Cher Public

Meyerbeer goggles

In honor of Giacomo Meyerbeer, the unjustly or (depending on how you look at it) justly neglected 19th century opera composer, a selection from Mike Richter‘s “Meyerbeer Operas” CD-ROM.

Il Crociato in Egitto
Carnegie Hall, New York
March 28, 1979

Aladino, sultan of Damletta: Justino Diaz
Palmide, daughter of Aladino: Yvonne Kenny
Armando d’Orville, knight, also known as Elmireno: Felicity Palmer
Adriano di Montfort: Rockwell Blake
Felicia: Dana Krueger
Alma: Carol Cates
Osmin: James Atherton

Conductor: Gianfranco Masini
Orchestra and Chorus of the Sacred Music Society
West Point Military Band

  • Camille

    Oh Goody Gumdrops!

    I’ve never listened to this and have heard a few good things about it. grimoaldo, this should make your day after another lousy Traviata.

    Wagnerites, go to your menstrual hut.

    • grimoaldo

      “Wagnerites, go to your menstrual hut.
      hahaha
      “grimoaldo, this should make your day”
      Indeed! I am very grateful.

      • Ilka Saro

        Centuries from now, when Parterre is only remembered by devoted scholars, the quote “Wagnerites, go to your menstrual hut” will still be remembered, and attributed to luminaries like Ben Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Shakespeare and Jane Austen. And of course, King James.

    • marshiemarkII

      CammiB, ten lashes for you!!!!, don’t loveya no mo’ very bad gurl :P :P :P

      • pobrediablo

        Marshaletta, on a different note, are you a professor? I imagine you something like this

        • Camille

          Now who’s bad gurl, mmiitm? You worse gurl than me!

          Gracias, diablitos!

      • marshiemarkII

        BEEtchEEs!!!! the two of youse, Ingrati due!!!!!!
        pero me las pagaran, wait till I am back from Westchester tonight, I am off now, sorrah’
        Diabla desgraciada!, soy mas pretty y no tan fat!
        :evil:

        • Camille

          Diablitos—we better run! Marshie is gonna cut our heads off! Ay!!

          • pobrediablo

            Run for your life :O

        • marshiemarkII

          Wär’ ich gerecht, alles Blut der Welt büsste mir nicht eure Schuld!
          Camille heisst der Zauber, der den Gatten mir entrückt! Angst treffe sie!
          Diablo falle!
          Allrauner, rächender Gott! Schwurwissender Eideshort! Wende dich her! Weise die schrecklich heilige Schar, hieher zu horchen dem Racheschwur!

          La vendetta è un piatto che si serve freddo, aspetti! :x

          • pobrediablo

            You say you’re prettier and not fat yet you quote Brunhilde.

            • marshiemarkII

              How is this for a GORGEOUS Brünnhilde diablita:

              Talk about glorious MUSIC, under Sawallisch in Munich

          • marshiemarkII

            The greatest BRÜNNHILDE was gorgeous and slim, and you should know it! unless you don’t have no edupitication!

            • pobrediablo

              I don’t. I had to google it to find out where the quote was from lol

            • marshiemarkII

              Well, time to start getting an edupitication then , beetch! :P

            • Lohenfal

              I wasn’t going to post anything on this Meyerbeer thread, but your quote was so appropriate that I couldn’t resist. I’m not wishing Rache on anyone, however, just glad that I prefer musical substance (Wagner) to musical thinness (Meyerbeer).

            • marshiemarkII

              Oh carissssssimo Lohenfal are you married? Otherwise this gurl here is free-eeh!

              This is parterre at its absolute zenith, the sublimest with the trashiest, and all in place, and I should be the last one to be mixing these particular two things, but this evil diabla managed to do it, points for her, her stock is really rising in the campemeter :P

              The juxtaposition of the Rican mami and Brunnhilde in a thread about Meyerbeer is well, where else would you find that?!?!?!??

              I leave you with this most sublimest rendition of this most divinely heavenly MUSIC, no more words necessary:

            • Lohenfal

              Lohenfal lebt für den Gral allein, but I do appreciate the offer. Yes, the mixture of the sublime and other things on this site is unique, that’s why I keep on returning. The excerpt from GD should be enough to quell the Meyerbeer crowd, at least for today.

            • marshiemarkII

              lebt für den Gral allein ?!?!?!?!?!?
              Y con esa cara de puta! :P

              Seriously though, there is no music in this entire universe more sublime than the little bit that fits in that excerpt, no?

            • Lurker_del_Cairo

              Otherwise this gurl here is free-eeh!

              And give up all those bubbles in Cairo?

              Giammai!

