Cher Public

Her maestro’s voice

Our Own Poison Ivy interviews conductor Alain Altinoglu over at her own blog, Poison Ivy’s Wall of Text. (Photo © Fred Toulet.)

  • ML

    Ivy, “ottocento” means 19th Century.

    • ML

      … and it is great to learn more about Altinoglu, a great talent. Thank you.

    • ML

      Just to be clear, a day later, Otello and Werther ARE ottocento operas, so your sixth question makes no sense.

      Of course, if you don’t wish to accept or fix the error, that’s your business.

      • I fixed it. But he knew instantly what I was talking about. I was trying to make the differentiation between Bellini/Rossini/Donizetti/early Verdi and late Verdi/Wagner/Berg/Strauss etc. And many musicians get annoyed at the word “bel canto.”

        • ML

          That’s odd, because you could have been asking him about Mozart and Gluck, or even Handel, who also need conductors and are closer to the opposite “end.”

          • You are just about a centimeter away from browbeating here. I tried humorously to dissuade you from continuing this pointless argument, and now I am telling you, drop it. We know that you know what “ottocento” means, Ivy knows that you know what “ottocento” means, so enjoy our admiration and shut up about it.

            • ML

              @ La Cieca,

              I am going to stop commenting and contributing because your moderation is no good, as shown here.

            • @ ML

              You are not on moderation. If you want to take a break from commenting, feel free. Your account will be active if and when you decide to return.

            • ML

              @ La Cieca,

              When you tell someone to shut up, that is moderation — a needed function, except that in this case you mischaracterized fact-finding as a “pissing contest” and a “pointless argument.”

              Poison Ivy’s intent and behavior is the subject, not anyone’s command of Italian.

              As she has it, we are to believe that she asked an opera conductor whether he had “ever considered” conducting “Bellini/Rossini/Donizetti/early Verdi.” Okay, it’s her site. Let’s accept that.

              But poor behavior has continued in the last two days, and I for one don’t see the point of participating when the site tolerates, even protects, an aggressive contributor who resorts to dishonesty and word-twisting.

              Read the various exchanges of this month, involving several Parterrians (starting with F and O).

              I understand that she is reviewing and helping, and is a friend.

            • Fine, I’ll put you out of your misery. You can sit on moderation for a week and then if you’ve cooled off and changed your mind about sniping at other commenters, you can return. Or, if not, not.

      • As winner of the pissing contest, you will receive one liter of fresh piss.

  • bluecabochon

    Nice interview, Ivy, and great questions. :)

    • Thanks Blue! I was actually kind of worried because this is the first time I’ve ever done something like this. I also didn’t want to ask the usual Opera News questions :)

  • alejandro

    Beautiful eyes! #shallow

    • alejandro

      that hashtag referred to me not Altinoglu!

    • Rackon

      Then I’m shallow too -- yes, gorgeous blue eyes.

  • I thought it was interesting what he said about NY audiences.

    • Liz.S

      Lols -- Do you know Muti described NY audiences “they are bunch of peasants”? :D

  • Batty Masetto

    Yes, charming interview, Ivy. Good for you!

  • Liz.S

    Yay, Ivy! I liked your Qs, very nice interview, indeed!

    The only catch is… this guy’s music making wasn’t interesting at all compared to your potential as a music critic to my ears…

  • Donna Anna

    Brava, Ivy. Thoughtful questions, interesting responses.
    Wish the chat room were open tonight. MJ and Will are nattering on about repression. You should take over, Ivy.

    • I don’t even get Sirium XM but thanks all for the responses. I actually thought ‘am I sounding too fluffy?’

      • Sempre liberal

        The chatroom is always open. On most Sirius nights there are a few regulars.

  • Sempre liberal

    Many thanks, Ivy, for this excellent interview. Are you sure he’s not secretly Genevieve’s Castle Room? He’s going to champion Pelleas. He’s doing Falstaff in Vienna. If he mentioned Palestrina, I’d have put him on moderation in the rumpus room.

    • Hahaha. If he was GCR the interview would have gone like this:

      Q: Tell me a little about your early musical education. How did you get into classical music? Did you play an instrument?

      GCR: You have hit upon one of the most puzzling kind of music lover, the ones that play an instrument and therefore feel connected to the score. I think that true appreciation of music, profound appreciation, comes not from playing “La donna e mobile” on a piano but from studying the rich scores of Pelleas or Palestrina in solitude. My most precious tender moments have all arisen as I have pored through the scores of Pelleas and listened to a recording, alone, and from that I realized that my taste was simply more profound and refined than simple opera enthusiasts. Someone who plays the piano and conducts might find joy in such mundane but popular operas such as La Traviata or La Boheme. But true, deep, music appreciation that approaches my level of sophistication can come only from listening to these scores alone, at my desk.

      • Rackon

        Lol, Ivy.

        I wish you’d asked him whose idea the glacial tempi were in first 2 acts!

        Seriously, I enjoyed this interview very much, now parlay this one into more reviews, you’re a natural.

        • Aww thanks Rackon! This really was fun and I hope I can do more of these in the future.

      • bluecabochon

        Prepare to be cut and pasted into an Opera-L missive on 5, 4, 3, 2….1

    • Regina delle fate

      Well, I miss GCR and Betsy’s recipes from the Rumpus Room. FM is missing them both, too.

      • manou

        Solecism, gaffe, blunder and snafu! It is Batty and not Betsy who is the chef de cuisine at the Rumpus Room.

        Those chefs have very sharp knives, you know.

  • blanchette

    excellent interview- not fluffy at all- was there last night and could feel his deep understsanding and love of this opera. it was exciting. and your questions were well chosen. congratulations on getting this kind of access!

  • Hippolyte

    As Altinoglu is married to an opera singer--French mezzo Nora Gubisch, it might have been interesting to learn how that relationship has affected (or not) his opera conducting.

    • bluecabochon

      What would you expect him to say -- that it has had no effect?

  • Guestoria Unpopularenka

    Thanks. Very nice interview!

  • Guys, another interview with another artist is in the works! I don’t want to say too much about it but I’m pretty sure it will be awesome.

    • rapt

      You’re not the only one who anticipates awesomeness! I just read the Altinoglu interview, and I think you did a great job putting him at his ease and getting soem substantive responses out of him. Thanks!

      • manou

        Jonas or nothing.

        • Guestoria Unpopularenka

          Does Ivy’s blog have enough bandwidth for such a lengthy endeavor?

        • oedipe

          And nothing is?

          • Cicciabella

            A French singer singing French repertoire whom Peter Gelb has never heard of, obviously. Have we learned nothing?

            @Ivy: Really enjoyed the relaxed tone of the interview. Good luck with the next one!

            • oedipe

              That definition makes sense, but it leaves out the 1/2 dozen or so that Gelb has heard of and are now and then on the Met roster…

          • Cocky Kurwenal

            Borras, obv.

    • Rory Williams

      Hooray! Can’t wait. (going off to speculate about WHO). Best, Rory

  • FragendeFrau82

    Thanks so much, Ivy. Delightful interview, delightful man. I will be paying attention to what he does in the future! I was rather shocked last night by the people in the orchestra stalls who stood up and left almost before the curtain came down--and it did seem to be stuck! It’s not as if it was midnight! But wonderful standing ovation too and I hope all the artists could feel the love.