Cher Public

  • lorenzo.venezia: armer, you’re on your own, baby ;-) 10:02 AM
  • PCally: Jennifer Vyvyan is pretty hard to beat IMO. Not the most distinct timbre but one with an edge that suits the music brilliantly.... 9:28 AM
  • Krunoslav: Donath’s Governess is wonderful, one of her best recordings. Hard to think of a better Governess, either. Every word is... 8:54 AM
  • PCally: Lol sorry about that! That was my thread so yes I was just being dense. But yeah those fcb posts were funny farm material, making... 8:48 AM
  • armerjacquino: According to another thread, Wilson doesn’t take kindly to being discussed on PB. 8:41 AM
  • PCally: Armer, I guess I’m being dense, but do you mind clarifying that? 8:33 AM
  • armerjacquino: “what did you think of Wilson?” Shhhh! *looks around nervously* 8:30 AM
  • PCally: Buster, have you heard her Governess? She recorded the opera with Colin Davis I believe and while I’ve heard mixed things... 8:11 AM

Pay attention to the man behind the curtain

UPDATE: Here are the Met’s 2013-2014 season press release and digital brochure.

And here, cher public, is your “anchor” post where you may (and surely will) comment on the repertoire and casting of the impending stagione; and perhaps you will spare a word of praise for the accuracy of your doyenne’s deep-throated leaker?


  • zinka says:

    Took me all night to have to go to EACH cast on EACH subscription… more easy columns with casts in a given subscription.VERY annoying.

    However,the casts look quite good,with the exception of operas with that lady who seems to be considered the greatest Maddalena…
    But..good stuff………

    • OperaTeen says:

      I bought my first Met subscription EVER yesterday and I’m super excited! Igor, Opolais in Butterfly, Fleming in Rusalka… I’m thrilled!

      • Bianca Castafiore says:

        Congratulations! What else did you get? That is very exciting.

        • OperaTeen says:

          Thanks! I also got a Cosi and a Magic Flute, both of which I’ll probably drop in favor of a Werther or Rosenkavalier. Also included is a Tosca and an Onegin! I’m very excited. It’s family circle premium, so I paid around $275 for seven performances.

          • Feldmarschallin says:

            Operateen yes drop both the Cosi and Flute but take Werther and FroSch. The FroSch is much better cast and has the much better production. The Rosenkavalier will be coming again in a new production by a great director in a season or two. Other than Garanca the Rosenkavalier cast is uninspiring especially in regards to the Marschallin. The Kaiserin will be sung by Schwanewilms who is making her Met debut (should have been 10 years earlier already) and also has Goerke, Reuter and Kerl all which just sang a great performance in Holland. Also FroSch is rarer and Rosenkavalier is an opera you can hear more often. Personally I find FroSch to be his greatest opera.

          • bassoprofundo says:

            I think I’m going to write my senator to get him to ban this usage of the word “Frosch” for “Frau Ohne Schatten.”

            Do you realize that “Frau Ohne Schatten” is only 1 character more than “Der Rosenkavalier”? but I don’t see people writing “DeRo.” It’s also 2 characters SHORTER than “Lucia di Lammermoor.” But people don’t write “LDL.” It’s the same amount of characters as “Damnation de Faust,” and “Italiana in Algeri,” but people don’t write “DDF” or “IIA.”

            So. Can we please give Strauss a little more respect, than calling one of his--no, one of THE greatest operas of all time--by the word “Frosch.”

          • m. croche says:

            Also: you have two senators.

          • Bianca Castafiore says:

            OT, you should also take advantage of the rush tickets and go see whatever is not in your subscription. I’d def. catch FroSch and Norma, if you can.

      • bassoprofundo says:

        How much did you pay for it?

        • Feldmarschallin says:

          Strauss himself in his letter to HvH called the work FroSch. It is certainly not disrespectful to call it that if he himself called it that.

          • Camille says:

            I am relieved you spoke up on this matter—as well as Buster—as someone who knows and loves Die Frau ohne Schatten well, should well know the historical fact that it was Herr Doktor Strauss himself who referred to his work with this name. Whether it was he or his partner vin Hofmannstahl who first came up with it, I know not, however.

