Cher Public

Lady of the house

How’s about a little light summer chat Tuesday afternoon starting at 2:15 EDT, when parterre fave Danielle de Niese headlines Don Pasquale, webcast live from the Glyndebourne Festival? (Photo: Clive Barda)

  • Hippolyte

    I guess there’s no sarcasm font available for “parterre fave”--it’s too bad since the men are promising although I do generally miss a singing voice when Corbelli performs.

  • Camille

    Vicar! Get your Sunday best on!!! This one’s for you!

  • phoenix

    Is that La de Niese in the foto? I never heard her because she never sang anything I liked -- this is the fist time I will try to hear (if the Guardian puts the vid on archive, that is -- I can’t make the original bdcst). That is a dreadful pic of her -- it looks like Katy Jurado’s 1st screentest.

    • ianw2

      All the Glyndebourne videos are archived on the Graun’s website until the end of August.

      http://www.theguardian.com/music/series/live-opera-from-glyndebourne

      • phoenix

        Thanks ian. I’ll try it.

    • Camille
      • phoenix

        Camille, if only de Niese could rival La Jurado, she would be on top of the game. You know Dolores del Rio & Lupe Velez were really much prettier than Katy but neither of them had the real earth beauty of Katy -- and she was a powerhouse of a personality, that’s for sure.

        • Gualtier M

          Sarita Montiel had a combination of the glamor of Del Rio and the earthiness of Jurado.

          I got turned on to her by the Almodovar movie “La Mala Educacion” where the little gay boys Enrique and Ignacio escape from the catholic school with the pedophile priest to watch her movies.

          • phoenix

            Thanks Gualtier -- in Monteil’s memory (passed on earlier this year) she was a very beautiful European woman:
            http://tinyurl.com/okyeclc

            Even in her old age she still had the essence of glamour (reminded me a bit of Liz):
            http://tinyurl.com/pn9tue6

          • marshiemarkII

            But how do they fare against La Inolvidable La Rocio Jurado:
            http://tinyurl.com/kbuet3t

            • phoenix

              mmII! La Rocío! Involvidable!

    • Hippolyte

      Wow, you don’t like Mozart’s Figaro or Cosi, or Gluck’s Orfeo or Monteverdi’s Incoronazione di Poppea or Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi or Handel’s Giulio Cesare, etc.?!

      • phoenix

        -- Hippo- If I had known about de Niese’s Lauretta I would have tried to find it -- was it bdcst?
        As far as Mozart’s Figaro or Cosi, or Gluck’s Orfeo or Monteverdi’s Incoronazione di Poppea -- I have been unable to achieve a personal attachment to these works -- we all have our faults and I am no exception. From my own subjective viewpoint, no I don’t really like them; but of course I recognize they are great masterpieces -- there are sections of each of them that are unmatched in the entire history of European classical music. If my income depended on it, I probably could learn to analyze them, but it would be mechanical rote, which not would not be satisfying to me or anyone else.
        -- We all have a different relationship with our favorite works -- for me, there must be a link in realtime: either in the beloved traditions of those I knew in my youth or people I encountered who knew and worked with the composers or were pupils.
        -- I was very lucky to live in the times I did, as bad as they started out, they turned out to be wonderful. So many operatic figures of those days came & went from my friends’ homes (people used to give lavish dinner parties in those days -- just as important as the performances themselves). Meeting Maria Jeritza (the first Ariadne) was one of my better moments -- as usual I put my foot in my mouth and said something totally inappropriate but fortunately it made her laugh & she seemed to like me, so she relaxed and talked about this and that -- she had good stories about Strauss & Puccini. Pauline Tinsley was rather subdued the night she came to a party -- I was expecting more fireworks but she pulled back. Jean Périsson & Régine Crespin spoke of Poulenc -Crespin (who on occasion could be almost as inapropriate as I) referring to him as a ‘silly man’. I met Karlheinz Stockhausen (he was very handsome & in his early 30’s) in S.F. and I couldn’t get over how his radiant personality matched his good looks. I’m getting old now and I don’t recall them all right off the bat -- Teresa Berganza loved to party & laugh but she always assumed that I was well-versed in Spanish -- she spoke very fast and I just nodded my head.
        -- I started going to performances at a very young age & figured out pretty soon what was in my own territory and what was terra incognita.

        • marshiemarkII

          Fenice, whatsdamattah, re you trying to unseat MMII as the name-dropper of the year?!?!?!?!?!
          :-0

        • Camille

          Yes phoenix—GUAI—if you plan on try going head to head with MMIItm! He’s gonna beat the pants off ya every time.

          Interesting hearing about Karlheinz Stockhausen. I did not realise he was such a good looking man.

          Oh, that reminds me of something, but best I report in to the IntermissionFeature for this one. Ta-ta, phoenix!

          • Camille

            You met Mizzi Jeritza, phoenix—at what age was she? Did she wear her sunglasses and big picture hat?

            That must have been an experience. Was it in New Joisey, where she so long lived? Picture that—Maria Jeritza, Jersey Gurl. Whodda thunkit?

