Cher Public

I kiss your hand, mademoiselle

Enough with the polite formalities, cher public, and on with the weekly discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects.

Born on this day in 1890 baritone Robert Burg

Born on this day in 1902 composer William Walton

Born on this day in 1931 soprano Gloria Davy

Born on this day in 1936 composer Richard Rodney Bennett

  • ipomoea

    Odyssey Opera in Boston has just announced a “British Invasion” for its May-June Festival.

    It includes Vaughn Williams’ FALSTAFF IN LOVE and Ades’ POWDER HER FACE, a Walton/Sullivan double bill, and an evening of five monodramas.

    Details at:

    • vilbastarda

      Boston is becoming more and more an “opera city”. Recently had very strong, and eclectic offerings.

      Right now Lowell House Opera is running Queen of Spades for the first time ever in Boston, and probably a very rare event for the US in general. And the presentation is top notch. Especially the singing, and the orchestra under very young and very accomplished Lidiya Yankovskaya is on par with A houses musicians. It helps that the cast has some Met opera veterans, such as Adam Klein who is fierce as Gherman, both vocally and dramatically. Liza is sung by an unknown Russian-American soprano: Zoya Gramagin. Keep on eye on her, she is amazing, her voice has all the characteristics of big Russian dramatic sopranos, those of the 1950s era, and she seems very young too. They also have a big chorus that sounds very good and polished. Only the staging doesn’t measure up to the rest of the production, but it is not taking away anything from the greatness of the opera, and music experience. So whoever can, run to the Lowell House Opera to see this Queen of Spades, it is memorable. The first cast, the strongest one with Adam Klein and Zoya Gramagin are scheduled again for April 3rd, but second cast shouldn’t be bad either.

      • ipomoea

        Re: Lowell House Queen of Spades

        Has anyone heard the second cast?
        Tenor is Mikhail Urusov. On YT:

        Thank you, Vil, I’m getting my tickets now!

      • Tamino

        Glad to hear that the Lowell House Queen of Spades is so good. They have done some wonderful productions over the years, and you always have to admire their ambition!

        However it is not entirely accurate to say that this Queen of Spades is “the first time ever in Boston.”

        The Boston Symphony under Ozawa did a run of Queen of Spades in 1992 with Freni, Atlantov, Forrester, and a young Hvorostovsky, and released a recording of that production on RCA. These performances were essentially fully-staged, with a platform built over the orchestra in Symphony Hall (similar to the Elektras they had done a few years earlier).

        Freni was ill for one of the performances and let the BSO know that morning. As the story goes, Ozawa began a piano rehearsal with the cover and was so unimpressed that he dismissed her.

        The BSO staff then began a mad scramble to find someone within a few hours of travel time of Boston who could sing Lisa.

        A call finally went to Patricia Craig, who was teaching at NEC and living in Boston with her husband, Richard Cassilly. Craig had not sung the role in years, and had only done it in Italian.

        I was there that evening, and witnessed a very brave Ms. Craig sing the role of Lisa from her score in Italian, while everyone else sang from memory in Russian.

        Freni was back for the end of the run, but they had to call a recording session months later to have enough material to edit together the CD.

        • vilbastarda

          Wow, had no idea about BSO run with Freni. I took at face value what Lowell House organizers said. But that must’ve been quite an event. I’ll look for the recording of that. Thanks for alerting us, Tamino.

          • Krunoslav

            Another QUEEN OF SPADES in Boston before Lowell House’s epochal staging:

            Met Performance] CID:206200

            Boston, Massachusetts
            April 22, 1966
            In English

            THE QUEEN OF SPADES {15}

            Lisa………………..Teresa Stratas
            Gherman……………..Jon Vickers
            Countess…………….Regina Resnik
            Prince Yeletsky………William Walker
            Count Tomsky…………Walter Cassel
            Chekalinsky………….Paul Franke
            Surin……………….Lorenzo Alvary
            Paulina……………..Rosalind Elias
            Masha……………….Carlotta Ordassy
            Master of Ceremonies….Gene Boucher
            Chloé……………….Loretta Di Franco
            Chaplitsky…………..Gabor Carelli
            Narumov……………..Louis Sgarro
            Dance……………….Naomi Marritt
            Dance……………….Ivan Allen

            Conductor……………Thomas Schippers

      • Krunoslav

        “a very rare event for the US in general”

        Mahler gave the US premiere at the Met in 1910 with Destinn and Slezak-- and even an honest-to-God British singer, Leonora Sparkes, in the cast as the maid, Masha!

