Cher Public

Shopping season

After a long summer drought, suddenly new Blu-ray and DVD releases are falling, as it were, from the sky. La Cieca invites the cher public to peruse a gaggle of operatic offerings after the jump.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. “A fresh, charming and perceptive production, magical and irresistible!” (New York Times) This new staging of Richard Wagner’s Meistersinger burst upon the Salzburg Festival like a thunderclap. Stefan Herheim’s idea of staging a midsummer night’s dream as a fairytale narrative is enchanting and with this admirably matched ensemble of excellent singer-players, all of whom bring sharp contours to their roles, and the brilliant details of characterization make each scene an experience to cherish. Blu-ray DVD

Hippolyte et Aricie. “Ed Lyon and Christiane Karg give captivating performances as the titular young lovers, while Sarah Connolly, making a welcome return to Glyndebourne, invests Phaedra with both grandeur and a desperately human vulnerability.” (The Independent). “Leading exponent of early music William Christie sets an exhilarating pace, galvanising the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to playing of tremendous panache.” (The DailyTelegraph). Blu-ray DVD

L’italiana in Algeri. “Pesaro’s new offering in 2013 was an off-the-wall production of Rossini’s popular comedy, The Italian Girl in Algiers, presented as a Swinging Sixties, James Bond adventure, set in the desert oil fields of the North African coast. Davide Livermore’s gag-a-minute, helter-skelter romp followed an alarmingly life-like air-crash, which delivered the ‘Italian girl’ from Rome into the clutches of the local oil baron, Mustafa.” Blu-ray DVD

Elektra. “This production is leaded by three amazing singers: the German soprano Evelyn Herlitzius gave a tremendous, never-to-be-forgotten account of the title role, Waltraud Meier portrays a human and chilling Clytemnestra and Adrianne Pieczonka is a fantastic Chrysothemis. Everyone’s loneliness and intimate struggles are Patrice Chéreau’s favorites theatrical themes. With Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Orchestre de Paris, this production of Elektra becomes an unforgettable experience.” Blu-ray DVD

Prince Igor. “Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production is a brilliant psychological journey through the mind of its conflicted hero, and his… wonderful staging is dreamlike, wrenchingly human and viscerally theatrical.” (New York Times) “Star bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov takes on the monumental title role and… masterfully probed Igor’s guilt and regret.” (Wall Street Journal) Blu-ray DVD

L’elisir d’amore. “Inspired by the cartoon character Lucky Luke and the Spaghetti Western-tradition, the tenor’s staging for the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus is not only a film studio in the thirties but also a Western at the same time.” Blu-ray DVD

Il Trovatore. “Lovers of Il trovatore, a work famous for its perennially popular cavatinas and cabalettas rightly expect the singers to be at the very top of their vocal game and particularly look forward to the top C at the end of Manrico’s stretta, a true do di petto produced not from the head but from the chest. Yet the production of the work that was staged at the end of 2013 by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin jointly run by Daniel Barenboim and Jürgen Flimm deliberately flouted these expectations and traded familiarity for astonishment.” (Peter Krause) Blu-ray DVD

Don Giovanni. Directed by Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House. Cast includes Mariusz Kwiecien, Alex Esposito and Véronique Gens. Es Devlin’s designs include a slowly revolving cube depicting the interior and exterior of a many-chambered plantation-style mansion and innovative video projection. Extra features: Introduction, Don Giovanni’s Women, Director’s commentary and a cast gallery. Blu-ray DVD

Rusalka. Ádám Fisher and Stefan Herheim masterfully present this lyrical fairytale at La Monnaie. In this widely acclaimed interpretation, the fairytale elements sometimes assume frighteningly realistic dimensions so that one might see this enchanting production as a psychoanalytical study of male fantasies and female archetypes. Blu-ray DVD

Arabella. The star-laden cast includes soprano Renèe Fleming, baritone Thomas Hampson, Albert Dohmen (Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, MET) and Gabriela Benaková (Wiener Staatsoper, Covent Garden). With Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden, the music of Richard Strauss is in the best of hands. (ORF) Thielemann gets the best out of the cast…especially Renée Fleming with her luxurious soprano. (FAZ) Blu-ray DVD

Mefistofele. The cast includes Ramón Vargas, a tenor “in ravishing voice” (Financial Times), as the philosopher who sells his soul to the Devil; the “luminous, compelling” Patricia Racette (Washington Post) as the woman he desires; and, in the vividly menacing title role, the “seductively malevolent” bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov, a “fullbodied bass-baritone” renowned for his “wonderfully evil portrayals” (The New York Times). Blu-ray

Anna Netrebko: Live From the Salzburg Festival. With Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón, Thomas Hampson, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Piotr Beczala. Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata; W.A. Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro; Giacomo Puccini: La Boheme. Blu-ray DVD

  • pavel

    Quite a tempting selection of treats, save for the Rameau. Even people dancing in their knickers won’t make that music interest me. ;-)

    Was that Roberta Alexander I saw in the Elektra clip??

