Cher Public

  • NPW-Paris: Oops… “buter” ; is French slang for “to shoot” but I assure you it wasn’t even a Freudian... 4:01 PM
  • NPW-Paris: I haven’t the foggiest idea about buter in Thanksgiving dinner – never invited! I suppose I am taking precautions:... 4:00 PM
  • Camille: Hahaha! Dont you know one of the secrets to Thanksgiving dinner in these here Yewnited States is butter, Butter, and MORE BUTTER... 3:57 PM
  • NPW-Paris: And “worthless bumph.” 3:47 PM
  • NPW-Paris: I guess from all the “pillockR 21; and “bugger, bugger, bugger” that the translation is British. 3:44 PM
  • armerjacquino: You called? httpv://www.youtub FnwSt88 3:34 PM
  • NPW-Paris: Yes, definitely a big “Habe Dank”. Butter? Are you toasting crumpets? 3:20 PM
  • armerjacquino: There’s that QEII gala again- with Murray and Kenny. Lovely. 3:13 PM

I just don’t see it

Which soprano, whose lovely voice and charming stage presence should make her worth her weight in gold, is not being asked back to an opera company where she’s had great success? Is it because she’s developed a reputation for being difficult?


  • Poison Ivy says:

    This is quite a legendary story, told to me by the late Kenn Harris:

    A young fan approached Eileen Farrell and asked her to sign an album. She agreed, and wrote, “Fuck you. Eileen Farrell.”

    • figaroindy says:

      I am not sure I believe that one, but I do know that students of hers at IU once gave her an album by a composer she was NOT a fan of, and she promptly sat on it and said “that’s where that belongs.”

      • Poison Ivy says:

        On the other end of the spectrum, a friend of mine (no longer with us) said that during the Callas master classes he was wandering around and all of a sudden spotted Maria entering an elevator. He screamed and followed Maria up the elevator, gushing the entire time. Then he realized he had nothing to sign! Elevator stop, Maria gets off, and says “Go buy something and I’ll be here.” He ran to a record store, bought a Callas album, and indeed, she was still there, and signed everything for him.

    • Often admonished says:

      “Fuck you. Eileen Farrell.”

      It may not be true. But it should be.

      • Flora del Rio Grande says:

        Dear Often Admonished: Here is the way it
        should be —- Fuck you, Eileen Farrell.

  • jrance says:

    Oropesa has excellent upcoming engagements in USA and Europe and is reportedly coming back to the Met in 2016 for more RIGOLETTOs. Just because someone doesn’t sing at a particular theater for a season or two does not mean there’s been some big falling-out.

    • Poison Ivy says:

      It is a weird gap though. Since 2009, she’s been quickly moved through the ranks. She sang her first Susannas in 2009. Next season, Amore in Orfeo, Rhinemaiden. Next season, one of the leading roles in The Enchanted Island. Season after that, Gilda in Rigoletto. This year, Nanetta in a NP of Falstaff and Sophie in Werther. This is crazy but she’s been in four HD’s where she’s had a pretty major role (Rondine, Enchanted Island, Falstaff, and now Werther.) So for her to be moved that quickly and then absolutely nothing is weird.

      • jrance says:

        So, what’s your point? Do you know what’s been offered to her that she turned down?

      • la vociaccia says:

        Ignoring whatever additional information led to this blind item, I still don’t find it too odd that she’s absent for a single season. It happens. There is currently an embarrassment of lyric soprano talent waiting to sing at the Met. I’m STILL waiting for Ana Maria Martinez to return after the nine (!) years since her debut.

      • Uninvolved Bystander says:

        Make that five. She was the Dew Fairy in HANSEL AND GRETEL.

        • laddie says:

          I AM the Dew Fairy!

        • operapass says:

          According to her IMDB Page..

          - Verdi: Falstaff (2013) … Nannetta
          - The Enchanted Island, a Baroque Pastiche (2012) … Miranda
          - Wagner: Das Rheingold (2010) … Woglinde
          - Puccini: La rondine (2009) … Lisette
          - Puccini: Manon Lescaut (2008) … Madrigal Singers
          - Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (2008) … the Dew Fairy
          - Puccini’s Il trittico (2007) … Lay Sister

          with Werther, that makes 8 HD’s.

