Cher Public

Intermission feature

Cher public, here’s your chance to discuss off-topic and general interest subjects and maybe make time for a waltz or two.

  • zinka

    Happy Birthday,Laurel

  • zinka

    Hina Spani, one of the GREAT divas..Not well-known to many.(except youse guys)…..Feb.15, 1896

  • louannd

    I know the Met is announcing their season soon but this was on Olga Peretyatko’s website:

    April 2014 New York (US) Metropolitan Opera (I Puritani)

    The last I saw from La Cieca was TBA though people were certainly expecting this.

    • louannd

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1891 tenor Dino Borgioli

    Born on this day in 1896 soprano Hina Spani

    Born on this day in 1899 composer Georges Auric

    Born on this day in 1926 baritone Raymond Wolansky

    Happy 76th birthday conductor Zoltán Peskó

    Happy 66th birthday composer John Adams

    Happy 62nd birthday soprano Kathryn Harries

  • Ripped-from-the-Headlines Opera Note of the Day

    The city of Chelyabinsk, in today’s news for the alarming and awesome meteorite strike near there, is the hometown of on-the-make composer Lera Auerbach, whose opera “Gogol” had its Viennese premiere in 2011.

    • Henry Holland

      Here’s a clip that has some singing in it:

      I liked her music for John Neumeier’s ballet The Little Mermaid, I’ll have to see if I can find Gogol on the usual file-sharing sites. Thanks for the clip.

  • Nerva Nelli

    New theory on the Bolshoi Ballet’s acid throwing incident:

    Could Nikolai Tsiskaridze be Draculette’s drag persona?

  • zinka

    LOVE that Leyla…We had a party for her after Attila…and she was a delight..My friend even put on her MINK.

    MISS HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1901 tenor Tomáz Alcaide

    Born on this day in 1907 conductor Fernando Previtali

    Born on this day in 1907 composer Alec Wilder

    Born on this day in 1922 baritone Geraint Evans

    Happy 75th birthday composer John Corigliano

    Happy 74th birthday televised opera director Brian Large

    Born on this day in 1939 soprano Marita Napier

  • zinka


    A dear friend of mine,becoming a music teacher, has had to take one of the New York State Music Certification Exams for his teaching license. I kid you NOT!! Here is one of the questions:

    What kind of music is the theme of “Charlie Brown” ? (The answer was NOT was “Hip-hop.” So you see, this is the INSANITY of today’s “culture.” Friends of my friend, a superb bassist who is Philharmonic quality, has been told that many people keep failing this test but not to worry, because you have to sort of guess what kind of stupidity they will require.
    Since I am probably part of this “dumbing down,” I figure I would make up an exam that is appropriate for all you fabulous music lovers. If you are under 6, please do not read this,because some of it might be slightly R Rated:

    1. Name the four Rolling Stones and specifically indicate the names of all the drugs that surprisingly have not yet killed Keith Richards. (If you need extra paper, request it from the procter.)

    2. Name the winners in the past 5 years of “American Idol,” and indicate in what key they sang “Nessun Dorma.”

    3. Why did Stephen Foster have to change the song from “Old Jack Blow” to “Old Black Joe.”?

    4. How large was the rock that Rita Hunter stood in front of in Walkure and why couldn’t you see it?

    5. Who the hell fitted Zinka Milanov’s panties on her so they would start to fall during the Santuzza/Alfio duet, causing her to run off the stage and run back? (I was there.)

    6. In Salome, is it better to give or receive (head.)?

    7. Why did Bach have so many kids? (The answer would be “because he always fugued.)

    8. Besides “Casta Diva,” what was the second most popular song played at Woodstock?

    9. When Richard Tucker bought his toupee at the 99 cent store, how much did it cost?

    10. Do you think that anyone who makes up numbers 1-9 should be a roommate of Angela Geourghiu ?

  • Buster

    The Jurowski Frau ohne Schatten was fabulous. The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra really let it rip, very loud, at times too loud, I imagine for the singers standing right in front of them.

    Anne Schwanewilms sounded much more comfortable than in the Salzburg FroSch, building up her role to an almost unbearable tension in act three. I don’t think any other empress can equal her here.

    Christine Goerke was great too, in act two, in praticular, where she was louder than the orchestra, cool! The beautiful duet in act three came as a surpise to me, that was just superbly beautiful, warm, and womanly.

    Jane Henschel had a ball as the Amme, subtle it was not, but she did an amazing job nevertheless. I also loved Johan Reuter as Barak, and Torsten Kerl was an interesting Emperor, with a masculine sound, and less stiff than other singers I have heard in the part.

    Jurowski ruled -- the best conducted FroSch I have heard, very exact, but never cold. Loved it.