            • phoenix

              No, it was in Westchester. A friend of mine from Grandview (Rockland) and I went to an afternoon cocktail party in Westchester. I only knew a few people there and I didn’t know the hosts so I sort of stayed in the background. It was in a beautiful garden but I was annoyed (again) at the summer heat. She was dressed in a soft black nylon summer dress with a fashionable -- but not wide brimmed -- black hat. It was sometime in the 1970’s -- after the party everyone got in their cars and went to Caramoor. I thought I remembered which opera it was, but I checked the Caramoor 1970’s performance history & I realized my memory has failed me -- I really don’t remember exactly what opera it was nor the exact date. She was escorted by her old friend Al Hubay, whom I also knew. Al was a charming man with a great sense of humor, like so many of them were in those days. Jeritza was extremely thin (she must have been in her 80’s at the time) but cognizant, vibrant and great fun to talk with.

          • manou

            Tous les goûts sont dans la nature:

            http://tinyurl.com/m9c37g3

            • marshiemarkII

              You mean Para el gusto las flores para escoger los colores queridissssima?
              Medio matadito el caballero, I’d say :-)

            • phoenix

              mânou, I met Stockhausen 10 years earlier than that foto was taken -- when I was in high school living in S.F. He came to give a concert at the War Memorial Veterans Building (now they call it Herbst Theater, I think -- I haven’t been back to S.F. in almost 30 years) sometime in the early 60’s. That is a dreadful picture of him you posted, but I realize that is the way he looked for decades afterward, with those eyes bulging out of a haggard face. I don’t know what happened, but that is not the impression I got when I met him a decade before. The foto below is more like what I remember, but all these internet images of him are just awful -- I remember him being very happy and having a beautiful smile -- he spoke very softly and he didn’t appear even remotely as serious as he looks in these pictures. Oh, well, maybe he was having a good day or he liked me or something I don’t know. It was so long ago I’ll never figure it out.

              http://tinyurl.com/mux5hs2

            • manou

              Maybe it was the shock of meeting you phoenix -- he was obviously never the same again afterwards.

            • phoenix

              mânoû!!!

            • manou

              phôênîx!!!

        • phoenix

          Now don’t be so coy -- I know the two of your remember those lavish dinner parites -- each one centered around a diva or two …

          • Camille

            That’s Marshie’s department, not mine, dear man.

            Not my cuppa.

  • Nerva Nelli

    • laddie

      Seriously, I haven’t finished Meistersinger yet.

  • A. Poggia Turra

    So this is not truly “live”, but an hour-delayed relay? Oh, well (I’ll still watch, but the frisson of a real-time relay will be absent)

    (Maybe they will compress out the Long Interval and stream the second half in real time).

  • Grane

    Didn’t DDN do L’Elisir somewhere? Anybody catch that?

    • manou

      She did appear in Elisir at Glyndebourne in the Arden production. Sadly, I had to make do with Ekaterina Siurina in the role (ironic font).

      • MontyNostry

        But, manou, why should you want to hear a soprano with a pretty voice in Donizetti?

  • manou

    • MontyNostry

      “Oh, just look at my commute …” She is so smug and lad-dee-dah that I want to hit her.

      • armerjacquino

        ‘hit her’? Strong words in the light of the current debate about the way women are referred to online…

        FWIW I read that quote as wry rather than smug.

        • MontyNostry

          My wrist is duly slapped, aj. Should we now see Dani as the Nigella of the operatic world? I think she probably knows very well how to look after herself, though, and her ego — or at least her showbiz persona — is pretty overbearing. It certainly was when she hosted on Cardiff Singer of the World. But then she **has** done very well for herself with very moderate vocal gifts, so bully (whoops, and I don’t mean ‘bully’ in a physically violent sort of a way) for her.

          • Camille

            Sorry, MN, but that Nigella rôle has got Angela written all over it.
            Remember? The “clap on the face”?

            xoxoxoxox
            Camille

            • MontyNostry

              Haha. And both of them are raven-haired beauties with spectacular cleavages. I wonder how Ange is in the kitchen?

            • Camille

              Certainly L’Ange knows perfectly well how to command her kitchen staff so that Chef never spoils the soufflé and will always keep all her ducks are sitting in a row.

              I guess Angie was told to put a clamp on the clap on the face allegations.
              Hoping it was just an hallucinatory by-product of one too many a performance as Floria Tosca, and nothing more.

            • Regina delle fate

              Only Ange could refer to getting a “clap” on the face in a newspaper interview!

            • manou
            • manou

              Of course La Gheorghiu probably meant claque, which is French for slap (among other better known theatre meanings)

        • Camille

          Armerjacq—methinks MN misread, or heard, the tone here of an idiom which he is most likely unfamiliar with but I, in a very limited way, am—namely: ValleySpeak. It is a manner of speaking which requires years and years of study, so he may be excused.

          Nerva will presently be by to give us an example. Or you may refer yourself to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for I believe she lives in “The Valley”.
          (North Hollywood, Studio City, Encino, Tarzana, etc.)

          • MontyNostry

            And isn’t said Valley also the world capital of the porn industry? I guess if you can’t say nothin’ Van Nuys, don’t say nothin’ at all!

