Take advantage of this brief interval, cher public, to discuss off-topic and general interest subjects.
I don’t think Diana Damrau has looked more beautiful on stage:
This might come as a surprise to GM’s and stage directors everywhere, but elegantly styled and well executed costumes DO help, believe it or not!
Not to mention, the hair and make-up. Exquisite.
What a pleasure! High Eb, period costume. I assume that’s Douphol coming around for nighty-nights. No red minidress, female choristers in drag, ominous-looking man lurking in the background or analog clocks on the wall. It’s almost . . . radical!
No… female choristers in drag…
Oops! And a whole bunch of Conchita Wurst!
Agreed. New Jacquot production in Paris, I guess? It’s not Eyre or (God knows) Tcherniakov, and those are the only other 2014 ones I see on her completed schedule.
Yes it is.
The singing, the acting, she is wonderful! I have seen Diana only in the Dexter production. Always she brought to that the great taste and dignity, and here a different color to the character shown in the traditional style. Brava to this beautiful artist.
I have Diana’s Violetta on the 7th and 10th. Will anyone else be at the Macbeth tonight? Will be outside on the side steps during the intermission. Marianne? Marcello?
Born on this day in 1890 tenor Tino Pattiera
Born on this day in 1893 soprano Toti Dal Monte
Happy 88th birthday tenor Emile Belcourt
Born on this day in 1932 soprano Anna Moffo
Happy 58th birthday soprano Nancy Gustafson
DIVA WATCH: Annette Dasch is out of the Bayreuth “Lohengrin” on maternity leave. Edith Haller replaces her. The “Live im Kino” opera this year is “Tannhäuser” on 12 August, but so far it seems limited to Germany and Austria.
La Cieca regrets to announce that commenter “Rory Williams” passed away on or about June 17.
Oh no, I am devastated. My condolences to David’s family and friends, if they are reading this. We had a small but pleasant email correspondence and often chatted in private in chat. Please let us know a few more details -- he was a young man and this is so shocking. I will miss his lovely presence here and can’t believe it. :(
I’m a rare commentator here, from timidity and general lack of knowledge--but as a (relatively) faithful lurker, I always felt my heart rise at the sight of Rory’s name. I’m sure we all have feelings like that for certain contributors (different ones for each, no doubt)--the sadness is in our inability to let our special ones know what they mean to us while they might benefit from it. I find myself now wanting to say the words I once heard Chinua Achebe cry out at the conclusion of a spoken elegy: COME BACK!
Rest in peace, Rory.
Oh my goodness. What a charming presence here. Very sad.
Terribly, terribly sad.
A reminder of what a gentle fellow he was.
He must have been a gentle fellow because I don’t remember getting into any arguments with him.
Oh, very sad. Thank you for letting us know, LC.
Wow. I am so sorry to hear this. :(
That is really shocking and sad, I am so sorry to hear it.
Very sorry to hear this. He was always a gentleman and a sweet, lovely presence here.
May the dear fellow rest in peace.
Nooooooooooo! That is so so sad. If La Cieca is in touch with his family, please convey all our fondest thoughts. He was lovely.
He adored you manou, you can be glad you really brought joy into his life.
It is very kind and thoughtful of you to say this, grim -- I only hope it was so, in a very minuscule way, of course.
Truly awful news. His was a gentle, fair, informed and playful presence.
I am shocked and very sad. Rory was such a great person. We all loved him.
I M stunned & saddened --
he was always great company &
so much fun
during the chats…
rest in peace little Rory.
An excellent idea, phoenix, and let me, if you please, contribute another one for our own dear Rory, who will be so sorely missed, not only for his kindly spirit but for his keen wit:
Part of a comedy, and meant to be ironic- but it never fails to make me cry in its own right, and in its mixture of sincerity and (that word again) playfulness, seems appropriate:
Though I’ve been on Parterre for a rather short time, I already had a chance to experience Rory’s generous and vibrant personality. The night of Strauss’ anniversary, Cicci and Rory were trying to help me find the new DG “Elektra” on Spotify. Rory also joined me in tracking down the podcast of the Dresden concert, offering that wonderful sense of opera kinship. We all ended our exchanges on a jolly note and I simply could not ask for a better evening in celebration of one of my favorite composers. Thank you so much, Rory.
My heart goes to his family and all his opera friends on Parterre.
Joining Phoenix and Camille with a musical tribute…
What lovely tributes to Rory. The fact that he is gone is just starting to sink in. I hope there is music where he is, indescribable music. La Casa will not be the same knowing he will never pop in again.