            • Lohenfal

              Sorry, I needed my Fafner-sleep. Everything in GD is sublime. Your excerpt is certainly a highlight. The vengeance trio beats the one in Ballo, with its shades of Meyerbeer. Oops! Now the Verdians will be after me.

          • marshiemarkII

            Lurquito adorato you are right, the gurl has to remain like un oiseau rebelle, she belongs to all the bubbles of the world! :lol:

            Lohenfal carisssimo, you want SUBLIME?!?!?!?! how about this:

            or even more SUBLIME, at the 1:48:00 point, the most sublimeest line in the Ring, that A on leuchtet is the light to the gates of heaven:

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Jackie likes this composer too!

    • Quanto Painy Fakor


    • semira mide

      Every composer should be so lucky to have such an advocate!
      Absolutely magnificent!

  • mercadante

    Crociato was Meyerbeer’s last Italian opera and the one I like best. The above performance includes some alterations to the score he made for performances in Trieste and Paris. It is very good, but the original scheme, as heard on Opera Rara, is my preferred version.

    For the most part I think Meyerbeer was very good at writing entertaining music. It’s not deep, or particularly moving, but it has plenty of panache, surprising orchestration skills for his time and milieu, and if you’re just in it for a fun ride, they’re a hoot.

    Everything can’t be soul-searching, life changing music drama’; nor should it.

  • grimoaldo

    Thank you for posting this La C, I think that is a lovely thing for you to do since I know you do not care for Meyerbeer. I have known the Opera Rara recording of this for years also with Kenny but with the splendid Bruce Ford instead of Blake, it is wonderfully enjoyable.

  • Evenhanded

    Well.

    This is a fabulous performance; I have owned it on LP for years. Crociato is easily Meyerbeer’s finest achievement among his Italian operas and its sprawling musical structure provides dozens of opportunities for vocal thrills and even a few thoughtful moments. Overall, the casting is preferable on the Opera Rara studio recording (well worth the $$, if you love Meyerbeer), but this live performance provides a great chance to hear Rockwell Blake. Kenny’s vocalism was still fresh, and those who think of Palmer only as a character mezzo will be pleasantly surprised at her performance here, in a castrato role full of extreme vocal challenges. My beloved and eccentric Della Jones is the Felicia on the Opera Rara recording, so that alone makes the commercial set a MUST. :)

    Thanks for posting this, La C!

  • grimoaldo

    19:25 --
    Palmer rocks “Eccomi alfine”, the entrance aria for Armando which was at one time very famous, followed by an absolutely wonderful barcarolle chorus, mens’ voices only, with stage band,ooh! then the tenor’s great entrance aria, Blake soaring into stratosphere, also with the stage band joining in in most thrilling fashion.
    Is there any way of skipping around in these recordings in this format or do you just have to start at the beginning and play it all the way through?

  • operaassport

    Justly neglected! Sometimes history’s judgment is correct.

    • No Expert

      Neglected… or snubbed?

      • operaassport

        Deservedly forgotten is the better phrase.

  • Orlando Furioso

    I’m one of those who think that on the whole, Meyerbeer has earned his current neglect. But that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to an occasional festival or special-occasion airing, like this one.

    In fact, I was at this concert! And it was an entertaining occasion. The West Point band gave the kind of snap to the “onstage band” music that it needs and rarely gets. Kenny was then new to me and extremely impressive. I also recall a trio for women’s voices that was nicely tuned and coordinated by its singers and conductor.

    I also recall (maybe I’ve exaggerated it in my memory over the years?) an unusually frank speech before the concert. Frederica von Stade had been announced for the castrato role and had withdrawn at a late date. And the gentleman explaining the change beforehand made what seemed pointed references to “our gratitude to Felicity Palmer, her sense of responsibility and her musicianship” or something of the sort, all but announcing that Flicka had just failed to learn the role in time, where normally a discreet euphemistic silence is preserved in such situations.

    • grimoaldo

      “I also recall a trio for women’s voices”

      That heavenly, heavenly trio (“Giovinetto cavalier”)with harp and various solo instruments begins about 1:27:00 on the complete Opera Rara recording:

      I am not going to enter into debate about whether Meyerbeer is neglected justly or unjustly or not and the reasons for that, or I fear I will try our hostess’s patience even more than I have done already over the last few days, but I will say that anything as sheerly beautiful as this trio has aesthetic value.
      Also does anyone know the answer to the question I asked earlier, is there any way to move this recording posted backwards or forwards, or do you just have to listen to it straight through?
      Thanks.

      • rysanekfreak

        Grim,

        You click in the area where you see the numbers of the timing. You keep “right-click” down and gently slide to the left or to the right and it moves you forward or backward. Because this is a long performance, you have to be careful. Any movement will take you forward or backward very quickly and huge chunks of time change will occur. It took me a little bit to get to Blake’s big cabaletta in Act II, but I found it after only a few tries.