            • Camille

              Oh gawd—how did you know of the Schmach und Skandal of Magnolia Boulevard????

              http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0175880/

              Not to MENTION the scandalous BOOGIE NIGHTS, a film no self-respecting person should even contemplate!!!

              http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0118749/

              Loads of fun, however, give or take the matter of self-respect. My first glimpses of Philip Seymour Hoffman were in these films. I remember thinking at the time that that funny looking dude sure could act. I wondered how, with his looks, he would do in Hollywood….

              Yeah, back in the swinging seventies, The Valley was quite the place.
              It always depressed me and never went there but when I had to visit.

            • Camille

              Yes, Van Nuys sort of bleeds into Encino and I never managed to tell the difference between the two. I was driving to the Burbank airport a dew years back and I got lost for what felt like days between all three cities. Think I ended up in Simi Valley.

            • marshiemarkII

              But CammiB, that surely cannot be competition for East 122nd and Second Ave in Sucksee, the bubble capital of the world:
              http://www.theoriginallatinofanclub.com/

            • marshiemarkII

              Ohne Schmach ;-)

            • “Magnolia Boulevard, Her Fall and Rise”

            • MontyNostry

              I have to say I walked out of Boogie Nights -- I just found it too depressing in its evocation of the seedier side of the sweaty Seventies. When I saw the first 10 minutes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (on TV) it had a similar effect on me!

            • Camille

              Oh I get that, but it improved after a while. The Valley IS depressing! Great big long, long Boulevards going on forever and ever and never arriving anywhere. Read Joan Didion’s “Play it as it lays” to get an idea of what that was all like. Nihil nirvana.

              I did find Julianne Moore’s displaying herself awfully desperate and cringingly embarrassing as well. I wanted to holler “Cover yourself up!”

              Oh, and Sherman Oaks. Forgot that one, too.

            • MontyNostry

              I just remember flying into LA for the first time (I’ve only been twice) and getting shivers down my spine when I saw what seemed like an endless vista of grid roads. Brrrrrrr!

            • Camille

              Marshie cara,

              I have never been to that terrain, 122nd & 2nd Avenue. Isn’t that Spanish Harlem? My husband forbade me long ago to go there. Now I wanna go. I’ll sneak outta the house some night and meet you there. How does one get there? There is no IRT so must one arrive in limousine or rickshaw?

              I am curious yellow
              Camille

            • Camille

              Yes, Los Angeles is kind of monstrous. I suppose, like London, too. One has to pick their spot and work out a life within a certain framework, otherwise, there is the endless nihilism of the 405, a major nightmare for commuters.

              I miss it, at times, but will never return now, as I have brainwashed myself into becoming a rightcoaster. Although I shall never really feel like I am.

            • marshiemarkII

              Carissssima CammiB, never been to that terrain either. What happens is that years ago I was minding my own business at the gym (back then at Bitter Beauties) when this most gorgeous bubble steps in front of me. Long story short, the bubbles belonged to a former Special Forces from the Colombian Army, who was by then in the employ of said Latino Fan Club owner. Needless to say he started to ply me with multiple copies of their product, some including himself…… Rest is history as it goes, but I never did venture into the actual terrain. I saw it from the heights many times, as I went to work in Westchester for many years, but it was always from high above on the train tracks :-) :-) :-)

              But maybe we could get a limo, and do it Madonna style, what say you?????

            • marshiemarkII

              And we could take Vally right along with us!

            • Camille

              MMIItm—
              I don’t think girls are allowed. Thinking you’d best to with La Vally to check it out as it is doubtful I’d gain admittance.

              I know what to buy you for next birthday or X-mas: BUBBLE bath! Champagne bubble bath, preferably.

            • marshiemarkII

              Ma io sono la teetotaler ancella :-)
              CammiB, you me and Vally could make the perfect House of Gurlain, get a limo and follow Madonna’s recipe……
              we’d have a blast, while blasting Starke Scheite out of the windows!!!!
              we could use the version from the quiz to be fair to every prima donna :-)

            • Camille

              You know, MMIItm, that reminds me of the time I went ghetto blasting Leonie screaming out the final scene of Frau ohne Schatten in a dubious neighborhood near where I then lived in San Francisco. I had to step on the pedal so as to avoid a cataclysm of grand proportions.

              Besides, if I get in trouble, for sure Monsieur Camille will NICHT come and bail me out down at the station, and in all likelihood, our misadventures would likely end up as a topical segment of “Law & Order”, Criminal Intent, and hopefully, not Special Victims Unit, either.

              So, the more I think about it, the more I will bravely and regretfully desist on this matter, at least. I didn’t arrive at my ancient age by playing dangerous games.

              Sorry.

          • Nerva Nelli

            “Giulia, like, GRISI? That shit’s SICK! WhatEVER…”

            • Camille

              You sound as if you are quoting Terrence McNally’s ” Golden Age “.

              The Horror.

