Cher Public

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Ogni cura si doni al diletto?

Says the Met press office: “José Cura will sing the role of Don José in the Friday, March 1 performance of Bizet’s Carmen, replacing Andrew Richards, who is ill. Cura, who begins rehearsals this week for his first Met performances of the title role in Verdi’s Otello, has graciously agreed at short notice to step in for what will be his company role debut as Don José.”


  • 1
    Camille says:

    “…al delitto.”

  • 2
  • 3
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Here’s hoping that the MET will provide another opportunity for Andrew Richards to prove himself there.

  • 4
    Camille says:

    What exactly does don José sound like as Don José? Has anyone heard him? Is it one of those crooning kinds of over acted exhibitions?

    More importantly, did anyone attend CAROUSEL at the NY Phil last night, and talk about high-priced tix! Must be a benefit…?

  • 5
    OpinionatedNeophyte says:

    Jose Cura?!? Seriously? Has he stopped singing like a 1990 Ford Taurus in a New York winter?

    • 5.1
      Camille says:

      hahahahahahaha!!! That is the BEST one anyone has come up with in a long, long time, Dr. Neophyte!

      • 5.1.1
        OpinionatedNeophyte says:

        Hi Camille :) Its been too long, though with my search for a tenure track position at long end (I’m going to be faculty at U Colorado-Boulder in the Fall) I hope to be able to show up around here more often :) Hope all is well with you.

          Camille says:

          OMG!!!! Many felicitations to U!!!!!! I love Boulder. Lots of fun in the summer for 8 weeks, but get on your snow shoes in September! It snows there even as late as very late May. Eddie Bauer and Sorel are required

          Beautiful town but watch out for the warring religious sects, Christians vs. Buddhists! And MOST of all, watch out for the Big Red team from University of Nebraska, when they come over to play games. You will recognize these guys immediately as they are ANIMALS! I will have to write you, seriously dude, as my husband went to school there and knows a lot about Boulder.

          Congratulations and I hope you will be really happy there, and get a chance to go to Central City in the summer.

          PEACE OUT, DUDE!

          Camille et Monsieur Camille

    • 5.2
      operaassport says:

      I’ve never heard a Ford Taurus. What does one sound like? And who would drive a Ford?

    • 5.3
      operaddict says:

      So close to really good. Unfortunately Cura just doesn’t have the vocal technique to bring it home. His instincts are good, and the voice is basically healthy. He just can’t sustain the big moments…he doesn’t trust that he can make it through this aria with a fully spun out rendition…and so we get a quicky version of an aria that we would like to have wring our hearts out. The tentative response of the audience is evidence that they know, and we know…and maybe even Cura knows that something just isn’t right about this.

      • 5.3.1
        Ruxxy says:

        I fondly remember seeing him years ago at the start of his career in a stadium Puccini spectacular. It was spectacular and so was he…everyone was talking about him afterwards. Since then he seems to have developed this pinched sound complete with strangulated wobble that sounds so uncomfortable.

          kennedet says:

          Agreed. It’s sad but certainly a very difficult and realistic part of this profession. Also, trying to get it fixed and finding the right vocal technician to correct the vocal problems.I found the voice a little to “wooly” in the beginning. I felt the same way about Mark Delavan. Voice technicians always decry that technique is everything.

          • Ruxxy says:

            Perhaps it seems a little too simplistic to say so but like my old singing teacher used to say -- it all comes from the breathing technique -- and I still cannot disagree.

  • 6
    La Cieca says:

    This seems to be fairly recent.

    • 6.1
      armerjacquino says:

      Ha, I thought I’d do some clever detective work by finding out where the user is from and then working out when and where this performance was likely to have taken place.

      The user’s location is listed as an uninhabited volcanic island off Norway. Where I don’t think they have an opera house.

