Cher Public

What we read

A quick review of statistics for 2013 reveals your top ten favorite parterre pages for the year, cher public.

Each of these pages garnered at least 7,500 page views during 2013:

  1. The Met in 2013-2014, a more copious leak
  2. Teen spirit
  3. Pay attention to the man behind the curtain
  4. Zu verhüllen oder zu enthüllen
  5. Lady for a décolleté
  6. The lady in question
  7. Requiem for a dream
  8. A song at twilight
  9. The wrong box
  10. Melts in your mouth
  • La Valkyrietta

    I don’t quite understand why four of the ten pages are the off-topic pages. I see that there is a very long one on the vile machine Ring. Number one is about the Met current season when its programming came out, that makes sense.

    • pobrediablo

      Because we have diarrhea of the mouth.

      • oedipe


      • Camille

        Laugh du jour!!

      • Operngasse

        Also referred to as logorrhea.

    • armerjacquino

      Because threads about ten or fifteen topics will be likely to provoke more returning visitors than threads about one.

  • La Valkyrietta

    I guess you are all right. A thread just about soprano’s shoes would not have thousands of views, I’m afraid.

    • oedipe

      You’d be surprised…

  • rysanekfreak

    Isn’t it time for a very copious leak about the Met’s 2014-15 season?

    • pobrediablo

      Here’s a sneak peak -- RIgoletto with Peretyatko.

      • Satisfied
        • ML

          The Death of Klinghoffer?

          I’m surprised the Met is planning this.

        • Opera Teen

          I hope this is right because it says that Sher isn’t directing cav/pag.

        • antikitschychick

          looks like the wiki page has been updated. Thanks for posting this Satisfied.

          Lise Lindstrom is listed as the Turandot for the 15-16 season…again. I have heard her perform that role live (she has sung it like everywhere!) and she is certainly formidable in it, but why oh why must they shackle singers to the same fucking rep time after time???!! Why don’t they offer her something else and let someone who hasn’t sung that role at the Met have a go at it?? Perhaps it will get an HD showing that time around and so she accepted the offer to sing it again, which makes sense but it it such a woefully monotonous pattern. Ugh. :roll:

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            As you might say, antikitschychick, ITA. Lindstrom has said that she would particularly like to sing more Wagner, and with her awesome free top she’d certainly be a change from Goerke and Stemme (and Voigt) who are balanced in the opposite direction, vocally. It would be so exciting to hear a top-heavy Brunnhilde again, along the lines of Nilsson, Behrens and Jones, now that those with far lower centres of gravity have become so much the norm (much as I like and admire Stemme).

            • antikitschychick

              Yes, precisely. I really like Goerke and Stemme, but you are totally right about the vocal comparisons you are making. Actually, having Lise take over some of Voigt’s future rep (the rep she presumably won’t be able to sing) is a very good idea.

              I don’t like to be a whiner but this is the one issue that keeps popping up and it just irks me to death. Its an antiquated habit they don’t want to part ways with. Opera cannot subsist if artists are not allowed to evolve. End of rant.

          • marshiemarkII

            Cocky, I have a question for you. I have been asked to be a consultant for a project involving a Siegfried Act III, with a very prestigious youth orchestra in the East Coast. They asked for my opinion on casting. The budget is not astronomical, so people like Stemme (and perhaps Wilson) would be out of the ball-park. I suggested Lindstrom based on what you have raved about her, though I have not heard her yet. Do you think she’d be up for it vocally? any other suggestions of other up and coming divas that might be big enough to draw attention,and sell tickets, but not overly expensive? I also suggested Eric Owens for the Wanderer, he is planning Wotan for several years from now (this is for 2015 BTW), any others? for Siegfried I drew a blank, and said I’d think about it :D. Any ideas? by the way, any other gurls with ideas please chime in. I’d be most appreciative!

            Cocky I hope you saw my comment on the Salome Bs, Bbs and A#s, and of course you were right!!!!
            I counted three full Bs in the duet, including the divine one on “Weiss”, several Bbs and A#s in the Schlussgesang, but the ones I meant at the very very end were exactly as you said A#s!!!!!!! you do know your music!

            • Camille


              Sorry to butt in but I must absolutely and enthusiastically say your idea about Lise Lindstrom, if you may obtain her services, is right on the money and I urge hou to follow your instinct on this one. The Siegfried Brünnehilde and Turandot need just about the same voice—the same stellar high C in alt, the same ability to lift heavy baggage over the passaggio with no apparent strain, and based on my one hearing of her in the role of Turandot, I would say you’d be lucky to get her!

