Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • operaassport: Ivy hits the nail on the head once again with a perfect review that encapsulates the... 7:15 AM
  • Rowna: What a great review, Poison Ivy. You filled in all the blanks for me. I listened to it over the... 6:59 AM
  • armerjacquino: I’d be careful of chucking words like ‘fact’ around after any review… 6:58 AM
  • mercadante: Which is no problem if you’re actually DOING something in front of those sets. Ivy is... 6:54 AM
  • oedipe: Reminds me of the Met attempt on Il pirata back in 2002, which for no good reason at all was updated... 6:07 AM
  • Indiana Loiterer III: It’s all pastel-colored painted backdrops, a quaintly picturesque castle, and costumes... 5:46 AM
  • e-Straniera: The director of I Puritani from Essen is… Stefan Herheim. 5:46 AM
  • Cicciabella: Here’s Opolais singing Mozart. Granted, not the easiest aria to pull off, but when is... 3:44 AM
  • ilpenedelmiocor: In other news, related to jrance’s comment above, there is something of an... 3:12 AM
  • Poison Ivy: On the opera stage. He spent most of his career as a concert singer. 2:05 AM

“Die Frau,” nicht ohne chattin’

Where else would you be this evening at 7:25, cher public, but in La Casa della Cieca whilst Die Frau Ohne Schatten emanates from the Met? (Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

Those of you who feel like following along with the music may download the vocal score or partitur from the invaluable IMSLP Petrucci Music Library.

226 comments

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin says:

    The Rysanek Marathon continues! A triple dose of Leonie today: “Medea” (Wien – 1972; highlights) with Prevedi and Popp, a complete “Cavalleria” (München – 1978) with Domingo and Varnay, and highlights from Leonie’s studio “Cavalleria” (1953) auf Deutsch (ya gotta love the alternate high note she takes at the end of the duet with Alfio). Just go to:

    http://www.mixcloud.com/Jungfer_Marianne_Leizmetzerin/

    and check back for new additions (lots of Strauss, Wagner, and Verdi to come, but also Puccini, Janácek, and Mozart!). If you like the Web site, please share it! Vielen Dank!

    (MMII: I will upload that 1978 “Die Frau ohne Schatten” which you requested in the next days.)

    • Camille says:

      Uh-oh. That Leonie Medea was something I could not handle, not even me! I traded it in at Academy Records sometime in the nineties.

      Is Academy Records still there? I am afraid to go down there to look, as everything is gone that was.

      The Cavalleria, though, I look forward to! May g-d bless and keep you Jungferissima!!! On Sunday I go to see your old company at the David H. Coq Theatre! I will let you know if one of the ballerinas stumbles!!

      xxxooo
      Kamillentee

      • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin says:

        I’m afraid I cannot help you with Academy Records: it is now 10 years since I was last in America. I looked at your ABT program. I can’t believe Julie Kent is still dancing! Perhaps she is on the Renée Fleming Diet for Body and Soul. I just hope they don’t butcher Mr. B’s sublime “T&V!” Do they now use the ugly Christian Lacroix costumes?

        • Camille says:

          Yes, Julie Kent is a part of the reason I am going, although my husband strongly objects to the program and doesn’t want to see it, so I may be gifting my ticket to some little girl in the Josie Robertson Plaza.

          Mostly, I am going for the Sylphides and for Chopin, of which there is never enough for me. Last year’s visit from the Paris Opera Ballet still has me in a romantic daze, for I had never seen Giselle danced, or especially had the music played, as well as that. The other ballet companies, no matter how professional and capable, just never make the same poetry of it as the Parisiens. I will give you my take on the Theme and Variations, not that I know anything about it, you will excuse me, bitte, but Mr. B is always good to me!!!!!!!

          Bis später mit heissen kuessies—-!

          • Rackon says:

            Camille, I could not possibly resist ABT doing Mr B’s magnificent Theme and Variations, no matter what the costumes. It is wonderful…Sleeping Beauty, Russian classicism and American energy distilled by the master into 20 DIVINE minutes. Essential Balanchine.

            I am a NYCB fangurl thru ‘n thru but two of the best Giselles I ever saw were with ABT, Natalia Markhova and Anthony Dowell in one cast, Mischa and Gelsey the other. Prett damn special.

