Cher Public

Yet here’s a chat

For your viewing and discussing pleasure tomorrow afternoon, cher public, La Cieca recommends a live webcast of Verdi’s Macbeth from the Bayerische Staatsoper.

The transmission, beginning at 1:00 pm, features Zeljko Lucic and Nadja Michael as the scheming Scottish couple, in a production by Martin Kusej, conducted by Massimo Zanetti.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Is she gonna sing on pitch this time?

    • la vociaccia

      Singing on notated pitch is so passé. The true kunstdiva makes up her own.

      • manou

        So many apposite words can be made by adding a different initial letter to itch -- that’s the hitch.

        • Camille

          Indeed. Pitch is a Bitch.

          La Nada is poster girl for this legend….

      • Camille

        You are so right, vochacha!!

        After viewing the video it does look like a ravin’ good time and will look forward with relish and delight to Michael’s assumption of the role of Eva Péron in EVITA!!!

        Just imagine the “Don’t cry for me, Argentina”!!!!!!!! Epic! Stellar! Puts Madonna—speaking of passé!—to a cryin’ shame.

    • Lucic ain’t exactly Mr. Pitch either, though at least he’s a legitimate artist with a significant voice.

    • RobNYNY

      If singing in tune were important to fans of Germanic sopranos, we would have heard a lot less of Schwarzkopf, Rysanek, Silja, Behrens, Meier, etc.

  • La Valkyrietta

    How funny! The lamp looks very much like the gigantic lamp at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The shades could be from there too. What I find funny is the influence of Sin City in opera these days; maybe there is no influence, but coincidence.

  • antikitschychick

    judging from the youtube clip, the production looks interesting, albeit very messy/psychedelic…wish I had time to watch the live transmission…hopefully it will show up on yt later.

  • Camille

    Let me get this straight—the choice is Michael LadyMac or Debbiedämmerong tomorrow?

    I’m drinking hemlock.

    • Chanterelle

      There’s a nice program at NYCBallet, if you’re in NYC.

      • Camille

        Thank you for your kind thought and, certainly, I would enjoy it as I love the NYC Ballet, but I am far away and the hemlock still beckons.

        • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

          In that case, Camille, pick your flavour carefully. You need a hemlock that will only temporarily knock you out of action. Chardonnay pushes more buttons than most, but personally I am on a Gruner Veltliner tip this weekend. If you pine for New York, either a Finger Lakes Riesling or perhaps a Long Island Chenin Blanc should do nicely. If Munich is in mind, switch to something altogether more hoppy such as a Franziskanerbier with an Asbach-Uralt chaser, maybe.

          As you can see, I wish you a happy, and strictly non-committal, death.

          • Camille

            My dear BV!!

            Would that you came as an APP! You could have come in so handy when last I lingered in the supermercato vino aisle. It is so hard to know which poison to choose….

            By the way, I have a certain predilection for Malbec. Is there any you would care to recommend?

            Thank you & yours faithfully,
            As ever

          • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

            With pleasure, Camille. The obvious spots are the SW French AOC of Cahors and, increasingly, all of Argentina.

            From Cahors, Clos Triguedina’s “Prince Probus” is a legend (there’s even a wine importer in Ireland called after it -- Probus Wines) if on the pricey side. There’s good value to be had from Ch’x Lagrezette, Lamartine and du Cayrou. At lunch recently in town I tried Clos la Coutale 2010 -- inky purple as it should be, and full of ripe fruit. I also like Ch. Gautoul though it is owned (or was when I tried it) by a famed restaurateur and somewhat high-priced to go with the image, I felt.

            Argentina is synonymous with Malbec these days and my favourite is Catena’s “Alamos” -- their everyday offering, and for me a lot more useful than their premium “Alta Angelica Vineyard” wine. Top producers include Luigi Bosca, Alta Vista, Fabre Montmayou, Norton and Salentein.

