Cher Public

One for the woad

Ellen Douglas—Elena, if you will; the Lady of the Lake—finds herself in Act II of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago in the far from unusual operatic position of having her love claimed by two impassioned tenors in the bel canto version of a macho drag race. What is curious about this is her solution: She runs off with the mezzo-soprano. Well, wouldn’t you? The story of the opera’s a bit like Ernani (one of the suitors is a lecherous king in disguise, just as you’d expect), but only if Ernani ended happily, at the end of Act III, say.

Composed in 1819 (it first reached New York in 1829), La Donna del Lago is one of the 10 operas Rossini composed during his Neapolitan sojourn. Naples, at that time the capital of the largest state in Italy and the biggest city in the peninsula, a rich trade emporium with its very own Rothschild, a proud bastion of musical tradition and the site of the grandest opera house around, the San Carlo, then brand new (the original burnt to the ground in 1815). Rossini’s Neapolitan operas include Otello, a necessity for every bel canto soprano (usually as Desdemona, sometimes in the title role, occasionally both), Armida, Ermione, Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra and two that were rewritten later, in Paris, in French: Mosé and Maometto II.

All these works pretty much vanished from the repertory by mid-century—dramatically, they limp; too, there were no longer tenors or basses who could manage the elaborate coloratura. Rossini’s San Carlo always had two or three coloratura tenors who had to be written into each new work. We now once again have coloratura tenors and basses, and the Neapolitan operas are once more in vogue. The Met has presented Armida, and has now ventured on its first Donna del lago. (NYCO, in its later years, gave Ermione, Donna del Lago and Mosé.)

These works, in their time, exemplified the change from classic old stories to exotic new locales, and few sites were as chic as Scotland, land of Ossian (his forged sagas beloved across the continent) and that rousing new author of historical novels, Sir Walter Scott, whose works inspired dozens of operas. (Rossini would contribute a pasticcio Ivanhoe.) Scott’s Lady of the Lake (1810) is a novel in verse about messy Highland feuds, centered on a mysterious beauty who roams Loch Katrine in a row boat.

Three of Ellen’s songs were set by Schubert (one of them the “Ave Maria,” perhaps his best-known melody) and the salute of Roderick Dhu by his soldiery, “Hail to the Chief,” became our presidential anthem. (Two or three plays based on the poem appeared within the year—Scott was hot and copyright primitive.)

La Donna del Lago, thus, was composed to play to notions of Highland customs and Highland scenery among Neapolitans who had never been there. The original production was all crags and caves and waterfalls, and the prima donna (Isabella Colbran, later Signora Rossini) entered rowing.

For reasons unclear to me, scenery offends the modern producer. The NYCO Donna was all bare brick walls; the Met’s, designed by Kevin Knight with lighting by Duane Schuler and projections by Driscoll Otto, is a narrowing tunnel leading towards a lake at dawn. Clouds at dawn are pretty, and a modern staging might have shown us an evolving sunrise kingdom, but what we got was an unchanging still.

After a few scenes, dawn became a howling gale and a night sky (with a comet rushing past!). Act II had soldiers bearing trees, perhaps en route to Dunsinane. The concluding scene was a throne room, handsome but generic. Of fair Scotland there was no trace. Perhaps that is because this production originated in Santa Fe, where Scottish scenes might clash with New Mexico skies.

Producer Paul Curran clutches at familiar tropes to draw us into the politically confusing story, turning King James’s anxious men into bullies who brutalize peasants for no reason and Roderick (Rodrigo)’s bards into cross-burning, woad-smeared shamans out of Braveheart. The opera’s awkward dramaturgy can never have seemed very clear, but here artifice and naturalism are at full clan feud.

All the weight of a Metropolitan Opera premiere production fell, accordingly, on the shoulders of Joyce DiDonato, who (alone among the Met cast) also sang it in Santa Fe. At a guess, the opera would never have been given in either place without her, and it is only fair to say that whenever she appeared on stage (albeit without row boat), she appeared completely committed to the drama, and every time she sang a phrase, that drama surged into high gear and our hearts sang in response. Scotland may be in a tizzy, we told ourselves, but Ellen, I mean Joyce, will save it if anyone can.

