Cher Public

Moore, or less

La Cieca suggests the cher public kick off this week’s round of off-topic and general interest discussion with a little speculation as to which of Grace Moore‘s repertoire of operatic roles Miss Kathryn Grayson is enacting on this poster.

  • Feldmarschallin

    Anyone interested in a standing room ticket for Soldaten tonight? It is sold out and the cost is 11,50. I can meet you outside on the steps at 19.00.

  • Camille

    A bit of a strange non sequitur after die Feldmarschallin’s post just above, but I wanted to alert any possible von Weber Liebhaber out there that this week the archive Der Freischütz from 1972 is being played. It just now started at noon and you can go backtrack it, if you like. It will be played yet another time as well, think it is on Friday.

    Anyway, in light of the upcoming Euryanthe, I am most happy for the Weber presence, all of a sudden. Well, what do you expect from someone named “Camille”?

    I DID however come up with a Regie notion for an updated Freischütz, and that would be to do it à la DUCK DYNASTY. Think about it for a while; it works. Guns bibles and blonde womenfolks. Don’t know about the lederhosen and dirndls, but the beards and the guns work.

    • Camille

      And, as everyone will want to know eventually, the absolute best recording of Euryanthe would be the one with Maria Reining. The one with Joan Sutherland is also good, but in another league, and the third one I own — where is it? — I cannot recall who sings what at the moment.

      Maria Reining does not so much “sing” the role of Euryanthe as she makes sheer poetry out of the music in a way which one very seldom ever encounters.

      Now who sang on the third album? I shall return.

      • Camille

        Oh yes, LA JESSONDA also sings the role of Euryanthe, but I cannot vouch for much of it other than the duet with Eglantine, in which she rather miraculously and intelligently negotiated the high tessitura.

        I still cannot remember the other one. Oh well.

        • Camille

          The Third One, no wonder I couldn’t recall the Euryanthe, although she is really quite good, Herta Wilfert (a Bayreuth Venus), has the wonderful Inge Borkh as the Églantine, and she kind of steals it.

          On Urania. For those who care.

          • Camille

            Anne Schwanewilms also sang the role of Euryanthe in a London production, The Proms I am pretty certain, about ten years ago and received praise for her singing and interpretation. Was anyone of you British Brigade there? She would have just about the perfect voice for it of the singers of today.

            • Regina delle fate

              It was a Glyndebourne production by Richard Jones, done in concert at the Proms -- there is a Glyndebourne Prom every year, this year it will be Rosenkavalier and they usually do them in costume but no scenery of course, so it will be interesting to see what Miss Dumpydrawers is wearing -- and yes, I was there, at both. I don’t think I have seen a Glyndebourne Prom empty the Albert Hall as this one did. I’m a big Weber fan and it was a very fine performance conducted my Mark Elder -- who had previously conducted a virtually sold out QEH concert performance with Brewer as Euryanthe and Connell as Eglantine. As Euryanthe is a bit of a wispy part, La Schwanewilms was indeed ideal for the role, but the show was stolen by the singer I call the American Pauline Tinsley, Lauren Thingummywhatsit (?) who used to sing at the New York City Opera. She also sang Abigaille at ENO in 2001. Damnit I can’t remember her name. But I’m sure both of these Elder-conducted casts are acquirable online or on pirate CD. Frankfurt is doing a new Euryanthe next season with Erika Sunnegård, Heidi Melton, Erik Culter and James Rutherford. I’ll really try to see that. I’ve been waiting half a lifetime for the RO to do Oberon which is the only decent opera written for Covent Garden by a famous 19th Century composer. They’ve promised it twice in the last 40 years, and subsequently dropped it. We all know it’s difficult to stage, but so are The Excursions of Mr Broucek and we’ve had two of those in London. Pity La Grümmer didn’t leave a complete Euryanthe. She would have the perfect voice for the role. Now will somebody help me with the surname of Lauren ?????? or will I have to look it up?

            • Regina delle fate

              Duh! Flanigan!!! :)

            • Camille

              Hahaha! Regina, I like you inventions, Miss Dumpydrawers and Miss Thingummywhatsit better!!

              Thank you for the report on Euryanthe, and yes, you confirm what the article I read said, that the hall was very, very empty.

              What is even of more interest to me is the fact there was EVER a rumored production of Oberon, at ALL!! It would have been a perfect vehicle for Sutherland/Bonymge et all the troupe, and am ever sorry it never happened anywhere except within the confines of my imaginary theatre.

              Instead of this crappy pastiche they staged here at the MET, a convoluted cacophony of caterwauling of chaos, if ever there was one, what would it have harmed anyone to have staged Oberon, instead?

              The “American Pauline Tinsley” is truly a thought=provoking and an almost ideally accurate summing up of the talented Flanigan, who flopped in Roberto Devereux, apparently, as I never saw it, and after that her burgeoning on the scene here, just never quite recovered its momentum. I always wondered about what happened between she and the then very much on the scene Bubbles. They had an interview in some magazine, probably Opera Snooze, and it seemed a bit, um, terse, to me at that time.

              Speaking of Oberon I happened to see a rather uninspired concert rendition of it in Carnegie Hall about a dozen years ago, with, I think, the Collegiate Chorale and starring Miss Flanigan as the last minute substitute for Miss Voigt. She did well.