        The company staged it again in 1965-66, with repeats in 1966-67 and 1972-73. Newly staged in 1995-96, it has come back in 1998-99, 2003-04, 2008-09 and 2010-11. Besides Boston the company toured it to Cleveland, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Detroit.

        San Francisco did it in 1963, 1975, 1982, 1987, 1993 and 2004-05.

        Meanwhile it has been done by the New Opera Company (early 40s NYC, Tourel as Liza , the American Opera Society (Tourel as Paulina and the Countess, Milashkina) ; the Bolshoi and Helikon and Kirov on tour--and not just in NYC-- as well as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Philadelphia, the BSO (as was mentioned) and the Spoleto USA Festival (where Craig sang Liza in italiano opposite Olivero!)

        So, while no CARMEN or AIDA, it’s not like we’re talking about American JOLIE FILLE DE PERTH stagings here.

        • vilbastarda

          Mea culpa Krunoslav! I promise to never speak on rumors alone again, before doing my own research.

          • Krunoslav


            If you have any juicy rumors we all hope you’ll spill them right away!

            But I have learned always to be leery of flak-made claims, like Glimmerglass’s “US premiere” of LUCIE DE LAMMERMOOR a few years back (what language did they *think* New Orleans heard it in for the 1841 US premiere?)

            • Though — and I haven’t done the research — I wonder if that New Orleans performance was actually Lucie, i.e., with “Que n’avons nous des ailes” replacing the “Regnava” and the alternate characters of the Théâtre de la Renaissance version of the opera. Is it possible instead that what was heard in Paris was the standard Lucia in French translation?

            • Krunoslav

              What, Cieca-- you don’t *remember* those New Orleans performances ??? :}

              Wikipedia at least implies it was the reworked LUCIE done for the opera’s US premiere:

              “London saw the opera on 5 April 1838 and, for Paris, Donizetti revised the score for a French version which debuted on 6 August 1839 at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris. It reached the United States with a production in New Orleans on 28 December 1841.]”

              And I think that is what my further research told me at the time Glimmerglass did it.

              BTW the New Orleans management considered Bianca Castafiore ‘too passée” for Alisa.

            • Well, that’s tricky, depending on what the specific antecedent of “it” is, i.e., whether “the opera” or “a French version.”

              There’s also the possibility that the New Orleans performance was a hybrid or corrupt version of the score. Is there any information on which company performed, a local one or a touring French one?

            • manou
            • Cicciabella

              If you take away Emma Bovary’s fantasies, it reads just like a Salazar review.

      • Phantom Violist

        Wow, delighted to see LHO still on top of their game. I played in the pit as an undergrad, my very first encounters with Rake, Ariadne and more, all under the wonderful leadership of Gerry Moshell. Imagine, we had Ruth Welting as our Zerbinetta! Those were the days.

  • delmonaco

    I wanted to highlight this vides so for those who haven’t seen it

    It’s a live television performance of Il Tabarro from 1966 with Tito Gobbi as Michele. The cast is pretty much the same as the ROH production the previous year -- Marie Collier as Giorgetta and Charles Craig as Luigi. It’s fascinating to see Gobbi’s interpretation of this role, especially in the great duet at 26.00 mins. It seems Marie Collier died tragically young -- she is certainly a fine actress on the evidence of this video.

    • Jack Jikes

      Thanks to fine B&W photography and lighting Tabarro morphed into high-concept opera -- ‘film noir’ in the style of Carne’s “Port of Shadows” with Gobbi as Jean Gabin. Wonderful!

