Cher Public

You’ll sometimes walk alone

Carousel – New Production/Lyric Opera Premiere. Denyce Graves; remaining cast TBA. Rob Fisher/conductor, Rob Ashford/director; remaining creative team TBA.” [Lyric Opera of Chicago Press Release]

  • Hippolyte

    Wow, Blythe is going to do Azucena again--I can’t imagine.

    And lots of Wagner--Amber, that is.

  • Aside from the TBA Carousel, I do like the LOC’s casting on the whole, especially Anna Bolena with Radvankovsky, Barton, Hymel and Relyea. Rad and Barton may not have had a chance to do Norma together at the Met, but they should be fab in the big Anna/Giovanna duet.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    It’s almost the kind of a season that I’d resubsrcibe to . . . [thinking]

  • doktorlehar

    Ummmm, look at the cast for Bolena! Radvanovsky, Barton, Hymel (!), Relyea…

    I’m so there.

  • papopera

    Lizabeth Scott on the poster, who remembers her ?

    • A great noir dame. And one of the ever-fewer classic ladies still with us (I’m convinced Luise Rainer will outlive us all).

      • MontyNostry

        My brother spotted Luise Rainer in London just the other day.

    • damekenneth

      Wasn’t Scott’s career cut short by rumors of lesbianism?

      • operaassport

        I hate to interrupt a polemic but … Scott was/is a lesbian. That’s not a secret. And that’s not why her career ended. She was an actress with an extremely narrow range and the films she did okay in that range. She was never a first rank star. And if you look at her credits, by the time of the Confidential article she was doing B/C films and her career was pretty much over. That’s the story, folks. Having said all that, I enjoyed interviewing her for a class I taught on film noir. She was engaging and delightful. It was clear to me she never much enjoyed Hollywood and was happy with the life she led away from the screen.

        • damekenneth

          How interesting that you got a chance to interview her! I have had only limited exposure to her work. That exposure does lead me to tend to agree that the lack of an abundance of talent may have been at issue. I assure you my question was not meant as the prelude to a polemic. It is what I remember hearing about her (that her sexuality got out and ruined her career), but I genuinely wasn’t sure and asked the question “honestly.”

          • MontyNostry

            I see that Scott’s birth name was Emma Matzo. Maybe we should therefore pass over those allegations and leaven the conversation a little.

          • operaassport

            Dame kenneth: I’m sorry I hit reply to the wrong post. I realized your post wasnt a polemic. My bad.

            Can we assume Graves won’t be singing Billy? I’m surprised they haven’t locked Nathan Gunn up for that role.

        • Gualtier M

          Actually, whether or not Lizabeth Scott is a lesbian, most of her career was due to her heterosexual relationship with producer Hal Wallis.

          Also a singer:

          She was engaged to one William Lafayette Dugger,Jr. a Texas oil millionaire in the late sixties. When he died in 1969 a handwritten addition to his will leaving half his estate to Scott was contested by his family and declared invalid.

          So there is lots of evidence of relationships with wealthy men. That doesn’t mean she isn’t basically lesbian or bisexual but there were plenty of men in her life.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Shortly after 9/11, Denyce Graves soothed a grief stricken nation with her singing in the National Cathedral. Congratulation to LOC for casting her in Carousel.

    • kennedet

      Extremely Moving. I haven’t heard much from her. Can Ms. Graves still deliver like that?? The last I heard she was having vocal difficulties. Opera is terrifyingly demanding. Looks,poise artistry are important but it always comes down to voice,voice,voice. I guess that’s the way it should be.

      Also, Eric Owens sounded “cloudy” in the magic Flute broadcast. I understand he is also having vocal concerns.Sometimes I think Bass-Baritones should stay away from Baritone roles. There was a “school of thought” when Baritone in the Bass-Baritone nomenclature meant Bass roles with higher ranges not designated Baritone roles. Yes, I know tons of famous basses have sung baritone roles throughout history but the timbre is too dark for my personal taste. I still enjoy a beautiful,sweet lyric baritone timbre (almost tenor) which seems to be quickly fading. Many are told that they are lazy tenors. Oh, well. What is art!!??

