Cher Public

West side, east side

Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera“Broadly speaking, there are two types of New Yorkers: the ones who say ‘I’m going to the Met’ meaning ‘I’m going to see an opera’ and the ones to whom the phrase means ‘I’m finally going to see those Piero della Francescas everyone has been talking about.’  Recently, though, opera showed up at both Mets, the Metropolitan Opera and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” [New York Observer]

  • Camille

    I’ll take Piero dela Francesca over that overheated pasticciocaccata they cooked up, --any day!

    More of my money now goes to the Eastside Met rather than the Westside one; a day I thought would never arrive, and deeply regret.

  • Reading the review, I didn’t get much of a sense at all what Lembit Beecher’s music actually sounded like. As a public service, a couple of videos of his chamber music (which sound to me as though his roots are in the crunchy polytonality of the 1910s-30s, sometimes octotonically-based, that one might encounter in Bartok, Milhaud or late Russian-period Stravinsky.)

    • Often admonished


      Wasn’t Lembet Beecher played by John Turturro in the Cohen brother’s early anti-blockbuster Crossing New Jersey?

      • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

        He played bookie Bernie Bernbaum who (second time around)got wiped out in Miller’s Crossing…

  • MontyNostry

    ‘If your idea of a good time is people in fancy outfits warbling “Rejoice! The day of gladness is here at last!” while mermaids scatter gold glitter from the heavens, by all means, visit The Enchanted Island.’ Love it!

    • Hanna

      Mermaids…. from heaven? The Rusalka willow escalator still working?;-)

  • Camille

    Is she supposed to be “Big Bird” here?
    It doesn’t look at all like the other Sycorax costume. Just wondering what is going on….

    • orlando

      I keep thinking that LOC is planning a production of Hello, Dolly sometime soon.

    • -Ed.

      Papageno’s saintly granny has a cameo.

      • Regina delle fate

        “granny” is a bit harsh -- she looks rather lush for her age…..

      • -Ed.

        True true, Susan looks great. I was thinking of the costume.

        • olliedawg

          I was at the live performance of EI yesterday — not exactly a full house, but so wonderful to see folks taking their little ones to the show. Maybe we’ve all missed (I include the Met mgmt. in this opine) what could be a small, but significant, demographic for this pastiche: Young, impressionable kids for whom opera could be a defining cultural experience.

          I digress…and will post this comment to off-topic.

          SusieG didn’t have all that much to do, but she sounded pretty wonderful (the Alcina aria was certainly more under-control than the opening night’s speed bump plagued one) and looked absolutely great — has she made a pact, along with BFF RF, with the devil?

  • LittleMasterMiles

    The Enchanted Island is being broadcast as I type this, and there is literally nobody in La Casa della Cieca. That must be a first.

  • redbear

    There is a bit of good news after the disappearance of the NYCO and some NY orchestras. The critics are now writing about Met revivals in detail and reporting on off-Broadway (as it were) music events. The image of Bernheimer writing a review of an opera in a church still is in my mind. There is more international reporting too.

  • Clita del Toro

    OT: Hope this is not true, but someone on opera-l has written that Ben Heppner has died. He put it “pegged out.” Horrible!

    • armerjacquino

      Well, if he has, he’s tweeting from beyond the grave.

      • Clita del Toro

        I guess the guy on opera-l misinterpreted “pegged out.” Sorry I posted this here! Glad he’s okay. :)

  • OT (my apologies)

    did anyone download last weeks free opera depot compilation? I forgot and it has changed now. This weeks is Karajan’s Ring Cucle excerpts.


  • aulus agerius

    Was that the Cappucilli one? I skipped it. The Bonnisolli one is quite entertaining. I think FB was a pretty fantastic tenor -- I saw him live in SF few times. In the Gioconda I was a super with him.

    • That was the one. Did they do a Bonisolli one? I never knew

      • armerjacquino

        The free download compilations become available to buy for a few bucks once the free download has expired. You’ll be able to buy both the Bonisolli and Cappuccilli ones.

  • Grane

    I missed Susan Graham’s first aria, but thought her later, slow one was lovely. Domingo, Daniels, and de Niese all sounding shopworn. I assume that was de Niese singing what sounded like “Agitata da due venti.”

    A few pretty moments, but with all the trouble and expense they obviously went to, couldn’t they have just done a real baroque opera?

    • grimoaldo

      Some of us in the chat very much enjoyed a real Baroque opera, Rodelinda from ENO, with the great Iestyn Davies in a very good cast.
      I am looking forward to Il Corsaro tomorrow with Fabiano at Washington Concert Opera, if anyone from Parterre wants to say hi,I seem to remember a coffee stand to the left of the lobby doors as you go in, I will hang around there, will be wearing a tweed suit.

