Cher Public

Spring forward

Get started an hour earlier (or later?) with your discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects, cher public.

  • Saw Angela Meade and Dolora Zajick in NORMA last night. Two astonishing voices, one very good voice, one self destructing voice, a green conductor and an incompetent director, i.e. an infuriating evening.
    Angela Meade will be a GREAT Norma if she ever gets to work with a competent conductor or director. The voice is gorgeous and big. Her coloratura was thrilling and her acting was not as absent as opening night reviews indicated. I was thrilled and astonished.
    I never thought I would say that Zajick’s voice was lovely (having seen her in so many force of nature roles). Muddier coloratura but still big, ravishing singing. Though she did go up on the start of “Mira o Norma” (and boy did the look on her face reflect that she knew it!!)
    See Rafael Davila now. . before he becomes a total brayer. His high C is at least ringing.
    Bass Dimitry Belosselskiy has a big, dramatic and appealing voice.
    Why an opera company would charge MET Opera prices and brag about hiring a young, green conductor is beyond me. But for some reason, WNO seems to think audiences will pay big bucks for inexperience. (Their ads for MANON LESCAUT crow that Racette has never done the role before. . oh gioia) Actually, conductor Daniele Rustioni didnt bother until he thumped his way through one of the most glorious passages in opera, i.e. Norma’s final plea to her father to take care of her children. It felt choppy for orchestra and singers and left me ultimately with a very bad taste for the performance.
    Re the director — where does WNO get its directors? The American Foundation for the Directorially Incapable? Every single production for the past several years have been inadequate, often immensely inept and showed a total lack of vision let alone ability to tell a story. Most have a tendency to steal the limelight from musical highlights by having totally irrelevant activity going on to steal focus. (Why Radvanovsky allowed the insanely stupid staging for her final scene in ANNA BOLENA this year makes me question her intelligence) Last night, during the cabaletta to MIRA O NORMA, the girls are down front singing their hearts out, but the audience is looking at Clotilde and the two children slowly walking up the rake staged in shadow in front of a huge bright shining orb. This was after looking at them seated with their backs to the audience while the girls were singing the cavatina. Start throwing diva tantrums girls!!!!!
    A very frustrating evening of greatness and complete incompetence. Bottom line: Meade will be one of the great NORMAs in a few years. And GIOCONDAs and TROVATORES and. . .

    • BTW, this is a review of only the second staged performance of NORMA in which Meade has appeared, thus the wild enthusiasm for future performances.

  • Exciting performance of Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony with Tatyana Monogarova, Albert Schagidullin, Vladimir Jurowski and the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra broadcast yesterday on Radio Orfey, marred only by the relentlessly exalted declamation of the Rabandranath Tagore poems in Russian by Vasily Lanovoi and Svetlana Ivanova.

    • Donna Anna

      Love Monogarova--she is a superb musician. I hope she gets back here. And I wish she were doing Tatiana at the Met.

  • Signor Bruschino
    • Camille

      How very icky for Miss Rowley. I thought that official announcement was a load of bull.
      I look forward to hearing her at the Met. All I know of her are the very favourable reviews she got for the Telemann thing a year or so ago with NYCO.

      It was Oren? Figures.

  • Help Please:
    I used to have an old vinyl recording(long gone) of Magda Olivero singing,”Love is a Many Splendored Thing”. it was in Italian as ” Si,Quest’o amor si splendida” Where the Hell Can I find it again???????

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • Camille

    Habemus Papam—or as we say on parterre box—Hasmik Papian.

  • Noel Dahling

    Can anyone tell me why John Culshaw had such a hard time convincing Nilsson to record Elektra complete? The cuts are made to give the singer in a live performance a break, but that wouldn’t be an issue on a studio recording made over several sessions.

  • Camille

    Are we going to have an extra special Streetcar thread roll into town tomorrow night, perchance? Klang, klang, klang went the trolley, usw…?

    Will it depend on the Kindness of Strangers?

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1681 composer Georg Philipp Telemann