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin says:

              Rackon, I’m sure you mean Natalia Makarova (not to be confused with Alicia Markova). I saw Misha’s ABT debut “Giselle” with her, but her everyday partner before Baryshnikov’s defection, Ivan Nagy, was no slouch! I also got to see all three occasions when Gelsey was partnered by Nureyev, including a complete “Raymonda” -- what a couple! ABT is (mostly) better at the traditional story ballets (not that NYCB has many in its repertoire), but I need regular doses of the 70-some extant ballets by Mr. B! And as much as I love “T&V,” I prefer it in the context of the complete “Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3″ which, I believe, is only it the rep at NYCB.

            • Camille says:

              Thank you so much. I am greatly encouraged by your remarks as I do not believe I have seen the T&V before and am always happy to discover a new Mr B œuvre.

              I shall be wearing my best tutu with my ballet shoes!!!

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin says:

              Cami, just so you have some historical context, “Theme and Variations” premiered in 1947, shortly after “The Four Temperaments” and Symphony in C” and before “Orpheus.” The music is the fourth movement of Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, and Balanchine eventually choreographed the entire suite in 1970. NYCB still gives the complete four-movement “Suite” and the separate “T&V” with different designs.

            • Rackon says:

              Oh god yes I meant Natalia not Markova aka Alice Marks, who was before my time.. I saw Ivan Nagy dance many times, what a handsome and noble artist. He had all the prince roles pre- Mischa.

              AFAIK, Tchaikovsky Suit #3 is only in rep at NYCB. But T&V was first a standalone for Alonso and Youskevitch @ABT. I love it it by itself, maybe even prefer it that way, as I’m not wild about the first sections of Suite #3. As much as I revere Mr B, some of his swoony dancers in long dresse with hair down don’t thrill me so much. ABT used to do a pretty good job of maintaing T&V -- it’s a bear to cast. I had a tape of a fab Live from Lincoln Center with Gelsey and Mischa but its unwatchable now, alas.

            • turings says:

              It’s on YouTube now, Rackon – a bit blurry, but kind of magnificent:

              I would love to see it live!

            • Camille says:

              Oh DANKE, Allerliebsten Jungfer! Just now saw this and am most humbly grateful to receive this information.

              I am breaking in my beautiful Nina Ricci ballerina slippers this evening and so looking forward to a beautiful afternoon. At least, at the ballet I do not suffer as I do at other musical events as I am burdened with any particular knowledge. I just know what I like and follow my instinct.

              You are the best DuennaJungfer in die Welt!

              You make me so happy!


              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdATFSwFhyk&sns=em

          • grimoaldo says:

            I’m surprised Julie Kent is still dancing also, I am not a huge ballet fan but I have watched this a hundred times I guess:


            How in the world does Angel Corella spin around like that at the end, it’s like the moves ice skaters do only he hasn’t got skates on.
            That’s the kind of ballet I like, I don’t really like modern ones and if the music is too good (Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev) the dancing starts to seem like an annoying distraction to me, I’d rather just hear the music in a concert. This is perfect music to dance to in my opinion, although I wish they would do it in the original orchestrations and not in souped up Lanchberry re-arrangements.

      • damekenneth says:

        Camille,

        Yes, Academy Records still is there, on W. 18 Street. In fact, that block, between 5th and 6th Ave., remains quite interesting. Academy also has a wonderful outpost on E 13 Street (I think) for jazz and blues vinyl. Incredible stuff there.

        • Camille says:

          YEAY!!! Neither gone nor forgotten!! I got my Christmas wish.

          Yeah, I got the best Fats Waller album there once, it included Uncle Fats’ playing of his adaptation to the Intermezzo to Cavalleria Rusticana, among other delectable items. And he was the most absolutely wonderfully organist imaginable. Great talent, and gone too, too soon.

          There was also a hair salon with Frenchies down there that looked interesting….hmmmmm….traintrip for Camille.

          Mucho SPASIBO!!!!!

          • bluecabochon says:

            I picked up a DVD set of the English series THE HOUSE OF ELLIOTT at Academy that I treasure. Thank God they’re still there.

            When I was a student there was a used record store called Dayton’s down the street from The Strand bookstore where I bought many opera sets. Loved the big illustrated booklets that came a long with the records.

        • marshiemarkII says:

          CammiB that neighborhood is indeed very interesting, and was your MMIItm’s second hood, for nearly twenty years, as the Bitter Beauties Gym was in the same exact block, but on 19th Street, so Ms Marshie trekked down there every night five days a week…….. and behaved very naughtily apres le gym :-)

      • kashania says:

        I can’t count the number of recordings I’ve acquired at Academy Records. For me, a visit there is de rigeur in any NYC trip. Glad to know it’s still standing.

