Cher Public

  • NPW-Paris: Frogs in bogs? Platée is one of my favourite operas of all. 5:39 PM
  • Camille: Oh, it was DU-—Satisfied—than x a LOT— as you saved me the hassle and bother in a busy, 90+ degree day of stressing out to go to... 4:39 PM
  • Camille: Bill, thanks, but I was really sort of joking, as people do all sort of things these days after the first act—chiefly, I’ve... 4:34 PM
  • Camille: No, it was relief because it was good! And with this opera, one gets used to hearing a lot of frogs barking in the bogs, so it IS... 4:27 PM
  • Camille: It reminded, somewhat, of the Callas Kundry for what was her ease and legato. All the usual spots where they Schrei und Try Again... 4:24 PM
  • la vociaccia: if you can’t sing it well, then you can’t sing well, period. No disagreements from me there. But a lot of people seem to be... 4:17 PM
  • Camille: I was keenly anticipating this “Heart” ;, but after having read the program only just last evening, (thank you to... 4:13 PM
  • grimoaldo: The review actually explains why, the “upper part of her voice was often so edgy that the aria became truly... 3:44 PM

Who’s that woman?

You have voted, cher public—a total of 2,265 times, in fact!—and you’ve decided: the hot tickets this fall are the Met’s revival of Die Frau Ohne Schatten (with 271 votes) and Collegiate Chorale’s concert version of Mefistofele (with 440 votes).

Complete results follow the jump.

“At the Metropolitan Opera”

Die Frau ohne Schatten 271
Eugene Onegin 243
Norma 180
The Nose 151
Falstaff 144
Two Boys 125
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 94
Der Rosenkavalier 83
Così fan tutte 78
Tosca 49
Die Fledermaus 40
Rigoletto 14
The Magic Flute 9

“Elsewhere in the Concrete Jungle”

Mefistofele (Collegiate Chorale) 440
Anna Nicole (BAM/NYCO) 143
Baden Baden 1927 (Gotham Chamber Opera) 56
The Ring Cycle (Salzburg Marionette Theater) 40
The Return of Ulysses (Opera Omnia) 36
Era la notte (White Light Festival) 27
The Pirates of Penzance (NYGASP) 13
Das Labyrinth (Amore Opera) 11
Other* 11
War Sum Up (Next Wave Festival) 5
Premieres (Pocket Opera Players) 2

* Rusalka – CHICAGO not NY, Ballymore/Pizza (Chelsea Opera), JDD with Levine/Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Rusalka!!, Luisa Miller – Dell’Arte Opera, Cendrillon Juilliard, Sakuntula, Juilliard Radamisto, Wozzeck @ Carnegie Hall, Platée (Rameau) Les Arts Florissants, Nothing.

Photo: Marty Sohl.


  • 1
    FragendeFrau82 says:

    Wait, wait…NOBODY wants to see Werther? (I must have missed this vote) More people want to see revivals of The Magic Flute and Tosca? *clutches pearls*

    • 1.1
      oedipe says:

      A more accurate way of describing the situation would be:

      Indeed, FEW people want to see Werther (it’s Massenet, remember?; not many fans on Parterre), though EVERYBODY wants to see Kaufmann. I am sure the survey for Spring will reflect that.

      Also, I am sure you would not “clutch pearls” if the Tosca revival was with Kaufmann, instead of Alagna, and if EVERYBODY wanted to see it, irrespective of the production and of the Tosca.

      • 1.1.1
        armerjacquino says:

        People like Kauffman and that makes you angry. We get it. You don’t need to perform contortions to get it into every thread.

          oedipe says:

          Is there anything that’s contrary to fact in my reply? BTW, I didn’t “get it into the thread”, I replied to someone who did! Was the snide remark about Tosca (and the people who voted for it) really necessary, knowing the commenter’s biases?

          Incidentally, why do all the remarks that are not consensual ALWAYS bother you? Not everyone is a dedicated conformist, you know.

          • armerjacquino says:

            Incidentally, why do all the remarks that are not consensual ALWAYS bother you? Not everyone is a dedicated conformist, you know.

            The ACTUAL? Just plain making things up again.