              Now who for the Erda? I din’t know about Meredith Arwady—she was excellent in La Fille du Régiment in San Francisco, but I was less enthused about her in the Ring.

              Juste mes deux centimes, querido Marshallina!

              Distinti saluti--
              Frau CB

            • Cocky Kurwenal

              Hahaha, thank you MMII, your second paragraph is very sweet.

              I absolutely do think Lindstrom would be perfect for the Siegfried Brunnhilde -- this would suit her the best out of the 3. It’s no coincidence that Turandot has become her calling card, her top is very easy and the voice is huge. Very much a Stimmdiva though, it should be noted. I saw her as Salome in Vienna and she never really got down and dirty with it, nor did she do anything striking with the text -- from those points of view she was perfectly professional and up to the task, but not especially distinguished. But the voice -- it has such a freshness that suits the (supposed) youth and beauty of these characters so well, and which you don’t often get.

            • Regina delle fate

              Marshie -- At the risk of infuriating the Anti-Brits Brigade, there is Rachel Nicholson, who sang the entire Ring at Longborough last summer, and Senta with Scottish Opera. On the other hand, Catherine Nagelstad, who was excellent as the Siegfried Brünnhilde in the Munich Ring last summer, is American, although she is quite busy in Europe. She’s the Minnie in Zurich’s upcoming Fanciulla (Barrie Kosky, another pesky colonial, but winning awards for his stagings left, right and centre in Europe), which I’d like to see. I think she only does the Siegfried Brunni so far. She is also a strikingly beautiful woman. Lindstrøm, as Cocky suggests, would be another excellent choice. She got decent reviews for her Walküre Brunni in Palermo, but the Siegfried and GD were cancelled late, so she must have learned the latter. She might be grateful for a chance to try it out. I didn’t think her voice was huge as Turandot, but it sure is penetrating and rock-steady, with an impressive top C -- so she should bring the house down at the end of Siegfried.

            • oedipe

              Actually, Lindstrom has already sung Brünnhilde (Walküre, not Siegfried): a year ago, in Palermo.

            • CarlottaBorromeo

              It’s Rachel Nicholls (not Nicholson). She’s a sort of louder Alwyn Mellor…

            • peter

              I hate to be a dissenting voice regarding Lise Lindstrom but I recently heard her live as Senta in San Francisco. The top is freakishly loud but the rest of the voice was quite unpleasant, at least to my ears. This was one time I wish a voice wasn’t so big. Maybe Senta’s ballad is too exposed for her particular voice or maybe she was just having an off night.

            • marshiemarkII

              Wow parterre coming through at its best, fabulous, many thanks!
              OK CammiB first, for Erda (Hinab hinab, though alas this is only a concert version) I suggested the truly fabulous Renee Tatum, based on her magnificent La Haine in Armide last year, she was also quite fabulous in Rusalka last week. But I don’t know if she would be ready for Erda in 2015.

              And Regi, I had forgotten about Nagelstad, so that’s another fabulous suggestion, and I’ll keep that Brit in mind also. This is after all in New England so maybe not so much antiBrit feeling as in Sucksee?

              And of course it’s great to see such consensus on Cocky’s Lindstrom (and Chica’s :D). I wonder if these girls are all too expensive, they said they will come back with their idea of the cast and that will give a better idea for the budget. The YOA I know goes for very big names (Gergiev, Domingo, Ildar!!!!, Joshua Bell, not to mention Dudamel albeit when he was not “Dudamel” yet :D) in order to sell tickets, but I am not sure about this endeavor just yet. Anyway please keep the suggestions coming, and no one came up with a Siegfried yet :D just like I couldn’t! wonder what is the omen :D

            • Regina delle fate

              Thanks Carlotta -- of course is Nicholls. I can’t even blame my computer’s spell check. Senior moment.

            • grimoaldo

              Stuart Skelton, one of the most thrilling dramatic tenors I have ever heard, does not have Siegfried in his rep, at least not yet, but he might be willing to do Act Three in a concert.

            • Regina delle fate

              Marshie -- two recommendations for Siegfried. The Estonian Mati Türi who sang Jung-Siegfried for Opera North last summer and US or Canadian -- I get you North Americans mixed up like some of you confuse Canadians with Brits :) -- Daniel Brenna got rave reviews for the same role in Longborough and in an abridged Ring in Dijon. Andreas Schager is the rising Siegfried in Germany. I heard him in GD at the Proms and thought he was very good if not sensational. He’s musical and doesn’t shout -- yet. I imagine he would be affordable as he is about to open as Tristan in Darmstadt and I doubt they pay top fees there.