    • danpatter

      Yes it Roberta Alexander, as the Fifth Maid, and she gets a very nice ovation at the end. Also featured are Renate Behle as the Overseer, Franz Mazura as Orest’s companion, and Donald McIntyre (looking wonderful) as the Old Servant. It’s a gripping performance, certainly, though I don’t really cotton to Herlitzius’ voice. Pieczonka and Meier are excellent. The production has some odd touches -- onstage killing, Elektra seems to be catatonic rather than dead at the end, and a disgusted Orest simply leaves. Ugly sets.

  • danpatter

    I watched the ARABELLA clip with some trepidation. Fleming’s voice has loosened a bit, but she still manages to hold it together and sounds reasonably good. But what has happened to Hampson? I hope this is just a bad night, and not indicative of the current state of his voice. I love the opera, so I ordered it anyway.

    • ML

      He is past the end of his shelf life. Have you heard the Sony Don Carlo?

      • Lohengrin

        Ich have seen DC livein Sakzburg. TH was in general a convincingly Posa, but his singing was infirm. Don´t know what was justified zu Peter Stein.

        • Feldmarschallin

          Well I heard Hampson as well live in Salzburg and thought he was horrible. Dry tone the whole evening and his acting is so fake and artificial. I heard him once where I thought he was good and that was years ago as Dr. Faustus. The Amfortas in München was also like the Posa in Salzburg. And he always has this look like he is constipated. And you always hear that he is trying to hard.

          • Lohengrin

            May be in Salzburg he was not as familiar as necassary withe Don Carlo………….
            By the way: got a ticket for 27.November. Hopefully Des Grieux will be ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • Feldmarschallin

              Congratulations. Two people I know got tickets, one for the premiere and one for the second and all the others got nothing so count yourself lucky.

            • Lohengrin

              And whats about You? Are You lucky too?

            • Feldmarschallin

              Well I will try and get in line and hope that works. But until I have a ticket in my hand I have nothing. Not like I am the only one who will be interested and people here are willing to do make a lot of sacrifices to get their tickets.

            • Lohengrin

              The day will come, where all operas with JK will take place in Allianz-Arena…:-)

            • ML

              Congrats, Lohengrin! Des Grieux will show up and sing well for you, Manon will be ravissante if she remembers everything Muti taught her, and Altinoglu will cause the score to tug at your heart strings.

            • Lohengrin

              I am shure there will be a stream of one of the shows and if everybody writes a letter (!!) to Mr. Bachler perhaps they do a DVD next summer.
              Now I am waiting for the ML-DVD with sexy Kristine and amorous Jonas.

            • A. Poggia Turra

              Feldmarschallin, my request for 15.11 was also refused (due to work commitments, it is the only workable date for me).

              I will try online when the open sale begins at 10:00 CEST on 10.09, do you know if anyone actually is successful ordering online on the open date?

              Although JK and AN are my favorite male and female singers, the REAL reason I want to attend is for the Neuenfels production!

          • Camille

            Feldmarschie:
            I had the same, exact impression of Tommy Hampsong, after the Dr. Faustus given here at the Met a dozen or so years ago, and then again, the same reaction to his Posa, which I saw somewhere. Curious coincidence of consensus.

            I think he means well, but, well, just can’t quite overcome his youthful braggadoccio, for which he seems forever to be compensating for in his Seriöser Künstler guise. He IS really good with the American Singbook, if that means anything to you. Mah! Whatever.

            Anyways, I am kicking back, drinking a Sauterne, and imagining myself in your Sommergarten. Träume.