Let us examine her cool mezzo soprano, the way she manages to mean the clichés and fit them into the character she portrays, the way ornaments spring from intention, the way she interacts with the others on the stage, her voice entwining with, bucking up, theirs. Juan Diego Flórez never sounds so pretty as when he duets with DiDonato, John Osborn never so agile. DiDonato can get away with lines that translate as “May your agitated soul recover its reason,” singing with utter conviction. Her grand finale, “Tanti affetti,” the most famous number in the score, is so much an expression of her joy at the unexpected happy ending that she almost forgets—or eschews—the prima donna’s right to turn it into an endless spectacular.

Daniela Barcellona, who sings many a Rossini trouser role (Adelaide de Borgogna, Semiramide, La Gazza Ladra), sang Malcolm Graeme. Although costumed in a monstrous wig and a bad plaid prom dress, she acted effectively and sang with an enjoyably warm sound and swift ornaments, though seemingly not enough of them to justify cabaletta repetition.

Flórez played Uberto, aka King Giacomo V, with a cool regal hauteur indistinguishable in any detail or expression from his Comte Ory or Don Ramiro. His nasal tenor has lost none of its matchless agility and blends pleasingly with DiDonato, but the voice lacks sensual beauty. The contrast of his high tenor (and several natty costumes) with the lower instrument and dull brown shmatta of Osborn as the unloved but heroic Rodrigo Dhu gave an appropriately aural flavor to their rivalry.

Osborn has an almost baritonal tenor, dark and pleasing, a far more agreeable sound than Flórez’s, setting off their rivalry in a brilliant trio they sang with DiDonato. Unfortunately Osborn has a weak top (some notes weren’t there at all), and his coloratura runs were smudged together rather than individual notes—a weakness to which other singers in the cast also inclined, so much so that I wondered if this were some new and unfortunate variation on bel canto. The generally reliable Owen Gradus had a rough night as Ellen’s father, Douglas.

Michele Mariotti kept the score light and frothy, never drowning out his singers and permitting the chorus (often on stage with nothing very significant to do) to hurl their bromides lustily.

You would be well advised to visit La Donna del Lago in the month upcoming, to hear the ladies warble alone and interact with the men. For one thing, even with the best singers in the world, the Met would be unlikely to revive it. I’m sure they can find a better opera for such a cast to do.

Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

  • Bill

    Actually if I understand correctly the Met will
    revive La Donna del Lago next season the only cast member listed so far on Met Futures being Daniela Barcellona.
    Last night Joyce DiDonato rescued a rather dull tedious evening with a very florid and well sung final
    scene.

  • aulus agerius

    I have seen John Osborn twice live and never thought of him sounding baritonal or having a weak top. He sang that outrageously high note in Les Vepres at Caramoor. The other time I saw him was in St. Louis in a Gretry opera. I’m pretty sure he could match JDF note for high note in a contest.

    • manou

      I must say, I was also puzzled by the “baritonal” reference. Osborn’s repertoire is not dissimilar to that of Florez and his high notes are usually spot on.

      I wasn’t there, so I can’t really comment.

      • His voice is certainly rounder than Florez’, but baritonal is surprising. And in my experience, he has clarion top notes. Perhaps a cold, an off night…

        • Gualtier M

          It may not be Osborn’s voice but the role is baritonal. Uberto/Giacomo V is the “David” contraltino high tenor role. Osborn’s role of Rodrigo Dhu is the “Nozzari” baritenor part. So it would mine the lower parts of his voice. What is weird about Osborn, as in the “Guglielmo Tell” in December at Carnegie is that he will take an unimportant high note with insouciant ease and then when it gets to a climactic money note high C or D he will freeze up and crap out. It really is a mental issue not a vocal one. It happened last night in his big multi part entrance aria.

          • aulus agerius

            Rockwell Blake certainly did that Act II aria well, as did Yegishe Manucharyan when I saw the opera a few years ago in St. Paul with Maureen O’Flynn, Barry Banks and Ewa Podles.

          • manou

            Well I saw Michael Spyres in the role here at Covent Garden -- and boy can he hit a high note!

            • antikitschychick

              Wonderful review..woads of detail but precise in terms of woad choice :-).
              Manou, glad you mention Michael Spyres. I actally just bought his album of tenor arias (should be arriving in the mail shortly) and am excited to hear what he has to offer. From what I’ve heard on YT he’s an extremely elegant and musical singer with a very fine & evenly produced voice. Will let y’all know what my impressions are when I have a listen (don’t think his album has been reviewed in here…or has it?)

              Also, I think Joyce and JDF are absolutely adorable together and have great chemistry on & offstage. The Met should capitalize on this by mounting an opera in which they can be each others serious/legit love interest.

