Cher Public

And she’s shining like the brightest star

So, if the opening of the Met season is canceled, Anna Netrebko can always find work as a replacement Yitzhak on Broadway.

  • I’m simply dying to hear her take on “Midnight Radio.”

    • pirelli

      Well, I’d rather have Anna’s take on it than Renee Fleming’s -- that’s for sure…;-)

  • All sarcasm aside, you do have to love this photo.

    • Clita del Toro

      Why? Anna is beginning to look like she should go back to cleaning floors. The kid is cute. ;)

      • I get that some people like to cultivate an especially jaded personality on the Internet; I’ll forgive you yours, and assume you’re a more pleasant person in real life.

        • The hint of misogyny always makes it extra special charming.

          • The hint? ;)

          • Guestoria Unpopularenka

            The hint that cleaning floors is misogynistic is misogyny in and of itself.

            • Clita del Toro

              Yes, Guestoria, cleaning floors is also homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic. It could also be a sign of Papist thinking, or atheistic thinking!
              Really! Get a life.

            • phoenix

              Brava Clita! You tell ’em, honey!

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              I know you’re not being a Kunc to your defender!

            • What is this, the fourth grade? Fine, you’re rubber and I’m glue. That’s settled.

        • Clita del Toro

          Actually I am very pleasant and fun—and a very silly person. I have to admit that the net, FB, and this opera stuff bring out the worst in me. Sorry. I do like to make fun of Anna and Renée.
          My friends seem to like me. ;)

          • Clita del Toro

            PS No misogyny there. I know a few male singers who should also be washing floors. ;)—or working at McDonalds.

    • CwbyLA

      Beautiful photo. I am sure she is a fun mom. What a cute kid!

  • bluecabochon

    That color wig definitely doesn’t suit her.

    • Feldmarschallin

      I thought the same. She should stay with a dark color. The reddish blonde didn’t do her any favors.

      • That’s the director’s choice, no? But can you imagine any director saying, the way Volpe famously said of another diva, “the wig is going on stage, with or without her”?

        • Veloce49

          Was that Volpe? Always thought it was Bing. Too lazy to look it up.

          • armerjacquino

            Bing was long gone before Gheorghiu appeared on the scene.

          • Guestoria Unpopularenka

            She’d get a heart attack if she read this.

      • Regina delle fate

        Did Frau Michael wear a red wig in this show, FM?

    • The wig is part of the design of the show, and I don’t think it’s supposed to to be particularly flattering.

      • bluecabochon

        I haven’t seen it yet, and will keep that in mind.

      • I mean she’s Lady Macbeth, not Thais…

        • Regina delle fate

          Heehee, Maury! Bravo!

      • Buster

        The wig:

  • Grane

    Anna is looking great, and sounding great in the rep she’s singing these days. Nice to see her having fun with her little boy. Hope she is happy.

  • javier

    nadja michael sang landy macbeth in this production last year. i have the video on one of my hard drives. i distingtly remember nadja michael cracking and screaming out what was supposed to be a high D in the sleepwalking scene.

    Nadja Michael is a tall and slender woman so the dresses and wig (which matches her haircolor) fit better then Netrebko.

    Netrebko does look like a cleaning woman in the dressing room pic. But with the stage lights on her she doesn’t look so bad. At least she sounds better than Nadja Michael.

    • Guestoria Unpopularenka

      I don’t know how Michael has a career. It’s one of the unknown mysteries to humankind.

      • oedipe

        Michael has the right agent and she lives in the right place.

        • Guestoria Unpopularenka

          And what is that place?

          • oedipe
            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              So Berlin is the place to be for a singer? Interesting.

            • oedipe

              Berlin/Munich = center of today’s opera world

            • Guestoria Unpopularenka

              Well, we can’t fault them for it. They are doing a lot to keep it relevant and the public seems to be still taking it seriously (regie, of course, is another topic).

          • Regina delle fate

            Oedipe -- well Paris had its turn as centre of the operatic world for most of the 19th Century. Things change. London hasn’t been the centre of the operatic world since Handel was composing operas…..except that, of course, it is vicariously running all the major US opera houses!

            • oedipe

              Hmm, I didn’t know a city/country “has its turn” -for anything, not just opera. Who decides, God? “So the last will be first”?

              And let me see: was Germany insignificant in the operatic world in the 19th century, so now it “gets its turn”?

              Actually, since I have an interest in (idiomatically sung) French opera and I like hearing and seeing non-Teutonic interpretations of, for instance, Italian opera from time to time, the current French operatic world holds a lot of rewards for me personally. Though I reckon it might present little interest to American, British, or German opera goers.

              Another plus: one doesn’t often come across people deploring the demise of the glory days of French opera singing: at least in Paris, it’s better now than it has been as far back as most people can remember :) !