            • Clita del Toro

              I saw DFD sing Dr. Faustus at Carnegie Hall. It wS fabulous. He’s no Hampson, too bad. Lololol

            • Clita del Toro

              Cammiest, I am on Mike’s porch drinking a Vodka Tonic with some cheese and crackers. We can’t decide what to do tonight. Eat out, eat in or go to Rogers Park Social for the best drinks and really fun gay and not so gay people.

            • Camille

              Rubbing salt in the wound, Clita cara?

              We all know you have the best opera karma.

              Do you rember who sang the Duchess of Parma and was that the American Opera Society?

              Cammiebitchiemost

            • Camille

              Listen, Clita:
              Get the hell outta the house! It’s Saturday night fer crissake!
              Don’t set around being an old lady like me but get those glad rags on and go shake your ancient hind quarters around!

              It still looks burgundy to me, not purple. Mike’s walls.

              Have a ball, or have two, as an old friend used to say to me

              xxxooo
              Cammieoldestmost

            • Clita del Toro

              Sorry La Cammie, but I don’t remember the cast. I will look it up when we go downtown tomorrow. We have decided to have a drink at Social and then do tacky takeout Chinese food.

            • Camille

              Oooh, don’t eat any gluten and piggies!!!! YUCH!

            • Clita del Toro

              No gluten, and I don’t eat meat, Cammiest. I usually get the Kung Pao (sp)? tofu and Mike gets the shrimp Egg Foo Yung . Sp? We get the small, which is huge. The large lasts for days! I am waiting for Mike to take a shower. Does this have anything to do with opera?

            • Camille

              Yes it has a lot to do with opera since there a ton of food fights around here. Egg foo young in the eye all of the time.

              I don’t know how you can stand tofu. I am allergic to it and it makes my skin crawl. yUCH!

              Buon appetito!

            • Krunoslav

              I am not in a position to remember, but I happen to know: in the Busoni, Ingrid Bjoner was the Duchess, George Shirley the Faust.
              Jascha Horenstein conducted. Dec 1, 1964 at Carnegie.

            • Feldmarschallin

              There is no performance on 10.9 that goes on sale since the Premiere is 15.11 and goes on sale two months prior so 15.9. I have that date already written in my calender. From what I heard about the Forza the people who tried to get online for most of the performances couldn’t even get into the system since the server was overwhelmed. By the time they got in 10-15 later depending on the date all tickets were sold. I remember at the 2nd Forza the one saleslady came out as I was leaving the box office and said everything is gone and the people who were in line got nothing. This was about 5 minutes after 10. For the Manon it will be exactly the same. The funny thing is that almost everything sells out in the end. I was shocked to see the 3 Onegins with average cast last January being sold out. Soldaten, Rigoletto etc. Bachler would be a fool to ever leave here and go somewhere else since he basically can put on what he wants and it sells. He also seems to split up Harteros and Kaufmann and therefore we get Hampson and Giordani in the Tosca. He is not in the Trovatore but they are again together in Forza. Maybe I can do something to get you into a Manon if you are not successful at getting tickets but you would need to stand on the steps and there is a hierachy so you need to be very careful. Some of the people who have monthly tickets stand there so they can see. And I wouldn’t want to risk being too obvious since you will have no ticket.

          • Camille

            Why spasibo, Mr. Krunoslav!
            That sounds like an excellent cast to me.
            Had there not been Leonie, perhaps Bjorner would have had a bigger public here. I have got to make more of an effort to search out George Shirley, whom I heard spoken of endlessly, in my youth but actually heard but seldom. I love his Lindoro in Barbiere!

            Tell Nerva Nelli hello should you see her, if she is not now in cielo with Toscanini and the entire NBC Symphony.
            I miss her an awful lot. Temperament to burn, and then some. They don’t make’em like her anymore.

      • danpatter

        No, I haven’t seen or heard the new Sony DON CARLO (with Kaufmann and Hampson). I’ve seen the opera only half a dozen times over the course of my long life, and every time has proved a gripping experience. Yet I rarely go out of my way to listen to any of it. As for recordings of it, I like the old Giulini version (Caballe, Domingo, Milnes) best. For the French version (which I’ve only seen live once), I like the Pappano video (with Alagna, Mattila, Van Damme, and a younger Hampson). I recently heard (for the first time) the old Solti recording with Tebaldi, Ghiaurov, Bergonzi, Bumbry and a real odd Dietrich Fischer Dieskau). It was pretty enjoyable. So I’ll probably skip the new Sony version.