              Poor, poor Weber. What a waste of a lot of glorious melodious music!

              Thanks so much for your input. Yes, I agree about Mo. Elder, a quite good conductor.

              Mme. Camiknickers

              ps — I am thinking about lending Miss Dumpydrawers a pair of my camiknickers at her next performance as Okatavian, to liven it up a bit.

      • Jamie01

        Speaking of Euryanthe, is it worth the trip up to Bard to hear it? There’s not much on youtube. Just a few performances of the overture, and this:

        • Camille

          It is an ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL score, well worth hearing, at least once in one’s life! That is why I am trying to suggest a few recordings which I have experienced, as this is such a gorgeous score, just like his similarly ill-fated Oberon, wonderful music thrown into a pig trough.

          It is a wonderfully melodious and beautiful score with wonderful ensembles as well, wonderful belcanto style music that one can only surrender to in awe.

          Just familiarize yourself with it first and JUST FORGET ABOUT THE IDIOTIC LIBRETTO — which wrapped a stone around Euryanthe’s neck and sunk her to the bottom of the Ozean, du Ungeheuer, and JUST GO! It is a masterpiece of music.

          And it will probably be a fun neo-Goth punk staging, too, for how the hell else could you possibly pull it off?????

          Anyway, first time in over a hundred years it is staged in these parts so you can tell your grandchildren all about it, as they won’t get a similar opportunity.


          • Camille

            AND — Herr Wagner thought so much of the score and admired it so much (one of the very, very first durchkomponiert German operas, and the first that every gets done at ALL, that he modeled the whole beginning of Act II of Lohengrin upon the Églantine-Lysiart duet. Just go see and hear it and you will see for yourself.

            Off to dig up some tubers in the Youtube field.

            • aulus agerius

              I am going to this -- has so much more appeal for me than Devereux! I like William Burden a lot (god, he sings a broad repertoire -- I think he actually stills sings Lindoro which I heard him do a couple of times in 2005) and Ellie Dehn is OK.

              I listened to the performance with Studer and Theo Adam. Next is this one:
              Gabriele Fontana, soprano (Euryanthe),
              Christine Brewer, soprano (Eglantine),
              Stuart Skelton, tenor (Adolar),
              Neal Davies, bass (Lysiart),
              Alfred Reiter, bass (King Ludwig),
              BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
              David Robertson.

              I think the complete opera on YT is quite strange. Lysiart sings well though.

            • Camille

              Oh my! I didn’t know about this one although I thought I’d heard Christine Brewer had sung Eglantine somewhere, sometime.

              William Burden I NEVER get to hear and I do look forward to doing so. He should make a very good to excellent Adolar, depending upon the voice du jour, of course.

            • I’d be interested in how Burden sounds. Only time I heard him live was as Jupiter in Semele. The voice was lovely but what he did with it was infuriating — he kept breaking up the line with these little sobs and vulgar noises. He practically ruined “Wher’er you walk”.

            • Hippolyte

              My recollection is that Bard was planning on producing Euryanthe in Mahler’s arrangement of the opera but that particular bit of information doesn’t show up on the Summerscape website, so I don’t know if that is still the plan.

              Christine Brewer must be the only modern singer (or probably only singer ever) to have sung both Euryanthe and Eglantine--I have a recording of a London performance from 1994 with her in the title role and Elizabeth Connell as her nemesis.

            • Camille

              Besides the Mahler re-working of the score to Euryanthe, there is yet another and far more recent hash up of the work. I have seen the score once in a cknservatory in Europe but no longer remember the editor/hacker’s name, dammit! There was substantial amount of change and a lot of explanation as to why. I remember that Eglantine’s name was changed to Claudine and that is all!!

              It was not apparently successful at reviving poor misbegotten Euryanthe, either. I mention it as I have behun wondering which edition will be used.

            • Regina delle fate

              Verehrte Frau Camillanthe!

              I’d completely forgotten about that Edinburgh Festival Concert conducted by Robertson. Unfortunately I missed it, but it must have been broadcast. It must have been towards the end of Brian McMaster’s period as Festival Director as these are all “McMaster” artists. I’ve a vague recollection that Fontana substituted for Hillevi Martinpelto, a singer I like a lot, but I may be dreaming that. HM certainly sang Elsa in a konzertante Lohengrin there. I must see if my little man in Vienna can make me a CD of the Robertson Euryanthe…..we need a Deutsche-Repertoire Coloraturafan over here in the UK. :)

          • Jamie01

            OK, you’ve sold me on this. I was wavering mostly because of my memories of desperately trying to stay awake on the long drive back after Die Liebe der Danae. So I either need to see a matinee, or go on a day when I didn’t get up at 5:00 am for work.

            • Donna Anna

              Kashania, Burden is in town doing Don Jose and I wish he were staying to reprise his role in Silent Night.

            • Satisfied

              If you need any more convincing, I am listening and loving the Staatskapelle Dresden’s performance on Spotify. If I wasn’t previously sold…I am now!

              I looked at the schedule, and there are two Sunday matinee performances. I too treked up to Bard for Die Liebe der Danee, and though the trip was a bit exhausting, it was entirely worth it. One does not have too many chances to see Die Liebe der Danne and I suspect the same can be said for Euryanthe.

