Cher Public

Coeurs amoureux

La Cieca hears that the opening night of the Met’s 2018-2019 season will be a new production of Samson et Dalila featuring Bryan Hymel and Elina Garanca.

  • ML

    Still with the 5-year planning, huh?

  • tannengrin

    Can’t they do a pastiche a la Enchanted Island? Combining Handel, Saint-Saens and Monteverdi?

    there’s a very impressive costume change at 1:16. No more lengthy intermissions!

    • papopera

      Hilarious fruity movie.

      Good news about Samson & Dalila, makes a change from Aidas, Traviatas and Bohemes.

      • Clita del Toro

        Well, Hymel is no Victor Mature.

        • Victor Mature is dead.

          • Gualtier M

            Hell he is no Brad Harris or even my beloved Anthony Hamilton (also RIP). However, if they were still making Sword & Sandal movies in Italy then Joe Manganiello could be Samson…

            • Gualtier M

              Antony Hamilton -- here as Samson:

        • DeepSouthSenior

          Hymel is no Victor Mature, but Garanca might match Hedy Lamarr.

          • MontyNostry

            It’s HEDLEY!

            • DeepSouthSenior

              Hedley Lamarr’s charge to all opera singers: “Now go do… that voodoo… that YOU do… SO WELL…!”

          • Clita del Toro

            Well, while Victor was lactating, Hedy was thinking about her science project.

        • operaassport

          Thank god for that. Mature was chunky and couldn’t act.

          I realize it’s 4 years away but sounds like 50.

          • Clita del Toro

            So, what’s wrong with “chunky” (I am not chunky, so nothing personal). Actually, in his time, Mature was considered very hot by some. Now everyone wants those boring six packs. Tastes change. Clarke Gable was also a bit chunky. ;)

            • Donna Anna

              As Groucho Marx told Cecil B. DeMille, “It’ll be a failure. The casting’s all wrong. Victor Mature has much bigger knockers than Hedy Lamarr.”

            • MontyNostry

              As Groucho Marx said of Cecil B DeMille’s Samson and Delilah: “‘It’s the first picture I’ve ever seen where the man’s breasts are bigger than the woman’s.”

            • Clita del Toro

              Donna Anna. Lolol

            • operaassport

              Clark Gable was not chunky. Look at him shirtless in It Happened One Night.

              There’s nothing wrong with being chunky but when someone criticizes Mr. Hymel as being no Victor Mature all I can say is … Give me a break.

              Mature was dull as dishwater and made Van Johnson look like Olivier.

          • pasavant

            Please no wise cracks about Victor Mature. What would Shanghai Gesture have been without him?

            • Clita del Toro

              Pasavant, Shanghai Gesture is a fabulous, weird movie. You are so right. And Vic is very good in it. Xox

  • I heard Hymel as Pinkerton in Pittsburgh last year and was somewhat disappointed, since I had been favorably impressed by the HD of his Aeneas. In Butterfly it seemed he was getting warmed up for most of the first act, though he was “on” by the end of it. Everyone has their off nights, maybe?

    • DeepSouthSenior

      I had the same experience with Hymel as Pinkerton in New Orleans in the spring of 2013. I attributed it to the somewhat voice-unfriendly Mahalia Jackson Theatre, and to his “holding back” for the soprano singing Butterfly.

      That being said, I would walk over (well, run through) hot coals to see Garanca as Dalila. At 42 in 2018, she should be at her peak then. That would be a nice 70th-birthday year present from me to me.

    • I wasn’t blown away by Hymel’s Pinkerton either, other than his fab high notes. He is good in the bread and butter rep but exceptional in the kinds of roles that show off his unique voice — Enee, Meyerbeer’s Robert…

      • laddie

        and Faust!

      • ML

        and Arnold! Sweeter and smoother than Gedda!

  • I really look forward to Garanca’s Dalila but I hope her seduction is a bit more subtle than it was as Carmen.

    • DeepSouthSenior

      I though Garanca’s “seduction” well well-nigh perfect in the 2009-10 Met Carmen with Alagna. I know that usually she’s tagged as distant and overly cool, if not icy, on stage. Maybe to see her as a sizzler seemed a bit much to some viewers. (The dark wig did at least half the work.) I like the way Garanca uses her rather formal persona to best advantage. All she needs to turn up the heat is a toss of the head, a little wave of her hand, or the hint of a smile. (OK, I’m smitten. Might as well admit it.) Whether she went a notch too far in Carmen is, of course, a matter of taste.

      • I agree that Garanca doesn’t need to do much to be sexy (a toss of the head, etc.). But watching that Carmen broadcast, I lost count how many times she spread her legs as her method of seduction. I found it both vulgar and unconvincing.