    • phoenix

      Glad you enjoyed it -- were you able to get rid of the extra ticket you had?
      -- I heard the broadcast on Radio 4. Goerke was very expressive. I don’t know how it sounded where you sat -- but that last note in the quartet -- she was the only one I could hear on the audio stream hit that note.

    • Liz.S

      Happy to hear that you enjoyed it LIVE. Some of us in the chatroom this afternoon were watching the webcast. Even through the Internet, Jurowski’s take sounded HOT!!! Can’t wait for his FroSch @ the Met next season!

    • Buster

      Thanks Liz, phoenix:

      I sat on the front balcony, where the sound is always excellent. Goerke came through in that act two finale there like a laser beam. It cost her an enormous effort though, you could see her breathing go up like crazy, before she lashed out once more, and nailed the dammned thing. The ovations after that were incredible. So happy I saw Anne Schwanewilms do this live – her perfect diction, and that incredible voice, unfolding in all its beauty for Vater, bist du’s? You did not hear a cough during the violin solo leading up to that – everyone was in the temple with her, preparing for what was to come. A lot of the success of this was due to Jurowski, and the fabulous orchestra (which has a great new conductor, by the way: Markus Stenz). The extra ticket was well used!

    • MontyNostry

      It sounds wonderful (even if I’m not usually a fan of Frau Schwanewilms). Looking forward to Goerke’s Elektra in London next (?) season and I imagine Reuter was ideal as Barak.

      • Buster

        Yes, Reuter was ideal, an intimate, almost Lieder like approach that I found deeply impressive.

      • Buster

        Peter Geld was there too, by the way. He is seeing the final Tell performance tomorrow.

        • Buster

          Gelb, sorry.

  • manou

    I have just seen the HD Rigoletto, which struck me as a monumental waste of time, effort and neon. The singing was respectable to pretty good, but all this Lasvegassery was just unnecessary. The Broadway spirit also infected Mr Peretyatko, who allowed two tasteless and gratuitous pauses to accommodate applause after Caro Nome and La Donna e Mobile.

    Best bits of the intermissions were the two adorable Testé sprogs, and Lucic saying “I am not humping”.

    • manou

      Oh -- and the surtitles were pure “What’s Up Tiger Lily”.

    • lorenzo.venezia

      The only place the neon was effective was the storm scene where it looking like lighting. What revolutionary concept!

    • oedipe

      I too went to see the Rigoletto HD and was bored to tears! I love this opera when it’s well done, but this performance made NO impression on me, except that it seemed interminable. The singing was, I guess, decent, though in the cinema it sounded like everybody, with the exception of Damrau, was shouting. Everybody seemed on auto-pilot; again, with the exception of Damrau. Hey, the whole production was on auto-pilot! And when Michael Mayer showed up, his whole persona was conveying the message: “I am sooo shallow!”

      Indeed, one of the rare moments that didn’t feel stilted was the contribution of the Damrau babies.

      • lorenzo.venezia

        couldn’t agree more. the other side of the problem: the overwhelming smell of popcorn + “cortigiani vil razza” doesn’t mix. Nevertheless two theatres in the same complex were full up, people laughing at all the wrong places, eating nachos, yapping, and tapping along. A serious challenge for the future of opera from the Met… random thought: wouldn’t they be better off hiring movie directors than Broadway babies for these things, since it’s all about the HD? Other than Damrau, nothing else was happening. A shallow “concept” presented shallowly with a lot of beauty-challenged singing…

        • DonCarloFanatic

          The HD venues vary quite dramatically. The one I go to now has generally excellent sound baffle between screens. The popcorn has no aroma. Also no taste.

          A surprise: they showed the pole dancer in her pasties.

          I liked the production but I think the Met is trying too hard to make it seem awfully special. Vegas is a good enough setting but the story isn’t about a place. The singers were game, but Beczala does not have a convincing roving eye, Damrau’s dress was hideous (compare to the dresses Connie Francis used to wear), and Lucic’s acting was gauged for a screen close-up, not a vast barn like the Met. I thought he was very effective, but I doubt his restrained, 20th century gestures went over well in the Met itself. However, I am now in love with him and wondering why, especially considering his wardrobe of cardigans.

  • zinka

    The Met no longer allows the Rigoletto to sing,”Avraaaaaaaaai” as in the old days..BORRRING…And can anyone match Cornell and Leyla?????

    • bassoprofundo

      Zinka, what do you mean the “Met no longer allows” it? do you just mean there aren’t any baritones who can do it justice? why would the Met not allow it?

      • zinka

        The “come scritto” tendencies now mak the wonderful slow build=up on “Un vindice avraaaaaaaiii” obsolete and they substitute (probably in the score) a simple “avrai” and the scene loses the usual tension……..Liaten to almost everyone and you see this “come scritto’ change is so boring.

        as ever Charlie

  • 1300 posts. Six years of blogging. And a new review on Superconductor: Juilliard’s Don Pasquale.