Cher Public

That kind of diva

In Vintage Issue #32: How that opening night of Lohengrin might have gone; La Cieca on La Gran Scena, lesbian opera and Aretha Franklin; a salute to Renata Scotto by Enzo Bordello; reviews by Dawn Fatale, Loge Lizard and Gertie Dammerung; more Impossible Discs from Ortrud Maxwell; and advice of varying kinds from Dr. Repertoire and Bitchy Spice. [Download Issue #32]

  • Signor Bruschino

    Historic! The first mention of Anna Netrebko on parterre is in this issue! Dawn Fatale got her wish in wanting to hear her in the ‘non-slavic repertoire’!

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      Yes. And now everybody wishes she would sing more Russian roles.

      • Porgy Amor

        I might have been curious myself if I were hearing her for the first time in Betrothal in a Monastery. But after all the non-Russian music of the last ten years, the outright lowlights such as Puritani and the diminishing returns of the post-pregnancy Manon and Elisir revisits, Tatiana was welcome, and I want to hear more of her in Russian.

        Curious: Ferruccio Furlanetto sang a disgusting Monforte in a horrid production of Vespri Siciliani? Not Procida? I am not nitpicking a 15-year-old review, if it is a simple mistake; I wondered whether he actually attempted the baritone role.

        • antikitschychick

          yeah its true that much of what she has been singing during the past few seasons (with the exception of Anna Bolena, Mimi and now Onegin) is rep that she is no longer suited for. Lucia, Pasquale, Manon (this one wasn’t too bad except for a couple of flat high notes during the Gavotte), Elisir…(have I missed any?). But happily that’s changing (drastically!) starting next season :-D. According to the Future Met Wiki page, she’ll be singing Lady M, Trovatore, Iolantha and Manon Lescaut. Finalmente! :-P.

          Truth be told I wish it were her singing Rusalka this season instead of Renee…and she should sing Queen of Spades too!.

        • turings

          Think it must have just been a slip, Porgi. I found an old La Stampa review of a 1997 production of Vespri in Rome – Paolo Coni was Montfort and Furlanetto was Procida, as you’d expect:

          “Daniela Dessì e David Kuebler bellissimi protagonisti di una storia d’amore che nel quarto atto ha il suo grande momento; Paolo Coni ha voce un pò piccola per la centralità di Montfort ma supplisce con lo stile e l’esperienza; di maiuscola evidenza invece Ferruccio Furlanetto, un Procida davvero memorabile.”

          Apparently they did the ballet and Alessandra Ferri danced, which would have been worth seeing.

  • Cecilia Bartoli arrested for mugging? What was that about?

    • grimoaldo

      It’s a joke Spen, a pun -- “mugging” = attack and rob (someone) in a public place/ make faces, esp. silly or exaggerated ones, before an audience or a camera.

      • Ahh thank you for explaining! She is quite the mugger indeed :P

  • Marcello

    Wilson was a regular guest in Zurich for a while: The complete Ring, a double bill of Stravinsky and Bartok, Norma and in 1991 to open the Pereira aera Lohengrin with Popp, Silja, Winbergh.
    I still think that Lohengrin was the most succesful of these, because first his approach suited the piece (imho) and second because it was something new. The only reason for the failure of this production at the Met seems to be the extremely conservative audiencd.
    The later Wilson productions seemed to be repeats of Lohengrin to different music.

    • Camille

      Was the Parsifal, which I saw at Los Angeles Opera, one of his later ones, for it did bring to mind the Lohengrin, and it did not translate into stage action as well as the latter. Just curious. I, for one, did like the Lohengrin, once I accustomed myself to its manner.

      • I’ve never seen a Wilson production but based on everything I’ve heard about him, I would imagine that Parsifal would suit his style and sensibility better than just about any other opera.

        Actually, Saariaho’s L’amour de loin might be perfect. Basically, any opera with not much action. Has he ever done Tristan?

        • Camille

          I thought that as well before I saw it, kashania.

          Or, perhaps it was just the Kundry of Linda Watson and the, by then, very stale Parsifal of Don Placidone. Or it may have been my mood du jour, which will occasionally intrude upon the presentation at hand.

          About Tristan, I do not know.

        • oedipe

          His Paris Opera Pelléas, which is out on a DVD too, was superb.

          I am also very fond of his Butterfly, which will be back at the Bastille next Spring.

      • Marcello

        Wilson’s Parsifal was in Hamburg in 1991, a few months before the Zurich Lohengrin.

  • Camille

    Loge Lizard!

    Perhaps it would have been far better had Mme. Fleming substituted the “Ain’t it a pretty night” FOR the rondo finale of Lucrezia Borgia in her performances of same at La Scala, as the way things turned out was none too satisfactory…? Juste une pensée.

    Whatever became of the fabulous Ortrud Maxwell? I loved reading her recordings accountings of the wayward divas, and the nearly-was recordings.

    Wayback Machine, take me away…!

    • armerjacquino

      Someone here answered one of Ms. Maxwell’s questions- Fleming appeared on the Solti COSI as a replacement for Ruth Ziesak.

  • Clita del Toro

    Heads UP! Live Parsifal from Covent Garden at 11:45 EST on BBC Radio 3.

    Wagner’s Parsifal, in a new production by Stephen Langridge, live from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.Parsifal…..Simon O’Neill (tenor)

    Kundry…..Angela Denoke (soprano)
    Gurnemanz…..René Pape (bass)
    Amfortas…..Gerald Finley (baritone)
    Klingsor…..Willard W. White (bass)
    Titurel…..Robert Lloyd (bass)
    First Knight…..David Butt Philip (tenor)
    Second Knight…..Charbel Mattar (bass)
    First Esquire…..Du?ica Bijelic (soprano)
    Second Esquire…..Rachel Kelly (mezzo-soprano)
    Third Esquire…..Sipho Fubesi (tenor)
    Fourth Esquire…..Luis Gomes (tenor)
    First Flowermaiden…..Celine Byrne (soprano)
    Second Flowermaiden…..Kiandra Howarth (soprano)
    Third Flowermaiden…..Anna Patalong (soprano)
    Fourth Flowermaiden…..Anna Devin (soprano)
    Fifth Flowermaiden…..Ana James (soprano)
    Sixth Flowermaiden…..Justina Gringyte (mezzo-soprano)
    Chorus Royal Opera Chorus
    Orchestra Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
    Conducted by Antonio Pappano

    • Camille

      I may listen in on the second act. Right now I Vespri dell’04 are on Sirius and I want to listen in a bit more.

      Thanks, CdelT, e buon ascolto.


    • bluecabochon

      Thanks, Clita!

    • armerjacquino

      Celine Byrne? The plot thickens.

      ‘No, cancel the Mimis, I want to make my debut as First Flower Maiden, dammit!’

  • Is it me or does Renata look a lot like Kim Novak in that picture?

    • PetertheModest

      That would be Vertigo, I take it ? Do you know that Vertigo is now considered the Best Film Ever by critics at Sight and Sound in the 2012, for the first time supplanting Citizen Kane since 1962 ?

    • Clita del Toro

      It’s you! ;)

  • Sempre liberal

    That review “Lohengrin is opera triumph; MET audience cheers Wilson” may well be one of the funniest things I have ever read. These old analogue dial-up print versions are priceless. It’s like someone cloned la Cieca and sent her back 15 years and gave her a brand spanking new mimeograph or facsimile machine.

    FWIW, I loved that Lohengrin production, and I thought Voigt triumphed. (Shoot me. Twice.)