        • Flora del Rio Grande

          Kashie: Vulgarity in the opera house?
          I am *shocked*! Whoever heard of such
          a thing?!
          Did you ever see Steber sing the
          French Manon. No? Whew! You are

        • Uncle Kvetch

          Isn’t the character of Carmen at least a bit “vulgar” by definition, kashania?

          • I don’t think she’s vulgar by definition. Playing her as vulgar is certainly legitimate but I guess it’s all about whether it’s done convincingly. I wasn’t convinced by Garanca. It’s also a matter of personal taste. I hate being hit over the head with any concept. And someone spreading their legs as an act of seduction strikes me as overkill.

            • Uncle Kvetch

              Fair enough. I side with DSS on this one, but de gustibus and all that. I’ll be very interested to see Rachvelishvili’s take in this season’s HD.

            • The_Kid

              I agree, Kashania. Wasn’t it Gladys Swarthout who, upon being told that her Carmen came straight out of a country club, argued that Carmen has an innate sense of dignity that plays an essential role in her fate? that’s certainly a valid PoV.

            • Gualtier M

              Actually Dalila is a more aristocratic figure than the gypsy Carmen -- I think Garanca’s hot/cold film noir vixen persona is a better fit. Carmen needs some earthiness which doesn’t come easily to Garanca while Dalila is more reserved and calculating. Good fit.

            • manou

              Can one be an aristocratic Philistine?

            • Gualtier: I agree about Dalila being a better fit. The Carmen was beautifully sung but it never convinced me, despite the fact that Garanca is obviously a beautiful woman. I don’t think she does earthy well…

        • DeepSouthSenior

          I never counted those moves of Garanca as Carmen.. Time to pop the Blu-ray in the player again and grab the calculator.

        • operaassport

          Which part? The spreading the legs or that it was a woman doing it?

          • Clita del Toro

            Of course operaassp, it was because a woman was doing it. There is no other possible explanation. You are so right.
            You do have a one-track mind. The misogyny police is back.

            Who would think of that other than you?

            • operaassport

              Misogyny? Some of you make great leaps in one post than Superman!

          • It would’ve have been just as vulgar had it been a man.

            • Clita del Toro

              But you would have enjoyed it more??? ;)

            • Clita: Only if it had been done convincingly. :)

            • Clita del Toro

              Kashie, LOL, of course.

            • You can open your legs if you want but its really where you put your ankles that counts….for Dalila -- on the ceiling -- for Carmen -- behind your ears! :)

      • ML

        +1 — agree with Deep

  • Signor Bruschino

    Should we assume that its a Bart Sher opening night extravaganza? Like next year otellos (sigh)…

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    I haven’t had the opportunity to hear Hymel (there is very little that could rouse me to see our 1957 production of “Madama Butterfly” in which he made his Staatsoper debut), but if Garanca is anywhere near as spectacular as she was in “La favorite” on Friday you are all in for a treat! She, Flórez, and Tézier blew the roof off the Großes Festspielhaus. Pray for a broadcast!

    • ML

      Jungfer, I’m glad to know it went well. It’s my favorite Donizetti. Wish somewhere they would STAGE it! And I guess with EG sick now, there will be only the one “take.”

      We were next door.

    • Feldmarschallin

      Yes I absolutely agree with Jungfer. Garanca was on fire. The voice has gotten larger and she sang like a goddess. Easy top and I see heavier roles for her in the future. Florez also has gained on volume and with Tézier we had a wonderful afternoon after it finally started. There was a late start as a bus group was not in the house. Someone from the house came onstage and said they will start 15 minutes later since the people had bought expensive tickets. Finally when they arrived with Periera there were boos and he yelled back into the audience we would be happy if the same would happen to us.
      But the highlight for me was the Cenerentola with Bartoli and Camerena. I had never heard him before and was amazed at how big the voice is especially the top. Fluent coloratura from hima and Bartoli and she was a team player who waited till the end to shine. The whole production is one of the best I have seen and was extremely funny yet also moving and it had great interactions between the singers. The sisters were a hoot. The fake prince was a parody on Botha. ML you do know that Favorita will be coming to BSO with Garanca? I have to say there were moments when it felt long with some of the ballet music but it had some beautiful music. Funny that the bel canto operas which Salzburg isn’t really famous for was much better than the Rosenkavalier and Trovatore. Trovatore only really had AN and you could forget the production and Domingo was absolutely a disgrace. Rosenkavalier only had Groissböck. Yes Stoyanova sang lovely but you had to buy the text at the shop and certainly isn’t a great actress. It was as if Ochs came to Tante Resi since he needed her help to get him out of a Schlamasel. Hymel I just heard on the Troyens from London and I enjoyed him very much. He and the ladies were excellent.

