Cher Public

Yet here’s a canard

The part of Lady Macbeth is different from any other role Verdi wrote because the composer insisted that the interpreter must have a harsh, ugly voice. By extension, so long as a soprano’s voice is harsh and ugly enough, she is perfect for Lady Macbeth, even if she sings out of tune, lacks agility, has no access to chest voice, sings unintelligible Italian, etc. etc. It’s that ugly voice that’s the sine qua non.

  • armerjacquino

    In purely vocal terms, my favourite Lady M is probably the Turkish soprano I found on YT and have posted here a couple of times, Perihan Nayir Artan.

    Don’t get the criticism of Verrett- hers is the most complete performance of the part I’ve come across, incisive and precise and making every word count. Cossotto is spectacular, but for me she just sort of throws voice at the part, managing the odd achievement of being both thrilling and uninteresting simultaneously.

  • grimoaldo

    Best ever, or at least best I ever heard:

    Macbeth -- Giuseppe Taddei
    Lady Macbeth -- Leyla Gencer
    Conductor -- Vittorio Gui
    Orchestra -- Teatro Massimo di Palermo
    Chorus -- Teatro Massimo di Palermo


    • I agree with you Grimoaldo -- what an amazing production. Thank you for posting it.

  • On a non-Scottish note, it’s the early start of Greek Week in Annandale-on-Hudson as Bard College presents the U. S. Premiere of Sergei Taneyev’s Oresteia Review on Superconductor.

    • manou

      If memory serves, there is nothing very “kindly” about the Eumenides.

    • forgotten Russian composer Sergei Taneyev.

      Forgotten by whom?

      • havfruen

        Interesting question. If someone hadn’t heard of Taneyev in the first place, could they have forgotten him? But it’s an informative review.

        • … and perhaps I could have been more thorough in stating my objection:

          While Taneev’s Oresteia is indeed a rarity, even in Russia, his chamber music and symphonic works have been decently represented on disc. There are a couple complete cycles of the quartets (one Russian, one American), a number of recordings of the Piano Trio, Piano Quintet, and string trios, several recordings of the Fourth Symphony, and at least a few of the Second. Taneev’s magnificent opus 1, St. John of Damascus, is done pretty regularly. Even the slightly taxing “At the Reading of the Psalm” is represented on disc. And I’m under the impression that his a cappella works are regularly met with in choral programs. So Taneev is not exactly unknown.

          • tornado12

            There is also the Prelude and Fugue for piano solo. Here’s a recording:

            My favourite work by him is the Piano Quintet which is just sublime.

            • Yes, that Prelude and Fugue is wonderfully concise and dense. Taneev packed more thought into those eight minutes than some of his contemporaries did into sixteen.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Here is my favorite Tanayev:

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Fabulous song!

  • phoenix

    How was the Walküre bdcst today (Saturday)? So far I’ve only listened to the Abschied -- it sounded to me the Wotan & Brünnhilde were well matched:

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • Another cringe-worthy, embarrassing lady interviewer from Hardtalk:

    Opera is one of the least watched art forms in the world, and possibly the most expensive. Hardtalk speaks to opera superstar Thomas Hampson. He says the way to get people to love opera is to get them to understand it, and then it has the power to transform. If he is right, could one of the most elite and expensive art forms have worldwide appeal?

    “Some people say it often seems so remote, elitist, meaningless to me”


    Seriously, what is it with the British people and their perpetual hang-ups / silly concerns about opera?!

    Listen up lady: opera will never, ever be a medium of wide popularity. So just relax. Its appreciation and love will always be confined to a relatively narrow segment of the population. Why? Because listening to, assimilating and internalizing the great masterpieces requires a level of commitment and patience that most people are not prepared to give (or, more likely, interested in giving)

    • armerjacquino

      Let’s play ‘spot the revealing unnecessary word in the first sentence’, shall we?

      Dude, you’ve made enough enemies without adding misogyny to the list.

      • AJ,

        Dude, you’ve made enough enemies without adding misogyny to the list.

        Oh, for crying out loud.

        La Cieca was right — you really are a pill sometimes.

        • armerjacquino

          ‘Another cringe-worthy embarrassing lady interviewer’

          Talk us through it then, rather than just recycling other people’s insults the way you do their tweets.

          • AJ,

            Talk us through it then, rather than just recycling other people’s insults the way you do their tweets.

            Isn’t it obvious? Do you really need this spelled out for you? Ok fine…

            She says:

            “If he is right, could one of the most elite and expensive art forms have worldwide appeal?

            Worldwide appeal?

            The first thing somebody needs to tell the interviewer is that NOTHING is for everybody. This is point number 1.

            Point number 2: In 2013, opera is easily accessible (in the Western world) to almost anyone interested. Those who truly have the underlying sensitivity will pursue it on their own. And it’s just a click away. So, nothing remains of this “accessibility” or “elitist” problem.

            • armerjacquino

              Um, oh dear. That’s not what I was asking you to explain, as anyone with half a brain will have been aware.

              I was asking you to talk us through the unnecessarily gendered way in which you introduced your (irrelevant to the thread) diatribe, which is why I helpfully quoted it for you.

              Go on, tell us you’d have said ‘Another cringe-worthy embarrassing gentleman interviewer’.

        • Cieca was right — you really are a pill sometimes

          Ha! That is one for the ages!

          El conejo diciéndole orejón al burro. LOL

          • armerjacquino

            Oy, who are you calling a donkey? ;-)

            • He he he. Well, that is the way the saying goes in Puerto Rico, but for you, I will make a small edit, and say it the way (i think) Mexicans say it:

              Viene el burro a hablar de orejas.

              Better? ???? ????