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Queens logic

UPDATE: This afternoon’s Operavore program now available for streaming, after the jump.

Saturday afternoon at 12:30 on WQXR’s magazine show Operavore, our own JJ talks about Mathilde Marchesi and Antony Roth Costanzo discusses his Orlofsky role in the Met’s Fledermaus. Or, to put it another way, this is a show so gay only pugs can hear it.

152 comments

  • Camille says:

    This Fledermaus is made of beer belches and not Veuve Clicquot burps.

  • oedipe says:

    For X’s sake, why does a popular gala, with 100% American singers, choose a program composed of 50% (or more) French arias? (It’s not like French opera is all that popular, is it?) Are they considered easy to sing?

    To give just one example: Blythe’s French pronunciation and diction are excellent; but she is too loud and there isn’t much nuance to her singing, it lacks the musicality and charm that a good Dalila incarnation needs.

    I thought Costello’s Faust and Polenzani’ Hoffmann were OK, but nothing special. The less one says about the Lakmé duet, the better…

  • -Ed. says:

    lol Camille! True.
    Just now watched the Tucker and thought it was very nice. Hard for me to take mob recitals too seriously. Something was cut at the end of Fleming’s solo, did she perform a second piece? (La, are you the new video editor at PBS?) I noticed several of the performers used music stands. Meade blew me away, and she was obviously moved by the audience’s thunderous reaction to her solo. Costello is still my honey, he sounds great and gets better looking every year.

    • papopera says:

      Darling Costello needs a little coaching in French pronunciation ( sowleeoo demeure chaste……… ) but it doesn’t matter, its cute. I am quite available to coach him at night on the oreiller.

      • MontyNostry says:

        I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a non-Francophone tenor who could manage ‘fuyez’. It usually comes out as if it were written ‘fouillez’.

  • la vociaccia says:

    I’m glad everyone enjoyed looking at Costello and found his high notes appropriately loud.

    • Camille says:

      Oh come on, honey, it was SO much better than watching his live strangulation in The Anna-Anna Show!

      Buck up, darlin’, you can go hear Vargas at the Met now. He may be getting on but the man has style.

      Kisses from kamille

      • la vociaccia says:

        Thank you, Camille. I’m sorry for being such a grouch. I’m actually going on Monday and i’m very excited to hear Vargas and Miss Chuchman.

        • Camille says:

          You are not a grouch at all but probably suffer from too much tenorial i formation, a rare disease.

  • Camille says:

    Unendurable ordeal of merest ordure“.

    The normally shy, self-effacing Monsieur Camille was moved to make this remark after partially enduring a portion of today’s Fledermaus.

    It further reminded him of his father’s senior center theatrical productions in Boca.
    It wouldn’t even play the Borscht Belt, where he went summers as a kid.

  • Camille says:

    After today, the word “BATSHIT” will forevermore have taken on a new meaning, for me, and perhaps, for many.

    • grimoaldo says:

      Yeah, I didn’t make it through to the end the first time so I listened on and off today -- it had an appalling fascination,like watching a slow-motion train wreck.
      Truly one of the most dreadful things ever, sad to hear yet another work I love being massacred, the abysmal delivery of the spoken dialogue would disgrace a high school production,maybe it could be said “well, they are singers, not actors, so it is to be expected” but they couldn’t sing their music either, except for Fabiano.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

        The Fledermaus performance broadcast today was so far from what that masterpiece should sound like. The defects were obvious, but it’s difficult to know who to blame. I think itwas very badly coached from a musical point of view and the conductor was unable to realize any of the nuances of Viennese operetta. An important staging like this lowers the bar for future productions in terms of performance practice of Johann Strauss’ music. Really poor. No amount of glitz onstage can hide this defect. One of the experienced players in the MET orchestra should have taken the conductor to lunch to tell him how it really goes. Really dreary.

        • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

          For a dose of style:

        • oedipe says:

          One of the experienced players in the MET orchestra should have taken the conductor to lunch to tell him how it really goes.

          I agree the conductor bears a good deal of responsibility for this mess, but to assume he doesn’t know what it SHOULD sound like is preposterous, considering his background. Hey, he probably was weaned on Strauss’ music! And do you REALLY think he doesn’t know how a csardas goes? There were probably other factors at play, which were independent of his mastery of the style of Strauss’ music.

          • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

            The proof is in the pudding. It is indeed a new alltime low for musical standards of a new production at the MET and proove that artistry may be a thing of the past. Definitely not worth the price of admission.

            • armerjacquino says:

              The proof is in the pudding.

              BETE NOIRE ALERT!

              The phrase is ‘the proof OF the pudding is in the eating’. ‘The proof is in the pudding’, increasingly common though its usage might be, means absolutely nothing.

