Cher Public

In questi fieri momenti

The program Anna Netrebko sang at Beaver Creek on Thursday included her first public performance of “Suicidio!” from La Gioconda, an aria she has recently recorded in Munich under the baton of Paolo Carignani for a forthcoming “verismo” disc. (That CD is also rumored to include scenes from Manon Lescaut and Turandot… with Netrebko in both title roles!)

  • Feldmarschallin

    Perfect role for her. She is best in Russian opera and verismo. Suits her quite well.

  • Satisfied

    Apparently some Otello (!!!) and Sonnambula (…ya not so much) as well.

    • Camille


      Uh-oh. Unfortunate truncation time.

  • Madamigella Valery

    I guess we can expect duets from Otello and Manon Lescaut -- and I’m almost sure that she recorded these duets with her fiance Yusif Eyvazov…

  • Camille

    La Cieca! You fergot to stick one of your blonde wigs on her head!!! Gioconda has Titian tresses and I am NOT going to tolerate another brunette Gioconda!! NO Way!

    It sounds like a lot of fun but I hope only that she would take the precaution of singing Aïda first, THEN Gioconda, and may the heavens forfend her getting it into her testa BIONDA to go back to Adina/Norina&Co.

    I would go anywhere and hock my Tiffanys collection to hear a real blood and thunder Gioconda so, as the kids say—BRING IT ON!!!!

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    LOL! I can already hear the Gioconda final duet with Barnaba with all the ornaments in place for a change.

    • Camille

      That was the part I am not looking forward to! Why he wrote all that stuff at the very end really seems sadistic to me!!! They all smudge up those staccati most of the time anyways. I think Callas is pretty accurate, fod one….

      “Vo’ farmi più gaia, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. —oopsie”.

      • manou

        The end had my most favourite bad line in all opera (not forgetting the ineffable stage direction):

        “Volesti il mio corpo, dimon maledetto?
        E il corpo ti do!”

        Si trafigge nel cuore col pugnale che avrà raccolto furtivamenre nelle vesti adornandosi e piomba a terra come fulminata.

        • Camille

          Well we cannot but relate to the >i>scapigliatura tenor of those times and consider the travails of one Tobia Gorrio AKA Arrigo BOITO.

          One supposes one had to have been there to understand this shade of PURPLISH! I do, but few want to congregate in that small space.

          I do not like Giocondas stabbing themselves prematurely and not delivering their “ti do” in a scream. Hard to time exactly.

          Povera Gioconda!! I feel so sorry for her!! I hope she didn’t at least hear that SOB Barnaba screaming to her in the last moments about la mamma morta. They say that hearing is the last faculty we lose. I don’t know. Yet.

        • MontyNostry

          manou, have you ever read/seen Angelo, tyran de Padoue, the Hugo play on which it is based?

          • Quanto Painy Fakor

            In fact, I have -- many ways. Here’s Hugo’s manuscript of it:

            • MontyNostry

              I’ve never read it, but I remember my excitement during a rather worthy university lecture on Hugo when the professor outlined the play’s plot and I thought …”This sounds like La Gioconda.” I had probably recently bought the Milanov/Previtali version on a budget price Decca LP, though the Tebaldi/Gardelli version was the first I heard.

          • manou

            No Monty -- I haven’t read it. You can find it online as a pdf if you Google “Angelo Tyran de Padoue texte intégral”. It is much more legible than the text QPF has found.

            I must say -- it looks like a ripe slice of hokum, which of course makes it ideal for an opera

            • What is completely lost in the libretto of GIoconda is the classic Hugo “misdirection” technique in which the audience is encouraged to make an assumption about the characters and their relationships but then have that assumption confounded in the final moment of the drama. (The best example is in Lucrece Borgia with its revelation that Lucrece is not Gennaro’s lover but rather his mother.)

              In Angelo, the Gioconda character, Tisbe, is the mistress of the ruler of Padua, who is nevertheless jealous of his wife Catarina’s attentions to Tisbe’s brother Rodolfo. Tisbe is curiously protective of Rodolfo, almost jealously so, though she spares Catarina when she recognizes that Catarina is the woman, who, many years ago, saved the life of Tisbe’s mother. The action proceeds more or less as in GIoconda but with the additional twist that, at the moment when Tisbe sacrifices herself so that Catarina and Rodolfo can be together, she reveals that Rodolfo is not, in fact, her brother, but rather her lover.

        • La Valkyrietta

          Here is a bionda (portuguesa) pour Camille che piomba a terra come fulminata ( :) :) manou).

          • Camille

            Oh thank you so much as I enjoyed her One Night Stand (oh no, there was another one subbing for DJ, that’s right) as Minnie, La Girl. As la cantatrice with man problems, it’s not exactly the right voice as there is not much middle but an enormously sympa creatura del palcoscenico and wish to hear her again but fear I won’t.

            Herzog Camille has called to warn me that Ich Muss Nicht charlar con la gente más!!! I have an enormous deadline which is make or break this coming week, so I have crammed all the fun into this morning and now I must bid ye Addio senza rancor!!

            Thanks, La Valkyrietta. And I hope Jackson Heights, where there are a lot of Indian jewelry shops if I am not mistaken, 74th Street?, is calling its siren song to you and Delores always has a siren song or two 4 U 2.

