’t yet come across a living French singer that you didn’t hate, or so it seems). Marion Cotillard maybe?

        • Nerva Nelli says:

          Oedipe, I know not “seems”!

          I-- seems politer than saying ‘You”-- have no idea what you’re talking about.

          I like Piau, Gens, Uria-Monzon (who has improved her diction in recent years), Dumaux, Jaroussky (like his singing, not his cult following), Beuron, Degout, Tezier.

          Among *canadiens*, I like Gauvin, Labelle, Antoun…

          Enjoyed Delunsch, Dessay and Alagna before their vocal declines.

          As for Poulenc: Dessay should be doing him, also the Italian-born Ciofi and Antonacci. Our Own Flott has the diseuese thing going.

          • manou says:

            There is a Lott of disease going around, it is true.

          • oedipe says:

            Well, I stand corrected and I am delighted to see I was under the wrong impression. But if my memory isn’t playing tricks on me, your remarks about Dessay, Alagna, Uria-Monzon, or Tézier have always ranged between hostile and dismissive, and I can’t recall even one mot (positive or negative) you might have said about Dumaux, Degout, Beuron (really?), Piau, Antoun, etc.

            But yes, in France we LOVE Flott!

          • oedipe says:

            For your info, in March 2013, l’Opéra Comique is doing an (almost) one-woman show of La Voix Humaine, coupled with Wolf-Ferrari’s Il Segreto di Susanna for Antonacci.

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            Well, in the last 5-6 years, there has been a lot negative to say about Dessay and Alagna, no?

            I may have noted that the French press carries on about Tézier (I recall more than one French review citing him as the finest Verdi baritone in the world, which is nonsense). Nor is he always an enlivening actor. But he sings very well indeed.

            Beuron is or at least was (have not heard him in some time) very good at what he does.

          • oedipe says:

            Well, in the last 5-6 years, there has been a lot negative to say about Dessay and Alagna, no?

            Well, you present things as if “a lot negative to say” were an objective truth. I, on the other hand, believe it’s all a matter of fashionable, consensus-creating opinions. There has been “a lot negative to say” about JDD and Meade lately; does it make it an objective truth? Actually, there has been a lot of negativity about Dessay and Alagna for the last 15 years or so, and some people have ALWAYS hated their guts.

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            Speaking as an individual and not as part of a publicity survey, I can state that I have witnessed both live and on broadcast and telecasts much worthy of negative comment from the very gifted and once very successful Dessay and Alagna.

            I was initially a big fan of her work; never loved his persona ( or body or whatever it is that still gets him a largely free pass here) but he was excellent in CARMEN, ROMEO and the like and still -- witness last year’s OONY NAVARRAISE- is capable of good work, I am not sure Dessay is in her wonted field, but I’d love to see her do VOIX HUMAINE.

          • armerjacquino says:

            oedipe, I think a lot of the negativity towards Dessay has been based not on her nationality but on a certain interpretation (wilful misinterpretation?) of some of her interviews. ‘I wanted to be an actor when I was younger’ became ‘SHE ISN’T EVEN INTERESTED IN SINGING!’ , ‘Sutherland wasn’t much of an actor’ became ‘SHE THINKS SHE IS BETTER THAN LA STUPENDA!’ etc etc etc.

      • marshiemarkII says:

        “I can now understand the disparity in his descriptions of his GREATEST BEST EVER GLORIOUS idol”

        My, my my, some queens really think of themselves as people worthy of any attention. Let me tell you something girlfriend, I spend exactly 0.00000001% of my time worrying about what you are going to think of my opinion, oh did I say that much??????

        In the case of the great Hildegard Behrens, your opinion has the statistical value of exactly *one*, just that *one*. My opinion of her greatness was shared by the greatest conductors of the 20th C, in fact two of the very greatest ever, who fought over her artistic contributions for some of the most important projects of her generation, over her career span of exactly thirty years. You know, people like Herbert von Karajan, Dr Karl Bohm, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Claudio Abbado, Christof von Dohnanyi, Sir Georg Solti, Christof Eschenbach, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink and Horst Stein, and of the younger generation like Peter Schneider, Christian Thielemann, Donald Runnicles, and Franz Woelser-Moest. So I am sure that her sterling historical reputation is not going to suffer because of your opinion of *one*.

