Cher Public

Ready, aim…

The prenegotiation negotiating has begun: “Including staff benefits, Gelb [pictured, right] says a full-time chorus member at the Met earns an astonishing $300,000 (£180,000) a year, while the players of the Met Orchestra earn more than any orchestra in the US.” [Times of London – paywalled, sorry!]

  • Camille

    Whatever those chorus members are paid, I want to say that they DESERVE it! They work their collective ASS OFF, on many consecutive nights, in as many languages, and with many complex stage directions to pull off. Many is the time when my attention will wander from the supposed star’s staggering around the stage in vain pursuit of the “sweet spot”, to a fully engaged, committed and 100+% chorus member who is singing as if his/her life depended upon it. It probably does.

    I wish them all well, along with that stalwart vocalist, Ms. Wendy White, whose case remains open and unresolved…?

  • Guestoria Unpopularenka

    I’ll post it here too as it may be more noticeable. Yoncheva Air des bijoux

    • grimoaldo

      I noticed it and watched it, thank you for posting it, it is interesting but I would rather see her sing it in a staged production or just a concert, cavorting about in a ball gown in front of the Queen of Sweden while liveried footmen present an assortment of jewels does not really capture a simple country lass being tempted into worldly ways.
      Perhaps because of all that extra stuff she had to do I thought she broke up the vocal line with too many breaths.
      But thank you again for posting it, it was fun to watch.

      • grimoaldo

        That was quite some event where that was filmed, the Semperoper Ball in Dresden, here is a picture of some of the attendees, the Queen of Sweden, the President of the European Commission, the Governor of Saxony,Catherine Deneuve looking at least as regal as the real Queen in the picture, and a German actor and radio host,Thomas Gottschalk, wearing a leather suit, with a monocle hanging around his neck.

      • Guestoria Unpopularenka

        It was an ad plug for the jewelry.

        • luvtennis

          Victoria Azarenka, right????

          • Guestoria Unpopularenka

            I believe she’s more widely known as guest :P

    • antikitschychick

      that was a fabulous performance. Based on that clip, it seems the role of Marguerite will suit her well.

      As far as the topic of this thread (a rather pressing and important matter) I agree with Camille. It seems the Met def has to do some financial restructuring, and perhaps reducing the number of performances as has been suggested would be better than cutting the salaries of the chorus and other labor union members. Having said that, I do understand La Cieca’s point about salaries making up 2/3 of the costs. I just think these types of cuts should be a last resort type thing. They should also try and restructure their fundraising efforts and ask that ppl donate what they can instead of asking for a hundred dollar (plus) pledge. I do hope it all works out in the end though.

      • Ewige Nacht

        Let us not lose sight of the fact that the artists who work at the Met are the prime assets of the company. Without them, the Met is nothing but a theater in need of renovation, a collection of recordings and memories, some mortgaged artworks and warehouses full of costumes and scenery that are depreciating assets.

  • -Ed.

    If the Met believes it needs more revenue, they could do what US pro football team owners do -- sell the naming rights to their stadiums to the highest corporate bidder.

    The Met could make it an annual auction. So one year if, for example, Cosmo magazine were to donate the most, the house would be renamed the Cosmopolitan Metropolitan Opera House.

    Then the next year say, oh I don’t know, a vacuum cleaner company were to win the auction, it would be called the Dirt Devil Metropolitan Opera House.

    The possibilities are overwhelming.

    • oedipe

      Great idea! Just imagine the impact of all the Dirt Devil and other billboards that could be put up on the Met’s facade! Hey, take a leaf out of Times Square’s book.

      • A. Poggia Turra

        Even better, put the Chagalls in storage -- those two locations are prime locations for electronic ad signs!

        • Benedetta Funghi-Trifolati

          The Chagalls were already put up as collateral on Met loans back in 2009.

    • A. Poggia Turra

      Long Live the Poulan Weed-Eater Metropolitan Opera House! :D

      • manou

        This reminds me of the executive who meets with the Pope to offer him several million dollars to decree that all prayers should end “Drink Coca-Cola”. Unaccountably rejected, he reports back to head office -- and they ask “How much did Fiat give for Fiat Voluntas Tua“?

