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Blind haste

Which recent debut has the Met’s administrators intoxicating themselves with dreams of a return engagement for the budding star in the second cast of one of next season’s new productions?


  • Maria Malcontent says:

    And Bryan, whom I adore in a reserved kind of way, would be foolish to start accepting second casts. IMHO

  • CwbyLA says:

    Obviously Bryan Hymel

  • Nerva Nelli says:

    I think the intoxication ref suggests FLEDERMAUS or FALSTAFF-- so maybe Opolais as second-cast Rosalinde or Alice? Hymel as Alfred would be a waste of his time.

    Hoping that “budding” doesn’t imply John Daszak, who was merely “quite decent” as Vere in BUDD and could I suppose be an Alfred.

    • armerjacquino says:

      The intoxicating dream is the Sogno di Doretta (‘folle ebbrezza’).

      So it’s Opolais but there may be no further need to parse ‘intoxicating’.

      • messa di voce says:

        So will Opolais be replacing TBA, or someone who already has a signed contract?

        • Vergin Vezzosa says:

          Sounds like they want her to replace Popsy in the second cast Onegin. Quite understandable to me.

  • m. croche says:

    Ya piyu volshebnii yad zhelanii!
    Menya presleduyut mechti!

    I’ll take Opolais for Tatania in the rumored new Onegin.

  • Gualtier M says:

    Well “intoxicating” is the clue. Cieca gave us a list of the 2013-14 new productions some months ago:

    Eugene Onegin (Opening Night), conducted by Valery Gergiev, directed by Deborah Warner. With Anna Netrebko, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Piotr Beczala, Kwiecien, Ferruccio Furlanetto. Also performed later in the season with Marina Poplavskaya, Oksana Volkova, Peter Mattei, Alexei Tanovitski, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov.

    Falstaff, conducted by Levine, directed by Des McAnuff. With Angela Meade, Lisette Oropesa, Stephanie Blythe, Ambrogio Maestri, Franco Vassallo.

    Die Fledermaus, conducted by Adam Fischer, directed by John Hall; new dialogue by David Hirson. With Susanna Phillips, Christine Schaefer, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Michael Fabiano, Paulo Szot.

    Prince Igor, conducted by Gergiev, directed by Tcherniakov, choreography by Sergei Alexei Ratmansky. With Oksana Dyka, Semenchuk, Ildar Abdrazakov, Stefan Kocan, Vladimir Ognovenko.

    Two Boys (Muhly/Craig Lucas), conducted by David Robertson, directed by Bartlett Sher. Ensemble cast includes Alice Coote, Felicity Palmer, Paul Appleby, Daniel Sumegi.

    Werther, conducted by Alain Altinoglu, directed by Richard Eyre. With Oropesa, Elina Garanca, Jonas Kaufmann, David Bizic.

    It could be Opalais as Rosalinde or Tatyana or perhaps Bryan Hymel as Werther??? Intoxicating would suggest “Fledermaus”.

  • roland says:

    Nuit d’ivresse et d’extase infinie! So it must be Bryan Hymel.

  • Billys Butt says:

    Of course it’s Opolais! But it’s not Tatyana, and certainly not Rosalinde or Alice. She’s already completely booked in Europe next season, so it’s gonna be difficult.

    • operapun says:

      Jeez Louise, based on one performance?

      • armerjacquino says:

        Well, no. Based on the excellent work she’s been doing all over the world. She didn’t spring fully-formed onto the Met stage.

        • operapun says:

          But apparently just one performance at the Met was enough to confirm the excellent work she’s been doing all over the world? They are not going to at least wait until the end of the run first to see how things turn out?
          Either way, this seems like a moot point. I am sure we will see plenty of Opolais in seasons to come. The Met obviously have big plans for Opolais. Tommasini mentions in his article “Without releasing the details a Met official made it clear before her debut that the company has some big plans for Ms. Opolais in coming seasons”.

          • Billys Butt says:

            Opera houses do their casting years in advance. And of course the casting guys at the Met and Peter Gelb saw and heard Opolais several times in Europe long before last week’s debut. They don’t buy something without first checking or assessing it.

