Cher Public

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  • Daniel: It’s unfortunate to read yet another review so focused on soloists’ vocal timbre rather than the overall effect of the... 3:31 PM
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“For my first encore…”

La Cieca admits she has nothing prepared, so you, the cher public, will have to keep yourselves amused with discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects.


  • 41
    armerjacquino says:

    Saw ARIADNE at Covent Garden last night- pretty much The Mattila Show. She’s still on very fine vocal form, no need to start thinking about the old lady parts just yet. She had a slightly tentative start in ‘Ein Schones War’ but from a radiant ‘Es Gibt Ein Reich’ onwards (complete with a cacklebark of laughter from one section of the audience on ‘Totenreich’- why?) she was pouring out gorgeous sounds. The voice is still big, the top is still there, the tone is still rounded and radiant: a star performance.

    As for the rest: a big meh. Jane Archibald has all the notes but until last night I wouldn’t have believed it possible for ‘Grossmachtige Prinzessin’ to go for nothing and receive a polite cricket-clap at the end. She did nothing wrong apart from being dull, which of course is doing something wrong if you’re playing Zerbinetta. Donose was small-voiced and colourless and bland as the Composer, a real disappointment. Sacca did ok, neither great nor awful, but, you know, Bacchus. As I’ve said before, six months later you never remember who the Bacchus was. Pappano was on oddly prosaic form, too. Good buffo troupe, good nymphs (especially Unnecessary Export Karen Cargill, a bit of a luxury voice for Dryad)

    I’m not sure it’s the greatest opera ever written, either, despite some pretty spectacular music. Structurally it’s so hard to get a handle on who and what we’re supposed to be caring about. I love the score but I always end up sort of letting it wash over me. Love the Loy production- elegant and clear. It’s a shame it’s been reduced to a soundbite by the Voigt PR campaign.

    Parterrians will also expect me to record that the part of the Captain was played by David Butt Philip.

    • 41.1
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      I saw it too and agree with everything you say but I’d add that for me, Archibald simply didn’t have enough sheer voice (NB she was audible, since all opera singers are, but not very satisfying). I also thought Ed Lyon was unsatisfactory in the buffo troupe, the top was too thin and wirey to be pleasing on the top line of the ensembles.

      I thought Pappano seemed to take things weirdly quickly a lot of the time too -- Mattila was on such great form that I’d have liked her to have had more opportunities to take time over things instead of being rushed a lot of the time. But overall it was a real treat to hear her in this role. I wish we could have her Emila Marty in London.

      • 41.1.1
        Cocky Kurwenal says:

        Um, I mean Paul Schweinester in the buffo troupe, obviously. Ed Lyon was the Dancing Master and was probably fine.

          armerjacquino says:

          I remember a yellow suit.

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            I think that’s who my beef is with. Is that Ed Lyon? Perhaps I got the right one to begin with, but wrongly conflated him with the buffo troupe. Nevermind -- a reedy voiced tenor was involved in some capacity, and I wished they could have found somebody better.

            • armerjacquino says:


              I think you were right second time- Schweinester was thin-ish in the opera (no Dancing Master there) and so the ensemble of the four buffi was a bit off.

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              My problem appears to arise from the mistaken belief that the guy in the stripey suit during the opera was the same guy who’d been wearing the yellow suit in the prologue. I was obviously too overwhelmed by Karita.

    • 41.2
      Krunoslav says:

      ” As I’ve said before, six months later you never remember who the Bacchus was”

      You do if he was as terrible as my first Bacchus, Our Own Alberto Remedios, opposite the mush-mouthed Caballe and the soectacular Troyanos and very winning Welting. Whatever his merits at he ENO ( and my parents attested he was a very good Siegfried there) he came a cropper at the Met- just *awful*. Then three years later opposite the spectacular Johanna Meier and Troyanos and spectacular but cold and unwinning Gruberova we had Rene Kollo, whose otherwise decent voice splintered horribly on the word “Zauberin”- really scary.

      Miss Cargill, a really good singer, will be underused at the Met this season as Magdalene. But in the Unneeded Import regard, Our Own “London-based” Ann Murray was musically OK but vocally inadequate as Auntie in the San Francisco Symphony GRIMES last week. An aged, top-challenged Dorabella does not equal a contralto.

      • 41.2.1
        armerjacquino says:

        Ah, nationality aside, I like the tradition of former stars in cameo parts. Murray’s earned the right, I reckon- like McIntyre and Alexander in ELEKTRA, or Graves in CHENIER.

          Krunoslav says:

          Those three sang their music well, especially Alexander. Murray did not.

          Auntie is not IMO a cameo part, she needs to be audible as a contralto to balance the trio and quarter she is in and ti make an effect in “Loud man…”

          Ann Murray as the PIKOVAYA DAMA Governess, fine. Here she left a hole in the vocal fabric of a great score.

          • armerjacquino says:

            Fair enough- you were there and I wasn’t. Last time I heard Murray was as Marcellina, with voice pretty much intact and with her stage savvy and experience a huge bonus.

            • Krunoslav says:

              Murray as Marcellina at the Met was not so hot, but it’s too big a space for NOZZE and she at least had the right kind of voice, unlike as Auntie.

            • armerjacquino says:

              Vaguely related thought: I’ve often wondered why Vaness didn’t opt for the career change into character parts, especially with her awesome lower register.