    • Batty Masetto

      Oh yes! We could have

      The Waste Management Metropolitan Opera House
      The Swiffer™ WetJet™ Metropolitan Opera House
      The International House of Pancakes Metropolitan Opera House

      And how sad that we missed the chance for

      The Alberto Vilar Metropolitan Opera House

      • Camille

        The Waste Management *stars* Matthew Barney

        The Swiffer WetJet [MMIItm] *stars* Nadja Michael, in her slip,
        and the best saved for last,

        The International House of Pancakes *stars* MS. GENEVIEVE OF HIWAY 13!!!

      • Grane

        I cast my vote for Spanx.

      • No no! Those are far too vulgar.

        I vote for the Met Life Metropolitan Opera House. It could the “Met Met” for short.

        Joking aside, if the Met were to consider selling the naming rights to its building, the donation would most likely come from an individual, not a corporation. I would guess that Met would set the bar at around $200M-$300M, with most of the funds going to the endowment and some towards building renovations.

        • Batty Masetto

          And then the local ball club could sponsor a meet ‘n greet and the company could sell T-shirts saying “I met the Mets at the Met Met”!

      • A. Poggia Turra

        Vilar already has musical naming rights to his current “house” -- SING SING!

    • Jamie01

      The Met’s neighbors on either side of the Lincoln Center Plaza sold their naming rights a while ago. It only Cost Avery Fisher $10.5 million to get his name on Philharmonic Hall in 1973. The NY State Theater cost David Koch $100 million in 2008.

    • In 2001, Fay Wheldon accepted 18,000 pounds to do a little product placement for her novel, The Bulgari Connection. It’s been a continual source of astonishment for me that the classical music world has been so slow to adopt this innovative form of arts funding. If string quartets can play Beethoven’s “Razumovsky”s, they can bloody well commission someone to write The L’Oreal Quartet.

      Looking beyond the obvious design changes for opera names (i.e. “TWO BOYS -- IN AF”, “THE ENCHANTED ISLAND, brought to you by CARNAVAL CRUISES”), I envision product placement opportunities from curtain rise to the final encore: Germont arrives in Act II driving a spiffy new Lexus. The False Dmitri romances Marina while swigging bottles of Wyborowa Vodka. The boudoir of the Old Countess from “The Queen of Spades” is littered with crates of “Ensure”.

      Nor should libretti be regarded as sacrosanct. It’s not as though audiences pay much attention to words anyway. The sword “Nothung” could be renamed “Korin”, with little change in the plot. And imagine such lines as:

      “The next time you see Baba, you shall pay -- with Citi Diamond Preferred Card!”


      “Quando m’en vo soletta per la via,
      la gente sosta e mira,
      e la Roberto Cavalli
      ricerca in me da capo a pie!”

      Attention opera houses of the world: my fees as Branding Creative Consultant are really quite reasonable. Add funds and fun to your next operatic production!

      • Camille

        With Placido Domingo *AS* Ricardo Montalban, please on the Enchanted Island cruise!

      • armerjacquino

        “Che Philip Treacy egli stesso si fe…”

        “Veuve Cliquot hat verschuldet, tra la lala la la la la…”

    • Also: Charity Nude Calendars. Happens all the time in the movies.

      • Batty Masetto

        Stephanie Blythe in the buff! Count me in!

        Oh wait -- Dame Gwyneth already did that kind of thing in Salome didn’t she, and it din’t work so good, maybe.

    • -Ed.

      If the HO Model Trains company won the auction, it would be the HO Metropolitan Opera. So she’s like, “Did you know Jonas Kaufmann is singing at the Homo tonight?” and I’m all “Duh, yeah, but how did you know I have a ticket?”

      (come on, I worked really hard on that joke)

  • Camille

    And, say and by the way, doesn’t anyone recall the time(s) the MTV Awards were given at the Metropolitan Opera House?

    If anyone STILL wants a postcard of MADONNA as NORMA, I’ve got it.

    • antikitschychick

      Queridisima Camille,

      Were you able to attend La Nat’s recital last night? And more importantly, are you feeling better?



      • Camille

        Si, miLinda!!

        I got my ancient arse out of the house with the kind assistance of Monsieur Camille, who has a special wheelbarrow he puts me in when I fall down, and we both had a very pleasurable evening, and nothing like we expected.

        As Monsieur Camille (a very grumpy old professorial type and not easily amused) said about her:

        “I expected her to slither on doing an interpretative dance with multicolored strobe lights while switching into a Swarovski-encrusted bustier while singing performing a medley from ‘Les Miz

        Honey, it was none of that, and you would have been proud of her. Chic (ou bien chien, you’ll have to ask Mme manou the difference between the two as I forget!), beauty, taste and elegance as only the French can do.

