Cher Public

Everybody cut loose

Since this “secret” was revealed last week on opera-l and, you know, information wants to be free and all that, La Cieca offers a link to a page maintained by the Met’s Rehearsal Department offering details on cuts, variations and inserts to the scores of the company’s current season.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    O goodie, now we can rehash the major and minor second transpositions in Maria Stuarda.

    • Camille

      I’m done with that QPF.

      No one much really cared.

      Going back to the DVD with Ganassi/Remigio and am done with it.
      Basta, Roberti.

  • This is indeed, the banana…with the dope inside. No, I didn’t do this animation and it has very little to do with opera.

  • Please note….

    FRIDAY, January 25:

    All times are Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich Mean Time is the OFFICIAL time zone of planet Earth.

    CUT: 10:30 am to 11:15 am

    12:40 pm to 1:15 pm, TRANSPOSE UP half a step (sugar rush)

    1:15 pm to 2:08 pm, TRANSPOSE UP another half step (double espresso)

    5:15 pm to 6:00 pm: INSERT additional time “5:15 pm. B to 6:00 pm B” (extended happy hour)

  • aulus agerius

    I just listened to the Angela Meade recital in DC Nov 10, 2012. I found it disappointing -- actually boring, monochromatic. Another one bites the dust [for me].

  • Camille

    Urgente for Clita del Toro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just now I’ve checked the list and am hocked and appalled to inform you that the Parsifal you are coming all the way to New Yawk City for next month is to be UNCUT! That means Jonas is not Glatt Kosher!!!

    Prepare yourself and DO gird thy loins!

    Love from
    xxxoooxxxoooxxxooo!!!!!!!!! N

    • Camille

      Lolol—well maybe I am in hock, too, for all those cases of Veuve Clicquot, but it was

      “SHOCKED and appalled”, ecc., usw.


      • papopera


        • Camille

          ‘Quer vecchiaccio maledivami…’


          xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox to Clita del Toro, to whom the remark was exclusively sent. Clita, where are you ?

  • phoenix

    Thanks for the Rehearsal Department info -- however, I couldn’t find what I was looking for -- and I don’t I ever will.
    -> Lower the pitch for all performances to ensure the singers can reach their highest notes decently -- a rather vague benchmark, I know. Borodina, Blythe, Malastina, Alagna, Berti, etc. have practically ruined the so-called Verdi bicentennial with their low vocal ceilings -> and Voigt, Dalayman et al. will probably do the same for Wagner. Better yet, lower the Concert International Standard Pitch to what it was in Mozart’s time.

    • Camille

      Yeay phoenix! I’d settle for Verdi’s diapason.

      • phoenix

        I would too if there were singers available who could even match that -> but we have to remember that it’s not just making the highest notes, it also entails ease of singing throughout the range. In spite of more discriminating tastes brought on by a broader range of technological audial recording frequencies -- as well as fuller sounding in-house acoustics -- I fear the Met Media Machine is trying to bring back the old “money notes” currency -- if so, we will get stuck with the likes of Hoofie Heever & other such vacant colourless vacuums.

        • Milady DeWinter

          It would be nice to know that at least they have some high notes at the ready, when needed.
          Not that you always have to use them, but like a savings account, they’re nice to have.

          • papopera

            que de beauté!

    • grimoaldo

      “the so-called Verdi bicentennial”

      Well of course it goes all year and this is only January. I do not call what the Met, or any of the large US houses are doing this year, celebrating the Verdi bicentennial at all, as they are just doing the same Verdi operas they do all the time anyway.
      Proper celebrations of the Verdi bicentennial, in my opinion, are being done by BBC Radio Three with broadcasts of all his operas over the year, and they are making them available free all over the world online on BBC I Player for a week after broadcast, with a free scholarly Opera Guide to each one, also Teatro Regio di Parma releasing Bluray Discs of all Verdi’s operas over the year, and Caramoor performing Don Carlos and Les vêpres siciliennes.
      At the Met, at least as much of a problem as inadequate singing so far in the Verdi operas this season has been mediocre, uninspired, lacklustre conducting. The Ballo might have been something really excellent instead of just quite good had it had a conductor with a sense of dramatic timing, sweep and energy.

