Cher Public

  • la vociaccia: I never said she should hang it up or anything like that; I’ve said frequently that she’s extremely effective... 11:39 PM
  • Krunoslav: Funny, I had written Gorr and then realized it’s been many, many years since I’ve heard that performance.... 11:18 PM
  • Poison Ivy: Ok to use a more contemporary example other than Birgit Nilsson, would you want to hear Anna Netrebko, Sondra Radvanovsky or... 10:01 PM
  • la vociaccia: Surely there lies a gulf between “singing it well” and “covering yourself in glory.” I agree this is... 9:52 PM
  • joggerboy: Was anyone able to listen to it yet? France Musique hasn’t put it On Demand yet. 9:44 PM
  • Poison Ivy: I think this argument is getting rather pointless. For instance I don;t think Birgit Nilsson covered herself in glory when she... 8:39 PM
  • laddie: I took him to mean that he was previewing the role debut at the MET. He has sung the role in Torino as well as London. 8:25 PM
  • kashania: Kruno: How about Gorr form Bayreuth (opposite Konya/Christoff)? 7:47 PM

Durch Mitleid wissend

“An article on Feb. 10 about a new Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera misstated what happens at the end of a Parsifal performance at Bayreuth. There is applause at the end of the opera, not none at all.” [New York Times]


  • 1
    La Cieca says:

    All this, and Leslie Uggams too!

  • 2
    Camille says:

    Assolutamente FAVOLOSO!!!!!!!!!

    Grazie, grazie, grazie!!!!

  • 3
    La Valkyrietta says:

    Very Wagnerian Cyd.

    • 3.1
      Camille says:

      Thanks for reminding me to haul out those silk stockings for Don Carlo(s), La Vally!

      This little balleto I find rather embarrassing. Have you ever seen the one she does in that Sigmund Romberg bio film —- some desert scene? it is FAB!


  • 4
    il conte says:

    It should be no applause after the 1st act, at least that’s how they do it Bayreuth, and the same in Vienna where I was lucky enough to hear Waltraud Meier and Struckmann 2 years ago..some did applaude and were hushed immediately by the audience. Conductor Metzmacher was booed frenetically by a couple of guys, I found out it was about some antisemetic statements made by him (?)..overall a night I remember with great pleasure

    • 4.1
      Buster says:

      I refuse to believe what you say about Ingo Metzmacher here. A nasty, and totally unfounded rumour, which you should not be repeat unless you can give the exact quote, which you cannot.

      • 4.1.1
        m. croche says:

        Perhaps it had something to do with this --

        Metzmacher discusses the matter with Die Zeit here. It’s clear from the interview that Metzmacher was aware that programming Pfitzner’s “Deutsche Seele” on the “Tag der deutschen Einheit” might be considered a bit provocative…

        I’m not offering any judgement on Metzmacher’s actions, but in Germany -- and even Austria! -- where the working-through of the past is debated in a very spirited manner, it’s not such a surprise that there might be a couple of people who would boo Metzmacher at a later event.

      • 4.1.2
        Regina delle fate says:

        Far more likely that Metzmacher made anti-Nazi in the context of Pfitzner and that might not go down well in all-quarters in Vienna, sad to say. Metzmacher is usually at pains to distance himself from the nationalist sentiments in Pfitzner’s works, unlike another German champion of the composer who is regarded as a God in Vienna….

    • 4.2
      il conte says:

      I’m sorry I turned the spirits on wasn’t my intention at all..the things I wrote about Metzmacher were purely said to me by some other audience members..that’s it, I didn’t make any accusation or smthg like that..not my intention

  • 5
    Buster says:

    “Perhaps it had something to do with this –”

    I hope not. The accusation made by il conte was that Metzmacher made “some antisemitic statements.” He definitely does not make them in this interview, nor, I am certain, anywhere else.

    • 5.1
      Regina delle fate says:

      If he had made anti-semitic comments, you can bet your life that Norman Lebrecht would have picked up on them, not to mention the press in Germany. You can’t let slip anything even vaguely anti-semitic in the German-speaking world without the German press coming down on you like a ton of bricks and rightly so. But, as Buster says, it’s totally out of character and unthinkable coming from Metzmacher.

      • 5.1.1
        Maria Malcontent says:

        I’d be shocked to hear anything of the kind of Metzmacher, whom I consider one of the great conductors of our age, even if he is roughly no more neatly turned out than Christian Gerhaher.