        I have to reflect a great deal more on it as it hit me deep in the solar plexus.
        Little Nat was ineffably dear to me in the early part of her career here in New York (I am talking 1997, as I did not see her debut role as Fiakermilli in Arabella, a couple years previously), and watching her downfall from what she *Once Was* has been an excruciating experience for me.

        Maybe by Sunday I will have gotten something more together but by then you may read a review in the Times. Her program was on the Carnegie Hall website, a lot of French mélodies, and of course, some R. Strauss, Brahms, and Clara Schumann showing herself to be a very competent if conservative composer.

        !Hasta luego y la próxima!

        La vieja y siempre enferma Camila

        • antikitschychick

          sounds delightful!! Am so glad you enjoyed it Camille :-D. Will anxiously await your more thorough review…and will check out the times review as well..judging from the program that was published it seems to have been an ambitious (and plentiful) undertaking of art songs, which is a genre that, imo really allows her musicality to shine through despite the obvious vocal decline… I sooo hope I am able to see her live while she is still singing!! I know its a long shot at this point but hey..a girl can dream.

      • alejandro

        I was there.

        I am not an expert on the repetoire she sang, but I loved every second of it. I went back and listened to her Debussy recital disc this morning and there was a notable improvement in both her voice and interpretation of this particular kind of song . . . the two Debussy pieces that are on that album were incandescent last night, but never quite grabbed me on the album.

        I was surprised to read the review from Canada where the critic criticized her for not standing still as she sang. She was using her hands and her face, but in a very natural way. I felt everything she did was really tasteful and intelligent.

        She also sang my favorite Rachmnaninoff song (which is also my favorite thing Trebs has ever recorded), which was one of the pieces that led me to my last play. It was such a gift to hear her sing it . . . and much more beautifully than the time she sang Rachmaninoff in Russia.

        • antikitschychick

          ay niño que envidia :-P. I know exactly which Rachmaninoff song you are referring to and I agree its a ravishing piece. Her record label should have recorded this recital! Missed opportunity there methinks as I don’t think she’s released any “live” recordings has she?

          • antikitschychick

            as I don’t *recall* her having released any “live” recordings I should say.

          • alejandro

            She hasn’t. But there were mics set up at the hall last night. I have no idea if Carnegie Hall archives everything there . . . but it’s a possibility they recorded it? She’s also touring this exact same program, so there are plenty of opportunities to immortalize it. Although I think it would be lovely as a DVD too. She was really amazing to watch (as always).

            • antikitschychick

              well that’s certainly good news! I sure hope you’re right :-).

            • Krunoslav

              Don’t forget Met star John Graham-Hall or “The Golden Tenor” Jeffrey Talbot.

          • Camille

            You know,
            I heard about the singer Rosalind Elias all the time when I was a young whippersnapper, but never ever ever expected to see or hear her sing live.

            In about 2005-6 season, I did unexpectedly hear/see her as the Old Baroness in Vanessa, in Los Angeles. She mostly just sat there and was stately and uttered her various phrases, but you could still hear her and what she Once Was.

            Okay, so I thought to myself “Well, that was a very pleasant experience and I am glad I had it.” What I didn’t expect was to hear her AGAIN, and in her eighties, no less, in the production of FOLLIES, given here a winter or two or three ago. This time she was not even in a chair and kind of engaged in a little of the fancy footwork on stage and sang her little Viennese waltz song in a competent manner. So, you see, these old divas are foxy old creatures and you never know what rabbits they may pull outta their Easter bonnets.

            From the impression I gleaned last night I’d say that Our Lil’ NAT is on her way to a new pathway and I hope she recoups all she may have lost and finds her way, with all my old heart.

            N.B. — the Rachmaninov song which Dessay sang last night as one of her encores, is sung beautifully by Netrebko on her Russian album, called “Zdes’ khorosho” and there many, many beautiful recordings of it, Krunoslav would know best about this or m. croche, or someone more conversant with Russian repertory.

            If you would like to look at the actual music of the song and gauge the difficulty of that pianissimo high B(si) in alt, you may do so at a YouTube channel called merefoix, which prohibits importation by means of mobile devices.

            • Krunoslav

              How fair this spot ( syllable trans)
              Here it sis beautiful ( literal trans)

              poem by Glafira Galina


            • Camille

              “One Gedda, one God”, has always been my motto since first hearing him.