  • stignanispawn

    Lizabeth Scott, whose career was derailed in part by an article in Confidential that suggested she was a lesbian.

    • damekenneth

      Oh, I see I had not read far enough. Stignanispawn scooped me!

      • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

        This is parterre! NO scooping!

  • Anyone one done the pesky Brit count on this one yet? I see one or two plus a few of the colonies.

  • MontyNostry

    Never mind the casting, just look at the way that press release is presented! It looks like something from a mom and pop store, not a top opera house.

  • I would say the most grisly moment in the press release is this one:

    Tosca – New Production
    Tatiana Serjan/Hui He, Misha Didyk/Jorge de Leon, Evgeny Nikitin/Mark Delavan
    Dmitri Jurowski/conductor, John Caird/director,
    Bunny Christie/sets and costumes

    • phoenix

      as usual, your subtlety eludes me -- I know you don’t like to get knocked over the head, but what is grisly about Tatiana Serjan & Hui He? I going through this only because I like them both very much & if I was there, I would go to see both as Tosca.
      -- Is it the Caird & Bunny who suggest the gruesome moment?
      -- Getting back to Carousel -- it has been written that while Molnar still lived in Hungary he refused to sell the rights to his play Liliom to Puccini (who had made him an offer) on the grounds that he didn’t want it to be remembered as a Puccini opera.

      • Regina delle fate

        To be honest, Phoenix, the Caird career is baffling and is almost certainly down to the enthusiasm of Anthony Freud, who gave him his opera debut (Don Carlos, I think) when he was at Welsh National Opera. It was minimalist and unchallenging, like so much operatic work by British directors who have worked mainly in spoken drama. He followed it with an even less convincing Aida, and then suddenly Caird turns up in Houston and now Chicago. But then, Intendants all over the world give work to their discoveries and friends. It’s the fact that Freud and Caird are British that’s grisly and heinous. Of course, no American director could possibly give Chicago a worse Tosca than Caird. Didn’t Michael Hampe do a new production somewhere in the States in the not-so-distant past? I don’t remember any outrage about that, or maybe no-one noticed.

        • armerjacquino

          I’m no fan of Caird’s either. But I don’t think we need to look to cronyism or conspiracy when the director of the most globally successful, longest-running piece of sung through musical theatre currently before the public is offered work in opera.

          • CarlottaBorromeo

            Except every single opera production he has been responsible for (with the exception of the Batignano Zaide which is a special case) has originated at a company presently or previously managed by Anthony Freud… The wider world of opera has not exactly flocked to offer him work… This is a director who has been active in opera (again excepting the Zaide) for almost ten years and yet has not been invit

            • CarlottaBorromeo

              sorry… not engaged to direct by any other intendant.

            • Regina delle fate

              Batignano Zaide? Wasn’t that Graham Vick?

            • CarlottaBorromeo

              Vick did the first production using the Calvino text at Batignano but Caird directed a new production of the version there in 1991 -- the year before Vick directed yet another production in Birmingham.

    • Buster

      Bunny Christie is a name de Niese only uses in Great Britain.

      • Regina delle fate

        Hahaha Buster! Brilliant!

    • Regina delle fate

      Looks like they have trashed the Zeff/Escoffier production -- the one that Maria premiered -- that they bought from Covent Garden. I wish Covent Garden would cast Serjan as Tosca -- or anything for that matter. Looks like the Russians are taking over from the Brits in the casting department, though, doesn’t it. I wonder how long before the Great Moscow-Based Opera Conspiracy theorists go on red alert in here.

      • phoenix

        • Regina delle fate

          Oh thanks so much for this, Phoenix. Serjan is a Muti protégée and sang Lucrezia Contarini, Odabella and Elvira in Ernani in Rome last year. I’ve only heard her live as Lady M in Salzburg, Verdi Requiem in London, and Amelia in Ballo. She’s not immaculate, but I think this is one of the most plausible Verdi sopranos around right now. She’s also a strikingly handsome woman and a good actress. Has she sung at the Met yet? I doubt whether we’ll see her at Covent Garden as they have “discovered” Monastyrska and seems to be Pappano’s favourite soprano of the moment.

          • phoenix

            No Regina, I don’t think she sang yet at the Met. The only USA performance I know she sang in was Verdi’s Lady Macbeth in Dallas.

