Cher Public

Cows and chickens make better friends than I’ve ever met in Paris

Until the Baron de Varville returns, cher public, take this opportunity to indulge in discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Predicting Tracy Cox as one of the winners of this week’s OPERALIA:

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      See if you can chose the winners from all of the Operalia finalists (not including the 15 alternates)

      Lena Belkina, mezzo-soprano, Ukraine, 25 years old

      Pablo Ricardo Bemsch, tenor, Argentina, 32 years old

      Dušica Bijeli?, soprano, Serbia, 28 years old

      Benjamin Bliss, tenor, USA, 27 years old

      Alexey Bogdanchikov, baritone, Russia, 28 years old

      Zach Borichevsky, tenor, USA, 29 years old

      Mirella Bunoaica, soprano, Romania, 28 years old

      Gianluca Buratto, bass, Italy, 29 years old

      Jessica Rose Cambio, soprano, Italy/USA, 31 years old

      Valeriu Caradja, baritone, Moldova, 32 years old

      Hae Ji Chang, soprano, South Korea, 29 years old (via Boston)

      Won Whi Choi, tenor, South Korea, 32 years old

      Irina Churilova, soprano, Russia, 30 years old

      Tracy Cox, soprano, USA, 27 years old

      Vladimir Dmitruk, tenor, Belarus, 26 years old

      Julie Fuchs, soprano, France, 29 years old

      Aida Garifullina, soprano, Russia, 25 years old (Zarzuela prize)

      Gelena Gaskarova, soprano, Russia, 30 years old

      Rena Harms, soprano, USA, 29 years old

      Megan Hart, soprano, USA, 30 years old

      Soloman Howard, bass, USA, 32 years old

      Claudia Huckle, contralto, UK, 31 years old

      Jaeyoon Jung, tenor, South Korea, 30 years old

      Jaeheui Kwon, tenor, South Korea, 31 years old

      Dorottya Láng, mezzo-soprano, Hungary, 27 years old (probable 2nd place winner)

      • armerjacquino

        Borichevsky’s partner is the wonderful Corinne Winters- a new Costello/Perez in the making?

        (By the way, from that YT still, is Megan Hart taking time out from playing Penny in HAPPY ENDINGS?)

      • Buster

        Thanks for putting this together! I have heard the Julie Fuchs Debussy / Mahler song recital. Beautiful disc:

    • operacat

      I was disappointed that Tracy Cox is not in the finals. Saw her three times this summer: singing “Dich Theure Halle” from TANNHAUSER and a song from “Craigslistleider” as well as the role of Alice Ford in FALSTAFF and she was sensational with all. The voice is full, solid and beautiful: reminded me and my partner of an early Deborah Voigt. But she can also act (the Craigslistleider -- Opera Scene was hilarious!) We will be hearing from the very young Tracy Cox, of that you can be sure!!!

      • MontyNostry

        Surprising she didn’t make it into the final, considering she’s on the LA Opera Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program …

        • operacat

          Another reason I was surprised as well, though I do feel that Operalia takes looks into consideration more than other vocal competitions. Whether intentional or not as this study seems to indicate:

          • MontyNostry

            Well, I attended an Operalia some years ago and was disappointed when some excellent singers (including Jessica Pratt, who has gone onto major things, in Italy in particular) were left out of the finals in favour of two tall, slim, pretty and vocally quite anonymous eastern European sopranos. As it turned out, the winners of both the male and female prizes had existing Domingo connections.

      • oedipe

        But Tracy Cox IS in the finals!

        • operacat

          ARGHHH my bad. Sorry about the misinformation. And good luck to Tracy. . .she is very special!

