Cher Public

A place behind the sun

How better to launch this week’s general interest discussion than with a video of Joyce DiDonato singing “Over the Rainbow” at the Last Night of the Proms?

  • antikitschychick

    Just saw on FB that Sinfini Music came out with a list of “Top 10 Greatest Tenors” and they included Domingo but not MDM or Carusso…WTF?? Also, I think its a bit premature to put Herr Jonas in the same category as all those other virtuosos. Not that he isn’t great but he’s got a lot to accomplish, being that he’s still in the midst of his career and all. Plus, I think the real test for him will be Otello. Can’t wait to hear his Verdi album to get a taste of that. :-D

    • la vociaccia

      Jonas but no Caruso?

      Oh dear……..

      • Feldmarschallin

        Caruso is the first one.

    • antikitschychick

      I should add that the Caruso recording they chose is sooooo beautiful…also, I agree with the other choices but for the exceptions I noted above.

    • la vociaccia

      Oh wait…Anti-K, dear, He’s number 1

      • antikitschychick

        Oh FUCK I meant CORELLI!!! Its just I was so taken aback by that Carusso recording I mixed up the names lolol plus I need my beauty sleep :P

      • la vociaccia

        Before I leave too many comments here I’d like to add that Florez should be switched with with either Kraus, McCormack, or Simoneau.

        Kaufmann should be switched with Wunderlich.

    • antikitschychick

      **Correction to the above: they included Domingo & Jonas but not Mario Del Monaco or **Corelli, thus I repeat, wtf Sinfini Music?? A bunch of ppl made comments complaining about those glaring exclusions and for good reason! Corelli is my fav tenor ever so granted I’m biased but still…I mean, do they think he is overrated? Obviously I didn’t get the chance to hear him live but like all of his recordings are vocally immaculate from a technical standpoint…plus he was handsome dude like Jonas…what’s not to like?? I’d be interested in heating ya’lls opinions on this.

      • Batty Masetto

        These lists are always silly, and I agree that Jonas and Florez haven’t earned their places quite yet, though they might.

        But Del Monaco and Corelli, though they had a magnificent sound, were not exactly … um … sensitive in the interpretation department. We used to call MdM “Mario del Monotone.”

        As for Kraaus, much as I can intellectually admire his artistry, he tends to leave me cold.

        Wunderlich, Simoneau… now we’re talkin’ business.

        • laddie

          Wunderlich, Simoneau… now we’re talkin’ business.

          Most heartily agree with this statement, and, yes, they are silly.

        • Porgy Amor

          I suspect that Kaufmann and Florez (both of whom I take every opportunity to hear) are there as the token “still singing and in their prime” choices, to add balance. I doubt any rigorous process of selection went into this.

          MdM would never be on any list of great tenors in which I had a part, no matter how casually or lightly it was offered, nor would Gigli (who did make their cut). Corelli perhaps. Give me Renato Zanelli over any of them. There was a titan, though of course they left more recordings than he did. Greatest Otello voice I’ve ever heard.

          Anyway, part of the fun of such lists, and really that is the main reason to make them and read them, is the arguing over who was wrongly excluded and who should give up his spot to make room. There’s never been a list of the ten best anything that received only “Great list! I agree completely!” follow-ups.

          • Buster

            No Frenchman? Georges Thill?

            • oedipe

              But Buster, everybody knows that Kaufmann IS the best French tenor. Evah! Followed closely by Domingo. Great at hype too. No need for anybody else.

            • Feldmarschallin

              I am a big fan of Kaufmann but I have to say he has no right to be on that list at this time when names like Thill and Wunderlich are missing. And Florez also has no business to be on the list. I could also come up with at least 10 names which are more important than Domingo. Lets start with Martinelli.

            • grimoaldo

              Florez is certainly a very different kind of voice than Vikers or Caruso, basically he is a Rossini tenor, and even a specific type of Rossini tenor, the lighter roles with a lot of florid coloratura rather than the more heroic parts. On that basis he is one of the greatest tenors ever to make recordings anyway.
              These lists are always silly,yes, another thing I find annoying about them is that they usually reflect the assumption that opera is a 19th century art form.
              Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Wunderlich sang Handel / Mozart, that doesn’t count,neither could a brilliant singing actor such as Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, he does not sing La Boheme or Walkure but Rameau, mostly (who?) or that “tenor” could possibly mean anything except “heroic leading man with lots of high note” parts, so the creator of the most significant tenor roles post WWII, Peter Pears, could not be thought suitable for inclusion or the incredibly versatile actor and singer Phillip Langridge, for instance.