            Fondly ed un bacio ed un bacio ancora—
            Camille Pleyel de Beauchamps

          • Camille

            As I feared, not for her but she looked very convincing.

            Loved Barnaba’s freak out fit. Mostly it’s just stupid or embarrassing.

            Okay, now I really gotta go or Herzog Camille will ut me behind the Sevenh Door!

            • MontyNostry

              Why does Barnaba have kabuki make-up?

          • manou

            Thank you La Val for this lovely piece of scenery chewing.

            • Fritz

              Another Barnaba who doesn’t take disappointment very well:

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Has there been any talk here about Domingo’s first Macbeth in Berlin. I only listened to a little of the duet with Banquo and lost interest.

    • Feldmarschallin

      No interest in Domingo anymore. Gave that up a long time ago. But there is a Lucia being broadcast from BSO which starts at 18.00, also in 20 minutes.

      • antikitschychick

        I unfortunately won’t be able to catch it now but I would like to see some clips later on Yt or something since judging from the pictures on Facebook the production looks very interesting and DD is a very good singing actress. It’s really awesome how the BSO streams so many live performances for free. Do thank the GM on our behalf :-D.

    • antikitschychick

      Quanto, through what source/medium where u able to listen to the performance? I was under the impression there weren’t going to be any broadcasts. At least I couldnt find any that is. So far I’ve only come across 1 review and it was positive. I saw some tweets too and they were positive as well.

      Re: AN recording a Verismo disc: YAY!!! Been saying that’s what she should record for a while now (as many other members of the cp have as well) and am happy to learn this is the direction in which she’s heading. Can’t wait to hear it. After this she should record Norma with Muti or my crush and then she should come out with an all Spanish/Russian album of música gitana :-D.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        A Putzfrau at the theater left her cell phone on in her workroom during the whole performance.

        • antikitschychick

          Lol are you being serious or just pulling my chain?

    • Lohengrin
  • zinka

    SORRY!!!! I love Anna,but yesterday’s Sleepwalking scene presented some problems…and I fear Aida,Norma,etc…will kill the voice..BUT selling tickets comes first…..When I hear Magda,Bergo nzi,Gedda,etc….I marvel at their LONG careers…I fear the worst….Agree??????

    • First off, different voices work different ways. Anna Moffo stayed firmly in her Fach for 15 years and the voice fell apart; Anja Silja sang everything in the world and she is well into her sixth decade of singing.

      Magda Olivero had one of the strangest careers ever: about seven years of singing lighter parts here and there in Italy, a decade-long “retirement,” and then a comeback in her early 40s, a time when most of her contemporaries were heading toward retirement. She sang (most of the time) a limited and eclectic repertoire and did not have a particularly busy schedule. (How often was she singing in the 1950s and 1960s, 20 or 25 performances a year at the most?)

      The point is that Olivero is not really comparable to anyone else because no one else has had the sort of bizarre career she did.

      Bergonzi sang heavy parts from early on, Alvaro and Radames. Gedda had an extremely broad repertoire, but, like Olivero, he sang in a very unusual way, which is to say that what worked for him would not necessarily work for another artist.

      A broader question here is whether every singer wants to be performing in her sixties and seventies. One reason that there is not a huge amount of practical experience in guiding women’s voices through menpause is that until a generation or two ago, almost all women singers retired from opera in their mid to late 40s, perhaps tapering off with concerts or crossover into lighter music. A soprano who made it as far as age 60 was a real curiosity and regarded as, if not a freak, at least a definite curiosity.

      Anna Netrebko has been singing for 22 years, internationally for 20. If she continues for 10 more, that will be quite a long career, even if she doesn’t decide to hobble out onto the stage in her 80s.

      • antikitschychick

        #menpause. That needs to become a thing :-P. Also, she wont hobble out onto the stage in her 80s, she’ll ride in on an elephant or some other exotic animal and steal the show :-D.

        Seriously though, to add to the important points that Cieca is making, I would also stress that she is a risk taker and a trailblazer. She is not one to take on a part simply (or ONLY) because it suits her ‘vocal fach’. Rather, she likes to take on roles that she is instinctively drawn to even if they don’t suit her voice quite as well as some other roles do in practice or in theory and lately it’s been paying off big time. Thus, we might not always get the ‘quintessential’ or the most ‘pristine’ vocalism from her but we’ll sure as hell get some beautiful, heartfelt singing and a fresh & unique interpretation. I personally really appreciate that.

      • zinka

        What a great JOY to read this…put it in your book…….

  • DeepSouthSenior

    Didn’t Brian Williams say he is singing Calif in some of the Turandot selections?

  • armerjacquino

    I’ll be very interested to hear this, but I still think it’s Verdi that shows off Netrebko at her best. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her slam right into chest voice in the way ‘Suicidio’ demands, for example. That’s not the whole role, obviously, but it’s a shame when it’s not there.

    • PCally

      I agree with you to certain extent. I thought her performances in Il Trovatore were the best things I’ve ever heard from her, from a vocal point of you at least. Outside I’ve Puccini (I imagine she’s a fantastic Manon Lescaut, and I’ve always wished that she would sing Suor Angelica) I can’t really picture her singing some of the more demanding verismo roles that require greatest bight in the chest register. That being said I love that she’s singing exciting stuff and I’d love to her Gioconda sung with a voice as lush as hers.