    • marshiemarkII says:

      Mille grazie cara Jungfie, La Leonie will be forever and always my Kaiserin because of those sublime 1978s never to be forgotten……

  • La Valkyrietta says:

    Leonie is my Kaiserin too, but I loved to see this opera live again. Nothing like a live opera in the house. The current Kaiserin does her role quite effectively and affectingly. During the performance you see only the singers and hear the orchestra, and it is the real thing. I might go again. It is only later at home that you remember Christa, or Birgit, Walter ot Karl, or the always loved and remembered and unsurpassable Leonie, and it is then that you compare. But this current Frau is wonderful. Tommasini is not wrong in his praise.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/09/arts/music/die-frau-ohne-schatten-returns-to-the-met.html?_r=0

    • Krunoslav says:

      1. “. Tommasini is not wrong in his praise.”

      2. “…Nurse (the mezzo-soprano Ildiko Komlosi in a vocally smoldering performance”

      ……………

      Discuss.

      • La Valkyrietta says:

        “Vocally smoldering performance” is what Tommasini’s phrase to characterize the Nurse on Thursday.

        Soperconductor says in his review,

        “The Nurse, a two-faced caregiver and sorceress whose magic powers mask her own hidden agenda, was played by Ildikó Komlósi. This singing actress was alternately compelling, hilarious and subtly inhuman in this most challenging of mezzo roles.”

        It will be interesting to read how JJ characterizes this performance, if he reviews this. In any case, among so much to admire and enjoy, the Nurse does not go unnoticed by any means. Could it be Tommasini thought of ashes as she lied in the boat? :)

        • MontyNostry says:

          It always amazes me just how pedestrian and lacking in specificity and insight Tommasini’s reviews are. They are written in such a tick-box way.

          • damekenneth says:

            Indeed. Even more amazing is that they are, as you say, pedestrian and lacking in specificity, in spite of having quite a lot of space allotted to his reviews. One would think he could come up with more of… well, something. There’s an awkward quality to his writing too, especially with his odd personal statements inserted so frequently. Even when he’s writing about how opera is “sexy,” he comes off as nerdy in a not at all interesting or charming way.

            • MontyNostry says:

              Quite!

            • aulus agerius says:

              How he could highlight the ending of Act 1 without mentioning the Night Watchmen is beyond me! That whole section gives me chills and makes my heart ache. And to read at the same time the Met titles about the dead finding new life in the unborn was devastating. What an ending!

            • MontyNostry says:

              That Act 1 ending chokes me up every time. Especially that ‘wrong’ note in the Watchmen’s song (at the end of the downward scale of four notes),

            • La Valkyrietta says:

              There is so much in this Frau I hope Alex Ross dedicates a long New Yorker article to it.

              As I remember, Tommasini does not mention the Falcon, and I found myself on the subway singing in English, in high pitch, to his tune, “…that woman casts no shadow, that woman casts no shadow…” :)

            • Camille says:

              You were singing Frau on the subway?

              Reminds me of the time my husband came back on the train from Amsterdam with a bunch of conservatory students, after they had seen a production of FroSch. Each one of them, in turn, all attempted to screech out the minor ninth the Empress sings in the Awakening Scene. He arrived home just laughing hysterically at their various attempts. You had to be there, I guess.

            • Krunoslav says:

              The Act One finale also gets to me, always has.

              Last time I heard FRAU it was in Antwerp, in the company of my octogenarian parents and my older brother. The day before, we had been in a US military cemetery near Liege, visiting-- my parents doubtless for the last time, us for the first-- the grave of my uncle who died fighting the Wehrmacht in 1944. My brother, born nine years after, was named for him, as is my first cousin.

              Sitting there the next night listening to the Watchmen sing, “ihr seid die Brücke, überm Abgrund ausgespannt, auf der die Toten wiederum ins Leben gehn!”, we all totally lost it.

            • MontyNostry says:

              Kruno, though I saw that FroSch in Antwerp under less historically and emotionally charged circumstances, I also found it very moving -- and artistically of a very high standard indeed. As I mentioned the other day, in particular, I can’t understand why Tanja Ariane Baumgartner isn’t better known.

            • Krunoslav says:

              Indeed Monty- It was a beautiful, skillfully directed and designed show, and Baumgartner was superb. I was meant to hear her as Ortrud in Frankfurt but she was ill or “ill”. Fine singer and actress.

        • Krunoslav says:

          “Nursie non mente_ -- she *lay* in the boat.

