Cher Public

“Catalani is no Mrs. Billington”

The parterrians (pictured, top right) are invited to put the internecine squabbling on hold for a while, the better to discuss off-topic and general interest subjects.

  • Gualtier M

    Anyone heard anything about this movie about Paul Potts -- Luciano Pavarotti is a character in it played by an actor called Stanley Townsend:

    It looks well…sucky. But opera related.

    • manou

      It got lukewarm reviews when it opened here and although it is now endlessly playing on cable I have never been tempted to watch it. It is related to opera rather like a bicycle is related to a Rolls Royce.

      • The Conte

        I sang with Paul Potts back in the day. Not only am I not played by Leonardo di Caprio in the film, my extremely important part in Pottsy’s career didn’t even make it into the film!


    • bluecabochon

      Thanks, GM! There are wonderful actors in this, some very well known on this side of the pond, so I have high hopes for it. Stanley Townsend has one of the most beautiful speaking voices that I’ve ever heard, though much lower pitched that the Pav’s sown peaking voice. James Corden, a real theatrical clown in the best sense (as Paul Potts) will be taking over Craig Ferguson’s late night TV chat host show whenever he leaves. A curious choice for him, when he is so in demand, but I $uppose it’s too lucrative to turn down.

    • papopera

      Is that a bio of the great Khmer Pol Pot ?

    • turings

      Stanley Townsend is a great stage actor – I remember him in the premiere of Conor McPherson’s Shining City at The Royal Court ten years ago in the part that Oliver Platt played when it moved to New York. Like all McPherson plays, there was a lot of reliance on monologues, and he was a mesmerizing storyteller.

      Film looks like Billy Elliott, the opera version though :)

  • Satisfied

    Attention Regie-lovers:

    Ivo van Hove’s production of “Angels in America” at BAM went on-sale today and is selling very well. On that same note, van Hove will direct Scenes from a Marriage at New York Theater Workshop this September!

  • The online Guardian obit for Licia Albanese mentions her success in Verdi’s Tosca

  • La Valkyrietta

    The Guardian obit for Licia Albanese says she was 105 years old when she died, yet at the end they say her birth year was 1913.

    I have read different years for her birth year. I have read here and there explanations, but still wonder. Among others, the years mentioned are 1907, 1909, 1911, 1913.

    Is anyone here absolutely sure of the birth year of Licia Albanese? If so, please tell us exactly what year it was and why.

    Of course, whatever year it was makes no difference otherwise; she is in heaven for eternity.

    • manou

      This is why the Guardian is known here as the Grauniad.

  • Henry Holland

    I’m reading Arthur C. Clarke’s novel 2001: A Space Odyssey and I’m at the point where HAL has been shut off. Dave Bowman is occupying his time with various things, one of them being listening to readings of the plays of Shakespeare, Ibsen and so forth just so he can hear a human voice, but after he tires of them, he moves on to opera:

    So he switched to opera--usually in Italian or German, so that he was not distracted even by the minimal intellectual content that most operas contained.

    I laughed.

    This phase last for two weeks before he realized that the sound of all these superbly trained voices were only exacerbating his loneliness

    “My God, it’s full of stars!”

    I love Kubrick’s movie, it’s one of my very favorites, but I’m really enjoying the book as well.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    RIP Television Announcer Don Pardo

    Born on this day in 1881 composer Georges Enesco

    Born on this day in 1883 costumer Coco Chanel

    Born on this day in 1906 mezzo-soprano Judith Hellwig

    Happy 64th birthday conductor Gerard Schwarz

    • WindyCityOperaman

      Born on this day in 1886 conductor Robert Heger

  • Feldmarschallin

    Lance Ryan has asked to be released from this Bayreuth Siegfrieds next season since he could not handle the booing at him at the curtain call. Apparently his family was there as well and he said he was shocked at how unfriendly the Bayreuth public was. Stefan Vinke will take over next season.

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      At the second “Ring” last week, Ryan’s first two acts of “Siegfried” were surprisingly brilliant -- and then he totally crashed and burned for the third act, and from his very first phrase in “Götterdämmering.” It really sounded like he was ill (the weather was crazy that week, from 27° to 8°!), or just poor judgment in timing (the “Tristan” Problem -- not pacing well enough). Oh well -- I have vowed to never suffer through that “Ring” again! See you in 2020!

      • Feldmarschallin

        Yes I heard the same from a friend who was there. She said he was good in Siegfried but horrible in Götterdämmerung. I think next year I will see the Tristan and Lohengrin. Will pass on Foster if she returns.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1561 composer Jacopo Peri

    Born on this day in 1625 librettist Thomas Corneille

    Happy 73rd birthday soprano Anne Evans

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1896 soprano Queena Mario

    Happy 81st birthday mezzo-soprano Janet Baker

  • Hi all. Have you seen this?
    At first I thought OMG you look like S**T, what were you thinking? Then I thought Hell this is a rehearsal she can do whatever she likes and when I stopped to listen and really watch the commitment.
    This is Anna in great great form. I really, really love her. I’m sorry but I do.