            If Sherry-Lehmann or Morrell’s cannot sort you out for at least some of these, I’ll set the operagoers of Düsseldorf on them. And I am certain that Schumer’s Liquors on E54th between Madison and 4th will have a few. Just be sure to step over the dog and you’ll be fine.

          • Camille

            Cher and esteemed BV!

            Verily, thou art a marvel!

            Bookmarked and preserved forever, with the greatest gratitude and delight. Tomorrow instead It shall be Malbec I quaff, rather than the dread hemlock, and solely through thy holy intervention!

            Bottoms up to you and yours and my

            Sincere gratitude and loving thoughts—
            Camille du Malbec

            “In vino veritas”

          • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

            You’re more than welcome, Chère Camille.

            And by the way, great call on the WG Sebald, for it is indeed in Austerlitz that I first came across “Vergangenheitsbewältigung”. I cleared out a lot of paperbacks for a parish sale last weekend, but kept Austerlitz as I want to re-read it. I’ve been to Antwerpen Centraal, and also admire the Dublin National Gallery Rembrandts he speaks of. But there is so much to love in that book.

            And now, time to power off. After all that, can you believe I’m not drinking tonight! And no harm -- I’m up early and have lots to do tomorrow and Sunday. Buon fine settimana!

          • La Valkyrietta


            I have my 25 cds of Wagner at the Met that I got at the Met store during the intermission of their last Götter, and now I have the leisure, so tomorrow a bottle of 18 year old Glenlivet will accompany me to the wonderful sounds of Flagstad, Melchior and Leinsdorf.

            Life is not always merciless.

      • La Valkyrietta


        I recommend the quail with spinach, macaroni and chanterelles at the Modern, delicious.

  • papopera

    Götter for me, definitely, and at brunch time:11:00 Omelette truffée. Met comes first. Always.

  • Batty Masetto

    May I just point out that the lady’s décolleté is doing her no favors at all? The whole point of a partial reveal is to suggest undisclosed delights. But this looks like what’s underneath belongs less in “Playboy” than in “National Geographic.”

  • The production looks fascinating. I especially like the murder of Duncan. Too bad about the Lady M.

  • luvtennis

    That woman is a putrid mess. That she continues to get big gigs renders suspect any arguments that current intendants give a flying damn about voices or music anymore.

    It’s no longer campy fun, people. Operatic singing is never going to recover from this era.

  • MontyNostry

    Nadja Michael has been posting dramatic things on Facebook about her traumas on a train …

    “we just survived a incredible train crash -- sitting in the train -- high voltage around us -- unable to leave -- power in the train almost empty . People are incredible calm . Hoping to leave soon.”

    “so -- and here comes the strangest thing.
    Yesterday we spend hours in a train which was obviously attacked -- we all should be dead or badly hurt. The Train conductor and the police tould us that the same day there was another train attacked almost the same way , but with metal instead of conqruete ….. AND TODAY THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE MEDIA ……… What is going on here ? Its more than strange.”

  • Satisfied

    This is a personal perfect storm: empty house (partner away on business), gloomy/rainy Saturday (so no reason to leave the house), and a director whose work I greatly admire producing an opera I’m growing to love.

    Thank you Opera Gods!

  • Buster

    Great performance! The children did particularly well, very eerie scenes they had. No doubt, the girls all want to grow up and be just like Nadja, and learn how to bow like that. She was fantastic.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Here is the G&S Version -- complete with tits and sightreading Salvation Army winds and brass

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Rare video of Klinger as Countess Ceprano

      I have only now just discovered how strange opera is!!!!

  • Batty Masetto

    Even though I was looking forward to my first Kušej production, I can’t say I came away impressed. It certainly had its moments, but ….