    • SF Guy

      Thanks so much for this link--it’s particularly great to see Marie Collier in action; I’ve never encountered any video footage of her until now. She appeared frequently at SFO in the 1960’s (before my time, unfortunately) and was referred to by old-timers as one of the greatest dramatic sopranos they’d seen. In addition to several Puccini heroines, she starred here in the U.S. premieres of Katerina Ismailova (1964) and Vec Makropulos (1966), after having already sung the Western premieres in London. Her early accidental death in 1971 was a major loss for opera.

      • Krunoslav

        OK, I am going to get indignant harrumphing from the real-life Vicar who will insist I am dishonouring the great [no irony intended whatsoever, a real favorite] Charles Mackerras’ name in saying that we are back to the MYTH of the British inventing Janacek for the West. Important role? Yes? Invention? Nope. Germany got there first in almost all cases.

        The Western premiere of VEC MAKROPULOS was in Frankfurt on February 14 (!!), 1929, with Josef Krips conducting.

        • SF Guy

          I hereby amend the next-to-last sentence of my post as follows: “In addition to several Puccini heroines, she (Marie Collier) starred here (San Francisco) in the U.S. premieres of Katerina Ismailova (1964) and Vec Makropulos (1966), after already sung the London premieres.”

          (I relied on Wikipedia for the “Western premiere” part, and will leave it to others more geographically astute than myself to decide how far west is “West” in Europe. I myself am not precisely sure where Arkansas is, let alone countries beyond the pond.)

          BTW, those wishing more information on Collier’s unfortunate demise can scroll down to delmonaco’s interesting post below.

  • rommie
    • You’re right. Bravo to the photographer. And they sure didn’t skimp on the costumes budget.

  • Ilka Saro

    The photo for this thread is of Lily Pons, but who is kissing her hand? Is that Bjorling?

    • Buster

      Eugene Conley, apparently. Never heard of him:

      • Buster
      • armerjacquino

        Rather lovely tenor. Most famous as the first recorded Tom Rakewell.

      • Bill

        Buster -- Conley was a lyric tenor singing at the
        Met in the early 1950s (perhaps before) in Don Giovanni etc.

        • Buster

          Thanks, both, will look him up. How could Miss Pons possibly sing, wasp-waisted like that?

          • Bill

            Buster -- My guess it is the Barber of Seville.
            Later in her career Pons was singing only
            a limited number of roles, Gilda, Lucia,
            Rosina etc. and this costume looks more like
            Barbieri -- and Conley sang the Count. Of course the photo could be from a concert (in costume?) or a television shot. Actually Conley sang with a considerable number of leading ladies including
            Callas at La Scala, Gencer, de los Angeles,
            Gueden, Welitsch and most of the Met regulars at the time, Steber, Kirsten, Munsel, Peters etc.
            Previously he had sung at the City Opera. He also did Radio work as did most American Opera singers at the time.

            • Krunoslav

              Conley was the other ( and apparently better ) Arrigo in Callas’ series of VESPRI performances at Scala. No one has come up with a recording yet.

              He also did a studio Faust opposite Steber. Voice, especially high notes, more impressive than his mastery of languages.But he had a substantial and varied career.

              Private Eugene Conley was also in Moss Hart’s 1944 Broadway Armed Forces extravaganza WINGED VCTORY alongside a lot of uniformed talent including;

              Pvt. Red Buttons
              Pvt. Lee J. Cobb
              Pvt. Alfred Cocozza [a/k/a Mario Lanza]
              Pvt. John Forsythe
              S/Sgt. Peter Lind Hayes
              Pvt. Karl Malden
              Sgt. Kevin McCarthy
              Cpl. Gary Merrill
              Sgt. Ray Middleton
              Pvt. Barry Nelson
              Pfc. Edmond O’Brien
              Sgt. George Reeves
              Pfc. Martin Ritt
              Pfc. Anthony Ross [the original Gentleman Caller!!!]
              Pvt. Alfred Ryder

            • Ilka Saro

              Thanks to Buster for the ID on Conley, and to all the other folks for quite an interesting read on his career, esp the Winged Victory cast.

  • delmonaco

    Regarding the earlier Tabarro video there are some incredible stories about the death of the soprano Marie Collier : does anyone know if this online account has any basis in fact.?