            I do hope this clears up this discussion. Perhaps basso can take up his complaint with the heirs to the Strauss estate, are his grandsons still with us? Or Boosey & Hawkes.

          • bassoprofundo says:


            oh dear lord.

          • Camille says:

            Seriously, dude, very seriously.

          • armerjacquino says:

            Camille- I don’t think that’s enough. I think basso should show his commitment to this vital cause by picketing every single performance of DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN (its FULL and CORRECT name), perhaps with placards, so this fine opera can be saved from the foul abbreviation imposed on it by, um, its composer.

          • Camille says:

            I’m thinking as well that the United Nations should call a conference on this to moderate the pros and cons of FroSch vs. Die Frau ohne Schatten. And whatever right Dr. Strauss felt he was entitled to in calling his work, op. no. 65 by such a name!

            Here is a reference on the name on Wiki:

            “Strauss himself called this opera his “child of woe” (he even called it “Die Frosch”, which in German means frog, that is “Die Frau ohne Schatten”). The complexity of the text and the stress of wartime made its composition a laborious task, and Strauss was also disappointed with the first productions.”

          • Feldmarschallin says:

            Actually it would be Der Frosch oder Die Frösche if plural. Die Frosch gibt es nicht wenn talking about frogs but if he said Die Frosch while talking about the opera that would work.

        • Feldmarschallin says:

          Two senators plus Barbara Senator :)

        • bluecabochon says:

          How gauche. Never ask how much someone paid for something.

      • Camille says:

        OperaTeen, are you aware of the Ticket Offers for Students at the Met?

        Go to the Met Opera ____Season & Tickets______Ticket Offers_______Special Ticket Offers_______Students Met Opera. Then register yourself, or just check out the list of current availabilities, for instance tonight’s performance, another Don Carlo and two Francesca da Riminis are currently being offered. No Parsifals, as I guess they are sold on that one.

        The weekday tickets are all $25.00+$2.50 and weekends are $35.00+$2.50. Usually in the back of the orchestra, sometimes in the middle.

        That way you can manage to get in quite a few more performances each year. And don’t forget to check your PBS channels via the info on the Met HD transmissions page — put in your zip code and see when a production will be featured on TV for FREE!

        • OperaTeen says:

          Thank you, Camille! I’ve been quite the squeaky wheel with the “student ticket” program to the Met, because I’m too “young” for the program… And GP @ Met is always recorded on our TV. :-)

          P.S. Thank you for your nice comments on the NYCO auction post. I really appreciated them. :-)

          • Camille says:

            My dear young person,

            You are certainly ahead of the rest of your pack of peers! At least you will have the ticket offer program there for you in a couple more years, when you go on with your studies.

            You are living at a time when there is such a wealth of recorded opera and its availablility is with such ease! You are so lucky to have all this and the ability to talk via the internet about your love and growing knowledge of this vast repertory. I do hope that this rather bitter lesson with the NYCO auction, learned while still so young, will turn out to help you in your ability to discern the glitter and the tinsel from the real gold there is to be found. There is, as you have discovered, a lot of the former and far less of the latter. Additionally, may I suggest this: listen to many different singers and as many singers singing in their native tongue, so as to hear the singing as if were ‘spoken’ , as it were. Don’t get hung up on just one or two singers, thinking the rest are nothing special for there is a lot to be learned from all singers, even bad ones!

            May your road be a happy one. For certain, music is a friend that will never desert you nor turn its back on you in your moment of need. It is always there, like the most loving of mothers, to encourage and enlighten, to lift you up into ”ein besser Welt”.

            Good luck, honey, and always trust your truest guide, your innerest voice.

            With fond good wishes,
            Former Opera Teen

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    All my hopes for Walter Pondman to be the next Corelli have been crushed by his latest videos

    just a year ago he sounded like this:

    • m. croche says:

      I think QPF’s extensive collection of Pondmaniana could the basis for his very own 7 Up Series.

    • Camille says:

      That’s such a damned shame, QPF!

