Cher Public

Just like girlfriends, with hats on

Let’s all let down our hair, cher public, those of us for whom this feat is possible, and discuss general interest and off-topic subjects.

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    The latest Jonas Kaufmann: “Winterreise” live from La Scala in April (I know: I should be posting “Im wunderschönen Monat Mai” but he hasn’t sung that yet, as far as I know). Something to get you through the weekend until our usual Montag mit Marianne:

    http://www.mixcloud.com/Jungfer_Marianne_Leizmetzerin/schubert-winterreise-kaufmann-deutsch-teatro-alla-scala-14-april-2014/

    It’s an in-house recording, but the quality is rather good.

    Schönes Wochenende!

    • Cicciabella

      Thank you, Jungfer, for this and everything you share with us.

      Dichterliebe: http://tinyurl.com/kba3phc.

      • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

        Thank you, Cicciabella, for both the audio correction. I gather this is the “Dichterliebe” form Quebec in January which is available on YouTube. Do you have any idea what else he sang at that concert? I would love to have him complete the Schubert trilogy with the “Schwanengesang” which is often paired with the “Dichterliebe” (at least in Wien; when Mark Padmore did the three Schubert cycles at Theater an der Wien, he fluffed out the “Schwanengesang” evening with the “Dichterliebe”).

        • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

          Never mind: I found it. It was “My Beautiful Laundrette” (“Die schöne Müllerin”).

    • umangialaio

      Dichterliebe, Wesendonck and other stuff at the La Scala on 21st October 2013:
      http://ximo.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/jonas-kaufmann-a-la-scala-21102013/

      Ulisse

      • Cicciabella

        Thank you, umangialaio. I can’t link from a mobile device, but on the same site you can find excerpts from the ROH Faust, including the Jewel Song and the final trio (see “Yoncheva” further down).

  • Guestoria Unpopularenka

    As expected, Yoncheva canceled SF Traviata and Boheme. In the former she will be replaced by Nicole Cabell, while Mimi will be sung by Alexia Voulgaridou.

    • Feldmarschallin

      Yoncheva has bigger fish to fry now.

      • Guestoria Unpopularenka

        The biggest “fish” is the baby, of course. Though now she can put an end to Baden-Baden and Hamburg’s misery.

    • oedipe

      On the subject of Faust in Vienna: while waiting to find out what Yoncheva sounded like last night, here is Beczala in rehearsals. He could give a lesson or two in Faust interpretation to Calleja and to Oh.My.God.

      • manou

        Polished performance.

        • oedipe

          Everyone should strive to polish their interpretation.

      • Cicciabella

        Beczala really has the most beautiful lyric tenor voice. Simply wonderful.

      • la vociaccia

        Speaking of Faust, I think I’ve found the most perfect ‘Salut’ ever recorded. It comes at 1:04:45 of this video

        • la vociaccia

          Oh, lo and behold, today is his birthday!

        • MontyNostry

          I was having a discussion with someone about Simoneau just this week. It’s a shame that the current (talented) batch of light-lyric tenors doesn’t seem to have his charm and elegance.

          • MontyNostry

            Off-thread, but I’m just listening to Puritani from the Met. I was wondering who the blustering baritone was -- and it turned to be Kwiecien. Fischer-Dieskau on a rough night is clearly his model for Italian style. Not impressed by Peretyatko, either -- soubrettish, pecking at the coloratura and flat acuti. This is an instance when they should have gone with young Americans!

            • La Valkyrietta

              Monty,

              I am also listening to the Puritani from the Met (Camille, where are you?) and sure, there is no Fisher-Dieskau (we can only wish), but at least they did a more decent Suoni la Tromba than when I was there on the Prima. I am now thousands of miles from New York, but was curious so tuned in. I think Olga is disappointing. She is so beautiful, has a nice sounding voice, and I want to love her, but she does not deliver. Where is the emotional content of “o togliatemi la vita, o rendetemi il mio amor…”? ETC. Petrusi was fine to listen. I like the conducting. I will listen to the end, and try to live through the falsetto of the tenor in the last act, and I’m sure to find things to enjoy. But accuse me of pearl clutching, I don’t mind, I wish I was in the house with Joan, Luciano, Samuel and Milnes. Still, I wish I was in the house with anyone, love Puritani.

            • Camille

              Where am I?
              I was there.

              It was Monsieur Camille’s birthday and we were only too happy to share it Our Beloved Vinnie. We were very happy to hear his music and didn’t much care if Felix the Cat and Minnie Mouse were singing, although we have been looking for our Callas/DiStefano recording this evening but can’t seem to find it. Oh well………..