              Now the real question is: do I need to sit through a long-winded (…albeit educational) talk by Leon Botstein?

              Probably not…

            • Camille

              Much as I like and admire and respect Dr. Botstein and am so terribly grateful for his resuscitating all those little forlorn orphaned operas, his “talks” pre-show are just rambling monologues at which he introduces one topic after another and fave fetishes. Or in other words…

              “But I digress…”

        • Cicciabella

          Jamie, I can only echo Camille’s enthusiasm for Euryanthe. I saw the Nederlandse Opera production in 2003 and was completely captivated by the music. I don’t remember much about the production, except the deliciously evil Eglantine, but the music! Well, Camille has made a good case for it already. This is the production I saw:

          Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Claus Peter Flor
          Director: David Pountney

          König Ludwig VI: Frode Olsen
          Adolar: Jorma Silvasti
          Euryanthe von Savoyen: Gabriele Fontana
          Rudolf: Mark Wilde
          Lysiart: Wolfgang Brendel
          Eglantine von Puiset: Charlotte Margiono

          • armerjacquino

            I hadn’t even THOUGHT of Fontana since her sort-of-disastrous Zdenka on the Tate/Te Kanawa ARABELLA. Interesting to find she’s still singing, and in much heavier rep. Wasn’t she the Next Big Thing at one point?

            • manou

              When I think of Fontana…


            • Cicciabella

              Fontana sang dramatic roles for many years. I believe she was a fixture in Munich in her prime. She also sang the Kaiserin in Amsterdam. She would be in her mid-fifties by now and it seems she doesn’t do staged opera anymore. I think she teaches voice in Vienna.

            • Krunoslav

              I heard Fontana do a very underwhelming Alice Ford in Nancy in 2001-- like a bad Schwarzkopf imitation. She looked good. Best person in that cast was the Meg Page, one Alice Coote. Victor Torres quite good as Falstaff too.

            • Regina delle fate

              Yes, she was Armerj -- I remember being underwhelmed by her Glyndebourne Fiordiligi and Countess in the old Hall productions at the point when she was about to be TNBT. I can’t recall anything at Covent Garden -- a Pamina possibly -- and the next time I do remember hearing her was as the Capriccio-Gräfin in Edinburgh which was borderline ghastly. But she was pretty damn good as the Kaiserin in Amsterdam. I was really surprised and she even held her own against Herlitzius’s Färberin, no mean feat.

          • Camille

            Wow, did not know about that one. I am glad you liked it.

            Gabriele Fontana was quite interestingly weird as that Zdenka, but then I always think Zdenka has got to be a pretty f——ked up chick, as she really is not all that into that cross dressing routine. Her parents make her and she is in love with what’shisname, all the while trying to get Arabella to marry him. I am glad she got what she wanted in the third act, ENDLICH!!! Matteo, isn’t that whatshisname’s name?

            Oh, golly Wolfgang Brendel I have the fondest memories of from FRoSCH here, and Charlotte Margiono would have negotiated the thorny next of Eglantine von Puiset’s tessitura in quite an accomplished manner, surely. Eglantine is a really fun evil lady! Much more fun than Ortrudis!!

  • turings

    I’m just back from hearing Joyce DiDonato sing a wonderfully exciting Maria Stuarda in concert at the Deutsche Oper. Joseph Calleja sounded beautiful, and Marko Mimica had great gravitas as Talbot. Standing ovation at the end from hugely enthusiastic audience.

    • manou

      Who was the Elisabetta?

      • turings

        Carmen Giannattasio. She wore three different dresses, and I liked the first one best.

        • turings

          I feel a little shallow that that was my main impression of her …

          • Guestoria Unpopularenka

            I’m sure she’d be flattered. She seems to be a model/fashionista that never happened.

        • manou

          Thank you -- I am seeing them both here (ROH) on July 14:

          Bertrand de Billy
          Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
          Joyce DiDonato
          Carmen Giannattasio
          Ismael Jordi
          Lord Cecil
          Jeremy Carpenter
          Matthew Rose
          Anna Kennedy
          Kathleen Wilkinson
          Royal Opera Chorus

          • turings

            Well it was a lot of fun – DiDonato sounded like she was singing flat out at the limits of what her voice would do, which was exciting in itself. Hope you have a great time with it!

            • manou

              …and do not worry about being shallow -- from someone who derided Edda Moser’s Traviata frock horror.

            • turings

              In fairness, I just had a look at Moser’s frock – it is quite magnificently dreadful.

            • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

              Glad you liked it, turings.

              Are/were Giannattasio and Calleja an item, do you know? A well-got pal of mine pointedly mentioned them in the same sentence two years ago, shortly after they had appeared together at ROH; shortly afterwards another mate told me that Calleja had moved out of the family home. [No name was connected to that news item, to be fair].

            • Cicciabella

              @Baltsamic: You can see Joseph Calleja’s other half here (not Giannattasio):

            • manou

              Calleja is in a relationship with Snoopy Dog?

            • damekenneth

              No, Manou, he’s with Glenn Close!

