Cher Public

Stubble in paradise

Tenor Michael Fabiano reportedly tore the place down tonight at WQXR’s Greene Space. The 2014 Richard Tucker Award winner shared the stage with Grant winners Jennifer Johnson Cano and Brandon Cedel, and legendary soprano Renata Scotto conversed with Naomi Lewin. Can you stand it? Well, find out after the jump.

La Cieca trusts that attending parterrians Mitridate and La Vociaccia will fill us in on the details.

  • k0000

    “the unfinished sentences with a THICK Italian accent . . .”

    Shame on Scotto for communicating in the native language of her audience without working harder at expunging that thick accent of hers.

  • mia apulia

    She learned English as an adult, not as a child, it’s to be expected she should have an accent. Why so much fuss?

    • Right. Netrebko and certainly Kaufmann studied English as a second language in school. (My guess is that Anna wasn’t the star English pupil, but she at least got a couple semesters of it under her belt.)

      Scotto didn’t finish high school if I remember correctly, dropping out at around 15 to concentrate on singing. She probably spoke no English at all besides a few hotel and cab phrases until she started performing at the Met (age 31 at the time), and even then her appearances in the US were not very frequent. She didn’t become a regular at the Met until she was over 40 and presumably she spoke English only very rarely before then. By 1978 her English was pretty good.

      • Guestoria Unpopularenka

        Let’s not forget also that English wasn’t so omnipresent back then as it is now. There was no internet, global media, etc. It’s much easier to learn English today than it was 40-50 years ago.

      • messa di voce

        “By 1978 her English was pretty good”

        Scotto as the innocent virgin come to Babylon: an all-time classic of diva dissemblance.

    • k0000

      Anyone who posts online runs the risk of having the tone of his remarks misunderstood. I probably should have attached a “tongue in cheek” emoticon to my October 8 comment on Scotto lest any reader assume I meant any disrespect. Quite the reverse.

      • Clita del Toro

        k0000, I kinda thought you were joking.

      • Guestoria Unpopularenka

        It was very obvious.

        • mia apulia

          I was not so much referring to K000’s comments as to earlier comments such as “She spoke in stereotypes, and the unfinished sentences with a THICK Italian accent were quite useless when it came to expressing what she meant. If she meant anything at all.” which I find unfortunte. The stereotype charge, OK (although the program itself, format, and interviewer don’t seem designed produce profundities--“how did you feel when you won the prize or did this and did that” etc.), but the accent thing is irrelevant. I speak various languages with accents that betray my origins, as do many of us on this site, I imagine.

  • Cicciabella

    An Italian opera dive speaking English with a thick Italian accent and literal translation from Italian: whoever heard of such a thing? The days when Italy could produce a diva line-up like the one in Guestoria’s video further up are long gone: maybe that’s where the discomfort with the accent comes from. We should keep in mind that Madame Scotto is eighty years old. Although she’s still sharp and smartly dressed, it’s an age when languages that you acquired as an adult start to slip away. Anyway, I love her recipe for great performances: “INK-stint and passh-ON”. I’ll say!

    • Cicciabella


  • almavivante

    I must say, even for the cher public the tone of the remarks on this thread is particularly unforgiving! QMF!

  • antikitschychick

    what a wonderful treat; thanks be to Cieca for posting this and bravo to Mr. Fab! With all due respect to my fellow posters, I honestly don’t get the negativity and criticism aimed at Fab and Ms. Scotto, who are both wonderful artists. Scotto in particular, is I think a living legend and a big component of that legendary status is her innate ‘Italianate-ness’ and love of her language, culture and the art form as a whole. The accent is therefore a prominent feature of her public persona, and, in typical style of performers and cultural ambassadors, she obviously exaggerates it a lil for effect. This sort of old school camp is part of the fun though, especially for someone from a younger generation like me who has had little exposure to old school divas; like when she mentioned that she’s been married for like, idk, 30+ years or something and then immediately “remarked” brava, I thought that was hilarious. But on a more serious note, she is someone who dedicated her life to Opera, and being fully immersed in the Italian idiom, specifically the musical form of that idiom has obviously had a profound effect on her. If she lost that she’d be losing a big part of what makes her a distinctive performer me thinks. I also agree that she looks very good for her age, namely due to the level of physical adroitness she exhibits more than anything else. Finally, her remarks about Richard Tucker were very touching.

    As for Fab, well the quality of the voice and the sheer intensity, focus and emotion with which he performs are all Ace in my book; I also think he is being honest when he says he works very hard at his craft and takes it very very seriously, so yeah he gotz that sacro fuoco…and he is just so darn cute; thus I am smitten <3 :-P. He also seemed very appreciative and humbled by his growing success; and the documentary looks interesting so I'm looking forward to that.

    Jennifer Jonhnson Cano has (I think) a very solid, well-produced voice and pleasant tone; I enjoyed her performances and look forward to hearing more of her in the future :-).