            • Krunoslav says:

              BTW I too love seeing former leads in small roles, though hearing poor Dimiter Uzunov hack through *Fiorello* in BARBIERE in Vienna in 1980 was unedifying and sad. Araiza and Patane were the only saving graces that night.

              Montag, 9. Juni 1980 | 19:30 | in italienischer Sprache

              116. Aufführung in dieser Inszenierung

              Giuseppe Patané | Dirigent
              Günther Rennert | Inszenierung
              Alfred Siercke | Bühnenbild und Kostüme
              Norbert Balatsch | Choreinstudierung
              Francisco Araiza | Graf Almaviva
              Alfred Šramek | Bartolo
              Rohangiz Yachmi | Rosina
              Hans Helm | Figaro
              Tugomir Franc | Basilio
              Dimiter Usunow | Fiorello
              Nikolaus Simkowsky | Ambrogio
              Margareta Sjöstedt | Marcellina (Berta)
              Peter Weber | Ein Offizier

          Buster says:

          On Roberta Alexander in Semele -- how big a sing is Juno? Or is she singing Ino AND Juno? Or have the cut the dammned thing:

          • Hippolyte says:

            With Alexander and McFadden, it looks more like a Semele cast from 25 years ago.

          • Krunoslav says:

            Don’t forget the short but lovely role of Iris.

          • Buster says:

            Thanks -- it will be fun to hear Alexander again, for sure. Last time she sang Dido’s Lament, and the voice was as full and vibrant as ever.

      • 41.2.2
        mjmacmtenor says:

        Coincidentally, they played the Meier, Troyanos, etc. Ariadne this afternoon on Sirius. A very strong cast! Unfortunately (or fortunately), I did not make it to the end and so missed Kollo’s Bachus.

          kashania says:

          When I saw this, I briefly thought it was referring to Waltraute Meier, not Johanna. Which leads me to ask, has W. Meier ever sung Ariadne? It’s not her usual kind of passionate woman but I imagine she’d make something of Ariadne’s dignified grief.

      • 41.2.3
        Regina delle fate says:

        Bacchus was not really Alberto’s role and his agents should have realised it would not be a good Met role for him. He was never a high dramatic tenor, if he was a dramatic tenor at all. His Otello was also quite a flop in the UK. His Manon Des Grieux was ok, but he only did it once, so clearly ENO at the time didn’t think much of it. His Wagner, Lohengrin, Stolzing, Siegmund and Siegfried were his best roles, all of them drummed into him over years -- five or six in the case of Siegfried, I’m told -- by Reggie, who was a Svengali-like figure to him. He was one of those singers who was unsuited to an international career. Indeed his Covent Garden Siegfrieds, which he sang in German, of course, were nowhere near as successful as his SWO/ENO ones. Funny you should call Murray a top-challenged Dorabella -- in any case a soprano role with almost exactly the same tessitura as Fiordiligi -- because I have always thought of her as a “lazy” soprano rather than a mezzo. Certainly her tone was always on the bright side for a mezzo. But you are dead right about Auntie, Bessie Bainbridge’s best role and she also sang Erda and Quickly at Covent Garden.

          Regina delle fate says:

          That was a response to Kruno, by the way! :)

          • Krunoslav says:

            I always thought Murray was a soprano with a voice that took no pressure on top notes. Her best things are soft numbers like “Cara speme” on the Harnoncourt CESARE excerpts- with the two Cleopatras!

            I pass a Bainbridge Avenue every week and I always think of you, Regina! “Best Azucena since Theodora Orridge!” :)

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              I think Murray in her prime had a really exciting voice. I’d agree that it couldn’t take pressure on high notes, but the resonance she could unfurl in the middle and upper middle I thought was remarkable, as was her artistry. Whether she was a soprano with a problematic top or an actual mezzo, I think she sang the concert repertoire and the opera roles that were right for her. I don’t think it matters how we actually label the voice.

              I think the last time I saw her was probably as the Marquise in Fille du Regiment, and I suppose I agree with Kruno that she isn’t really well equipped enough for contralto stuff like ‘pour une femme de mon nome’. I was nevertheless pleased to see her on stage again though.

            • grimoaldo says:

              Whatever Ann Murray is /was, she was fabulous!

            • grimoaldo says:

              ‘I pass a Bainbridge Avenue every week and I always think of you, Regina! “Best Azucena since Theodora Orridge!’

              Yeah, let’s go back fifty or a hundred years to find British Azucenas to make fun of when the two in the most recent Met broadcasts would make cats squawking in your back yard sound like the music of the spheres.

            • armerjacquino says:

              I saw that XERXES live several times and Murray was thrilling. Wonderful production, of course, and a brilliant piece of translation too. He’s a very talented man, is Nick *CLANG*

            • grimoaldo says:

              ITA aj (I learned that from antikitchsychick, hope she is having fun in Germany) and of course it has the never-to-be equaled Charles Mackerras in the pit (I can hear myself and the dear departed love of my life cheering at the end of that clip).

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              That’s absolutely incredible. I’ve never heard that sung better, or more excitingly. When I saw the production, it was Katerina Karneus, who didn’t create the same effect.