    Born on this day in 1835 composer Manuel Fernández Caballero

    Born on this day in 1918 soprano Sari Barabas

    Born on this day in 1928 tenor Loren Driscoll

    Happy 81st birthday bass Marius Rintzler

    Happy 72nd birthday soprano Rachel Mathes

    Happy 59th birthday baritone Phillip Joll

  • zinka

    Who said, “God speaks to this man? Was it about Mozart?? Well,after my mostly fine Don Carlo last night, I thought of asking that question about “everyone’s favorite opera,” Don Carlo as that Verdi genious filled the theatre.
    Let me start with the one negative, and go on to the good stuff. A friend asked me, “Why is Frittoli hired?” My answer was, “Ever go to Met in the 1960’s and hear…OI VEY!? It does nor matter. Sure, she had some fine and glamorous high notes, but you could NOT HEAR 75% of the role.That is ridiculous, and next season and in two years she is back again. The top was mostly fine, although she left out the last top note in the last duet “Il sospiraaaaato” but I was wishing for Jennifer Check,whose gorgeous Celestial Voice, sung (surprise!!) from way up in the lighting booth in the top of the Met was really so gorgeous! The effect was a novelty from the olden days,where the voice was backstage, like Frittoli’s all night.
    After warming up, Mr.Vargas sang very well, but he is much more a Romeo and a Nemorino.He did well, but you know, Charlie has heard Lee, good Alagna, Tucker,Corelli, Bjoerling..so Vargas was decent but noit special.
    Dmitri continues to be a great force of nature, and the voice is getting bigger, but i felt he was a bit tired and held-back in the death scene’however, the man is one of the greats of all time and i will “allow’ him a bit of slack.
    Smirnova was FABULOUS!!! Best Eboli since Verrett, with Wagnerian-size top notes, and use of chest when she felt comfortable with it. It was a triumph, and I was thrilled!!!
    Furlanetto and Eric Halvfarson sang the greatest act three scene I EVER heard;Furlanetto of course continues in the greatest tradition of Italian bassos, but Halfvarson was like three cannons, with a positively overpowering rendition..and held that low E very long, where many bassos sort of grunt there. The two of them preserves the kind of singing that we might have heard from the likes of Siepi and Hines, although I never recall hearing an Inquisitor like Halvfarson.(I never saw Hans Hotter.)
    There was one stupid gigantic boo for Maazel, but I found no problem with his supposed slow tempi. Let’s face it, i know Don Carlo almost as well as i know Zaza or Sadko, and I loved the evening..that great orchestra and chorus..and of course it was VERDI..The GOD of opera.
    Coincidentally, I do not think burning heretics was the best idea on a day when we had a new Pope, but look, that’s religion for you.
    By the way, what is hilarious to the stupid retarded dumb dopey Met audience about Carlo saying,in act two scene one, “Ciel..no e la Regina!” Didn’t they read the story??Another reason why titles suck big time!!!
    Viva Verdi…but Gelb, don’t tell me i am losing my hearing…Barbara now joins Angela for a mostly Braille rendition of Italian opera.

  • zinka

    Mar.15, 1900..a date that will live in INFAMIA!!!! Baum had a great high C..PERIOD…..But Milanov lovers like me had to suffer!!!!!! One night,after he was booed, he came out and said,”I am Il Trovatore..not Milanov.’ Suddenly his wife Renate threw open the stage door and yelled, “You’re all a bunch of FAGGOTS!!” Gee…….how did she guess that????????
    I hope Kurt and Zinka have now made up……

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1790 composer and voice teacher Nicola Vaccai

    Born on this day in 1894 soprano Rose Pauly

    Born on this day in 1900 tenor Kurt Baum

    Born on this day in 1915 tenor Mirto Picchi

    Happy 84th birthday soprano Antonietta Stella
    (some sources say her birthday is 3/16)

    Happy 59th birthday soprano Isobel Buchanan

    Happy 58th birthday baritone Mikael Melbye

    • WindyCityOperaman

      Also born on this day in 1907 entertainer Zarah Leander

  • zinka

    SORRY Maria Zampieri….NO ONE in my operatic life in a given role thrilled me as much as Christa Ludwig, March.16, 1928 in Frau……It was just something I will never forget…….

  • zinka

    Was Zinka any good??On Stella’s birthday,Mar.15, 1929, I am happy to recall her 1956 Met Aida debut, where we went NUTS over that luscious gorgeous sumptuous voice..Bless her!!!!!

  • zinka
  • I usually prefer the N train, but on Thursday night I rode the Streetcar to Carnegie Hall. Review on Superconductor.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1923 conductor Heinz Wallberg

    Born on this day in 1925 bass Paolo Montarsolo

    Happy 85th birthday mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig

    Happy 79th birthday conductor Roger Norrington

    Happy 78th birthday mezzo-sorpano Teresa Berganza

    Happy 76th birthday composer David Del Tredici

    Happy 74th birthday opera film director Petr Weigl

  • A. Poggia Turra

    Notice to those who like to plan ahead: On Sunday March 24th at 20:00 Central European Time, Radio O1 and other Euroradio outlets will live-stream the Wiener Staatsoper’s production of Wozzek; Keenlyside, Schwanewilms and Lehman under FWM.

    * I believe that, since Austria does not begin Summer Time until March 31st, the performance should start at 3:00pm Eastern Daylight Time (correction of this time calculation is gladly welcome).

    • Feldmarschallin

      Lets see if Lehmann sings since he just cancelled three Tristans here and that already months ago.

  • zinka

    I am amazed that the branches only shook from the wobble..i would think the place would look more like Sandy struck.

    She could be fabulous….and i accept flaws..BUT…….

  • zinka

    You mean you actually thought I could wait until March 19 for my birthday tribute to Diana Soviero,the very last of the “Muzio” sopranos…Bless her!!!!!!!!

  • zinka

    Wish we had Opolais in this next season, but at least she does Butterfly.Pavel Cernoch is fine, as Piotr will be.

    LOVE HER!!!!!