            • la vociaccia

              Oepide, I did mention Simoneau……I considered Thill but I didn’t think the French light lyrical side was represented well at all, Gedda notwithstanding

              If we’re talking Rossini singers i.e with lots of coloratura, I really think Rockwell Blake beat Florez to the punch there, regardless of your opinion on his voice. Although to be honest I prefer Stanford Olsen’s singing to both of them.

              And, for whatever it’s worth, I prefer Gosta Winbergh in Mozart to Gedda

            • oedipe

              La Vociaccia, I believe Buster was referring to the “official” list: no trace of either Thill or Simoneau there. I think no one on that official list, aside from Gedda and to a lesser extent Björling, can be considered a great interpreter of the French rep.

              BTW, I prefer Blake to Florez too (though I love Florez).

        • antikitschychick

          Yeah I agree about Krauss…and as far as Baritenors/heldentenors go, I’d say Giacomini is the real deal…and what a surprise that not a single American tenor made the list lolol.

  • FragendeFrau82

    The entire purpose of such lists is to provoke pearl-clutching and clicks on the website. It seems to have worked.

    • Porgy Amor

      Ha. Here, I’ll take it to the next level. I will now pearl-clutch about the pearl-clutching: “I cannot believe no one has complained yet about the omission of Carlo Bergonzi!”

    • antikitschychick

      LOLOLOL but pearl-clutching is a staple of parterre, along with the vending of vitriol ;-)

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Happy 74th birthday bass Hans Sotin

    Born on this day in 1939 soprano Judith Nelson

    Happy 69th birthday baritone Thomas Allen

    Happy 66th birthdays director David Pountney and composer Adriano Guarnieri

    Happy 64th birthday sorpano Françoise Pollet

    Happy 56th birthday tenor and conductor Laurence Dale

  • Camille

    For Camille Lovers Only—
    A link to The New York Review of Books getting around to reviewing the latest on the La Dame aux Camélias legend (Julie Kavanagh) and the new translation of the Dumas fils original:

  • zinka

    ANGELA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!We never knew you ate Wheaties!!!!!

    • Evenhanded


      This is very interesting -- thank you for sharing, Zinka. There are plenty of flaws here, but one can certainly hear what all the fuss might have been about. Unfortunately, whoever has been guiding her technical development has all but ruined the voice. In this clip, I hear a nice, clear tone (both resonance and diction) and excellent, forward placement of the voice, even if the coloratura is not quite perfect and the top is a bit squeaky. VERY impressive for a young singer.

      These days, her singing is foggy, ill-tuned, and you couldn’t find a word with a Scrabble board. Her present vocal production is based on a very throaty, swallowed placement, and so all the presence, clarity, and point on the tone and words has been lost. I had no idea that she once held such promise.

  • skoc211

    I am generally of the opinion that, with the exception of Eva Cassidy’s heartbreaking rendition in the early 90’s, this song should have been retired after Judy’s 1961 Carnegie Hall performance.

    This wasn’t bad. It was perfectly lovely and sensitive in the beginning. Then the Renne-isms and the desire to sound operatic found their way in. Still, she sounded lovely.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1911 baritone Tiyt Kuusik

    Born on this day in 1912 tenor Gösta Björling

    Happy 83rd birthday bass Clifford Grant

  • laddie

    Here is something exciting -- live Web stream this Saturday of Billy Budd starring PETER MATTEI! From Sweden:

    • laddie

      Not this Saturday, the 21st.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1801 composer and teacher Giuseppe Concone

    Born on this day in 1906 composer Dmitri Shostakovich

    Born on this day in 1938 mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos

    Happy 68th birthday conductor John Mauceri

    Happy 65th birthday tenor Luis Lima

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1874 composer Arnold Schoenberg

    Born on this day in 1898 composer and conductor Roger Désormière

    Born on this day in 1917 composer Robert Ward

    Born on this day in 1929 bass Nicolai Ghiaurov

    Happy 79th birthday soprano Tamara Milashkina

    Born on this day in 1936 tenor Werner Hollweg

    Born on this day in 1939 soprano Arleen Augér

  • aulus agerius

    James Valenti is appearing in Don Carlo again (this time in Italian) in Austin in November. Michael Chioldi about whom I have heard good things sings Rodrigo. If I were still down in that neck of the woods I would go to this.

  • aulus agerius

    Manhattan School of Music is performing The Mother of Us All December 11&15. I would LOVE to see this opera again. Does MSM put on a good show? Would it be worth a train ride up to NYC?

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1885 conductor and composer Vittorio Gui

    Born on this day in 1896 tenor (and later, priest) José Mojica

    Born on this day composer and administrator Rolf Liebermann

    Born on this day composer and conductor Lehman Engel

    Born on this day in 1919 writer and lecturer Deryck Cooke

    Happy 78th birthday tenor Toni Krämer

    Happy 63rd birthday tenor Raúl Giménez