      • PCally

        *vocal point of view

    • antikitschychick

      Her lower range has gotten noticeably better though and I’d imagine it will keep developing as she gets older. It just won’t sound that ‘Italianate’ because, ya know, she covers.

  • Constantine A. Papas

    June Anderson, coloratura careerist, sang Salome quite well at 59. It’s difficult to predict who long a voice will last. Vocal cords, like any body parts, age differently in different singers, males or females, of high or low tessitura. Netrebko, with her 42 albums (20 CDs and DVDs of complete operas recorded live, has already made her mark even if she quits singing today.

  • Camille

    yes, what La Cieca says about menopause usually being the line of demarcation in a singer’s life is no longer as relevant, for myriad reasons. And now with HRT, well, it is a matter of what and how someone sings, their physical strength and stamina, their attitude, their support system, and how all this works together synergistically and, of course, what demand there may be for a given singer. Helen Donath is really getting up there but has, at least until recently, still been singing and well. Since lives are generally longer now and careers started at a later date than say the nineteenth century, well there will be a lot of change.

    Geraldine Farrar retired at forty. While she had suffered some vocal problems she did what she did because I guess she was considered a bit past it by that age. Or maybe she was busy making films, but I think those were in the teens, so maybe not.

    As far as AnnaAnnaAnna, well, I wish she would sing veristic music more, as well as some Russian roles, I am not quite sure if Maria in Mazeppa would still be appropriate but maybe some Rimsky? Or that opera “Oprichnik”, I approximate, by Tchaikovski. I only wish it so. As far as yesterday’s Lady Macbeth, the first I’d heard it, except a bit from last fall, I was happily surprised for the most part. I did miss the Brindisi but that is probably just as well.
    I am not exactly a fan of just going with “Instinct”, other than with one’s dramatic or intuitive predilections, because singing is singing and it requires a form, a schematic and a system. It’s not just all by the seat of the pants, no matter what they may try to say. There has got to be a framework underneath it all. That is what I fear the beauteous Kristine Opolais lacks—or that is what it sounds to me — I am sorry as she is such a beautiful sounding lady when she speaks, but it seems it is all “instinct” with her, vocally speaking and it just does not sound very good, at all.

    Still wish Anna Netrebko would first look at Aïda first, as she has had a great deal of singing Verdi in her experience and Aïda is desperately forza, at times, but also a very great deal of dolcezza and piano and modulation, and alignment. There is plenty for the voice to expand and grow, while still keeping a smaller dimension active simultaneously. Or maybe Ballo, but I think not so much her temperament.

    And a good third act Elsa in Lohengrin would certainly help ready her for a Gioconda, more Wagnerian than a lot of Wagner! Maria Callas said in some remarks in one of those very self-conscious Diva Interviews that she considered La Gioconda “right at the edge of good singing”. That remark stuck with me as a sort of guidepost and I thought about it a lot and began to understand what she meant, Piano, piano.

    At this point in her career, she may do more or less as she chooses and I do hope there are persons around her to help with choices, and hope as well, the fiancé will prove to be a help and a support to her, as she needs and deserves such for a better, fuller existence and to relax into this expansion, rather than to throttle on forward like a horse trying to win a race. I do so wish he will help her and protect her, and her dear child, as that all could make for a great reinforcement of and strengthening of her artistry.

    Back to the grindstone. Addio.
    Avanti Anyushka. I never would have dreamt that the lively and expressive pretty girl with the easy high notes and that bounding energy as a “Lyudmila”, in the late nineties, would come so far, nor do this well. It just goes to show you can never be sure when you are going to discover a gold nugget in the river of song.

    • Flora del Rio Grande

      Mme Farrar retired at age-40 for several reasons: She had all the money she would need; she was definitely interested in avoiding new divas or stars with names like Ponselle, Jeritza or Galli-Curci …. and, after
      a zillion Cio-Cio Sans, her high Bb was just plain worn to a frazzle. I think that’s about it.

      • Camille

        The Bflat was worn to a frazzle, yes, that is what I understood from several contemporary reviews and at that age, it wiuld have been premature, wouldn’t it?
        Happy wintering jn lovely Palm Springs, Flora.

        • perfidia

          Farrar, from what I have read from the contemporary accounts, lived beyond fach. Butterfly just ate away at an instrument that was essentially too lyrical. I think she got away with by sheer force of personality.

          • Camille


            There could be a Lifetime Series — followed up by “Life Beyond Fach”, as a spinoff series. Who to star?

            Geraldina sang the gamut and had she had no fear. I was told many moons about her Carmen film, and how good it was, at which I scoffed until I saw it. She was terrific.

            • perfidia

              Ethan Mordden (and he is a nitpicker) has great things to say about Farrar as Carmen. I have to get my grubby paws on a copy of it.

            • mps502

            • Camille

              Perfidia, let’s just say that it was impossible to believe she hailed from Massachusetts. If she were alive today; she could provide wattage enough to the entire snow-besieged area to keep everyone warm and happy.