    • Regina delle fate

      Gosh -- wait until you see the Albery Tannhäuser from Covent Garden. As I recall, the sets are almost entirely based on the proscenium arch of the Royal Opera House, indeed it is so ROH-specific that I had assumed it would never be seen anywhere else. What a strange choice, unless the Chicago sets are going to reference the Lyric Opera House. But the release says production owned by Covent Garden. The production was also designed to accommodate the mobility issues of Johan Botha, so there are lots of chairs on stage for him to take a breather.

  • oedipe

    The Wine Auction sounds intriguing…

  • pavel

    THE PASSENGER / Mieczys?aw Weinberg (1919-1996) Sung in Russian, German, Polish, French, Yiddish, Greek, Czech, and English

    Wow. That’s a lotta languages.

    • Often admonished

      That’s a lotta languages to mangle.

  • phoenix

    On the subject of schedules, Bard sent me their SummerScape 2014 announcement today: von Weber’s Euryanthe (25, 27, 30 July & 1, 3 August) and Schubert’s Fierrabras (10, 17 August)

  • Cocky Kurwenal

    They have an odd definition of ‘young professional’. I get 11 more years at it!

  • operaassport

    Why are they doing Porgy and Bess again when they just did it 2 or 3 seasons ago? Will they be doing the 9 hour uncut version again? Or at least it seemed liked 9 hours.

    • WeillFan

      The Lyric Opera of Chicago last staged “Porgy and Bess” during the 2008-09 season, Opera Ass Port. That’s almost a new generation to see the work, much in the same way that Disney used to reissue its popular animated features in cinemas every seven years before home video sales came along.
      I feel “Porgy and Bess” deserves a spot in the standard operatic repertoire, and I don’t mind it returning in the same way that say, “Carmen” or “Tosca,” are frequently revived. Yet I would have preferred the Lyric to at least use a different staging rather than recycling Francesca Zambello’s Washington National Opera production.
      I also guess the Lyric’s “Porgy and Bess” will probably curtail the national tour of Diane Paulus’ 2012 revised Broadway revival of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” from ever playing Chicago (which could be a plus if you prefer the full orchestrations rather than the reduced and revamped Broadway ones).

      • operaassport

        5 years ago is a new generation? Seriously? It’s a bore, they made it a worse bore by presenting a 9 hour uncut version conducted like slow Wagner. Enough!

        • WeillFan

          2014 -- 2008 = 6

  • operaassport

    Didn’t someone here tell us that Netrebko was going to be Leonora? I don’t see her name here at all.

    Has there ever been such a mediocre line up of conducting nobodies?

    Bolena seems the only remotely interesting possibility. I guess I can use my free dress rehearsal passes for that one.

  • Clita del Toro

    Operaassport: I think Amber Wagner will sing Leonora.
    Yes, I see, Bolena is a remote possibility for you--so very remote—-and with such a shitty cast, and such a boring opera—so we would be so happy if you could just drag yourself to see it. Try hard, crawl down Wacker Drive and make us all happy.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      As long as he doesn’t have to part with a cent in order to suffer it -- that’s the main thing!

      • operaassport

        Oh, such bitter queens. Try lube.

        Bolena looks interesting, nothing else does.
        Yes, I know Amber Wagner will sing Leonora. But someone here recently insisted that Nebs had been signed and I wondered what happened.

      • operaassport

        No, I wouldn’t pay a cent to see most of the crap LOC puts on. And I pity to those sheep who still subscribe and go. Of course, it’s one of the dumbest opera audiences anywhere so it’s not surprising.

        • WeillFan

          The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2008 presentation of “Porgy and Bess” featured a number of musical and dialogue cuts, and therefore did not have a running time of what you suggested that “seemed liked 9 hours.” And yes, I do understand hyperbole and sarcasm, Opera Ass Port.

          • operaassport

            Whatever, Vile Fan. You can have it. It seemed endless.

        • norma54

          You’re absolutely RIGHT ! ….which is why mediocrity is always accepted and even APPLAUDED! Netrebko WAS supposed to sing Leonora…and actually may have helped sell some tickets and bring some subscribers back. Now,…. why bother?