    You will find that the night of her death coincides with Domingo’s Covent
    Garden Debut as Cavaradossi in 1971. She was due to sing opposite him when
    she was sacked shortly before the premiere and replaced by Gwyneth Jones.
    She had become increasingly unreliable and had missed a few rehearsals as
    her technique was very dodgey at that stage and was drinking quite a bit.
    During the evening of the premiere she was drinking in The Lemon Tree, just
    off St Martins Lane where most of the Sadlers Wells singers frequented. She
    had allegedly drank the equivalent of 2 bottles of Gin and staggered to her
    hotel around the corner. At around 11.00 pm, when Tosca ( the ring in
    Jones) was due to take her final plummet, Miss Collier reenacted the scene
    in her room in a drunken stupour. She Swan Dived out of the window, and
    landed Chin first on the pavement, breaking her neck. She was alive when
    the ambulance arrived, but was dead within minutes. The paramedics
    commented that most accidents of this type, the victim was always found
    curled up in a ball, protecting their heads, but Miss Collier was found
    Arms outstretched in a defiant Toscaesque position. While her international
    career was taking off, her personal like was becoming more and more
    complicated due to the enormous pressure she was under at the time. People
    who knew her at the time that she was due for a colossal burn-out, which
    prophetically occurred. ( this was posted in an online forum in 1999)

    • armerjacquino

      If it is true, I’d say that the lack of head protection is far likelier to be the result of two bottles of gin than ‘Tosca-like defiance’…

  • Camille

    NPW Paris, s’il vous plaît!!
    The premiere of Le Cid was last Friday night and I am anxiously awaiting word!


    • manou
      • Camille

        Merci mille fois!
        I am so happy to hear of its success but was absolutely dumbfounded to read it was the début of Roberto Alagna at the Garnier! C’est inimaginable!!

        Here is hoping that nôtre Monsieur œdipe was there, as well.

    • I have it tonight. I avoid premières.

      • Chanterelle

        Wise policy. I see it the 18th.

    • Camille, even stifling a cough, Alagna was “souverain”. He reminds you of what you risk forgetting: what a great voice is -- and how few they are.

      • Camille

        Merci mille fois autre fois encore!

        It breaks my heart not be there—but I will be listening to the radiocast on 18 April.

        I am sorry about Ganassi but did not think it quite the right role for her. She is an earnest artist, at least.

        Thank you so much for reporting in, NPW, and please consider your experience at length and to your full consideration before anything further.

        • “Earnest”. That is very well put. I may quote you on that. Even so,and despite a very unexceptional production that raises expectations of an idea by setting the work in the 30s, but doesn’t meet them.

          • … oops, I hadn’t finished!

            … but doesn’t meet them, it was a very special evening.

        • I’ve published a write-up, but it was tough going and the result is nothing special, though the evening was.

          • Camille

            O fiddle-dee-dee, NPW,
            you got off a couple good ones and at least you got the gist of it all across. You know, one is just grateful for ANYTHING that exceeds mediocrity these days. It is the evening after evening of mediocre blandness that gets my spleen in spasms.

            The broadcast is on the 18th, isn’t it? Merci.

            • Yes, live on April 18th at 7.30 p.m. Paris time. The orchestral reprise of “Ô souverain” is simply sublime: that alone would make it worth listening to. But if you have a score to hand, you may find the cuts a real irritation. As I said, the orchestra’s parts were plastered with great blanks, and the omission of the ballets left the poor old Infanta quiet stranded.

            • Quite stranded, not quiet, of course. She made a very fair amount of noise.

            • Camille

              Is that étrange or WHAT? NO ballet! It’s Paris, for heaven’s sake! Maybe it just is too much extra expense and it runs it overtime. Missed chance.

              Pehaps by that time La Ganassi will have it a bit more together but the fault lies in the fact the score clearly states “Soprano Dramatique”, which she clearly is not. Sorry La Massis’s is such a vague and innocuous role.

              No, I have no score and have not come across one, except through a friend, and have xeroxed a portion thereof. Maybe I will look for it at the library.