            • CarlottaBorromeo

              Skelton is singing Act III in concert in Bordeaux this April, with Heidi Melton as Brunnhilde.

            • marshiemarkII

              Regi, thanks again, sounds like perfect suggestions, and same to you grimo! Isn’t Stuart Skelton Mr Eva Maria? they might make a great pair, hadn’t thought about her, although she might be too expensive, and maybe taxed by the tessitura? it’s a very nice voice otherwise!

            • Camille

              What grimoaldo has to say about Stuart Skelton is true, just ask Bianca Castafiore who saw him, I think, more than once and could not speak highly enough about his Siegmund. Have no idea if at all feasible but on the face of it, seems to be a very good idea. I heard a broadcast of one of jis Siegmunds and he was very impressive to me as well. FWIW.

            • marshiemarkII

              Wow awesome Carlotta! thanks!

            • Krunoslav
            • Camille

              No, her husband os Frank Aker. Do you remember the broadcast substitution he did of Siegmund in the last go around? It was, to put it mildly, NOT a success.

            • CarlottaBorromeo

              EMW’s husband is Frank van Aken, not Stuart Skelton (although they have both sung Siegmund at the Met with her!)

            • Krunoslav

              I like Renee Tatum too but that is not a role for a young singer.

              Serious suggestion: how about Margaret Lattimore? She used to sing Haensel and Dorabella but has now matured into a darker voiced, deeper and fuller mezzo. She has been *very* good the last few times I’ve heard her. It says on her website that she has the RHEINGOLD Erda, Fricka, Brangaene and Walraute in preparation, Surely the one scene SIEGFRIED Erda she could learn too, and it would be a good showcase for her new Fach.

            • Camille

              Excuse me, Carlotta has got Frank’s name correctly—I had forgotten it, as I had his singing.

              As well, I second Krunoslavsky’s endorsement of Margaret Lattimore--a very good singer I saw many years ago in a Fauré marathon and whose name stuck in my memory but have not heard a lot from since.

              Oh, that reminds me of another houng singer—Jamie Barton. She is apparently to sing a Fricka in Houston or some such place this year. I din’t know if Erda might not be a little too contraltoish. At least it’s shorter than Fricka.

              Just a thought.

            • Camille

              Oh yes, Heidi Melton. Good idea.

              I shall never forget her fab last minute substitution as soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem for Runnicles Farewell Concert, San Francisco 2009. A wonderful performance. She was also very good as the Third Norn at the Met in GD.

            • marshiemarkII

              CammiB I just thought of somebody else, when you mentioned Heidi Melton, what about Wendy Bryn Harmer? she was a wonderful Gutrune and truly glorious with Levine and the Lindemann kids replacing someone, she sang the Adalgisa-Pollione duet (with Super Mario!!!) and she was really wonderful! Kruno I agree re: Tatum, but I just love her rich bottom! I’ll keep in mind Lattimore and what about good ol’ Sheila Nadler, might she be up for it still?

              Needless to say millions of thanks to all the others, I am keeping each and every suggestion and really appreciate it. I hope something good comes out of it :-)

            • Camille

              Um no. I do not care for that glassy, harsh sound La Wendy has but I think she makes an effective and attractive stage figure. Sorry. Bianca likes her a lot.

              Sheila Nadler. Saw her ‘sing’ the Duchess of Krakenthorp in San Francisco in that same “Fille” mentioned above. She was a scream!
              Doubt there is an Erda left in her but then again, I do not really know.

            • We have Heidi Melton coming here next season as Sieglinde (with Clifton Forbis reprising his fabulous Siegmund). I’m pretty excited.

              Goerke and Johann Reuter are the daughter and daddy.

        • Feldmarschallin

          Emily Magee as Eva Pogner or Eva Pogners grandmother? Why not just get Voigt and be done with it.

          • marshiemarkII

            Was that in response to me Feldy? or something else

            • Regina delle fate

              No Marshie -- it’s in response to the Met 14/15 season leak, Marshie. Magee is slated for Eva, a role she sang at Bayreuth after Fleming withdrew more than a decade ago. FM is being very sarcastic!

            • marshiemarkII

              Thanks regi, yes I knew Feldy was being sarcastic, I think we both share a deep love for the lady :lol:

            • Regina delle fate

              Except, according to Manou, FM isn’t a lady at all……he’s a guy with an adventurous dress sense. Apparently he wore yellow to the Forza performance Manou attended. I couldn’t get away with yellow at the opera. Not even Holland Park Opera.