  • antikitschychick

    I’ll try and catch the broadcast as Alek Schrader is also in it and he’s a cutie :-D plus he sings well…I will say that I don’t doubt that DDN’s enthusiasm and love of Opera is genuine and as a young person myself, I can admire and appreciate that. Plus she understands the art of putting on a good show and let’s face it, Opera is at times more about entertainment than high performance art that moves its audience to tears. I think that’s perfectly OK in SOME circumstances and is certainly the case for Opera Buffas such as this one.

    Having said that, I do recognize that her voice is lacking and that ppl feel she got to where she is at mostly because of her looks and her connections, but let’s remember this is the exact same thing ppl were saying about AN when she first arrived on the scene (I certainly let out a huge WTF upon coming across her Rusalka music video where she’s on that floaty thingy), so I say we give the gurl a chance. :-D Also, judging from some of her interviews she seems sharp, articulate and most importantly in control of her life and her career which is never a bad thing for a woman of her age ;-). The danger for Opera here is if we have too many of my peers trying to replicate her success/career route and forgo the traditionally longer conservatory training route, but I think hers is too unusual a story for that to happen and ultimately it really depends on the singer and their voice. Some ppl need the 10 or so years to really let their voice develop, while others don’t.

    Also, and this is totally unrelated to this thread but I’ve been wondering for some time now, do any of you fine lads know what ever happened to ‘evenhanded’? I enjoyed reading his/her posts and haven’t come across any recently.

    • antikitschychick

      crap, the above should have read “I think that’s perfectly OK UNDER some circumstances”…also,

      “this is the exact same thing ppl were saying about AN when she first arrived AT the scene”

      please excuse my egregious typographical errors ya’ll :-P.

    • MontyNostry

      I haven’t heard DDN a great deal, but she seems to be pretty well trained as a singer — she can certainly get round the notes — but the voice is not attractive and the sound is rather uneven. And, yes, she is a good performer in a kind of stage school way. When I first heard about her and saw pictures of her I thought she seemed exciting — there’s nothing wrong with a performer of any kind being good to look at, so I wouldn’t hold that against her. Then I heard a Mozart CD she made and, for my sins, attended a Classical Brits ceremony where she sang ‘Les Filles de Cadix’ (amplified -- not her fault) and jiggled around a lot as she did so. The Mozart CD really wasn’t very nice to listen to and she really overdid the ‘expression’ and ‘Les Filles de Cadix’ went for even less than it usually does. Admittedly, the circumstances were hardly sympathetic. But I find her artistic personality somewhat aggressive and I like my lyric coloratura sopranos to have a little charm.

    • Camille

      Don’t worry about Mr. Evenhanded—he always popped in at fairly irregular intervals and, hopefully, he shall again. He has a great font of information ipon which to rely and is very good about responding to one’s questions, too.

      The analogy with Netrebko doesn’t quite work as no one ever said Anna didn’t have a sumptuous, gorgeous voice. It was primarily her lack of seriousness in preparation, in the case of Puritani, e.g., etc. Apples and oranges there.

      Dani de Niese is probably just simply resented for having achieved a stellar success with -vis-à-vis the aforementioned Netrebko- so she is consigned to a special place in hell by her haters.

      I have never seen her perform so I have no opinion and remain to be convinced one way or the other. The bits I have heard of her Euridice and Cleopatra via radio were partially very good and partially so-so.

      Maybe her voice will develop now during her thirties, now that her personal life is settling down, as it appears. At any rate, the young lady did work hard and long from a very young age, and always knew her own mind and her own ambition. I think that’s really what galls people, that self-determination. And probably the show-biz L.A. Based persona is a bit out of place in Britain. She’ll learn. Give her time.

      • Camille

        Sorry, I meant to say -vis-à-vis Netrebko—--achieved a stellar success with comparatively modest means—vis-à-vis Netrebko.

      • MontyNostry

        I have to say that I don’t quite hold with admiring a performing artist because ‘they have worked hard’ -- this is something that has been popping up on Parterre quite frequently recently.

        In a sense, we shouldn’t be aware of how hard they have worked; what matters is their level of achievement in deploying their skills -- art concealing art and all that. Any opera singer who reaches a decent professional level will have worked hard and long. The singers I appreciate the most are those who transcend the blood, sweat and tears of their physical craft.

        • Camille

          Oh I agree absolutely and you are quite right. It is rather overworked. Just like my particular bête noire “She/he is a NICE person”. I don’t bloody care if a performer is Jack the Ripper in her/his spare time. I don’t deal with them nor do I hang around camerinos, waiting to inhale la magica polvere della diva/o. What I want is what I pay for upfront and out front, and I don’t really care to know more if the performer provides a beautiful and/or revelatory performance. That’s all that matters to me.

          Mah, In her case I am referring to the labours she put in as a child, when one would normally have been cavorting about in abandon. Out of the ordinary, being so convinced of a path at such a young age, that is all. And I recognise that is being a little too overly indulgent.

          Forgeef me, MN, io sono la vecchia Madelon.

          • MontyNostry

            Well, she now makes her living cavorting about with (artful) abandon, so there is justice in this world.

            • Camille

              Perhaps for her. But I am awaiting justice for Wendy White. It makes me very sad that her successful career has been ended in such a manner.

              The fickle finger of La Fortuna.