              Just to continue the love-in, I’ve always adored this clip of Murray, which I thought I’d post here as it shows a very different skill set from the Handel:

            • armerjacquino says:

              Ernman is pretty spectacular in that aria, too. It’s oddly underwhelming on JDD’s Furore disc though, ought to be right up her street.

            • Cocky Kurwenal says:

              Yeah, I find JDD tries quite hard to ‘sell’ the music on that whole recital, which sort of back-fires for me. Has Von Otter recorded/performed Serse?

            • armerjacquino says:

              Yes, the whole part, with Piau under Christie. She’s good but studio-bound compared to live Murray and Ernman. Silvia Tro Santafe is the standout on that recording.

            • Krunoslav says:

              If y’all over there found that screamy, blatty-when-pressed if idiomatic performance to be fantastic , tip-top vocalism, we’d better stop discussing Ann Murray since we’re never going to agree.

              I enjoy her singing at the start of this clip (decorated A section):

            • Krunoslav says:

              Meanwhile, here’s another mezzo we at Parterre obviously need to cultivate for both vocalism and style. She makes Vicki Livengood sound like Berganza:

            • Hippolyte says:

              Not sure how the von Otter Serse can be “good but studio-bound” when it’s a live recording taken from a series of performances at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in November 2003. All in all one of Christie’s least impressive achievements most notable for Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz’s disastrous Romilda.

              Sort of surprised to read spirited defenses of Murray’s singing. I’ve always found her wan and thin and stressed, particularly in her prominent Handel roles although her all-Handel CD under Mackerras isn’t bad since she’s VERY careful throughout. Having seen her imperial interpretation twice at NYCO, I always think first and foremost of Lorraine Hunt Leiberson’s Serse…with everyone else far back in the pack.

              I unfortunately witnessed Murray’s poor Marcellina in Nozze twice (!) at the MET in 2007 and 2009, both times sadly without her wonderful husband Philip Langridge as Basilio.

            • armerjacquino says:

              Hippolyte: my apologies. I’ve had the Christie for years and had always assumed it had been made in a studio. Not much greasepaint about it.

            • armerjacquino says:

              And- point of order- nobody’s ‘defending’ Murray, are they? Saying you find a singer exciting, thrilling etc isn’t defensive.

            • Regina delle fate says:

              Haha! You’ll have to explain Theodora Orridge to me! I’m not even sure La Bessissima ever sang Azucena, though she did jump in for Christa Ludwig (!!!!) for one performance as Amneris at the Garden. That was the Lee/Gilda Cruz-Romo, Bergonzi/Ludovic Spiess run which had about 5 Amnerises including Veasey, Bessie, and one Mirna Pecile, who was also probably the best Azucena since Theodora Orridge if she sang the role. :)

            • grimoaldo says:

              Pre WWI English alto who sang at the Met:

              “Another newcomer of the year is Theodora Orridge, an English contralto, who made her debut in “La Gioconda,” singing the small part of La Cieca very well.”
              The Theatre magazine, 1912

            • Krunoslav says:

              I heard a Yoko Watanabe/Mirna Pecile SUOR ANGELICA at Torre del Lago in 1989. Not a great night for singing.

            • Krunoslav says:

              1 Aida: Amneris [Orridge, Theodora]
              1 Concert: [Orridge, Theodora]
              4 La Gioconda: La Cieca [Orridge, Theodora]
              1 Rigoletto: Maddalena [Orridge, Theodora]
              2 Il Trovatore: Azucena [Orridge, Theodora]

              THE LEGACY:

              5 Un Ballo in Maschera: Ulrica [Payne, Patricia]
              6 La Gioconda: La Cieca [Payne, Patricia]

            • armerjacquino says:

              Kruno: I was on a family holiday very near Torre in 1989, but we were too late for tickets. Just think, we were three miles apart and horses didn’t eat each other.

            • Krunoslav says:

              Well, I am sure we have been within a few miles from one another at some point in London- maybe a few rows away at a West End theater or at the Barbican.

              The SALOME paired with that ANGELICA was a travesty vocally and dramatically, though competently led by a very young Naziest, Herr Thielemann.

              The other show we saw there was TURANDOT with a fine dramatic performance in disputable sound from Zinka’s answer to Rethberg, Olivia Stapp. purest provincial bawling from Antono Ordonez, a scratchy, hard Liu--one Rosetta Pizzi-- and another hoary veteran, Paolo Washington! There were no tickets available for BUTTERFLY with yet another superannuated ‘name’, Mietta Sighele.

    • 41.3
      Regina delle fate says:

      I almost agree with all of this, too, but I thought the buffo male quartet was weak and Werba especially disappointing as Harlekin. The nymphs were gorgeous, and yes UI Cargill is probably the best Dryad I’ve ever heard. They should give her a decent leading role but of course she’s physically big. Who sang Waltraute in the last RO Götterdämmerungen? Was it her? They should consider casting her as Fricka at the very least.

  • 42
    WindyCityOperaman says:

    Last, but not least, happy 87th to Gina Lollobrigida!

  • 43
    Fidelia says:

    Respect to our German friends who just beat France in the World Cup (boo hoo).

    • 43.1
      armerjacquino says:

      We should have done an opera singer world cup! Although Costa Rican and Colombian singers might be hard to find.

      Still, tomorrow’s quarter-final between Rita Gorr and Hina Spani should be pretty exciting.

      • 43.1.1
        DellaCasaFan says:

        Great idea. Agh, why didn’t we think about this before?!