Oh my God! this is indeed really devastating news….. I was away this whole week, and had not seen parterre since last weekend, upon my return today I dutifully turned to my daily dose of parterre once again, and to my immense consternation, I see in the preview comments mentions of our beloved Rory in the past tense, incredulous I went on to read of this cruel and untimely passing, I mean cruel because a person so sweet and gentle could only have been taken from us by an act of immense cruelty. Like others, I used to always jump when Rory’s name appeared in the preview column, as he was always knowledgeable, sweet, very witty and of course one of the gurls, I think we all deeply and dearly loved him without having ever met him. I hope he is traveling to his final destination on a wave of beautiful music!
Somehow these gorgeous but somber lieder reminds me of him now:
It was indexed to begin at 3min 57 sec but somehow it didn’t work, so please skip the interview those who want to listen to the beautiful music
Yes Rory was so sweet, it is hard to believe that he will never greet one of us we when arrive in chat with a delighted cry of “Grim!!!!’ or whatever our username is. He lived in the DC area, so do I, I thought of asking to meet up at an opera or concert or something but decided not to because it might seem creepy, I wish I had now.
Bye Rory I miss you!
I have been thinking about Rory all day and it will be a long time before I accept that he’s gone. I was in DC last fall and will always regret not making a plan to see him.
How cute was the little spiky-haired punk icon that he used in the old chatroom? I loved being greeted by him -- he was so enthusiastic about seeing his friends and having fun, learning from the teachers among us and helping others discover new websites and ways to find new music. He liked to keep things light here, despite the occasional drama.
Rory loved music and he also loved Dr. Who, and I am sad that he won’t get to see the debut of the 8th Doctor, Peter Capaldi -- he was looking forward to that. I hope that wherever he is, there’s a Tardis available for him to travel in.
I’ve been missing him all day too. I think Genevieve is brewing up something in his honor.
Oh, I hope so!!!! :)
‘Rory Williams’! Of course- can’t believe I never spotted the Dr Who reference.
Words are inadequate to express how sorry I am to hear of Rory’s passing. I was always delighted to see his name in the postings or in the chat room. He will be missed :-(
I’m really sorry to hear this. He seemed like a lovely person.
I am truly saddened by this news. He was always a delightful presence.
Speaking of bio pics or semi-bio pics, looks as if Van’s life is next:
Of course, I wonder how honest it will be about his private life . . .
Alex Ross finds the house under Gelb’s management erratic.
Yes, full of sensible points. Refers to a report
“tracing attendance at performances of Wagner’s “Ring” from the 2008-2009 season—when the old Otto Schenk production was seen for the last time—to 2012-2013, when the Lepage staging had its first revival. Attendance declined from 97.43 per cent of capacity to 75.06 per cent. Did a quarter of the audience die off in four years? Or have people simply peeled away after a string of bad shows?”
“Bad show” does not only mean “has scenery and costumes I don’t like” but “people onstage who cannot sing their music” also.
So happy to note Mr. Ross is not letting go of that most useful and descriptive of operatically related words: FIASCO, now having further added to it with “epic”, in regard to the Ring.
Yes, grimoaldo, that particular paragraph with its statistics, struck me as I had not noted that much of a change in the audience demographics during that time. And come on, it has always been an art form which attracts an older clientele. In my own teens and twenties I would always be seated there, staring at a sea of blue rinse.
Next up, I have to read abut la guerra Taruskin vs. Fink.
m. croche posted the Fink article on the Klinghoffer thread a while back, Camille. It’s here: http://www.academia.edu/441205/Klinghoffer_in_Brooklyn_Heights
It’s really excellent.
Last evening I attended a concert where Chausson’s Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano and String Quartet was performed—a lovely piece. The program notes mentioned that this concerto was written at the same time that Chausson was writing his opera Le Roi Arthus. Which piqued my curiosity – I have never heard Le Roi Arthus and subsequently found that only small snippets of it are available on YouTube. So my question is, are any of the Parterriani familiar with this opera? The bits on YouTube make it seem quite glorious but I wonder if it’s successful as a staged opera? I believe it’s being performed next year by the Opéra National de Paris – is it one of those French operas that doesn’t travel well but that is a staple in France itself? Thanks in advance for your insights!
I remember being a little unfond of the libretto (perhaps I should revisit it) but every single mature work by Chausson is worth paying attention to. He was a top-notch composer, plagued, I think, with self-doubt. The Armin Jordan recording of le Roi Arthus is still around, is it not?
Enjoy this Maeterlinck cycle, Serres Chaudes:
Yes, the Armin Jordan is the one I refer to. There is another one, I can’t remember by whom and haven’t time to google it. I am just hoping the Paris Opéra has cast a mezzo and not a soprano!