      • Grane

        I missed most of the Chat--I have only my iPhone & can’t do both I don’t think. So people who said how great the show was actually *were* listening to a different performance? Usually I just feel that way!

      • Camille


        I am saying “hi” from here and hoping you will enjoy an excellent performance of a rather interesting opera, particularly the second act! Let us hear about it, when you can, please.

        • grimoaldo

          Thanks for the message dear Camille, I wish I could say “hi” to you in person, you are such a sweetheart and I feel I know you through this site but have never met you. I left a few impressions of the fabulous concert of Il Corsaro concert on the intermission thread, inadvertently interrupting an argument between Ivy and oedipe.

      • Regina delle fate

        Your dress sense is a lot more sober than Feldmarschallin’s, Grim. He met Manou in yellow and he is meeting some Parisian Parterrians at the Salle Pleyel wearing blue!

        • grimoaldo


        • manou

          Feld is a latter day dandy -- which is fine and dandy.

    • Bill

      Grane -- the soprano (I suppose de Niese) who sang the last aria sounded at the end of her vocal tether -- but if it was de Niese, we do not know from the broadcast how much
      hoping around she had to do while singing. Still it
      was a bit embarassing listening to the vocal struggle both during the high notes of that aria and the florid
      passages (of which there were many).

      • Camille

        I just would like you to know I received your message about the Fricsay Fidelio and when I return home, I will make an essay of ordering it from ArkivMusic, who does list it. I will let you know if I do receive it, and what I think of it.

        I also do hope you are able to see some of the Viennese films at MOMA--the movie Maskerade, being the particular standout. A dream of a film.

        Yours truly and most fondly—

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

          The Fricsay, Rysanek Fidelio is a one of the very best!
          Surprisingly, someone has posted a video of Leonie in a semi-staged performance Elektra that I have never seem before.

          • Quanto Painy Fakor


            • Camille

              Quanto Painy Fakor says:

              Hopefully, this will work Maestro QPF and thank you.

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

          The Fricsay, Rysanek Fidelio is a one of the very best!
          Surprisingly, someone has posted a video of Leonie in a semi-staged performance Elektra that I have never seem before.

        • louannd

          The Fricsay Fidelio is $1.98 on the Amazon web site, though the sound may be even more compressed; they have eliminated the substitute dialogue actors as well.

      • Grane

        That’s true about the staging, Bill. Sounds like this opera may have made heavy demands on all concerned!

  • grimoaldo

    I think almost everyone in the chat was listening to Rodelinda, Grane, I did not see any comments about “What a great show” with reference to Enchanted Island.
    Two oft-quoted British sources on this site reviews for Rodelinda --
    By Rupert Christiansen
    “How pleasant to review a performance which for once lives up to ENO’s much-vaunted claim to showcase the best of British. An opera written in London, with a native cast, conductor and director – three patriotic cheers!”

    Boy, the crap that opera’s allowed to get away with. The mime, the mugging, the movement, the ideas….Theatre wouldn’t have got away with it. Daytime telly wouldn’t have got away with it. Even the Chuckle Brothers, I reckon, might have thought twice about some of these routines. But apparently it’s absolutely fine to stuff Handel’s Rodelinda with tripe.”

    Richard Jones, by the way, is one of my favourite directors and I would love to see this show, in the chat is was said it will be filmed, so I am not indicating agreement with the Spectator’s POV.

    • armerjacquino

      God, that Spectator piece is beyond embarrassing. All that buzzfeed stuff with the snide captions (which, by the way, you could do about any production shot of anything) then he just gives up at the end and more or less says ‘some of it was good the rest was rubbish can I go home now’.

    • Apparently they’re allowed to sing in opera as well. In fact there’s hardly a normal, proper English word spoken the entire time. That just jellies my eels.

    • Regina delle fate

      The Spectator “review” is not by its regular opera critic, but a by an attention-seeking know-next-to-nothing blogger who gives this august magazine a bad name. When the proper review appears, I expect it will be rather more measured and insightful. Grim -- the Jones Rodelinda is not perhaps his very best work, but it’s an interesting take on the piece and the singing is pretty good. Rupert’s on the money on this occasion, even though his “patriotism” can get a bit tiresome….

  • Rory Williams

    AJ: OT this thread but just wanted to say, thanks for the reco on Mitchell & Webb. Turns out there’s boatload on YouTube. Laffing my butt off rite now! Sometime you have to tell me which are yours. Rory

    • armerjacquino

      Glad you like!

  • Uninvolved Bystander

    O/T. Barry Banks has posted on his FB page that Gerard Mortier has passed away.