Cher Public

That will bring us back to Do

As the New York season starts, cher public, here is your refuge where you may discuss off-topic and general interest subjects.

  • CurlyOperaGal

    Does anyone know whatever happened to soprano Clare Gormley? I remember meeting her at the 1995 Zachary competition, and for some unknown reason that particular memory surfaced earlier today. There seems to be nothing remotely recent about her on the internet. Is she still singing at all?

    • niles8

      I saw her in My Fair Lady in Shreveport a few years back, think she does mostly pop stuff now or has retired.

      • CurlyOperaGal

        Thanks for the reply.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Alagna to do his first Lohengrin at Bayreuth with Netrebko Elsa!
    http://kurier.at/kultur/buehne/roberto-alagnas-spektakulaere-plaene/86.832.818

    • Lohengrin

      Except of some other considerations: the main couple will be than (2018) 55 and 47 years old; not the best age to start with Lohengrin and Elsa…..

      • Feldmarschallin

        Lohengrin I will be at the second ML as well. Got my ticket on Friday. Hopefully the next two or three even will also be possible.
        Will skip the last two. We can meet somewhere at one of the performances.

        • Lohengrin

          My MLs are 19. and 27.Nov. may be 4.Dez.
          I use to be in front of the Königsloge during intermissions.
          How can I recognoze You?
          Have You seen the article about ML in Engelsloge?
          http://issuu.com/bayerischestaatsoper/docs/engelsloge_23/1

          • Feldmarschallin

            Yes I saw the article about ML in Engelloge on Tuesday in SZ. Everyone has always managed to recognize me. :) We are you sitting for 19.11? We could meet in front of the Königsloge. I sat there one time many years ago for an Elektra an Studentenkarte für 6 DM. And also once in the Wittelsbacherloge for a Festspiel Rosenkavalier. I felt like a Fürstin myself. Every chair had a program on it. Since I have been going for so many decades it is ‘my house’ like no other opera house in the world and have been to many. But there is a familiarity that I know every corner, know many people and many of the workers that is very nice. And of course upstairs we all know each other for many decades.

            • Lohengrin

              I will NOT sit in Königsloge! But I am used to meet my friends there at the bar.

            • Feldmarschallin

              Yes I know that that is why I asked where you were sitting since I will be upstairs in the Galerie for at least the first two. I can come down but if you are in the second or third Rang then we can meet further up. November isn’t exactly the time to meet outside on the steps which we do in the summer or spring. Let us talk a few days before the performance and then I might also know what I will be wearing.

            • Lohengrin

              ok, the same to me (what wearing).
              What is Your opinion for the strange cast for Lohengrin /Bayreuth 2018?

            • Feldmarschallin

              Lets see if that cast will actually happen. Not my ideal cast at all. I want to hear Netrebko in Russian opera more and not as Elsa.

            • umangialaio

              Feldmarschallin, do you think that Netrebko will turn up till the end of the run or should we expect a late Umbesetzung?
              U

            • Feldmarschallin

              Well I think both of them will probably let one or two go under the table. He cancelled one Fidlio, one MdS in Jan and one Festspiele. And I doubt if she will sing seven either. But I do already have a feeling who will replace Kaufmann if he cancels :)

            • ML

              Bachler would look like a patsy if he allowed Eyvazov to jump in.

            • Regina delle fate

              Why would Jonas cancel? He sang the whole run in London as far as I’m aware.

            • Feldmarschallin

              Perhaps he will sing all seven but sometimes he does give so much I think he might need a little rest. He isn’t an artist that holds back and that might take its wear and tear on his health.

            • Lohengrin

              Hopefully Jonas will do the whole run. They planned 3 or 4 days inbetween, so he would have the chance to have some rest -- if he does…..
              People would “kill” him and Bachler otherwise and especially if the Rome-DG would jump in.
              There are some doubts about Anna singing in summer because of her uttered private planning.

      • ML

        Did you get your “ML” ticket(s)?

        • Feldmarschallin

          Well what went on sale so far I have. I don’t like to count my chickens before they have hatched. The next one will be on Wednesday. Then the fourth on Saturday.

    • ML

      Gott in seinen himmlischen Farben!

  • pasavant

    What is ML?

    • manou

      Manon Lescaut.

  • ML

    Muti has given up the Aida, the Nozze, and his central role in Rome.

    • ML

      That was MAJOR OPERA NEWS several hours ago. No comments?