              FYI—look on Classic Arts Showcase for a clip from her Carmen. It is available via the CUNY website. I dunno, you have to figure it out how in hell to access it but it runs apparently 24/7.

            • Camille

              Oh yeay yippee!!! It appeared while posting my note. perfidia, have fun.

    • Milady DeWinter

      Actually Camille, AnnaAnnaAnna’s way with the Brindisi from Macbeth was wonderful -- it held the “celebrate with clenched teeth” feel of danger (to the party-goers from this Lady!) and lingered in my memory long after the performance. That and the Sleepwalking Scene were for me, her most memorable vocal moments in a totally successful undertaking.
      And I agree with Cieca and antikitsch and all the rest whoi think Anna will be just fine. She’s smart -- she takes on these new and demanding roles, works them out in a production, then moves on to another role. Smart lady at the top of her game. I think she would make a grand Gioconda. Norma, Aida, Gioconda all seem to be in her future and I say “brava” -- do it, Anna!

      • Milady DeWinter

        Oops -- that’s one Gioconda too many, more coffee please! I say do Huguenots at the Met (Hymel of course, as Raoul) and Anna would be a stunning Valentine.

      • Camille

        Well, that’s good, as the one I chanced to hear in the fall did not sound very well and had the usual hit and miss. This was a better performance all the way around. I was happy with that D flat at the end of the Sonnambulismo, especially as, even if no fil di voce, it still effected a very canny kind of echo and weird sound. After having heard many different kinds of attempts on the note, this was kne of the better ones.

        Valentine would be an excellent idea, as well, I must say.

        • Milady DeWinter

          I agree Camille -- that D-flat at the end of the sonnambulismo was almost too beautiful -- but not complaining. It was appropriately haunting.

  • pasavant

    The announcement that a soprano has decided to essay La Gioconda has too often signaled the beginning of the death watch. I hope that this will not be the case for Ms Netrebko’s voice and career.

  • Gualtier M

    Sorry to spoil your fun, but Anna is singing an aria from “Gioconda”, not the whole role. Looks like she sang a bunch of arias and scenes from other operas -- some like Amina in “Sonnambula” that she has put behind her and others like Desdemona in “Otello” that she says bores her as characters and she has no intention of singing. Renee Fleming sings “Vissi D’Arte” in concerts as well but probably is not going to sing Tosca in a staged production any time soon.

    So we can talk about her wrecking her voice, the menopause, yada, yada, yada -- fact is we don’t know nuttin’ about Netrebko and Gioconda and this may be a one-off experiment.

    I notice that no one went to hear her sing the “Rusalka” aria and “Caecilie” at the Met Orchestra concert this afternoon at Carnegie Hall? Perhaps her voice cracked on every note since wrecking singing one measly aria from “La Gioconda”? I think traveling to Colorado and then flying back to NYC to do a hastily thrown together concert appearance might do more damage to the voice than singing “Suicidio”.

    • Gualtier M

      Oh and another few things -- if Anna can get through the entire role of Lady Macbeth then she can sing “Suicidio” in a concert without damage.

      Also she not only sang in Colorado -- she sang “Iolanta” on Saturday night and then Carnegie the next day. But Anna is a strong girl with lots of stamina. And she probably hasn’t hit the menopause yet.

      • Donna Anna

        We were there on Saturday night. She was in superb voice and that duet had me in tears, it was so damned beautiful. No wobble, nothing but powerfully expressive singing that I felt so lucky to hear.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Not if you are being treated to a private plane and a big fat fee!

    • No no no. The sky is falling!

  • antikitschychick

    May I also just add, what a brilliant photoshop job by La Cieca on this thread’s pic!!

    Agree with Gaultier that AN is prob nowhere near menapause (or menpause :-P) yet. I think all the general alarm about her vocal estate from just one performance is a wee bit premature but I can understand ppls concerns…she is the beloved Diva of her generation;the day her vocal prowess really does start waning shit is gonna get real and we’re all going to have to pitch in to get dear Cieca some smelling salts (I volunteer to donate the first 20 if I am still alive and functional after LM takes on Norma).

    (OT: The Grammys are pretty awesome this year!)

    • MontyNostry

      Just listening to Macbeth from the Met now. If it was any other soprano apart from Parterre fave Netrebko, there would have been harsh talk on here of an overpressed, shredded-sounding lyric singing above her station.

      • peter

        40 lashes with a wet noodle for you Monty! (I agree with you though).

        • MontyNostry

          Thank you, peter, glad to know I’m not alone. If the phrasing and use of words (not to mention the trills) were anything special, maybe I would better appreciate what all the excitement was about. Maybe you had to be there and see her in her blonde wig nightie. Lucic might have a few pitch problems, but at least he has the right sound for the part. So much for Act 1, anyway Let’s see if things improve with the next act and ‘La luce langue’.

          • Christ, you haven’t even listened to the whole thing, and you can’t wait to run to your keyboard and tap tap tap your disapproval.

            I hate queens sometimes.

            • MontyNostry

              Maybe I should just go on moderation. This site isn’t as much fun as it used to be.

            • You mean it’s not an echo chamber for your provincial nattering?

          • Maybe you had to be there and see her in her blonde wig nightie.

