Cher Public

Ogni Cura

“Ogni Cura si doni al diletto / E s’accorra nel magico petto,” the joke went back in the late ’90s. What wags we were! José Cura, cover boy for this vintage issue of parterre box, is not the main focus of the magazine, though. La Cieca muses on the telecast of Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, the premiere of the (second) Zeffirelli Traviata at the Met and Christopher Alden‘s take on The Mother of Us All; Indiana Loiterer III covers the first visit of the Duchess of Argyll to BAM; various parterriani dream dreams of recordings; and Dawn Fatale unleashes the seminal rant “The Volpe Era.” [Download Issue #35]

  • A wonderful New Year’s gift.

  • Flora Amiche

    This was from the days when we read Parterre and it was interesting and amusing. Now it is a group of snobby show-offs, who criticize operas they’ve never seen, adore singers they’ve never heard in person (Callas is just one example) and write pretentious comments and reviews.

    Most of my opera-loveing friends don’t even read the blog anymore. I occasionally look and laugh (at you, not with you).

    • CwbyLA

      Glad to be able to make you laugh Flora Amiche. Laughing is good for your health.

    • Batty Masetto

      In light of the quality of your own contribution, Flora, I want to thank you for refraining from gracing us with your presence for all this time, and hope you will continue to do so for many years to come.

  • Opera Teen

    Is “Dawn Fatale” a commenter on here, at all? Her/his piece on Joe Volpe is fascinating and thought provoking. It’s also interesting to hear about what a great artist Voigt must have been in her prime. As usual, more fantastic food for thought from Parterre. :-)

    • MontyNostry

      Dawn Fatale is my favourite Parterre moniker, along with Maury d’Annato. My own choice of handle is a pale-by-comparison tribute to both of them.

      • Regina delle fate

        Off topic, but do we have any early 19th Century experts in the house? I’ve just read an article, ostensibly about Callas, which refers to Giuditta Pasta as “a formidable Elvira in I puritan”, but I have never before seen Pasta’s name linked with this role. Does anyone know if she ever sang it? She could have done, as she didn’t retire from the stage until 1841. One reads of Malibran intending to sing it, and the so-called “Malbran version”, but presumably Pasta would have needed similar alterations to a part written for the much younger Grisi. Can anyone enlighten me?

        • La Valkyrietta

          Funny and puzzling about an author referring to Pasta as “a formidable Elvira”. My understanding is that she never sang in this opera. Neither did Malibran, who was to do the first performance at La Scala but fell ill and was replaced by Sofia dell’Oca-Schoberlechner. Yes, chronologically Pasta could have sung in I Puritani, but I have never read any reports about that hypothetical performance, if it indeed happened.

          • Regina delle fate

            Thanks Valkyrietta -- that’s what I thoiught. It may be that the author has confused Puritani with Sonnambula, but it’s astonishing that she doesn’t mention Norma which is indelibly associated with Pasta’s name. I love the name of Malibran’s replacement in Milan. It sounds like a made-up Parterre screenie! :)

            • La Valkyrietta

              I love the name Sofia dell’Oca-Schoberlechner but know little about her. Maybe someone some day will write a biography. I know she seems to have been cautious as she stayed away from ‘Maria Stuarda’. Malibran did sing this opera and ignored the censors who had done a job with the libretto, changing “figlia impura” to “oscura figlia”, eliminating “meretrice indegna, oscena”, and changing “vil bastarda” to “donna vile” (aren’t those censors a hoot?), and sang the confrontation lines as written originally, which is what we hear today. Another singer seems to have sung Maria Stuarda, and I gather was cautious, but I know nothing at all about her, only her priceless name, Elisabetta Giacinta Puzzi-Toso.

              Off off topic, just curious, who is your favorite regina delle fate that you have heard, in recordings or live?

            • Regina delle fate

              Valkyrietta -- Freni on records, live is a bit trickier as I’ve seen this opera so many times and the regine are usually very good. I remember a Solti conducted performance -- Geraint Evans’s last run of Falstaffs at Covent Garden -- in which the Nanetta was the silver-toned Norma Burrowes before she had the nervous breakdown that ended her career. That run also had one of my favourite Alices, Pilar Lorengar. The best Fentons I’ve seen are Florez and Kaufmann, both before they were famous and, as you can imagine, quite different.

    • Dawn Fatale

      I’m still here! Not commenting nearly as frequently as I’d like to, but will try for more frequent commentary in 2014.

      • Regina delle fate

        Yay! Happy New Year!

      • Krunoslav

        Can’t wait! Meanwhile, relish your pretzels and beer!

      • Opera Teen

        Hi! Reading your commentary in the uploaded Parterre issues has been so interesting! Your writing never fails to solicit a reaction from me! Brava/o!

  • I really enjoyed reading La Cieca’s critique of Previn’s Streetcar Named Desire. LC’s writing was so precisely expressive that I was able “hear” what she meant even without having heard the score.

    Best of all, what I love about these old issues of parterre is that they give one a snap-shot of what was going on in the opera scene (especially in NYC) at that time. Reading them, you get a much different take on singers who were on the cusp of fame back then or in their full prime. And I love the irrevent nature of some of the predictions or wish lists. One doesn’t know where the light-heartedness ends and where the underlying biting commentary begins.

  • redbear

    I just discoverd that the Ballet Trockadero rang in the New Year in Orleans. Would have loved to drive down for that. Haven’t seen them in years. Happy New Year!