          • Poison Ivy says:

            I don’t know why you seem so hostile the the idea of Opolais becoming a Met regular. She’s already made quite a name for herself in Europe and I’m glad the Met isn’t doing its usual “five years backdating” casting and being proactive in seeking out new talent.

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            Tonight in the house I found Opolais difficult to hear until Act III and lacking in an individual timbre. Good actress and a looker, though she doesn’t give enough to the words.
            Obviously capable but I was disappointed in her impact live as opposed to on the radio.

            Elsa? Not in this theatre…

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            Presumably Opolais attended a few rehearsals, and even sang at them, prior to her debut performance, as well as all her top level international experience prior to turning up at the Met. I’m not sure why it should be necessary to wait until the end of the run, unless you think the Met administration also subscribes to the ‘New York or it didn’t happen’ attitude on display here.

    • m. croche says:

      Of course it’s Opolais! But it’s not Tatyana

      Um, Tatyana falls squarely in Opolais’ rep.

      Leaving aside La C’s little clues, which other new MET production will receive two casts?

      Finally, La Cieca’s tip doesn’t say that the booking is already a fait accompli. Scheduling may yet prove an insuperable barrier.

      • Billys Butt says:

        She has done Tatyana in Europe (it’s available on DVD from the Valencia Opera, released on Unitel) and she will do it again, but not next season at the MET.

  • operapun says:

    Well, either way, we will see if the Met and Mr. Gelb are right or wrong about this decision in the next few years.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Yes, and Opolais probably has the good sense not to compare anyone on in the MET administration to Gestapo.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Two conductors for Susan Graham’s Grand Duchess??? From the 21C press release for for Flemming-Grahm tour winter 2013:

    “Under the leadership of Emmanuel Villaume, a noted specialist in French repertory, Graham will head a strong cast directed by Frédéric Chaslin.”

    I thought that all of Chaslin’s banging around Santa Fe was the end of him there.

    • La Cieca says:

      Just as divas get their own dressing room and spotlights, Miss Graham will have her own conductor. Villaume will conduct her and Chalin will conduct, you know, everyone else.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Julius Rudel’s new auto biography due out in March. I wonder if George Steele will even offer it in his gift shop.

    • Maury D says:

      I think NYCO is basically two people sitting in a Starbucks with a cell phone these days. Remind me where their gift shop is?

      • Nerva Nelli says:

        “I think NYCO is basically two people sitting in a Starbucks with a cell phone these days”

        The cell phone vanished in the Sandy-caused flood despite Steel’s heroic efforts to save it.

        Communications now take place via a rotodial Princess Phone salvaged from 1971′s MOST IMPORTANT MAN set.

    • bassoprano says:

      What gift shop? Is it a kiosk in Union Square?

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Kaspar ain’t no Herheim

    • Rowna says:

      I could only watch a few minutes of this. Tonight I will make my husband watch it (he is such a good sport -- if anyone says anything negative about him expect negative energy your way) so that he can fall asleep really fast. He teaches a late class and comes home around 11 and is usually very energized by his students. Did someone in the PR dept dream this up or was it a rival company hidden behind those columns . . .

  • Buster says:

    Opolais sharing Rusalka with Fleming?

  • Rowna says:

    Since you said NEW production, I think Russalka is going to be the old one -- but isn’t there going to be a new Onegin? (Please dear god, i hated the old one). I would love to hear Bryan Hymel as Lenski. Just sayin . . .

    • oedipe says:

      …isn’t there going to be a new Onegin? (Please dear god, i hated the old one

      Hmmm Rowna, be careful what you wish for! A little bird is telling me you might regret what you just said!

      • Rowna says:

        I hated the old production because it was so spare -- no sets, backdrops and hardly any props -- not even a chandelier, just chairs and dead leaves. Unless they place this Onegin in Guantanamo or some other silly regie thingy (you see I am way up there on my vocabulary) I think it will be an improvement. What info do you have, oedipe????

        • oedipe says:

          Well, I have no specific info, but since you say you disliked Carsen’s staging (which, personally, I find very elegant) and having some familiarity with Deborah Warner’s work, I think you might not like it.