              Finally, JDD with red curly hair=WIN. Looking forward to the HD (even though I saw the ROH broadcast from a year or so ago which was also great).

  • levi

    Did you even listen to the broadcast or sit in the house?!?! John Osborn’s high notes were brilliant! And OREN (please get singers’ names correct if you’re going to pretend to be a critic) Gradus was very good as well!!! I’m sorry but I get so tired of people who post and don’t really know much about voice. The cast was uniformly strong, it was the production that was quite weak.

  • Batty Masetto

    Sounds like the production is still just as butt-ugly as it was in Santa Fe.

    But what I really want to know is, do the Druids still have Blue Balls?

    • Bill

      Batty -- the Druids were dressed in blue -- can’t speak
      for any part of their anatomy.

      • Batty Masetto

        Thanks Bill -- I guess they must have disposed of the Blue Balls, or somebody would surely have mentioned them by now.

        In Santa Fe, the bare-chested, blue-painted Druids emerged carrying rather large, luminous blue ovoids with which they writhed around for a while in some kind of pre-battle ritual. It was epic.

        • laddie

          Let’s be more specific- they were turquoise balls, and, they glowed.

          • Gualtier M

            Cut or uncut, blue balls or no blue balls -- I cannot tell you anything about that Druid chorus last night. I just wondered what Druids were doing in Calvinist or Methodist Scotland in the 16th century.

            • Howling in Tune

              Well, there was no Methodist Scotland or anywhere else before the 18th century.

              As for Calvinism, the Kirk of Scotland wasn’t founded until 1560, and neither the Kirk nor Scottish society became thoroughly Calvinist (for instance, free of bishops, saints’ days and pilgrimages) until the 1640s, so there wasn’t really a Calvinist Scotland during the 16th century, either.

              Not to be pedantic or anything.

              But yes, of course, there were no Druids either.

            • armerjacquino

              Yep. In fact, in the 16th century, Scotland was largely Catholic.

        • manou

          It’s all Mel Gibson’s fault. Remember Braveheart? He played William Wallace with his face painted blue, which apparently is not historically correct but harks back to the Picts, who used to paint themselves with woad (perhaps for medicinal properties). And it seems that woad is dried in…woad balls, so maybe that’s what they mean. Or meant.

          Anyway -- that’s the end of the woad.

          • Batty Masetto

            The lady didn’t care where the woads ended, she usually woad acwoss the lake anyhow.

            • manou

              Bwavo!

          • laddie

            Well, it’s Paul Curran’s fault really. Woad he be allowed back in Scotland after this?

  • Bill

    Aulus -- it seemed to me that Osborn was particularly
    weak in the lower register, not the upper though one or two top notes were not splendid -- overall I did not think him to
    be superb at all and one top note which I expected (I do not know this opera) was not there at all. Florez is the more finished artist but his top notes were almost all quite nasal -- Florez is an acquired taste to be sure. I rather wonder where he is going repertoire wise forhis voice seems not to have gained volume from his early days, some notes are quite pinched in sound, and perhaps he is predestined to be singing florid Rossini type operas the rest of his career, though indeed he is quite stylish in this fach. DiDonato was
    technically quite secure toward the end of the opera though her higher notes do have quite a bit of
    tight vibrato (or flutter) which is not evident
    in her middle register. She seemed to be having fun
    with her final florid aria and the applause thereafter was fervent -- though maybe only 7 minutes applause in total at the end of the opera -- not a great deal for a premiere (though there were few empty seats at the Met last night, for once lately, though subsequent performances of this opera are not at all sold out). No one booed the production team though the production itself was not particularly imaginative, just serviceable --

    • An interesting question you raise about Florez’ future.

      • By the way, Florez and DiDonato sang this in a not-very-fascinating production at the Palais Garnier in Paris five years ago. My impression back then was that Florez was at ease with the score but JDD at her limit -- not beyond it, but at it.

    • Krunoslav

      “No one booed the production team”

      I heard quite a number who did, actually, Bill.

      • Bill

        Krunoslav -- I was in the Balcony Center and
        kind of expected a few boos as the production team came on stage (as it was a bland
        rather tacky production and scenery -- not offensive and most of the costumes were what one might expect) but did not hear any boos up here or from the Family
        Circle.

    • semira mide

      Osborn was a bit of a surprise. Listening to the webcast I thought he sounded rather daring and more comfortable with the role than at La Scala.