As well, one always wonders how Chausson would have further developed his musical idiom had he not taken that fatal bicycling ride which curtailed his life all too soon. I always wonder as I do love his music so.
And a short trivia quiz: what do Le Roi Arthus, Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte, and Krenek’s Jonny Spielt Auf have in common?
They are all written by a male composer? They all feature Albanian soldiers?
I think I probably flunked this class m. c., so I dunno…
They all involve questions of marital fidelity and infidelity? I’m sure you have something much more clever up your sleeve, however….
Chausson’s Le Roi Arthus has some wonderful and haunting music in it; a particular treat is Arthur Endreze’s recording of Merlin’s prophecy (“Pommiers verts….”). Another worthwhile score by Chausson is his incidental music to The Tempest, particularly the duet for Juno and Ceres. Such beautiful music (with an odd resemblance to the theme music for “Nature” on PBS, too.)
The latter two have verbs in the title (not such a common thing in opera). I don’t know about Le Roi Arthus…
Yes, guy! I have at least heard it in concert and was glad to have done so, indeed!
In spite of my being a lover of Chausson’s music, by and large, Le Roi Arthus does have its longueurs, and one must be a bit patient with it. The story line suffers as well from the HIGHLY implausible self-inflicted end of the feminine lead, to which I shall not provide spoilers but leave to you to discover!! As it was only a concert reading, I have no opinion as to its stage viability but I do seem to recall it has not had much of a stage life, even in France. We will defer to Our Own Monsieur œdipe kn this matter.
There is a recording on, I can’t remember but I think it was Erato. It is pretty good but Teresa Zylis-Gara, much as I have always been an admirer, is miscast as the part wans written for a mezzo.
It was one of those offerings which Dr. Botstein gave about a dozen years ago with the American Symphony Orchestra. I am hoping a new recording of the opera will come about as a result as the Lancelot will be Roberto Alagna, so I am hoping his high profile as a singer could help to effect this end.
guy pacifica, as someone who has lived up and down the left coast, I must say how much I appreciate your postings about the local musical scene, especially as there is a level of commitment and relative accomplishment that deserves respect. As a part-time, non-native resident of New York, I am well aware of musical activity in many other parts of the U.S., and it might help others to note that fact as well.
Here is the link for the Opéra regarding Le Roi Arthus and I am delighted to note that Sophie Koch is cast as Genièvre, an appropriate choice.
I do hope there will be a webcast or something!!!
Thank you, Camille. The Pacific Northwest is a long ways from the music centers of the earth, but Portland and Seattle each has very vibrant music scenes of their own. The symphony orchestras in both are very good, the opera companies a little less so. Which simply means one must travel! Speaking of which, on Monday June 30 single tickets go on sale for Les Troyens at San Francisco Opera for June 2015.
I LOVE the piece. There are three commercial recordings. The Jordan was the first and is still probably the best. The young Gino Quilico is extraordinary. We have not had such a sweet-toned lyric baritone since he left his prime. The other leads are fine, though Teresa ZG has intermittent intonation issues. The other recommendable recording features Susan Anthony and is perfectly adequate. The recording with Susan Bullock is not competitive.
Ideal casting for Le Roi Arthus: Crespin. Vanzo. Gino. Conducted by Stokowski. Or Garanca. Alagna. Tezier. Pappano.
Actually, Le Roi Arthus has never before been put on stage at the Paris Opera, next season will be its first ever run there. The piece has been very rarely seen on stage. It was premiered at La Monnaie in Brussels in 1903, after Chausson’s death. Since then, it has not been staged again till 1996 in Germany. As with most French operas, Le Roi Arthus has had more productions outside of France than in France. There was a production in Strasbourg this year, but it didn’t get good reviews.
This is one of my favorite operas -- only saw it once -- in Leon Botstein’s concert version 4 February 2001 at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC (same performance Camille referred to above). Russell Braun was originally scheduled to sing Arthus, but he cancelled and the excellent Andrew Schroeder (who was originally scheduled to sing Modred) sang Arthus. Hugh Smith was Lancelot with Nicolle Foland as Genièvre. First time I heard it was the 1996 Bregenz live recording -- the late but great Marcello Viotti conducting Philippe Rouillon (Arthus), Douglas Nasrawi (Lancelot) and the not-so-great Susan Anthony (Genièvre). In 2003 Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie Bruxelles celebrated the 100th anniversary of the world premiere with excellent (at least audially) performances featuring two casts. Both were broadcast but I had technical failures on both -- great sorrow for me because those Monnaie broadcasts were the best performances I ever heard of this opera: Daniele Caligari conducted, Andrew Schroeter and Louis Otey alternated as Arthus, Klaus Florian Vogt and Douglas Naswrawi as Lancelot, and Hélène Bernardy & Dagmar Schellenberger as Genièvre.
