Cher Public

As if Massenet’s ghost forbade the opera

“How the Dying Composer’s Sentimental Whim Was Invoked by Lucy Arbell, the English Prima Donna, to Forbid Mary Garden to Sing the Title Role in Cleopatra.” Yes, this should turn out well. [The Washington Times]

  • armerjacquino

    Ha, this is a great one for the ‘as the composer intended’ argument…

    • Krunoslav

      armerjacquino says:
      “Ha, this is a great one for the ‘as the composer intended’ argument…”

      …which has been invoked by whom in reference to the Britcasting of Thomas Ades and John Adams roles at the Met???

      • armerjacquino

        If you really want me to spell out the difference between ALIVE and DEAD I’ll be happy to, but it might be a little less embarrassing for you to let it drop.

        • Krunoslav

          Dead for how long in Massenet’s case? Exactly when do such wishes become irrelevant, o grand adjudicator of all levels of embarrassment?

          Sometimes your breezy self-assurance exceeds even mine…

          • armerjacquino

            I think you’re making all kinds of assumptions about my initial post, love.

            The Massenet example is an interesting one for the ‘composer’s intentions’ debate precisely because it comes so soon after his death. His avowed intention is clear but is also untenable if he wants his opera to have any kind of momentum. So it’s inevitable that, at some point, his intention will be challenged. In saying that it was ‘interesting’ I mean exactly that: I wasn’t ironising or taking a position.

            And yes, it is embarrassing if I have to explain to you that there’s a world of difference between saying that ‘Mozart would have wanted XYZ’ and saying ‘Maybe Janis Kelly was cast because the composer wanted her and not because she is Scottish’.

            • armerjacquino

              Ooops. I said ‘great’ not ‘interesting’. Same applies.

            • Krunoslav

              Embarrassing for you to show yourself in the guise of The Arbiter of All Things, but that hasn’t stopped you before. Ta!

            • armerjacquino

              Look, drop it, will you? I made a perfectly harmless comment about this post, you popped up to snipe, I explained myself. Take a day off.

            • Let’s move on to the broader topic and away from personalities, shall we?

            • Krunoslav

              “I’ll go out the way I came in.”

            • phoenix

  • Krunoslav

    “One of the most beautiful blondes in the world! But her *voice!”

  • le cerf agile

    I am reminded of this, which I think La Cieca may have generously shared before:
    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9C06E0DB1F3AE633A25752C2A9629C946296D6CF

  • DonCarloFanatic

    Wonderful pic of Henry Wilcoxon. Claudette is looking good, too.

  • Milady DeWinter

    Well, whoever sings the Serpent of the Nile, good luck to her. An avowed Massenet enthusiast, I just cannot get my Irene Sharaff on with this DOA dud. I’ve tried. Really. Massenet was just out of gas. Or maybe that’s all that was left.

  • Camille

    Where is Mary’s garden for this week, Cieca?

    Don’t tell me there is finally an end to provocative and enticing news articles on La Garden? That would be impossible.

    You must be in The Hamptons, swanning about.