    Part of the problem, of course, may have been the leads. Michaels remains a mystery to me: for a dancer, she has no sense of rhythm; for a singer, she has no sense of pitch; for an actress, she has no range outside “self-indulgent.” Maybe it’s the last that draws people in, considering how few of her colleagues are willing to go for broke these days on a larger-than-life scale (Netrebko, Dessay, Antonacci, Terfel, maybe Keenlyside… not a lot of others). The end of the Sleepwalking Scene was even more astonishing than in New York, and must have deluded every tomcat in Munich into thinking that a new kitty brothel had just opened for business.

    Granted, she had next to nothing to work opposite. I haven’t seen anything much of Lucic other than his Met Rigoletto, but if there was any difference in characterization here, I couldn’t make it out. His one-size-fits-all character seems to be a gloomy guy who lumbers around looking like he wishes he were downing boilermakers at the nearest bar. The sound is pretty good, though.

    Wookyung Kim sang a dandy Macduff, and Goran Juri? was a perfectly respectable Banquo, but they really had very little to do.

    In fact, other than the occasional weird (and unmotivated) gesture, there was nothing in the conception of the main characters that would have been out of place in a thoroughly conventional production from forty years ago, including the notion that Lady M. is messed up because she can’t have children. (That one was already old hat when I was in graduate school!)

    Now, maybe the principals failed to provide some essential connective tissue that the director expected from them. Or maybe he never expected them to. I’m well aware that there’s a long-established strain in continental theatrical directing theory that holds character and plot to be entirely secondary. The main emphasis is on visuals or some other aspect. But in that case, the visuals (or whatever) damn well better deliver, and here, as far as I was concerned, they managed that only sporadically.

    The little kids were a good inspiration. They were creepy as the witches and downright scary as the first manifestation of Banquo’s ghost. Lady M. swinging on the chandelier was exciting to look at, though it would have been a lot more exciting if I could have freed myself from the impression that Nadja M. would have swung from the chandeliers just to get people’s attention anyway. I liked the “primping assassins” chorus. The semi-butoh dancers in Macduff’s camp were OK but didn’t really take us anywhere. Some of the effects with the lights and shadows behind the shower curtains worked pretty well.

    But … that clown-car tent? (Much of the show, as Manou exquisitely put it, was spent “loitering within tent.”) Stage focus was often muddy. Lady M could have got the spot out of those satin gloves with a little stain remover (or if not, she could have bought a new pair). The hill of skulls … again, old hat. Sorry, a bunch of swords can’t hold a candle in visual impact to an effin’ moving forest. What was all that with people smearing their faces with miscellaneous dreck? And undressing the chorus for no apparent reason has now become a production tic at the BSO, along with the Linde AG™ blue lighting.

    I’m hoping either JJ or La Cieca will be able to make sense of the whole thing for us. For me, even though I consider myself a friend of adventurous directing, I was real disappointed.

    • laddie

      What is “Linde AG™ blue lighting?” I have begun to think that the BSO now has a “team” color. “GO BLUE!” ???

    • Buster

      Interesting you name Netrebko and Keenlyside, who will Both sing in this production next season. Calleja as Macduff.

    • oedipe


      I have read somewhere that this production is meant to be an allusion to the civil war(s) in former Yugoslavia. I think it’s a very interesting idea. Problem is, it’s never brought to life on stage: had I not read about it, I would never have guessed what it is supposed to be about. The whole thing is wooden, full of clichés, demonstrative and generally devoid of energy, in spite of a few nice touches and the unavoidable kinky scenes (the butoh, the peeing, etc.). The characters seem totally unconvinced about what they are doing -not much, actually- and the chorus just stands around much of the time, P&B style.

      Reflecting on the similarities between Macbeth and the Balkan wars, I would love to see a production directed by the great Marina Abramovic!

      • oedipe

        Oh, and I must say Michael surpassed all my expectations, especially in the sleepwalking scene: I just couldn’t believe how flat she sounded. And I still can’t believe the applause after that and the fact that she is a star (and gets broadcasts) on one of the top opera stages. I guess everything is subjective and there is no accounting for taste, is there…