          The point is that Komlosi, while entertaining and expressive, sang with an often fading, inadequate tone , in frequently incomprehensible German.

          Not much smoldering, more like distant fires going out…

          • La Valkyrietta says:

            Krunoslav,

            Sorry for typos and mistakes. I try to edit twice but sometimes I don’t with the iPad.

            I am not a FroSch expert. Even today after many hearings both live and in recordings I find it mystifying. Perhaps Hugo intended that. I liked the Nurse, but can’t tell if the way she sang was planned for effect or was done due to an inadequacy. I prefer the first, but am afraid of the second. Still, she commanded some scenes and was even frightening. Comparing her to Nurses of yesteryear, I of course prefer Leonie’s nurse, the always remembered Mignon Dunn.

            Camille,

            Funny story.

            Often when seized by an opera I want the singers and orchestra to materialize wherever I am, even the subway. Most times I contain ineffective outbursts since I have always been as shy as Gwinifred the Woebegone. In the sixties I met who is even now one of my closest friends by ‘singing’ in a gay bar “Mario, Mario, Mario!” Needless to say, I am embarrassed to tell this.

          • Liz.S says:

            Compared to Komlosi, Jane Henschel may not be that good of an stage actress, but I have to admit I was thinking I want my Jane instead!

            http://youtu.be/SQM1f02XRhU?t=26m56s

  • Buster says:

    Happy this was such a succes, epecially for Schwanewilms. She knows the role inside out, and the way in which she builds it up to the temple scene was unforgettable. I also loved Goerke a lot. The Amsterdam Amme was sort of a drag too, unfortunately. Luckily, the great Doris Soffel has not retired the part yet, and will sing it in Leipzig later this season, with another American Dyer’s Wife: Jennifer Wilson.

    As far as recordings go, Boehm leaves me cold in this, whichever cast he has. Keilberth is a little rough around the edges, but much more exciting, and, in addition to the definitive Dyer’s Wife of Inge Borkh, you get Martha Mödl at her Mödlst.

    • MontyNostry says:

      It’s decades since I listened to that Keilberth version, but I remember Borkh being really exciting, if not ringing.
      I presume he is conducting these excerpts:

      Very good sound! I had no idea Bjoner was so good. Even Fi-Di is tolerable here (I usually find him tooth-gratingly over-sophisticated, though I like his basic vocal colour very much).

      • Belfagor says:

        I really had a fabulous time on Thursday and thought the production was really spell-bindingly beautiful in places: the last act, when the Emperor almost turns to stone was breathtakingly gorgeous. Yes, one can compare the voices to the monstres sacres of the past, but this was a very impressive, pretty even cast, and the conducting and playing were stellar -- i love it when Strauss is played like chamber music (he did say somewhere that Salome and Elektra should be played like Mendelssohn fairy music) and the wealth of colours was wonderful.

        It was the first time I’d heard the uncut score in the theatre -- interesting, most of it devolves onto the Nurse and some extended ensemble passages, a couple of which I did think hung fire a bit.

        And if I were being really critical, I did feel that in the last 2 scenes of Act 2 the production faltered a little -- the empress’s nightmare was a tad confusing with those wriggling creatures (and no Emperor), and the climax to the act, though emotionally very right, needed a visual or lighting correlative to the inundation in the orchestra. But this was made up for in Act 3 which held me breathless……

        • MontyNostry says:

          Sounds fab, even ohne inundation. Did anyone see the La Scala Guth production that is due at Covent Garden next spring? One special effect they won’t have to bother with: turning the Kaiser into stone. Johan Botha will do that all on his own.

          • damekenneth says:

            “One special effect they won’t have to bother with: turning the Kaiser into stone. Johan Botha will do that all on his own.” He certainly turned me to stone when I saw his Otello in Wien last December. Stone cold, I’d say.

          • damekenneth says:

            I have to say, Monty, that I nearly always agree with your comments, but I did not find even Botha’s singing at all sensitive the night I saw him, nor did I find the vocal quality he was offering at all mitigated his -- what shall I call it? -- lumpishness. Perhaps I caught him on an off night? This was not helped by the very ugly production in Vienna and Isokoski struggling with most of Desdemona. She sounded rather like the late Cotrubas (whom I mostly loved), when the tone had developed a thin, flaccid quality.

            • MontyNostry says:

              I’ve only seen him as Calaf, which his vocal personality is wrong for (I think it’s wrong for Otello too), but it was quite an elegant performance, musically at least.