            • Sonia Ganassi was very impressive. It just didn’t actually work in this role.

            • Mmm… fo such a rarity of the French repertoire, they could have give the audience half an hour more. As it stands, it ends at 10.30. People sit through Parsifal and all his bad hair day, after all.

              I should add what a nice change it was to hear big voices at Garnier again. These days, we more usually have to strain to hear youthful voiceless wonders there in “lighter” works, such as that dire Entführung.

  • tannengrin


    • manou

      • manou

        (You have to replace the “s” by the “v”)

  • none

    tannengrin, your httpvs etc does not work.

  • well in other news it seems as if a regie production of Tannhauser got an impresario sacked in Russia:

    • Satisfied

      Russian…Russian…everywhere a Putin Russian.

  • DharmaBray

    Episode 4 of Opera Australia’s Opera on the Harbour brings us a comic book Aida, complete with Cleopatra from the Asterix comics. Here she is joined by a runaway Aida from the Addis Ababa Ladies Gospel Choir… :-/

  • Feldmarschallin
    • scifisci

      Very jealous you’re getting to see this! With a role like elektra one never knows how long a singer will be singing it and stemme’s Met elektra’s are still quite a ways away. I’m gratified to read though that it was a success. Does anyone know if it will be available for streaming like the werther was??

    • spiderman

      I’ve been there yesterday. Stemme was very very good, but not as demented as Herlitzius. The production is a huge disappointment with the most ridiculous ending ever. Missed chance!

  • Feldmarschallin
    • Lohengrin

      Da brauche ich nächstes Jahr NIIIIICHT hin, reicht TV völlig, wenn überhaupt nur zum saisonal angesagten Vergleich ;-).

      • Feldmarschallin

        Röschmann singt in London auch.

        • Lohengrin

          Das macht ja nix, wenn nur der eifersüchtige Ehemann ein anderer ist!

      • Gentlemen, as this is an English language site, I ask you to have the courtesy to comment in our common language.

        • Lohengrin

          1: sorry
          2: use Google-translater
          3: learn other linguages
          4: Here is the text in English: Next Easter I need not go to Salzburg (Easter-Featival); it is enough to see the piece on tv to compare the seasos Othellos. -- Roeschmann ia also singing (Desdemona) in London. -- Never mind, if only the jealous husband is another (Tenor)!

          • ????250

            1. sorry
            2. use Google-translator
            3. learn other languages
            4. sorry Google translator won’t help because it’s an almost untranslatable idiom

          • Cicciabella

            Lohengrin, I followed your advice, just to see what happens. This is what Google Translate came up with:

            “Since I need back next year NIIIIICHT , enough TV completely , if at all , only for seasonal trendy comparison; -) .”

            Full points to Google for getting the emoji right! Otherwise, I declare a Google Translate complete test fail.

            • Lohengrin

              It is really horrible, sorry, sorry.
              I often translate via Google from different linguages which I am not able to read and mostly find even the sence of the text. Of course I never “translate” my German postings to English…….
              I promise to write only English postings although I am far from beeing good in that linguage.

            • Milady DeWinter

              I say bring back Esperanto.

            • Cicciabella

              Or Polaris

            • manou

              Kial ni kompliki aferojn per la rimedo al Esperanto?

            • Cicciabella

              Make that Polari. (I wish I could blame Goggle Translate for my oversight.)

        • Feldmarschallin

          Lohengrin it is La Cieca’s site and we can write in English. I thought everyone could understand Röschmann singt in London auch. Sorry La Cieca.

          • No, I think it is a natural reation if a comment is in German to respond in German. The problem is that it tends to exclude others from the conversation who might not be comfortable attempting to post in German.

            • manou

              Yes -- but we shall miss the fun of Google Translate.

              Apologies for writing in French or Italian sometimes.

            • Leading to Ubersetzungsfehlerwehmut.

            • manou

              Beautifully translated by Google as:

              Translation error melancholy.

            • Batty Masetto

              A condition that afflicts us teachers of translation every time we correct a round of students’ papers.

            • Parterrians will have to go elsewhere to still their Fremdsprachesehnsucht.

