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The man on the wedding cake

Though at the moment we have no indication that there will be a cast change for the final three performances of La Cenerentola at tha Met, La Cieca does think the group mind should apply itself to the pressing question of exactly wbich tenor will appear in the HD telecast on May 10.

Image based on a photo by Ken Howard.


  • williams says:

    Has Chico Marx become a Parterre comments contributor?
    There are and were plenty of bodies like Pavarotti.

  • quibbleglib says:

    Well, this young tenor certainly sings the hell out of the role:


    • quibbleglib says:

      • FaustinaBordoni says:

        OMG! Andrew Owens sang the SHYATT out of that aria! There’s a lot going on well there: buttery tone with a heroic edge; silky, accurate, exciting coloratura AND a serviceable trill (how many tenors would dare to trill on an F# and acquit themselves nicely???); an engaging vocal personality; and a handsome face.

        I want to hear more from him and hope he gets his chance to strut his stuff on the east cost. I’d take him over Owens over Shrader any day. Are you listening, Peter Gelb?

        • FaustinaBordoni says:

          By the way, I’d take him over Camarena as Don Ramiro. The aspiration works my nerves. What’s left doesn’t make up for it. Sorry, Camarena lovers . . .

        • almavivante says:

          Wow, this lad is a revelation! Very nice indeed!

        • Rowna says:

          Let’s not forget Mr. Brownlee as the Prince. I actually have used this clip to teach some students “perfect” lip positions -- if you don’t know about it -- while you watch you can learn :)

          • laddie says:

            Oh Rowna, this is just sensational singing, isn’t it? Love this.

          • la vociaccia says:

            Hmm, I don’t really think his lip formations are all that great; way too much vertical space, which I attribute to his (IMO) generally monochromatic sound.

            Gedda had, in my opinion, the best mouth to watch

            • Rowna says:

              Proper lip positions and how the jaw moves are part of the keys to help a singer gain a technique suitable for classical style singing. It is a very complex topic to discuss in sound bytes, and each student has different issues to overcome, especially for achieving “matching” voice and vowels. I have been teaching voice, mainly to beginning students, and have found that most aren’t even aware of how their lip formation can help them overcome so many deficiencies. Mr. Brownlee’s lips and jaw position aren’t there for looking good, but are used to achieve the high level of singing he displays. You may feel he is monochromatic in sound (I don’t) and perhaps, if you are a voice teacher, you would suggest that he change the way he forms his vowels. I am sure his sound would be different. Not all singers have ideal lip formations, and some sing fantastically. Some singers sing from one side of the mouth, a huge mystery as to how that works, but for some it does. I used this example because, in my personal experience, and with the students I have, this is what the proper position looks like, and seen, is a big help.

            • la vociaccia says:

              I’m well aware how important proper lip/jaw formation is, which is why I pointed out that Brownlee’s aren’t, in my opinion, very good. I was taught that the key to a natural and adaptable timbre was singing with your lips/jaw moving as close as possible to they way they move when you speak. The only time one need modify their natural position is when they approach the top, and even then it should still remain an equal amount of vertical/horizontal space (or a “square jaw,” as my teacher called it.) If you observe singers like Gedda, Bjoerling, Della Casa, and you turn the sound off while watching them, you’ll notice that they could very well be speaking instead of singing, so natural and unaffected are the way they form their vowels, which is directly related to the trademark purity of their respective timbres. They were capable of singing any color at any dynamic they wished. When you have a singer like Brownlee singing the way he does in that video, they limit themselves to only a few colors and textures. Costello is a more extreme example of a singer who sings everything with an unnatural mouth/jaw formation, and as a result he has basically one color, which he can barely use as it is

      • I find Camarena has a much “sweeter” sounding voice than Owens.That’s why I prefer Camarena.

        • FaustinaBordoni says:

          Camerana’s timbre is “sweeter” than Owens’s--softer around the edges yet still brilliant. It’s larger too. And he uses it stylishly.

          But Owens has the superior coloratura technique. In “Si, ritrovarla,” he articulates every note, including the quicksilver descending figures--starting on a high C--that most Rossini tenors tend to smudge. For Owens, the cabaletta sounds as easy as A-B-C--and super smooth. Camarena pulls it off too; however, the obtrusive aspiration robs it of the elegance we know is possible (e.g., Brownlee, Florez, etc.).

          At this point, I’d love to hear Camarena on May 10. We already have Florez as Ramiro on DVD. Camarena is a young singer with a special gift and a wonderful stage persona. He deserves every break he can get. That being said, I don’t want him singing Idreno before Brownlee does. LOL

  • Ilka Saro says:

    That’s some very fine singing, and a very comely appearance!

  • alejandro says:

    I wish it were Camarena. There’s already a JDD/JDF Cenerentola out there and I thought Camarena’s sweetness perfectly complimented Joyce’s. I want them to work together more.

  • The Conte says:

    I’d take Shrader over pretty much anything (kitchen table, sink etc.)

    Going on that Ceneretola aria recording I like Andrew Owens, and his accuracy with the coloratura is heart-stopping. It’s a distinct voice and attractive, even if there is a coarseness to his voice’s heft.

    Camarena’s voice is less exciting, but his singing is more stylish.

    I prefer Owens’ voice, but prefer the way Camarena sings. Then again I am only going by recordings as I haven’t seen either live.

    • la vociaccia says:

      Would you really take Shrader over either of the singers mentioned here? I’m just trying to understand what people find appealing about him. He was vocally undistinguished every time I heard him, and his acting wasn’t much better

  • Hans Lick says:

    Whaddaya bet JDF throws a SNIT FIT the size of Macchu Pichu if they don’t let him sing the encore too?

    (I am thinking of Glenda Jackson’s scene with Twiggy in Ken Russell’s “The Boy Friend.”)

  • FragendeFrau82 says:

    I believe they said twice during the intermission features today that JDF would be singing in La Cenerentola.

  • Camille says:

    Uncle Bernie didn’t like this one all that much notwithstanding the rock star, he gave it only 3***

    • Poison Ivy says:

      “Luca Pisaroni loomed darkly as Alidoro, and Pietro Spagnoli emerged egocentrically eccentric as Dandini.”

      I’m sorry but this is an example of useless critique. It’s a clever alliteration but what the hell does it actually tell us about Luca Pisaroni or Pietro Spagnoli?

      • DeepSouthSenior says:

        All we need is to learn that they loomed and emerged “on a dark and stormy night.” Purple prose to the rescue!