        At this stage, I’ll go with the predictions only. Semi-finals next week (sopranos):

        Hina Spani vs. Gré Brouwenstijn
        Bidú Sayão vs. Erna Berger

        Don’t have the time to find the clips now cause the game is starting.

      • 43.1.2
        Krunoslav says:

        Costa Rican tenor Manuel Salazar had an international career.

          DellaCasaFan says:

          Well, thanks to Krunoslav, then Manuel Salazar for Costa Rica. There was apparently his Otello on a 1930 film:

          In that case, I would suggest Jacques Urlus for Holland. There is a great recording of his Otello’s aria, but I can’t find it on Youtube.

          • armerjacquino says:

            If we’re going with tenors, and with current singers, we have a Cura v Kaufmann final on the cards…

          Buster says:

          Iride Martinez against Barbara Haveman. There both small, but fast.

  • 44
    WindyCityOperaman says:

    Born on this day in 1889 writer, filmmaker and designer Jean Cocteau

    Born on this day in 1916 soprano Gabriella Gatti

    Born on this day in 1924 bass Oskar Czerwenka

    Born on this day in 1934 baritone Tom Krause

    Born on this day in 1940 bass Donald Shanks

    Happy 71st birthday bass-baritone and director Angelo Gobbato

    Happy 62nd birthday soprano Kristine Ciesinski

    Happy 53rd birthday soprano Isabelle Poulenard

    • 44.1
      armerjacquino says:

      Hurray! Love Poulenard, and love that recording of ALESSANDRO. Her ‘Che Tirannia d’Amor’ is heartstoppingly lovely.

  • 45
    Buster says:

    Never knew Rita Streich sang spirituals!

  • 46
    Cocky Kurwenal says:

    Random question about Troyanos -- was it a really big sound, live?

    • 46.1
      steveac10 says:

      Not big in the Nilsson, Corelli, Mignon Dunn pin you to the back of the seat way -- but always more than audible (except for her Brangane -- of which I heard about half). Very focused and that quick vibrato and soprano-ish top helped it cary well. Also unlike some higher mezzos, the voice got bigger on top. Up until the mid 80’s she had a high C most spintos would kill for.

      • 46.1.1
        Cocky Kurwenal says:

        Thanks, Steve. It’s that quick and very narrow vibrato that has always been a bit of a stumbling block for me in terms of enjoying her. In most cases in my experience, that tends to hem a voice in, and yet some of the live clips I’ve been listening to of Troyanos give the impression that the voice was very large indeed. I’ve just heard an Amneris, and a bit of googling reveals that people didn’t think this was a great role for her, and she only did it for a few performances in ’76 and ’78 -- but it sounds fabulous to me.

          steveac10 says:

          I think it sat too low for her (as did Azucena and Ulrica). She was really at her best in the higher lying mezzo roles. Her voice was also shockingly agile (she’s the only singer I’ve heard do the Veil Song live that did more than negotiate it -- and really captured the Moorish colors of the aria). She did a fair amount of Bellini and Handel, but stayed away from Rossini and Donizetti. I would have loved to hear her do some of the lower lying bel canto roles that DiDonato has been tackling in the last few years.

          • mjmacmtenor says:

            For a while in the 80s, she was THE Adalgisa it seems. I have a DVD from Canada with Sutherland and Troyanos. There is also the Scotto recording with Levine (and Troyanos). I also have a live recording from San Fran with Deutekomen and (you guessed it) Troyanos. In each case, she is the best thing in the cast (Sutherland was past her prime). I would have loved to hear her as Seymour in Bolena or in La Favorita.
            By the way, La Cieca has a great live recording of Samson et Dalilah under “Unnatural Acts of Opera”. She sounds quite good in this lower lying role and when she sails up to a high note, she blows the roof off!

            • mjmacmtenor says:

              Correction, the dates on these were more like the late 70s (the Sutherland is 81). There is also a Norma with Caballe and Troyanos from Milan in 1977. I don’t recall hearing Troyanos doing a Met Norma (at least not on the broadcasts which I listened to regularly around then, but she surer seems to have done it everywhere else and with practically everything. Wonder if she ever did Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuletti?

            • mjmacmtenor says:

              With “everyone”, not everything. Oops.

            • kashania says:

              There almost was a Troyanos Giovanna Seymour. I’ve heard that COC Norma with Sutherland was originally planned as an Anna Bolena. But La Stupenda didn’t have the role ready or felt she wouldn’t be ready in time, so she asked Lotfi Mansouri to change the opera. His response was that if it wasn’t going to be Anna Bolena, then it had to be Norma, especially since they had Troyanos lined up. That’s how the Norma came about. Of course, the Anna Bolena also happened a couple of years later (but I can’t recall the Giovanna).

            • MontyNostry says:

              mjmacmtenor, Troyanos sang Romeo at Covent Garden in, I think, 1985 or so, with Ricciarelli as Giulietta. I remember enjoying the whole show much more than the first run with Baltsa and Gruberova under Muti. It was certainly the best singing I ever heard from Ricciarelli, whom I saw quite frequently in the 80s and whom I generally found rather wan.

            • mjmacmtenor says:

              The COC Giovanna Seymour was Judith Forst who also sang it in the concert version in NYC which was televised.