      • phoenix

        ‘… mediocre, uninspired, lacklustre conducting.’ good accompanists, bad conductors, grim. Our cautious direttores do not lead, they follow.
        -- I remember one night (circa 1980?) when Eva Marton was singing Leonora in Fidelio. She made the mistake of milking a phrase a bit too long, assuming the conductor would acquiesce -> Klaus Tenstedt didn’t pause for even a split second -> ol’ Marton was huffin’ & puffin’ for awhile before she caught up with him.

      • jd

        Just back from final dress rehearsal of Rigoletto — Verdi would be pleased with the singing from all principals and with the Vegas setting! He said it could be anywhere there is an absolute ruler and the Vegas 60’s certainly had mafia connections. Loved the sets and Lucic, Beczala and Damrau!

      • Tim

        FYI LaScala has an all Verdi concert scheduled for next month featuring Joseph Calleja in, as I recall, some of the composers less performed operas. This will be I believe, Joseph’s debut at that house. Parenthetically, I hope the Met isn’t ignoring him in its wooing of Grigolo who should not, in my opinion, be mentioned in the same breath.


        • grimoaldo

          2013, 11 febbraio ore 20:00
          Milano, Teatro alla Scala
          Direttore Riccardo Chailly
          Tenore Joseph Calleja
          Giuseppe Verdi

          Nabucco, Sinfonia
          Ernani: “Odi il voto”
          Alzira, Sinfonia
          Attila: “Oh, dolore”
          Giovanna D’Arco, Sinfonia
          I due Foscari: “Si, lo sento, Iddio mi chiama”<
          Giuseppe Verdi

          Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Sinfonia
          Les Vêpres Siciliennes: “A toi, que j’ai chérie”
          Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Ballabili

    • I disagree that transpositions are ruining the Verdi bicentennial (a comment verging on the hysterical, methinks) but I wholeheartedly agree with lowering the standard pitch (Don’t know what the implications of that would be but I’m feeling reckless today).

      • Cocky Kurwenal

        I’m going to throw caution to the wind and agree too. I think the prevailing school of technique favoured in the USA in particular but also catching on in Western Europe, which goes for maximum vocal release and ends up with something that has a hell of a lot of weight in the middle, is leading to shorter careers or shorter primes. Not very many people seem to have the musculature or fitness to actually sustain singing so deep on the body for all that many years, and the high notes seem to become hard work fairly quickly. If pitch were lower, careers might be longer and results might be nicer (and everybody could still pull something out of the bag for Vienna with a bit of special effort).

        • MontyNostry

          Cocky, to help my understanding, could you give some examples of singers who typify “maximum vocal release and end up with something that has a hell of a lot of weight in the middle”? I think you mentioned Voigt in this kind of context a while ago (re verbal acuity), but that might be something different. Many thanks.

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            People do it to greater or lesser extents, with varying degrees of success, and it isn’t always the right thing for every voice, so my examples won’t all demonstrate it equally well. But yes, Voigt (who has shown us just how great it can be when it works, and what happens when you just get a bit nackered), Hampson, Meade, Zajick (the poster girl for this style of vocal emission who demonstrates all its pros and cons with unfailing consistency to this day), ages since I heard her but Amber Wagner struck me as very much aligned with this school, the changes in Netrebko’s singing make me think she’s driving at this more, Blythe I think but it has never really worked for her that well (she never quite got it all compltely relaxed first, which is why she can only do loud and louder and is now sounding tired), and Lise Lindstrom (thought I’d end my sentence on an example of where it all works wonderfully). Of that list, Hampson and Lindstrom (and probably Zajick) have managed to do it without messing with the balance of the voice -- it doesn’t and shouldn’t HAVE to result in an excessively heavy middle, it just seems like it usually does.

            L Price is the best example of somebody who managed this brilliantly once through her slightly soubrettish phase, and also the best example of somebody who didn’t have the physical strength to sustain it as long as we might have liked, hence the frequent total disconnection from her high notes from 1970-ish onwards (screams like the first top b-flat in her commercially recorded Araidne monologue, for example). It has become THE way to sing. Let me just say that I love it and really do think of it as the ideal. It’s just that when it comes to the practicalities, most people end up struggling with it physically because it is nackering.