      He basically makes an okay Billy Bigelow, except for that unnecessary interpolated note at the end, he can get ny. He was never happy singing all that opera — look at how relaxed he is singing this—and he doesn’t have to sing with his sister!

      Love them Pondmans.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Get it before they yank it

    • Camille says:

      Thanks for posting this Eugene Onegin, QPF. I enjoyed a lot of it, including the dancers as representations of their younger selves. It reminded a bit of that ballet edition by American Ballet Theatre which I saw last spring.

      No matter how many times I see Stoyanova and as much as I do like her, I can never get too enthused about her. Keenlyside was quite good in the acting department, and more sympathetic than a lot of those cold bastards that have played him as such.

      What do you Londoners have to say about it — it was fairly recent, no?

  • il conte says:

    I’d love to see Cavalleria.. & Pagliacci again in the Met repertoire!

  • norma54 says:

    The idea of the extremely mediocre Susanna Phillips in TWO HD’s is horrifying….the idea of another BOHEME with no stars (except the WAY overrated Grigolo!)….another viewing of the hideous Bondy Tosca with the generic Patty Racette (thank God we don’t have to endure her Maddalena in CHENIER in HD!)….also horrifying. Also, it’s a shame to hear that the new ONEGIN and FALSTAFF are ghastly productions (even though well-cast). Great to pay only $24 each …… at least the HD audiences get their money’s worth. ….and they wonder why tickets AT the MET don’t sell.

    • la vociaccia says:

      Well, my ianw-style prediction for 2016 parterre is that you’re all gonna be breaking your necks to get tickets to see Susanna Phillips by then. I’ve seen her a few times and have no idea where the mediocrity is; she’s pretty damn interesting.

      • armerjacquino says:

        It does sometimes feel as if the Met can’t win. First there are people clamouring for promising young American talent to be given opportunities, then someone like Phillips is cast and there are complaints because she isn’t a star…

        I don’t know where this idea of the Carsen FALSTAFF being ‘ghastly’ comes from. It’s fab and has been well reviewed.

      • operaassport says:

        She’s interesting, in an Erin Wall sort of way. Generic.

      • bassoprofundo says:

        she’s really not. smallish voice. decent enough but no one will ever be “breaking their necks” to get tickets for her.

        • Gualtier M says:

          I had no trouble hearing her as Donna Anna at the Met this Fall. I think the Met is grooming her to be “the next Renée” a lot of her roles are the early Fleming rep. It is a gorgeous lush fresh voice with good flexibility and healthy size. Unfortunately she does lack a little bit in interpretive “face” -- no strong personality has emerged yet. But she is young and capable. I am not disposed to make a final dismissive judgment as she is very much still in development.

        • norma54 says:

          She sings at a fine graduate-student level….nothing WRONG with the voice…. just not appropriate for A-House level ANYWHERE…faceless, phraseless, colorless, generic singing …. ditto Erin Wall.

          • bassoprofundo says:


            but wait until the Met promo machine puts her on the side of a bus!

            then she’ll be the next great ___!

            there is seriously too much of this emperor’s new clothes BS in opera right now.

        • la vociaccia says:

          I’m sorry; I can’t match up the “Emperor’s New Clothes” narrative with Susanna Phillips. She’s a well-schooled singer with a genuinely attractive instrument and (to me) she acts well. That may amount to a boring evening to some people (why, I’ll never know), but a fraud it does not. We’ll know more about her characterizations soon enough; she sings Ellen Orford in a concertized Grimes next fall and in two weeks she sings Stella in Streetcar, both at Carnegie.

          I mean, really, there’s SO much more to complain about than this girl. And I think she’s pretty great

  • il conte says:

    Does anybody know if Mr Holender, who I greatly appreciate, is still advisor at the Met? That would explain Netrebko all over again & unfortunately some unfortunate cast choices

  • MJL says:

    After receiving the letter from Mr. Gelb saying that prices were going down, I did a backflip. I went to renew today and my subscription is considerably costlier now- almost $500 for 2. The agent on the phone said because we had front row seats in the side Parterre our seats are more costly. Now my back is hurting.

    • Camille says:

      You’re being charged more since you are a “parterrian”?

    • atalaya says:

      It looks they changed how they figured out the price of subscriptions.