        • Lohengrin

          Do not miss the Salzburg-Production. There are three reasons to watch: Pappano, Harteros and Kaufmann.

          • ML

            Pappano can’t conduct Verdi. (Puccini yes.)

        • ML

          Better is the Bavarian State Opera’s January 19 or 22, 2012, stream with Asher Fisch conducting, despite a bad Rodrigo sent by the Vienna State Opera!

          Also better, though sadly not recorded, I believe, were the July 25 and 28, 2013, perfs led by Mehta.

          All the above in Munich with Harteros and Kaufmann. But the Act V duet on the stream is priceless … .

          • Lohengrin

            ML: I totaly agree with You. I liked the staging and especially acting of JK (was there in January 2012).
            There are some small scenes in Kaufmann´s video “Mein Verdi”. Rodrigo is Tezier. So sorry that they did not make a DVD from the July-run 2013. Next summer there will be DC again,but with Ramon Vargas………. Nothing for me.

          • Feldmarschallin

            Believe me those were also recorded. I just checked and I have recordings from 19 and 26.1.12 but I know that those July performances were recorded and those were the ones were it was almost 40 degrees those days. And btw Beczala will be in the Maskenball after all not Calleja. But it is in the Spring not Fall.

            • Lohengrin

              Do You think there will be a DVD one day from this July-DC or is there another way to have a video?
              Maskenball: JK will jump in in a later performance, may be the following season. He told that he would not do the new production.

            • ML

              Good news, on those July 2013 performances — with Tézier, so *much* better than the Sony DVD, and Mehta slightly more effective than Pappano with Verdi’s lines.

              I don’t think I knew about the Ballo. That is way ahead, no? But Calleja would have been *perfect* — I wonder why it changed.

            • Feldmarschallin

              No DVD but audio recordings exist believe me of the July performances. Yes I also heard that Kaufmann will be singing in some later performances. I wonder if he will be singing Bachus here next season when her first staged Ariadnes come. I just watched the Salzburg DVD of him and that dull Magee with no line and no attention to text. No creaminess nor float. Of course AP imported her from Zürich. Why didn’t they use Schwanewilms or Pieczonka who both would have sung rings around Magee.

            • Lohengrin

              Never heard about an next Bacchus……….
              He talks about Maskenball.Turandot, Hoffmann; coming is Fidelio and Damnation. Later on Walter and Othello.

            • Feldmarschallin

              Well if he sings in the current Hoffmann we will get to see Kaufmann in short trousers. FragendeFrau must come for that. The Fidelio in Salzburg is not a new role but he has sung the premiere of the Bieto production at the BSO. And I believe there were concerts too with Stemme. I do wonder if Kaufmann will be the Ernani and if Maria Agresta will be the Elvira. She is down for Maddalena here and Nedda in Salzburg.

            • ML

              Feld must be talking about the year after next and beyond. I don’t see an Ballo or Ariadne or Ernani in 2014-15.

            • Feldmarschallin

              Yes of course next season is already published and that is so to speak uninteresting. The Ernani is 16/17 and the others 15/16.

    • Feldmarschallin

      Well in that Arabella it is a tie who is worse and it is also a tie who looks older. Not all are like Varady and Price who sung Aida at their farewells and that is no easy role let alone at the end of a career. And the next one headed down the Hampson, Gruberova, Fleming path seems to be Meier who thinks she can still sing Isolde. Her Isolde was very good years ago but it never came easy. Please stick to mezzo roles now.

      • bogda

        Apparently Fleming has realised this as well, and has now withdrawn from this same production. She was supposed to repeat the role in Dresden at Strauss festival, but will now be replaced by Harteros. (Hampson is still on). She will be singing other roles during the same week in Dresden, so it seems to be clear decision not to sing Arabella any more.

        • DellaCasaFan

          bogda says:
          “Fleming […] was supposed to repeat the role in Dresden at Strauss festival, but will now be replaced by Harteros. (Hampson is still on).”

          That’s a great news. I would love to hear Harteros in the complete Arabella. Here is a thought: Gerhaher would make an excellent Mandryka. Enough with Hampson! He is well past his prime (even then, he was much better in lieder/songs than on stage, IMO).

          • ML

            Gerhaher is excellent, but his Mandryka would be in the (interesting) DFD vein, and I think the role needs more “voice” — so I would recommend Groissböck, should CT call and ask. Of course, Feld knows best … .