      • 6.1.1
          Nerva Nelli says:

          Oedipe, Bianca was formed in the universal chaos following the Big Bang. She and her ‘talent’ have always been and will *always* exist. She is the riderless horse snorting, stamping on the hard sea sand…

          • Bianca Castafiore says:

            Che gelosia.

            Who woke up this Charybdis in a skirt? Well, remember, folks, Nervosa — famously known as the Buzzard of Skopje — is always available for funerals and hog calling contests. As long as the police are not around.

            AH JE RIS!!!!!!!

      • 6.1.2
        Nerva Nelli says:

        “The user’s location is listed as an uninhabited volcanic island off Norway. Where I don’t think they have an opera house.”

        Angry walruses and narwhals destroyed it in 1878 after a visiting Italian troupe presented a lone FAUST with a past-due *catastrophic* soprano.

        “Ah, je ris!”

          Bianca Castafiore says:

          So speaks the cleaning lady/fishmonger hiding from the law in Tirana — where she still tries to pass tilapia off as snapper… poverina…

          • Nerva Nelli says:


            Only fourth-ranked artists like Sua Bianchezza tour the Albanian capital--and that was in the days of Suleiman the Magnificent, who sent a galleon to shut down her raucous one-person show, HILDEGARD OF BINGEING.

          • Bianca Castafiore says:

            Even if that were the case, fourth-ranked artists still rank higher than cleaning ladies, Nervosa.

            And nobody ever called you Rossignol of anywhere, nor named an asteroid after you, nor a public plaza, nor made a Hollywood movie after you… We already established this, you are no NOTHING!!!!

            Ah, Je ris!!!!!!!

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            That was a public URINAL, Miss Thing!

            Unlike you, I clean personally-- but NOT professionally!

          • Bianca Castafiore says:

            And I hire you to clean mine!!!!

          • Nerva Nelli says:

            Eking by on public assistance (pre-recording artists getting no royalties, after all) you could scarcely hire ANYONE, carina.

          • Bianca Castafiore says:

            But you are cheap enough, Nervosa. You are cheaper than even basso and oas combined.

          • oedipe says:

            If you two didn’t exist, Parterre would have to scramble to invent you! Unstoppable LOL, sorry!

    • 6.2
      OpinionatedNeophyte says:

      Serving late (late, late) career Domingo realness is, I suppose, better than nothing.

    • 6.3
      kashania says:

      He sounds better in this clip than I thought he would. Plus, he can act up a storm and actually looks like someone Carmen would fall for. I wish him well.

    • 6.4
      operaddict says:

      A Reader’s Digest version of Don Jose. Too bad. He KNOWS how to sing this, and just can’t. He never took the time to work out the vocal technical issues that seem to plague him, so that he can’t sustain a great singing career in the grand style. He isn’t fooling anyone now. I do wish him toi toi toi at the Met, but this could be dangerous…

  • 7
    Bianca Castafiore says:

    I wonder who Richards’ cover is…

  • 8
    Bianca Castafiore says:

    Speaking of tenor subs, JH Morris has withdrawn from the LA Fliegende Hollander due to GE…

  • 9
  • 10
    zinka says:

    We love Andrew..Hope it was only illness the other night..but now we have that shirtless imitation of a good tenor…YUCH.

    Prefer Flores as Otello.

  • 11
    blanchette says:

    enfin!!!- a chance to show off my erudition, paltry though it may be next to Manou’s—-Casaubon- but you probably knew that

  • 12
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    This guy should stick to drawing and animation

  • 13
    pasavant says:

    Cura sounds absolutely horrible in the Carmen clip. A barely controlled scream.

  • 14
    Bianca Castafiore says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t catch this Carmen. How was Schukoff, anyone????

    Over the Internet, Richards sounded good.

    • 14.1
      armerjacquino says:

      In the broadcast, Schukoff was… divisive. Some people liked him, some really didn’t.