    • C says:

      It seems particularly strange as she’s one of the more promising recent Lindemann graduates. The Met/Oropesa relationship is one that I would imagine would be valued on each side (Met’s already sunk a bunch of money and time into her) so can’t imagine them not offering (and attempting to tout one of their prized calves) without good reason and have an even harder time imagining her turning down roles from them at this point in her career without cause, especially considering the kinds of decent rolls she’s gotten there.

  • Milady DeWinter says:

    Agreed, vociaccia -- and still waiting for a Mimi (besides Netrebko, who was pitch perfect in a one-off Sirius b’cast a few seasons back)who can float “Di primavera…”

    • Poison Ivy says:

      I kept thinking this year that Irina Lungu (Musetta) should have been singing Mimi instead of the shrill Kovaleska. Lungu had a creamy, rich sound. Really beautiful voice.

      But as I said, in the lyric soprano field, it’s like “You have a lovely voice? Get in line.”

    • la vociaccia says:

      Needless to say Kovalevska’s Mimi did not leave me convinced that Martinez was justifiably off the roster…

      • MontyNostry says:

        Does Kovalevska get major dates anywhere else apart from the Met these days? She was very promising when she won Operalia back in 2006, but she doesn’t seem to have happened.

  • antikitschychick says:

    It could also be that she’s not being immediatelyasked back so that she may be able to pursue roles in other houses, preferably outside the US. It all depends on whether the not being asked back part is short-term or long term.

    • jrance says:

      As stated above, Oropesa is back at the Met in 2016 as Gilda. Look at her website and you’ll see what she has coming up in USA and Europe. She’s hardly sitting home waiting for the phone to ring.

  • bluecabochon says:

    I have had fun at the expense of others on this site and can be very pointed with my own criticism and humor, but I am shocked at the level of some of these comments and the sheer nastiness of some posters here, especially one GUEST.

    In a way I hope that this blind item is correct, because this is character-assassination-via-anonymous board the likes of which I have not seen; Parterre might be open to legal action. I would be calling my lawyer right away if I were she. This is not fun -- this is someone’s career you are trashing here. You don’t know what battles people face every day and what they carry with them.

    The psychological analyzing of this woman by lay persons is also really offensive.

    This whole thread is not worthy of this site.

    • armerjacquino says:

      blue- I’m actually a wee bit surprised. With all the laceration that the Flemings and Voigts and de Nieses and BITD, Dessays faced on this site, a few people saying ‘I’ve heard this singer isn’t very nice’ doesn’t strike me as unusually nasty.

    • CwbyLA says:

      blue- I agree with you mostly. There should be a distinction between saying that Ms. Oropesa’s singing sucks because of this and that reason and Ms. Oropesa is a diva through and through because of some perceived egoist behavior. If she (or husband/manager) is reading this board, maybe it will help her to develop a thicker skin which she will certainly need if she becomes an international star a la Fleming, DiDonato, etc. I don’t know her at all and it is also possible that she is indeed nasty to her colleagues. If that is the case, I do hope that she takes this as a sincere feedback. I wish Ms. Oropesa great success.

    • toitoitoi says:

      Right on, Blue. Two cents worth; she’s an alum of a teacher with whom a family member studied, so he got to spend some time with her, including after her star started its rise. She was and is a smart, talented, down to earth woman, who works hard. End of story.

  • mskapay says:

    I am pretty certain Lisette reads Parterre and is possibly one of the commenters above. I’ve seen her show up places like Reddit, which isn’t exactly an opera haven, to answer questions, and so I’m fairly confident she knows about Parterre. So, the deniers above strike a false chord with me. Mind you, I’ve never found one of Cieca’s blind items to come true yet, so I’m not too sweaty about this one.

  • kph11863 says:

    Bluecabochon --

    Your points are very well taken. Blind items with or without corroboration or substantiation can be dangerous things, and in future, it might be wiser to avoid posting them until/unless they become public fact, lest this become akin to TMZ or the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. Frankly, 95% of the backstage drama (if not indeed more) really is not our business and is the perception of one person or a small group without the benefit of all of the puzzle pieces and mind-reading motivations which, again, may not be truly ours to own.