            What a concept! Attending a live opera performance and judging on the basis of that, instead of listening to a few minutes of it on the radio. Monty, your bold new approach will revolutionize music criticism!

      • Tell us more about life in this parallel universe you seem to know so much about.

        Or let me try reporting from a parallel world of my own. If Netrebko had sung this part at Covent Garden exclusively, you would be puffed up with pride and raving about the rare treat she accorded to her discriminating public in the UK.

        • MontyNostry

          Seriously, I do wonder if I live in a parallel universe when it comes to this particular issue!

        • armerjacquino

          Oh, here we go. Monty slags off Netrebko (I couldn’t disagree more, for what it’s worth) so it’s time for a sideswipe at the Brits.

          • manou

            And back to Gioconda:

            “La Cieca strilla; Lasciamola strillar”

          • tiger1

            How disappointing! I thought Monty was short for Montserrat and we had a case of Diva-on-Diva -- but, alas, only queen-on-diva….

        • Belfagor

          I’m just going to post this here, and not say anything -- (yet!)

          • Camille

            The Dflat is svery bit as good as what I recall from the Sirius broadcast.
            Piccola Renata è intelligentissima!! Thank goodness for an economy of gesture a d a stark concentration rather than act all batty.

            Wonderful to see Bubbles in her best Perle Mesta form, once again, the hostess with the mostess!

            Mme Née-Née just does not have that outgoing, smiling, big dolly personality which Bev had, and works soooooo hard at doing her duty……

            • Belfagor

              Camille -- you said it, brava!

              Economy -- focus -- concentration -- diction -- phrasing -- idiom -- tinta --

              and as for Bubbles the hostess, that’s real acting -- I believe she was far more formidable than Lady M ever was….

            • Camille

              Apparently La Bubbles was the REAL Lady Mac, but I wouldn’t know about that. I remember walking right past her in the back of Carnegie Hall about 15 years ago, deeply engrossed with her intended $$$$$$$ victim. I could see how she could hooverup them big bucks!!A formidable woman, but then, she came up from Nowhere, with no one but her self, her bubbles, and her bosoms to get her outta Brooklyn, and well, she did it, and then some! Another time I chanced to see her was when leaving her apartment dwelling up at 80-81-st around there--same building as Isaac Stern. She looked so radiant and starry-like. I later saw her picture in the Times, so I knew it had been her. I was never her fan but I do sorta miss her because she knew what the hell she was doing and what this business was, and wasn’t.

              As far as piccola Renata. one of the most intelligent of soprano musicians ever and I don’t even mind her exaggerated and expanded litches, and other variables vocally, as she is so serious about the music, un tale rispetto!!!. The tiniest creature, I wonder where all that sound came from? From the bottom of her soles and the soul, apparently. Hopefully she is continuing her work with young singers and managing to beat something of the old ways into their brains, god I hope so.

              One of my favourite piccola Renata’s is Sonnambula and Straniera because of her breathing in and expanding outward of the cantilena and the useage of words, plus her BELIEF in the music. Very intelligent. Very musical. Very Italian.

              A pleasant trip back to what seems like just yesterday, thanks!

      • antikitschychick

        Monty, I do agree that AN is given deferential treatment as opposed to some of her colleagues, but I don’t think it wholly unjustified given how long she’s been performing, the international acclaim she’s garnered and the types of roles she is taking on.

        • antikitschychick

          sorry meant *in comparison with, not as opposed to.

          • mercadante

            Apparently someone didn’t care for St. anna of Netrebko. A shame it wasn’t Renee Fleming singing the role then you could have said whatever you wanted, even after just hearing the first intake of breath.

            • MontyNostry

              I will not venture to comment further on any aspect of the performance, but what a fabulous piece Macbeth is. One of my favourite Verdi operas. I hope that statement doesn’t offend anyone.

            • manou

              Macbeth is absolutely one of my very favourites as well, Monty. Does anyone ever perform the later Paris version? It seems to have vanished.

            • The Paris version is the one generally performed, albeit in Italian translation. The only variable is the inclusion or exclusion of the approximately 10 minutes of ballet music written for Paris.

            • manou

              Thanks for this -- in that case is the earlier version ever performed? And is the Paris version ever performed in French (avec ou sans ballet)?

            • Gualtier M

              Just a note about the Paris “Macbeth” being performed in Italian “translation” -- Verdi revised his operas in the language he originally composed it in and then had the whole thing translated. In the case of “Don Carlos” of 1867 becoming the Italian version in 1882/3 and 1886 -- Verdi had Camille de Locle (I think) revise the original French text. Then Verdi wrote his new music and the whole thing was translated into Italian. Verdi only composed music for “Don Carlo” to an Italian text by Ghislanzoni for a Naples revival in 1872.

              Same thing with “Macbeth” -- I think Piave did the revised text and Verdi composed new music. That is why “La Luce Langue” and other new arias sound fine in terms of match of music and text unlike most translations. The Paris premiere was a flop and that version was not performed much until the 20th century. Meanwhile the 1847 Macbeth had been revived quite a bit in Italy in the late 1840’s and 50’s including the Naples production with Eugenia Tadolini whose casting Verdi tried to protest with the famous “ugly voice” letter.

