Cher Public

Everything’s coming up Rúni

Daniela Sindram will sing the role of Octavian and Rúni Brattaberg will sing the role of Baron Ochs in this evening’s performance of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. Géraldine Chauvet and Peter Rose, originally scheduled to sing the roles, have withdrawn due to illness.” So says the Met press office.

  • Feldmarschallin

    I thought Sindram was supposed to sing the role anyway. Didn’t I read a review somewhere that she sang the role already? Never even heard of the Ochs.

    • marshiemarkII

      Yes Feldy carisssima, she sang it the night that Mario Chang sang the Italian Singer, Dec 3rd I think it was?

    • Bill

      Feldmarschallin -- Runi Brattaberg, who is from Finland, was an excellent Sir Morosus in an uncut Die Schweigsame Frau in Budapest at the Bela Bartok Palace of Arts in a semi-staged production conducted by Zoltan Kocsis and staged by Ferenc Anger. I met him after the performance at a reception and he felt that Sir Morosus was one of the toughest, longest and most rewarding roles for a bass.
      He is a large man with no problems in the deeper bass territory. He should be a success at the Met
      as he was brilliant on stage in Budapest in an opera which did not have really alot of stage rehearsal for that performance and the stage director let the singers improvise to some degree. Budapest is doing all the lesser known Strauss
      operas in semi-staged fashion in a series -- next season Daphne and Friedenstag. Previously Capriccio. This is not the
      Budapest National Opera but in another venue -- a newer concert hall with excellent acoustics and actually 2 concert halls, the second and smaller one called Festival Hall (saw Freischuetz there) . Brattaberg’s voice is a bit deeper than that of Peter Rose -- his diction in Schweigsame Frau was excellent and he has sung Titurel at the Met and various roles in Scandinavia, Amsterdam, Lausanne, Zurich, Mannheim (2009-2011) and Cincinnati among other places. Sindram was not scheduled for the final Rosenkavalier in this eeries but was far
      superior to Alice Coote both vocally, diction wise and particularly dramatically without erasing memories of Garanca and her most illustrious post-war predecessors, Jurinac, Ludwig, Seefried, Trudeliese Schmidt etc. More in the Hertha Toepper mode (which is not negative) though a bit more lively on stage.

      • Feldmarschallin

        Thanks Bill for the info. I agree that Garanca is the supreme Oktavian today and was very happy to get her in Paris along with Schwanewilms’ Marie Theres. Fly in the ointment was Heidi Grant Murphy who deservedly got booed. What a horrible little voice she had. I also agree with you vis a vis Töpper and Sindram. Both were very good without having that last bit of specialness that a Jurinac, Ludwig and Seefried had. And how can we forget my first Oktavian….Brigitte Fassbaender who was also in the Töpper category. I wish we were having Sindram here in March instead of Coote but at least we have Petrenko. Erdmann might still cancel as well. Interesting to see how Isokoski has held up.

        • Bill

          Feldmarschallin -- I have not heard Isokoski in
          about 2 years, but vocally (at least) she has
          been one of the finer Marschalliins of the last decade. She has such control of the voice which has a rare beauty and is a very natural singer in the role (ala Crespin who had a larger voice). If one can (as does Isokoski)
          sing with such vocal control and beauty of tone one then forgets that she may not be as alluring on the stage as some others. I know that Thielemann is supposed to conduct 5 Ariadnes next autumn in Vienna and wonder if
          Isokoski (who sings with him in Dresden) is to be the Ariadne -- or maybe Harteros. Nylund has other engagements at that time and it is not Stemme who has 3 other roles in Vienna next season. Probably not Fleming either.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Next autumn Harteros has the Maskenball here which is the first premiere usually around the end of October. She will be adding Ariadne to her roles and I know she will be singing it at the BSO at some point. Of course she might sing some in Wien early Sept when your season opens there and still be able to rehearse Amelia here. But hasn’t Stoyanova sung Ariadne there already? Maybe it is her. I would think that Harteros would sing Ariadne here first she she and Bachler both like for her to debut roles here first. I will see what I can get out of her in regards of Ariadnes. What about Schwanewils who also is a famous Ariadne and sang a new production for Theater an der Wien? That would seem more likely and she also sings quite a bit under Thielemann. I heard that Botha will be singing Bacchus here. I was hoping for Kaufmann.