    May we now move onto something less dicey and dour and more positive and productive, like what we may look forward to in the remainder of the present season. It might be more cut and dry and boring but at least it is less personally damaging and libelous.

  • redbear says:

    I actually heard from a singer after a nasty comment I made. It changed my habits. You can assume that many singers actually look at available media, not just newspapers, and Parterre is an obvious one of major interest. You might think about those names you recognize as being your “audience” not realizing that anyone with internet access can read everything here.

    • redbear says:

      That was a long time ago on a different forum…

    • armerjacquino says:

      People do know stuff gets read. De Niese replied to individual points via the parterre twitter. Didn’t change a thing.

  • KCB says:

    Oropesa, really? Whatever. She’s wonderful. So looking forward to hearing her tomorrow, as well as that Jonas fellow.

    • operaghost7 says:

      How strange to read this stuff about Lisette, of all people. It’s clear from the comments that most of you don’t know her and have never met her. Why would you get enjoyment out of jumping in and trashing a stranger? She’s actually extremely nice and self critical….the last thing she deserves is to be embarrassed like this. I know she is aware of these kinds of things (like Parterre) and I feel terrible for her that she might have to deal with reading this stuff the day before an international movie broadcast of her show. I sincerely hope nothing like this ever happens to all of you.

      • grimoaldo says:

        Here is how I interpret the original item in light of what has been said here by people who seem to know her and the Opera News clip antikitschy posted -- Lisette does not want to be pigeonholed as a soubrette/light lyric soprano, as Ivy says there are a lot of those around, and judging from the concert of Masnadieri, she shouldn’t be pigeonholed like that either. I actually thought as I went through the door before that performances “well, there is a little ingenue singing the Jenny Lind role today, she won’t be able to do it justice, but maybe she will chirp the coloratura bits quite prettily”, but it wasn’t anything like that at all, she had a full voice all through the range, good lows notes as well as high ones, very dramatic when she needed to be, just sensational in every way.
        My guess is that “reputation for being difficult” refers not to bitchiness to colleagues but turning down more Sophies in Werther/Rosenkavalier, -ina type parts, if she is coming back season after next as Gilda, that is a role that is more than a soubrette. I hope the truth is that she wants to grow into more substantial roles than the Met offered her for next season and that they will continue to present her in leading roles such as Gilda in which she can use her outstanding abilities fully.
        I wish her every success in today’s HD broadcast and look forward enjoying many more of her performances in the years to come.

  • Spen says:

    If Lisette is really a bitch she would be at home on parterre right? ;)

  • williams says:

    Sonnambula: boffo! Leads electric. In house huge ovations.

  • Satisfied says:

    More PLEASE. Debating on whether to go Tuesday.

  • williams says:

    Damrau had a minor pitchy moment early and then settled into one of the more vocally riveting turns I’ve seen lately. She acted pretty well too. I’m sure I’ll be crucified here but this kid Camarena came from the clouds. Sweet ping and well placed. The joint was 2/3 full but you’d never know it from the curtain calls. Very satisfying evening.

    • skoc211 says:

      I was there and it was one of the more glorious nights of music I’ve been to in a while. The production is still a dud (and that’s being generous), but when you’re listening to singing like THAT I can get past it. All the leads were superb, as was the chorus. And I’m totally with you on Camarena. Where did he come from!? Damrau’s final sleepwalking scene was beautifully and sensitively sung. An absolute triumph all around.

      • semira mide says:

        I only listened from the Met’s stream, but I totally agree. The singing was just sublime. if I lived close by I would go to every performance. Too bad the production is awful and the conducting blah. But the singing is real bel canto!

        • peter says:

          I’m afraid I don’t understand all the excitement about Damrau’s Somnambula last night. I admire her her intelligence and commitment, but the voice sounds so gray and workmanlike to me. I’ve tried so hard to appreciate that sound but it’s just so ordinary.

          • RosinaLeckermaul says:

            Each to his own, but I thought Damrau sounded fabulous last night. And Camarena -- fabulous.

            • Clita del Toro says:

              I love Bellini and I LOVED Sonnambula last evening. Camarena was wonderful, a big surprise as was Damrau. Hers is not my favorite voice, but, wow, she nailed it. I am still upset by the stomping during Ah non giunge!