      • Lohengrin

        Feldmarschallin, I feel we know eachother since many many years, thinking the same about Botha, about Domingo in Trovatore, about Stoyanova and Groisböck in Rosenkavalier and about Hymel and the ladies in Troyens.

        Favorita: hopefully there will be a stream from München. Who else will be on the stage, who will be the conductor, the director?

        • Feldmarschallin

          Lohengrin maybe we do know each other. Did you used to live in München and then moved to Dresden and are now in Berlin? Did you come with us after a Manon Lescaut here with Freni in a car to Wien where we arrived at 2am and got in line for Cav/Pag with Domingo. At 6 the numbers were given out and then we went to the Hofgarten to sleep? I think there was 6 of us in the car and one had a drivers license. Those were the days. I only know that Garanca will be doing the Favorite but not who the director is nor the conductor. The stage for me is just as important as the singing and conducting.

          • Lohengrin

            Sorry, I have NEVER lived in München. Can You imagine that I was in München for the FIRST TIME to Kaufmann´s Don Jose on 2011-02-05! Since than I was there(and in others “new” cities to listen to JK, for example London, NY, Mannheim, now coming Budapest, Baden Baden and Paris) very often -- if I had tickets. I love München at all!
            Thank You for “The stage for me is just as important as the singing and conducting.” Its also my opinion. This is one of many reasons why I try to get as many shows as possible with JK.

            • Feldmarschallin

              Still if you get tickets for one of those performances I am attending then please let me know and we can meet. Have met many nice people from this list already.

            • Lohengrin

              The same to me! Lots of nice people are sailing in JK´s lee.

            • Lohengrin
            • ML

              The ECHO Awards are now (nearly) as corrupt and meaningless as the GRAMMY prizes.

            • Lohengrin

              Why do You think so, ML?

            • ML

              When you see Netrebko and Beczala as the singers of the year, you really have to wonder how far they looked. When the Currentzis Nozze takes a prize, you wonder how much Sony paid for the honor. When Pablo Heras Casado ranks as a leading Schubertian, you wonder about all the other true classicists. When the axed SWR Baden-Baden orchestra is an orchestra of the year, you wonder whether virtue or sentiment controlled the choice.

            • Lohengrin

              ML, You may be right in Your enumeration of one or the other artist. Everybody knows that awards are always marked by business, but I would not go so far to say corrupt.
              Speaking of Netrebko and Beczala: there are many singers as good as they are and many Ducas better as Beczala, but not so well known.
              This year Villazon is missing …………
              My intention of such awards is to make classic music close to people, who are not used to listen to opera or concert and that for me seems to justify the thing. The other idea is the promtion of young talents, wich is very important.
              Do not be so strictly and enjoy the music !

      • ML

        I enjoyed the Buffet Don Magnifico Cene too and agree with your comments, a really successful production — and a nice farewell for her to the role.

      • ML

        No, I didn’t know. Happy :-)

        I always learn from the season announcements, lacking special connections …

        Please assure me it will be en français and that Pidò *won’t* conduct.

    • Camille

      Yes, indeed, Allerliebste-Allerbeste Jungfer Marianne!
      I am praying for a broadcast of that La Favorite, and I further humbly pray YOU to put it on your MixCloud thingey, if you able to!!!

      I will be your Love Sklave in sempiternum, if you do!!

      It pleases me very much to know there is this S&D to look forward to, even if it seems Hymel may be a tad on the lightweight side for such a role—by then his voice will probably have gained some gravity. And SHE! Such a Dalila it will be!!
      Anticipating a far more felicitous fit of role than the Carmencita, a totally different type. Dalila is, after all, a sort of priestess or a least a high votary of that Old time Dagon religion, and, as such, takes her seduction mighty seriously.

      Well, something to look forward to and onward and upward with the arts.
      (Thank you, Onkel Bernie.)

      • ML

        What has “Onkel Bernie” got to do with it?

    • So glad to read this. I knew that Garanca and Tezier would be wonderful in their roles but I’m glad that Florez was also equally good (he was the only one I was hesitant about).

    • Regina delle fate

      The cast looks like a DG/Decca recording….

    • Lohenfal

      BR Klassik: Saturday, Sept. 6 at 2:00 PM EDT.

      Broadcast of Aug. 22 Favorite from Salzburg.

      • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

        Then you can look for it at my Mixcloud site on 08 September. Camille: what exactly does being my “Love Sklave” entail? Would I have to provide room and board?

        • Huzzah!!