            • kashania says:

              Yes, of course, Forst! Thanks.

            • kashania says:

              You’ve reminded me that I’ve been meaning to pull the Deutekom/Troyanos Norma off the shelf for a long while.

            • marshiemarkII says:

              mctenori, apparently she did do the Romeo in London mid-80s, from what you can see above, but Romeo was the first role I saw her in ever, in 75 or 76 with Sarah Caldwell in Boston. I won’t even mention the unspeakable Giulietta, the stuff of bad dreams……. Tati was simply GLORIOUS!, and just making her triumphant return to the US after several seasons in Europe as one of Dr Karlest favorite singers (the DG recording of Nozze for starters) with huge successes in Salzburg. Shortly after, her Met career took off like a rocket, and promptly became one of Jimmy L’s inner circle.

              Carisssimo Cocky, the voice was not huge by any stretch, not when the grandest Yelena O was creating typhoons at every appearance :lol: but was extremely refined and with a very gorgeous sound. I adored her belcanto (Bellini Adalgisa, Romeo, etc) and above all the glorious Cesare (with infamous Battle), Mozart, and a Komponist beyond sublime. Her Verdi was less successful to my ears, even the Eboli, in which she was widely praised, because to me she was not a patch on Yelena O of course. I cannot imagine an Amneris at the Met, although to be sure she was a million times better than Horne in those very roles after they needed recasting because of the Obraztsova firing on political grounds in 1980. Troyanos was a huge improvement over Horne to be very clear. And last she was a marvelous Brangaene to the glorious Behrens’ Isolde in 1983, and later Waltraute in the new Ring, she was a huge fan of Hildegard, and I remember Tati walking into her dressing room after a GD Act I rehearsal, drenched in tears, and just babbling incoherently like the most dedicated fan. For that alone I will always adore her! :lol:

            • MontyNostry says:

              marshie, you say: ” … even the Eboli, in which she was widely praised, because to me she was not a patch on Yelena O of course.”

              Since it’s Eboli, don’t you mean “she was not an **eye-patch** on Yelena O”?

            • MontyNostry says:

              Wasn’t Troyanos also Adalgisa to Caballe’s Norma at La Scala in the late 70s? I remember it being broadcast on TV. The set was a large, blond-wood box.

            • MontyNostry says:


            • marshiemarkII says:

              Monitissssimo you are a camp gurl! remember you are talking about possibly my ancestress :lol: as Marshhilde Claudine is also a de Silva just like Ana Hurtado de Mendoza (de Silva) :lol:

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka says:

              Pero que Marshilde ni que ocho cuartos! Hasta en la China saben que tu provienes de las alpacas andinas :P

            • marshiemarkII says:

              Asi es perrita, pero by way of Extremadura España, de donde provienen los ilustres Silvas, que es la familia materna de Donna Marshhilde Claudine de Silva por la Gracia de Dios. Tomate esa chica! :D
              Psst: Toda esa historia fue discutida hace como dos semanas back, cuando hablabamos del patch de la Princesa de Eboli!

            • m. p. arazza says:

              Troyanos did sing Giovanna Seymour (Dallas, 1975, Scotto) — there’s been a pirate around since LP days and it’s on YouTube.

          • Krunoslav says:

            Well, Tatiana also did Romeo in Chicago opposite Gasdia in 1985 with such UIs as Dennis O’Neill and (as Capellio!) Roderick Kennedy.

            A role no one has mentioned AFAIK is Orsini in BORGIA, which she sang in Dallas with Gencer, Carreras and Manuguerra in 1974. That is on Youtube.

            I got to know Tatiana when I was in college and I think she would have smiled with some confusion to have her development attributed so centrally to Dr. Naziest Boehm at Salzburg . She spoke principally of her voice teacher Hans Heinz, but she also spent several years at NYCO ( where she sang some intriguing things, like Maria and Briten;s Hippolyta) before her really crucial years at Hamburg 1965-75, in which Dr Naziest played no part and during the early years of which she was already recording with, among others, Karl Richter, Charles Mackerras, Marek Janowski and Erich Leinsdorf (COSI).

            George Sebastian led her breakthrough Komponist at Aix in 1966, ; her first Octavian was at the ROH with Silvio Varviso in 1968, before doing it with Dr. Naziest at Salzburg the next year. Her debut in Vienna was as the Komponist with Ernst Märzendorfer; later she sang three (3) performances of it with Dr, Naziest there.

            Dr. Naziest recorded her Cherubino and Clairon and in the Beethoven Ninth with Gwyneth, Jess Thomas, and a younger Naziest, Ridderbusch.
            She was proud to have sung with him but never in my hearing spoke of him as an essential mentor (which Levine certainly was).

            I think my very favorite Tatiana roles of those I heard live were the Komponist, Venus and Poppea.

            • Krunoslav says:

              That was to be MARINA ,Musorgsky’s…

            • Buster says:

              Troyanos is also on the Boehm Ariadne with Hillebrecht, and Reri Grist. A lively set, with Hillebrecht having an off day in the studio, unfortunately. I love Troyanos on it, though. She is also on that live Boehm Rosenkavalier with Ludwig and Mathis.

              Only caught her towards the very end, as a regal Fricka, made up to look like Frankenstein’s bride. She proved you can do many things with a Rheingold Fricka -- she and Terfel (best Donner ever) made the evening for me.