        • antikitschychick

          IA but its also nice when a performer forgoes trying to make everything look/sound pristine and effortless and really just goes for broke in a manner that is visible to the audience…I know we are talking about two different things/performing methods but sometimes performers use the ‘flawless/un-labored effect’ thing as an excuse/facade to under perform. U feel me?

          • MontyNostry

            Oh yes, I like really good go-for-broke performers too. Gwyneth in her late prime, for instance. But you didn’t spend your time thinking: “She’s worked really hard to learn how to pump out top B’s that hurt your eardrums.”

        • The question of hard work is an interesting one. I agree with Monty that what matters most is the final result and how the singer transcends all the hard work and preparation that goes into the craft.

          HOWEVA, I do think there’s much to admire in what a singer makes of his/her voice. For example, I have the greatest respect for singers who have a big and brilliant voice but who don’t rely just on the sheer impact of their voice. I pay extra attention when a big-voiced singer is able to produce great piano singing, rather than just belting his/her through the music.

          There’s also much to admire in a singer who could make an impact through sheer voice alone but who takes time to develop coloratura skills. Or a singer who takes a weak part of their voice and works it to mask that weakness.

          And there are times when I hear someone sing an aria without conquering the music 100%. They are still able to sing about 90% of the aria well and the sheer beauty of their voice is so melting that one forgets about the other 10%. A harder worker will command every note of the music.

          Finally, singers who are more “musicianly” are the ones to whom I gravitate. Singer A will sing the music tastefully, with feeling, and with an attractive tone. Singer B will do all that AND pay close attention to dynamic markings and the nuances of phrasing. Singer B has worked much harder than Singer A.

          Ultimately, it’s all about making the most of a natural talent.

          If I may venture in the world of tennis for a moment, it’s like comparing John McEnroe and Roger Federer. Both were born with exceptional gifts for the game, but Federer worked much harder at his talent.

      • antikitschychick

        “The analogy with Netrebko doesn’t quite work as no one ever said Anna didn’t have a sumptuous, gorgeous voice. It was primarily her lack of seriousness in preparation, in the case of Puritani, e.g., etc. Apples and oranges there.”

        Well Camille, it was probably for the best you missed the vile comments on youtube about AN back when she was still doing Traviata. The criticism that you mention was aimed at her can I think be attributed to certain circles of the Opera fandom and mostly professional Opera critics, but rest assured there were others who were not as kind (and SANE) as that. I specifically remember watching a clip of her two Act 1 arias from the famous Salzburg performance…
        I think it was this one:

        that had a comment from a poster who called her a whore and insinuated she had achieved her success by giving blow jobs to the various male Opera personalities. That’s a far cry from complaining that she was “ill-prepared” and such so I disagree that its not a valid analogy. I can also recall that dozens of her other videos had similar (though less grotesque) comments about how her only talent was looking pretty onstage, etc (this is paraphrasing a bit but with the same general idea). I think most of those comments have probably been removed, but if you look through the comments feed of some of the older videos that have been posted of her you’ll see what I’m talking about.

        I was a naive teenager in high school when I first became interested in Opera and began to hear about her and I must say it came as a horrific shock (and rude awakening) to me that ppl could be that hateful toward someone in such a public forum so I didn’t soon forget these comments made about her. All in all I’d say its a valid analogy despite their differing backgrounds. I mean, I understand AN was taking on a role that is considered iconic and has a special place in many an Opera lover’s heart but still, some ppl went way overboard with their vicious comments about her. Just sayin.

        • Camille

          I don’t read Youtube comments. No time. Being a denmother at parterre is enough of a time consumer.

          People are always jealous of success and that’s just a given. So what?

          • antikitschychick

            I don’t read a lot of yt comments either but the very first ones as well as the ones with a lot of likes are hard to miss, but anyway, my point is that both of these ladies have gotten their fair share of similar criticism. I brought up AN as support for my “lets give the gurl a chance” statement. Tis all.

            • perfidia

              In the days of her early fame Netrebko had a fairly relentless publicity machine behind her, and they were really portraying her as a kind of singing, shopaholic sex kitten. I found that very off putting. It’s the same thing that irritates me about Fleming (and Domingo after he decided to beat Pavarotti at his own game). But I think after getting married and having a baby she has settled into an artist that seems very eager to meet the challenges of the big parts. Whatever her faults, and I find many in her, she is like the old divas who gave their all. She always comes across as an honest performer who enjoys what she is doing, something that is severely lacking in the over trained singers that are being churned out by so many music schools.

  • oedipe

    Glyndebourne and DDN are of course irresistible, but just in case people might want to watch it, there is a Ballo live from Chorégies d’Orange, with Vargas and Kristin Lewis, right here:

    http://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/un-bal-masque-de-verdi-aux-choregies-dorange-139987?xtatc=INT-5-%5Bverdi%5D

    • rossifigaro

      watched this ballo without much enthusiasm. actually lost the connection midway through the final scene -- something that would usually infuriate me but not in this case. just seemed a very boring production not helped by the arena setting (yes, i watched it on my pc, but it convinced me that opera is best presented in a theatre). what was up with the “model stage” vargas was playing around with in the first scene? thought the amelia very good; think vargas sounded good/acted poorly; and have never been a fan of gallo. the ulrica…was she the azucena in that strange monnaie production a few years back?
      did watch the “casa verdi” falstaff a couple of days ago and that was really wonderful. directed by the same fellow who did the recent & stunning salzburg boheme it was quite magical.