    • 14.2
      Bluevicks says:

      IMO, Schukoff has a very good stage with a warm and pleasant lyrical voice. The problem is that his voice is too small for a venue like the MT, which means that he had to constantly force on it.

      He would certainly be better in a smaller venue.

      • 14.2.1
        bassoprofundo says:

        Having a voice too small for the Met doesn’t stop the likes of Hvorostovsky, etc from singing there. Why should it stop Schukoff?

          Bluevicks says:

          I didn’t say that it ”should stop” Schukoff.
          It’s just that forcing in an attempt to be heard distorts the voice and prevents to sing legato (among other things). And for Schukoff this is a little bit unfortunate because his voice is quite pleasant in its ”natural” state (as was Hvorostovsky’s before his red-faced strangulated routine in roles which don’t suit him vocally).

          Plus, if only voices suitable for the Met could thing in it, then there would be virtually no singers on the Met rooster.

    • 14.3
      newyorkartist1 says:

      I was in the house and Richards was awkward on stage and sounded warn out and unconfident on stage. His high notes made me sad.

      • 14.3.1
        That Guy says:

        Sorry to hear that, I heard he came down with some stomach issue and was already ill halfway through the show. Poor bugger. Cura had great potential but never fixed the technique. They should get Saccá, he is on fire in this role right now and he’ll be singing at the Met soon anyway. Move him up!

    • 14.4
      Vergin Vezzosa says:

      I thought Schukoff was terrific. His voice from my seat towards the rear of the dress circle on Feb. 20 seemed medium sized and was used very effectively for the big moments. I did not think it too small for the Met and did not hear pushing. His voice to me is also “sweet” without any crooning and his phrasing was lovely. He is one of the singers who sings whole lines and phrases instead of just notes. Dramatically, he was very effective, very natural, genuinely touching in the aria and wrenching in the final scene. I hope that he is hired back. PS -- I also thought that Mariotti did a great job with the orchestra.

    • 14.5
      oedipe says:

      Schukoff had a rough time with Don José at the Paris Opera in December: people complained he was inaudible much of the time. He even got booed at the prima. (To be fair, so did Antonacci, who was the Carmen, and the stage director.)

      • 14.5.1
        Bluevicks says:

        Well, La Bastille is a very big venue with infamously bad acoustics so this makes sense.

          oedipe says:

          Not EVERYBODY gets booed, though. Fortunately!

          Vergin Vezzosa says:

          Agreed. The Met, as big as it is, can in many seat locations be kinder to voices than a whole bunch of other theaters. I noticed it this year particularly with Bryan Hymel whose quality of sound came across better in Troyens in NY than in Robert le Diable in London even though the ROH auditorium is smaller.

      • 14.5.2
        Bianca Castafiore says:

        How was Deshayes’ Carmen, oedipe?

  • 15
    Lyric-Tenore says:

    I too hope it was only Illness for Andrew

  • 16
    zinka says:


    A 17 year old young lady (maybe) from Vancouver has made up a site in which she shows photos of opera singers SHIRTLESS. The site is:

    I found this site because I am always kidding about Jose Cura,now doing a Don Jose and several Otellos and always say, “Keep your shirt on,Jose.”(Although as long as he does not sing, he really could come out bottomless.).

    I got to the site and MAMMA MIA…what an array of shirtless dudes, including the great Stefan Kocan,who stole the show as Sparafucile in the recent Met Rigoletto (even with his shirt on). If anyone here is interested in seeing their favorites shirtless,or almost shirtless (There is Melchior or Gigli there,by the way), go to the site and you will be able to revel in the pecs of the great artists of today and yesterday.

    Personally, I think this whole thing is DISGUSTING!!!!!!!

    Charlie, sempre vergine degli angeli.

    • 16.1
      Bluevicks says:

      Is it not the website which also went at length about the ”battle of the bulge” ? (please don’t ask me how I know that)

  • 17
    Bianca Castafiore says:

    Any reports on Cura’s Don José?