-- Chausson, I love all his music. I can’t say that for any other composer, with the others I pick and choose -- but I realize Chausson in Arthus was no Debussy, particularly juxtaposing the vocal line to the orchestration. Arthus requires the same articulative singing & interpretation that Pelléas does, but Chausson’s dense orchestration does not always part way for the words -- hence the big voices, not always idiomatically ideal for the text (nor the spirit of the work itself) are required. The performances last Spring at Strasbourg and Mulhouse -- with Andrew Richards as Lancelot and Elisabete Matos as Genièvre -- as excellent as these singers are, I can understand how it came off as awkward.
I love Anthony on that recording. God knows she is better than la Bullock. But I share your love for the piece. It is difficult to get past the wonderfully evocative opening scene though. It is my second favorite French opera after Ariane.
You would have loved the 2003 Monnaie performances -- they broadcast it twice with both alternate casts, something rarely done.
-- I’d like to have heard van Dam in his prime as Arthus. Crespin in her early years as a lyric spinto would have been ideal as Genièvre. Gino Quilico quit far too early, I saw him at the Met a few times. Zylis-Gara always had some intermittent intonation issues but she had an incredibly beautiful tone -- if you can get a hold of the 1974 Guglielmo Tell from Hamburgische Staatsoper, listen to how she spins & floats the entire line above the ensembles in Act 3 -- never heard anyone else do it so delicately and with such charm.
I’ve never heard a Chausson piece I haven’t liked. My intro was as a teen when I heard my first Jessye Norman recital. I think she programmed just the one song but it was a substantial one and I was intrigued. Later, I remember hearing his Poeme for Violin and Orchestra years later and liking it a great deal. I’ve heard other pieces over the years too but don’t have a single recording. Must change that.
Thank you — so good to hear it again!
But what is that image??!!
A Rodin sculpture:
Thanks so much, Phoenix. I look forward to listening to this.
The Wall Street Journal details the MET’s contract
negotiation issues on it’s editorial page;
Born on this day in 1902 composer Richard Rodgers
Happy 59th birthday baritone Thomas Hampson
There was much excitement leading up to Netrebko’s first Lady Macbeth. The performances have been sold out for months and tickets on the black market were offered for 3500€ which normally go for 200€. There was also questions if she would sing after she cancelled several other high profile engagements. Well she sang but the evening didn’t hold up to the high expectations. The applause was sehr verhalten (lackluster?). Certainly no where near levels when others have sung in such high profile events with other artists who have also sung the roles for the first time. She came no where near other great ladies of the past such as Connell, Zampieri or Dimitrova. Her voice lacked low notes and volume but was very good in the middle and higher registers and she sang the d flat at the end of the first act and also in the sleepwalking scene. She played the role as a vamp. What I missed in the voice was the range of dynamics (Zampieir for example could crank up the volume much more but on the other hand reign it in to a mere whisper), the trills in the brindisi were a bit sloppy as well. I think Monastyrska’s voice is much more suited to the role and hope that Netrebko doesn’t sing too many Lady’s and those not in big houses since she did put pressure on the top and was certainly not using Madame Milanov’s advice of singing on the interest. For me she was more than respectable but certainly not a great lady and time will tell if she gets better in the role.
The two singers that I liked best were Calleja as Macduff and Abdrazakow as Banco. Both had the voice and presence. Keenlyside was a bit small scaled at first but got better as the evening went on. I was thinking of what Terzier might be like in the role. The conducting could have been a bit livier but was ok. Tell Premiere is tonight followed by Aida, Harteros Liederabend, Macbeth again on Tuesday and then I might sell my second Tell ticket and take a night off since I have FroSch on Thursday.
Newspaper-reviewers must have been in a different show………..
The reviews have been pretty positive:
I M “pea-green” with envy…*sigh*…
Thank you FeldM for the detailed impression you have given. I guess we were all hoping for something really fabulous, but it stands to reason that it isn’t her absolute best role assumption. I’d still love to hear it though.
Well she kind of went from singing roles like Adina just recently to the Lady. She left the jugendlich roles like Desdemona, Elisabetta, Amelia Boccanegra the the like out and went straight for one of the most dramatic roles. The only jugendlich role she sang was one run of Trovatore. You need to build up to these heavier roles unless you are a dramatic from the start. If she sings too many Ladys she can forget Elsa since she won’t have the float anymore.