            • oedipe says:

              For example, when someone goes against La Cieca’s opinions on a given subject -regie, for instance- you are often the first one to write a reply against the commenter, even before La Cieca has had the time to react (as if La Cieca couldn’t defend her point of view by herself…).

              And hey, you don’t even have to go far, you have an example right here in front of your eyes: you’ve jumped to defend FragendeFrau82 (who represents the consensus) against me (I do not), even before she cared to defend herself!

            • armerjacquino says:

              I’m not defending anyone about anything. I’m just saying how boring your Kaufmann obsession is.

              I don’t know where you get this regie idea from. I’m not a particular fan of, for example, Herheim or Bielto so tend not to comment on threads where they’re mentioned. La Cieca will certainly agree that she and I have had our disagreements over the years.

              I don’t really think there is any consensus on here but I can think of many occasions where I’ve been against a prevailing opinion (Voigt/ Netrebko’s Verdi album/ Liking de Niese and not hating Erdmann/ Liking McVicar’s AIDA/ disliking Wagner/ disliking Milanov) so on balance I’d say you’re talking a load of made-up, and pretty offensive, rubbish.

            • oedipe says:

              Here is my suggestion of a (simple) solution: stop reading my posts. You’ll thus avoid ALL my obsessions, and especially the biggest one of them (no, it’s not Kaufmann): what I deem as, on average, a gratingly lousy quality of French singing at the Met and the ROH. Do we have a deal?

            • grimoaldo says:

              I get why you’re annoyed with aj right now oedipe, he ticked you off for your Kaufmann comment, but to be fair aj argued against the Parterre “consensus” against La C and me and others for days while we were mourning the loss of coloraturafan’s invaluable youtube channel.
              I enjoy both of your posts, we all have our pet peeves and little idiosyncrasies and can annoy each other at times.

            • armerjacquino says:

              Thanks grim.

              oedipe: would that it were so easy.

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              I don’t recognise your description of AJ either, Oedipe. It’s kind of a shame though that you just ask people to stop engaging with you, rather than be open to the fact that your opinions don’t stand close scrutiny 100% of the time. It’s a discussion board, it’d be a shame if we actually did all do as we are told, and just sat in quiet contemplation of the Pelleas score.

            • manou says:

              anti-chicky has provided me with the apposite comment on this saga : YMMV.

            • kashania says:

              Oedipe: I’m afraid that AJ’s description of your (re: your typical knee-jerk reactions to Kaufmann) is much more accurate than your description of him (jumping to defend La Cieca’s consensus arguments).

              FragendeFrau didn’t need to “defend” herself. Her question was simply answered by the fact that the poll was only focused on fall operas. It was you who hijacked the question and made it about your obsession with the “general consensus” regarding everyone’s dislike of Massenet (and all things French) and the unanimous love of Kaufmann.

              It’s a shame that so much of your participation on parterre is focused on your obsessions with your pet peeves when you have so much knowledge and insight to impart.

            • antikitschychick says:

              glad to be of some help manou :-P.

      • 1.1.2
        Buster says:

        Oedipe -- I just got a message Irina Lungu will replace Sondra Yoncheva in the Minkowski Faust.

    • 1.2
      grimoaldo says:

      Werther is not on until Feb, this was a survey of what people want to see from Sept to the end of this year.

    • 1.3
      FragendeFrau82 says:

      Und ich, ich bin’s, der all dies Elend schuf!!

      Sorry I didn’t notice the FALL qualifier!

  • 2
    Hippolyte says:

    The vote specificed “this fall” which explains why the Wozzeck, Platee and Cendrillon were out of place, although Fledermaus which opens on New Year’s Eve wouldn’t exactly qualify either.

  • 3
    alejandro says:

    Whew! I am glad I got a ticket for Die Frau!

    • 3.1
      Feldmarschallin says:

      Well this production is one of the best things the Met has which granted isn’t that much. I liked the Flimm Salome as well especially when Mattila sang it the first time. But the FroSch is spectacular and with Schwanewilms giving her debut and Herlitzius singing the Färberin it should be a great evening. Nice to see that Schwanewilms who is pushing 50 now has finally ‘arrived’ on the operatic stage for Peter Gelb.