      • Porgy Amor

        what was up with the “model stage” vargas was playing around with in the first scene?

        I have not seen it, but sometimes when the Swedish setting is used (the case here, yes?), the historical King Gustav’s theatrical interests are alluded to in some way by the director. He was a playwright and was active in the founding of several theaters during his reign. Domingo’s Gustav in the Schlesinger production (Salzburg) is shown at work on the Drottningholm theater, which would be closed for a century after the (real) king’s assassination.

        • oedipe

          Porgy,

          I think you are right that the scene was meant to show Gustavo’s interest in the architectural model of a theater. Vargas played it out with the excitement of a child getting a new toy.
          The production was not awful, but very threadbare (crise oblige, I suppose). I thought Vargas was very good, though he is a size too small for the role. I found Kristin Lewis’ acting pretty wooden and she often sounded off pitch to me. Gallo was atrocious, as usual. I liked the Oscar of Anne-Catherine Gillet.

  • aulus agerius

    Apparently tenorino Alek has not learned to project his voice -- even in a box-like set like this one. Disappointing. I heard JDF do this at the Met and he had much more ‘sonic presence’ in that vast space than this Nemorino has here. Love the feet though….

    • antikitschychick

      someone on the chat mentioned he might have been sick so perhaps he was holding back…?? DDN certainly mugged it up with the acting but she sounded too shrill for my taste.

      • la vociaccia

        Honestly, this was about as good as shrader could get

        • antikitschychick

          hey there la v :-D how’s it going?
          IDK I thought he was pretty good in The Tempest…then again there’s not much basis for comparison so…

      • MontyNostry

        “DDN certainly mugged it up with the acting but she sounded too shrill for my taste.” Quoi de neuf?

        • antikitschychick

          rien, apparemment :-P

    • PushedUpMezzo

      You mean Ernesto -- Nemorino is in Elisir d’Amore, a work with considerably more heart than Don P, which can be most tiresome in the wrong hands.

  • Camille

    How did the Don Pasquale sound? Did anyone survive it?

    • phoenix

      Camille, I will pull up the archive tomorrow (if the archive is up and running) and I’ll come back to this thread and let you know if I survived it.

      • Camille

        Good. I hope you did.

        Thank you very much for relating your experience with the great Jeritza. It is not an every day occurrence to meet the storied creatrix of so many operas.

        What did she say about Puccini? Do you still recall?

        • phoenix

          Jeritza brightened up when she talked about Puccini -- this was only my intuition:--> I think she had a soft spot in her heart for Mediterranean & Latin men in general. Also, she met him when she (and he) were in prime popularity -- from what she recalled, Puccini was about 30 years older than she & she only knew him the last 5 or 6 years of his life -- she said he had a charming, fatherly-familial quality about him & she felt as if she had known him all her life.
          -- Camille, I never liked her voice -- I don’t know if I told that her not (if I did, she would have laughed, that’s how she was). Her recordings sound as awful to me as Mary Garden’s -- but I wanted to know if she sang some of my favorite operas, and she did: Rachel in La Juive, Valentine in Les Huguenots and Aida. Someone else in the small group asked her about Franz Schrecker’s Die Gezeichneten (which I didn’t know about then) and she said she sang Carlotta in what was supposed to be the staged world premiere of the opera but Frankfurt Oper jumped the gun on them by a few weeks or so.

          • Gualtier M

            Phoenix, Maria Jeritza’s recordings I suspect do not do justice to her reputation. When I posted this on Opera-l I got a reply from another poster:

            ” My mother, who is 91, heard Jeritza about four or five times before she left the Met in 1932. Her first opera, was a Tosca in 1929 with Jeritza, Lauri-Volpi, and Scotti. Also that season she heard the two of them in Turandot and in 1931, Tosca again, and Turandot. She has an incredible memory and remembers Jeritza, Scotti, and Lauri-Volpi very well. Scotti, she said was riveting but had no voice. Lauri-Volpi had voice and looks. She said Jeritza it all, voice, looks, and a riveting stage presence. She also said the Rysanek voice was very much like Jeritza’s except she thought Jeritza’s a more beautiful sound. She also says none of the Jeritza recordings that she has heard give any idea of what the voice was like live.”

            The Rysanek comparison is interesting in that no recording can capture the live Leonie experience. The recordings actually put the flaws in the spotlight and minimize the voice’s sonic impact.

            Here are some Jeritza recordings and videos that give one an idea:

            There is also a clip of Jeritza singing “Ritorna Vincitor” auf deutsch from this movie and the movie microphones capture the quality voice infinitely better.

            • messa di voce

              Thanks for the information, GM.

              Gatti kicked Farrar into retirement to make room for Jeritza, and Mitzi was the Met’s number one diva for the next decade, taking precedence over Ponselle, Rethberg, Muzio, Bori and others. She was also queen in Vienna during the same period.