              I have loved him longer than any other tenor, and still do to this very day.

            • antikitschychick

              Thanks for that short anecdote Camille, and yes, Zdes’ khorosho is indeed gorgeous. I will post the performance below for eneryone’s enjoyment (and for those who havent heard ANs recording of it, which is indeed wonderful).


            • Camille

              Thank you very much, dear.

              It sounds much like what I hope heaven may be….

        • Batty Masetto

          This is all very good news. We’re hearing her here in SF on Saturday. Looking forward to it even more now.

          • Camille

            What venue will that be in, Batty darling? Am hoping it will be in Davies Hall or smaller. God knows, maybe some place up in Marin Co.? Anyway I do hope she holds it together for you all. The Fiançailles pour Rire I particularly enjoyed as well as the Faurê but I’ve always been a Fauré fangurl.

            Batty, you know what a fly by night creature I am but at the moment I am thinking that Norma in September may be as good an excuse as any I can come up with to come back home to California, the lack of which, carves a cave in my heart.

            Give Genevieve my regards. Whatever happened to her GurlllllllllllZ??? Did they get, like, jobs or something?

            • Batty Masetto

              Yes, Camille chérie, it’s in Davies.

              And that would be WONDERFUL if you come out for Norma. Keep me posted.

              As to the Grrrrlz, they’re still hard at work dishing out booze and pot brownies (otherwise known as “Communion”) at the ex-Rumpus Room, which is just raking in the cash for Genevieve. (They are devastating in those mini-mini-skirted nuns’ habits.)

    • alejandro

      I want it!!! I remember those ads!!

      • Camille

        Psst——-! Hey Kid! I got the Britney Spears Traviata, too!!

        And whathisname as Siegfried and Chris Rock, I think, as Otello.

        Pretty elfin’ kewl!

        • alejandro

          Poor Britney couldn’t trill. :-(

          • antikitschychick

            trilling alone is not enough these days…ya gotta know how to trill AND twerk now:

            Srsly, what is the world coming to? :-P.

            • Camille

              Oh GAWD, how I love it!!!!

              Does anyone know how utterly extinct this aria has been, how it languished in the dustbin all these years? At least she has the temerity to do it and make it her own mess, as no one else will even attempt it.

              She made the paying public happy as well and it was a benefit, so good on La Folie Kermes. Gurl got game.

            • alejandro

              That video ALWAYS cracks me up. You gotta love her for just going for it. LOL!

            • antikitschychick

              I love her too!! Her enthusiasm is sooo refreshing and I think her voice is actually pretty good too. She does her own thing and it works for her. Cant hate on that.

            • Krunoslav

              “Does anyone know how utterly extinct this aria has been, how it languished in the dustbin all these years? At least she has the temerity to do it and make it her own mess, as no one else will even attempt it.”

              Plus Lisette Oropesa sang MASNADIERI this Fall at WCO and cleaned up in “Carlo vive”.

            • alejandro

              I am no Sutherland fan, but I really do like her version of that aria.

              I’d love to hear Oropesa sing it (someone give her a record contract!). I have the recording of Masnadieri with Caballe and she’s pretty great too.

            • Camille

              Krunoslavsky! You just beat me to it! I just now was importing it to show die Kinder as, fun as La Kermes may be, they need to hear the Real Thing.

              If anyone wants to know what a TRILL THRILL is, just listen to that jewel encrusted cabaletta. That’s a trill treat! Say what you will about mushy diction, no acting, ecc., a trill like that one is a rarity and comes ariund only when it feels like it.

          • DonCarloFanatic

            Actually, poor Britney at one time had a much finer voice than her sexpot throaty-whisper career used. If you catch her childhood efforts, you can hear a huge difference. Probably ruined by now.

            • antikitschychick

              Indeed. I wonder why she lost it? My guess is she just never actually sang enough (since she was always lip syncing)…that and trying to maintain that prepubescent sound prevented her voice from fully maturing…but you’re right, she did have a nice voice as a child. Not that it matters to most ppl though, least of all her lol.

            • No Expert

              “From the Bottom of My Broken Heart” can still bring a tear to my eye.