            • DellaCasaFan

              ML, you got it right -- I had the DFD Mandryka in mind. For a more substantial voice (the Hotter/G. London vein), there could be some interesting possibilities… I would add my vote for Groissböck but haven’t heard him except once, I think.

            • Feldmarschallin

              Gerhaher is a great Lieder singer but rather dull on the opera stage. His Papageno was zuwider (nasty?) from the start and that does not go hand in hand with that role. Best role I thought was Wolfram where he can just stand around and sing. But he lacks the personality for Mandryka. Groissböck is a bass and not baritone. Metternich was the perfect Mandryka but today? Mayer will be singing it here and anything is better than Hampson. Volle might be ok as well. I wonder if Tézier might try it sometime.

            • DellaCasaFan

              Feld, did you see Gerhaher’s Orfeo in Munich earlier this summer? I watched the webcast and he was superb. Perhaps his stage presence might be evolving for better… remains to be seen. I am on the fence about Volle in general, but I thought his Mandryka was quite good earlier this year at the Met. A great idea about Tézier (of course, if his German diction is as good as his vocalism).

            • Feldmarschallin

              Yes of course I saw the Orfeo and his acting did nothing for me. He stands around with a blank expression on his face similiar to Fleming and Voigt. His dumpy suit did nothing to enhance the visuals. He also like Fleming gets lost very easily on stage. Now his Lieder singing is spectacular and on a different level completely. I take it you didn’t see the Papageno? The whole role was sung without charm.

            • DellaCasaFan

              Feld, yes, I heard his Papageno and agree with you. Maybe the closeups in the webcast Orfeo helped. Sorry to hear that it didn’t work in the theatre. Well, let’s then have more Gerhaher’s lieder and leave Mandryka to someone else while/if he works more on his stage presence.

            • DellaCasaFan

              Sorry, missed to type the word … on IMPROVING his stage presence.

            • Chanterelle

              Can’t agree that Gerhaher is a dull actor — I’ve seen him twice in Frankfurt where his passivity/reactivity added real dimension. His Pelleas was quiet but demented, and his Don Giovanni was a world-weary old man with a death wish. Both Claus Guth productions I believe.

            • ML

              Feld, you think Mandryka is off-limits to “bass” Groissböck, with his smooth, easy top?

            • ML

              DCF, the Orfeo worked well in the theater, but I agree with Feld about the dumpy suit.

            • Feldmarschallin

              Well I wouldn’t say off limits and he certainly is not a Schwarzbaß like Greindl but I would still prefer a slightly higher sound. I mean I would certainly think he could do it and I would go and he certainly would be one of the best looking Mandrykas we have ever had but seeing that he is doing Hunding etc I don’t see him doing it. BTW is anyone from the list going to Augsburg for the Konwitschny Jenufa? I think we are going on 9.10. It got rave reviews when it opened in Graz in the SZ. Come to think of it that Aida that Thorsten Fischer did at the Prinzi and was such a great success, reminds me a lot of the Konwitschny Aida. Have you seen both?

            • ML

              He’s doing Hunding? What a waste. That is a roll needing little finesse. Then again, Hotter and Moll did it! LOL. Augsburg Jenufa, with Sally du Randt and conductor Dirk Kaftan (such names), is on my tentative calendar for earlier, on 20.9. Guillaume Tell, Forza and a Mariella Devia Verdi recital, for 8.10, 10.10 and 11.10 across the hill in Bologna and Parma, are down for when you go to Augsburg. But all tentative at the moment. No, I did not see Aida at the PRT.

      • Clita del Toro

        PS I think it must have been the AOS, but not totally sure.

      • tiger1

        Did Ms Varady sing Aida at her staged opera farewell? When and where? I believe her last opera performance (non-staged so maybe that does not count) was in a role debut as Odabella in Attila at the tender age of 60. And very good it was.

        • Feldmarschallin

          To my knowledge the last staged opera performance was 1996 as Aida at BSO.

          • Feldmarschallin

            I think she was to appear in Berlin in 1997 as Senta but got sick during rehearsals and then said she would no longer sing staged opera. But she did a concert Attila as late as 2001.

    • MontyNostry

      He was embarrassing last year as Boccanegra in London. He bawled most unpleasantly in the Council Chamber Scene. I just wished Dimitri Platanias, the Paolo, had been in the title role.