            • Cicciabella

              Either of those two configurations would yield much-needed pop culture crossover publicity.

            • turings

              Glad Cicciabella found the answer for you, before I started doing a body language expert analysis of the curtain calls, BV ;)

            • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

              Thanks Cicciabella -- but hey, turings, fire ahead with the curtain-call body language analysis anyway. It’s almost compulsory!

        • Regina delle fate

          They are reprising this double act at Covent Garden next month, mise-en-scène by Caurier and Leiser. Sadly not with Calleja as Lay-chest-air, but a tenor called Ismael Jordi, who seems to sing in Amsterdam quite a lot. Buster probably can tell us more about him.

          • Buster

            Jordi looks more like a torero than a tenor. I heard him the June Anderson Lucrezia Borgia, and as the Italian singer in Rosenkavalier. He sounded more like a torero too.

  • Feldmarschallin

    Well when I arrived at yesterdays sold out performance I had no idea it would be like a Harteros/Kaufmann Premiere. Probably 50 people there with signs ‘Suche Karte’ or just holding up money. And all this at the 4th performance of Soldaten. The performance again was amazing. One more to go on Friday. But it does come back in the fall for three more performances.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1884 composer Ralph Benatzky

    Born on this day in 1898 poet and composer Federico García Lorca

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    This just in from Salzburg:

    Garanca (extending baby pause another month), Stoyanova (ill), and Beczala (ditto) are all out of the Stabat Mater on Sunday, to be replaced by Sonia Ganassi, Maria Agresta, and Lawrence Brownlee. Meanwhile, next year’s festival was announced this morning:


    Tragédie opéra von Christoph Willibald Gluck
    Diego Fasolis, Moshe Leiser, Patrice Caurier, Christian Fenouillat, Agostino Cavalca, Christophe Forey
    Cecilia Bartoli, Christoper Maltman, Topi Lehtipuu, Michael Kraus, Rebeca Olvera
    Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Lugano, I Barocchisti
    Freitag, 22. Mai, 19:30, Haus für Mozart
    Montag, 25. Mai, 15:00, Haus für Mozart

    Schauspiel von Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Andrea Wenzl, Michael Rotschopf, Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Jürgen Tarrach, u.a.
    Samstag, 23. Mai, 11:00, Stiftung Mozarteum – Großer Saal

    Opera after the manner of an Oratorio von Georg Friedrich Händel
    Konzertante Aufführung
    Diego Fasolis, Cecilia Bartoli, Liliana Nikiteanu, Birgit Remmert, Rebeca Olvera,
    Charles Workman, Andreas Scholl, Peter Kálmán
    Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Lugano, I Barocchisti
    Samstag, 23. Mai, 19:30, Haus für Mozart

    Matinee Christoph und Julian Prégardien
    Arien, Madrigale und Intermezzi von Claudio Monteverdi aus Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria und L’Orfeo
    Lieder von Franz Schubert
    Christoph und Julian Prégardien
    Jos van Immerseel, Musiker von Anima Eterna Brugge
    Sonntag, 24. Mai, 11:00, Stiftung Mozarteum – Großer Saal

    Arienkonzert Philippe Jaroussky
    Arien aus Teseo HWV9, Deidamia HWV42, Parnasso in festa HWV73,
    Aci, Galatea et Polifemo HWV72 von Georg Friedrich Händel
    Philippe Jaroussky, Nathalie Stutzmann, Orfeo 55
    Sonntag, 24. Mai, 15:00, Haus für Mozart

    Ballett von John Neumeier nach William Shakespeare
    Musik von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, György Ligeti
    sowie traditionelle mechanische Musik
    John Neumeier, Jürgen Rose
    Solisten und Ensemble des HAMBURG BALLETT
    Simon Hewett, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg
    Sonntag, 24. Mai, 20:00, Großes Festspielhaus

    Werke von Hieronymus Kapsberger, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Bernardo Gianoncelli, Alessandro Piccinini, Francesco da Milano, Gian Paolo Foscarini, Luys de Narváez, Margaret Board, Santiago de Murcia, Gaspar Sanz
    Rolf Lislevand, Marco Ambrosini, Thor Harald Johnsen, David Mayoral,
    Bjorn Kjellemyr, Andre Lislevand
    Montag, 25. Mai, 11:00, Stiftung Mozarteum – Großer Saal

    Arien und Szenen aus Dido und Aeneas von Henry Purcell, L’Orfeo von Christoph Willibald Gluck, L’anima del filosofo von Joseph Haydn, La belle Hélène von Jacques Offenbach u.a.
    Anna Netrebko, Cecilia Bartoli, Vesselina Kasarova, Juan Diego Flórez,
    Christopher Maltman u.a.
    Louis Langrée, Salzburger Bachchor, Walter Zeh, Camerata Salzburg
    Montag, 25. Mai, 19:30, Großes Festspielhaus

    • Camille

      I am beginning to fear Garanca’s Baby Pause is going to last the duration of her existence. Weh mir!!

      Philippe Jaroussky is gracing the cover of OPERA NEWS this month. What a handsome young man, with voce bella to match!

      • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

        Sorry: Jaroussky may please your eye, but my heat belongs to Bejun! Does being on the cover of Opera News mean something special these days? I thought they were going to start selling luxury autos and caviar with their new “lifestyle” publisher.

