Cher Public

Protestant movement

La Cieca is sure that Meyerbeer fanatics will be delighted to hear that the Royal Opera House Covent Garden is preparing a new staging of Les Huguenots with Elina Garanca (presumably as Valentine), Bryan Hymel (Raoul) and Diana Damrau (not pictured) as the Queen. No word yet on which role Christine Rice will be assigned.

  • stevey

    Would not Garanca be more suitable as Urbain?

    • To tell the truth I think she is too big a star to do this part, plus she falls between the stools of how this part is cast. In the original, the part is for a light soprano soubrette complete with high C, and in the revised version for Marietta Alboni the part is reworked for a deep contralto.

      I assume the ROH will follow the modern bad tradition of casting the part with a high light mezzo, but Garanca has moved beyond that sort of part anyway.

  • thenoctambulist

    Great news. Cast from strength. When you have singers available who can sing them, offer unusual repertoires, not the usual fare. I hope they will offer a memorable production that will do justice to this melodious masterpiece.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    I wonder who will direct the Meyerbeer.
    Don’t know if this has been posted yet, but it’s the Gheorgiu WERTHER

    • Feldmarschallin

      Probably McVicar or maybe Sher is available. Maybe they can even talk Otto Schenk into doing it.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        As long as it comes with Sutherland’s horse and Corelli.

      • Lobby

        Covent Garden may be seen as a ‘conservative’ house in comparison to other European houses, but Sher has never directed there and I think its about 40 years since Schenk did anything new at the Garden. Laurent Pelly (who was responsible for the sub-par Robert le Diable) or Stefan Herheim are more likely to be in the frame. Holten or Fulljames, who are both now on the staff are also possible, but yes, it will probably be McVicar.

        • umangialaio

          How should one expect, given the new feudal character of the London social and economic ruling oligarchy?


          • umangialaio

            Please read:

            What should one expect, given the new feudal character of the London social and economic ruling oligarchy?


        • Cicciabella

          McVicar may be traditional, but most of the time he is not boring. Unless one categorically rejects ALL traditional approaches to direction, I don’t see the problem with McVicar. The sets for the Met Cav/Pag look interesting, by the way:

          • PCally

            I personally don’t really understand some of the McVicar bashing. I do feel that he hasn’t really been inspired lately but his productions are never just cluttered messes and usually avoid looking like pure Kitsch unlike Schenk and Zeff, and he mostly really knows how to direct singers and help them make solid acting choices (I think that Dessay’s manon is the best acting I’ve ever seen from her), unlike schenk, Zeff, and sher.

            • armerjacquino

              Yep. He’s a performer’s director- hot on detail and truth. That’s presumably why singers love working with him. And as I’ve said before, he’s not a hardline traditionalist. Some of his best productions veer into the kind of thing that would have all those FB morons squealing.

    • phoenix

      This diva reminds me of another diva

  • Will

    Wonderful if it would travel to the MET. Huguenots was a very important in the MET’s past and it would be great to have a good, well-cast production back in the city. Bard’s production several years ago proved what a viable, exciting opera it is.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      • danpatter

        Thanks for posting this. Well worth a listen, even through the sonic sludge of 112 years ago. More listenable than some others of the Mapleson Cylinders. There’s also this famous, controversial cylinder of the Queen’s cabaletta, “A ce mot” sung by either Nellie Melba or Suzanne Adams -- an ongoing controversy. The bulk of opinion leans toward Adams, but I still think it’s Melba. It’s exciting singing nonetheless.

  • Belfagor

    Didn’t the Robert le Diable debacle scare them off?
    I hope they get a better conductor, preferably with a sense of period style -- Mark Elder maybe.

  • Indiana Loiterer III

    “No word yet on which role Christine Rice will be assigned.”

    Second Lady-in-Waiting.