            • marshiemarkII

              Well by “lady” I had meant Ms Magee :D

            • Regina delle fate

              Haha Marshie. Well, I like Magee and, unlike FM, I don’t think she is interchangeable with Patracette. Her Salome in the Herheim staging was not a success, but who is the world’s reigning Kleine Prinzessin these days? Stemme? Gun-Brit Barkmin? Nylund? Voigt? I’ve seen ’em all -- Voigt only in the Schlussszene -- and they weren’t far superior to Magee in the part. On the other hand, I thought she was a good Kaiserin, Foreign Princess, and a more than acceptable Ariadne, although perhaps not for Salzburg. She also sings Arabella and Madeleine, which is quite unusual for a soprano who sings the Kaiserin and Salome.

            • marshiemarkII

              Regi please do tell us about Gun-Brit Barkmin!!!!!!! my friend is utterly curious about why she is getting such gigantic exposure, Vienna Phil at Carnegie Hall no less! can you tell us more, is really worthwhile? should one make the effort to go see her? I am certainly going to try the Wozzeck, a piece I worship (you can imagine why :D) and Herlitzius has certainly a reputation…..

              By the way, Voigt as Salome when? maybe 2005 latest? certainly not in the past 8 years or so? actually Mattila is more likely to have a Salome left than the lady in question. Mattila saved herself in the first half, when I saw her in the premiere of the new production, but then she opened up like a volcano for the Schlussgesang and was thrilling, that was 2004 though :D

            • Cocky Kurwenal

              MMII -- Voigt did Salome at Verbier in 2010 (with Nikitin and Dame G!).

              Regina -- Lindstrom’s Kleine Prinzessin is not to be sniffed at -- I booked for Magee and got Lindstrom in Vienna in 2012 and she was fabulous. Probably for that role, above all others, a better choice than Stemme.

    • antikitschychick

      Great question rysanekfreak! :-P.

      • Feldmarschallin

        Well Regina have you heard Denoke as Salome at the BSO? She was great. I also loved Mattila but think those Salome days might be over for her. Today I would like to hear Herlitzius as Salome but will have to settle for the Elektra on Friday. I am so excited to hear her in that role. Added bonus are Schwanewilms whom I have heard already in that role and Pape and Meier. Oh and then there is Thielemann…

        • Regina delle fate

          Yes FM -- we had Denoke in two consecutive revivals of Salome and I am not especially a fan, although she was a great improvement on Nadja Michael. For me she comes in the “Very Good” rather than outstanding class, but she is more convincing from the acting point of view than Stemme, Magee, Nylund. I saw Mattila in Paris and New York, but she sounded tired and vocally at her limit at the Met. Her Schlussszene with the Philharmonia in London a year or two ago was a bit ragged, although she had a triumph with the audience for chewing the floor. Herlitzius I would also love to see. I nearly went to Dresden last season, but the dates didn’t work and she isn’t singing Salome there this season. I wonder if she has dropped the role. I envy you your Dresdener Elektra . If she is as good as she was in Aix and Amsterdam, you are in for a treat, not to mention the bonuses of Meier, Pape and Thielemann. The staging seems to be a bit of a non-event according to the reviews I read. Viel Spass in the Semperoper.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Yes the staging is a non-event apparently. But the singing and Thielemann more than make up for it.

        • Camille

          Oh my goodness, what a great cast for your Elektra! Please let us hear about it, gnädige Feldmarschallin, especially as I am on tenterhooks to finally, after years of reading about her, be able to hear La Herlitzius next month, with the Vienna Phil at Carnegie Hall.

          That reminds me, I am also to see the Salome with this Gun-Brit lady. What does she sound like and how is she dramatically? I have heard nothing from her.

          Danke und viel Spass!!!

          • Feldmarschallin

            Well Camille the last time I travelled for an Elektra was to Genf and that was with Jones, Dernesch and Polaski. Oh no, I went to the Wiener Staatsoper after that for Marton, Studer, Fassbänder and conducted by the recently deceased maestro. Both times I was not disappointed and now I think I might add to that list with Herlitzius, Schwanewilms, Meier and Thielemann. BTW that Gun-Brit lady got very mediocre reviews somewhere recently. They said she was totally overparted as Salome. Perhaps it was at the Wiener Staatsoper.