            • Bill

              Feldmarschallin -- As far as I can see
              Stoyanova (who had a big success with
              her Ariadnes in Wien last year does not have Ariadne on her schedule for next year anywhere. Most of Thielemann’s work
              at the Wiener Staatsoper has eventually shown up on CDs so I doubt he would
              perform with singers with whom he is not
              familiar. Of course it could be Schwanewilms -- she has Marschallin’s
              in Vienna in April with Garanca who despite
              an expected child this month, is still
              listed as the Octavian in April. I did
              see Botha as Bacchus at the Theater an der Wien and vocally he was absolutely splendid
              without moving around much at all -- I gather he has Tristans planned for Berlin in 2016 and if successful will probably
              take the role to other venues. He seems to have endless vocal energy and I have
              never heard of him being tired at the end of a long opera.

              I am rather curious also as to whether
              Thielemann will use a Soprano or a Mezzo
              as he Komponist -- When they had the
              premiere last Jan of Ariadne in Vienna
              Welser-Moest said in an interview that it was a soprano role and Christine Schaefer
              sang it --

              As, interestingly, Thielemann will be
              conducting a new Hansel und Gretel at the Wiener Staatsoper in the future I wonder
              which of (I presume) Vienna’s newer
              and beautifully voiced ensemble member sopranos will be engaged for Gretel and maybe also for Hansel -- remember
              Gruemmer, Jurinac and Seefried (all sopranos) sang or recorded Hansel. Garanca might be ideal as Hansel but I doubt that she would be doing such a role now with Les Troyens’ Didon planned and eventually even
              Amneris. We had Coote last time around at the Met as Hansel and I found her disappointing -- but she is obviously not my favorite Mezzo nowadays, though others on this blog like her.

        • Regina delle fate

          FM -- I hope Isokoski is in better form than she was for Glyndebourne’s Ariadne. She has been very unwell -- some kind of cancer, I gather -- and she sounded quite frail, although there were, as expected, some shining phrases.

          Re -- early Octavians. When I saw the Kleiber/Schenk Rosenkav at your lovely Nationaltheater, either in 1973 or 1974, Frau Fassbender was singing Eboli in the new Don Carlo and so she pulled out of one Rosenkavalier and I can’t remember who her replacement was. It was too late for Hertha Töpper, whom I saw as Meg Page in Falstaff auf Deutsch around the same time. Wasn’t it Miss Sindram we saw with Frau Harteros’s Marie-Thérès’ a couple of years ago? I’m sure she was the Komponist in the Carsen Ariadne at the even lovelier Prinz-Regenten-Theater….It’s sad about Coote -- she can be a superb singer and artist in the right rep, but she seems to be as mad as a box of frogs and often rather weird on stage.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Yes Sindram sang both Komponist in der Carsen Ariande with Pieczonka and Damrau and Rosenkavalier with Harteros.

      • marshiemarkII

        Bill, Zoltan Kocsis is now a conductor?!?!??!??!?!? Oh how I hope he doesn’t give up his sublime career as a pianist, his Bach is the very greatest after Richter!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at least we now have the equally divine Lugansky….
        So you were at the Sindram performance where Mario sang the Italian Singer? did you review it here and I missed it? can please let us know what you thought?

        • Porgy Amor

          Here is one reason I could never get excited over that Gilels recording.

        • marshiemarkII

          Oh my God Porgy, look what I found!!!! I ownder one can this on CD!

          I am sure you are familiar with the Liszt transcriptions, but this is his own apparently, wow

          • Clita del Toro

            Marshieee, that was fun!

          • marshiemarkII

            Gorgeous no? cara Clitissssima, but this is real heaven, and it’s available but only on PAL, I MUST find an NTSC version before I die:

            P.S. We must go searching for CammiB, I am getting worried!

            • Clita del Toro

              I think Cammiest is okay. Don’t worry.

            • Camille

              Cammiebitchiest is okay but very, very, VERY busy, packing up her house and Monsieur Camille to go away for a few weeks and to get out of this bitter, bitter halt. No more opera for her for a while.
              So you will all have to carry on without her.

              Eva Marton has just now gone on as Salome in the ’89 edition, on Sirius. I remember it as fairly awful, but that was then, and this is now. NOW I have heard Nada Michael in the role, so after that, nothing is awful.

              Good day to all you fine fellows and carry on with the carrying-on.

              Camille Pleyel de Beauchamps

            • marshiemarkII

              CammiB (for Belle always, not bitchiest, no ever) so relived that you came back, I was worried that MMI was last night maybe too much Marina La Espina or Rosa Espinosa, but of course you knew I was justing jesting!
              Are you seriously going out of town? I was so planning to invite you to the Lindemann event so that I could give you your present!