        I think Garanca will be back at Staatsoper in time for her Octavians in April 2015 (with Serafin), and a solo recital that month. Before then… anyone’s guess. Maybe she will decide to have another child…

        • Camille

          Jungferissima! That is good for now we needn’t have a catfight over countertenors! You stick with Bejun and I’ll take Phillippe.

          I never read Opera News anymore so I know nothing.

          Last night we went to see the Sir Kenneth MacMillan ballet Manon and which I liked and disliked in equal parts. Some lovely Russian ballerina and a New Yawker [Polina Semionova and Cory Stearns] did the principal roles and it was such a long ballet that I felt sorry for them by the end. All their dancing was indefatigably good, however. I admire ballet dancers more than any other single type of classical artist for the ounishing work and discipline and rigor they must necessarily have which is, to me, beyond imagining.

          It certainly made me rethink my perception of Manon a bit. What a dark work in some ways.

          I wish Garanca would take a Pause from Babymaking!!!!!! Basta!

          • Guestoria Unpopularenka

            No, she can keep popping dem babies. Netrebko should do the same. And a couple of other hypes.

            • armerjacquino

              WOMEN- KNOW YOUR PLACE

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              No, I meant it as the most positive reason for them to stay away from the spotlight. Unless, you prefer illness or death.

            • Camille

              Anyone can pop out a baby or three but not anyone sings like Garanca. And I don’t mean that refrigerator popsicle Carmencita of her’n neither!

              Wish she would sing La Favorite. Oh yes, she IS, isn’t she, at Salzburg or somewhere similar, that is, unless she decides to become OctoMom!!!!

          • Cicciabella

            Camille, Garanca’s official second baby announcement states that “our family is now complete”. That sounds like she’s done with baby-making, although never say never. Also, she gave a post-baby recital at the Concertgebouw in May (review here: I’m sure she’ll be back full-time soon.

            • Camille

              Look what happen to Olga! All those babies and the cancelling of Les Troyens and then that damn impregnator of hers runs the hell off with a bloody Micaëla!!!!!! All those babies brought her high notes down!

              Now Garanca, one of the best singers I have heard for years, and she wants to be Babymaking all the time! Infamia!!!!!

              Basta Roberti! And keep your legs crossed, already!

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              Which Olga? What Micaela?

            • Borodina. I believe the “Micaela” would be Barbara Frittoli, Ildar’s new squeeze.

            • Cicciabella

              Ildar the Impregnator: either a Hollywood blockbuster starring Dominic West or a sequel to Prince Igor by György Ligeti.

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              Ildar is a cutie and considerably younger than that mean aunty, so he was always a high risk. Have you seen Garanca’s husband?

      • Guestoria Unpopularenka

        Ugh, seriously? Can’t stand him.

        • Camille

          Who, Guessie? Philippe or Bejun?

    • Regina delle fate

      You’ve got to give it to Ceci -- she knows how to put programmes together. And singing Iphigénie!!!! Obviously she’s been emboldened by her success there as Normina. The programme for the Festkonzert looks hilarious Anya and Juan Diego in Orphée aux Enfers perhaps? :)

    • Regina delle fate

      Those are pretty good substitutes for the Stabat Mater cast, Jungfer. Thanks muchly for the info. I’ll have to see if I can afford to go. Great that Salzburg is doing another Gluck, even if it is a year late for the tercentenary. I think I am a bigger Iphi fan than I am a Euryanthe fan. It’s interesting that mezzos covet this role: Gorr, Veasey, Susan Graham, now Cecilia, who will sing it at Classical pitch, however. I wonder if she’s recording it, as well…..

  • aulus agerius

    Satisfied -- Thanks for the tip for Euryanthe on Spotify -- looking forward to hearing Norman.
    QUESTION: How do you search for operas on Spotify to see what they have available? Can this be done?

    • Satisfied

      I generally look by artist, orchestra, or conductor. You can look up, say “Don Giovanni” and get a lot of hits, but if you know you wanted to listen to a particular recording, its better to look up by conductor or artist.

      Hope that helps! I’m constantly (and happily) amazed with what I find on Spotify!

  • Rory Williams

    aulus: Spotify’s search is really wacky. For instance, searching Richard Wagner/Show All Results/Albums, See All doesn’t find the Janowski Ring, but it’s there and searching Janowski uncovers it. Searching Wagner with no Richard presents a different, short list; again no Janowski but now three of the Thielemann Ring show up but not his Siegfried, which is there. So … it’s usually worth trying several search terms, with performers’ names as well as works. There’s usually a lot more there than one search turns up.

  • Camille

    Tip to La Cieca!

    If you are yearning once more to see the boggy swamps of Louisiana and or temporarily experiencing HEIMWEH, well, hurry, scurry, or RUN to ABT this week, whilst they are giving MANON, for there is the most marvelous painted set backdrop of a bog you ever will have seen! Couple that with Manon’s marvelous hallucinations of her past life in Paris, and well, you have seen it all.

    Very well danced and a long, long night at the Ballet.

  • Krunoslav

    Major triumph for Devia tonight in DEVEREUX. A real Event.