      That said Michael Spyres was a better fit for this role in London. When I heard it there ( single performance) I thought all the singers were in better form than last night ( with the exception of Barcellona)

      I thought I heard someone ( Florez) clearing his throat during some of the duets. I wonder if dryness was a problem. He is a consummate Rossinian, but has expressed his desire to move to other rep. Last night he surprised me by “moving a phrase down” ( I’m sure there is a technical description of what I heard) which might have been an indication of cautiousness. I only noticed because I “know” this opera inside out.
      DiDonato didn’t have the pure sound she had two years ago. Again, I have no good technical description for what I heard, but I was starting to wish for a soprano in this role again. The conducting was fabulous I felt. I was concerned that Tanti Affetti would go off the deep end as it too often has in recent times. Thankfully Mariotti seemed to have control.
      I love this opera, but I would rather see a different Rossini opera at the Met next year. Tancedi would be my first choice. There are inexpensive productions out there that the Met could borrow. If they could use Santa Fe’s dismal production last night, the bar has been set low.

    • Uninvolved Bystander

      It wasn’t “regie” or “quasi-regie” so of course no one booed.

      • Actually it was booed.

        • Krunoslav

          Thank you, Ivy Sharp-Ears ! :)

          I was in the rear center of the Orchestra and I distinctly heard booing for the production team, mainly from the sides which Bill may not have heard upstairs. Not vociferous but unmistakable.

          • I was in a balcony box and heard the boos, so they were loud enough to be heard upstairs. Also thought Mariotti received A very chilly reception.

            • Bill

              Mariotti did not get much applause except
              when he first entered the pit prior to the start of the opera. To me the conducting seemed a bit placid -- not much oomph. But perhaps it is the opera itself.

  • phoenix

    Such variation of opinions -- one hears a weak top, someone else a weak bottom from the same singer. For goodness sakes, I don’t know what to think. For some reason, Bill seems to speak clearest to me -- particularly about JDF.

  • Well I was there last night. I think John wrote a great review but I was not nearly as enthusiastic:

    http://poisonivywalloftext.blogspot.com/2015/02/ladonnadellago.html

    • Thank-you, Ivy!
      I enjoyed your review, too.

      • Bill

        Ivy -- Thanks -- it is a very cohesive informative review from someone who knows the opera and perhaps has listened or seen it numerous times. I had never seen it before and except for a few lovely melodies, I was a bit bored for much of the evening until Joyce DiDonato’s final 10 minutes or so.

        • I don’t know the opera that well but there are complete videos and recordings from YT and many with the same cast (DiDonato, Osborn, Florez). Last night’s performance from JDD wasn’t on par with her normal performances. As I said, there was so much tension in her upper register. The vibrato just wouldn’t let up. I have to wonder if the relentlessly cold, dry air of NYC this winter is affecting vocal performances.

    • Milady DeWinter

      Loved the review, Ivy (and Mr. Yohalem’s too -- never knew that about Schubert’s “Ave Maria”!)- and I agree: I’m glad it wasn’t just me. I was listening on Sirius and the oodles of uninspired noodles just kept putting me under. Sounds like being there in person was even worse.

      • Bill

        Milady -- there are 3 Schubert songs based upon
        the Walter Scott’s character and text of Ellen in The Lady of the Lake not only the Ave Maria which is Ellens Dritter Gesang (the church in adopting Schubert’s music altered the words to suit the church) but also Ellens Erste Gesang 1 (“Raste, Krieger”) and also Ellen’s Zweiter Gesang 2 (Jaeger, ruhe von der Jagd). Janowitz sings them on her DGG Schubert double CD circa 1978 and reissued in France in 1993. D 837, 838, 839 but sometimes the Ave Maria is listed as D 839 (Seefried) and sometimes D 837 (Janowitz) so I do not know which is correct but all 3 songs are from “Das Fraeulein vom See.”
        Obviously Scott’s work was read in both Austria and Italy at the time

        • Milady DeWinter

          Thank you, Bill -- I feel even more enlightened! Sir Walter certainly had traction in the early-to-mid 19th-century, didn’t he?

        • I prefer both the other Ellens Gesang to the Ave Maria, but they are seldom performed. I believe Antonacci has them on her Tully Hall program in March. For which I just scored a ticket. Hotcha!

    • laddie

      Ivy, your review is seriously spot on. Thank you so much for the validation.

    • LT

      “From then on I noticed that almost no one else in the cast went for acuti at the end of cabalettas.”

