Cher Public

  • Poison Ivy: I think this argument is getting rather pointless. For instance I don;t think Birgit Nilsson covered herself in glory when she... 8:39 PM
  • laddie: I took him to mean that he was previewing the role debut at the MET. He has sung the role in Torino as well as London. 8:25 PM
  • kashania: Kruno: How about Gorr form Bayreuth (opposite Konya/Christoff)? 7:47 PM
  • manou: …and got upstaged by a plastic shark. 7:39 PM
  • NPW-Paris: Frogs in bogs? Platée is one of my favourite operas of all. 5:39 PM
  • Camille: Oh, it was DU-—Satisfied—than x a LOT— as you saved me the hassle and bother in a busy, 90+ degree day of stressing out to go to... 4:39 PM
  • Camille: Bill, thanks, but I was really sort of joking, as people do all sort of things these days after the first act—chiefly, I’ve... 4:34 PM
  • Camille: No, it was relief because it was good! And with this opera, one gets used to hearing a lot of frogs barking in the bogs, so it IS... 4:27 PM

Sinking ship

Casting for The Sound of Music at Cape Cod Melody Tent Lyric Opera of Chicago is now complete: “Billy Zane, star of James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic and Broadway’s  Chicago,  cast as Captain von Trapp.”


  • 1
    zinka says:

    I never forgave him for the way he treated Kate Winslett!!!!!!!

  • 2
    willym says:

    Well beats the hell out of a bad translation and dreary production of Fledermaus or the Merry Widow.

  • 3
    havfruen says:

    Wait a minute! Has anyone here had a bad experience at the Cape Cod Melody Tent? The popcorn is excellent.

  • 4
    operaassport says:

    I saw the final dress of Clemenza yesterday while I was in Chicago. What a boring, dull, mostly gray production. The was okay although Joyce DiDonato was terrific. The production will out you to sleep and the direction seemed non-existent.

    • 4.1
      Rowna says:

      You and I must have been in tyuping cless togehter

    • 4.2
      papopera says:

      Can’t blame you to fall asleep during Clemenza. Ghastly boring stuff, Mozart or not.

      • 4.2.1
        tannengrin says:

        Hush your mouth!!

      • 4.2.2
        semira mide says:

        If Clemenza is boring it’s the fault of the production, conductor, or singers. It can be a thrilling opera.

      • 4.2.3

        Completely disagree. Tito is one of my favorite Mozart operas. The whole section that leads to De per question and Se all’impero is just riveting. The whole scene, without cuts in my opinion packs as much drama as some entire Wagner works.

          operaassport says:

          I love the opera. It was the production that was boring and lifeless.

      • 4.2.4
        willym says:

        Chacun a son gucci as they say. Saw a production at Aix that was a snoozefest. But then saw it at ROH with Janet Baker and Yvonne Minton and went back the following year for the revival. Two great evenings at Covent Garden that I treasure to this day.

  • 5
    ML says:

    Who’s that in the tub?

  • 6
    ML says:

    Off-topic, but Martin Bernheimer gives the Welser-Möst Carnegie Wozzeck a rare 5 stars today and expresses doubt that the Levine Met Wozzeck will equal it.

    • 6.1
      operaassport says:

      Bernheimer is a hack. I’d be surprised if he even turned on his hearing ad.

  • 7
    kph11863 says:

    Oh, dear -- Travoltification has struck Parterre Box!

  • 8
    tannengrin says:

  • 9
    pasavant says:

    I just checked the Lyric Opera website. He’s not making this up!

  • 10
    DonCarloFanatic says:

    Hated The Sound of Music when it first came out, and still hate it. A big ick. Billy Zane is well cast; he has that “I’m so obnoxious” attitude that fits right in with a middle-aged man victimizing a girl young enough to be his daughter, in order to respectably obtain free childcare. And the nuns tell her it’s her duty. Bleah.

    Yes, of course the music is charming, but the story is not.