I think you said the other day that the first part of “William Tell” seemed like the longest two hours of your life FM, was that at the dress rehearsal of the production that is going to be webcast today? Was it boring? I love the opera but that cast does not fill me with delighted anticipation.
It was the final Generalprobe where everything is suppossed to sit. The director who was sitting one row behind me was certainly very busy telling his assistants many different things and twice even got up from his seat to tell the chorus get move quickier. Yes, I found it rather boring.
She had that recent success as Manon Lescaut in Rome, though. No doubt some drilling from the implacabile Maestro Muti did her good.
Nonsense. The only way Anna could ever improve as a Verdian would be to change her surname to “Harteros.”
Well, I have to confess I find Harteros by far the more interesting singer of the two -- and Netrebko’s Verdi album was somewhat underwhelming.
Or Kunc! ;)
Monty- really? Harteros is a better singer than Netrebko, I’d say, but more interesting? Netrebko’s performances can be truly electric at best, whereas with Harteros you always know from the start you’re going to get that rather grand chilly stuff.
I don’t think Harteros is chilly. She has the bigger voice and the more complete technique, so I’d say she has more possibilities than Netrebko. I don’t disagree that Netrebko can be very exciting- electric, as you say- but Harteros can be just magical, mesmerising, and intensely moving. She’s a fine actor too.
That for instance is, for me, technically perfect but extremely humane, moving singing that really inhabits the poem. The phrasing and the space she makes for breath is on a par with the greatest, IMO.
The one time that I was able to see Harteros live, here at the Met as the Figaro Countess, she was cool but definitely commanded attention and really moved me. By contrast, I’d say that Netrebko has more personality, but has never really gotten to me as deeply. It’s not just a vocal thing with Harteros. There is something in her concentration and intensity that perhaps must be encountered live. For me, she is the more serious artist.
I’m afraid I always sense a certain blankness in Netrebko’s singing. I don’t quite capitulate to Harteros, but I admire her and I think there’s a lot going on -- partly because there is a slight neurotic edge that the more wholesome Netrebko doesn’t have.
Monty, I also find a blankness in Ms. “one size fits all” Netrebko.
She’ll sing everything and/or anything with the same results, imo. It really doesn’t seem to matter to her, afaiac.
Not that I am a big Harteros fan either! LOL
In addition to the Netrebko “blankness” factor -- definitely in the eye of the beholder as many of our company at Parterre are VERY big fans -- her voice has seemed to me thick and foggy in the lower middle of late. If I work hard at it I can hear the dark warm tone, but that’s not mostly what I hear these days.
It’s not just a vocal thing with Harteros. There is something in her concentration and intensity that perhaps must be encountered live. For me, she is the more serious artist.
Damekenneth, I have never seen Harteros live, and maybe one gets more of this quality from her live, but you describe exactly what I pick up when I watch her and listen to her in, for example, the Scala Verdi Requiem conducted by Barenboim. “Concentration and intensity.” She conveys that whatever is going on, even when she is not singing, she is “all in,” completely present, seeing and feeling the big picture. I find her quite moving in the Libera me not only for her superb singing but for her poise when she’s just standing there with those orchestral storms raging around her. She is special.
Thanks for the review, Feld -- accurate description of the cult goddess ‘Lady’. DGG actually released a CD of her no sentirse realizado concert Giovanna d’Arco from last year. What is it that I am not hearing that the others (above) are? I saw her live 14 years ago as Natasha: heartfelt sincerity with a beautiful lyric soprano (no breaks in the registers), but what I am hearing now is neither expressive, cohesive nor sincere.
Die Bayerische Staatsoper präsentiert 2013/14 bereits in der zweiten Saison mit STAATSOPER.TV ausgewählte Vorstellungen als kostenlose Live-Streams im Internet. Darunter finden sich auch alle Neuproduktionen des neuen Generalmusikdirektors Kirill Petrenko. Zuschauer aus aller Welt können so insgesamt sieben Opern- und zwei Ballettabende aus München live und in voller Länge verfolgen – und das erstmals in HD. Bisher wurden in der Saison 2013/14 Wozzeck, Die Frau ohne Schatten, La forza del destino, La clemenza di Tito, La Bayadère, Die Soldaten und Les Ballets Russes ausgestrahlt.
28. Juni 2014, 18 Uhr
Musikalische Leitung Dan Ettinger
Inszenierung Antú Romero Nunes
Mit Michael Volle, Bryan Hymel, Günther Groissböck
Really fabulous live recording of Copland’s Old American Songs uploaded by Minnesota Public Radio this week:
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