            • Camille

              Thank you so ever very MUCHO!! That is most kind and appreciated of you, cara Marshallina, but we are indeed leaving in 76 hours or thereabouts and I have no time for anything but a listen in to tomorrow’s Fallstep….I wish you the very merriest, kindest and best over the holidays and do not let any diablitos into your sacred heart(h) or over your doorstep!

              I will most certainly take you up on your generous offer of la Medea fiorentina, when I return in late February to be at the eagerly awaited Vienna Philharmonic residency at Carnegie Hall, which will be the highlight of this entire season for little old me,

              Hasta la vista, querida reina de corazónes!
              Camille Pleyel de Beauchamps

            • grimoaldo

              I don’t know if you mean you will not be posting here until the New Year Camille, but I wish you very happy holidays!

            • marshiemarkII

              Oh CammiB, we are going to miss you dearly dearly!
              Vivi, o cruda, e m’abbandona ah!
              m’abbandona in eterno a sospirar…
              Ah! si celi questo pianto,
              Ah! non sia
              chi dica in terra:
              la regina di parterre ho veduto lagrimar….

            • marshiemarkII

              CammiB I hope you have not left yet, without seeing my zueignung song above :lol:

        • Bill

          Marschie -- in the lst years at least Zoltan
          Kocsis has also conducted -- and extremely well.
          Schweigsame Frau is a very difficult ensemble
          opera to conduct (and quite long when uncut) and there was a mixture of German and Hungarian singers as well as a Finn and a Costa Rican
          Aminta, most of whom probably meeting for the first time as rehearsals began. But Kocsis has not given up concertizing as a pianist.
          Some Pianists have become very successful conductors and I remember among others that the Hungairna Geza Anda was among them.

          I again saw the Rosenkavalier on Monday night
          December 2nd and unfortunately Mario Chang (to whom you introduced me at a Frau)was not the Saenger but again (unfortunately) Eric Cutler. I have never seen a performance with
          so many empty seats at the Met as was the case
          during the third act of this Rosenkavalier.
          After the 2nd act the audience swept out in droves and even at the beginning of the performance the Family circle was mostly quite empty and the Orchestra scattered with many empty seats as were the side loges. Oddly I felt that Erdmann who sang
          the Sophie at the Dress Rehearsal was at least as good as her replacement, Erin Morley, whose voice was attractive but not exactly even throughout. But one could hardly understand a word Morley was singing and in that respiect Erdmann was far superior. Erdmann was more demure and was no embarassment (as she had been previously at the Met as Zerlina). But something is happening here as Erdmann only sang the first of 4 Sophies scheduled for Vienna in late October and was replaced reputedly due to illness.

          Erdmann and Coote did not blend very well in duet but I think it was largely the fault of
          Coote who sang a very uneven Octavian vocally and was clumsy and awkward in the role as well. Not too inspiring for any Sophie.

          AT the rehearsal I thought the conducting of
          Edward Gardner was too hard pressed particularly in the orchestral prologues to each act but by December 2nd he had improved.

          The December 2nd was a solid performance -- Serafin is very stately and aristocratic and understands what she is doing even if she is not the finest vocally. Some of the smaller roles were a bit harsh to the ear -- the Marianne (Cheek) to be sure and also (Henshel) the Annina. John Graham-Hall was at least less oily than some Valzacchis -- I have never much liked Cutler in anything . Richard Bernstein was fine as the Police Commissary.

          • marshiemarkII

            Bill Mille grazie for the info on Kocsis that I adore, and still haven’t given up hope to one day hear at Carnegie Hall, in anything, I’d go if he were playing the phonebook…..
            what fabulous experiences you have had! really!

            Oh my God, I had already forgotten (the gurl is dizzy :)) that I introduced you to Mario! that was the night of the good Frau, the last performance actually, and I had taken Mario as the winner of the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Award! it’s too bad then we both missed him as the Italian Singer, but a couple of people here found him wonderful so it was probably great!
            Speaking of which, are you going to the Lindemann program next Thursday? It will be wonderful, as he will sing big pieces, as well as Alexy Lavrov, who is another sensation! Hope to see you there!

          • Lurker_del_Cairo

            It’s a shame about Coote -- she sang a wonderful Komponist in Munich in 2011.

            Bill -- I always appreciate the detail in your reviews -- thanks!