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    I was wrong about the 25/15 ratio. Here are the rest of the finalists:

    Dmitry Lavrov, baritone, Russia, 32 years old

    Irina Lévian, soprano, Ukraine, 27 years old

    Kathryn Lewek, soprano, USA, 30 years old

    Ao Li, bass-baritone, China, 25 years old

    Perrine Madoeuf, soprano, France, 31 years old

    Oleksandr Malyshko, baritone, Ukraine, 30 years old

    Sidney Outlaw, baritone, USA, 31 years old

    Simone Piazzola, baritone, Italy, 28 years old

    Marina Pinchuk, mezzo-soprano, Russia, 31 years old

    Diego Silva, tenor, Mexico, 24 years old

    Valeria Tornatore, mezzo-soprano, Italy, 31 years old

    Anna Tsartsidze, soprano, Georgia, 23 years old

    Alla Vasilevitsky, soprano, Israel, 30 years old

    Ki Hun Yoon, baritone, South Korea, 32 years old
    Yang Zhang, baritone, China, 26 years old

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      oops: THIS is Alla Vasilevitsky

  • laddie

    For you Camille:

    It’s got that dreaded “s” on the end so no embedding. It’s Ana Maria Martinez.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Just change the s to v and it should embed here.

      • laddie

        Thank you QPF: will remember for next time.

  • antikitschychick

    Evening folks!

    look what I found on Facebook:

    seems the protests against those anti-LGBT laws in Russia are gaining traction/wider support.

    Also, have ya’ll read ANs interview for next month’s issue of Opera News? Its pretty hilarious:

    There’s also an article about the character of Onegin that’s kind of interesting (for the historical tidbits anyway as it doesn’t really provide any substantial analysis or insight into the character):

    • decotodd

      That Netrebko interview was the very epitome of hagiographic from the headlines to the text. ON likely has a pretty long lead time for interviews so not surprised Russia’s anti gay laws and Putin didn’t come up.

      By the way have you seen the quote from Bartlett Sher blasting the law and calling Putin a “pig”?

      This issue and the increasingly bigotted responses from Russia and the tone deaf IOC insure this isn’t going away.

      • antikitschychick

        I did indeed see Sher’s quote decotodd! It was a bold statement but appropriate considering the circumstances.

        As far as the Opera News article on AN, it was certainly laudatory but it had its charm. She made very endearing comments and for what its worth, based on what she said in the interview, I think her dramatic conception of Lady M is right on the money.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1862 composer Claude Debussy

    Born on this day in 1922 bass Raffaele Ariè

    Born on this day in 1928 composer Karlheinz Stockhausen

    Happy 75th birthday bass-baritone Robert Hale

  • Batty Masetto

    Google has a rather charming animation in honor of Debussy’s birthday today. (In case you hadn’t noticed already.)

    • WindyCityOperaman

  • RosinaLeckermaul

    Off topic, but we went to the Merola Grand Finale at the San Francisco Opera Saturday night. A mixed bag, but some very good tenors to keep an eye on. Issachah Savage sang part of Lohengrin’s final scene. He’s a promising heldentenor with a ringing voice and solid musicianship. Casey Finnegan got a large ovation for his singing of an aria from DER FREISCHUTZ. Big voice and solid technique, but no stage presence. Aren’t the Merola people offering any training in simple movement — like walking across a stage without waddling? A number of the men were distressingly awkward. Robert Watson sang some of Vere’s music from BILLY BUDD with a bigger, more ringing voice than one usually hears in this music. Other than Savage’s Lohengrin, the high point of the evening was the Act I duet from MANON sung beautifully by Maria Valdes and New Zealand born tenor Pene Pati.

  • laddie

    Just read that Herr Jummiest will be singing down under:,jonas-kaufmann-heads-down-under.aspx

    So much for sticking close to Munich.

    • Feldmarschallin

      From what I have heard you just have to dangle enough € in front of him and he will sing anywhere. Well I suppose he does have three children and a singers prime is relatively short. Guess some are just greedier than others.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        Why shouldn’t he go for the big bucks? Other tenors are making millions more than he is.

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

        • Hippolyte

          Oh really? And just who are all these other tenors making more than Kaufmann?