      • 3.1.1
        Feldmarschallin says:

        actually I just remembered that it isn’t Herlitzius. Well that would be just too much anyway and New Yorkers will have to wait until he gets around to ask her to sing something which might happen lets say within the next 5-10 years :)

          Cocky Kurwenal says:

          Posted the below at the same time as this, Feldmarschallin, so never mind.

          Sadly the powers that be at the ROH haven’t cottoned on to Herlitzius either -- in fact I’m told she is ‘too inconsistent’ for them (remarkable, when you look at some of the people they DO engage).

          • MontyNostry says:

            That is incredible, CK. I had just assume that Herlitzius was too busy for the ROH! Goerke did a very good job as Elektra at the dress rehearsal on Friday, though. The voice rattles a bit now and then, and she couldn’t quite float some of the lines, but she has loads of power, the bottom part of the voice is very richly coloured, and she hit all the high notes securely. No mean feat. She is a also a sympathetic and alert figure on stage, though a bit comfy-looking for Elektra.

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              I heard it second or third hand, but apparently that’s a direct quote from Peter Katona, re Hertlitzius.

              I’m seeing Elektra tonight, very curious about Goerke.

            • MontyNostry says:

              Strange, because Katona tends to like singers who’ve been through the mill in German houses. And he insists on casting the (excellent) Michael Volle in Italian roles that just don’t suit him.

            • alejandro says:

              I checked out some videos of Goerke on YouTube and I became very excited for Die Frau after seeing her sing Eboli in French. She’s got stage presence for days and a really dramatic voice.

            • Regina delle fate says:

              Was at the first night tonight, Monty and I broadly agree, although I wondered if she had given too much at the dress. Some of the tone in the middle sounded breatjy and hollow. It’s a fuller sound that Herlitzius’s and deffo more so than La Bullock’s. I though Schuster was the winner of tonights Schreifest. Please tell me I am wrong that Paterson is miscast in these German “tomorrow’s Wotan” roles.

            • MontyNostry says:

              RdF -- I enjoyed Schuster too, though her acting and singing probably belong in a more subtle and insightful production where Klytie is less of a preening monster. It does make a difference to have a native German doing something with the text. Paterson sounded out of his depth and he doesn’t have the necessary gravitas -- Orest is one of those characters who has to make an impact rapidly. Johan Reuter was far superior last time round.

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              Schuster stole the show for me as well, although I loved Pieczonka’s singing. Won’t be going out of my way to hear Goerke again.

          • grimoaldo says:

            ROH, artistic home of the very consistent (consistently wretched) Popsy.

            • Regina delle fate says:

              Indeed -- don’t remind us, Grim. The premiere of Les Vêpres is barely three weeks away.

          • Regina delle fate says:

            I wish she had been singing Elektra at Covent Garden tonight, rather than the “more consistent” Christine Goerke, who was good, but somewhat tremulous and tired, I thought. Herlitzius is certainly a far better actress and her understanding of the part more thorough. It’s the Rysanek situation in London all over again. She was too inconsistent for Solti -- my guess is that she refused to shag him -- and so she never appeared at the ROH after circa 1962.

            • David says:

              Tired? I don’t have the ear to pick up on the subtle variations in singer’s voices, but I was sitting at the back of the stalls and Goerke pinned me to my seat, her voice riding over the massive orchestra. If that’s her tired then I assume that fresh she would perforate ear-drums!

            • Regina delle fate says:

              David -- The voice sounded breathy in the middle, and tremulous under pressure and some of the high notes were a bit ragged. That’s not to say you couldn’t hear her, although I would argue that her voice is one size too small for the role in the house. She is certainly more of a natural for the part than Bullock, but Bullock was in some ways a more intelligent performance. I’m not saying she wasn’t loud enough when necessary -- although the tone seems foggy rather than penetrating. David Nice is spot-on in his review on the Arts Desk website.

              Monty -- I entirely agree that Schuster is too subtle an artist for the Grand Guignol characterisation of this production, but she was still the best thing on stage. At the beginning of the performance i thought Pieczonka sounded -- and looked! -- a bit like Rysanek, but she also got less lustrous as the evening wore on.

              Anyway, Goerke was loved by the public and anyone who gets through the role without mishap -- which she did -- has my vote. I was very glad to have seen her even if it wasn’t as overwhelming as I had been led to believe by reports of the dress and reviews from Chicago last year. I’ll go again to see if it was a slightly off night for her.