            • Porgy Amor says:

              I suppose I should listen to Botha in something I cannot see; it would be a good test. I really cannot stand watching him, and I don’t think it is all about his size. I even disliked his two contributions to the Ioan Holender sendoff gala (from Lohengrin and Frau ohne Schatten). This was a concert, so he had not responsibility to move or act, and I was still annoyed by his eyes popping hyperthyroidally once in a while in some rudimentary attempt at expression.

            • steveac10 says:

              I find his singing rather choppy and short breathed -- every phrase becomes 2 or 3. The pop eyes as a “dramatic device” bug, but what really gets me is the fricking mullet. He looks like a backup singer in Branson circa 1993. Call me shallow, but I just can’t with the hair.

            • MontyNostry says:

              Well, I hear mullets are still big back in Rustenburg.

            • spiderman says:

              I ca not let this stand here uncommented. I saw that run too and Isokoski was great. She sang with heartbreaking lyricism with a still youthful and beautiful voice and recieved a huge ovation at her curtain call. Italianate she was not, but she was definitely not struggling.

            • damekenneth says:

              Spiderman, I appreciate your comment in connection with what I wrote about Isokoski’s Desdemona, which made me think back more carefully to those performances and my response. I agree that some of what Isokoski did was lovely and I did not mention in my comment that the her Ave Maria and Willow Song really were special. That was the high point of the evening for me. But I did find the her singing in the rest of the role, in spite of a beautiful natural timbre, rather heavy going. She particularly, to my ears, had difficulty building a sense of line. Her voice is soft grained for some of Desdemona’s music but should have worked, I thought. I had looked very much forward to hearing her in that role because I do love her voice overall. And, except for her big final scene, I was disappointed. The word struggling perhaps conveyed too much a break of the voice. But she did struggle, in my opinion, at least with some of those more sweeping lines and the more heavily orchestrated sections. But, perhaps I was just tired and let down generally by the evening: production, Botha, ugly singing of Struckmann, etc.? Thanks again for you comment, which I was interested to read.

        • ducadiposa says:

          Made the big trip from Toronto just for this production. My very first time hearing this opera -- I think I’ve only really heard a couple excerpts on recordings before. So, a real rarity to experience a score for the first time, live. It was overwhelming, from all angles. Goes without saying that the orchestra was incredible, so powerful and moving. I had heard great things about the production and it didn’t disappoint. I had never seen the fabled MET elevator stage thingy before and wasn’t expecting that first big scene change from the Emperor’s realm to Barak’s hut -- WOW! Schanewilms I only know from her Strauss CD and even there, I could tell hers isn’t a conventional sound. I like it a lot and it hearkens back to Janowitz as others mention -- that very instrumental, laser like sound which I find very appropriate for this repertoire. I did wonder (on the basis of the recording only) how her voice would project, but I had no issues at all hearing her. It is a very focused, bright sound that cuts through the heavy orchestration. All the voices sounded great from my seats on the side (box area) of the dress circle. Goerke was wonderful -- great big sound, even etc. I did find her vocal production a little homogeneous and unvaried but heck, this was really great singing -- so committed. The men were great too. As some have mentioned, Komlosi may have lacked some, especially lower down in her range, but I enjoyed her performance immensely. There were so many incredible moments -- the appearance of the Emperor encased in crystal being one of them. Very simple, very effective. I could go on, but this goes into my top ten (maybe top five?) live performances of over 25 years of opera going! A truly huge achievement that this theatre should be very proud of.

    • Camille says:

      I felt her recitation quite fine, and not mortally embarrassing as it was in the past. I will let you know what I hear on the twelfth, Buster. I think it is, overall, an excellent part for her and it will all get better as the performances continue.

  • aulus agerius says:

    I was sitting in orchestra row U Thursday night (thank you Agnes Varis!) in the left section just off the center aisle -- that’s just outside the overhang from the loge or whatever is above. I thought the sound was magnificent, the stage view perfect and I was swept away by the whole experience. Last night I returned home and downloaded the recording of the Sirius broadcast so kindly and efficiently provided by fellow parterrian U, after some massaging of a reluctant mediafire. I listened to maybe half an hour of Act 3 already and I was really surprised at the difference in sound. The electronic version is so much more ‘immediate’, more finely grained in both the orchestra and the voices. I was impressed by Goerke in the house, but then much more of the colors and beauty of her voice seemed to come through the microphones. This night in the theater made the previous night at Carnegie seem like child’s play.