      • FomalHaut says:

        ‘Care compagne…Sovra il sen’

        ‘Ah! non credea mirarti’

        ‘Ah! non giunge’

        • tiger1dk says:

          Ms Damrau sings well -- but for some reason her singing does not move me. Not that it really matters (it is only one note) but didn’t the short Eflat at the end of the first verse sound somewhat strange?

        • uwsinnyc says:

          She sounds pretty exciting- although I also agree with those who find her voice a tad ‘workman-like’. Thanks for posting.

          This is from last night’s stream, right?

          • Lady Abbado says:

            I like her in roles that involve lots of coloratura, but when she gets into full lyrical territory, her limited ability to move (one emotionally) becomes apparent.

            Also, once you hear Callas performing La Sonnambula, everyone else sucks, by comparison…

            And the vocal acting is so great, you don’t even feel the need to see, as the job is done in one’s mind’s eye by the voice alone:

    • la vociaccia says:

      Happy Camerena had a success (Btw he will be turning 38 in two weeks, so happy early birthday!)

  • Buster says:

    Jessica Pratt is quite sensational in this, apparently. Her first time with a glass harmonica:

    • MontyNostry says:

      I tried to look up some stuff on Pratt’s website yesterday and none of the links seemed to be working. Is it just my browser or is there a problem with her site?

      • semira mide says:

        Jessica is pretty active on twitter and it’s fun to follow her performances. She will be in “Aureliano in Palmira in Pesaro “this August along with Spyres.

    • oedipe says:

      Some singers, for some reason (and I am sure it has something to do with their agents), have predominantly regional engagements. And I don’t mean that they are attached primarily to one opera house -like Camarena in Zurich, for instance- but that they sing in a number of houses, in several countries, but in only one region. That seems to be the case with Jessica Pratt, who performs a lot in Italy, Southern France and Spain and rarely elsewhere.

      Incidentally, Pratt will debut in Semiramide in Oct.2015 at the Marseille Opera.

      • Guestoria Unpopularenka says:

        Some have several agents, each for a specific area. Like Italy only, for example.

        • MontyNostry says:

          It’s interesting that, in crisis-ridden Italy (where, reportedly, performers sometimes don’t even get paid for their work until a year later), a singer can both launch and sustain a substantial career, as Pratt has done. Maybe this has been a strategic approach on her part too: build a reputation in the land of bel canto before going for the international houses. Whatever the case, I’m glad things are working out for her.

          • oedipe says:

            Yes Monty, and that is true also of Kunde, who is experiencing a second youth and a substantial career in Italy. I am very happy for him too.

      • la vociaccia says:

        I’ve thought about this (and actually mentioned it here a while back), and I think Pratt genuinely enjoys the career she has, singing constantly in beautiful houses around southern Europe, where audiences enjoy her very much. Quite similar, in fact, to the career Michael Spyres had until a few years ago. I saw Pratt in CIRO IN BABILONIA two years ago, and at the time I thought her forte top notes were a tad wild, but everything else -piano singing, fiorature -- was really excellent, and in retrospect she was really something special.

    • alejandro says:

      WOW. She sounds great. And she has the dramatic chops too.

  • willym says:

    Saw Camarena in Jommelli’s Issaco at last year’s Whitsun Festival in Salzburg -- he was brilliant. Met him at our hotel later -- he and his family were staying there -- and we had a chat. A very charming gentleman: he was saying what an interesting change and challenge it was to go from bel canto to baroque and how important the recitatives where. He then mentioned that he would be appearing at this year’s Festival as Don Ramiro in Cenerentola -- the programme was being released later that day. So glad he had such a success last evening and really looking forward to the Rossini in June.

  • A. Poggia Turra says:

    Camarena also did a fine Belmonte in the 2013 Salzburg Entfuhrung, which was staged in the Salzburg Airport’s “Hangar 7″ (Red Bull owner):

  • Poison Ivy says:

    Well, I went to the final Werther today, and did the stage door thing, and met the cast. I finally got to meet Alain in person. And Lisette was very gracious.

    But OH.MY.GOD.OH.MY.GOD.OH.MY.GOD. I finally got to meet Jonas!!!!!!! Let me repeat: OH.MY.GOD.