      This reminds me when a gymnast falls off the beam, everyone else that follows does too.

  • tancredipasero

    Florez -- tight, and the tone even less pretty than in earlier days, but competent to get through the music, which isn’t easy
    Osborn -- one high note went awry but many others were just fine; lowest notes were omitted and the next-to-lowest notes should have been
    Barcellona -- basically voiceless except for the occasional barked chest note and a few moderately successful tops -- nothing happening in the range where 90% of the singing lies
    Gradus -- basically voiceless, period.
    Di Donato -- you can quibble about this or that, but: the voice carries effortlessly and has a sound you can actually enjoy; she’s musical; she has the chops for the florid writing. Only “met-quality” performance of the night (in the old sense of “met-quality”)
    Mariotti -- good, but not as good as expected -- some lackluster playing
    Production -- aimless and dull.
    nicer basic tenor sound from Eduardo Valdes as Serano than from either star

    • dr.malatempra

      In Santa Fe, Larry Brownlee and Rene Barbera sang circles around what we heard from Florez and Osborn last night. And, Brownlee was under the weather for a good part of the run.

      • laddie

        Who knew Stephen Lord and the Santa Fe orchestra would be more prepared than Mariotti and his band at the Met? What I heard over Sirius was a really unprepared performance. I am glad I saw it (dismal production that it is) at Santa Fe.

  • javier

    People talk about how JDD has championed this role and opera. None sense! JDD is riding off the coat tails of June Anderson and Ruth Ann Swenson. Joyce is also losing some of her accuracy in the coloratura. The Met had a serious casting problem. The Met had the power to bring the best singers and operas, but they wait too late. They could have done this opera ages ago or at least when DiDonato was in her absolute prime.

    • semira mide

      You have a point that the Met should have done this awhile ago. I suppose it is a vehicle for JDD and that’s a shame because there is so much more to the opera than “Tanti Affetti”. It would be wonderful if they got a soprano for Elena in the revival. I missed the purity of tone of Anderson,and Devia ( I never heard Swenson in the role)

      • armerjacquino

        Without opening up a whole debate on her merits or demerits, why did this opera never become a Bartoli calling card? A Rossini role halfway between mezzo and soprano territory should have been catnip for her.

        • Just a guess: too dramatically limp for her? I think Bartoli prefers more fire-breathing parts.

      • To be really pedantic, you can’t say RAS “championed” this opera when she sang it in OONY more than 10 years ago. JDD has sung this opera all over the world.

  • Patrick Mack

    My Dear Mr. Yohalem, Many thanks for this masterful review with many felicitous turns of phrase that made me smile and chuckle. I especially loved the gobbets about the Schubert ‘Ave Maria’ and ‘Hail to the Chief’. Who knew? Well, apparently you did and it made it all the richer for the reading. But…’For reasons unclear to me, scenery offends the modern producer.’ belongs in the Parterrien Pantheon. Zing!

  • Belfagor

    I saw this opera was in 1985 in London with Frederica von Stade and Marilyn Horne. It was the most dreadful night -- the production made us roar with laughter -- there was caber tossing and tartan in spades, boats and rowing that got stuck, and geysers of dried ice -- and La Horne, not in good voice, swaggered up to hit the scared shield or whatever and nearly sent the puny chorus boys holding the shield toppling over. She was booed a little at the curtain calls, and strode forward and yelled out ‘You come on down here and do that!’ -- by far the best bit of the evening.

    The final aria was pretty, can’t remember anything else. Wild horses couldn’t drag me to sit through it again……

    • I heard M. Horne booed in Paris too, and she shouted back there as well.

      • meowiaclawas

        Did she yell at the audience in English or in French?

    • meowiaclawas

      Belfagor, I have been at home sick and miserable with the flu for the past three days. For the first time since I’ve been sick I burst out laughing at the thought of La Horne yelling at the audience “You come down here and do that!”

      Thank you!

      • Belfagor

        My pleasure! It made up for all the previous longueurs…….! What a waste they never did a production of ‘Annie get your Gun’, or even ‘Calamity Jane’ with her -- she had the gun toting swagger down pat…….!

  • Camille

    What I am wondering about is if the sole performance I have heard, an OONY outing with Ruth Ann Swenson at least a decade or more ago is the experience I want to conserve of this very rarely given work? Perhaps hearing it in concert form I came out lucky? This Met mess sounds like it would be yet another dismal evening at the opera. I just don’t know which path to pursue.