              No one ever sang “Ah, toglietemi la vita, ecc.” like Callas so what is the point of comparing.

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              So we take it you weren’t satisfied.

            • I love di Stefano but I think Brownlee’s singing of the role is much better than di Stefano.

            • la vociaccia

              Well his high notes are better than Di Stefano. That’s where the comparison ends, for me. I just think Di Stefano is so much more satisfying as a musician

          • la vociaccia

            Hardly anyone wants to sound themselves anymore, Monty, and this doesn’t only apply to lyric tenors. It’s all about getting on the fast track to a career, and people generally get very excited about the 25 year old with the loud high notes who almost-kinda-sorta sounds like Corelli. So we’ve got a whole crop of lyric tenors trying their best to sound nothing like themselves, and in the process cutting themselves off from the wealth of color and expression they would have access to if they didn’t spend all of their time manufacturing a more ‘impressive’ basic sound. It’s even worse with basses. They must all think “well, I’m a bass, so fuck it, I’ll overdarken and make my voice REALLY bass.” And the result is a crop of basses like Kocan and Tanovitski who might as well be singing in Klingon.

            Simoneau sang in his own voice, and was an infinitely more elegant singer for it.

            • La Valkyrietta

              Kraus

          • polplancon

            You want charm & elegance..?

            • MontyNostry

              That is lovely, pol. I’ve always heard good things about Tarver, but never actually listened to him before. Quite apart from the musicianship, I like the way he doesn’t squeeze the tone out.

            • armerjacquino

              Tarver’s version of Fenton’s sonnet in the CG/Terfel FALSTAFF is just ridiculously gorgeous.

      • Guestoria Unpopularenka

        Voici une critique sur la representacion d’hier soir.

        http://www.der-neue-merker.eu/wien-staatsoper-faust-3

        • Feldmarschallin

          Sonya Yoncheva durfte die Netrebko auch in London (an der Seite von Joseph Calleja) ersetzen und hat sehr gute Kritiken bekommen. Die stehen ihr auch in Wien zu, wenn man auch gerne eine leichtere Stimme für die Marguerite hörte – aber die Gheorghiu hatten wir ja schon. Jedenfalls ist es fabelhaft, einer jungen, gesunden, kräftigen Stimme ohne technische Probleme zuzuhören, der auch (nicht immer, aber meist) gewaltfrei strahlende Spitzentöne gelingen, und die Liebe und Leid dieser jungen Frau durchaus ergreifend singt und spielt.

    • MontyNostry

      How are Violetta and Mimì in San Francisco not big fish, please?

      • sdika

        Sonya Yoncheva stated: “I am very sorry to be unable to participate in La Traviata with San Francisco Opera due to my pregnancy. My doctor has strictly forbidden me to travel on long-distance flights, and for this reason I feel obliged to withdraw from this production. I regret that my participation in the November/December 2014 production of La Bohème must also be cancelled, as I expect to deliver my baby in October. I wish all the best to my colleagues in San Francisco for these upcoming shows and hope to work together on a future project.”

        • MontyNostry

          Well, it’s not fish she’s frying, unless Feldmarschallin was making a reference to Act I of Die Frau ohne Schatten.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Well I would think her first baby would be of more importance to her than flying all the way to SF and being far away from her family and doctors on a different continent. Yes Monty, frying fish are the unborn children crying from the pan. ‘Mutter, Mutter’.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1844 impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte

    Born on this day in 1916 tenor Léopold Simoneau

    • Camille

      Born on this day in 19-- Monsieur Camille!

      Happy birhday darling and ten thousand more!

      • Camille

        Happy birThday, sorry!

  • A. Poggia Turra

    Apologies if already posted:

  • Buster

    Opera star attends reception, flowerpot does not survive:

    How does she do it?:

    • DonCarloFanatic

      OMG. Joan’s hostess is the prototype for Edith Prickley.

      Does ANYONE know what year ordinary American women stopped wearing hats on weekdays as an everyday part of dressing to go to a grocery store or a doctor’s appointment? I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while. I know they kept wearing them for church through the sixties but Vatican II made a difference there, I believe.

      • Gualtier M

        “Company” (1970) Elaine Stritch asks the question: “Does anyone still wear a hat?”

  • armerjacquino

    Just watching the recent CG DON GIOVANNI which was on TV here recently, and can’t understand why it was so sniffily reviewed. It looks utterly stunning- the use of projection is wonderful- the personenregie is very detailed, and there’s some fine singing from Bystrom, Kwieicien, Gens, Watts and my new future husband Alex Esposito.

    Speaking of which, and in reference to our rolling conversations about newbies, the current Mr Jacquino, who is no opera fan, is watching it with me and is riveted.