            I’m going to stop going on about it in just a second, but Renee is somebody who seemed to really master this, but then back away from it. There are YouTube videos of her in a hideous orange gown singing a bit of Elisabetta and also the Cherry Duet with Pavarotti at a gala, and she really has a huge amount of release on the sound and it’s quite remarkable to think where it might have lead. But she seems to have slimmed the sound down a lot not very much later, and has probably ended up with a more manageable voice as a result that remains in incredible condition afer all this time(all Gerald Moore’s students do seem to suddenly end up with less voice, actually).

          • MontyNostry

            Very interesting, though I would never for a moment have thought of Hampson and Zajick sharing anything in their approach to singing. Taaahm has always sounded a bit constricted to me, while Dolora (whom I sadly find uninteresting -- but then I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing her in the flesh, which is presumably quite something) is certainly like a great brass gong!

          • Cocky: This is very interesting. Care to share examples of the opposite of this technique?

          • MontyNostry

            Someone who sings in a way that the Germans refer to as ‘schlank gefuehrt’? Say, Schwanewilms (though she has her own vocal issues)?

          • armerjacquino

            Monty- your suspicion is right. The live Zajick experience is something very special.

          • MontyNostry

            Maybe Zajic is a bit like Dimitrova -- not very interesting on a recording, but irresistibly sonically imposing in the theatre.

        • Camille

          Cocky K. — sorry to say I am either stumped by the language and means of expression or just failing to grasp your overall concept of “maximum release” as you are expressing it herein. And as your ideas usually make a great deal of sense to me and I largely concur, well, I’m at a bit of a loss hier.

          One thing for certain, I know you are barking up the right tree about Miss Fleming as I heard her very early on—October 1990—and at the time I figured she would develop as a spinto/jugendlicher. When I chanced to hear that transmission of the Pesaro Armida in about spring 1994, I was stunned! Such a gamut for one voice to run. Remarkable musician and endowment, no matter what else.

          Oh well, if you care to expand or have the time to, please do, as I think you have excellent diagnostic skills, in fact, you are Doctor Cocky K.

          With Gratitude,

        • redbear

          The opera houses in all major US cities are bigger than any house in Europe (the largest is Bastille with 2700 -- the average is a little more than about 1300). New York (both Met and NYCO when there was one), Chicago, San Francisco, even my hometown of San Diego are significantly larger. The average opera audience in the US is twice the size -- I mean number of seats -- of Europe. “maximum vocal release?” What’s your choice?

    • MontyNostry

      But the Vienna Phil will no doubt always insist on keeping its own, marginally higher pitch, which must make life more difficult for singers.

  • La Valkyrietta

    When I see Tarzan dressed as Elvis playing Video Poker at the Tuscany casino and singing, “Ridate a me Mia Farrow, tutto nel mondo ella è per me”, I somehow cease to care whether the notes are what Verdi wanted.

    • Camille

      La Vally—cheer up, baby! This is better—

      Viva Lost Wages!!!

  • whatever

    “This page is currently under maintenance.
    Please check back shortly.
    We apologize for this inconvenience.”

    Now that’s a polished response …

    • JoetheThirdPlumber

      Interesting. I think someone at Met Opera must be reading parterre. The site is down now.

  • La Valkyrietta


    LOL. We are giving Gelb dangerous ideas, should he glance into these maintenance pages. Here is the next “Tales”.

    • Camille

      Well now, Vally, you know it’s now or never for der Gelbster:

      I wonder what Caruso would have thought of Elvis?

  • MontyNostry

    OT, but who writes this stuff? From the blurbs for next season at the Barbican in London: “Garan?a’s silky, lustrous voice also takes to the twisting sadness of Richard Strauss.” OK about Elina’s vocal endowment, but are Strauss songs really all about ‘twisting sadness’? Who is he, Chubby Checker. The saddest Strauss song I know is ‘Befreit’. Twisting it ain’t.

    • Camille

      Certainly, you are familiar with Dr. Strauss’s variations on “Twist and Shout”, nein?

  • bassoprofundo

    Just came across this on YouTube. Has this already been broadcast on PBS? I must have missed it.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    • Quanto Painy Fakor


      • Quanto Painy Fakor