      • ML

        Thielemann should fire him and get Groissböck for Mandryka — yes, he’s a bass, but his top is effortless and smooth and he would sing it beautifully.

        • tiger1

          Groissböck might have a good top for a bass -- but the constantly high tessitura of Mandryka would brobably make Groissböck’s excellent top much less effortless- and smooth-sounding.

          • ML

            Thing is, Tiger, these labels we use are just that. I believe he could do it without the problem you describe, going on how he sings Vodník, Sarastro, Gesler.

  • Also forthcoming. Reviews enclosed. Can you spot the JJ?

  • LittleMasterMiles

    Can Bel-Air Classiques really not find an English speaker to translate the blurb for Elektra, having instead to rely on Google Translate?

    In other news, sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere:

    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/opera_star_fired_for_vicious_homophobic_facebook_remarks

  • mirywi

    It has been discussed at length. The singer doesn’t understand why anybody is offended. He explained that he knows, has studied with and has employed, men who are gay, quite gay and very gay.

    • mirywi

      (something is wrong with the commas above but I cant fix it now)

      • Clita del Toro

        Mirywi, don’t worry about it. The punctuation police are on vacation. Lol I make all kinds of mistakes in every one of my posts. I couldn’t care less if the grammar, punctuation or syntax police don’t like it. It’s soooooo boring.

        • Flora del Rio Grande

          Clita, did you come to santa fe opera this
          summer? I would like to discuss with you,
          if so. Well, you never called!
          J.

          • Clita del Toro

            Flora, Never called? I don’t understand. I haven’t been to Santa Fe for at least 19 years. I lived there1980-85.

            • Flora del Rio Grande

              Ooopsss!!! Sorry! I fear a senior moment (and then some) was
              at hand; I had you confused with some charming lad from
              Chicago. Apologies, revered one!
              Flora

            • Clita del Toro

              Flora, I live in Chicago, but no one has ever called me charming.

            • Camille

              Charming Charlie Clita of Chicago.

              There, done.

              Now get out and go social.

  • Clita del Toro

    Flora, who do you mean?

  • bronzino

    Now, back when the dinosaurs and I were still young, we saw the SFO production of Mefi with Ramey and all of the MUSICAL values of said production stayed at the fore. But, lord have MERCY--is it getting hot in here?? Ildar showing of his spectaclar bear front in extended scenes--I used to scoff at friends who would drool over Nathan in Billy Budd, et al: “oh, pleeaasse,” I would spit at them, “can we just keep our minds on this holy art and not down in the gutter..” IA,though, in this Mefi clip makes me forget god, to quote Scarpia! I only remember parenthetically that IA was included in the broad range of singers known as barihunks, but I don’t think I ever saw him sans shirt--did any parterrians witness his performance in SF? Was it an embarrasment of oogling? I mean, THIS production in SF with a shirtless IA?! Did the tickets come with heart palpitation warning messages?! I have to go take a shower now…

    • Stefan

      I saw a performance and it was definitely a feast for the eyes. BUT, I was a little disappointed that they are releasing this (Sept. 30) instead of some other performances. It was already available as you said with Ramey.

      I would have much preferred the Mak. Case with Mattila or the Die Tote Stadt. That Korngold production was seen in so many cities and I never understood why it wasn’t made available commercially. Luckily, I have……oops, I’m not allowed to tell! :)

  • Clita del Toro

    No one listening to Salome with Stemme from The Proms? It’s on now.

  • Clita del Toro

    Just finished listening to Salome with Stemme. I was not that impressed. Most of it was kinda loud with not much nuance, IMO. She is an excellent singer, but the timbre of her voice is not my cup of tea. I’d rather hear her in Wagner. Someone wrote here that she was a Kunst-type singer. I have never thought that. Lotsa voice however. When I think of Kunst sopranos I think of Mödl, Behrens or Meier. Maybe even Jones. Anyway, I don’t want to hear this again.

    • MontyNostry

      I wonder whether she is maybe the Christel Goltz of our day … I know she’s a trouper and that the voice has some good notes, but it sounds thick and unsteady much of the time. Really not a Salome sound, which needs to be silvery and floaty, not just powerful.

      • Clita del Toro

        Yes when Stemme tried for nuance or
        softer singing, it was kinda boring, not that effective. I agree about the “thickness” of the sound.