            • manou

              This is probably going to end up in the wrong place, but I am very grateful for both the clips and the various precisions about both the Macbeth versions. I am now waiting for the book Camille (pas De Locle) recommended.

              And if my husband asks “Pourquoi me réveiller” -- I shall play him the alternative arias.

          • It’s hard to track down many performances of the 1847. Some of the music is very fine, and a good deal more consistent with the rest of the score than the Paris insertions, e..g.

            “Trionfai!” later replaced by “La luce langue.”

            “Vada in fiamme,” replaced by the duet “Ora di morte” to close Act Three

            The baritone cabaletta in particular I think is a real loss.

            • armerjacquino

              I’d love to know the process by which ‘Trionfai’ was replaced by ‘La Luce Langue’, which is more or less a direct translation of Shakespeare (albeit with lines for Mcbeth given to Lady M). I wonder if Verdi, the Shakespearean, advised returning to the source?

            • manou

              Thanks for the clips -- will watch them tomorrow with great interest because at the moment Mr manou is fast asleep.

            • Milady DeWinter

              Thank you indeed, Cieca. Common sense tells me I’ve heard “Trionfai”, but I wouldn’t swear to it. It’s fascinating -- a bit of a “Tutto sprezzo che’ Ernani” vibe, gone slightly malicious. Although I think it works on a dramatic level, and ratchets up the florid skills required by Lady M, I could not do without the wonderful creepy crawlers of “La luce langue.” But interesting that both arias end with the same, or very similar, upward spiral figure and orchestrations. What instincts and genius. And RIta H delivers the goods, doesn’t she?

            • Camille

              Armerjacq—-there is a very good book on Verdi/Shakespeare and a comparison betwixt the plays and the operas by…….somebody named WILLS, which I bought at the Met Bookshop a couple years ago, I think precisely when the Nadja/Macbeth Experience was going on. I cannot remember the title of the book nor the rest of his name but if you go to the Met Giftshop they may have it. I remember telling Mme manou about at the time as she was also interested in what it had to say.

              Wait—I’ll go look— yes!! Yeay, I found it!


              A worthwhile read, and particularly so for you, I would suppose.

            • manou

              Thank you so much Camille! Just bought the book on Amazon, as I am perfectly able to shop whilst il mio marito slumbers (Glamis hath notmurdered sleep…)

            • DellaCasaFan

              There is the recording of the 1847 Macbeth from the late 70s that was later reissued on Opera Rara. The clip with Rita Hunter’s “Trionfi” is from the same recording. It was done in the Matheson/Budden/BBC series of rarely performed editions of Verdi. I believe theirs was also the first recording of the complete French “Don Carlo” which I have on the Ponto label. I see that someone posted the complete Matheson/BBC 1847 Macbeth on Youtube:

            • Camille

              Oh goody!! Happy to know Glamis is not murdering sleep. One must not disturb sleeping spouses lest they become raging Minotaurs!

              Quite a good book because Mr Wills outlines the history and performance practise of Shakespeare’s plays separately and then Verdi’s works and makes some sort of comparative ‘twixt the two—or that is what I remember — will have to go back and finish it some day.

              I love Macbeth so much I can listen to it even if a dog sings it, as when I heard it a few seasons back………and don’t consider it an inferior or “middle period” work in the same way, at ALL! Verdi so loved it he dedicated it to his dear suocero, Sig.r Barezzi, to whom he owed everything. For a rather young man still green (or verde, if you will!) behind the ears, it is really a remarkable work. Mr Wills discusses as well the characters which Verdi wanted and vocal types, in detail.

              Shh! Lest the Minotaur awaken and find you with your book!
              For those knowledgeable of Shakespeare, and for armer who has actually acted in his plays, it could be a very helpful read and perhaps more substantive than the average.

            • Camille

              DellaCasaFan—May I ask you about that Ponto label Don Carlos? As I have been deliberating for years about buying it and I believe it is the same recording in the Opera Rara label, o no). I have the Opera RRa Vêpres Siciliennes?/i> so have an idea of the type of recording. It is just that the Opera Rara label is so expensive now. I am windering if the Ponto label is good enuf. OR abel also has a wonderful booklet with translations in a couple of languages.


            • Camille

              Very Important Note about the Wills book!!! OUR OWN JOHN YOHALEM did a great deal of the scholarly research and fact checking for the nook, so you mnow you are reading the good goods and not the speculative goods. Bravo JoYo!

              DellaCasaFan: so sorry. That was me typing on speed. I hope you get the gist of it. Sorry.

            • DellaCasaFan

              I bought it at the Berkshire RO. The only advantage that I see in the Opera Rara issue is the better documentation. Otherwise, the Ponto sound is excellent. I’ve just now checked the BRO and see that they recently got it back in stock ($7.96 only!).

            • Camille

              Many thanks! At that price Non posso resistere! Got the score so I’ll do without all the pretty historical pictures. The price on Opera Rara was something absurd, over a hundred dollars the last time I looked.

            • DellaCasaFan

              I am right now looking at the Ponto booklet. It lists the tracks and there is an essay about the revisions by Andrew Palmer. That’s all, but I now remembered that Disc 4 also contains bonus tracks with excerpts from the 1961 radio broadcast from Paris (which I don’t think can be found on any other CD) with the fabulous Alain Vanzo’s Don Carlos.