          • Quanto Painy Fakor

            MILLIONS more!

      • bluecabochon

        “Guess some are just greedier than others.”

        That’s a strange criticism of Jonas. He’s worked hard to get where he is and deserves to earn as much money as people are willing to pay to hear him.

        • bassoprofundo

          careful blue, you’re in danger of becoming a conservative with a comment like that. :)

      • leftcoastlady

        Such a snotty, green-tinged comment Feldmarschallin. Jonas Kaufmann, an artist of the first rank, is entitled to accept whatever any entity offers him to appear in its presentation. Period. I am sure that the Australian nationals who read this blog are gratified to learn that their vital and beautiful nation is an “anywhere.” Deutschland is not the center of the universe; get over it.

        • bluecabochon

          I thought that Feldmarschallin was an ardent Jonas fan. Has something changed suddenly, or am I mistaking her for someone else?

          • Feldmarschallin

            Yes I am an ardent Kaufmann fan but that still doesn’t mean that I cannot have criticism about some of the things he does. I also think Harteros was foolish to change her mind on singing die Kaiserin and on how she chooses not wanting a CD career because it would involve PR. I frankly think Kaufmann sings too much and would like him to stay in top shape for a long time since he is one of the best tenors we have now (along with Calleja).

  • From Ms. Duchen’s blog:

    The continual dumbing-down of Debussy -- the all-too-widespread view of him as pretty impressionist, fine colourist, hot lover, etc -- does not even begin to scratch the surface of his life and work, let alone his intelligence, his wide cultural references, his continual willingness to explore and experiment and move forward. His sophistication of thought, language, structure, finesse, texture, instrumentation and sheer imagination is second to none.

    Read here:

    Right on… Thank you.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1900 composer Ernst Krenek

    Born on this day in 1904 soprano Stella Roman

    Happy 86th birthday bass-baritone Raimund Herincx

    Happy 84th birthday baritone Franz Ferdinand Nentwig

    Happy 74th birthday soprano Celestina Casapietra

  • moi

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1904 soprano Irma Beilke

    Happy 64th birthday composer Stephen Paulus. Get well soon.

    Happy 57th birthday stage director Francesca Zambello

  • zinka

    Contrary to some statements about Tucker’s “chopping” is a perfect example of his gorgeous legato and the phenomenal glorious top..The way he “hooks’ into it…….100 yrs.anniversary on Aug.28..Still my all-time fav.tenor of those I saw live…
    Sobbing???Ever hear of Gigli?????

    Yes,i am aware of his flaws..but he was for me the greatest tenor……..

  • operacat


  • operacat

    La Monnaie has announced their upcoming streaming online video season. Lots to add to the previously announced Bayerischer Staatsoper season — FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN (Dec. 1) and FORZA DEL DESTINO w/Harteros and Kaufmann. Still waiting for Vienna.

  • operacat

    La Monnaie has announced their upcoming streaming opera video season at their web site. More to add to our calendars which already includes Bayerischer Staatsoper’ announced FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN -- Dec. 1 and FORZA DEL DESTINO -- Dec. 28. Still waiting for Vienna’s streaming schedule. I am trying to collect opera streaming video available online at my website Any feedback would be appreciated.

    • operacat
    • redbear

      Can bears love cats? I was just wondering why there isn’t a central place for all this stuff! It’s not like being there but so much of Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, etc. has been streamed without those wallet-busting prices and all that jetlag.
      Here is another one, cat-of-my-dreams: A TV site called is streaming live the Die Entführung aus dem Serail from Salzburg’s Hangar 7 on the 26th at 8:15pm CET. This is with the Camerata Salzburg, Hanz Graf conducting, etc. Do you have an app yet? I want one on my iPad and Phone!

