Cher Public

  • -Ed.: Why doesn’t the Met hold their HD-broadcast intermissions on stage, in house? It seems a shame to deny the house from such... 11:36 PM
  • -Ed.: Ah! My latest earbug is from the Gardiner Figaro.. and now it can be yours too! Perfection. httpv:// com/watch?v=Ua7... 10:03 PM
  • Batty Masetto: Ivy, Daniel Barenboim doesn’t quite see it that way: Whoever wants to see a repulsive attack on Jews in Wagner’s... 9:42 PM
  • Poison Ivy: A lot of Beckmessers music sounds like a parody of cantorial traditions, and certainly not something Wagner normally wrote for... 8:56 PM
  • grimoaldo: I’m a proud Episcopalian! Doesn’t stop me kvetching about anti-Semitism, not in Wagner generally, but in... 8:38 PM
  • armerjacquino: Well of COURSE a Venetian would say that… 8:33 PM
  • lorenzo.venezia: dear quoth, then there are us Jews who kvetch about other people reading anti-semitism everywhere in Wagner ;-) although... 8:32 PM
  • Batty Masetto: Sorry, quoth, I’m not buying. Possibly some day somebody will unearth a letter where Wagner says “I really... 8:24 PM

Happy Birthday Anna Netrebko

The Met’s new Tatiana is 42 today. [Facebook]


  • kashania says:

    Anna’s been slimming down! Too bad she can’t do a retake of that unflattering ON cover.

  • SuperSuper says:

    Take the pricetag off the bottom of your shoe, honey.

    You can take the girl out of Russia…

  • rapt says:

    Certainly ranks among the top ten most adorable things I’ve ever seen.

  • Camille says:

    Had to be posted here again (WindyCity already put it up on the intermission thread):

    [If one does not remove those stickers from the bottom of shoes promptly they are just impossible to scrape off later on. After they've become frayed, at that point, one invariably lifts up the sole to publicly display what one has bartered in exchange. Ahimè.]

  • Constantine A. Papas says:

    I hope she carries a license. Those heels are lethal weapons that can stab you to death!

  • operaassport says:

    Is that Anna Maria Alberghetti?

  • Will says:

    Odyssey Opera’s Superb Concert Rienzi in Boston
    by William Fregosi

    After a year of mourning the demise of Opera Boston, an inventive and daring company with high musical standards and a fascinating repertory, the city celebrated its “revival” when Odyssey Opera presented the Boston premiere of Wagner’s Rienzi in concert at the acoustically magnificent Jordan Hall. Opera Boston’s Music Director Gil Rose has established the new company and decided to place it before the public with a splash – and nothing operatic makes quite the splash of a well-cast and gorgeously played Rienzi.

    The edition used was that of the opera’s world premiere in Dresden, observing Wagner’s own cuts and without any of the “new” material that has come to light in recent decades. Given Rose’s taught, exciting conducting, it’s time to put aside fears of this opera’s “impossible” length. Presented in afternoon and evening sections (acts 1 & 2, dinner, acts 3, 4 & 5) any audience that can sit for Tristan, Gotterdammerung or Meistersinger should easily make it through the extra fifteen minutes or so of Rienzi. And the rewards are considerable.

    When played and sung as well as we heard it on Sunday, September 15, Rienzi holds attention through its great massed choral scenes, grateful if demanding vocal writing, and absorbing plot of the rise and fall of a people’s hero who succumbs to his own success, becoming an enemy of his countrymen who destroy him. Lithuanian tenor Kristian Benedikt brought a medium-weight budding heldentenor to the role. Dark of tone, with a voice a bit too far back in the throat for maximum impact, he was nevertheless untiring and handled declamatory passages confidently with sturdy high notes. His performance of the act 5 Prayer was lyrical and got a very good hand. It is to be hoped that his voice grows and comes forward to develop some brilliance up top.