        But your picking apart a great performance from a young singer, who is at the dawn of an incredibly promising career, just to settle scores with one of your parterre antagonists is a new low in what we have become accustomed from you, a vicious nasty queen with no ethical values. You want to express an opinion on the evening performance?, of course you are entitled to your opinion, however debased it might be, but to use this great artist as a hostage and victim to inter-queen diatribes is contemptible and reprehensible. Of course I am not the first one who has called you on that. Others have asked “are you as NASTY in real life, as you display here” and the answer has to be sadly, a resounding YES!

        • Nerva Nelli says:

          Well, this is precisely what I expected, down to the list of Behrens’ conductors.

          I did not comment on Emilie Savoy’s performance viciously. I described what I heard. Others heard her in less flattering terms than I; I fully expect she will get it together and have a career. And I CERTAINLY did not form my opinion in order to fling it at you. I have enjoyed aspects of her singing before and I went with open ears and high expectations.

          It is you, sir, who are doing her a disservice, writing about a promising but uneven performance as if it was the Second Coming that will soon find her Queen of La Scala and the Met. Savoy deserves time to develop; voices with big tops often sound awkward at the Morgan and at other small venues.

          But I believe in truth, not “flak” from interested parties.

        • marshiemarkII says:

          Look you want to review, fine you are entitled to your opinion like every American, but DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT use innocent artists that are trying to start a career for your pathetic silly fight in an internet blog, because THAT IS UNETHICAL!!!!!! I don’t give a damn what you think of me, as I can more than defend myself with silly ridiculous queens like you! But innocent bystanders are NOT fair game. It is vicious and nasty as you are accustomed, and I am demanding that you do not use MY POSTS to denigrate great artists. You do enough to denigrate yourself with your written record! but do not involve innocents!

          • armerjacquino says:

            This from our oil on troubled waters correspondent:

            ‘clearly has talent’ ‘I fully expect she will get it together’ ‘promising but uneven’ ‘she deserves time to develop’.

            I don’t think any of these really qualify as ‘vicious and nasty’.

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Did you read the original review a few posts up or is that too much to ask? and you will apologize once again for having jumped the gun, like several times before (hint: it’s better to read well before writing).

            In any case, Nerva’s opinions as opinions per se are what they are, and I could never object, let alone prevent them from being aired, that is beyond question.

            What ***I*** am objecting is his using MY POST to specifically get back at me, and criticize my effusiveness (do I need to ask for permission to be effusive?) while using an artist that has nothing to do with any of this to settle those scores!!!!! That is contemptible and reprehensible!!!! because the artist is caught in the cross fire unwittingly and certainly without even knowing. This vicious queen seems to live for calling on other queens on their opinions. This may be OK with a more established artist, but with a beginner that gave a sterling performance, that was greeted by a prolonged ovation by a very knowledgeable audience, is disgusting! and you are not going to convince otherwise.

          • armerjacquino says:

            MMII, your tone is a little aggressive given that I am trying to calm this argument down. Yes, I did read Nerva’s post- in fact, I quoted it- which says that Ms. Savoy is a promising singer who in Nerva’s opinion didn’t give a good performance.

            I don’t think that’s nasty or vicious and I certainly have nothing to apologize for (‘again’?). And with that I’ll leave the pair of you to it.

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            Thanks, Armer, but you cannot bring clarity to a closed and disordered mind.

            Miss Savoy is not an “innocent”; she is a promising young soprano on the Met roster who has been given major opportunities at Julliard. She was performing in a series of paid public recitals that pairs established professional singers with younger professional singers.