  • DonCarloFanatic

    Does anyone have an opinion of the casting for the Anna Nicole that the NYCO is doing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music? I think this new opera got mixed but mostly favorable reviews of its London debut. But none of the current singers is familiar to me:

    Sarah Joy Miller* (Anna Nicole)
    Susan Bickley* (Virgie)
    Robert Brubaker (Old Man Marshall)
    Rod Gilfry (Stern)
    James Barbour* (Daddy Hogan)
    Elizabeth Pojanowski* (Shelley)
    Joshua Jeremiah (Deputy Mayor)
    Mary Testa* (Aunt Kaye)
    Ben Davis* (Billy)
    Christina Sajous* (Melissa)
    Richard Troxell (Doctor)
    John Easterlin (Larry King)
    Stephen Wallem* (Trucker)
    Michael Hance*(Mayor)
    *denotes NYC Opera debut

    • armerjacquino

      Susan Bickley sang the role of Virgie (ANS’ mother) at Covent Garden. She also created the female lead in TWO BOYS, but isn’t repeating it in NY.

      La Cieca linked to my ramblings on ANNA NICOLE when it opened:

  • RosinaLeckermaul

    Rod Gilfrey is a veteran baritone who has sung everything from Mozart to contemporary opera. Mary Testa is a veteran of many Broadway musicals. I saw ANNA NICOLE in London and enjoyed it immensely. It’s not as adventurous as some of Turnage’s work but, unlike much contemporary opera, the music serves the drama effectively. Richard Jones’s production is very clever. There’s a dvd of the London production with Eva Maria Westbroek and Gerald Finley.

    • manou

      And Susan Bickley was Virgie in the original ROH production of Anna Nicole -- as the Vicar will be proud to confirm.

      • manou

        …oops! and as armer has also nearly simultaneously indicated above.

        • bluecabochon

          James Barbour is also a veteran of many Broadway shows.

          • manou

            Richard Troxell was Christian in the Alagna DVD of Cyrano de Bergerac.

            • SF Guy

              Troxell was also Pinkerton in the 1995 film of Butterfly:

              (And James Barbour replaced Michael Hayden as Billy Bigelow in the Nicholas Hytner production of Carousel at the Beaumont, among other things.)

            • Trowel, such a gorgeous man! I worked with him in Falstaff in Cincinnati back in the day (he was Fenton) and we we all drooling over that hairy chest.

    • operacat

      Robert Brubaker was Chairman Mao in the Met’s NIXON IN CHINA including the HD. He is found in many DVDs including the Los Angeles Opera GEZEICHNETEN.

    • PushedUpMezzo

      Rod Gilfry -- veteran but hot! Can still out-gun Gunn.

  • bellarenata

    Well, Alwyn Mellor was described by The Vancouver Sun as the most impressive achievement of the second cycle in Seattle and almost all of the reviewers, including Opera News at the Paris Siegfried, have praised the quality of her top notes and that her Battle Cry is one of the best around. There’s a consensus that lower part of the voice lacks weight but it’s simply not true to write that she went from Longborough to Paris. Between Longborough 2011 and Paris 2013, she sang Brünnhilde in Bergen, Gothenburg and Leipzig and Sieglinde for Opera North, as well as covering Brünnhilde at Covent Garden. She must have been under considerable strain in Paris singing seven performances of Walküre and seven of Siegfried when Janice Baird withdrew and being unwell in Seattle will not have helped either. I’d agree that she has been catapulted a little quickly and that a steadier build up would have helped, but it’s also important to remember that managements don’t cast on blind faith and she must have shown exceptional promise to be cast in Paris and Seattle and not to have compromised that promise in rehearsal. These are hugely demanding roles and the audience’s expectation is rightly high. However, she was great when and I saw her in both Paris and Seattle (yes, the Todesverkündigung is tough for a high soprano and there’s an interesting recent interview with Petra Lang in which she says she believes that scene was deliberately written so that Brünnhilde, who,is a very young girl in Walküre should not sound too imposing) and to imply that she was a disaster or is in decline is simply not borne out by what I heard, by the audience response in both theatres, and by much of the critical response.