            • armerjacquino

              Lurker- I can only assume that Coote was off her usual form at the Met this season. Plenty of trustworthy sources have said she was disappointing. She’s a singer I like very much, so I hope this is only a blip.

              Here’s how lovely she can be in ROSENKAV, from the Opera North gala (years ago, admittedly). There’s some smashing singing here from such unglamorous names as Rita Cullis and Janis Kelly, too.

            • Lurker_del_Cairo

              AJ -- thank you -- pretty smashing indeed!

        • Gualtier M

          I was at that Sindram performance Marshie-Mark and Mario Chang was EXCELLENT. The voice is warmer, more supple and Italianate than Eric Cutler. (Cutler kind of brayed the high notes) Beautiful warm color and elegant line. Top notes easy and focused. He definitely sounds like bigger things are in the cards for him in Italian Opera. Sindram was very fine -- a bright, focused high mezzo with a silvery soprano glint at the top. Perfect for Oktavian which is (was) a bit of a zwischenfach role. However, she is a rather angular, plain woman with a strong profile and chin -- not an elegant slender beauty like Elina Garanca or Rise Stevens. The strong features and her taller, slimmer build make her a convincing man onstage -- kind of like Sarah Connelly. She was still shorter than Martina Serafin. Very good debut.

          • marshiemarkII

            Oh Gualtier, thank you so much for your note!!!!! so it sounds like there is a consensus that he was really wonderful. I’ll never forget the first time I heard him as Romeo, and then a few months later with Luisi and the Met Orchestra, he was STUNNING in L’Elisir, and then last year the aria from Il Duca d’Alba, unbelievable. I can’t wait for Thursday! hope you will be there also!
            You know he has been working with Renata Scotto and how it shows!!!!!!

          • Bianca Castafiore

            Everybody is shorter than Serafin, GM!

        • Grane

          Christine Schaefer seems to be all over the place these days. I saw her as Sophie with Fleming & Graham, and then she fetched up as Cherubino.

  • benrenki

    Brattaberg sang Titurel in last spring’s Parsifal, and was Ochs in Cincinnati this summer, where he was very good. He’s Faroese.

  • Krunoslav


    They protested Mlle. Chauvet when they found out her nationality-- just to annoy Oedipe. :)

    • antikitschychick

      ay ay ay :-P

    • oedipe

      Home run!
      So now, with a little bit of luck, Koch will cancel too. Is Coote available?
      Testé’s Colline is ineradicable, of course, or else Damrau will protest louder than the loggionisti…

  • tannengrin

    That is a very provocative photo, btw. The way she squeezes his exposed epee. Which movie (?) is that from? The ’34 Du Barry? It’s quite NSFW ca. 1750.

    • manou

      Delusions of grandeur (or rather longueur) here I fear …

    • Feldmarschallin

      Be careful what you say Tannengrin, that is me in the center you are talking about :)

      • tannengrin

        Is that the moment where you say: “Mein lieber Hippolyte, heut’ haben Sie ein altes Weib aus mir gemacht!”?

        I remember the line but forgot where it comes up in the opera …

        • Feldmarschallin

          No that is in the first act. That moment is more like ‘Er darf -- Er darf in aller Still sich retieren. Versteht er nicht, wenn eine Sach’ ein End hat? Die ganze Brautschaft und Affär, und alles sonst, was drum und dran hängt ist mit dieser Stund# vorbei’.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Or perhaps a little before that and than it could be ‘Wahr er sein dignité und fahr er ab. Mach er bonne mine à mauvais jeu. So bleibt er quasi doch noch eine Standsperson’

          • nibelungen

            Dear Feldmarschallin! Would it be possible for me to adress you privately? Maybe I can ask la C to give you my mailadress? Yours Nibelungen

            • Feldmarschallin

              Ja geht klar.

    • Buster

      From the Robert Wiene silent movie, from 1926, with a man playing Octavian.

      • Clita del Toro

        LOL Rise Stevens was more butch than they guy who plays Octavian in the movie!

        • Ilka Saro

          I must say, after watching only a little that the Octavian reminds me of no one so much as Tiny Tim (for those of us ancient enough to remember Laugh In)

          • manou

            Tiptoe through the two lips….

      • Lurker_del_Cairo

        Buster -- I seem to remember a version of that film with RS himself conducting the orchestra -- but it has disappeared from YT. Am I imagining that?