    No one else in her league. Costello sang his aria nicely but was as awkward onstage and uncomfortable with his singing partners as ever- very odd. Cutish baritone, nice voice but overparted. Chauvet decent but forgettable, sorry oedipe.

    I’m sure there are those who would have preferred their Lauren or Marisa screaming and emoting with an unrestrained, Kampy Kapital K, but this was an amazing display of bel canto principles, technical expertise and interpretive insight.

    • marshiemarkII

      But Krunisssimo, this a Q blog, how was Vivi ingrato?!?!?!?!??!, did she have that enormous long arch that ONLY La Caballe could command in her day, or was it the broken glass angular line that Mme Gruberova regaled us with in the Loy monstrosity? I sure hope the first and not the latter. Is the sound “big”? (I mean Oropesa projection versus Damrau occlusion?) :lol:

      • Krunoslav

        Terrific arch, in fact. I think you would have been very happy with her. Plus she had the class to move on immediately, without pausing for what she could have milked as tumultuous applause

      • marshiemarkII

        Wow sounds wonderful! maybe a tape will surface in no time…. thanks!

    • Chanterelle

      What happened to Costello at the end of his aria? He finished but ran out of juice before the end.

      The Raleigh was a promising young bass named Sava Vemic, about to enter the Lindemann program.

      But of course the night belonged to Devia. Resources amazingly intact, thanks to incredible technique, and artistry to burn. She commanded the stage all evening. A real old-fashioned Diva event. What a high!

    • Benedetta Funghi-Trifolati

      Devia had a great personal triumph in Carnegie Hall tonight. The public was extremely enthusiastic at the curtain calls. Devia, never a large voice, eschews chest, is not overtly passionate or overwrought but has an amazing amount of voice, breath (some VERY long, sculpted phrases tonight) and sheer technique remaining, considering that she is 66 years old. She knows the idiom, she knows the style, her words are pointed, she knows when to save, when to give and mostly she knows her limitations and assets. This was the well-managed performance of a wise veteran. At the conclusion of ‘Quel sangue versato’ she effortlessly sang a surprisingly large and long-held High D. Costello in the title role sang well enough but looked (face and body language) uptight and unhappy all night long. Maybe he was in character but he just looked uncomfortable and awkward. The outstanding voice among the rest of the cast was young Serbian basso Sava Vemic: beautiful, imposing, well-placed voice plus tall & good looking to boot. Eve was slow, monochromatically loud and deadly.

  • I must be the only person who thought Devia sounded less than wonderful. And I like Costello’ voice. But so awkward.

    • Krunoslav

      You mean, less wonderful at 66 than Beverly at 41 or Montserrat at 33?

      • I thought her top was strong but I thought her bottom and middle were ragged.

        • Chanterelle

          Krunoslav is right: you can’t expect the same voice at 66 as at 40. Devia’s middle shows signs of age but she manages it incredibly well. Have you heard Te Kanawa or Gruberova recently?

  • I don’t want to hear them sing it either. I saw Kiri on Downton Abbey and it was pretty bad.

  • Camille

    She came, she sang, she schooled us all.

    Brava la Diva Devia, the last of the Mohicans, e tante, tante graze, Signora!!!!

    The voice is no longer the same it was even when she sang this role a few years ago but who cares? It was a master lesson in how to sing this music and for that I am so grateful.

    Just WHAT is the matter with Stephen Costello?????? He is so STIFF. He communicates nothing to me except generic tenor sounds. Nice voice but he gives me nothing at all.

    Cute little Sir Walter Raleigh was the only time my ears perked up otherwise. Glad to hear he will be in the Lindemann program as his voice still needs some work but he has the voice and a very good presence.

    • Camille

      I mean to say, comparing him to Michael Fabiano, well, there is no comparison, that’s all.

      I am beginnig to understand what la vociaccia is talking about with him now.

      • Balvi

        I received a report from a true bel canto lover about the Carnegie Roberto…He loved Devia, said she took him back to another time….Said she had a real triumph…..He was shocked how beautiful the Costello voice was..He said he ran out of steam at the end of his cabaletta, but said that the color and musicality were truly first rate…He reported that Mrs Costello was prancing about acting like the evening was all about her!!! She actually pushed my friend aside to take some photos in the aisle….They don’t call her the new Angela for nothing!!!!!
        My friend felt the rest of the cast was nothing special…He was full of praise for Maestra Queler….
        Wish I had been there…..

        • Maestro Queler, please. A “maestra” is a teacher at a school for young ladies.

          • Regina delle fate

            Maestra delle novizie :)

    • javier

      Devia was amazing tonight. I could see form her response to all the applause that she is very humble and modest. She looked very radiant in her emerald green gown and I like that she is starting to let the gray of her hair grow out. She looked very regal throughout the entire evening. I think she has had some work done because she looked a lot better than I have seen in recent pictures and videos.

      Devia’s singing was everything that I expected it to be. Until now I had only experienced Devia’s voice on recordings--the recordings capture her voice exactly as it is. Her breath control is awesome and she has good high notes, but there is too much roughness in the lower register.