    • CwbyLA says:

      Great pictures Poison Ivy. I saw it on HD today. It was a great production. The opera has wonderful music and the singers were all excellent but somehow it is a very boring opera for me. Jonas Kaufmann is a GOD!

    • Fidelia says:

      Good for you, Ivy. When I saw Jonas as Werther at the Bastille in 2010, I did the same stage door thing for the 1st time in my life. I felt I just couldn’t leave without thanking him for such an extraordinary musical and theatrical experience. He was such a sweetie to each person who asked for an autograph. Since then, I’ve done it again a couple of times and he’s always been unfailingly cheerful and courteous. You’ll just have to live with that OMG feeling from now on, it doesn’t go away. I’ll see you at the stage door the next time around!

      • Poison Ivy says:

        Well to be honest I was afraid of meeting him. Because I admire him so much as an artist and if he had been curt, or rude, I think I would have been crushed. And I would have felt foolish, having clutched my program and the Werther DVD for him to sign. But he was soooo nice and charming. He was even chatting up Linda (although he kept calling her “Harriet.”) And the first two pictures were blurry so I asked for another one and he said “Harriet hold on” and took another picture with me. By which time I didn’t have much to say except “Oh.My.God.”

      • Regina delle fate says:

        Someone pass Oedipe the sick-bucket! :)

    • No Expert says:

      I love Lisette. She’s such a little scene stealer. I wonder if that is really why her colleagues are mad at her.

    • Regina delle fate says:

      lol Ivy -- what a great day for you! Congrats!

  • armerjacquino says:

    No amount of playing around with browsers, or logging in and out, will allow me to post on anything but the last page, so forgive me that these thoughts are in the wrong place.

    1) It seems to me to be naive that some people are saying ‘She was lovely to some fans, so that proves she’s a great colleague’. The two often don’t go together. I’ve seen performers who are sweetness itself at stage door and nightmares in the rehearsal room. Note that I’m talking generally here, not about Oropesa or anyone else, just questioning that particular line of logic in and of itself.

    2) croche is right about ‘blind item’: it has a specific meaning, which is ‘here is a story from which the names have been taken out’. La cieca has posted hundreds over the years, and even has a series of photos which denote a blind item is being posted. The phrase doesn’t mean ‘later found to be untrue’ or whatever contortions are being made around it.

    • Camille says:

      Armerjay, i have also been having the identical problem logging and posting so it is not just your problem, it is Anglo-American and across the board.

    • -Ed. says:

      This solved that same problem for me, maybe it will work for you:
      1. Login
      2. Navigate to the desired page
      3. Reload that page.

      If you’re unfamiliar with the Reload process, check the Help section in your particular browser. I’m using an iPad, and to reload I just click that circling arrow symbol up at the right end of the web address (URL) bar.

      After the page reloads, the “Login to reply” message should now read “Reply”

      Let me know if it helps.

      • armerjacquino says:

        Ed- thanks so much for this. It’s a trick that often works for me too, but didn’t on this occasion.

      • Camille says:

        does this work for iPhone, 2? That’s where I have been encountering problems.

        Also, is there any reason a screen will suddenly seize up, blank out and collapse? Too many pages open? Sometimes it will happen over and over again.

        Thank you. Very much.

        • manou says:

          is there any reason a screen will suddenly seize up, blank out and collapse?

          Low blood sugar?

          • Camille says:

            lol!! I hadn’t perhaps considered the obvious.

            I’ll be sure to get it on a proper diet tout de suite!

        • -Ed. says:

          Yes, it should work on an iPhone 2. To reload the page just touch the circling arrow symbol on the right end of the URL address window.

          For the seize issue, you can check to see how many windows are open by touching that double-square symbol on the bottom right of the menu bar, located at the bottom of the touch screen. If there are too many windows open, close them all except one by touching the little X on each window. It’s also a very good idea to turn your phone completely off every once in a while and not just let it go to sleep. Turning it off then back on sometimes works wonders on these mobile gizmos.

          • Camille says:

            okay, GOTCHA!!! Thank you and mucho spasibo!! I have learned all these things but I get too many pages going and forget. I had better not from now on!

            Also, as my phone will be two years old in May, I had better remember to turn it off more often. Good suggestion. Maybe I will buy a JuicePak thingeybobber, too. That should help.

