Cher Public

One final glimpse

Which age-appropriate role will serve as the vehicle the return of a veteran diva to the New York stage for the first time this century? Since this performance will also serve as the farewell of another legendary opera lady, let us hope the audience will be lively, but not ungrateful.

  • “Vivi ingrato”, so Devereux?

    • huswest12

      Edita Guberova?

      • Feldmarschallin

        Gruberova has her website pretty well updated and I doubt that she would be interested in singing for Queler at this point.

        • Archaeopteryx

          Besides that, I remember Gruberova saying in various interviews that she hates singing in America, so I don’t think she would do that even now…

          • Krunoslav

            It must be hard singing before non-rabid fans who actually expect you to stay on pitch.

            • armerjacquino

              Yes, that’s almost certainly why. ‘I’m not going to America’ she will have said to herself in your brain ‘because I can’t sing in pitch and they expect that over there’.

              So many people seem to love opera but despise singers.

            • Krunoslav

              Some singers only sing in places where they have huge fan clubs that cheer their efforts no matter what. Can you deny that?

              Some posters seem to overflow with righteous indignation at the slightest opportunity. Also an interesting moral phenomenon.

            • FomalHaut

              Gruberova -- 2011:

              Devia -- 2011:

            • Krunoslav

              Well, Gruberova lost my interest and this competition in her very first phrase- unsupported, off-pitch, distended, unincisive lingustically and dramatically.

              It is of course amazing that she can produce some of the sounds and phrases she still does at her age. It is also amazing how meaningless in the repertory they remain, at least to me.

            • armerjacquino

              No ‘righteous indignation’, kruno. Just, you know, an opinion.

            • Archaeopteryx

              Are NY audiences so more demanding than those in Vienna, Munich and Zürich? Or Berlin, Paris and London? Didn’t know that…

            • Grane

              No form of mediocre singing, whether it be iffy pitch, sloppy coloratura, shrill high notes, or misplaced notions of fach, would ever be tolerated at the Met! Not speaking of Gruberova specifically of course.

            • CwbyLA

              Wow. Gruberova is darn right awful in that youtube clip. What ridiculous mannered singing!

            • Cicciabella

              If you listened to Gruberova’s Quel sangue versato without knowing who’s singing, you’d think it was a bel canto parody. With the greatest respect for her past achievements, I don’t know how people can bear to listen to her these days. You can already hear the hootiness in the middle register and the sliding in this clip from 2007, her debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, though the trills and top are still impressive:

              Devia is simply divine.

            • Regina delle fate

              I’m with Kruno on this one. The last time I heard Grubi was as Norma with Joyce DiDonato as Adalgisa, who out sang her, yet she was virtually unknown in Salzburg so only got respectful applause while the audience went bananas for the diva. In Munich, too, they just don’t hear the frail tone, the painful intonation and they love the squeeze-box vocal production. Yes, she’s had a remarkable career, but she only had one big success at Covent Garden, the Capuletis with Muti, which she sang with icy precision, but the less accurate Ricciarelli was all heart and soul compared to the singing machine. I looked up the reviews of her Glyndebourne debut in the 1970s as Queen of Night and they weren’t good.

    • rpm07470

      Maybe Pendatchanska? Maybe Felicity Lott? But I thought Flott already retired at Covent Garden.

      • Archaeopteryx

        Felicity Lott didn’t retire at all -- the was a recital at Wigmore Hall last November which was entitled “Farewell recital” but which she explained on her website was only her last solo recital program on the stage of Wigmore Hall. As you can see on her website ( she still does recitals and is around very much. I heard her a year ago with La Voix Humaine and have to say that what she does is still not only impressive, but touching, musical and very charismatic.

  • Krunoslav

    Bet you’re right, *druzhok*. Devia and Queler for an OONY DEVEREUX.

  • Archaeopteryx

    Sounds like Devereux…but hasn’t Queler been in retirement for a while or am I mistaken?

    • She is not retired. She conducted the I Lombardi with Meade and Fabiano

  • FomalHaut

    Devia or Gruberova in Devereux? Rumour has it Gruberova was offered Devereux at the MET, but turned it down. I believe both of them dislike traveling to the states.

  • Camille

    It has certainly got to be Roberto Devereux, based on Cieca’s clues, and am hoping so for a manifestation of Mariella Devia, whom I have not ever had the opportunity of hearing in person.

    Sounds a lot as though “tra dire e fare c’è in mezzo il mare” to me, however, and will only believe it when it actually happens. Speriamo bene!

    • semira mide

      Devia is fantastic in person, but I can’t see why in the world she would want to sing in NYC. When she did Norma recently it was in Bologna which familiar territory. She has enough fans in Italy, and that this stage in her career I can’t see her trying to extend her fan base, if she ever did.

      That said, if she comes, I’ll be there.

      • Krunoslav

        semira mide, Devia’s several appearances at OONY — and not her Met roles, though some of those were well sung- were the heights of her American career: *spectacular* performances of LAKME, CAPULETI, PURITANI and other works. So it’s not like she ever had a fan base over here.

        • semira mide

          Thanks for pointing that out Krunoslav. I was not lucky enough to hear those performances, but only heard her in Italy.

  • Often admonished

    La Cieca will return as Amina opposite Popsy’s (hopefully last ever) Violetta.

    Watch what she puts in the drink, Marina honey!

    • Feldmarschallin

      Annina. Amina is Sonnambula. :)

      • Camille

        Perhaps La Cieca will also tackle the little Swiss mädchen as well, IF we are all good Kinde and don’t sass her back!

  • jrance

    Could it be someone coming back to sing Marianne or Annina to Fleming’s farewell Marschallins?

  • Bill

    jfrance -- well the only known retirement is Fleming
    in Rosenkavalier. Annina is not so appropriate for an aging singer as Ochs has to find her alluring but the Leitzmetzerin Marianne could be a vehicle for singer such as Gabriella Benackova who is doing Adelaide this
    Spring to Flemings Arabella in Salzburg

    Madelon in Andrea Chenier is an age appropriate role
    for an aging singer (Hilde Konetzni, Fedora Barbieri)
    but cannot think of anyone at the Met retiring as a leading soprano in that opera

    Pique Dame is appropriate -- an old countess (Bumbry ?) with Mattila retiring in that role.

    Klytemnestra ? But neither Stemme nor Goerke are
    retiring soon.

    I should be truly surpised if either Gruberova or
    Devia will ever appear at the Met again. Maybe someone would come in as Mama Lucia (varnay for example sang it very late) to a retiring Santuzza.

    Other than Fleming, what other Diva has announced a retirement at the Met? I suspect that Voigt will
    just fade away without much fanfare, maybe after these Wozzecks. Who knows, maybe Helen Donath will come back and do something, or Agnes Baltsa.

    • armerjacquino

      Your last sentence raises a brilliant prospect: let’s have the Met’s first STREET SCENE! Pieczonka as Anna, Oropesa and Fabiano as the young lovers, and Donath, Malifitano and Baltsa for ‘Ain’t it awful, the heat’…

    • Regina delle fate

      Maybe Gheorghiu is retiring as Maddalena! Scotto for La Vecchia Madelon would be my choice! :)

    • rpm07470

      How about Jennifer Larmore and Karita Mattila?

  • aulus agerius

    EQ is no longer music director of OONY. She is listed as Conductor Laureate. Maybe that qualifies…?

  • ernestlow

    Baltsa as Klytemnestra or Kabanicha