Cher Public

Fish are jumping and the dudgeon is high

“Quaint camp, says Rupert Christiansen.”

  • manou
  • La Valkyrietta


    I am surprised you did not correct the name of the aria to “Ch’ella mi creda” in the review :)

    • manou

      My cat o’nine tails is in the repair shop.

  • Cicciabella

    Ms Glanville is one sexy, bible-totin’ Minnie!

    • Regina delle fate

      Well Parterre’s favourite British soprano does a jolly good job of the role. She doesn’t have the voice of Elizabeth Blanke Biggs who last sang Minnie for Holland Park ten years or so ago but she gives it all she’s got as an actress. I’m not sure she’d fill the Coliseum as Christiansen wishes, but she’s the best British Minnie I’ve seen in a while, and that includes the somewhat steely Bullcok, who’s doing the new ENO Fanciulla in the Autumn. They don’t grow on trees here, you know. Yes, I know she was the worst-ever First Lady at the Met way back when, but she’s got guts and wears the cozzies with gusto. I liked her a lot. Gwaltney was a sort of “Dickorino” -- he’s singing Pinkerton in Gubbay’s Mad Butt at the RAH next year. Is he big in the US?

      • Krunoslav

        No invocation of Commonwealth Artists Betty Fretwell or Marie Collier? :)

        Was that Gubbay’s Mad Butt Philip?

        • Regina delle fate

          Alas, both before my time! :)

          • Betty Fretwell was awesome. Never saw Ms Collier but a few recordings left show a pretty impressive instrument. Ironic/weird that the lady who stood in for Callas Tosca fell to her death from a balcony not long after.

      • Krunoslav

        Bullock as Minnie? Can she produce a not above an A flat at this point? Jeez- or, should one say, with Wowkle,”Ugh.”.

        • Regina delle fate

          I haven’t heard her A flat recently enough to tell you. She’s been abroad a lot lately. This must be her first gig at ENO for something like 10 years. I may be wrong, but I don’t think Gloriana has an A flat. It was written for an ageing Joan Cross, who was also a long way before my time!

  • Spuyten Duyvil

    DARLINGS! Forgive the non sequitur but I am new here and don’t know how to sound the alarm to the wider public.

    Has anyone seen this?:

    What do we do?

    • redbear

      Well, I’ll be damned! Did I read this correctly? Is this what it actually says? We will hear live singers with an imaginary orchestra? Will the staging be digitalized too? This is all way over my head.

    • Cicciabella

      Well, roll me in batter and throw me into the deep frier! I looked up “Goldstein Digital Orchestra”‘ and apparently the man and his computer have recorded a series of voiceless operas, including Cavalleria Rusticana”, for singing along with, rehearsing or possibly for people who like opera but hate voices.

      Peter Gelb need negotiate no longer. If he replaces the Met orchestra with a digital one his problems will be solved. It’s a matter of time before we get Digital Callas, Digital Vickers, Digital Simionato etc, and they will all be incredibly affordable. Digital Chorus is a no-brainer. I always thought relayed 3D holograms was the future of opera. How stupid was I!

      • I think a certain amount hinges on whether this really represents a bold expedition into the digitizing of “live” performance, or more of an elaborate publicity stunt for Mr. Goldstein’s “music minus one” efforts. I think if the ultimate destination of this technology is the domestic, at-home music market, then it, like karaoke, could have a net-beneficial effect in popularizing active music-making.

        • And let’s remember the reasons why digitized music has advantages in a karaoke-style setting -- with the click of a button, you can raise or lower pitch, add or subtract a guiding melody line, adjust tempo, adjust balances and so on.

          • At last Maestro Wenarto will be able to finally release his own Ring Cycles!

      • semira mide

        Reminds me of the “music minus one” LP’s. They allowed me to have a full orchestra playing Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto with my feeble attempt at the piano solo. Quite a trick to get the turn-table to just exactly the speed to match with the tuning of our piano. Much easier in the digital age, I suppose. But it was a thrill. I got along very well with the conductor btw, although he could have used a tempo more sympathetic to my shortcomings!

      • Krunoslav

        Digital Dani! She can DANCE! Girlfriend is already so tech savvy…

      • oedipe

        I think we should wait and see how this digital sound project turns out, but I find it pretty appealing. If the staging uses digital technology as well, it could be a lot of fun.

    • Mount plans for an ambitious Ring Cycle using dubious, untested technology?

      The MET would never do something like that!

    • antikitschychick

      and so it has begun…thanks for sharing that tidbit of interesting news Spuyten.

    • Camille

      It sounds like a great deal of fun and I am going, if I can.

      I don’t know any of the singers but two, Robert Brubaker, whom I like a lot from his Malatestino in Francesca da Rimini, and I believe he also sang the thankless task of the one night stand in La Nave another difficult role, and Cindy Sadler!!!! She was a great Erda, in, um, 1994, I think it was, in Arizona! Since she was a contralto I am guessing her voice hasn’t sunk into the ground.

      Well, It is a lot easily to get to Hartford than Bayreuth, for me.

      Thanks a lot, Spuyten Duyvil. I do so love your name!

    • Cicciabella

      Does anyone know how this would work? The conductor obviously conducts the singers, but is the digital orchestra also “conductable”? And how many people are involved in playing it? Is there a surround sound effect? Are the singers mic’ed? Endless questions.

    • aulus agerius

      All seats are $99. Plus whatever s.c. — I didn’t go that far. Are they nuts?