    • Bianca Castafiore says:

      aa, yes, often what you hear in recordings is very different than in the house… but what I notice is that most voices seem better recorded than live… in recorded media, sometimes they come across much more vividly, with more nuances and colors. But in a way, this is a false impression of what you hear live.

    • marshiemarkII says:

      Also sometimes a singer sounds shrill and nasty on the air, with the close miking, and perfectly wonderful in the house!

      • Bianca Castafiore says:

        Yes, the opposite is true, but I find this to be less common… but maybe not.

        What you describe, carissimo marssssshieeeee, is very true specially of larger voices.

  • MontyNostry says:

    Has anyone else listened to Iva Pacetti as La moglie del tintore? I think it is the most beautiful voice I’ve heard in the role.

    • MontyNostry says:

      And how about this perennial Parterre favourite as a really superb Kaiserin? Magnificent singing.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSCo0ByQooU

      • scifisci says:

        My god both of these clips are so wonderful! I had no idea Pacetti sang the dyer’s wife…the sensuality and line she brings to it are a far cry from the wailing and wobbling that I always have associated with the role from listening to more recent recordings. And that intensity and frission from steber! She gives even leonie a run for her money. There are some more excerpts on yt of her singing the kaiserin w/piano at carnegie hall and they are wonderful too. I wonder what the story behind that is.

        • Camille says:

          It was the first performance of La Donna senz’Ombra in Italy and Dr Strauss had a hand in all of it. I really should dig around to see if an entire performance.

          FroSch is still (or was in 1986 when I saw it at Scala) called by its Italian name, even if sung auf Deutsch as it was that night by Marton et al.

      • armerjacquino says:

        Even though I know how good she is, every time I hear Steber I’m surprised anew by how good she is.

        • MontyNostry says:

          … and she’s good in a very scrupulous way. There’s no messing around with the line to ‘expressive’ ends.

        • damekenneth says:

          I agree completely with you Armer. Steber was an amazing singer! A gleaming, clean sound, good sense of style, versatility, phenomenal technique. Her legato when she sings Mozart… Just such a wonder and I am surprised each time I hear her again. Somehow, I feel she stands as an underrated singer in the collective memory.

          • MontyNostry says:

            … and she is a singer to whom I had had very little exposure before becoming a Parterre habitué. She is somewhat off the radar of the UK vocal establishment -- except where her recording of Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is concerned.

            • Camille says:

              Well, not just UK, because before I ran into an RCA reissue of a collection of arias about a dozen to fifteen years ago she was not all that much represented here. After I began listening to her a lot I was astonished that such a fine, fine singer had been so effectively buried.
              Speaking of FroSch, her Kaiserin on an excerpts album is quite good. And I love her Minnie, even if a strain on her, sounds wonderful to me.
              A real treasure of an American singer.

    • Camille says:

      I am so glad you have remembered La Pacetti, Mr. Monty!

      A most wonderful assumption of the role. I wish that more of that performance were available--perhaps it is but I am unaware of it.

      • armerjacquino says:

        And she stood up to Toscanini, too!

        BAAAAA.

        • Camille says:

          Haha! Yes she did and that took gumption! No sheep has ever survived the fire of Arturo’s magic wand!

          • MontyNostry says:

            But when it comes to sheep and singers, my favourite story is that Del Monaco used to call dear Franco, with his distinctive vibrato, ‘Pecorelli’.

            • Camille says:

              ‘Pecorelli’ indeed! Del Monaco was probably also jealous that Pecorelli was taller than he. I just loved Franco. He could baa at me anytime at all, or LITHP as well!

              He and Gedda were my gods in youth, long ago.

        • MontyNostry says:

          Something tells me you’ve read The Last Prima Donnas …

  • aulus agerius says:

    I’m really surprised no one mentions the Falcon. I’ve seen 2 other productions of DFOS in the past and I don’t think they had a representation of the Falcon -- other than its motive. At first I found the intense color to be almost hallucinogenic amongst all that mylar and the movements were kind of interesting. But ultimately it was a distraction for me and didn’t add anything. I liked the squirmy things in the Empress’s mad scene much better: really creepy and not at all anthropocentric, unlike the Falcon.

  • MontyNostry says:

    In slightly different Straussian mode … I just discovered on YouTube that Jacquelyn Wagner is singing Arabella in Minnesota this month (excerpt from ‘Das war sehr gut’ below). I saw her in a competition in Europe several years ago and really liked her. I think she is now based in Berlin (or certainly has been). She’s sounding good here, I think.

  • marshiemarkII says:

    For a fabulous Farberin, here is the first part of the Solti recording:

    alas no part II :-(