      Elisabetta is an odd role because Beverly Sills is the standard for most people and she sings really brilliant high notes that most people can’t do. Devia’s Elisabetta is not as flashy as Sills’ because for most of the opera she goes for the lower climaxes, saving the top D for “Quel sangue versate”. A lot of the time I found that Devia was growling (probably inaudibly near the rear of the house) in the lower register and that didn’t suite her at all.

      For “Va la morte” Devia sang it very low and her voice got a bit drowned out by the orchestra, but at the same time it was exciting and one hell of a climax.

      Anyway, she sang with all of the vocal problems that I have been hearing in her recordings for years. But I am still glad that I saw her because despite some problems, she does sing very well for a woman in her mid 60s.

      Stephen Costello has an impressive voice, but he was so detached. Aside for the beautiful singing he just stood there like a log and at one point I noticed his left fist curled up into a girly fist and he just looked so uncomfortable. But I think I am being too hard on his because after all it was a concert performance. I will totally go and see him again despite this.

      I saw Ailyn Perez during the first intermission and I also think I saw the conductor JoAnn Falletta sitting in the front row (she looked like she was really enjoying herself!).

      • Krunoslav

        “Elisabetta is an odd role because Beverly Sills is the standard for most people and she sings really brilliant high notes that most people can’t do”

        Agreed that many New Yorkers especially expect to hear Sills, who totally rewrote much of of the role with her usual collaborator Roland Gagnon. So it; snot like Devia is leaving things out. Sills was adding them otr taking them up.

        May i suggest listening to Gencer or Caballe for a heavier voice singing to role more com’e scritto, as Devia did ( very cannily).

      • Milady DeWinter

        javier, what, may I ask, is a “girlie” fist?
        And what are the vocal problems you’ve heard “for years” in Devia’s singing? Vocal problems is not something I readily associate with Devia at any time in her long career--

        • Regina delle fate

          I wondered that, Milady. I expect its a young person’s expression as I’ve never even heard of it. But it sounds a bit naughty or possibly abusive. As in making a girlie fist against her will…..

          I think there are far too many posters on here who want Costello to be secretly gay. :)

          • Milady DeWinter

            LOL Regina! I know sort a “girlie” punch or run, sexist as that may be, but not a fist (let’s not go there..)
            Well, this is one poster who harbors NO secret lust for Mr. Costello -- Ms. Ailyn is welcome to him!
            But I did not “get” xavier’s comments about Devia’s “vocal problems” a real “wtf” -- there’s one lady who wrote the book about not having any. Maybe a little light on the bottom, and not 30 any more, but she is a tower of bel canto virtue in my book. I’m so glad there are pirates of her, for there is much commerically available. There’s one live concert of arias which is to die, and includes a gorgeous “Depuis le jour” as an added delight to the flawless fioriture. And she possessed that very rare gift of sounding more beautiful as the tone ascended the scale. A classic and a class act.

            • Milady DeWinter

              “not much” commerically available, of course I meant to say…

        • javier

          it’s when you tuck your thumb into the fist.

  • Well I was at The Event too and here’s my review:

    • DellaCasaFan

      Nice review. As usual, you bring both the performance and the spirit of the event to the rest of us who were not there. My heart is still bleeding that I had to cancel coming to the event. I hope Coloraturafan was there and will generously post a fragment or two.

      • Thanks!!! I actually wished I had recorded Vivi ingrato on my cell phone …

    • Lady Abbado

      Just out of curiosity, and to stir the flames a little bit, is there an open rivalry between Devia and Gruberova or at least between their fans? They are the same age, they specialize in the same repertory, and they are both Europe-centred in their choice of venues. Too close in all respects not to notice one another…

      • armerjacquino

        I wondered this a while back and couldn’t find a single mention of one by the other. I think they probably sort of ignore each other.

        • I saw more than a few Gruberova ubers at the Devia concert last night screaming and bravo’ing ….

      • Krunoslav

        WEll, the Barcelona public likes both of them, though there are more rabid Gruberistas in situ there. They have done at least one engagement with them alternating role- was it in BOLENA?

        Devia has done the Queen, Donna Anna and Ilia,but no Strauss to my knowledge-- so she doesn’t trespass on Gruberova’s best rep. The same can not be said of Gruberova in re Devia’s best rep! :)

        [Stands up to enjoy the fireworks display]

        • Was Devia ever uber-popular in Vienna/Zurich/Tokyo/Munich though? I think of that as Gruberovas home base.

          • Krunoslav

            No, never-- Devia’s territory is basically Italy--but the Gruberista Party Zone DEFINITELY include Barcelona, where they also like-- in smaller, quieter measure-- Devia.

        • armerjacquino

          The big Devia/Gruberova crossover in Mozart was Konstanze, of which I believe Devia sang several runs at the Met. Did Gruberova drop it after the Solti recording?

      • Evenhanded


        I love them both, and I think most people with good listening skills and knowledge of the repertoire they sing feel similarly. There is no need for a rivalry because they are both incredible in their own unique ways.

        While they overlap in some repertoire, as Krunoslav pointed out, Gruberova really had the Strauss all to herself, while Devia clearly dominated in Rossini. Devia sang an incredible array of Rossini heroines -- a fach that Gruberova didn’t really revel in, for whatever reason. They share Bellini and Donizetti heroines, though even here, I would argue that Devia is a touch better suited (and successful) in the Bellini roles while Gruberova has the edge in the heavier Donizetti roles.