        • Camille

          Sie ist die Güte Selbst, Liebe und Gnädige Jgrfr. Marianne!!!!!!
          Danke Tausendmal!

          Als “Liebe Sklavin”, it would be required to live discreetly in the nearest public space, for as such, I would never dream of imposing upon you, but report in for my duties every morning @ your discretion.

          I would have to be on the same continent, however.

          In the meantime, I am sending you a big old sloppy kiss, MWAH!
          Thank you, so much, du Wunderbare Herrliche Jungfer!

  • Krunoslav

    Can one hope for Tomlinson, Lloyd and White alternating as the Vieillard Hébreu?

    • operaassport

      Wouldn’t they collectively be around 250 years old?

      • ML

        Much too young for the Old Hebrew.

  • pasavant

    Why so soon? The Met usually waits until the singer has developed severe vocal problems.

  • la vociaccia


    As long as they don’t do a second cast with Anita Rachvelishvili. I’ve given up on her. Can’t believe she’s doing more Carmens at the Met this year

    • DeepSouthSenior

      The Met’s schedule of Carmen performances this year is a little strange. Can you really say that Anita R./Antonenko is the “first cast,” with Garanca/Alagna & Kaufmann as the “second”? Do first and second mean anything with the chronology reversed? Featuring Garanca in another Live in HD five years later is not an option, but do we want Anita R. in the same production for comparison in HD? Twelve of the sixteen performances (count ’em, sixteen!) are in October and February -- not exactly peak tourist season. Sixteen seems like another symptom of the Met’s problems, which we’ve looked at from every angle for months. Am I missing something here, or is this just weird?

      • steveac10

        Back when this was likely scheduled, she was kind of the Carmen of the moment. With the Klinghoffer out of the runner, there is really not a lot of options left in the fall unless they wanted to do Boheme or Flute again. It least it’s not Kate Aldrich.

      • but do we want Anita R. in the same production for comparison in HD?

        I do! We’ve had Aida and Boheme broadcast twice with different casts.

        I’m assuming that the first-cast and second-cast business is more a matter of scheduling than importance. I don’t think anyone would consider Antonenko as Don José superior to Alagna or Kauffman.

        Garanca is definitely the better singer but Rachvelishvilli has the more natural Carmen voice and temperament.

        • la vociaccia

          Careful, Kashania. There are a few around these parts (myself included) who believe Anita R is less of an ideal Carmen voice and more emblematic of the 20th century trend to cast Carmen with an Amneris or Azucena voice (see; Obraztsova), which isn’t idiomatic

          Clementine Margaine is a very lovely young mezzo who recently sang a successful Carmen in Dallas. I’d love to hear her interpretation some time

          • Ha ha! It’s true that her voice is on the (very) heavy side for Carmen. But in comparison to Garanca, I prefer Rach’s vocal colour in the part.

      • DeepSouthSenior

        Well, I’ve discovered an interesting opera dynamic in our family. Mrs. DeepSouth is not interested in seeing the Live in HD Carmen with Anita R. Garanca has imprinted Carmen on my spouse’s brain, and she can’t get over it. For once, she’s doing the “doesn’t look right for the part” thing, and I’m ignoring the visual, focusing on the musical elements. I want to compare performance style, vocal color and control, interpretive nuance, etc., while Mrs. DS basically says, “I’ve already seen THE Carmen for me.”

  • tiger1

    Is Samson really the best role for Mr Hymel? Since Mr Domingo kept singing it (and, as far as I know, quite successfully) relatively late in his (tenor-)career, I assume it is fairly low. And Mr Hymel seems to have had particular success with very high and difficult parts, like Enee and Robert.

    • It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who questions these things. I keep seeing fellow singers getting cast for roles that, IMHO, just aren’t right for them. It seems a two-fold problem. First, for the opera company hiring of the singer for a role too possibly heavy for them. Second, for the singer to accept it. I know sometimes it’s either take the job offer or have no work, but it seems some singers/managers/agents/casting directors have little to no interest in the long term career arch that shows the maturation of a singer as an artist over many years. I love Alagna’s artistry, but truly, I have zero interest in hearing/seeing him as Otello.
      Our business is about what will sell tickets now and fast, and put butts in the seats. Sadly… it will cost us if it hasn’t started to already.

  • At the climax of the new production, Mr. Hymel will turn bright green and “Hulk Smash.”

    • DeepSouthSenior

      Ha! That’s one way to bring down the house.

  • Constantine A. Papas

    Hymel is not Vickers. Too lyrical for Samson?

    • Clita del Toro

      If Hymel is too lyrical for Samson, perhaps they can get Bartoli for Dalila. ;)

      • Bluevicks

        God forbid…