        • Clita del Toro

          I am not the biggest Nilsson fan, but her Salome was much more interesting an varied.

      • Camille

        I absolutely agree about the sound being too thick for Salome. It has tot to be crystalline, shining, bright and cutting like a silver knife.

        Now Christel Goltz, for whom I have some real respect; had a much clearer sound and, of course, excellent diction. She was also trained as a dancer, a good part of her success in this role.

        • Feldmarschallin

          Yes Camille and Goltz also had a much leaner sound than Stemme. Stemme sings and is much more suited to Wagner and Goltz was basically a Strauss singer with her most famous roles being Elektra and Salome. Goltz’ voice is more like Borhk and both have nothing in common with Stemme. Stemme was out of this world as Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung but I can imagine Salome is not really her thing. In acting roles she does better in things like Isolde and Brünnhilde rather than the more demented things which are not really for her. Stemme also seems rather proper and that is certainly the opposite of a Salome. I put Goltz’ first Salome right after the Welitsch and Cebotari recordings. Della Casa sang Salome for one or two performances only and dropped the role wisely. And Salome was one of Behrens best roles IMO.

    • Camille

      That’s what monsieurcamille essentially said too--kinda loud and w/o much nuance, so you are not the only one who thinks it.

      She has always sounded like a mezzo trying to force her way up, albeit successfully most of the time. A few more years and it is likely to be over. Sorry not to have heard her more in her prime as her Brünnehilde was outstanding, in 2010.

  • javier

    Thomas Hampson looks very handsome with facial hair in the Arabella clip. He sounds good too, not as bad as people here are saying. I have paid more attention to Fleming as Arabella than Hampson as Mandrika so I noticed her changes more apparently. For most of the opera her voice sounds virtually the same as it did years ago, but her high notes slightly less bloom as they once did and she tends to cut pharass a little short where she once seemed to pull them on and on forever upon endless breath. but she still sounds pretty good. i don’t know why she canceled her future Arabellas, but it certainly can’t be because she can’t sing them.

  • javier

    The only thing that looks interesting to me is the Netrebko Trovatore. The recent webcast was a horrible production, but at least this one is colorful.

  • MontyNostry

    I actually thought Doris Soffel’s top notes had more glamour. Her voice is in amazing nick -- she must be nearing 70.

    • MontyNostry

      It seems she’s 63, in fact, so not that much older than Stemme.

      • sl

        Live, Soffel’s top notes were impressive, if a little edgy and scary; Stemme had greater bloom and warmth than the radio suggests. Came across as more silvery and flexible than you might expect. As peter says, an incredibly generous performer.

  • MontyNostry

    Sorry -- 66, so about 10 years older than Stemme.

    • ML

      15 years older, a different generation.

      • MontyNostry

        For some reason, I thought Stemme was 55, But I see she’s 51. The UK Twittersphere is enthusing about her live performance -- maybe it was less impressive via the radio.

        • peter

          Yes, Stemme is only 51. I don’t think Salome is an ideal role for her voice and in general, I don’t think broadcasts or recordings show off her voice very well. Having heard her sing 2 complete Ring cycles and a Senta, the voice really has to be experienced live. Microphones seem to accentuate that vibrato. Live, I was amazed at how warm and even her voice was and her stamina is particularly striking. I remember how fresh her voice still sounded during the Immolation scene. There’s no doubt that she works hard to produce that sound. Maybe because she’s not a very large woman, it’s even more obvious. And she’s really an incredibly generous performer.

  • Camille

    The cover dress Netrebko is in absolutely wonderful.

    All you bitches can fling all the egg foo young you want at Madame Née-Née but she gives a remarkable semblance of her youthful self. She is a most intelligent and canny musician. The trembling of the jaw is something new, however, and hope it does not continue. For a 55 year old woman, quite a feat to pull off a teenage vergine. Jungfrau. Whatever.

    I want Nebby’s deess to do my dusting in! Fab-U!

    Is it queer as f#ck for a cover of “The Troubadour” to feature not the eponymous hero, but his nemesis and their mutual LadyLiebe? Yeah, I know, but still, è strano!

    Happy Labo(u)r Day Weekend to all you U.S. parterrians and remember to not drink and drive and stay safe.

    • ML

      … and I wonder how Gaston Rivero feels about that. Talk about not investing in new stars.

      Domingo looks as fat as Pavarotti and as ugly as Cyrano.