            • Hippolyte says:

              As I did for Norman, I’ll put a shout-out for several of Troyanos’s pre-Classical roles: although she made two commercial recordings of Purcell’s Dido (the later Leppard version is probably better known, but the earlier Mackerras is really special) I think she only sang it live in Dallas in 1972 with no less of an Aeneas than Jon Vickers.

              Although she’s a bright spot as Cleopatra on the lugubrious Richter Giulio Cesare, she later sang the title role quite often although the MET production didn’t show her at her best. There’s an earlier San Francisco broadcast in English with Valerie Masterson which is well worth hunting down.

              Troyanos replaced an originally announced Verrett as Handel’s Ariodante in performances that opened the Kennedy Center in 1971. Despite Rudel’s cuts and rearrangements, it shows her and Sills at their best.

              I heard a later Troyanos Ariodante in 1985 at Carnegie Hall--I most remember her having her head constantly in the score (while the rest of the cast was off-book) and yet she still got lost in one of the duets with June Anderson.

            • kashania says:

              Hippolyte: I was going to put in a word for TT’s gorgeous Dido’s Lament but I see you’ve done it already. I’ve only heard the Leppard version but now look forward to listening to his live version.

            • peter says:

              I heard Troyanos in so many roles at the Met. I agree that she was more successful in the Wagner and Strauss, not as much in the Verdi. I think my favorite role of hers was the Composer but I remember just being floored by her Charlotte opposite Shicoff in the early 80’s. Here she is with Alfredo Kraus:

            • DellaCasaFan says:

              Hyppolite, these are wonderful selections. Another pre-classical Troyanos, her Poppea. I was glad to see it mentioned earlier on the thread. Ever since I heard her “Pur ti miro” (with Tappy) on Youtube, I’ve been searching for her complete San Francisco “Poppea.” Without much luck, I’m afraid to say. If it’s on one of Richter’s CD-ROMs or Jungfer’s tapes, I hope it will be graciously posted on Parterre one day.

            • DellaCasaFan says:

              Should be, of course, “Hippolyte”.

            • Krunoslav says:

              Wonderful to hear this again, even Leppardized. I stood through it twice.

              In the 1975 performances Beverly Wolff was Ottavia, but in 1981 (when I heard it) it was Sarah Walker, who was *phenomenal* in the role. Tappy, the oh-so-handsome Brendel, Erie Mills as the Damigella and Macurdy also major assets-- not so poor Forrester camping up Arnalta.

            • Hippolyte says:

              Here is a download link for the pretty wonderful 1975 SF Poppea ripped from the Richter CD-ROM (therefore a very low bitrate); you’ll get a small zip file with 2 mp3s, one for each act of the Leppard version.


              Link to the cast details on the SF archives:


            • DellaCasaFan says:

              OMG! Grazie mille, Hippolyte. I’m already listening to it.

      • 46.1.2
        Batty Masetto says:

        Seconding Steve -- I first heard her doing “Bluebeard’s Castle” in concert with Boulez, and when that C on the fifth door came along she just blew us all away. Just the memory gives me goosebumps. She was also sexy as hell in the role without wiggling anything at all.

        (I will be sticking pins in wax dolls in her memory when it comes time for La Michael to caterwaul her version.)

          Feldmarschallin says:

          Buster I think Hillebrecht had more off days than on days. I was up until one last night watching the nailbiter of a game. In the end the better team won. Congratulations Buster.

          bobsnsane says:

          I saw that run in Cleveland Batty (1972)
          that 5th door was magnificent &
          with Zoltan Keleman
          reciting the spoken prologue
          over the intro
          4 me
          one of the most memorable
          nights of opera EVER….

      • 46.1.3
        kashania says:

        Did Troyanos have problems with nerves? Whenever I see a video clip of her singing, she looks nervous, taking more breaths than she needs. Don’t get me wrong. The voice was very attractive and she gave exciting performances. But I always assumed that she must have had a bad case of nerves.

          Batty Masetto says:

          I believe she was famous for her stage fright.

          steveac10 says:

          Her stage fright was intense and she cancelled more than one production opening night because of it. Apparently she was fine once she got going, but before performances she was a mess. A makeup guy I worked with years ago used to work at San Francisco back in the 70’s and they would keep smelling salts in the makeup room because she would sometimes get so nervous she would pass out. She was also apparently a bit of a hypochondriac. I remember reading an old Opera News article about NYC throat doctors. Her ENT doctor told her agent he needed to find Troyanos a hobby. Her agent’s reply was “Doctor, you ARE her hobby”.

          kashania says:

          Thank you, Batty and Steve.