            • DellaCasaFan

              Oops, forgot to mention something about BRO. I don’t know if you purchased from them in the past, but just in case: their shipping rates (for US) are $6 for the first disc and then only 10 cents for each additional disc. So if anything else interests you in their catalog, it would add only minimally to the total shipping costs.

            • Camille

              Oooh, thanks for the extras especially about Alain Vanzo, as I am his biggest admirer. I have heard on one occasion an excerpt of his singing in this work and found it to be a model of what that style should be.

              No, I have not acquainted myself with Berkshire but it looks like I shall. Usually I have dealt with Arkiv.

              Much obliged for your help, DCF. Very nice of you. As I deliberate for years before buying something, this makes it easier to tip the cow, so to speak.

            • Buster

              DellaCasaFan and Camille -- I just replaced that Ponto Don Carlo with the Opera Rara set. The Ponto has tape hisses (Elle ne m’aime pas, at the end is a good place to hear it) and a few other glitches, and zero atmosphere. The Opera Rara uses the originaltapes, with more depth in the sound. I am very pleaeed with it, and he sound is really much better -- no comparison. Great recording!

            • DellaCasaFan

              Thank you very much for your reminder about some defects on Ponto. I listened to it long ago and, since it was the only commercial CD issue of this pioneering performance at the time, I was quite excited to listen to it and must have forgotten about some of the audio problems that you mention. I am sure that Opera Rara is a huge improvement, but, as Camille also pointed out, it is inordinately expensive (at least here in the US) so a few dollars for an alternative copy I think might do it until someone comes to their better senses and make the OR issue accessible at a more reasonable price on the US market. I’ll keep an eye on it for sure.

            • messa di voce

              If you need to have your ears cleaned out, try FloJo doing the Trionfai as an appendix on the Muti recording.

            • Wouldn’t Opera Rara ship it?On their site it sells for £46.99.


            • Look at all you’d get for your hard-earned pennies: “This 4 CD set comes with a 300 page illustrated booklet which, as well as containing the libretto and synopsis in Italian, German, French and English, also has an introductory note by Andrew Porter”.

            • Camille

              Ja, ja…….the booklet is just wonderful, I know that from the Vêpres I have, and well worth the price of $101.--, SLASHED down from $103.-- currently on SALE! At Arkivmusic. I am beginning to wonder if heroin addiction is less expensive……….?

              Sigh. I should have bought it when *only* *sixty* American dollars.

              Well, when one considers the price of one shitty CC seat under the overhang in the back of the orchestra costs $90 or so, maybe I’ll bite the bjllet. The singers are just not special but at least legit francophone and the only other extant one is Alagna’s, nd I don’t want that cast

              Back to dithering. Thanks all for the input.

      • isis00

        Quite right, Monty.

  • la vociaccia

    I guess I occupy a weird space here re: Anna and her vocal health. I actually DO think she’s blowing it out, but I also love her more than ever for it. She fucking GUNNED it in Macbeth and it was one of the more thrilling experiences I’ve had in recent years. I guess I don’t really see the point in her going the longevity route- I can’t evision myself in 10-15 years saying “shame netrebko isn’t what she used to be.” I mean, she’s already built herself a live and recorded legacy, she’s had success singing roles from Susanna to Anna Bolena to Lady Macbeth to Manon Lescaut. What will we be missing out on if she spends the next decade singing Gioconda, Elsa, Salome and any number of heavy roles that make us feign concern? Just do it, gurl

    • kennedet

      Great discussion. I wonder if the opera going public,opera fanatics, vocal pedagogues, etc. need to take some responsibility for what we expect from great singers. Maybe the sounds that thrill us are detrimental to a singer’s voice. Without getting into a long, drawn out discussion of vocal technique, which we will never reach a consensus on….there could be a need for further introspection into what we personally consider is a professional sound. Just curious.

  • La Valkyrietta

    The first time I went to the new Met at Lincoln Center was to see La Gioconda. Toscanini’s “voce di angelo” sang, sublime Tebaldi. I saw that Gioconda many times, even in Boston at the Met on tour. I know, some are not as ecstatic about Tebaldi as Louise (how is she?) and I, but Renata was Italian opera incarnate. I love the Only Maria and Zinka, but never saw them in this role, and I don’t think I will ever see or hear live any Gioconda to approach Tebaldi. Decades later I went to see the same production of Gioconda with a wonderful performance of the Dance of the Hours, but Voigt did not quite cut mustard, so much so that I left the house after the less than convincing Suicidio. I regret now doing that and missing the end, just for completeness sake, I’ll never know if Barnaba went bananas then. Anyway, I look forward to Anna in the role, and if I do attend any of her possible Giocondas, I know for sure that I will stay to the end.

  • zinka

    Love Anna…but the stars want to sing everything……Right,Maria,Rosa,Zinka…..?

    NOT for her….

    • PCally

      Zinka, she’s singing one aria, not the whole role. And that aria is hardly the most difficult part of the role. As far as I can see there aren’t even rumors that she’s singing the part in the very near future. And even if she does plan on it and it doesn’t work out, I can think of very few singers that didn’t have a few roles that didn’t suit them. Anna is hardly the example that comes to mind when I think of stars who want to sing everything.

