Cher Public

Breaking apart

I guess we can assume the season is going to happen, because the cast changes are already starting, and the Met’s press office is on it, you guys: “Erin Morley will sing Olympia and Christine Rice will sing Giulietta in the first six performances of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Met this season, replacing Hibla Gerzmava, who has retired the roles from her repertory.”

  • armerjacquino

    Ok, so that would appear to be a cover and a quick appropriation of someone not too expensive who’ll already be in rehearsal, right?

    Both good singers, so quite a sensible bit of belt-tightening?

    Also- I know she’s done all four in her time, and I was fingers-crossed intrigued at the idea- but did anyone really expect to hear a Gerzmava Olympia at this point?

    • Often admonished

      The Gerzmava Olympics just finished in Glasgow and they were awfully dull.

    • Krunoslav

      Not to mention that Rice is an Askonas Holt artist. Maybe by the time it happens Robert Murray will do Hoffmann and Coleman-Wright and Lemalu alternate the Villains.

      Plus, Wyn-Rogers’ clamoured-for return as the Portrait!

      • armerjacquino

        You’ll probably be able to help- I came to HOFFMAN very very late, only a couple of years ago in fact. A huge part of that was a (live?) recording of the portrait trio with Lucine Amara absolutely smashing it. I can’t remember who the bass was, though, or the wonderful mezzo. Any idea who they might have been?

        • rapt

          Hi AJ--

          Here’s a link for a discography including live reocrdings. It looks as if options for the bass are Singher or London (or, in 1965, Dooley); for the mezzo, Warfield or Dunn (or, in 1965, Kriese). I haven’t included the studio version in English, since I assume that the trio you heard was in French.

          • armerjacquino

            Thank you so much. It was Warfield. Smashing. Thanks again!

    • MontyNostry

      I don’t know about Olympia, but Gerzmava does throw in a top E flat (?) in her rather terrifying rendition of ‘Regnava nel silenzio’, as heard on a recent live album released by Melodiya. She is a weird singer, but I rather like her. At times, a bit of a Russian Mara Zampieri.

      • Cocky Kurwenal

        Unlikely to have been a top e-flat unless she was in a non-traditional key or did something weirdly fruity up there. Probably a D, if it was at the final cadence.

    • Hippolyte

      I’m not sure to whom you’re referring as “a cover” but it’s surely not Erin Morley who is currently enjoying a triumph in Santa Fe in a new production of Le Rossignol and who later this year will be moving from Konstanze in a new production of Entfuhrung at the Paris Opera to Gilda in a new production of Rigoletto at the Vienna Staatsoper.

      • armerjacquino

        I know Morley’s work, she’s ace. But it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that she would have been covering Olympia at the Met.

        • steveac10

          Well within reason. Up until about 2 years ago she was singing comprimario roles in the house. Given the glacial pace of casting in the opera world, she was a comprimario with only a couple of seasons under her belt when this season was planned and Kathleen Kim was the leggiero of choice.

      • laddie

        Hooray for Erin! I went back to see Le Rossignol just to hear her again. This time I was in the fourth row left; she opens the nightingale’s song on the left side of the orchestra pit. It was a treat to be sure. It’s just superb singing!

  • In this digital day and age it is almost impossible to find a repairman qualified to work on a complex mechanism like an Olympia 3000….with its realistic vocal reproduction and coloratura features. They don’t build singing robots like they used to.

  • Gualtier M

    “A Moment Ago She was the Nicest Girl in Town, A Moment from Now She will be Anybody’s Pick-Up!” How did they know so much about me back then? My life story in one sentence…

    But seriously, did we really think that the Hibla Gerzmava Olympia was going to happen? Carol Vaness lowered the role but still, there is the matter of agility. I think this was planned as a Natalie Dessay triple triumph -- last year’s “Puritani” was also a Dessay vehicle in a new production with Florez as her leading man. Both of them thought better of it. Ditto Ms. Gerzmava and Olympia and Giulietta.

    Seems that Erin Morley is the Met’s new go-to girl for the high soprano rep. -- she is also getting Sophie in the new “Rosenkavalier” which will be Renaay’s farewell to the Met.

    • dr.malatempra

      Morley is sensational in The Impresario/Le Rossignol here in Santa Fe this Summer.

    • DeepSouthSenior

      Mrs. DeepSouth and I saw Erin Morley as Sophie last November at the Met. She replaced Mojca Erdmann, who was chirp-less that night. I remember Morley sang well, if a little lacking in projection, and had a winning stage presence, but was overpowered by Marschallin Martina Serafin and Octavian Alice Coote, both strong-voiced veterans. I think she could be excellent in another Rosenkavalier with better-matched voices.

      We had built that trip around a Elina Garanca as Octavian. Maybe next time . . .

    • armerjacquino

      Gerzmava has sung Olympia before, so once upon a time both the top and the agility must have been there. But it has become pretty clear that the voice has been getting darker heavier in the last few years, which is why it was never on the cards.

  • Cocky Kurwenal

    I always thought Gerzmava was a strange choice for such a sort of prominent and note-worthy assignment as all 3 heroines in Hoffmann at the Met. She’s about as exciting as Christine Rice, after all.