        • grimoaldo

          Oh thank you so much rysanekfreak, I appreciate it.

          • grimoaldo

            In case anyone would like to hear the beautiful trio in the live performance posted, it starts at
            51:32.
            On the yt complete Opera Rara recording, there is a glorious hoot of an Act Finale with *two* military stage bands, soloists, chorus and orchestra at 2:11:26.

    • PetertheModest

      Ah, the divine Flicka. She was so gorgeous in 1980:

      And here is My Friend Flicka:

  • messa di voce

    Wasn’t this the performance that caused Andrew Porter to predict that Felicity Palmer was the next Lilli Lehmann, destined to triumph as both Isolde and Norma?

    • Orlando Furioso

      I guess this will appear above my earlier comment, but I wanted to make sure messa di voce saw my more specific reply, as I have located the reference in Andrew Porter’s Music of Three More Seasons, p. 343:

      Miss Palmer, a young star of the English National Opera, was making her New York opera debut. She showed herself to be a potential dramatic soprano, an exciting singer who may perhaps in time follow the Lilli Lehmann path to Norma and Isolde while continuing to sing Violetta, Fiordiligi, and Handel’s heroines. Her voice was distinguished by range, power, flexibility, and a ring of bright metal in the timbre. There was dramatic force and emotional beauty in her phrasing. She was commanding.

      So it’s not so much a “prediction” as a “musing,” hedged around with “perhaps,” “in time,” and so on. We now know, of course, that Ms. Palmer chose a different direction, and realigned her voice just a few years later. But this was indeed a commanding and brilliant performance.

      • messa di voce

        Thanks for looking that up. Yes, he hedged his bets, but even at the time it came across as a pretty outrageous statement.

  • Orlando Furioso

    I don’t recall anything as extreme as that, messa di voce (I’ll look it up when I get home), but he did have a lot of praise for the concert.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    • phoenix

      Thanks for posting L’Etoile du nord -- a much greater tribute to Meyerbeer.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        It such a long opera, but it reveals so much about Meyerbeer’s influence on French Grand Opéra, parodies of it found in the genre of opéra comique and operette, and on the music of other composers.

  • Camille

    I’m just home from the last Eugene Onegin and am too sad to talk.

    Marshie — just remember how Brünnhilde winds up. Vendetta is a piatto best not served at all.

    Buonanotte a tutti — a domani.

    • pobrediablo

      Why are you sad?

    • marshiemarkII

      Gurls gurls gurls, I hope you didn’t take me serious, you know I love you both, all’s forgiven :P
      Actually, I saw the Rican Mami on the train to Bedford, so I didn’t really capture the true dimension of the camp until this evening! where DID you find that dibalita?!?!?!?!?, how on earth were you able to come up with such gem! BRILLIANT
      And you of course CammiB you left such a sublime little memento of Vivi Ingrato, what a fabulous film, I’d do anything to get my manos on a DVD of it!
      Now tell where in this world would you get Act II of the greatest ever written, a Rican Mami Chula and Meyerbeer, all in one page? :roll: :roll: :roll:

      • pobrediablo

        Bedford-Stuyvesant is where you belong :P

      • marshiemarkII

        A beetch is a beetch is a beetch! :roll:

        • pobrediablo

          OK, buenas noches. Tengo que dormir para no volverme feo. Voy a escuchar tu Brunhilda manana.

        • marshiemarkII

          Besos para ti y tu lesbian lover!
          Yo mejor me quedo solo :D

      • marshiemarkII

        CammiB! I hope you are not sad anymore!. Here is to brighten your morning:

        And this one dedicated to you and oedipe!

        • manou

          Why is Camille the Marquise De Sad?

          • grimoaldo

            Camille says above “I’m just home from the last Eugene Onegin and am too sad to talk.”

    • PetertheModest

      That doesn’t sound good.

      • PetertheModest

        Here’s a nice picture of the Onegin cast: http://www.concertonet.com/scripts/review.php?ID_review=9532

      • phoenix

        ‘doesn’t sound good” -- that’s what I thought when I heard the Sirius bdcst w/Popsy as Tatjana -- but everyone else (even those who didn’t attend a performance of it live in the house) seemed to think she was mesmerizing. I did feel as if I was walking on some kind of a precipice as I listened to her -- but I managed to keep myself from falling off the cliff.

        • PetertheModest

          Popsy’s last outing this year. She won’t be singing again for 2 months.

        • bluecabochon

          Does anyone know how Deborah Warner is doing?

  • God bless Rocky Blake who throws in a high E (natural!) at the end of his big scene.