  • Guestoria Unpopularenka

    I’ve always wondered which genius made that bottleneck at the entrance of the Met. At the end of a performance when the whole house is rushing out for the doors, the crowd is limited by those huge useless white masses of concrete on either side…

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      That would most likely be Wallace K. Harrison, the architect of the “new” Met:

      I have always far preferred the public space at New York State Theater (and don’t you dare call it anything else!). I have never felt confined or herded there, and love being able to walk around the entire promenade on one of the upper tiers. Thank you, Philip Johnson, even if your elegant auditorium was sliced up for some oil billionaire.

      • fletcher

        In Harrison’s defense, the design of the Metropolitan Opera House was a long and complicated process, and the architects involved had to contend with a diverse array of demanding stakeholders, including the Association, the building committee, the Lincoln Center committee, Robert Moses, and Rockefeller. Several rounds of major budget cuts later (including the elimination of a large tower behind the opera house that would have provided office and storage as well as open arches instead of the narrow fins that exist now) they ended up with the final design. The original renderings by Hugh Ferriss are at the Avery Library at Columbia, along with, I think, Harrison’s drawings.

        • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

          In one of the books I have on Lincoln Center and/or the Met, there are numerous unrealized renderings of the opera house including one which has the tower at the rear of the theater, scooping upward like something out of “The Jetsons.” I’m so happy that New York State Theater was basically the brainchild of Balanchine and Philip Johnson. Speaking of ancient history: were you ever inside the original Philharmonic Hall? Yikes! As much as I despise Avery Fisher Hall, I must admit it’s an improvement.

          • fletcher


            This one? I don’t know enough about the project’s history to know how closely together Ferriss and Harrison were working. Most if not all the architects working at Lincoln Center were modernists who were slowly but surely dragged toward a mediocre, quasi-neoclassical quasi-modern consensus. It’s no one’s finest work, but PJ comes off the least bad.

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              You had me up on a ladder at 03:30 a.m. looking for the book! It’s in “The Lincoln Center Story” by Alan Rich, published by American Heritage in 1984 on pages 24 and 25. The sketch – one of four created each year from 1957 through 1960 – is a 1959 rendering of Lincoln Center and shows this insane upward swoop about two thirds of the way back from the front of the Met to a high, windowless tower, approximately double the height of the opera house. It still shows lots of trees on the main plaza (relegated to Damrosch Park in the 1960 drawing) and an arcade entrance along Broadway (gone in 1960). The swoop morphed into a conventional freestanding office tower by 1960. The caption explains “an Opera Tower, later abandoned, rises behind the Metropolitan Opera House.” There is no accreditation for the drawings, although a photo of Wallace Harrison, Philipp Johnson, Eero Saarinen, Gordon Bunshaft, Pietro Belluschi, and Max Abramovitz appears above the drawings.

            • fletcher

              Excellent! I for one am grateful they toned down the wackiness -- Lincoln Center has aged pretty well, I think (though others disagree). Thanks for your effort, I’ll look into finding it. I’ve done a lot of reading about the building of the United Nations complex but I’m not as familiar with the Lincoln Center story, which is contemporary and almost as messy.

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    A special midweek treat: “Il corsaro” with Michael Fabiano from Sunday night’s performance in Washington:

    Since this is not an official “Montag mit Marianne” upload it might get lost in the general discussion board, so please spread the word this is online at Mixcloud and available to one and all. Enjoy!

    • grimoaldo

      OOOH! Wow, how did you get that? Yippee, thank you! I was there, now I can re-live this superduper sensational event!
      Fabiano’s first aria is dynamite, then the actual material of the opera drops a little in quality, although still enjoyable, but the last act is great stuff.

    • Camille

      Since I spent the first act of my only Il Corsaro in a traffic snarl on the San Diego Freeway, I will now finally get to hear what I missed!

      I am frankly curious about The Fabby One, as I have a lot of hopes placed on this kid and he damned well better not let old Camille down, either! He was really something from the first time I heard him utter his comprimario lines as Raffaele in Stiffelio, and right then and there I wanted to get a cattle prodder and get that buff hunk of caterwauling, José Cura, right OFF the stage and substitute The Fabby One in his place. He better not let me down like most of them do…!

    • Thanks, Marianne. I’m listening right now. After hearing Fabiano’s sensational Rodolfo in Toronto (twice), I’m totally hooked. I would grab any opportunity to hear him.

    • Cicciabella

      Verdi singing is alive and well! Thank you, thank you, Jungfer Marianne, for this lovely treat. It made my evening yesterday and I intend to listen again. And not just for Fabiano (what a glorious Italianate tenor sound!): a thrilling energy runs through the whole performance from start to finish.