      • ML

        «Le problematiche degli ultimi tempi fanno mancare la serenità necessaria»

        ML continues to flag non-Met, non-NY news story for apparently disinterested Parterriat.

        http://spettacoliecultura.ilmessaggero.it/ROMA/riccardo_muti_lascia_opera_roma/914401.shtml

        • vilbastarda

          We are very interested, and it is indeed a huge news. We are just lost for words, it is a big shock.

          My first thought was: how is Pappano doing? He is already in Rome, at Santa Cecilia, is he happy there, does he like Rome, will he look to expand his work in Rome….

          • ML

            My thinking is, on the upside, the Aida might be shifted to the same time next year, once Muti feels a greater sense of commitment from the unions. The last Aida led by him that I’m aware of was 35 years ago (!) in Munich. He has not resigned outright, it seems.

            But his words paint a darker picture, and he sounds pissed that, after securing the new “national” structure for the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma a year ago, he has still had to deal with union-originated uncertainty.

            The “sudden” vacuum in Vienna may also be playing a role. It was only last month that Muti was back with the VPO in Salzburg, and it is possible that the Welser-Möst confrontation was already brewing at that time.

        • rapt

          As Manou might say, sometimes uninterested, never disinterested!

          • ML

            È vero.

            • manou

              Thank you rapt -- sometimes “disinterested” as in “I have no axe to grind”, as opposed to “uninterested” as in “I couldn’t care less”.

            • ML

              “As funny as it may sound, omphaloskepsis is a word for being obsessed with your own navel. People use it as a way to describe someone who is so self-absorbed that she’s lost all perspective.”

              — Vocabulary.com

            • ML

              Oops. Belongs below.

        • ML

          Cieca, where are you on this?

          • laddie

            La Cieca is, unfortunately, very busy right now running a website about the New York opera scene.

            • manou

              Omphaloskepsis?

        • overstimmelated

          It may be non-NY news but it’s news in Chicago, where the lead is:
          “Suddenly, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has Riccardo Muti almost entirely to itself.”
          http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-81438138/

          • ML

            Chicago Tribune (John von Rhein) has it all wrong:

            * CSO is one of three (3) jobs Muti holds, so it does not have him “almost entirely to itself.” Time with Orchestra Cherubini is considerable.

            * Muti is not the “primary conductor” of Rome Opera; it has none.

            * Muti did not cite funding as an issue. In fact, the company was re-chartered and re-capitalized as a “national” entity last season, relieving years of ongoing financial pressure.

            * Muti has not withdrawn “as” anything, because he was nothing. He has merely pulled out of Aida and Nozze in 2014-15.

            That’s a lot of mistakes for two opening sentences from a journalist who’s supposed to cover Riccardo Muti!

        • ML
        • Regina delle fate

          Call me a cynic but the idea of “serenità” reigning ANYWHERE ANY TIME around Muti strikes me as unlikely. Just saying!

    • ML

      I was hoping for a discussion of this on Parterre. It seems to me that when the leading opera conductor abandons two major opera productions, there is room for talk. But Italy, home to opera, appears to be off most readers’ radar, even allowing for the clash of this story with Met season opening. Paris, London, Munich, Salzburg get more attention here. For Italy, it is mostly laughs and cynicism. Muti’s work in Rome, 2008-14, is little known and weirdly has not been released on DVD, unlike so many lesser efforts. I don’t know why.

      • Feldmarschallin

        Well Rome isn’t exactly an opera capital is it? The Italian houses are not what they once were and except for La Scala at times there is not much interesting going on there is there? Laura Aiken just moved from Milano to Berlin and partly she said it was because of work. She can get more work in Germany than in Italy. Apparently also the Italian houses are rather slow at paying.

        • ML

          Thanks, Feld. Well, I think the company *has* been a leader since 2009, when its orchestra weaknesses began to be overcome, its budget began to increase, and Muti started ensuring stronger casting. I have heard beautifully performed Gluck and Verdi at the Teatro Costanzi. In a normal world, Muti’s opera work would have beed commercially released, underscoring the rising capabilities of the Rome Opera. But the record companies are all screwed up, so perceptions haven’t changed; consider that Muti’s only official opera release in several years has been the Chicago concert Otello, and it is clear something is wrong. As you know, I was going down for the Aida — unmissable given the nature of the score and abilities of the conductor — and this will now go to some less capable person. La Scala of course has fallen, as you say. Some other houses are in worse trouble, but Rome was definitely a force, from the 2011 Nabucco to the 2014 Manon Lescaut, thanks to Muti. I assume now he will go to Vienna for opera projects, unless Bachler can entice him first!