  • Milady DeWinter

    And Huguentos is a better work than Robert le diable, anyway.
    Garanca is an interesting choice as Valentine, though I’d prefer Netrebs, especially if it travels to the Met. Wouldn’t mind Camarena double cast as Raoul either. I would cast someone like Shagimuratova as the Queen, though -- it really needs someone who can simply sing acres of effortless fioriture, maybe with an F, and the role doesn’t really require the “Damrau” touch of compelling characterization. And I agree, Urbain should also be the original high sopran0 -- maybe a Rachel Gilmore type -- or when it comes Met-side (I know we don’t know that it is, I’m just daydreaming) give Kiri Deonorine her big break. And that’s just the high voices -- who would be an ideal Marcel?

    • Milady DeWinter

      Oh, there you are -- Christine Rice as St. Bris! Or Nevers. Not Marcel.

    • Tamerlano

      Camarena’s voice is not at all big enough to do Raoul justice and Kiri Deonorine sounded atrocious in the Met Carmen telecast…some of the rawest high notes since Leslie Garrett (Remember her?). Massis used to sing a VERY good Marguerite but I sense that she is not up to that kind of thing anymore. Maybe Sabine Deviehle?
      Damrau will be solid and sell tickets but she doesn’t seem all that exciting a choice. Valentine is a good choice for Garanca even though Nebtreko would be wonderful.

      • Milady DeWinter

        Well, I wonder about that Tamerlano -- Camerena’s Elvino sounded like he had power in reserve -- he’s certainly almost a size up from Juan Diego and Larry Brownlee which is why I think he could handle it -- Hymel’s voice (or Micheal Spyres, another option) are that big either -- it”s the color and range.
        Re: Kiri Deonorine -- did you mean this season’s recent HD with Garanca and Lee? That wasn’t her; Kiri was Frasquita last season, as well as the solo Polvistian maiden in Prince Igor two seasons back, and she was lovely; I think she’s got the goods.
        Sabine Deviellhe is a good choice too for Marguerite. I agree, Massis is just a tad past pure bravura, which is what the part requires. Which is also why Damrau would be a waste -- but certainly box office, but while her Manon is killin’ them at the Met, and with good reason, I do think she is also over the pure display parts -- wouldn’t think they would even interest her at this point.
        Oy, Leslie Garrett -- are you trying to give me indigestion with my coffee and croissant?

        • Tamerlano

          Nope…the Carmen with Rashivilli (sic)…just a really harsh voice. Fransquita is a great chance for a young soprano to show the goods and she sounded over parted to me.
          La Garrett reminds me a LOT of DeNiesse…faint praise, I suppose.

          • Milady DeWinter

            Oh, ok, that’s the right Carmen and cast then, but I didn’t hear harsh. Well, our ears are all different, that’s for sure -- chacun a son gout and all that--
            Now DDN we CAN agree on…:)

            • la vociaccia

              Russell Thomas could be a good choice for Raoul.
              I really love Camarena’s singing and he definitely has the capability to sing heroically here and there but I don’t know if that necessarily means he can do it for a 13 hour opera like Huguenots. I have no idea if Spyres is on the radar of the Met and in all likelihood he isn’t interested, like many other artists who are well-appreciated in European houses.

              As for Urbain, what about Ying Fang?

        • mjmacmtenor

          I agree that Spyres is another good option. Wasn’t he the ” other” tenor in the Covent Garden La Donna del Lago?

          • manou

            Yes he was -- for a couple of performances. He was very very good, as he also was in the concert Roi de Lahore I saw a couple of weeks ago. He was excellent in Les Martyrs, another concert performance I attended and a forthcoming recording is in the works:

  • Milady DeWinter

    Well, I trust your ear, vociaccia, and Mr. Thomas certainly has a wonderful voice and was a fine Don Carlo with Harteros. Has he the top notes needed for Raoul? Haven’t heard enough of Ms. Fang, but a lovely voice. There’s never been a truly A+ Huguenots all-around recoding (although the now out of print French set with Leech was awfully good in many ways)but besides the butchered but wonderful Scala Ugonotti, I love the Gedda/Shane/Tarres/Scovotti pirate from Germany. Well, I love the Gedda/Shane/Scovotti parts -- and putting a high coloratura like Scovotti makes the all-male first act ensembles really percolate -- her high lines over the closing pages are brilliant, shades of Verdi’s Oscar. That silly aria in Act 2 added for Alboni is a hoot, but sort of grotesque, not that Meyerbeer was above grotesquerie!