  • grimoaldo

    The audience *loved* him from his first note, as you can hear.

    • Camille

      All I can say is that The Midge got it right on…Fabiano, in the words of a beloved and respected friend of mine, “Canta come SI DEVE!!!! And he sings with a kind of tenderness and feeling I don’t often hear anymore.

      For that matter, the whole performance was damn good. It would be lucky to get this at the MET. Il Corsaro has got such a dubious reputation but in light of some of the dead bodies that float down the Met River, I’d prefer this corpse, any old day, over, say SLY, e.g.???

      • alejandro

        He’s someone I am dying to hear. I have heard YouTube clips and he’s got the goods. I keep hoping they throw him in that TBA Boheme spot next season … or someone gets sick and he takes over. I am definitely going to hear one of those casts. It’s been . . . I don’t know how long since I’ve seen that Boheme. I think when I did Patricia Racette sang Musetta.

        • Guestoria Unpopularenka

          Or you can go to SF for Boheme.

      • grimoaldo

        Glad you like it Camille and I can tell you hearing it live was thrilling.
        A staged production at the Met, well, the two concerts of early Verdi at Washington Concert Opera found great casts of mostly young singers on the way up, rather than the established “stars” the Met or ROH tends to use,I feel it is unlikely the Met would come up with such a good cast. Of course I have raved almost nonstop about Oropesa and Russell Thomas in Masnadieri, now Fabiano, maybe because they don’t cast five or six years ahead of time they have been able to find hot young talent, I don’t know but they were certainly spectacular. I am reminded of something antikitschychick said some time back, when there is a hot young talent in the pop world, promoters don’t say, “Miley Cyrus is really hot right now, let’s line up a tour for her five years from now”, they do it right then.

        • Regina delle fate

          The Glyndebourne Poliuto seems all the more appetising after these raves on parterre! I wonder who they have lined up for Maria’s role? Hymel is recording Les martyrs in the studio for Opera Rara this Autumn, with a concert performance thrown in at the Festival Hall. Happy days! :)

          • According to a reliable source, it’s Ana Maria Martinez.

            • Camille

              It’s Martinez for the Poliuto, then? Huh, that is an interesting choice.

              That is a really difficult part and I would not think of her in that role right away, but as she is a really lovely singer and excellent musician, would hope for the best. Always wishing she would get to the next level in her career.

            • Krunoslav

              Great news! Martinez was wonderful in LOC’s current RUSALKA, singing and acting rings not only around RF in current form but (more pertinently) around Opolais.

              I have heard Martinez be excellent as Butterfly, Mimi, Donna Elvira, Fiordilig and now Rusalka. How blind and deaf IS Jonathan Friend, who had her in for Micaelan 2005 then….. zip?

            • Camille

              Was her Rusalka was a success, then? I had hoped so much it would be, and there has been little word from Chicago. Supposing I could read a review from the paper there but I don’t trust that critic.

              I cannot understand why this lady is not at the MET, for she has a wonderful quality to her voice and has such a scrupulous musicianship, coupled with a genuine, authentic quality to her person.

              The Poliuto, I still don’t know about for I have not heard any of her singing of fioriture at THAT high a level, but with her kind of musicianship and innate feeling, she should probably be able to accomplish that goal, and I would still rather hear her voice rather than many another one.

            • laddie

              “I have not heard any of her singing of fioriture

              I am sure I am one of many who read this site and who saw and heard Martinez sing Rosina in Houston a few years ago. She had absolutely no problem singing this role, amazingly accomplished coloratura. The voice is so evenly placed up and down the scales. I’ve seen her a couple of times and in this production she appeared to be having an amazing time. She was every bit Brownlee’s equal in her technical abilities.

            • Camille

              That is a big relief to hear as most of the roles she sings are not of that genre, but she knows what she is doing, with the voice and how to sing evenly. That said, this is a role even Joan Sutherland considered to be difficult!

              I am hoping so much La Martinez will get the next big boost needed to up her career as I never have had the chance to see/hear her and am sick and tired of sitting around listening to some of those other burnt out wicks. Fuerza, Ana María!