      Now they add up each ticket in a subscription (different prices for “A”, “B”, or “C” shows) and then take off about 15%.

      Last season the average selling price seemed to be a discount based on the cheapest category of ticket.

      Looking at the FC Premium section, single tickets are again $35-50 depending on the show -- same as last season.

      This year “Monday 2″ in FC Premium has 1 A ($35 as a single ticket), 4 Bs ($42), and 3 Cs ($50). Total for that would be $353. The subscription price is $303 -- which is actually slightly less of a discount than the “minimum 15% for subscribers”. A $37.88 average ticket price.

      Last year’s “Monday 2″ was $168 for six shows. $28/average price. Total for that series as individual tickets was $240. (2 $50, 4 $35). A discount of 30% for subscribing.

      I don’t know if the Met did the same pricing in other sections but I’d guess, judging from a look at the FC, that this new model -- add up the individual tickets and whack off 15% for subscribers -- is what they’ve generally applied.

      If that is the case, then despite the headlines saying “Met cuts ticket prices!”, the truth is at least some -- probably most -- subscribers will be paying more.

      The press release claims “Subscription tickets will be priced at a significant discount, with a minimum discount of 15%”. Don’t know about other sections other than FC but the “significant discount” of 15% is much less significant of a discount than it used to be.

  • zinka says:

    Hi…Thtee unrelated comments:

    1. I got the Met brochure nd GRAZIE A DIO, unlike what was online, they DO have the subscriptions listed conveniently in columns with casts,and really, they are some very good shows, since Kurt Baum retired.

    2. Rememeber Lucine’s birthday romorrow..I will ask her to sing the Onegin Letter scene which at 88 she may have to cut down to a brief note.

    3. June 11, Rise Stevens turns 100..If the stupid Met does not have a HUGE special gathering at a hall,with clips, guests,etc….I will burn the place down..Wait a minute…I love Beczala…Well,maybe they could have some special gathering at another venue..SHE IS WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!

    4. TERRIFIC TENORS next season. (Calleja,Flores,Beczala,Hymel,Valenti,Giordani, Alagna(maybe),Fabiano,Grigolo,Kaufmann, Polenzani, Villazon(I hope..I want to see him again),Daniels and Costtanzo, Antonenko,etc. and also we will have Michael Bolton lipsynching to Fernando de Lucia.

    5. NO WAGNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Eine Grosse Schande)

    I’ll be O.K. after lunch CH

    • operadunce says:

      To all of you who are feeling Wagner deprived, I extend an invitation to come to Detroit next October for “The Flying Dutchman” (title in English but opera sung in German). A lovely time to visit and you can probably purchase a whole neighborhood for the price of a subscription to the Met. Hurry! Or haven’t you heard? Detroit is the “new Brooklyn”. :)

      • redbear says:

        Just read today that their putting Detroit in receivership. Hope the opera’s OK.

        • redbear says:

          I meant, of course, “they’re” I’m blaming it on spellcheck until I can find my duncecap. Its… it’s here somewhere!

          • operadunce says:

            Well, so far the opera is surviving, but its heart and soul, David DiChiera, has announced that he is beginning to phase out his responsibilities at MOT. No one person has been more responsible for the existence of the opera company and the creation of our lovely opera house. MOT doesn’t get much, if any, help from the City government, but, as with all cultural institutions in the US, it is heavily dependent on major donors and corporate foundations. So, of course, the overall health of the local economy has a tremendous impact on both the opera and the Detroit Symphony. Things seem okay right now, but …. And redbear, the duncecap is mine! Sorry! :)

  • La Valkyrietta says:

    Dreamt during nap.

    -La Donna senza ombra.


    -Fato o chimera?

  • Henry Holland says:

    Interesting news from the Long Beach Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic:

    Long Beach Opera said it will present the work as part of its season next year, in a staging directed by James Robinson. The dates and venue for the performances have not been announced. In April 2014, the production will be part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s recently announced “Minimalist Jukebox” festival

  • ardath_bey says:

    as usual Wagner fans are pretentious and overbearing, like his music at times. I do find Wagner’s universe of characters fascinating, his orchestral music gorgeous, but the vocal writing remains 90% atrocious. We need a breather this season, stop whining.