              By the way, in Jennifer Check’s Fifth maid, I think we have found our very own Susannah Glanville! She was by no means the worst, however. All the lady servants were caterwaulers last night. I went home and listened to the wonderful singers on Böhm’s Dresden recording. You’d give your eye-teeth to hear a First Maid sung by a voice like Cvetka Ahlin nowadays. I can’t think why Covent Garden doesn’t get Hilary Summers for a role like that and combine it with a sweetie. Do they cast these roles well at the Met these days?

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              I think when the first word you hear from your Elektra is pronounced ‘Aw-Loin’, as was the case with Goerke last night, you know she’s going to make awfully heavy weather of the whole thing. It actually struck me as slightly Plowright-ish, this attempt to manufacture a sound and make it plummy, covered and rich. The disadvantages of this strategy were manifest in all the tight, poorly projected high notes, but became really clear when she tried some soft open ones in the recognition scene.

            • MontyNostry says:

              20+ years ago I saw Gwyneth sing Elektra at the ROH. I was with a German colleague, and as soon as Gwyneth had sung her first words, my colleague whispered in my ear: “Aw-Loin!”. So Ms Goerke isn’t the first to perpetrate that particular sin. Cocky, your observations on her occasional vocal shortcomings match mine from the dress rehearsal on Friday, but I can’t help but warm to a singer whose Twitter handle is HeldenMommy.

            • Indiana Loiterer III says:

              All the lady servants were caterwaulers last night…Do they cast these roles well at the Met these days?

              I think the Met might, given that such concentrations of comprimarii are natural breeding places for Lindesmann Young Artist opportunities. Then again, if we are getting the Chereau production, I imagine that Chereau will demand special care with the small roles--we might even get Roberta Alexander’s Fifth Maid again!

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              The ROH has young artists too, but they’re not really great roles for conventional young artists (although Nakamura was a good 5th maid last time).

              I actually thought one of them was hugely impressive and said to myself as soon as she sung a line ‘that’ll be Goerke’s cover then’ -- I don’t know which one she was though. It’s the 5th who gets beaten up and then crawls around the stage expiring for the rest of the night in this production, isn’t it? David Nice said the same about her in his reivew, but I think I’m talking about a different one.

            • la vociaccia says:

              To answer your question, yes regina, the Met does cast the maids very well. The last performance of Elektra at the Met had

              1st maid: Tamara mumford
              2nd maid Heidi melton
              3rd maid: Maria Zifchak
              4th maid: Wendy Bryn Harmer
              5th Maid: Jennifer Check

              I never heard Susannah Glanville, but Jennifer Check was reportedly a very good Elisabeth in Don Carlos this summer, and she sang some rather well-received Lady Macbeth’s in France (Nancy?).

            • MontyNostry says:

              Have to say I was disappointed by Ms Check’s Fifth Maid too. It really needs a voice with radiance as well as power. I was expecting something luscious on Heidi Melton lines, but (at least on Friday night) Check sounded rather dry and clattery.

          Buster says:

          Herlitzius is Marie in the Vienna State Opera Wozzeck at Carnegie Hall in February. Better than nothing!

          Regina delle fate says:

          FM -- how old is Herlitzius? late 40s? 50-something? I’ve heard she’s already looking at Emilia Marty, Renata in The Fiery Angel and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (which she may have done already somewhere -- Dresden?). She’s doing a couple of Isoldes in Essen of all places in November and I’m toying with going. She doesn’t often seem to be in Muenchen…. :(

          • Buster says:

            Herlitzius turned fifty earlier this year. She should be a fabulous Emilia Marty!

            • Regina delle fate says:

              Buster -- We’ll all have to meet at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin in 14/15 or 15/16, I can’t remember which. In one season it’s Marty, the other Renata. I think she should be fabulous in both roles. For me, she’s the Anja Silja de nos jours.

            • Buster says:

              Excellent idea Regina -- but first her Isolde! I’ll be at the first performance of the three.
              Beautiful theatre, and Kosky’s production looks interesting.