            • Regina delle fate

              Oooh grazie mille, Ivy! I adore her, but the RO seems tp have gone off the boil about her after her so-so Traviatas here. She was adorable as Alice in the Carsen Falstaff, though. Glad to hear her Rusalka in Chicago went well. It was wonderful at Glyndebourne. I had assumed, when she didn’t come back for the Rusalka revival there, that Glyndebourne could no longer afford her. How fab that this is not the case.

            • oedipe

              Don’t know if this is a big boost, but Martinez will be singing Mimi at Bastille next season.

          • Camille

            Thanks for the advance word on Les Martyrs, a work I really never expected to make a comeback for a plethora of reasons, not the least of which is Poliuto. I have seen a score somewhere, but have forgotten just where right now………

            Well, I look forward to that! Hymel should have a heyday and will
            provide him with another one of those kinds of vehicles that show him to greatest advantage. Really quite an interesting event so we will await the Regina Report from Festival Hall.

            • Regina delle fate

              Well, I’m sure Manou will be there, too.

          • operalover9001

            Speaking of the Opera Rara Les Martyrs, it’s a shame that Joyce El-Khoury couldn’t have been pulled in to sing Marguerite along with Yoncheva…

            • dr.malatempra

              Am very much looking forward to her( El-Koury’s) Michaela here in Santa Fe this Summer.

            • Regina delle fate

              Her time will come, I’m sure, although her only UK stage gig to date has been Violetta for our WNO. Dammit, I missed that, but the Belisario concert was great. Poliuto with Fabiano and Martinez, Les Martyrs with Hymel and El-Khoury -- what a treats for Donizettians! Has anyone seen Il furioso al Isola di San Domingo staged? There was a London concert performance with Terry Sharpe and Commonwealth diva, Lois McDonall many moons ago and it has mad scene for the baritone, for a change! Why aren’t all those baritones who really want to be Lucia not queuing up to sing it?

  • isoldit

    Of course PRINCE IGOR sold, it was a new production of a classic Russian opera that had not been done at the MET for almost a century and I believe last done at NYCO around 1971 (I saw that production as a kid) Russian opera always has had a niche audience at the MET, doing one or two Russian operas a season will get an audience, L’Elisir probably did not sell well because Netrebko already did the premiere. Not her best role and her fans had already seen her do it. Traviata sold mainly on Placido’s name, (let’s face it, half the audience probably thought he was singing Alfredo, a lot of people were often disappointed years ago when he conducted and didn’t sing, they thought when they saw his name on the cast list it meant he was singing) It is not an easy task finding the right mix that will fill the house, Chicago, for all the criticism here is thriving. NYCO self destructed due to bad choices in both productions and operas, If you want to do Phillip Glass , or Wozzeck or THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER, which will attract smaller audiences, you have to balance it with well cast performances of the war horses and classics that traditionally sell out to the larger, more casual operagoer. I worked for years with LAKE GEORGE OPERA back in the 70s, they had the right formula for an upstate new York opera festival, they did approximately six productions of operas in English, five classics and usually one American opera such as SUMMER AND SMOKE, SUSSANAH, THE CRUICIBLE (I actually made my stage debut in Alva Henderson’s THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS- it was dreadful) but under first David Lloyd and then Timothy and Paulette Nolan the company thrived in the environment. To be an opera manager requires a little of PT Barnum. you have to know what will sell. What hardcore opera fans want and the majority of the audience want are often two different things, If the art form is to survive it has to appeal mainly to the wider audience. As I said, I know so many people who have given up their subscriptions and like myself go far less often then we used to. (I used to average 3 times a week in the 80s, now once a month is usually sufficient, as I have gotten tired of being bored at the MET- the one performance that really kept be enthralled this season was the Norma with Meade and Barton, the voices and the music were downstage front and center and there was some real excitement. ) Most people I know complain about the updated productions and the constant parade of no name singers. (the Lepage Ring was the first time I have seen people leave in masses during Wagner performances, Wagner fans are usually very devoted )
    A spoiled rich kid who got the job of general manager through no talent of his own but through his parent’s influence and has shown he is clueless when it comes to this.

    • Krunoslav

      “Of course PRINCE IGOR sold, it was a new production of a classic Russian opera that had not been done at the MET for almost a century and I believe last done at NYCO around 1971 (I saw that production as a kid) ”

      Just so you know, NYCO last did PRINCE IGOR in 1994, and the Mariinsky/Kirov performed it at the Met in 1998-- plus they did Act II in concert at Carnegie, w/Sergei Semishkur in place as Vladimir, in 2007.