            • Clita del Toro

              Well, art centers do change, oedipe. “Has its turn” is only an expression. As Paris was “the” art center (for painting, sculpture, etc.) in the 19th, early 20th centuries, NYC became “the” art center with the advent of Abstact Expressionism in the late 40’s and 50’s (Pollock, de Kooning Klein, Gorky, Rothko, etc). No, God does not decide that (unless you are a right-wing, religious fundamentalist nut). The “art world” does decide. Whatever “art world” means?
              I guess that Paris wasn’t the greatest place for opera in the 50’s-60’s. ;)

            • oedipe

              Well, it’s probably high time some of the places that never got their turn, finally get a chance, no? When is Prague going to get its turn, for instance?

              The truth is that only the big fat bullies of this world ever “get their turn”, whatever “getting one’s turn” may mean.

              And BTW, which is the “art center of the world” nowadays?

            • Regina delle fate

              Oh Blimey -- I’m sorry I posted the above now. :(

        • Michael was also better a while back. When I heard her in 2003(ish?) the voice was weird but worked.

          • Regina delle fate

            She was an ok mezzo soprano. I saw her as Ottavia in Alden’s Munich Poppea and she made her UK debut as Varvara in Lehnhoff’s Katya at Glynditz.

        • Regina delle fate

          It also has to be said that Michael is a good-looking woman and a real actor -- she won’t be the first singer who has had an operatic career without much of a voice.

    • Buster

      Michael also had the right amount of tension -- her body language was much stronger than Netrebko’s, who looks like a pudding here.

    • DonCarloFanatic

      Cleaning women must have changed a lot since the white-haired old lady who cleaned my first office. I don’t recall any jewelry or makeup on her, either. Or that happy, loving smile.

      This putdown about Netrebko is pretty tired.

      The wig is ugly, but Lady Macbeth is hardly a romantic heroine.

      • MontyNostry

        They just broadcast a bit of the Salzburg Giovanna d’Arco on BBC Radio 3 -- sorry, but Netrebko in Verdi just sounds coarse and unidiomatic to me. I don’t get what all the fuss is about.

        • armerjacquino

          But monty, you don’t like ANYTHING… ;-)

        • Cocky Kurwenal

          I heard the radio 3 clip of Giovanna d’Arco too and agree Netrebko didn’t sound very good. I’d hesitate to cite it as back-up for an assertion about her in Verdi in general though -- I don’t think it’s really a representative role, and I still think she could be very impressive in roles that rely mainly on long legato lines -- the sorts of roles that suited both Price ladies, for instance.

          • Regina delle fate

            Margaret sang Giovanna d’Arco, though.

            • Cocky Kurwenal

              Be that as it may, it isn’t exactly what she’s best remembered for, taking into account Aida, Desdemona, Amelia etc.

          • MontyNostry

            My sweeping judgement on Nebs’ Verdi was largely based on her much ballyhooed Verdi album, which I listened to carefully a number of times and really did try to like. Actually, the best number was the aria from Giovanna d’Arco -- O fatidica foresta, in which she managed a certain lightness of touch that I didn’t detect elsewhere on the album. I saw Dame Mags in her London concert performance of the opera. I remember enjoying it (but, then, I was and am a Dame Mags fan), but I can’t imagine it was completely her thing.

            • Regina delle fate

              Well, I’m not sure that Dame Mags was an ideal Aida or Ballo-Amelia either. Her Desdemona in THAT Kleiber conducted revival at the Garden in 1980 was glorious and I wish I’d heard her Amelia Grimaldi, which I think she only ever sang with WNO and in San Francisco. Never heard her Aida, live, either. The RO Ballo-Amelia was a bit of a stretch, though she sounds fine on the Solti recording, which I haven’t heard in a while. When they re-issued Solti’s Verdi recordings in an anniversary, they chose the Birgit-Bergonzi Ballo rather than the later Price-Pavarotti one. Now Irina Arkhipova’s Ulrica -- that was something, probably the best I’ve heard, and she was pretty old then.

            • Regina delle fate

              Well, Norma wasn’t completely her thing either. It’s just a pity that she was absent from Covent Garden for long periods during her prime. Nothing between the 1980 Desdemona and Norma in 1987. And the Norma was the only new production she was ever given there. Nowadays they wouldn’t have her there because of her size.

            • CarlottaBorromeo

              Actually Margaret sang Fiordiligi at Covent Garden in 1985 -- a revival of the Copley production. I’ve been told that she turned down several offers from CG in those years…

            • Krunoslav

              Margaret Price was not ideal as Aida but I am *very* glad to have heard her sing it ( SF, 1981). Acting not especially alert and her voice while attractive didn’t take on much tone color. ( I love the way she sounds on disc in OTELLO and BOCCANEGRA and on radio tapes in DON CARLO). My best Aidas live have been Leontyne, Maria Chiara, Aprile Millo, Angela Brown; maybe I’d place Margaret Price next, just before Monastryrska and Lisa Daltirus ( also both good). One or two partially good showings after that, including Molnar-Talajic and Norma Fantini), then Sharon Sweet ( again in SF) who was note-perfect and as completely inexpressive as it was possible to be) and then it gets pretty scary.

              Heard M. Price again very late in the VLL, 1995 w/Levine at Carnegie, getting autumnal but still well worth hearing.