            No one (well, almost no one) expected her to be Christa Ludwig out of the gate. The younger singers at he London series are often more impressive vocally than interpretively. Savoy showed in one of the slow Poulenc songs and in parts of the Mozart aria that she can be an expressive artist. But to write about a glorious personal triumph (these events are ALWAYS full of industry people and are ALWAYS loudly applauded, and how BTW did MM II know the acclaim was exclusively for Savoy, and not for the three artists as a group?) and to deploy the overheated praise for what was in fact a notably uneven showing (that D flat was *scary*) shows a want of respect for the readers here-- and, I would submit, an eventual unkindness to the young artist involved. To be told you are sublime and fabulous by someone with some credentials as an authority when in fact much work is still needed can be detrimental with any kind of young artist.

            My take; I don’t expect MM II to see things that way. My point in roping in Behrens and his insistence on her having been THE BEST — even when she was *sometimes* the best but often quite bad — was to suggest that this is fundamentally the sensibility of a FAN, not of a reliable witness.

            Cheers.

          • marshiemarkII says:

            You can backtrack all you want, but your posts are still there as an indictment. You state very explicitly at the end “the sensibility of a FAN, not of a reliable witness.” So your intention was very clearly not to review the performance, but to prove first that I was not a “reliable witness”, and hence invalidate (in your dreams) my entire critical opus here at parterre. If not, why didn’t you write your ***own*** independent review, without having to latch on to mine? Are you THAT obsessed with my posts that you do not mind sacrificing a great beginning-artist as road-kill (collateral damage they say in the military) just so you can satisfy your obsessions?

            Now you also make some very serious accusations that border on defamation:
            “But I believe in truth, not “flak” from interested parties”

            How am I an “interested party”? I am not a manager, nor a publicity agent. In fact I am not, nor have I ever been in the music business. I volunteer my time for the Hildegard Behrens Foundation, which has GIVEN over $150,000 in $10,000 awards to young musicians (sometimes multiple times to the same artist). You better believe I am interested in seeing those artists flourish, and blossom in their careers, and will always give them my wholehearted encouragement! But an “interested party”? I am GIVING instead of TAKING!, perhaps in your warped world it must be hard to see the difference!!!

            I am also not a musician, professional or even amateur, but what I am is a very passionate opera lover, with over 40 years of opera going experience (live), and even longer listening to recorded media. I also had the privilege of participating for 27 years in the process of opera creation, through rehearsals and the like, with some of the greatest musicians of the last quarter of the 20th C, in some of the most extraordinary operatic projects of that time. Do you seriously think that you can invalidate my opinions, with your feeble arguments?

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            I think MM II’s post speaks for itself so characteristically that virtually nothing more need be added.

            http://tinyurl.com/a6kjqv3

  • WindyCityOperaman says:

    Born on this day in 1895 bass-baritone Ludwig Hofmann

    Born on this day in 1921 mezzo-soprano Grace Hoffman

    Born on this day in 1922 tenor Jean Cox

    Born on this day in 1929 baritone Louis Quilico

    Happy 73rd birthday Siegmund Nimsgern

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    Well yesterday at the superb Götterdämmerung I noticed that Nina Stemme, Kirsten Opolais and Anja Harteros all seem to prefer to wear the same ugly shoes on stage. Flat ballerinas with absolutely no heel. All have feet which are not exactly small and these shoes make their feet seem even larger plus look very ugly. They should take Varady or Schwarzkopf for a role model who always wore heels on stage. Varady very high ones even. I mean perhaps it is only a small detail but still one notices these things and one should care how one looks onstage even down to the footwear.

    • Gualtier M says:

      Marie-Theres’ -- the reason these ladies may wear flats is that they are tall or tallish or more to the point -- taller than their leading men. Opalais wore flats as Magda in “Rondine” which probably no courtesan wore in the 20′s when the Joel production is set. The reason is that Filianoti is about 5’8″ and she is about 5’8″ or 5’9″ so she wore flats so she wouldn’t tower over him in love scenes.

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    Should read Kristine instead of Kirsten. Sorry about that.

  • zinka says:

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