    Complaining about an opera season with 26 different productions of very diverse repertory just because there’s no Wagner is insanity. We just saw a new Parsifal and a complete Ring for heavens sakes, all new productions. Most opera companies around the world offer basically nothing in comparison. What other company can offer Netrebko, Fleming, Damrau, Radvanovsky, Garanca, Florez, Kauffmann, Alagna, Giordani, Beczala, Villazon and Kwiecien ALL IN ONE SEASON? What other opera company can offer the genius of Bellini in 3 different works ALL IN ONE SEASON? And etc. and etc. … get over yourselves and consider yourselves lucky for example that this woman’s finally at the MET next season:

    • oedipe says:

      What other company can offer Netrebko, Fleming, Damrau, Radvanovsky, Garanca, Florez, Kauffmann, Alagna, Giordani, Beczala, Villazon and Kwiecien ALL IN ONE SEASON?

      Well, add in a few more names from among the “crème de la crème” of today’s singers and you obtain…a season at Staatsoper Wien.

      • Bill says:

        Oedipe -- plus the Wiener Staatsoper offers
        about 52 different operas a season --
        the Met went two seasons without a single
        Richard Strauss Opera -- Vienna usually has
        at least 6 or 7 different Strauss Operas each season. Not to have a single Wagner Opera in Vienna in any one season would be unthinkable. The only singer mentioned above who is not singing in Vienna this 2012-13 season is Kwiechien -- Vienna’s 2013-4
        season is to be revealed about mid to late March.
        But we already know there is a new Fanciulla with
        Stemme and Kaufmann, a new Rusalka with
        Stoyanova and a new Lohengrin with Nylund, Norma with Gruberova in concert form, Ring Cycles, Tristan, Anna Bolena with Stoyanova and basically their full normal repertoire of over 50 operas, though not alot of modern fare. Plus you have quite a few operas at the Volksoper, a full
        schedule of operas at the Theater an der Wien,
        and of course you can make the short trip to
        Bratislava where two opera houses (same company) perform a large number of operas in repertoire as well. And Budapest in only 3 hours away.
        And Munich (also with many of the same
        singers as the Met plus the evasive Harteros) is
        not that far away either. If you journey from Vienna to Brno (2 hours) or Prague you can fill in your repertoire with a choice selection of Smetana, Janacek, Dvorak operas as well.

        • DurfortDM says:

          Bill is of course correct and Viennese advantage monumental in scope. There are some very very nice things at the Met, perhaps depending on one’s preference better than anything available in Vienna in a given season but scope and depth of seasons is quite beyond comparison. Of course the Met does hold up pretty well, to say the least, compared to most other places and it is much easier to procure actual tickets for the said Netrebkos , Kaufmanns and Garancas but for the sheer number of quality things available just at the Staatsoper, not to mention the other venues in the city and close by in central Europe there is nothing resembling a real competition.

        • Bianca Castafiore says:

          But in terms of total perf., how does Vienna compare to the Met?

      • ardath_bey says:

        okay so we have *one* opera company that surpasses the MET in repertory offerings, an easy task when the state subsidizes you. I’d put on 60 opera productions too if I got 60 million euros from the government every year, which is roughly what the Vienna State Opera gets.

        To its great credit the MET manages to do most of it on its own and on the back of donors, the state subsidy’s insignificant in comparison with Vienna. So the two companies shouldn’t even be in the same sentence as far as number of productions or the stars hired.

        • oedipe says:

          Oh, come on, the poor, poor Met! It’s one of the richest opera companies in the world, WHEREVER the money may be coming from.

    • vilbastarda says:

      Beautifully said! Peretyatko is wonderful, but talk about wrong bra, and wrong dress for the girl…

      • manou says:

        Basic undergarmentology mistake -- no bra here.

      • bassoprofundo says:

        What a fantastic voice.

        Compare to Susanna Phillips.

      • Camille says:

        oh I am SO glad someone else said it first.

        Amazing that she would allow herself to be seen onstage with such a sag.

