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Happy February 1!

To celebrate the birthday of Renata Tebaldi, our friends at Opera Depot are offering a free download of live performances by this great diva. And speaking of divas, Our Own JJ returns to Operavore this afternoon for a talk about operatic miscasting. And don’t miss Zachary Woolfe‘s fascinating look at the Met’s new and different Prince Igor in the New York Times.


  • 1

    Happy Birthday Signora Tebaldi! My favourite spinto!

  • 2
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    I still have Tebaldi’s lipstick impression on a color photo she kissed and signed for me at the old MET; so I guess I have her DNA as well. Nilsson used to do the same thing. I have her lip prints with specs of the glitter she wore on her eye makeup after the dress rehearsal of her first MET AIDA.

  • 3
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Keep checking the activities of the Tebaldi Foundation (soon to have more of a presence in the USA):

  • 4
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    I hope the new IGOR is as interesting as this was:

    • 4.1
      Belfagor says:

      I’m going to the premiere of Igor. Can’t wait. I think Tcherniakov is one of the most interesting and talented of directors working at the moment, and his best work has real dramatic intensity and profound musical reasons for doing what he does. And I’m intrigued to hear what edition he and Noseda have come up with.

      I last saw ‘Igor’ in 1990 at ROH -- it was a revelation how the piece worked on stage in the old edition -- mind you the presence of Tomowa-Sintow and Leiferkus is seared in my memory.

      These Tsar’s Bride excerpts look great -- it’s an opera that needs all the help it can get, and it looks like it gets it here…..

      • 4.1.1
        Quanto Painy Fakor says:

        There will be MUCH to be said about the version they have concocted.

      • 4.1.2
        alejandro says:

        I’ll be up in Family Circle on the 6th.

        I was curious about the statement in the Met article about “he doesn’t believe in any magic,” because it’s a total 180 from all my aesthetic values. I always try to find magic and break open realism. I’ll have to see how I respond to his work in house.

          Belfagor says:

          I’ll wave from the grand tier.

          Curious to know about the statement you quote,’don’t believe in any magic’ alejandro, his first production of the Invisible City of Kitezh was one of the most breathtakingly magical things I’ve ever seen on any stage….the DVD of his 2nd attempt at this piece, from Amsterdam, has just arrived, so I look forward to seeing his newer take on that work, one of my favourite operas…

          • alejandro says:

            This is from the Woolf piece above: “He doesn’t believe in any kind of magic,” Mr. Cölle said. “So an invisible city he would always translate into something. The Commendatore” — in “Don Giovanni” — “doesn’t appear as a ghost, because it doesn’t work in real life. It’s something he wouldn’t believe in.”

            • Belfagor says:

              I see -- well yes, you don’t get the fantastical original -- but in Kitezh, (his first production, that was done at the Met a few years back) the birds of paradise being transformed into those old babushkas, smoking, and laying out the heroines body while she sang had a far greater emotional pull, as well as a surreal stage magic…….maybe the word fantastical would be better to term what he doesn’t believe in, as I have found real theatre magic in his productions

      • 4.1.3
        Camille says:

        Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it all.

        I will be listening too and am so truly curious to hear what they have come up with. It is a little unclear from Zach’s interview as to the extent of Noseda’s input in this affair—I just hope it works and anything at all would be preferable to the former Kirov staging last seen here. Dreading La Dyka, as per œdipe’s report on her Parisian walk on the Nile. Hoping that the others will compensate….

          Quanto Painy Fakor says:

          What they will be doing is rehashed from the 1974 version by Eugeny Levashev and the Vereschagina sisters who have assisted Tcherniakov for the MET version are far from being the leading authorities on the subject. Much of the information in the PDF of the program is already filled with erroneous information too complicated to explain here.

  • 5

    well, thanks to Opera Depot. The world can always use more Tebaldi recordings. (and Callas, and Rysanek)

  • 6
    La Valkyrietta says:

    Happy Birthday!

  • 7
    Jenufa says:

    Does anyone know if Anna Netrebko’s performance of Manon Lescaut, scheduled for Feb/March at Opera Rome
    has been postponed?
    Here it mentions her Rome debut in September, and, interesting, Riccardo Muti’s daughter Chiara as conductor..

  • 8
    zinka says:

    January 31, 1955. Weather like New York last week. A teenager wakes up at 4:00 and arrives at the Met at 6:00 for his first Otello,featuring the debut of the lady whose birthday (then unkown to us) was Feb.1. The teen enters a telephone booth (remember them?). A cop asks him what he is doing there.The guy says, “Waiting for the opera tonight.” Shortly, another group of nutcases get on the standee line, to freeze until 7:00P.M..
    Feb.1, 1955..about 12:00 and out comes the lady who became our “madre” and in freezing cold weather,signed every single program, and it was her 33rd birthday!!!
    So you understand why Feb.1 means so much to me and to those who were privileged to have this incredible lady..on and off a “buddy” in our teen years.
    Bless your memory, dearest Renata Tebaldi. You will remain forever in our hearts!!