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            I was also toying with going to that Essen Tristan. Was hoping to get to her Turandot in Rome but it isn’t going to work out, and I’d rather hear her in Wagner anyway. I’ll bet her Emila Marty will be a knock out!

          • Feldmarschallin says:

            She isn’t hear too often but we did get her Walküre here last season which was a treat. I would much prefer her to the horrible Pankrova as Färberin but we will have to put up with her. What a shame Goerke didn’t find it necessary to do some coaching. I have no desire to listen to someone who cannot give full service to the HvH text. Had to put up with Fleming already as the Marschallin.

      • 3.1.2
        Cocky Kurwenal says:

        Goerke is the Farberin, no? I don’t think Herlitzius has anything lined up at the Met.

      • 3.1.3
        alejandro says:

        My Dad (a huge opera fan) lives in South Florida and he has practically nothing to see there . . . I get to have a huge season at the Met. I try to be grateful that for very little money I get to experience this music and these singers and he does not.

        Yeah, the Met can be better . . . but I think it’s one of the biggest treats in town. Maybe it’s because this is only my fifth season of regular attendance, but I still get goosebumps when the chandeliers go up.

  • 4
    Buster says:

    Those who want to hear Anne Schwanewilms sing Isolde will have to wait “eight or ten years”. First an Elisabetta in 2015:

    • 4.1
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Though I have no wish to hear Schwanewilms sing Isolde (or anything else), I really like her attitude -- a great role for the end of her career, when she can let her hair down and not worry about the future. I wish Fleming would take a similar approach and do some really fun stuff, rather than carry on with the sensible choices.

      • 4.1.1
        Indiana Loiterer III says:

        What kind of “fun stuff” could you imagine Fleming doing, though? I really don’t hear her as even close to a hochdramatische. All I could imagine would be, once again, something primo ottocento--and it was generally accepted that neither her Lucrezia Borgia nor her revisiting of Rossini’s Armida were successes (though I didn’t think the latter half bad). And primo ottocento roles aren’t really obvious sensible choices for a German-style lyric like Fleming.

          Cocky Kurwenal says:

          We’ve re-visited this question quite recently, but briefly, and personally, the Trovatore and Forza Leonoras would be my first choices. If Schwanewilms can sing the Don Carlo Elisabetta then Fleming definitely can. Salome in French. There’s a lot she could sing if she wasn’t worried about the consequences, and she sounds amazing in all registers when singing full out in Verdi.

      • 4.1.2
        Regina delle fate says:

        Cocky -- have you seen her Kaiserin on the Salzburg DVD? It’s one of the best things she’s done and I don’t usually like her much.

          Cocky Kurwenal says:

          Yes I have, Regina. I don’t hate her or anything, but I don’t like her either.

          • MontyNostry says:

            I’m not a Schwanewilms fan either, Cocky. Have only seen her live as Chrysothemis. And I still think she counds Callas-ly ‘cupa’ in the middle register!

    • 4.2
      Feldmarschallin says:

      Wasn’t that Elisabetta supposed to be at the Real and got cancelled. At least that is what she told me that it got cancelled due to financial reasons. So it is back on again now or is this somewhere else now? She only had the highest regard for working with Mortier over the years and said he is very easy to get along with unlike Periera.

      • 4.2.1
        Buster says:

        You are probably right -- the interview is from April, and you talked to her afterwards, not?

          Feldmarschallin says:

          Yes Buster at the end of June when she sang here the Elisabeth was when she told me about the cancelled Carlos due to the finances and there was something in the German papers about how the Spanish houses had their subsidies drastically cut due to the financial mess they are in. A well cast Don Carlos certainly won’t come cheap if you cast it on an international level.

          • Buster says:

            Thanks FM -- she also conjured up a Rosalinda out of her high hat then, I remember.

            • Feldmarschallin says:

              From what I understood the Rosalinda is a done deal and that she had a signed contract for that here. She said to me that there is another soprano who sings many of her roles who gets asked first if she wishes to sing any of them in that current season and only then are they offered to others and that is why she hasn’t been able to sing those roles here.

            • Buster says:

              Funny how these things work -- thanks for the explanation.

  • 5
    Perles75 says:

    No Platée? with Les arts florissants?
    I’m sorry for you, you will miss a lot :)