              She couldn’t have achieved all that just by flouncing around on the stage: the voice had to have been far more impressive than what we hear on her many records. The Rysanek comparison helps explain the Jeritza mystery.

            • Batty Masetto

              A lengthy and very entertaining joint interview with Jeritza and L. Lehmann, evidently on the occasion of the Met’s first performances of Ariadne. Lots of fun gossip, in spite of the talky interviewer

              Part I:

              Part II: including Jeritza’s version of why “Vissi d’arte” is traditionally sung from the floor

            • MontyNostry

              That interview with Lotte and Maria is an unmissable classic. I love the way they are working so hard to be nice to each other -- and what a link with operatic history, of course.

            • messa di voce

              If they could have brought in Ursuleac as a surprise guest, all hell would have broken loose.

          • Bill

            Comparisons between Rysanek and Jeritza are
            valid (aside from the fact they sang many
            of the same roles. Rysanek was often dynamite
            on stage -- her high notes soared like no others. Her studio recordings ( I am very
            fond of the Fricsay Fidelio for sure) simply did not capture the excitement she generated
            on stage.

            Jeritza was considered the “Prima Donna of he
            Century” by many -- she had personal relationships with Puccini, Strauss, Korngold
            all of whom admired her and introduced
            Jenufa to Vienna and sang a number of World
            Premieres of new works (good and bad).
            Her studio recordings do not illustrate her
            exciting voice or stage presence apparently,
            but if you listen to snippets of live
            performances on Koch (from the Vienna Opera in the 1930s, her voice is absolutely riveting and of great beauty as well. Obviously she
            had no trouble with high notes and she was
            a great beauty. Even in the early 1950’s she was able to manage Tosca, Salome, Minnie and Santuzza in Vienna and one Rosalinde at the Met -maybe the voice was shredded but her
            stage presence had not lost its allure.

          • Camille

            Thank you very kindly, phoenix, for taking the time to conjure up that meeting once more. Whether one likes her voice or not is really a moot point in light of her historical importance.

            Very obliged and thanks again for sharing your memories.

          • phoenix

            You are very welcome Camille. It pays to come on parterre -- my thanks to the all the Jeritza commenters above -- as I read these comments & listened to the utube clips, I somehow was finally able (after 4 decades or so) to put the song & the singer together. The fault is mine -- I have always had a great deal of difficulty listening to the limited dynamics of early recordings -- what others can hear right away, I have to struggle with. Yes, you are all correct -- Jeritza was a very fine singer (she wouldn’t have got where she was if she wasn’t) -- and the comparison to Rysanek (whom I never liked except in her very early 1960 & before performances) also makes sense. But there is a difference: I hear a great deal more fullness in the middle voice from Jeritza that was pretty much lacking in the last 30 years of Rysanek’s career.
            -- Another problem was my fondness for Lotte Lehmann -- for me her voice, even on those old 1918 records, was very beautiful -- I never heard as much color & warmth in Jeritza’s voice. I lived only a few miles from Lehmann when I was in Santa Barbara, but I never met her.
            -- One more thing I forgot to mention -- as thin as she was, Jeritza was still very tall (in extreme old age when I met her) and her posture was as perfect as young girl of 16. She had a completely ‘open’ personality -- there was no artifice about her, just a great deal of sincerity, humor & goodwill.

      • marshiemarkII

        Fenice! is there anything more glorious than La Inolvidable? that was a gorgeous YT you put up on the other page!

        CammiB adorata, I must find a way to stiffen your backbone! so the House of Gurlain can go and do some fechorias, we will recruit Vally, and perhaps also my adored Dame K before she goes, and off to Spanish Harlem we go, yippy, bubble city!!!! :-)

        And talking of bubbles, and Jamie Barton fans, and David Pittsinger fans, and so on, I got this in the mail today from the Fire Island Opera Festival (gay gay gay):

        This year we are presenting the ‘new world premiere’ of Gluck’s L’Arbre Enchanté -- The
        Magic Tree, commissioned by Marie-Antoinette and last seen in Versailles in 1775. The
        music will be sung in the original French, but the dialogue will be in ‘American’ with a plot
        that has been adapted to the Pines. Sets and props are being constructed out of
        repurposed wood from trees and structures that were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy
        by Marfa based/NYC high line installation artist, Charles Mary Kubricht. We will be one
        of the first (and certainly the first opera/orchestra!) to perform in the recently re-built
        Pavilion. To further underline our support for the rebuilding of Fire Island, a portion of
        our proceeds will go to the Sea Shore Restoration Fund. The Magic Tree will star David
        Pittsinger, Matthew Morris, Will Ferguson, Emmett O’Hanlon and Yiselle Blum along with
        Broadway’s Amy Justman, David Garry and Melissa Dye. Bradley Moore of the
        Metropolitan Opera will conduct the Fire Island Opera Festival Orchestra, and a dance
        party in the Pavilion will follow the performance on Saturday.
        Along with the Gluck, we will be presenting Cardiff Singer of the World Winner, Jamie
        Barton in Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit to a VIP chamber audience in a beach house
        kitchen, where Julia Child sings her way through the famous chocolate cake episode.
        Lauren Gockley, former chocolatier at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, and daughter of David
        Gockley of the San Francisco Opera, will serve the cake from the recipe, accompanied
        by a champagne reception. The concert will also include stars from the Fire Island Opera
        Festival singing famous arias and songs poolside.
        Photographer David Roemer, who has shot 10 Vogue covers and most recently
        Beyoncé, created the poster art, which embodies the opera’s protagonist as well as the
        trunk and limbs of our MAGIC TREE. We have some wonderful press coverage coming
        up, including a story in TIME magazine, and a documentary video of the making of the
        first opera on Fire Island. Our ultimate goal is to commission a new, one-act chamber
        opera each year and couple it with a forgotten gem from the 17th or 18th century in a
        modern adaptation.