          • Feldmarschallin

            Well that would be nice if Bachler could get him and just imagine that Forza cast with him conducting instead of Fisch. The Italian needs all the help it can get but very happy that Petrenko is conducting the Lucia. Still those are not generally operas a GMD does. He wanted to work with Damrau so that is why he is doing it.

            • ML

              Bachler would become a Munich treasure if he could bring Muti back, even for occasional projects.

              He should try. There are direct flights to Chicago, short rides to Muti’s Anif home, easy access to Ravenna, excellent admin, reliable contracts. Munich is perfect! But I fear Wien will win, if it hasn’t already.

        • Or may not pay at all, one singer told me.

  • arepo

    Any recent news about Kristine Opolais being given the axe at the Met?

    • FragendeFrau82

      I haven’t heard that rumor, but Opolais posted on Facebook this morning that she’s working on a special project with Kaufmann. I’m hoping for a Puccini duets CD.

    • That would be a shitty move, wouldn’t it? Not that the met has been known as a bastion of loyalty these days; but given the fact that she (in their eyes, since I believe that Hei-Kyun Hong would have been more than perfectly acceptable as Mimi) “saved” their asses you would think they would show some appreciation for that.

      I take there is talk that the Met is telling her she’s not returning?

      • Bill

        Opolais not singing further at the Met ?
        Quite unlikely as they have plans for her.
        She did cancel her 3 scheduled Rusalkas at the Vienna Opera, reportedly due to illness, but her replacement ensemblemitglieder Olga Bezsmertna
        had a great success in the role according to the 5
        Kritiks I read in the Ausrian press -- Bezsmertna
        is from the Ukraine and already is an exquisite
        Mozart singer (Pamina, Figaro Graefin) with
        Donna Elvira upcoming and something at the
        Salzburg Festival in 2015 tba. If I am not mistaken the Met has had d major plans for Opolais including new productions of Manon Lescaut, Rusalka and Tosca (well, Gheorghiu is also planned for a number of newer roles at the Met and we all know how fraught with danger of cancellations that might be). Seems Gelb is banking mainly on Netrebko, Goerke, Gheorghiu,
        Opolais, Radvanovsky and Olga Peretyatko with some snippets for Meade as the soprano talent the next five years (of course two roles only for Stemme who is more based in Vienna for the future). I do not know that Opolais is that good but she did get alot of favorable publicity for doing Butterfly and Mimi back to back within
        24 hours.

    • I’m trying to track down this rumor. My suspicion is that (as in some other cases before) someone misheard a “foreign” name somewhere along the line.

      At any rate, Opolais isn’t due in New York until early November as her first Mimi is November 14.

      • dr.malatempra

        I believe the initial rumor was regarding Lisette Oropesa. Have no opinion about the validity of that, either. As la Cieca says, perhaps a confusion of names?

        • arepo

          Oropesa! Now THAT makes more sense. There was a thread here several months ago hinting at who the trouble-maker backstage was and that she was being given a “fond” adieu. IIRC many here plugged into Oropesa.

        • Regina delle fate

          The singer who has in fact been shown the door at the Met is Listine Oropais.

          • Regina delle fate

            Or should that be Krisette Olopesa?

            • Regina delle fate

              Opolesa even ;)

          • ML

            … on account of her bad breath.

            • manou

              Then it must be Listerine Halitosis.

            • ML

              Ms. Halitosis’ prognosis
              On departing the Met is
              A long career slump
              And sad fiscal bump
              Reviving her old neurosis

  • mercadante

    With so much talk of the Callas compendium from Warner’s I was listening to her ding the Vespri aria “Arrigo, ah parli”. She recorded it 4 times, 1951, 1960, 1964 and 1969, thus it is one of the few arias one can hear from her over a neatly 20 year spa. Surprisingly, after close and repeated listening, her best singing is in the 1969 performance! Absolutely beautiful clear legato, clean intervals, accurate ascent to a crystalline top C with a lovely chromatic descent to low F sharp, clean attacks on the top g and B piano for those descending scales, everything in place and sung with simplicity and eloquence. The next best was the 1964, more grandezza, but also just a touch more rawness in the attacks above F sharp. The 1960 is clean, but tends to have less stability on sustained notes, the 1961, showsr a beautiful and solid voice, but the pianissimo are nowhere near as good as in 1969 nor does the scale seem as equalized. I suppose her work with de Hidalgo during that period paid off as the 1969 is absolutely lovely in every way and head and shoulder above the others, excepting the ’64.