    • PetertheModest

      Fine singing yes, and the projections were interesting, but as drama, it was an inexplicable mess. Donna Anna’s behaviour, in particular, made no sense whatsoever. Bystrom as Anna is entertaining Giovanni in the first scene, so she always knew who he is, and her discovery of him later simply does not work. I much preferred the traditional ROH production of 2008, which certainly made dramatic sense.

      • armerjacquino

        I’ve just seen the scene leading up to ‘Or Sai Chi L’Onore’ and I have to disagree. There’s some very clear storytelling from Bystrom. It’s finding out about Elvira and Zerlina that changes her mind. At the beginning of the scene she’s all over him, during ‘Non Ti Fidar’ she realises she’s been duped, and then ‘Or Sai’ is a masterful piece of vengeful manipulation.

        Not something I’d like to see in every production, but a very interesting take. I’m afraid I thought the Zambello production an ugly, confused mess.

        • Porgy Amor

          I do not like the Zambello either. At best it provides an adequate frame for good performances, but in the video release, Keenlyside seems kneecapped, having been boxed into playing one side of Don Giovanni, a predatory, reptilian, charm-free one. I guess this is some kind of option, but far from the most interesting one over a long evening. It is hard for me to see how he racked up such an impressive catalog. Then, in the handling of the women, the feminist overlay (the three women all holding the same weapon, Zerlina and Anna preventing Elvira’s suicide, etc.) is laid on so thick. Any class distinctions are just waved away. Sisterhood is just that powerful, I guess.

          I find FZ thoughtful and intelligent, and I think she is good working with singers. I have seen her coax strong performances out of people who can be lumps on stage. She is engaging and she communicates well and can get what she wants. I wish I liked her work more often. When I do dislike it, it is not “The production made me angry, but I respected it because it was bold and challenging,” either. It is a middlebrow, obvious brand of wrongheadedness.

          • PetertheModest

            But Keenlyside is also funny at times: I really liked the contempt in his voice when he says, “Don Ottavio”, and the way he shoves Zerlina back to Mazetto, saying, “Your Zerlina cannot be without you.”

    • rapt

      Dear AJ, congratulations on the new alliance, but I hope you don’t call him that to his face! (“…and this is the present Mrs. Harris.”)

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Who was that man (Australian? Brit?) on the MET intermission hosting the talk about Bel Canto? His voice was so irritating. What attracted the producers to hire him?

    • RosinaLeckermaul

      Sounded like a Scot to me. What happened to substantive questions on Opera Quiz? In general it seemed dumbed down from days of yore.

    • Guestoria Unpopularenka

      Gerald Martin Moore -- vocal coach, pianist.

      • armerjacquino

        He coaches EVERYONE- most recently Fleming, DiDonato, Connolly, Radvanovsky, Garanca… So however ‘irritating’ his voice might be, it’s not hard to see why he’d be invited to talk about singing.

        • Guestoria Unpopularenka

          Voice and accent are insufferable.

          • rapt

            I like listening to him. This must be a parterre first: different tastes in voices!

            • armerjacquino

              Bizarre that someone who clearly knows his stuff should be dismissed because his ‘accent is insufferable’.

              Bizarre, and a bit… well, you know.

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              It’s bizarre that armer makes an unfounded claim. Oh, wait…

            • armerjacquino

              Hmm? What unfounded claim would that be, then?

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              That I have dismissed him.

            • armerjacquino

              Oh, sorry. I’d somehow got it into my head that the word ‘insufferable’ was a dismissive one. How silly I feel now.

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              I suffered through it. Better?

          • Scottish. I didn’t know that = insufferable to you.

            • armerjacquino

              How DARE he be Scottish! Never mind if he, I dunno, knows what he’s talking about.

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              Craig Ferguson doesn’t bother me. Must be from a different village.

          • Clita del Toro

            I think that he and his accent are charming.

            • bluecabochon

              I do, too, Clita! He is a favorite opera personality of mine; I love how he presents himself and his wonderful accent and had I known, I would have tried to get to the intermission feature, but I was having too much fun visiting with Batty Masetto at this performance in the GT box that we had all to ourselves.

              A friendly thump on the head to the numpties (a Scottish expression) who find him irksome.

              :)

  • La Valkyrietta

    Where is the guy that kept saying there is nobody like Pavarotti? Love this,

  • La Valkyrietta

    Gedda.

  • La Valkyrietta

    This is why she was La Divina. Absolutely nobody like her. Absolutely divine.

    • Clita del Toro

      No doubt about that, Valk!

      • Camille

        For you, Queen Clita, and for our dear Valkyrietta, maybe one of my favourite things in all opera, of all time.