        But, really, they are both amazing (and amazingly well-preserved). It is a shame that Devia is so terribly under-recorded. There should be an entire catalog of her recordings available for posterity. Thank goodness for the pirates. How laughable that we have a new, glossy recording contract for Stephen Costello (absolutely embarrassing last night), while Devia has been largely overlooked by the commercial labels for 40 years (I know there are a few titles, but still).

        Hopefully Gruberova and Devia still have a few more years of thrilling the public like Devia managed last night.

        • Regina delle fate

          Does Costello have a glossy new contract? He’s made one record for Warner. It will have to sell pretty spectacularly if there are to be any long-term plans.

      • DellaCasaFan

        I think that Devia was more willing than Gruberova to take on some lesser known bel canto roles. Among Donizetti’s less-performed heroines, her Adelia, Parisina, Elisabetta (al castello di Kenilworth), and Elena were all marvels. She also excelled as Rossini’s Desdemona, Adelaide, Zelmira, and I’m glad to read in an earlier post that she’ll sing Sinaide again next year. I don’t think that Gruberova ever performed any of these roles.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1875 writer Thomas Mann

    Born on this day in 1895 soprano Grete Stückgold

    Born on this day in 1926 conductor Klaus Tennstedt

    Happy 84th birthday mezzo-soprano/soprano Gloria Lane

    Happy 75th birthdays tenor Giacomo Aragall Spanish and baritone Alberto Rinaldi

    Happy 72nd birthday countertenor Paul Esswood

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    Did I ever REALLY think they would show up? Tomorrow’s Grand Rossini Gala at Salzburg initially had Baltsa, Caballé (with Martí in tow), d’Arcangelo, and Nucci on the bill before they all dropped out over the past few weeks. And now Berganza is out, too (Carreras and Raimondi are still listed as of this morning). That leaves a total of two women for a two-and-a-half-hour “gala” -- Bartoli and Kasarova. Well, it should be interesting to hear Camarena and Flórez on the same program (there must be some Rossini duets for tenors). I guess they won’t be doing that ensemble from “Il viaggo a Reims!”

    • WindyCityOperaman

      I would hope that those stars who dropped would have been appearing as MCs, speakers, presenters, et al, but did anyone expect Caballe or Carreras to sing? Marti retired years ago and I thought Carreras, Nucci and Raimondi had as well (unless you mean Caballe’s daughter-by the way what happened to her career?).

      • armerjacquino

        Nucci hasn’t retired.

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      While I could have done without a lot of it, the Rossini Gala (which lasted over three hours) had some brilliant moments, such as the entire audience leaping to its feet for Camarena, who then encored the finale of the “Cenerentola” aria (which he hasn’t done at the performance of the opera the previous night; I overheard some New Yorkers who heard him at the Met and they said he sang it better in Salzburg); Bartoli and Flórenz singing together for the first time; a “Barbiere” Act I finale with Kasarova as Rosina and Bartoli as Berta; Flórez and Camarena together, hands clinched, hitting a unison high C; but most moving of all, Carreras singing a cavatina from “Le pietra del paragione” which he hadn’t sung in 47 years -- he looks a bit frail, still handsome, and there is more voice there than you would imagine. It was a very emotional moment.

      By the way, it was confirmed that Caballé showed up for rehearsals and on the second day broke her arm, so she was all to give it a shot (and the Martí I referenced is her daughter, Montserrat, not her husband, Bernabe). Berganza remained on the printed program, but I didn’t get a reason why she dropped out. Raimondi (“La calunnia”) was a disaster, setting his own eratic tempi, and half of the orchestra trying to follow him and half trying to follow Adam Fischer.

      A surprise was the absence of Erwin Schrott, who sounded like god at the Stabat Mater eight hours earlier; apparently he came down with food poisoning and was sent home. That Stabat Mater was my favorite performance of the six I saw -- preceded by the Libera me, Verdi’s contribution to the requiem mass for Rossini with Maria Agresta, who is The Real Thing. Schrott, Brownlee, and Sonia Ganassi completed the quartet for the Rossini. Pappano and the Santa Cecilia chorus and orchestra blew away all the other orchestras, and the chorus actually got the only other standing ovation besides the ones awarded to Camarena and Carreras. DiDonato’s recital was great fun, and a nice break from Rossini with some Reynaldo Hahn, Vivaldi, Schubert, etc.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1897 conductor George Szell

    Born on this day in 1903 soprano Margaret Ritchie

    Born on this day in 1907 tenor Mario Filippeschi

    Born on this day in 1908 conductor, director and teacher Boris Goldovsky
    and soprano Margherita Carosio

    Happy 88th birthday set designer Gunther Schneider-Siemssen

    Happy 86th birthday composer Charles Strouse

    Born on this day in 1927 tenor Andrea Velis

    Happy 77th birthday conductor Neeme Jarvi

    Happy 51st birthday tenor Roberto Alagna

  • oedipe

    Happy 47th birthday Patrizia Ciofi:

  • zinka

    I still feel the greasepaint as Rise Stevens shook my hand..I was 16…God bless this wonderful lady, born June 11, 1913. My tears flow.