    • 46.2
      phoenix says:

      In reply to Kurwenal’s question: No, LIVE IN THE HOUSE it did not sound big in the sense of broad, refulgent (as Obraztsova, for example). Trojanos had a shaded tone, homogenous vocal registers and she sang with incisive clarity, always very close to pitch (like the excellent Mozart singer she was). Of all the mezzos of her day, she could modulate what volume she had more effectively than most of the others, her only rival in that department was the mezzo [contralto?] Jessye Norman. Someone mentioned Trojanos’ Eboli -- I didn’t really like it (she was better in the German roles) but Trojanos hit right on target & held that high note at the end of O don fatale forever -- with gradual crescendo followed by decrescendo all in one, long breath -- she had a fantastic upper register, her only mezzo rival in that department was Verrett.
      -- But IMO volume-wise I always found Trojanos’ voice medium sized. Her middle register sounded rather dark, close-knit & condensed to my ears, the tone itself verging on the monochromatic, but you rarely noticed it in live performance because she was such an exceptionally involved interpreter. I now realize that if she didn’t have that kind of voice she wouldn’t have been able to modulate so well -- she was very natural sounding & acting live in the house.
      -- As Kundry her voice lost texture the lower she went down the scale -- something I had noticed before in her others performances, but juxtaposed against Wagner’s orchestration it was much more noticeable. However, she was audible throughout the second act. Months after she sang it I went over to a friend’s house for a visit. He had taped the broadcast I went to. I couldn’t believe how incredibly great she sounded on the broadcast recording he had made. With the exception of the bright, full tones above the passagio, there were no noticeable breaks in her registers -- and the high notes at the end of Act 2 were sung with absolutely no strain and greater freedom of expression than from any other singer I have heard before or since. But I didn’t notice this when I saw her sing this same broadcast performance live in the house. Some people record well (and better sounding) than live.
      -- I walked by her one sunny afternoon on Amsterdam Avenue. She was talking with some other singer friends, but I didn’t notice the others at all. With the mercilessly bright sunlight revealing all her features, she was the most beautiful opera singer I ever saw in person off-stage.

      • 46.2.1
        marshiemarkII says:

        Cariiisisma fenice gurl, I hadn’t read your comment above yet when I wrote mine, but obviously we are birds of a featha’ :lol: we Obraztsova Qs that we are! and I had forgotten about the Kundry another Wagnerian marvel she did! she used to live on 78th and Riverside, and whenever I go up Riverside on a taxi, on way home, I somehow think about her when I pass that corner……Her death was so shocking because it was pretty sudden even for those who knew her closely.
        She left a gorgeous Ring to Ken Noda to pass on to Hildegard, what a beautiful lady!

          Lohenfal says:

          Liebster MMII,

          I was thinking a lot about Troyanos today because WQXR broadcast the recent Tito from Chicago. I saw her Sesto, both on film and at the Met. It was unforgettable, but I’ve been lucky with that role, having also seen von Otter and Garanca. No mediocre Sestos (Sesti?) in my experience. And today I heard Joyce, another fine interpreter. Perhaps it’s a good thing the opera isn’t performed that often; it calls for exceptional casting.

          I needed Mozart today after my encounter with Tell last week. It was quite a refreshing change. :-D

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Yes Sesto of course!!!!!!!!! another one of her master assumptions. She learned her Mozart in Salzburg at Dr Karlest knees (figure of speech :lol:) and then carried on with Jimmy, who can forget that production when it was new, with Jimmy at his grandest. Yes she really was a master Mozart singer carissssimo Lohenfal indeed!

            • steveac10 says:

              One of my wishes was that Troyanos take a stab at Vitellia (and Donna Elvira -- which she actually threatened to do on occasion). Given her glorious upper range, flexibility and sense of drama both would have slayed. I sometimes wonder if her fears made her too safe with repertoire (despite the fact she sang everything from Cesare to Kundry). There were far too many Giulettas and Orlovskys in the mid to late Eighties. She was obviously a Levine pet, a NYC audience favorite, plus Ingpen later in life declared her her favorite singer of the era -- I think whatever role she had asked for at the Met in her prime (within reason) would have been granted.

            • redbear says:

              My daughter was in her only opera role, one of the kids in Norma. She was 8. When we parked the car for rehearsals, I reminded her that we can’t be late. “Don’t rush me, Dad, I’m a star!” she replied and I nearly fell on the floor with laughter.
              I told the story to the woman sitting next to us in rehearsal. She didn’t see the humor at all. She was singing Aldalgisa, she told me and had some sort of Greek name. Have you done any recording yet? I asked. “My Carmen with Solti was just released.” I asked a friend who she was. She and Sills singing “Mira, o Norma” while caressing the head of my sleeping daughter is still the top moment in my life.

            • Archaeopteryx says:

              What a cute story redbear. Hope your daughter enjoyed being near the divas!!! :D

            • MontyNostry says:

              But why didn’t TT see the humour in the story?

            • manou says:

              redbear’s story reminds me of Frank Johnson’s encounter with Callas’ nipple.

            • m. p. arazza says:

              Troyanos did sing Donna Elvira, for Opéra du Québec in 1974.

              I wish I could read between the many lines of this reviewer’s description of her performance!

          • marshiemarkII says:

            You know carisssimo Lohenfal, I could kill myself I missed that Sesto with the divine Garanca, to think one of my most very favoritest operas and I missed the greatest of this generation, and who knows if she will ever sing it again now, mea culpa mea grandisssima culpa (I feel like Anna Mendoza at the Plaza de la Hora) your Marshhilde Claudine de Silva

            • Lohenfal says:

              Liebster MMII,

              Would you believe that the Met gave me the abridged, English-language Barber of Seville on my subscription, and I exchanged it as soon as possible for that Tito with Garanca? Not much thought was involved in that exchange. Sadly, there were plenty of empty seats at that performance. Even such an excellent singer in Mozart couldn’t sell the place out, a sure sign of the Met’s current problems.