    • The Conte

      I have long been a fan of her 1969 “Arrigo” I had forgotten that she had gone back to work on her high notes (amongst other things) with de Hidalgo. The floating pianissimi in the 1969 recording may have come about as it was the only way Callas could sing those notes solidly, but she made it something very much her own. Her voice is at its most secure in 1951, but greater insights were in the future. The recital recording sessions in the early sixties were emotionally difficult if Rescigno and others are to be believed, in any case her least impressive recitals are Verdi III, Paris II, Rossini and Donizetti and Mozart etc.

  • Buster

    Spectacular Gurre-Lieder conducted by Marc Albrecht. It was a longstanding wish of his to do the piece in an opera house, and luckily Team Audi Artistique agreed. They hired Kommissar Rex star Sunnyi Melles, who recited her lines beautifully, and eerily, and a fabulous cast headed by Burkhard Fritz, Emily Magee (beautiful, romantic sound, and a sympathetic actress), and the stunning Anna Larsson as Tove. I cannot imagine how it must feel for a singer to sing this standing in front of an orchestra and a chorus, but it must be so much better to stand on a stage, with the orchestra in the pit.
    For a rather straightforward story, Audi went a little overboard with artistic images, including two dead horses, and a giant fish on wheels. I loved the set, though, an Anselm Kiefer sort of ruin, with what looked like frescos on the walls, but turned out to be maps. Beautifully lit, too.
    Anna Larsson was my favorite -- a very intense actress, and the most beautiful voice filling the theatre without being overly loud. Marvelous!
    Marc Albrecht, his orchestra and the chorus (joined by the KammerChor des ChorForum Essen) were all superb. For the great finale, Albrecht almost flew off his podium, singing along with the chorus. Incredible:

    • Buster

      Larsson was the Waldtaube, obviously.

      • Spectacular is certainly the word for this Gurre-lieder. Musically -- for me -- it outdid the Rattle/BPO performance in Berlin last year and the staging actually added to the overall effect.
        I agree with Buster that, in an excellent cast, Anna Larsson was outstanding.

        There was a standing ovation. In my experience there is always a standing ovation in Amsterdam! It reminds me of a variation on an old Ronnie Corbett joke: Policeman to criminal “Now sir, can you tell me what you were doing on February 15th?” “Ah, yes -- I remember it clearly. It was the night they didn’t have a standing ovation at Dutch National Opera”.

  • Two things: (1) Did anyone else read Alex Ross on the Frankfurt School?

    (2) I was pleased, last week, to hear Anne-Sophie Mutter at the gala concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; she proved, once again to my satisfaction, that she is the greatest living violinist — a sentiment stated openly by Manfred Honeck at the podium as well. She played the Bruch concerto. I have her recording of it with von Karajan, from when she was 18 years old; the intervening years have added a lot to her interpretation. Mutter is not the most generous performer around; the audience had her come out four times, but no encore was to be had (I wish the audience had been more aggressive, but as an individual audience member, you can only do so much). She just shows up to play what you paid to hear her play, and delivers exquisitely-sculpted perfection. These are not common sounds here in the hinterland, though the PSO has a deservedly good reputation such that great soloists do appear here, in her case about once every three years. In New York you of course have more opportunities — six at Carnegie Hall in the coming season, and Bruch is first, on October 1, this time with Rattle and the Berlin Phil. If I lived there, I would not miss this.

    • antikitschychick

      Dabrowski: thank you so much for posting a link to that Alex Ross piece. It was well-written and pretty refreshing, up until the last few paragraphs where I got the impression Ross felt the urgency to avoid sounding desultory (despite the subject-matter) and so he devised the “torn halves of a missing picture” metaphor, at which point the piece tended toward the didactic and overly-simplistic liberal view, which I agree with on principle but would argue has become too ensconced in its own image of self-awareness, though he certainly hits on a number of crucual points, not least of all about the importance of the intellectual conversation between Benjamin and Adorno.