            • oedipe says:

              We agree on that. I am just reluctant to put most of the blame on the conductor and to doubt his familiarity with Johann Strauss.

            • manou says:

              The prof is in the building.

            • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

              Pudding alert -- You’re absolutely correct! I don’t care who the conductor is. If he or she is not making the music sound correctly they have failed to make good pudding.

            • MontyNostry says:

              And the waiters set a leg of mutton before Alice, who looked at it rather anxiously, as she had never had to carve a joint before.
              ‘You look a little shy: let me introduce you to that leg of mutton,’ said the Red Queen. ‘Alice—Mutton: Mutton—Alice.’ The leg of mutton got up in the dish and made a little bow to Alice; and Alice returned the bow, not knowing whether to be frightened or amused.

              ‘May I give you a slice?’ she said, taking up the knife and fork, and looking from one Queen to the other. ‘Certainly not,’ the Red Queen said, very decidedly: ‘it isn’t etiquette to cut anyone you’ve been introduced to. Remove the joint!’ And the waiters carried it off, and brought a large plum-pudding in its place.

              ‘I won’t be introduced to the pudding, please,’ Alice said, rather hastily, ‘or we shall get no dinner at all. May I give you some?’ But the Red Queen looked sulky, and growled ‘Pudding—Alice: Alice—Pudding. Remove the pudding!’ and the waiters took it away so quickly that Alice couldn’t return its bow.

              However, she didn’t see why the Red Queen should be the only one to give orders; so, as an experiment, she called out ‘Waiter! Bring back the pudding!’ and there it was again in a moment, like a conjuring trick. It was so large that she couldn’t help feeling a little shy with it, as she had been with the mutton; however, she conquered her shyness by a great effort, and cut a slice and handed it to the Red Queen.

              ‘What impertinence!’ said the Pudding. ‘I wonder how you’d like it, if I were to cut a slice out of you, you creature!’

              It spoke in a thick, suety sort of voice, and Alice hadn’t a word to say in reply: she could only sit and look at it and gasp.

              ‘Make a remark,’ said the Red Queen: ‘it’s ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding!’

            • oedipe says:

              I can never tire of Alice…

            • kashania says:

              Monty: Thanks for that. It has been so many years since I read Alice, I hardly remember a thing.

          • grimoaldo says:

            The “unter donner und blitz” polka, used as a ballet in Act Two, was pitifully played, it is a traditional encore piece for the greatest orchestras, it should sound like thunder from the timpani all the way through --


            I know when there are dancers onstage it is different to a concert, maybe they have to slow it down for that reason, but there is no reason for it to be played with zero fizz or pizzazz or sense of the style, the conductor must take some of the responsibility for such a dismal performance.

            • Liz.S says:

              I kinda agree with you, grimo – Ivan of the Fisher brothers is much more interesting to me than his older brother.
              But as for waltz and polka, no orchestra can beat Wiener Philharmoniker. Wph members have waltz and polka in their DNA and, although I adore Jansons, I think he essentially doesn’t have to do much to make they sound like this…
              I don’t even know if Met orchestra can sound this good even under the baton of Carlos Kleiber’s ghost.

            • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

              Like this?

  • Clita del Toro says:

    Yes, the Fliegende Mausdreck was something else. Whodda thunk?

  • Spen says:

    I liked Angela Meade’s performance most. I don’t really like the sound of her voice, but she is very convincing.

  • zinka says:

    When Operavore played Regina Resnik’s charming “Chacun a son gout” before the Fledermaus broadcast, I did not know that this alone would be the only example of what good operetta is for the entire day,as I listened to the unbearable,interminable, Dostoyevskian performance, that made me so angry, I took my ticket and put it in the “donate to the Met” pile.
    I was almost as angry as when I paid 79.95 years ago for that supposedly wonderful porno of Kurt Baum and Herva Nelli, but thinking of it, at least they tried to be artistic.
    Only the “future Manrico” of Michael Fabiano, as he sang his ” all’armi” high C toward the end woke me up. Speaking of his voice, I hear what I call a “chiaro-oscuro” tone..like Franco, dark and bright. However, neither his singing and some cute lines from Danny Burstein could save this interminable drivel, and I truly agree with some of the critics that this is indeed a new LOW for the Met.
    I do not even want to waste time going into more detail, but whoever wrote the “dialogue” should find a Gedda/ Schwarzkopf recording and hang his stupid head!!! Basta..I am too mad……Charlie

    • grimoaldo says:

      For once I totally agree with zinka, in a way this Fledermaus is a camp “so bad it’s a monumental party piece epic” but really it makes me very, very angry, a desecration, an abominable travesty, of one of the greatest operetta classics.

  • johns33 says:

    Saw Fledermaus..sooo tedious. ..too much dialogue.
    Broadway via Las Vegas. A mess.