        And, even though I am Jewish (I changed my last name from Montesorri before my marriage to Tom Cruise), I adore almost all Pfitzner. This is realtively a hard one to crack, but his ridiculous and self-destructive personal life have nothing to do with his music.

          Camille says:

          So, you are actually Katie Holmes?

          Oh, no wonder you are feeling out of sorts these days! Don’t worry, things will get better.

          • Maria Malcontent says:

            You may refer to me as Virgo Intacta.

          • Camille says:

            Wieso? They have a kid, little Suri, a darling child!!

            Maria, take your Malibranflakes and you will feel better in the morning!!

            And NOTHING is worse than being frakless in Wexford — never forget!!!


      • 5.1.2
        Regina delle fate says:

        This interview dates from 2007, so it’s doubtful that anyone in Vienna read a story linked to his then new appointment to the Deutsche Sinfonie-orchester, let alone remembered it in 2011. The article discusses Pfitzner’s anti-semitism, which Metzmacher does not defend, indeed he calls it appalling. So this looks a Chinese whispers story. Buster is right to be incensed by it. That said a lot of Wagnerian traditionalist dislike Metzmacher intensely and some haven’t forgiven him for the Konwitschny Meistersinger he conducted in Hamburg in which Sachs’s Deutschmeisterei monologue was interrupted and a short spoken debate about whether one should state such things in public was interpolated into the staging. That caused fury in Hamburg and was reported all over Germany and Austria at the time.

          m. croche says:

          This interview dates from 2007, so it’s doubtful that anyone in Vienna read a story linked to his then new appointment to the Deutsche Sinfonie-orchester, let alone remembered it in 2011.


          The decision by Metzmacher to program Pfitzner’s “Von deutscher Seele” on a day celebrating German unity attracted notice in newspapers all around the country and was quite an affair when it came out. Here’s a small selection of just some of the press:

          Walter Zimmerman (undervalued composer alert!!) Soll man Pfitzner verbrennen?

          This blog and this forum and this fellow, who sees definite parallels between l’affaire Metzmacher and l’affaire Thielemann. (Note that this blog comment comes from the year 2011, a time when you seem sure that everyone had forgotten all about the incident.) There’s also this guy who doesn’t buy Metzmacher’s “Verharmlosung” of “von Deutscher Seele”, pointing out that its was written at nearly the same the NSDAP was first organizing.

          There are more interviews, stories and stories. Metzmacher’s follow-up letter to the Zentralrat der Juden which also was reported on in the press.

          The initial statement by the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland, Metzmacher’s letter in response and the not-entirely-convinced reaction by Dr. Dieter Graumann can be found here.

          Heck, the whole matter gets a paragraph in Metzmacher’s German wikipedia page.

          Il Conte indeed got part of the story wrong -- Metzmacher didn’t make antisemitic remarks. But his decision to program Pfitzner’s “Von deutscher Seele” on the “Day of national unity” -- to be followed up with a performance of Liszt’s Les Preludes, which had its own associations with Nazi Germany -- struck many as just the kind of nationalist provocation that they had experienced years ago from another German conductor. For those who worry about the shadows of German history over the present, this was a pretty notable event -- and people who are that deeply immersed in political symbolism are not likely to forget the matter after a mere four years. And there will be some who will be continually troubled by any attempt to make Pfitzner “salonfaehig”.

          By the way -- any chance we could do without the phrase “Chinese whispers story”? “Game of telephone” works nicely and avoids some unpleasant connotations. Xie-xie!

          • manou says:

            Interesting to note that “Chinese whispers” becomes “le téléphone arabe” in French -- a phrase probably no longer used in polite conversation…

          • oedipe says:

            But people don’t usually say “the work of a Chinese” or “work Chinese-style” in English, do they?

  • 6
    ljushuvud says:

    Sorry oedipe , but I’m missing your point

    • 6.1
      oedipe says:

      There is a (in)famous French expression, which I don’t think has an English equivalent, “travail d’arabe”.

      • 6.1.1
        ljushuvud says:

        Yes, I’m familiar with the phrase (and it did have an equivalent in English, and in Swedish, thankfully no longer current in polite conversation. But I’m still failing to see your point!

  • 7
    il conte says:

    I’m sorry I turned the spirits on wasn’t my intention at all..the things I wrote about Metzmacher were purely said to me by some other audience members..that’s it, I didn’t make any accusation or smthg like that..not my intention