      My issue likes solely with the neatly-packaged ‘torn halves’, approach (although not a bad metaphor in terms of its visceral quality) because I feel Adorno and Benjamin are part of a larger philosophical continuum of often-times dissonant voices (hence the dialectic element) within, not just the Frankfurt school but continental philosophy in general. This is a crucial aspect which is sort of belied by Ross’s narrative structure and narrow focus on mass culture and art and despite a very competently delineated analysis, he sort of cops out at the end with that hackneyed Virginia Wolf quote. I understand that he is not a theorist, thus we shouldn’t expect him to have the answers to these sorts of post-modern dilemmas but, I did expect a tinge more creativity than the “well, we are cognizant of the mass culture machine and its implications but we’re in knee-deep’ response.

      Again it’s a well-thought out and well-written piece and I certainly respect him as a writer and what he brings to the table but I get slightly annoyed when authors of this caliber feel obliged to cater to the established norms and coddle the reader with the ‘torn halves’ type dictum because this sets up false binaries. He also sort of ignores the ironic conundrum at hand, namely that, in providing an exegesis of Adorno’s and Benjamin’s critical theory which severely criticizes the “cultic aspect” of the “pop hegemony” he simultaneously engages in a rather prolonged exercise of name-dropping lol. But I understand that not everyone gets or values a more ambiguous and less structurally super-imposed approach.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    I wish someone would upload to YouTube the old documentary about Callas staging I vespri sicilliani.

  • marshiemarkII

    Where is CammiB!!!!!!!
    if you are reading CammiB, I am thinking of you because I am putting together the yellow stones for tomorrow, first time since 2011….. if you are there will be in the Grand Tier, any other gurls who will be there, let’s say hi :D
    and I’ll be back on Tuesday for the Boheme to see the sensational Alexey Lavrov!

  • Kaufmann’s operetta album is on YouTube. Probably won’t be up for long.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rva3NIa5v6A

    • ML

      Needs an s in place of v. But won’t play anyway, alas. He’s great in this rep. Wish he would partner with Kirchschlager, who is also a master of these styles!

      • I guess it won’t imbed here. Oh well. I’m enjoying it so far. Surprisingly, he sings many of the tracks in English even though they are listed by their German titles.

        • Rackon

          There is also a version of this CD available entirely in German. I think they’re both on Spotify. He’s partnered on a couple tracks by Julia Kleite -- and very nicely too.

          • MontyNostry

            Kleiter is a really lovely singer. She is the best thing on that Arabella from Zurich with Renee and Welser-Moest.

            • MontyNostry

              … and no relation to Kleiter del Toro.

            • Lohengrin

              Her oncle ist the Tenor Christoph Prégardien.

          • That’s interesting. I wonder if any other singer has done that before — record the same selections in two different languages. Kleite is lovely.

        • tiger1

          I did not like the first track at all. I was wondering what people meant when they criticised Mr Kaufmann for excessive crooning -- and now I know what they mean. But most of the album is very enjoyable. The more opera-like sections (that he also sings like opera) are great -- and the more “second operetta pair”-like numbers with Ms Kleiter are full of charm.

          I decided to listen to a few operetta tracks by Mr Beczala -- and he is also excellent in this idiom.

          • I see what you mean about the first track. I didn’t hate it but things def improved after it.

    • ML

      At our last Fledermaus, he entered on a float dressed like Liberace and sang Du bist die Welt. I guess that was Dec. 31, 2012.

    • aulus agerius

      I just listened to the whole thing and enjoyed his singing very much — a little too much alternating between crooned pps and stentorian full-voiced fortes, but, still, a lot of charm! Oddly, at times he put me in mind of Dino. I’m not really a Jonas groupie but I think I might buy it:-)

  • Rackon

    KLEITER, sorry. Phone’s acting up. :-(

  • phoenix

    Listened this morning to a recital broadcast from Schwarzenberg last summer: http://oe1.orf.at/konsole?show=ondemand&track_id=382617&load_day=/programm/konsole/tag/20140923.
    Krunoslav’s old favorite Mojca Erdmann is now well into her 30’s. Is Askonas Holt promoting yet another future Salzburg Sophie? http://tinyurl.com/kcqvmbw
    -- This new one is definitely for Krno -- I haven’t seen him around lately but I suspect he’ll show up in the next few weeks after he is finished with his part-time summer ice cream truck job.

    • Feldmarschallin

      That Salzburg Sophie was horrible and inaudible. Same as the one here at BSO but she seems to get hired at all the top houses for that role. I am very much looking forward to hearing Karg sing it in Dresden.

      • phoenix

        Karg has more volume as well as more incisive delivery of the text.

  • mirywi

    How was the singing?

    • mirywi

      Oops that was supposed to attach itself to the New Yorker article comments.