            • A. Poggia Turra

              Dearest Feldmarschallin,

              Rest assured, you will NOT be disappointed -- the performance last Saturday was incredibe; one of the greatest nights I’ve spent in the theater. EH was absolutely stupendous, a performance for the ages, with Meier, Pape and Schwanewilms nearly at that level. And of course the miraculous Staatskapelle -- I has an excellent seat just left of center in the first row of the 2.ring, and could see Thielemann at work, holding back the orchestral forces when needed, but oh my god when he let them play at full cry, it was a sound that shook you to your core.

              Ms. Frey’s production was perfectly fine -told the story in an unobtrusive way. Some people complained that the set looked like a hall in Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, but I saw it as a area under renovation (maybe an attempt by Aegisth to remove vestiges of the murdered king)?

              Will try to write more later about Brokeback Mountain, which I saw last night; the music was effective in letting Prolux’s (modified) story be told (“Lulu’s Modern Cousin”, in a mnner of speaking. Okuluch sang and acted beautifully and heart-breakingly; Randle nearly at the same level. Ive von Hove’s production made clever use of video to set the outdoor scenes, with the interior set for the scenes with the wives abetting the feelings of being trapped in their loveless marriages. It should film well for the telecast andwebstream on the 7th of February.

    • OperaSnark

      I don’t know how reliable this is or what their sources are- but here’s one version of a possible 2014-2015 Met Season.

      • Having just finished watching Westbroek in the Kusej Lady Macbeth of Mstsensk, I’m really excited that she’s singing it at the Met (with Jovanovich).

        • Cocky Kurwenal

          I saw her do it several years ago at the ROH -- she was really excellent. It definitely seemed to bring out the best in her, nothing I’ve seen her in since has been quite so good, although her Minnie was excellent too.

          • Yeah, her Sieglinde at the Met (both in person and on the broadcast) was good without being great. Her Katja was something else!

            • Camille

              Is that so? Interesting. Perhaps I’ll get curious some day and try watching it. I had a hard time with that opera, the one time I saw it with Malfitano, a long time ago…so….

              She was dramatically effective as Francesca da Rimini, but the voice was, to be concise, a mess. I am very sympathetic toward her but I wish she’d get a better grip vocally.

              The Nebs would be the Katarina I. to end-all, though, imnsho.

            • Netrebko would make for a killer Katja. Someday I’m sure…

  • Funny how many things were Wong with the ‘eats prediction for the 2013-14 season. Merry Widow with La Fleming?

    • antikitschychick

      isn’t that slated for next season? BTW am just about to email you :-D.

  • Camille

    What I would like to know about future seasons is this: will the Met be presenting a centennial commemoration performance of Il Trittico, as they did with La Fanciulla?

  • skoc211

    I’m surprised the post that commemorated the 90th birthday of Callas didn’t make the top ten. I found myself going back to that long after discussion had died down for all the marvelous videos and stories people had shared!

  • Krunoslav

    Doing DON CARLOS in French without a single Francophone singer… how ridiculous.

    Couldn’t they get Tezier, at least (though Keenlyside is at least quite capable in French)? And Kristeva is another looks-cast wonder we don’t need on the Met stage.

    Underuse of Karen Cargill, eh what, armer? I’d rather have her, or Goerke ( who was sensational in French at Houston) as Eboli.

    And Feldie is right- Magee as Eva might have made sense a dozen years ago, but really… Feldie, for the performance you attend they’ll send on Alexandra Deshorties, OK? :) How about Wendy Bryn Harmer, who has been good as Gutrune and Freia?

    The presence of Kovalevska in a Met Mozart NP is a shonda.

    • oedipe


      You are becoming too Francophile for Parterre. Tézier? Who needs Tézier?

      • Camille

        Monsieur œdipe,
        I have a little question for you re Oksana Dyka.
        Was she really that HORRIBLE as Aïda in that Parisian version of late or was it that the role did not fit her, or what?

        I just deead the thought of Prince Igor now because of her and I like this work very very much and hate to think jow she might sink the boat. There is Ildar, but he is mostly just fun to look at, and that loud and blaring Rachveleahvilli lady--I dunno about her yet.

        Any thoughts? Or shojld I just wear my BOSE noise cancelling earphones to the performance and awitch to ON when she is in the scene?

        Curious Camille says merci.

        • oedipe

          Well, yes, I thought Dyka was THAT horrible as Aïda. And I was obviously not the only one to think so, judging by the quantity of boos she got. She has a loud, vibratoless, uninflected sound that’s shrill on top like a siren. At least that’s what she sounded like to me. But it could also be a function of the role: she shouldn’t approach Verdi with a ten foot pole.