    • 10.1
      operaassport says:

      Do you know anything about the story at all? Because what you wrote doesn’t remotely resemble the show as written unless one has a sick twisted mind.

      • 10.1.1
        Clita del Toro says:

        A twisted mind like a cunt like you, ASS=Port! LOLOLOL

          operaassport says:

          How lovely. Do you have a point or did you forget to take your Ritalin?

          • bluecabochon says:

            Operassport, who is always on the offensive and offensive in general, can’t take a little of what he dishes out.

      • 10.1.2
        DonCarloFanatic says:

        Even as a teenager, seeing it in its first run, I knew it was bogus.

        Check out what Maria von Trapp herself said, quoted in Wikipedia.

        The musical tries to soft pedal the truth, which is not romantic at all. But it never convinced me, and still doesn’t, especially given their really huge age and experience difference (he was 25 years her senior, and she was a would-be nun). Oh, sure, like Tevye, at some point asking “Do you love me?” the answer would have been yes. A marriage that works can produce love eventually. But the basic story does not appeal to me. If you love The Sound of Music, fine. Not everybody does.

          operaassport says:

          That’s a far cry from a “man victimizing …. Blah blah.”
          Total nonsense. I don’t care much for the stage show but I don’t misrepresent the story to show my disdain.

          • DonCarloFanatic says:

            Excuse me, but I am not misrepresenting the story. Widower with lots of children decides to marry the children’s caretaker. She has to be convinced by the nuns that it’s her duty. I call that victimization. You may not. Difference of opinion here, but I stand by what I understand to be the facts of the case.

            And I also stand by my long ago teenage reaction, which was instinctive: ick.

            • armerjacquino says:

              She has to be convinced by the nuns that it’s her duty.

              That’s a serious misrepresentation. Marriage isn’t on the table when Maria runs back to the convent- she’s afraid that she’s fallen in love with a man who is engaged to someone else. The ‘Climb Every Mountain’ scene isn’t about convincing her to marry the captain, it’s about the idea that it’s never a great idea to run away from problems rather than face them.

              Also, while interesting, Maria Von Trapp’s own opinion of the work has no relevance on how we judge the work. If historical accuracy is the watchword, we can chuck out BOLENA and STUARDA for starters, both of which ruthlessly make stuff up.

              I’m not the biggest fan of SOUND OF MUSIC- I think it has a radiant sentimentality lacking from their tougher earlier stuff, and in ‘to sing through the night/Like a lark who is learning to pray’ it contains the single worst line ever written by a great lyricist, but I’m not sure those particular criticisms are fair.

            • Poison Ivy says:

              Maria is NOT the victim here. I’ve always interpreted the story as an attractive young woman gets into the good graces of an older, wealthier man by playing nanny. You can call that manipulative in a way.

              Maria’s also not a nun — she’s only a novice, therefore she has time to decide whether taking the veil is right for her. She decides she’d rather have marriage/kids/money. Nothing wrong with that either.

  • 11
    Ruxxy says:

    Lordy lordy -- can this be true? -- a fight over “The Sound of Music” -- and it’s not even one of Andrew Lloyd Webbers!

    • 11.1
      RosinaLeckermaul says:

      The major question is why a major opera company is doing SOUND OF MUSIC in a 3000 seat theatre. Dialogue in a large opera house always seems hammy, particularly bad dialogue and the miking is seldom as good as one gets at a Broadway musical. This is far from Rodgers best score, but it is questionable whether any of his scores belongs in a giant opera house. His best scores are better served by productions in smaller venues performed by good singing actors. Even as a box office decision, this seems lame. The show has just been on tv, albeit in a tacky production. Are folks who normally don’t go to the opera going to run there to see it? Are Lyric Opera fans dying to see it? Are Billy Zane fans (are there any?) dying to see him in THE SOUND OF MUSIC?
      I’m a fan of good musicals, but not in opera houses.

      • 11.1.1
        La Cieca says:

        These questions should perhaps be directed to the company’s Creative Consultant, who is reportedly paid a half million dollars a year to consult on creative ideas like this.