    Margaret Jane Wray, a significant Wagnerian these days, sang Adriano with richly colored floods of tone. Only a couple of the highest notes in her great aria emerged with slight strain; the rest of the performance was thrilling. Elisabete Matos, Irene in Opera Orchestra of New York’s concert performance of Rienzi last year, was much the same in Boston. The voice is loud, easily carrying the top line in the massed ensembles, but is also strident at fullest volume and rather often crude in phrasing. The strong ensemble in support of the leads featured Kristopher Irmiter, David Kravitz, Stephen Salters, Ethan Bremner, and Boston legend Robert Honeysucker, at 70 still pouring out a rock-solid, authoritative bronze-toned baritone. Special mention should be made of soprano soloist Christina English and the Lorelei Ensemble, a women’s modern and early music ensemble who were outstanding as the Messengers of Peace.

    The orchestra of 77 and a chorus of 72 performed tirelessly, with the addition of 22 brass and percussion players divided into two bands who played in the Balcony during the massive third act with its lengthy choral passages. There was not a horn crack or an instrumental misstep of any kind throughout the demanding score. The effect in Jordan Hall was overwhelming. The audience gave the performers and triumphant conductor Gil Rose a tumultuous ovation. Who’s afraid of Rienzi? Clearly, not Boston — nor should anyone else be.

    • papopera says:

      was there a serpent and an ophicleide in the orchestra?
      Wagner scores for serpent under the bassoons and the ophicleide under the trombones

      • grimoaldo says:

        Verdi, Wagner, Meyerbeer, Mendelsohn, even Arthur Sullivan, lot of others, scored for ophicleides and more rarely serpents. Except for “original instrument’ those instruments are nowadays almost always replaced with tubas.

    • Camille says:

      This was very interesting to read and thank you for having posted it.

      The idea of breaking in the middle is perhaps a solution?
      As the OONY production proved to be far too much in one afternoon for me, it ended up as something to be endured rather than to enjoy.

      Perhaps a tad unfair to Elisabete Matos; the role of Irene is very poorly written, in my opinion, and chiefly requires penetrating high notes out of the blue, and at odd intervals. Not a great part.

      Interesting,in that there is a topic in Mary’s garden this week about opera being banned in Boston…not entirely it seems!

    • m. croche says:

      Lysenko lives!

      • oedipe says:


        In the 1950s, I believe, there was in the USSR a famous large-scale Lysenkoist experiment meant to discredit once and for all the putrid, racist, capitalist theory of genetics: the tails of many thousands of mice, over several generations, were cut in order to show that species can be taught change and that eventually a new, socialist type of mouse will be born. But guess what, those reactionary mice kept on being born with tails!

        • m. croche says:

          To paraphrase Garbo in “Ninotchka”: Patience, Comrade! These experiments will be great success! From now on there will be fewer, but better, rats.

          • manou says:

            Dear m. croche -- are you a very early riser or an insomniac?

            • m. croche says:

              Dear Manou -- yesterday (or today, depending on your time zone) was/is the Mid-Autumn Festival. Naturally, I was out gazing at the moon -- which seemed to be just a little bit larger than usual

              Yours most sincerely,

              Croche Lunaire

  • spiderman says:

    not a shitty balcony …

  • la vociaccia says:

    In other news, Tchaikovsky wasn’t gay, he was *lonely,* so says Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky

    • antikitschychick says:

      Hmmm….based on his comments, I take it Mr. Medinsky is well acquainted with feelings of “loneliness” then? :P :P :P

  • Constantine A. Papas says:

    And Russians say T’s loneliness was aggravated by cholera that eventually killed him. Of course, this 24-karat garbage continues. No one expects intellectual honesty from ex KBG operatives.

  • Camille says:

    “The Real Housewives of St. Petersburg”.

    It suddenly makes sense…..

  • Donna Anna says:

  • Donna Anna says:

    I forgot to add the comment:
    “He wasn’t gay. Not gay per se.”