          • Camille

            Oh no. And I just love Jaroslavna’s beauteous outpourings.

            That settles it. I’ll be sitting in my box with Bose earphones on.

            Glad I’ve already seen this beautiful work a couple times now.

            Merci, I think, M. Œdipe!

    • armerjacquino

      Devil’s advocate- but aren’t Italian and German operas done without native speakers all the time?

      My first LA BOHEME was the video from CG with Cotrubas, Shicoff and Allen. Then the CD with VDLA and Bjorling. Wonderful and devastating and not an Italian in sight. That wordiest of German operas, ROSENKAV, has been safe in the hands of Jones and Troyanos and Bonney and Grist.

      Would we really be without the Manon or the Melisande of De Los Angeles because she happened to be Spanish and not French?

      Of course it’s desirable to get Francophone casts for French operas but… I mean, we’re not talking Xhosa here. It’s a romance language, it’s widely taught in schools across Europe. I don’t see why the DON CARLOS is any more ridiculous than a load of Swedes and Americans and Brits and Russians doing something Italian or German.

      PS: kruno, when it comes to Eboli I’d take Goerke over Cargill every time.

      • Krunoslav

        “Armer-- you devil…”

        -Little Miles

        Yes, but have you ever heard the late Maestro Abbado’s all'”French” DON CARLOS?. A completely wasted opportunity.

        Whether or not it’s widely taught, it’s harder to sing French than Italian or German. Period. Ask some singers.

        De los Angeles, as you well know, sang French very well, like Gedda and von Stade and Maliponte and Sills and Masterson and Felcities Lott and Palmer. One could include them as “francophone” for this purpose. (Again, not nationality but ability is my concern.)

        But I have heard Frittoli ( who had *major* problems in DON CARLO last time around) and the wonderful Furlanetto in French roles and that is just NOT adequate.

        I’d say with Bjoerling one overlooks the bad Italian for the glorious sound; Jones though a good physical actress made very little of the ROSENKAVALIER text the time I heard her in it, though she clearly understood it.

        • Bill

          Krunoslav -- Jeannette Pilou was very
          effective in French opera -- Manon, Juliette,
          Melisande, Marguerite, Micaela -- I thought
          better than Freni in the French roles they shared. Obviously retired, one does not hear
          much about Pilou these days. She was of Greek
          origin, born in Egypt, schooled in Italy and sang most often in Vienna but occasionally at the Paris Opera as well in the Liebermann (German) era. Unfortunately she made very few recordings (Micaela) though can be heard as
          Melisande from the Met Levine conducting and as Manon from Vienna (with Aragall).

        • Feldmarschallin

          Kruno is right Jones was a great Marschallin in presence but did little with the text and you could often not understand her. Frittoli is a bit old for Elisabetta as well I would think and sung out on top of it.

          • armerjacquino

            Yes- but that reinforces my point. Despite her lack of textual acuity nobody said it was ‘absurd’ to cast Jones as the Marschallin. Why is weak German more acceptable than weak French?

        • oedipe

          Whether or not it’s widely taught, it’s harder to sing French than Italian or German. Period. Ask some singers.

          There was a French radio show recently in which a few Francophone singers were asked, among other things, which language they considered the most difficult to sing in. They all said French, because of the peculiar voice placement it requires. A couple of people also mentioned English.

          Michel Plasson, in an interview about Werther that was broadcast the day before yesterday, compared French and German opera. He said French opera is very idiosyncratic: it is heavily dependent on text, on phrasing, on declamation. Without these things, French opera doesn’t exist, it is reduced to nothing. German opera is sturdier, it is more about the music and can withstand distortions of the text.

    • I’m a big fan of Kaufmann but I do wish that Alagna were doing this. And Tezier would’ve been wonderful (though I feel similarly about Keenlyside as you do).

      Frittoli was a very fine singer several years ago. But she had a short prime and is now just pretty good, and gets far too many big assignments at the Met considering her current vocal goods.

      All in all, this casting looks the Met just trotted out their typical Don Carlo cast with no consideration given to the fact that it’s the French version. Though they got it right by booking YNS to conduct, even he was at the helm when the Hyntner production premiered, so there’s no new thinking here.

      AJ’s point is well taken but given the fact that this is the first time the company is doing the French version and that there are many fans who have been waiting for this, some fresh thinking from the Met’s casting would’ve been nice.

  • sycorax

    Does someone knows when the 2014-15 Met season will be officially announced?