        Or you could ask Anthony Freud, who will answer, “I didn’t plan this season.”

          ailsamegan says:

          Oh god -- here we go again. Let’s all blame Renee Fleming. Boring!!

          • Grane says:

            Aren’t they supposed to be doing an opera of Bel Canto? I must be one of the few curmudgeons that didn’t like the book. I can’t believe among all those hostages and terrorists there wasn’t one person who hated opera.

            • antikitschychick says:

              LMAO good one Grane :-P. I never read that book…I read Renee’s book in which she did talk about that Bel Canto book lol. The story seems plausible to me only if it were Renee in that situation and would thus be the one getting to sing to the terrorists. *On a good day* when she was in her prime I fully believe the effect of her voice could be that powerful. Now, if its someone like Danielle de Niese…well, it becomes less plausible at that point. Not that she isn’t a good singer or performer, a scenario of that nature (in which lives are at stake) requires exceptional talent imo.

            • Grane says:

              Maybe she’ll be wearing one of her sexy leotards.

            • Cicciabella says:

              Grane, I very much wanted to like the book but gave up reading it halfway through. The plot is intriguing, but I found the narration heavy-going and the characters one-dimensional. Maybe the second half of the book is much better. An operatic version has the potential to be much better than the book, provided the libretto is good. The plot development will be brisker and the score and theatrical interpretation can add interesting layers to the characters.

            • Grane says:

              That’s a good point, Cicciabella. So much of the book consisted of people thinking about stuff. An opera will, of necessity, have to do away with all the narration. I think Patchett is a good writer, but there was just too much “writing!”

      • 11.1.2
        javier says:

        they are trying this out to see if it sells. if it doesn’t sell they will just do extra performances of tosca, faust, or aida.

      • 11.1.3
        peter says:

        “Are folks who normally don’t go to the opera going to run there to see it?”

        This from their website:
        Third week added due to popular demand!
        Now April 25-May 18.

          norma54 says:

          POPULAR DEMAND is a joke…….. tickets aren’t selling at all …… a third week was always planned. Just like OKLAHOMA!, thousands of tickets will be given away or heavily discounted. Rosina couldn’t be more accurate !!!

      • 11.1.4
        operaassport says:

        It’s worse than you think. LOC has a 3800 plus seat theatre!

  • 12
    bluecabochon says:

    Billy Zane as Max…. not the Captain!

  • 13
    Gualtier M says:

    Note to musical lovers: All remaining tickets for tonight’s New York Philharmonic “Sweeney Todd” with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel have been discounted at $75.00 for any and all locations. Just picked up a First Tier box for $77.50 with the facility charge tacked on. Get ’em while they last.

    The other two shows are not discounted -- yet. Also it is being filmed for television.

    • 13.1
      mountmccabe says:

      My wife saw this earlier this afternoon and we now have some nice orchestra seats! I was afraid we were going to have to miss out!

      Do we know which performance(s) will be filmed?

      • 13.1.1
        mountmccabe says:

        This night was certainly filmed, no idea about the other four shows.

        And this was a fantastic evening. It was entertaining staged and I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the score this well done.

        Bryn Terfel had the presence, a great voice and that exciting half snarl. Emma Thompson was hilarious and had a mostly passable voice for the role. Audra McDonald was the surprise as the Beggar Woman, especially as that isn’t a very meaty part and she didn’t really get to belt her “City on fire!”

  • 14
  • 15

    At 1:42: Billy Zane’s finest cinematic moment. Too bad they’re not doing this as a musical.

    • 15.1
      almavivante says:

      Beg to differ. Zane’s finest moment is while acting undraped (though not, alas, frontally) in 1989’s Dead Calm, when he forces (forces? yes, forces) Nicole Kidman to go down on him. True, if I were being held captive by a psycho on a yacht in the middle of nowhere, and in Nicole’s position, I’d have bitten it off, but no one would have had to force me.