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

        • Buster

          That Dutton CD with (parts of) the Rosenkavalier soundtrack QPF posted is invaluable, Lurker.

          His own tempi are always so brisk, and lively, which cannot be blamed on old methods of recording, because his live recordings are much faster than usual too. As if he was afraid his music would sound vulgar when played too slow. Jurowski is very close to Strauss in spirit here.

        • Lurker_del_Cairo

          QPF and Buster -- thank you!

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Christoph Waltz on Der Rosenkavalier: his “responsibility is to get out of the way of the piece… and we have a LOT to get out of the way of in this case. So make room, make room, I want to hear it too!” The visuals in the little promo look like they got out of the way of the scenery too.

    Partial transcript of his very trivial internet Q&A today:

    Herr Waltz, have you always loved opera, and what would you suggest as an introductory opera for beginners?
    [Answer:] Only when it’s good. Der Freischutz.

    Do you have a favorite song or symphony that means a lot to you? #waltzopera
    [Answer:] Yes. Every day another one.

    2013 has been a great year for you. Any particularly fun project you are looking forward to in 2014?
    [Answer:] 2015.

    Do you still love depeche mode?
    [Answer:] No.

    What motivated you to get involved in a German opera after spending the last year working on big foreign movies? / What made you want to direct this piece?
    [Answer:] It was offered to me.

    What was your first opera experience and what influence did it have on you?
    [Answer:] Turandot. None [This guy is disappointing me big time!]

    What is it about opera that attracts you?
    [Answer:] The music

    Hi there Mr Waltz. Why Der Rosenkavalier? Do you prefer comedy over tragedy? [Answer:] I prefer comedies in tragedies and vice versa

    Had you ever heard of the Vlaamse Opera before you decided to direct Der Rosenkavalier?
    [Answer:] Of course. And why not.

    Mr Waltz, what is your favourite opera performance and why?
    [Answer:] Der Rosenkavalier, because it’s mine.

    What do you value most in other people?
    [Answer:] Their otherness.

    Mr. Waltz what do you find to be the pros and cons of opera as opposed to film regarding story and characters?
    [Answer:] Please read my book that I will write about that shortly.

    … this is so boring …
    The rest of it is here:

    • Rackon

      Waltz has a quirky sense of humor, particularly in interviews. (He can be quite charming when it suits him.) As a young man he studied voice in Vienna and had to choose between acting and singing.

      He’s always been an opera fan — and he mentions his love of classical music frequently in his movie interviews. Would loved to have been there when he took Tarantino to the Ring.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        I hope Tarantino will also eventually stage some operas and I agree that Waltz can be very charming. His recent long NPR interview was great fun.

      • MontyNostry

        “Waltz … can be quite charming when it suits him.” He wasn’t born in Vienna for nothing.

      • PetertheModest

        A Tarantino directed Ring might work really well, with the characters as gangsters. More of a viable concept than Tcherniakov.

    • Buster

      The singers obviously love Waltz too. Doufexis and Bengtsson were very excited about how intense their work together has been, and how they all figured out a new way of presenting the work to the audience, as if by inviting them on stage with them, drawing the public into the story, instead of playing it all out theatrically and bit to a hall full of people.

  • Opera Teen

    Off topic, but was wondering how Camille was doing. Also, I need her to talk me off the ledge about the NYCO auction. I am coming dangerously close to buying 30 baseball caps. ;-)

    • Camille

      DON’T DO IT!!!!

      Go out and buy yoursel ONE nice winter hat to keep your ears from freezing off!!!

      [You are lucky this concert bores enuf that I tuned in]

      Now, go in peace, my son, and err no more!!!

      Much affection
      Mamma Grizzly Camille

  • mountmccabe

    The show started about 20 minutes late due to “technical difficulties”.

    We also got Mario Chang, announced as a large replacement during the first mention of the delay from on high. He was quite fantastic, too.

    • marshiemarkII

      Mount, that is really fabulous news to hear! so he got a second chance, and it must have been really last minute because I think he would have let me know…..
      Anyway, all that work with Scotto is paying off because he sounds better than ever!
      CammiB you see the chickadees…..

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    I just looks at all (exhausting inventory) of the remaining assets of the NY Coity Opera for auction next week. I wonder if ABT know that some of their costumes are also there in the mix. It’s a very curious assortment. All a tragic loss for all of the reasons discussed here when one gave a damn about George Steel’s lousy desicions that let to the demise of the company. Somebody’s going to get a damn good deal on the power tools.