    • Here is the kickstarter page with 7-minute video excerpt. I lasted about three. YMMV.

      • Here is Goldstein’s bio. It all started with “Hansel and Gretel”.

      • Cicciabella

        This could be the first case of a Wagnerian singer drowning out the orchestra, instead of the other way round. Good detective work, m. croche!

      • oedipe

        Interesting. Does anybody know who will be doing the staging?

          • oedipe

            Thanks. I see.
            In 1996, he introduced computer-generated scenery to the opera world in a production of Candide at West Bay Opera in Silicon Valley, CA, with assistance from Apple, Inc. The press called the show “virtual Voltaire -- the backgrounds are as varied as the story. Apple has made a lot of progress since 1996.

            • Some twelve years ago one of the outdoor arena spectacular companies had an Aida production where they used all computer generated scenery. They toured with it -- using the talents of Wilhemena Fernandez frequently but the whole thing came to grief when the Maestro took off with the advance ticket funds for the Australian production. The photos I saw of the whole thing in action was impressive, however. I’m sure its only a matter of time before some entrepreneur uses the technology again for stadium spectaculars.

    • Batty Masetto

      PLUS! Contemporary resonance! The first Ring Cycle ever to be set in the Crimea!

      (Swallow’s Nest, Gaspra, Crimea)

      “The building is compact in size, measuring only 20 m (66 ft) long by 10 m (33 ft) wide.” Three bedrooms, a foyer and a stairway. Could get a mite funky what with half a dozen gods, 8 Valkyries and all those sweaty dead warriors.

    • When bagpipes go bad. Charles M Goldstein speaks!

  • The Conte

    “Quaint camp, says Rupert Christiansen.”

    It takes one to know one!

  • Krunoslav
    • Regina delle fate

      This review runs against the grain of some of the others, although none have been exactly raves. But Allison’s judgement rings true. I loved Jarman in the ENO Hoffmann -- a lot more than Damrau who I saw in the same production in Munich -- and I’m looking forward to her RO Roxana. She was supposed to do Violetta for Welsh NO this year but she must have had a better offer as she was replaced by a former ENO principal, Linda Richardson, a serviceable house soprano, but not much more. Does Jarman sing in New York much?

      • Krunoslav

        No, Jarman rarely sings in NYC. She does appear at Caramoor and will be Gilda there this summer opposite the also underused-in-NYC Stephen Powell.

      • manou
      • Camille

        Heard La Jarman once, only, with Dr. Botstein et al., in a resurrection of some work, either Le Roi d’Ys or that frightful Fervâal. Thinking it was the former as I hope it wasn’t the latter, for I left at intermission. Oh yes, I checked, and it was October 2008 in Avery Fisher Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra, and in the role of Rozenn from Le Roi d’Ys.

        She was quite good, and at the time I wondered to myself why o why does she not sing at the Met…? That is now almost six years ago, a long time in a singer’s career life.

        Oh well…..

      • aulus agerius

        This is Georgia Jarman, right? I saw her last year as Maria Stuarda in Washington. Brenda Harris as Elizabeth was much more impressive but the real disappointment, curiously, was Michael Spyres.

      • CarlottaBorromeo

        Well one might say she had a better offer -- she had a baby!

  • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

    “If the balance between John Ford machismo and MGM musical camp collapses in Act III what precedes it is very fine indeed”

    -- from Anna Picard’s 4-star review in the Times today.

  • Salome Where She Danced

    Minnie looks a lot like the director’s wife, Joanna Lumley!

    • Regina delle fate

      Joanna Lumley is the wife of the other Stephen Barlow -- the one who’s conducting the Jeremy Sams Grimes. This Stephen Barlow only directs and he’s a good 10 -- 15 years younger.

  • skoc211

    Will anyone else be attending Carnegie Hall tonight to see Devia as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux? Just the other day there were scores of tickets available and as of this afternoon it looks to be almost entirely sold out.

    • aulus agerius

      They must have given away the remainders. Just this morning there were dozens of available seats, especially in the balcony; right now = 1.

    • semira mide

      I will be there in spirit. Please let us know how you liked it.

  • Camille

    Yes, that is quite so! This morning there were dozens and dozens of seats left and we called asking if there were last minute rush tickets, which OONY usually does have, but the ticket man adamantly said “NO”.

    Thinking it was a strange situation as I can hardly imagine OONY wishing Signora Devia singing to a half-full house, but apparently they had a plan. Interestingly diverse action from their usual m.o.

  • Camille

    Oh. I thought that was a picture of Joan Rivers.

    What an awful costume.

    Joan Rivers would have SHOT the costumer with Minnie’s revolver, come to think of it.

  • MontyNostry

    “Holding “Camp Desert Rock” together is the strong Minnie of Susannah Glanville, whose gleaming soprano cuts confidently through the orchestra; and she looks the part to perfection in a flame-red cowboy suit.”

  • Cicciabella
  • Camille

    La Cieca! What has become of and where have all the Regie quizzes gone to???

    Life is not the same without them, even for the regie retarded like moi.

    Juste une pensée. Thanks.

    • Guestoria Unpopularenka

      Camille, can you be my granny? :P

      • Camille

        I ain’t nobody’s granny, perrita sinverguenza!!!

        You don’t believe La Marshie when she says she is not going to have time o see the sights in gay old Paree, do you?? And she’s not taking uou either so god only knows what she will be up to…!