            • marshiemarkII says:

              Wow Imagine exchanging Mozart for Rossini, what a step up!!!!!!! but yes that is a crime, the empty seats, and typical of New York that they would probably enjoy the Barber more because it has such popular tunes you know, the Largo and Voce un poco fa, what more do you need, that’s all the cultchah you can absorb in one day, plus it’s from the movies dontcha know :lol:. It seems like a small miracle that they perform any Wagner at all at the Met these days :-(

              But Troyanos I did see in a lot of things, one of my earliest ever visits to the Met, for the Caballe and big Luci Boheme, that afternoon was a Rosenkavalier with Z-G and Tati and big Luci! and then for the Kiri RosenK I saw every single one of them in 1982!, and Tati with Blegen blended so beautifully, and looked so gorgeous, and the Venus with Z-G and later with Marton (I think?) and even a Dorabella, glorious in mid 80s. Also the DVD of Clemenza with Jimmy is beyond sublime, and one of the greatest testaments of what Tati really was! she always looks so beautiful in pants also!

          Gualtier M says:

          Marshiemark, when Tatiana passed the Met did a very unusual thing: they scheduled a free concert in her memory. Your beloved Hildegard took part and sang “Traume” from the Wesendonck lieder in memory of the Tristans they sang together. I remember it was the first time I ever sat in a Parterre Box at the Met. (:

          I really first started see opera live in a theater at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the mid-eighties when I was in college. I saw Tatiana Troyanos in “I Capuleti” (with Gasdia who I also saw as Amina in “Sonnambula”), “Parsifal” (under Perick/Prick with Vickers, Sotin, Nimsgern and Welker) and as Sesto in “Clemenza di Tito” with Vaness, Winbergh, Susan Foster and a very young Susan Graham as Annio. Her voice wasn’t huge but was very dense and filled in and yet had presence. From the word go I heard her in Mozart, Bellini and then Wagner and Verdi and she just filled out the line beautifully and was very expressive. She had a unique timbre.

          The “Capuleti” was an amazing evening and I will never forget Troyanos’ “Deh tu bell’alma” from the tomb scene. You just held your breath. I loved her from then on.

          By the time I saw her Eboli in “Don Carlo” in Chicago in early 1990 (with Kiri Te Kanawa’s one and only Elisabetta) she had changed. She had gotten very puffy looking and the voice which was thrilling in a Met “Don Carlo” broadcast months earlier in Spring 1989 was oddly blunted, labored and breathy. I think she had already gotten sick with the cancer that took her life.

          When I moved to New York I heard her again in “The Voyage”, another Sesto in “Clemenza”, a weird Farnace in “Mitridate re di Ponto” for the Mozart death bicentennial and maybe a concert appearance. She was singing right up until her death -- her filmed Clairon in the SF “Capriccio” with Te Kanawa was only done weeks before she died. Her final quiet farewell to the Countess Madeleine thanking her for a lovely afternoon in her salon before departing with the Count for Paris always sends chills up my spine. She mentions that the hours pass without your noticing it and it is a very strange moving moment. And it was her last lines in any opera.

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Oh Gualtier, what a beautiful recount you describe above. Yes how can I forget that concert that Ken Noda put together, it was either around the time of the glorious Elektra in early 1994, or in the spring of 94 when Hildegard was doing the Hollaender (replacing Varady). It was in the middle of the day I think. As she was described by someone (steve I think) as Levine’s “pet”, she was more like a love object, Jimmy truly truly adored her, one of his top three girls that he most loved, namely Stratas, Scotto and Tati, and of course Ken was with her until the very end.

            I am not sure if she would have been sick in 1990 as you say, because I remember it was all very fulminating, I think the diagnosis came right around the time of the 1993 Ring (April-May) and she was dead in August, plus pancreatic cancer (or was it liver? it was one of the real baddies) is so fast acting it couldn’t have lasted so many years…… and yes the Clairon story you tell is so moving and sad, and of course she already knew that she had but weeks left! she was same age as Maria Callas when she died…….
            But I will never forget that rehearsal of Gotterdammerung in 89 or 90, when she walked in after the first act, just trembling in tears, and barely babbling some things about how deeply Hildegard’s singing had affected her, she was such a sensitive soul, from heavens!

      • 46.2.2
        marshiemarkII says:

        Fenice, I had a very similar experience with Kundry with Mme Dalayman last year. In the theater I didn’t think much of it at all, and certainly NOT because she was small or “inaudible”, quite far from it, but she just didn’t get to me at all. Zero impact! I have been obsessing now over the DVDs since I got them, and she is one of the main reasons, I find her simply stunning in Act II. The B natural she nails in lässt dich dann Gottheit erlangen drives me absolutely nuts, I cannot think of anyone better! I have to refresh now how Tati did that, Waltraud is certainly very hard pressed there :lol:

    • 46.3
      Benedetta Funghi-Trifolati says:

      No. Not a really big sound. But I only heard her in the Met.

  • 47
    Krunoslav says:

    Hmm. *Fort discutable*…

    Also on the Lincoln Center sked for Fall:

    5:00 PM
    Alice Tully Hall, Starr Theater

    Le Concert d’Astrée
    Emmanuelle Haïm, conductor
    Natalie Dessay, soprano
    Christophe Dumaux, countertenor

    Selections from Giulio Cesare in Egitto
    Suite in G major from Water Music