    • luvtennis

      I will listen to this later, but how are you!!!!!

      Hope you have been well.

      I love Anna too for her love of singing and her daring and her sense of fun and her mostly sumptuous timbre.

      I only criticize her because she often dares first and then brings it later. I think many of her role debuts were very rough but got much better as time went on…. I can’t help but think that if she were better prepared she might shorten the improvement curve so she can get to “great” (on a consistent basis in more roles)at some point in her career, which is not infinite in length as is the case with every other soprano’s career.

      I also would have preferred that she had concentrated on a different rep, but of course, that is very uncharitable on my part. She surely knows what is best for her better than any armchair quarterback.

  • Just got around to see this production. WOW. Finally somebody made believable theatre out of Forza. Having the same singer for Padre / Marchese is a coup. Singers for once don’t seem like satellites crossing the stage, doing their bit and dissappearing until their next cue. And there’s a real CAST here, with real personalities. And mostly the voices. Not undercasting, no 3rd raters, no faceless technicians with no soul or understanding. Harteros is mostly in tune (very rare nowadays) and she shows what she can do, scenically and musically, when on form. I like Tezier, and Kaufmann works here for me. The sound is right for Alvaro. Pity about Fisch who seems to me to be on automatic pilot, I guess he doesn’t really care for the score.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      Having the same singer for Marchese / Padre is fairly common, isn’t it?

      • Here he’s obviously the same character. Lovely way of showing the guilt complex evident in Leonora’s music (Piu tranquilla l’alma sento, one of the greatest pages in all of Verdi) manifested visually.

    • Lohengrin

      Great production; singers and also staging. Alvaro/Kaufmann and Carlo/Tezier fit perfectly. AH is an great Leonora and also Marchese is very good. Saw it three times.

    • mjmacmtenor

      Some very interesting and thoughtful modernism. However, the bit where Alvaro throws down his pistol in surrender and then it goes off accidentally and shoots Leonora’s dad is still one of the sillier moment in all of opera. Doesn’t mean I don’t like the opera or this production. It is just nigh impossible to make that moment plausible (if not downright laughable).

      • Clita del Toro

        Tenor, are you kidding? Gun accidents happen all the time--and even less plausible ones than in Forza. Read the newspapers. This country is gun crazy!

        • Clita del Toro

          PS I bet in those days guns were even less safe.

          • BB

            Far less. There was no safety and they could explode in your face. Never thought that moment was implausible. At least not if the hapless Alvaro had cocked it already, and being a tenor he probably had.

  • Buster
    • DellaCasaFan

      Right now:

      Wer war Ihre Lieblingssängerin 2014?

      Betsy Horne (37%, 236 Votes)
      Tara Erraught (36%, 230 Votes)
      Anja Harteros (6%, 39 Votes)
      Diana Damrau (4%, 29 Votes)
      Joyce DiDonato (3%, 21 Votes)
      Nina Stemme (3%, 21 Votes)
      Catherine Forster (2%, 15 Votes)
      Barbara Hannigan (2%, 14 Votes)
      Simone Schneider (2%, 13 Votes)
      Maida Hundeling (2%, 12 Votes)
      Ana Durlovski (1%, 8 Votes)
      Marina Rebeka (1%, 5 Votes)
      Anna Virovlansky (0%, 1 Votes)
      Sonya Yoncheva (1%, 1 Votes)

      Interesting that Betsy Horne and Tara Erraught currently lead by such a wide margin. I’m not saying they are not good, but wonder if this could also be a social media effect. My vote went to Harteros, I think Feld would be pleased to hear. :-)

      • Buster

        Thanks for the update! Mine went to Simone Schneider. Tornado has voted 14 times.

      • Lohengrin


  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1862 composer Claude Debussy

    Born on this day in 1922 bass Raffaele Arie

    Born on this day in 1928 composer Karlheinz Stockhausen

    Happy 76th birthday bass-baritone Robert Hale

  • Feldmarschallin

    Just a few words since I am leaving here shortly but the last two performances in Salzburg were the two best operas this summer. Especially the Cenerentola with Bartoli and Camarena where all the singers and the production were a delight from start to finish. Was completely overwhelmed by Camarena with his huge top. Then La Favorite with the goddess Garanca and Florez and Tézier. More Sunday or Monday.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1900 composer Ernst Krenek

    Born on this day in 1904 soprano Stella Roman

    Happy 87th birthday bass-baritone Raimund Herincx

    Happy 85th birthday baritone Franz Ferdinand Nentwig

    Happy 75th birthday soprano Celestina Casapietra

  • MontyNostry

    Everybody loves Leyla -- a fun little video if you like spotting musical celebs(though I don’t really hear Lady Macbeth in her voice).