        • bassoprofundo says:

          Why so much complaining about her bra? I didn’t mind.

          Never heard of this soprano until now, wow, what a voice she’s got. And a wondrous bosom as well.

          I claim her!

          • manou says:

            basso -- you do not read Parterre religiously enough. La Peretyatko is the next big thing.

          • bassoprofundo says:

            You know, the more I think about it, I think I remember seeing her name somewhere a few times, but I never took a listen or paid attention given that there are so many singers that are overrated on Parterre. I just assumed she was just another mediocre voice turned into a goddess by PR. But having just listened to several arias, she really does sound like the real deal.

          • Camille says:

            BP — I would wish you buona caccia but this lady is married already and to a conductor with a big stick, too. Sorry.

          • Buster says:

            I am glad she does not have to sing Fiakermilli for her Met debut anymore. Heard her once, in the Nightingale, pure, brilliant, just divine. Luckily, she will be back in La scala di seta at the Concertgebouw later this month.

          • la vociaccia says:

            Yes Basso. Peretyatko is the “real deal”, while Susanna Phillips is just another PR fraud.

            Just like how Markov is a GOD, and Quinn Kelsey is, depending on what week it is, either a “really wonderful singer” or “nothing superlative.”

          • la vociaccia says:

            I think Peretyatko has a voice like nails on a chalkboard. Nice trill, though

      • oedipe says:

        For the Puritani concert at the TCE, Peretyatko wore a superb and very clever dress: it was basically “2-dresses-in-1″, very handy in these crisis times. It was a see-through, straight cut black lace shell, worn over a long white silk undergarment; after intermission, the white undergarment was swapped for a black one. It was the talk-of-the-town: many people hadn’t realized what was going on. But maybe Paris tastes are different from Parterre ones…

        • vilbastarda says:

          Oh, I’d love to see that dress. She wore a beautiful black and white gown in Boston in October too, and usually she is quite stylish, but not in the clip above.

    • La Valkyrietta says:

      Oui, monsieur ardath_bey, she promises to deliver on the ‘I Puritani’ mad scene, I’m looking forward to her Elvira, but I consider myself not satisfied with a machine Ring, so much so that I probably will skip it this spring. After two seasons with that machine Ring, no Wagner at all? The horror! The horror!

    • luvtennis says:

      This is not very good. The top is shrill and sounds nothing like the rest of her voice. Her pitching is a sometime thing. She can’t seem to execute the coloratura without slowing down -- except at the very top. A little like Sills in that sense.

      She looks smokin in that dress though. Almost the full green JLo look.

  • Signor Bruschino says:

    I got the brochure today, and after the last couple years of very glossy color brochures announcing the season, i was kind of surprised to see the 2 color, flimsy paper brochure that i got in the mail-

    cost cutting is high priority at the met this upcoming season!

    • redbear says:

      Numbers. This season, the Met did 28 operas, next season 26. This season the HD broadcast were 12, next season 10. Oddly I counted 8 more performances than last season. Even with declining seat percentages, extra performances, even when less than full, still brings in dollars.

  • Lohenfal says:

    There have been some questions as to how the new subscription pricing is working. I have a subscription for Saturday matinees in the Grand Tier. I added up all the individual performance amounts. When I got the total, I subtracted the 10% discount for matinees. The number corresponded exactly to what they’re asking for. I can’t speak for all the individual locations and days of the week, but they’re probably following the same pattern.

    I also noticed from the chart that comes with the brochure that they appear to have reclassified some of the seats. This season, my seat was classified as Grand Tier Premium. Now, it’s been reclassified as Grand Tier Prime, as it used to be. If there’s a situation where some subscribers are paying more, that might be the reason: a change of zone.

    In my case, the savings are considerable. I was thinking of not renewing but have changed my mind. The repertory is more varied than recently, and casting fairly good. I regret the absence of Wagner, but they’re giving three Richard Strauss operas, two rarely presented in NY. They’ve also taken away the restrictions on exchanges and eliminated exchange fees. All in all, I have to give some praise to the Met for doing this backtrack on the prices, embarrassing as it must be for them. The lack of the usual press conference could be explained by this.