            • steveac10

              The only Verdi I heard Price do live was Elisabeth in Don Carlo, and it was sadly underwhelming. There was nothing wrong with it, but didn’t grab me. It was a dour, almost frumpy performance -- especially when castmates included live wires like Shicoff, Raimondi and Troyanos.

            • armerjacquino

              Janice Cairns, Micaela Carosi, and- by far the best- Nina Rautio.

              Saw Price in BALLO in the late 80s- wonderful singing but the acting veered towards the comic. Her recorded account of the role for Solti is pretty spectacular, I think.

            • Tubsinger

              I heard M Price as Fiordiligi at CG in that run of performances in 1985. I recall liking her very much--at least her singing. I don’t think her acting would pass muster these days. I also had tickets to hear her in the same role at the Met, but she cancelled out and Vaness took over the run (and made the front page in the NYT in so doing).

              I’d read that there had been a “coolness” between Mags and C Davis that had vanished by the time she sang Pamina for him on record, which may explain her absences from CG. Opera magazine, in “We Hear That…,” reported a few recording projects for the two of them that didn’t come to fruition thereafter.

              I thought she’d make an effective Marschallin but read that she always rejected offers to sing it, having no sympathy with the role and its “stopping the clocks” bit in the monologue. Shame…

            • I’m quite fond of M. Price’s work in the 1982 Verdi Requiem from the Edinburgh Festival. I read somewhere that Jessye Norman was to have been the soprano soloist but when the mezzo soprano cancelled, she agreed to sing the mezzo part (I’m assuming because Price happened to be available). In any case, I’m glad for it because I’ve heard Jessye in the soprano part and it’s not terribly special but here’s she’s magnificent. And Price sings radiantly — a few flat notes are easily forgiven in light of the beauty of her performance.

            • MontyNostry

              I remember being very disappointed to miss that 1982 Edinburgh Requiem because I was away in Italy at the time … We love YouTube. I can’t imagine Jessye in the soprano part -- all those top notes!

            • luvtennis

              FYI, I encourage everyone to listen to the recently released archival recording of the Verdi requiem on Testament. It is mostly extraordinary. Giuseppe Zampieri is the weak link in the cast, but he is superb by current standards, and the other three singers are in sublime form. The sound is adequate though not stereo. Overall HvK is not as inspired as he was in the Toscanini commemoration performances -which culminated in the famous film from la scala -- but the performance still rocks.

            • Regina delle fate

              Thanks and apologies, Carlotta. I’d forgotten about that Cosi revival -- it was the third series she sang there after jumping in for Lorengar in 1972/73 and one with Baltsa as Dorabella in, I think 1979. I think she did turn things down, but I read an interview once in which she said they had offered her daft stuff such as La fanciulla del West.

            • Monty: The “Libera me” was once on YouTube but I can’t find it now. Instead, I found this complete Requiem led by Muti from 1983 (amazing what pops up on YouTube).

              I just listened to most of the “Libera me” (not sure if it’s the same one that I heard before) and Jessye certainly doesn’t embarrass herself. But, the high-lying parts are taxing and she sort of hides behind the chorus instead of soaring above them. I imagine she does that in earlier high-lying parts too. She has her moments (she bites into the opening of the “Libera me” excitingly) but ultimately, she doesn’t have the freedom that a great soprano should have in this part. At best, she sounds like a great singer managing a part that’s well outside of her comfort zone.

          • luvtennis

            Margaret Price had issues with supporting the voice thru the passagio -- by her own admission. I think that is why she wasn’t more consistently successful in those roles that one would have thought her duck soup.

            Why for instance no trovatore or forza leonoras????

  • pasavant

    What is a Yitzhak?

    • La Valkyrietta

      Not Yitzhak Rabin, but perhaps the Yitzhak in ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’, since Broadway was mentioned. Here is the Wiki thing.

      • Indeedy. The second photo is from the film of Hedwig. Yitzhak (Miriam Shor) is a character of fairly indeterminate gender but is seen during the song “Midnight Radio” crowd-surfing all femmed up in a glamorous frock.

        • Sempre liberal

          Middle school flashback, history class, early 1980s.

          Classmate (to teacher, a nun): Sister, what kind of name is Yitzhak?
          Teacher: It’s a Jewish name. It means Isaac.
          Classmate: Isn’t Isaac a Jewish name?
          Teacher: Enough with the questions.

  • stignanispawn

    AN is a little long in the tooth for Hedwig; I suggest a stint as Velma Kelly in Chicago. The Weisslers would be delighted. Throw in PRacette as Roxy, DZajick as Matron Momma Morton, BBanks as Amos Hart, AMarkov as Billy Flynn and DDaniels as Mary Sunshine, and you could move the whole thing to the Chicago Lyric, miked of course.

    • PushedUpMezzo

      I would row the Atlantic single-handed to see Dolora’s Mama alone. Unfortunately I fear that neither of those leading ladies could manage the cartwheels, splits, and certainly not the infamous spreadeagle. I’d bring in DDN and JDD. And a cameo from Eva Marton as the Hungarian in the Cell Block Tango. And last time I saw Daniels he had rather a lot of facial hair for Mary S.