            Gee, it feels good to be an old lady who can handle these minimal requirements that an average 8 year old can do without even thinking about it!!

    • kennedet says:

      Totally agreed, (regarding #1) Armer. A neurotic singer can totally destroy a production, if allowed. Especially if their ego is completely out of control. There are singers who feel they deserve to be in the company of those with
      more prestige and fame. Therefore, they are unfairly critical of everything that they experience at a rehearsal. There is no alternative but to dismiss them for the good of the performance. It’s not difficult to fake polite acceptance of compliments from an admiring public.

  • Camille says:

    I’d love it if Lisette could take over the current Lisa in this production of Sonnambula. It would be right up her alley.

    Is this any kind of a real issue at all, or is La Cieca just trying to give us hungry piranhas some fresh fish food here?????

    I mean to say, Michael Fabiano is not going to be back in the upcoming season as well and there has been a bit of a contretemps about it, but, basically, they are BOTH BUSY elsewhere with top flight leading role engagements, so where is the harm? The Met has set both of them up in their respective careers and given them chances with which they have done well, so now perhaps the Mother Hen MET is saying to her little chickadees “Now, kiddies, go out and see what worms you can rustle up on your own in the Big Bright Broad World, and then we will let you come back and star in your favorite role…”??????

    Maybe not. Maybe she has become persona non grata for a variety of well occluded reasons, but I really wonder about all this and the appropriateness of hatcheting a fairly young and pretty talented person’s nascent career. She could be Eve Harrington, for all I concern myself is what they deliver to me when they stand and sing. The rest is simply not my affair.

    • SilvestriWoman says:

      Now, I don’t know anything about Oropesa beyond her artistry, which I’ve much enjoyed.

      In the context of this thread, I’d say that I’ve only heard tremendous things about Fabiano, not just as an artist but as a person. That he’s become a personal friend of our dear Maestro Wenarto -- not just of the Facebook variety, but dining at Wenarto’s home -- tells me all I need to know. I couldn’t imagine the young tenor having a single pretentious bone in his body.

      • la vociaccia says:

        Sure you can imagine it. All famous opera singers have at least one pretentious bone in their body. You don’t get to the upper echelons without knowing how much you kick ass, and letting people know it from time to time.

    • grimoaldo says:

      Here’s Lisette’s schedule for next season again -
      No Sophies, no Nanettas, no soubrette supporting parts, only great big leading roles, Konstanze, Susanna, Pamina, Marie in Fille, Gilda.
      She doesn’t want to do cute little soubrette parts any more, only leads,she is going back to the Met when they are having her as Gilda, that’s why someone at the Met thinks she is being “difficult”, it does not say “neurotic bitch”.

      • Guestoria Unpopularenka says:

        Where does it say about Rigoletto?

      • antikitschychick says:

        yeah I think you may be right grim…just to be clear (and this is not directly aimed at you or anyone) I do enjoy her singing and I do hope its not the case that she wont be asked back to the Met. I posted that video cuz it was a good interview and because it showed that she has some spunk/attitude…which can be a good or a bad thing depending on the context…in any case I wish her all the best in her future endeavors and I do hope we get to hear her as Gilda in 2016.

        • Guestoria Unpopularenka says:

          The exciting Gilda in that season will the Olga Peretyatko in November 2015.

          • antikitschychick says:

            can’t really say Im that familiar with her tbh…I’ll try and look her up on yt in order to inform myself…are there any vids you’d recommend off the top of your head?

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka says:

              What?? lol

              This is obviously not a role for her but still she does this aria quite well. She’s singing in I Puritani at the Met next month.

            • antikitschychick says:

              oh, wait I have heard her! For some reason I was confusing her with Anna Prohaska. My mistake :-P . Yeah Olga is pretty good.

            • PetertheModest says:

              They look a bit similar, but Anna Prohaska is thinner.

  • grimoaldo says:

    On page 3 of these comments, jrance said “Oropesa is back at the Met in 2016 as Gilda” and also said when Ivy asked her (? or him) if s/he knew what LO had been offered at the Met this season “as a matter of fact I do know”. I think that is, as they say in Britain, a “close friend” of LO who actually does know what s/he is talking about.