    • la vociaccia

      I love the Shane/Gedda recording -- the two of them were at the peak of their powers as interpreters and singers and the Vienna audience just eats it all up.

      • Milady DeWinter

        Agreed, vociaccia -- the Raoul/Marguerite duet is positively insane (and right after Shane’s equally insane “O beau pays”). And I love Scovotti. The low male voice are weird, especially the Marcel, and Tarres is a disappointment.

      • The_Kid

        I have to listen to the Shane/Gedda recording, but my favorites for the Raoul/Valentine duet are Wittrisch/Teschemacher (sp?) in German, Corelli/Simionato in Italian, and this one. Jane Rinella, who I only know of a rather pedestrian Santuzza from a French Cav, is very good here.

    • mjmacmtenor

      The out of print Leech set is available on YouTube

      • mjmacmtenor

        Let’s try this again.

        • mjmacmtenor

          • Milady DeWinter

            Milles mercis -- you are a prince among tenors, mjmacmtenor!

    • WindyCityOperaman

  • turings

    Good year for Meyerbeer – the Deutsche Oper in Berlin will have a new production of Vasco da Gama/L’Africaine with Roberto Alagna and Sophie Koch, which I think was known here for a while, but officially announced today:

    Grimoaldo would be pleased.

  • umangialaio

    I asked Elina Garance about it less than two hours ago in Milano after the final dress rehearsal of Carmen and she said that she didn’t know anything about an Huguenots production in London next season.


    • umangialaio

      Garan?a, not Garance.
      Beautiful, elegant woman, by the way.


    • parpignol

      L’amour, c’est simple. . .

  • phillyoperalover

    Well there you have it. But I still think the MET or C.G. should still do it in the future! There are a lot of exciting singers out there and some who can really pull off this opera!

  • Brussels pulled out all the stops in 2011:

    Conductor:Marc Minkowski. Production: Olivier Py. Marguerite de Valois: Marlis Petersen. Valentine: Mireille Delunsch. Urbain: Yulia Lezhneva. Raoul de Nangis: Eric Cutler. Comte de Saint-Bris: Philippe Rouillon. Comte de Nevers: Jean-François Lapointe. De Retz: Arnaud Rouillon. Marcel: Jérôme Varnier. Cossé: Xavier Rouillon. Tavannes: Avi Klemberg. Thoré: Marc Labonnette. Méru: Frédéric Caton. Dame d’honneur: Camille Merckx. Une coryphée: Tineke Van Ingelgem. Deux bohémiennes: Camille Merckx, Tineke Van Ingelgem.

    • Buster

      What do you think of La Monnaie’s next season?

      • Nice to see that Mark Grey’s first opera (“Frankenstein”) is being premiered there.

    • I have this performance. It’s simply stunning.

  • balabanov11

    Spyres has already sung Raoul -- he was terrific 7 years ago in the Bard Summerscape production.

  • The Conte

    It looks like La Cieca posted this 12 days too early…

  • Su Traditor

    Umangialio. La Cieca didn’t specify that the production would be “next season” and it definitely isn’t.

  • umangialaio

    That’s correct. But it’s not going to happen anytime soon.


  • The Conte

    I can’t imagine ‘Huge Nuts’ being Holten fare, and so I thought this an odd tidbit.

    Next month’s edition of Opera magazine suggests this is a Paris Opera production, which makes a lot more sense.