          • Rowna says:

            I don’t know Deborah Warner at all. That production did have elegance, but this was my 60th birthday present to myself -- a trip to NY, orchestra seats, Renee, Dimitri, Vargas and Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful opera (IMHO). So, as the opera progressed, I somehow felt cheated. It was my first time back at the met in years. I was looking forward to a lush set . . .

          • drewco says:

            I should first confess I’ve always loved the Carsen production. I saw the Warner production at ENO and didn’t care for it at all. The physical production was strange. Act One was set in a barn (yes, Tatiana wrote her letter and went to “bed” in the hay). The Act Two sets were fairly conventional looking, but the duel was very clunkily staged. (For one thing, they were dueling with rifles, not pistols, which caused some audience members to titter.) The action of both scenes of Act Three (ballroom; then street scene, not Gremin’s house, for some reason) was obscured by a colonnade running along the rim of the stage, so the singers played peek-a-boo with the audience. Overall, I didn’t think she “blocked” the singers in a particularly interesting way either. (Of the singers, Toby Spence was a wonderful Lenski.) So I’m looking forward to Netrebko-Kwiecen-Polenzani, but not much else.

          • Regina delle fate says:

            The Warner staging is startlingly traditional, certainly more so than Carsen’s. it has its moments of intelligent Personenregie, but it was hampered in London by Amanda Echalaz’s odd Tatyana and an under cast Eugene. The London reviews ranged from “conventional” to “revelatory”. Actually it was neither but it is certainly a more old-fashioned show than Carsen’s. The Met patrons who hated Carsen will probably be happy, but I’m expecting a barrage of Fucking Brit-crits on here. Ms Warner is no Herheim, either.

          • La Cieca says:

            The London reviews ranged from “conventional” to “revelatory”

            In other words, it was directed by Deborah Warner.

        • armerjacquino says:

          This production has already opened at ENO so you can get all the information you want.

          • Rowna says:

            Thank you armerjacquino! I don’t keep up on these things. My poor little brain is on overdrive memorizing lyrics for 2 upcoming concerts. I sing mainly in Hebrew, which I understand, but am not fluent in. (For anyone interested, I am skilled at “siddur” Hebrew.) I am always awed by the language skills opera singers today MUST have to be out in the public. Native English speakers have the biggest challenge.

    • kashania says:

      Really? I love Carsen’s Onegin. And I don’t think Lenski is high-lying enough to show off the best part of Hymel’s voice. I want to hear him as Arturo and De Grieux (especially the Massenet).

      • oedipe says:


        Des Grieux is not a very high-lying part; it requires an ample, warm, and nuanced middle register, which is not Hymel’s forte. Hymel should sing Rossini (Tell especially) and more Meyerbeer, not Massenet.

      • armerjacquino says:

        Isn’t Polenzani going to be playing Lensky?

  • operapun says:

    @Cocky Kurwenal
    To gauge the New York audience’s response?

  • operapun says:

    @Poison Ivy
    I am not hostile to the idea of Opolais becoming a Met regular.
    I have nothing against Kristine Opolais the singer or the person.
    I think my comments about this were pretty clear. I am surprised that the Met are jumping into these decisions so quickly.

    The comment I made about waiting to see the end of the run is to see how the New York audience responds to Opolais.
    From a practical and bottom line standpoint, is Opolais going to sell tickets?
    A lot of great opera singers and directors have “international” success but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the temperamental New York or American audiences will like them or even attend those performances.
    I didn’t write the following article but I pretty much agree with what’s said there.

    • Poison Ivy says:

      This writer lost me when he wrote: “it would be an awful loss if their virtues displaced the Levine characteristics I mentioned above — warmth, attention to beautiful sound per se, and Americanness — in this aspect of opera as well.”

      I have no fucking idea what this writer is talking about.

  • antikitschychick says:

    while I don’t think this blind item is about her, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear/see Liudmyla Monastyrska again in anything at the Met or elsewhere!!! Her voice is FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC and I find her to be a true revelation…her future is bright as far as I am concerned, not just because she has a large voice but because she wields it with precision and good musicianship. She also has a nice tone and a good lower register…why doesn’t this woman have a record deal??? Seriously, who can sing Verdi the way she can now a days??
    Does anyone have any info on whether she will be essaying more roles here in the future??? If so, please share :-P