    The blue balls are not even there and not that fun anyway, when one takes a look outside at the snow, for just about everyone has blue balls in NYC today.

    And it would be a lot of fun to hear General Horne shouting at the audience, but I fear she doesn’t do that anymore, which is a pity.

    • Gualtier M

      Blue Balls are not caused by cold. From the Urban Dictionary:

      “the excrutiating pain a man receives when his balls swell to the size of coconuts because of lack of sex, unfinished bjs, and just not cummin when he knows he should.

      Cure: JUST WACK IT MAN!! or get your woman to help you out and do the job right. It’s that simple to make the horrible pain go away.
      note to all women,

      NEVER NEVER NEVER give your man blue balls…its the worse pain he will ever feel in his life and he never deserves it…well, almost never…”

      • Camille

        Extremely edifying! By whose expert account?

      • manou

        To raise the tone of this discussion -- here are woad balls:

        http://tinyurl.com/nq7natw

        • manou

          ..and furthermore…”near Nimes, in the south, they dyed thick woven cotton with [woad] and the colour was known as bleu de Nimes or as Americans say ‘blue denim’

          • Camille

            The result of blue balls in Vintage Blue Denim

            Wknderfully motherly touch by JC

            • manou

              Yes -- but did they use wire coat hangers?

            • Camille

              Not on JC’s watch!

              They got her to a proper doctor—hence the black eyebinding.

              It is enormously ironic to see JC playing the Concerned Watchful Adult when one reflects a moment on her own early youth.
              But that is what’s called “Acting”.

          • rapt

            As I recall, in Albi, it is claimed that the balls of woad (Fr. pastel), called cocagne (sp?) were the original of the notion of the Land of Cockayne, so lucrative was the trade in them. btw, that blue provides the background to the celestial ceiling of Albi’s cathedral.

            • Camille

              Very interesting and thank you. I am so interested in everything Albigensian and have yet to get there, hopefully I shall some day. The entire area is fraught with the horrors of the Cathar wars and the whole thing and how it affected those provinces for centuries afterwards I find fascinating.

          • Alternatively, bleu de Gênes : blue jeans.

        • Camille

          A picture is worth of thousand words. Thank you. Yes, slightly leaning toward turquoise but not quite.

          The Picts were apparently so terrifying to the Romans that they caved and that never happened, or only rarely.

          • laddie

            By glowing turquoise I mean like this:

            http://screencast.com/t/s3oaY5dYZ

            • Camille

              Very FAR OUT.
              Maybe those rumors about spaceships landing in New Mexico are not so wack after all?

              ‘Land of Enchantment’, I always read on the back of cars when a girl. It always seemed to have a kittle something extra about it. Or so I imagined then.

        • Batty Masetto

          Those woad balls look like a plate of the House Special Meatballs at the defunct Rumpus Room.

  • Avantialouie

    If the blue balls are gone, I guess they qualify as “woad kill.” Or, perhaps, “the woad not taken.”

    • Batty Masetto

      They just woad away into the sunset.

      • manou

        …and by providence made it to Woad Island.

        • Batty Masetto

          Where sadly they were all shipwrecked and piled up to form the Colossus of Woads.

          • manou

            One of the Seven Wonders of the Woad.

            • Batty Masetto

              Luckily they were rescued by Vater Woadan, and in gratitude composed the Woad to Joy.

          • Grane

            Woad hard and put away wet.

      • Camille

        …Woad to Glory!

        • manou

          Lady Camille has the last woad.

          • Camille

            “Woad!”!!!!

            • bluecabochon

              This thread is on the woad to wuin.

            • Batty Masetto

              Oh, I woadn’t say that…

            • -Ed.

              Into the valley of Death
              Woad the damp Donna.

            • manou

              Any more would ewoad confidence in this blog.

    • Then sigh not so, but let them go’d,
      And be you blithe and bonny,
      Converting all your sounds of woad,
      Into hey nonny, nonny.

  • manou

    Interestingly, Tommasini attended quite a different performance:

    http://tinyurl.com/o64fayq

    • laddie

      Mr. Curran lends some contemporary touches by using video projections (designed by Driscoll Otto) on a screen at the rear of the stage to suggest misty waters and cloudy skies.

      Definitely not the Jemez Mtns at sunset behind the stage at Santa Fe.

      • Donna Anna

        If it didn’t work for Donna Del Lago at Santa Fe, it sure worked wonders for Daphne.