        • Camille

          MarshieLynniitm--

          My backbone is already stiff arthritis.

          I would never hear the end of it all from that old stick in the mud, Monsieur Camille. If he could, he wojld keep me barefoot and pregnant and constantly stirring the pot with my spoons of argent.

          We’ll have to think of some other fun thingey.

        • marshiemarkII

          CammiB! MMII’s shoulders are also very stiff with arthritis (which makes the gym very painful :-( ) so I totally understand……
          We will find another reason then to congregate the House of Gurlain and will carry on with another type of fechorias that is more d’accord our age group!

          Actually the adventures with the Colombian Special Forces were at the beginning of the Erste Dekade so imagine, don’t know if MMII herself could be up to a sojourn in Spanish Harlem at this stage.

          • Camille

            Glucosamine and MSM. Also, a thing called SAM-e. helps a lot, so you can keep on crunching!

            For our age group, sitting on a park bench in front of the 72nd Street GROM park is considered cardio.

            Do be caredul at the gym not to overstrain muscles.

            I have a new race cure, too! I will fetch it and bring it back later!

            Ich muss schlafen! Zzzzzzzzzz

            Xoxoxo
            Cowbells

            • Camille

              Face cure!! Hahaha. Have to put on my readers. Sorry.

          • marshiemarkII

            CammieB! have tried everything, and what has worked best is something called Lurong living, some oriental herbs I think.

            But more operatically, I finally opened my Rigoletto DVD, and MY GAWD!!!!!!! what heavens is that Piotr Beczala!!!!! Even more than I remembered in the theater, or he sang extra super duper better for the HD, but he is more glorious than God!!!!! I’d run to get it. I am on my second run-through of it! can’t get enough…..
            I was surprised how wonderful Damrau also sounds, and that must surely be that her voice just doesn’t carry well at the Met, but she really is a very good singer!! she sings so musically, I wish I had heard her as well the four times I saw it in the theater. But Piotr is pure liquid heavens! his phrasing is the most gorgeous I have ever heard in this role (and that includes the greatest Luci in early 80s). This is immediately a desert island DVD. The conducting is also as brilliant as I recalled, a real real winner!

            Oh, and did I say that I never saw on the stage of the Met a more beautiful female than Emalie Savoy? the gurl is simply G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!!!!!! Breathtakingly GORGEOUS!!!!! (oops is MMII turning over a new leaf :-) …… she is THAT gorgeous!!!!!)

          • marshiemarkII

            Did good ol’ Joe Green write a more gorgeous line than:
            E fama e gloria, potenza e trono,
            umane, fragili qui cose sono,
            una pur avvene sola, divina:
            è amor che agl’angeli più ne avvicina!
            Adunque amiamoci, donna celeste;
            d’invidia agli uomini sarò per te.

            Especially that very last line! when sung by Piotr the God!

      • phoenix

        I listed to the Don Pasquale this morning -- and looked at a little bit of it. de Niese was fine in the role … it’s been 40+ years since I’ve actually seen a live Don Pasquale, one of my favorite operas, but I just don’t want to look at it as much as I want to hear it -- the last time I saw it the Norina was Reri Grist, who had a fuller palette of tonal color than de Niese, but Grist couldn’t whet the edge of her voice with as cutting and incisive thrust. de Niese quick-on-the draw fiery dynamics are definitely fun to listen to. Intuition tells me de Niese’s voice will change -- I’m not sure she will be a career soubrette like Nathalie who-stayed-too-long at the kermesse.
        -- I think what I saw/heard was the 1st performance (perhaps abetted by some rehearsal footage, I don’t know for sure) and sometimes it was a bit of a rush for her to get all the notes in the line out in time, so she had to sacrifice somewhere and that somewhere was usually at the bottom of the downward runs. Her tone is not distinctive but she what she does with it is.

        • Camille

          Thank you one more time, phoenix, my good man.

          Hadn’t thought of Reri Grist for ages. Quite a story, hers was. Never heard her in person so can ot compare the two girls.

          It will be interesting ro see how de Niese develops over the next ten years. Of course, her responsibilities to Glyndebourne may someday overtake her career, so it remains to be seen what will happen with her. I wish her well, and above all, happiness in her marriage. Being the stepmother to four boys isn’t all fun and a lot of energy is needed, which she has, so, best of luck.