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Bass-barihunk

Richard Bernstein is a very good-looking guy, even with his clothes on.” An interview with the Speedo-sporting singer is the centerpiece of this Spring 1999 issue, along with gossip from La Cieca, a round-the-world revue from Enzo Bordello, a visit by Indiana Loiterer III to the Met’s premiere of Moses und Aron, a Renata Scotto discography by Leila de Lakmé and the evergreen aria parody “Ain’t it a pretty voice?” [Download Issue #36]

14 comments

  • operaassport says:

    Great issue. Interesting how Bernstein’s career never took off, sorta like Mark Oswald.

    • kashania says:

      Why is it that a Google search yield no results of his Speedo photo?

      I have a friend who saw him as Leporello at the Met (around 10-12 years ago) and found him hilarious in the part.

      • Feldmarschallin says:

        Well recently in a della Casa interview which I saw in honor of her 90th birthday there were snapshots and one included her husband Drago in a bathing suit and we understand now what she meant when she was asked what her husband did and she said ‘he loves me’. Needless to say he filled out the bathing suit quite nicely. Would it be to much to ask Kaufmann to have some pictures taken in a bathing suit an der Ammersee right next to his new house?

    • Krunoslav says:

      Mark Oswald sang beautifully; he withdrew himself from his career due t allergies, I believe, and is now a successful teacher.

      Bernstein never really had a star quality voice. The looks and connections propelled him for a while; he did several leading roles in Philadelphia that were vocally lackluster. He is however very good at what he does now: its a fine voice in the context of roles like Angelotti, and he;s a good enough actor to be very well deployed in such assignments. I’d say few of the people the Met uses again and again in comprimario roles are as worth hearing in them as Bernstein ( though Maria Zifchak, Edyta Kulczak and Keith Jameson are reliably excellent too).

      Some of the prominence now afforded certain bit part singers--Mark Schowalter, Eduardo Valdes, Keith Miller and David Crawford-- I find just unfathomable, though Miller looks good on HD screens…

      • Maury D says:

        Huh, I heard him in some small role in the last couple of years and thought “that’s too good a voice to be a comprimario.”

  • armerjacquino says:

    Lots to investigate in the Scotto discography (and the fact that Elena Zilio was singing with Scotto in 1968 goes a long way to explaining some of the sounds she made in IL TRITTICO in 2011. I had no idea she had been around so long).

  • armerjacquino says:

    Also: are there any existing recordings of that Von Stade/ Allen/ Lear/ Greenawald LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC? Because wow.

    • Porgy Amor says:

      A small point: That Nabucco, also a favorite of mine, has Nicolai Ghiaurov as Zaccaria. One might think from the way the cast credits are laid out that Robert Lloyd (the Gran Sacerdote) is the recording’s star bass.

      The performance of Nabucco’s cabaletta “O prodi miei, seguitemi” on that recording spoiled me, even though the Ambrosian Opera Chorus is not so imposing or idiomatic as what Muti would have in Milan in later years (typified by the video recording with Bruson and Dimitrova). It is so fiery and exciting, brought off note-complete at a daredevil tempo, and John Wallace’s playing at principal trumpet is as stunning the hundredth time as it was the first. How can he even play all the notes within the tiny windows left for him at those speeds, let alone make them sound so solid and triumphant, the sound of every obstacle overcome…but he does it. The wind players too. The sequence of “Dio di Guida” followed by that cabaletta is one of the great movements in studio Italian opera for me.

      • Porgy Amor says:

        That was supposed to go under AJ’s comment about the Scotto discography, of course.

  • La Cieca says:

    In a startling development, La Cieca has just realized she is missing a copy of Issue #37 of parterre box. Topics discussed include “Cieca and Dawn Invade Italy, Effeminato Amante, Name that Diva and Letter from La Scala.”

    POSSIBLY the cover of the zine features Anna Caterina Antonacci, but I honestly don’t remember.

    Anyone who has a copy of that issue and is willing to lend it to La Cieca long enough to make a scan, please email me at lacieca@parterre.com

    Thanks!

    • Dawn Fatale says:

      Fear not, loyal parterrians. I have my copy of Issue # 37. I even have the correction slip -- but you’ll have to wait until next week to find out about all that.

    • Hans Lick says:

      You LOST the issue with the very first Parterre article by, um, whosis, whatsisname, Hans something?

      Very hurt.

  • tornado12 says:

    Sorry but could we have also the solutions to the blind items? That one is quite juicy. I’d love to hear who it was. :D

    • tornado12 says:

      Also it is interesting how the opinion on directors has changed from then to now on this site. In the Enzo Bordello article there is even a mention of Eurotrash.