  • Camille

    Actually, I don’t see what any of this is about as Netrebko could sing Gioconda just fine, right now and would far prefer it over Adina, fer crissakes! She just has to sing it carefully, why I suggest Aïda, so as to keep some stucture as with Gioconda there is a lot of BIG MOMENTS where one can blow out, if one doesn’t keep a ligne de chant (tks oedipe) going, and that’s it! That’s why sopranos sing it when they are already blown out, because they figure, what the hell….

    Maria Callas sang it in her early twenties for heaven sakes, La Scotissima sang it too in -979 or so, and how old was she then, and maybe it was a mistake but she started as a lyric-coloratura, like Nebs And it is not necessary to dig into the chest alla Callas, either. Listen to Montsy sing Suicidio. Listen to Zinka. I think Gioconda would suit her better than others just so long as she does it carefully at first and has a really good coach in this style and period , so I do hope the inclusion of Suicidio in the concert is a test drive. I would love to see her bring her CsardasFürstin magic to La Cantatrice Bionda! At least, it would be alive, rather than that rigor mortis affair I saw a few years ago in which LA CIECA STOLE THE SHOW!!! That old lady must have bones of rubber, the way she rolled down those stairs. Go EWA!

    • Bill

      Camille -- should Netrebko decide eventually to sing the entire Gioconda on stage, it would have to be
      planned a great deal in advance as many of the major opera houses have not done Gioconda recently and their productions (Vienna, the Met) are quite old.
      I cannot recall when last Munich or La Scala did the opera or Covent Garden. Hence probably a new
      production would have to be mounted in many of the world’s top opera houses where Netrebko sings -- and since Netrebko seems to bounce from role to role,
      after a string of Giocondas in one or two seasons she might decide to no longer sing it so what opera house will mount a rather costly opera (both production wise and with 6 leading singers) for just a few performances.
      That said, the role might well suit Netrebko’s
      current vocal estate as she moves into heftier roles.
      I saw both Milanov do it and Tebaldi and both were
      just fine, others seen (not so many) were less so. That Netrebko sings an extract from
      Gioconda now does not mean she plans to take
      the entire opera into her repertory -- she also sings
      Rusalka’s Song to the Moon but there has been
      no indication that she will do Rusalka in an opera house though it might be a very suitable role for her
      at this stage. One role in which she should currently truly excel might be Lisa in Pique Dame, an opera which most opera houses currently have in
      repertoire. The same can be said of Norma, Aida,
      Lohengrin -- operas which Netrebko does plan on singing and which she could easily parade around to all her major opera houses for a few seasons -- Netrebko does not seem to demand new productions
      all the time, just fitting herself into existing
      productions such as the up-coming Eugene Onegin
      in Munich and most of the roles she has sung in
      Vienna. And why should she not sing Carmen eventually before she is too old? Many well known sopranos of the last century have done it with success.
      with success

      • Lohengrin

        “….up-coming Eugene Onegin in Munich….”
        This was not her “decision”, it was a deal for her jumping out of Manon Lescaut and making a little compensation in replacing Kristine Opolais, who will be singing ML at the Opernfestspiele.

        • Bill

          Lohengrin -- well, deal or no deal, Netrebko
          decided to agree to it. Of course when some
          opera singers do not agree to an idea they
          can be blackballed for a time i.e. Lisa
          della Casa did not agree to sing the role of
          Venus for Herbert von Karajan when he suggested the role to her and for some seasons
          he did not work with her (according to an
          interview she made years ago) but later
          apparently all was forgiven and she sang
          the Marschallin with von Karajan conducting
          at the Salzburger Festspiel.

          Netrebko in Munich could have asked for
          some other role as part of an agreement though
          maybe she thought it would be fun to appear
          in a Cowboy Eugene Onegin -- she normally seems game for many different productions of the operas she sings and a great star can usually rise above the mundane or unusual stage productions often on offer.

          • Lohengrin

            “Dein Wort in Gottes Ohr” aswe say in German.
            I myself are no so convinced that AN will appear in that production because of a tendency that is not so respectable in Russia.
            By the way: had the pleasure to witness Kristine Opolais as Tatjana in München last year. She was simply the incarnation of the girl Tatjana and from that moment on I was waiting for her Manon Lescaut (with JK).

          • Feldmarschallin

            Well there are rumors that she might not even sing those two performances. Prices which are usually high when the big names sing are quite low with the old Butterfly with an average cast costing more than the Netrebko Onegin. My chair costs only 13€ with most other things going for 16€ with the exception of the Arabella premiere for 21€. Oh and the Manon L is still 21€ despite Opolais but that at least has Kaufmann to justify the high prices. The Onegin is very, very cheap and that makes many wonder. If she cancels a second time at the higher prices than Bachler would have to give a refund which he did when she cancelled Capuletti. This way is she cancels there is no need to refund money and that is always a hassle since for 2100 people they need to give refunds.

  • La marquise de Merteuil

    My 2 cents too late I guess but AN is in a her 40s and she should be taking on heavier roles like Aida, Tosca (can you imagine that?), Gioconda. I just dont think roles that require some to a lot of Bel canto like Lady M and Norma are her thing no matter how much the fans here will her to be a bel cantista!