            • Camille


              Remember when that word hit the US TV screens? Panic and terror broke out everywhere that such a word even existed…then it became a kind of joke.

          • Milady DeWinter

            “?iel,” mi respondas. ?uste tion mi ?atas pri tiu lingvo, ke la? tiom da aspektoj ?i bonas al mi.

            • Milady DeWinter

              A manou!

            • manou

              Mi flatis (mi pensas …)

      • Lohengrin

        Easter-time 2016: Berlin is calling…………… (Lied von der Erde?)

  • LT

    Roschmann was off the radar for years it seems and now she’s getting high-profile gigs again. Interesting.

    • RosinaLeckermaul

      It may not be considered a high profile gig, but I look forward to hearing Roschmann in a recital in Atlanta in a couple of weeks with the magnificent Uchida as her accompanist. Schumann and Berg are on the program.

      • Camille

        You are going, too? Please let me hear what your reactions are especially if before the same presentation I will hear on the 22nd of April. I am a little leery of the program but will go because of the great Mitsouko, one of my very favourites.

      • Loge

        I’ll be at the Atlanta (Spivey Hall) concert too!

  • zinka

    You all know that there are so many singers,that sometimes it takes time to recognize what they have contributed. When I joined Facebook, and also at a friend’s recommendation, I discovered the Mar.31 birthday diva, Nelly Miricioiu.
    She,like Leyla Gencer and a precious few other divas, lets it “all hang out,” and I once asked Zeani if the AIR in Romania causes some divas (Cotrubas,Zeani,etc.) to possess a special quality that is rare.
    She also is the sweetest lady,and we love her, as evidenced by the Facebook posts.
    So,a wonderful Happy Birthday to Nelly!!!!!

    • zinka

      How annoying it is when a diva cannot hold a high D…we were sad…

    • semira mide

      Nelly is amazing. Best Armida I’ve ever heard.

  • Sir Ferris

    Asking a favor: there was an interesting thread, just the other day, about the composition of Die Fledermaus, including a scholarly article on the new J Strauss edition, etc.

    And I know there was also a tip on how to do effective searches. But, I can’t find either one.

    Can anyone help? (I could also try asking in German, for the entertainment of those in the German Sprachraum….)


    • peter

      Ferris, I believe you will find that discussion here:

      And if you’re searching for earlier threads on Parterre, try putting in your search term(s) along with the phrase:

      • Camille

        That is…”interest”

        The other day I tried it and I boogered it up so would like to straighten it once and for all as it is extremely useful.

        Thank you.

  • Camille

    Just now, remembering how well Poplavskaya played Elisabeth’s scene.
    I won’t see that again. Sigh.

    Better than the last time around but still a long way from being a great Don Carlo.

    • Ilka Saro

      I was in the house last night, in my customary cheap subscription seats way up in the heavens. I agree that it’s a long way from being a great Don Carlo. Except: Yannick Nezet-Seguin’s delivery of the score. I think he’s the best conductor for Don Carlo that I have heard.

      Last night Hvorostovsky was in very good voice, as well, which is not always the case. I have heard him bark and roar his way through Rodrigo, and I wonder if barking and roaring is just his way of managing nerves, because last night he didn’t do that. He sang with unaccustomed restraint --even subtlety-- at quite a number of points in the opera. I loved it.

      On a more equivocal note: Yonghoon Lee is much improved since I heard him sing the role in 2010. The voice itself is not always to my liking, but the style of interpretation he brings to the role is now a LOT more refined. There were a lot of moments in his perf where he really delivered, and I really loved it.

      Gubanova is a very polished artist, and gave a very competent performance, with some interesting insights into the passionate hypocrisy of Eboli. But although she is a true mezzo, she still lacks weight in her bottom range, and boy does Eboli ever demand it. I am really happy to say she never forced anything, she didn’t try to give what she didn’t have.

      Furlanetto is such a mixed bag for me. He had the capacity to sing such elegant lines, and he keeps interfering with that by a kind of barking, emotive attack. It’s a trade off. You get a whole package with Furlanetto. But the breaking-voice-parlando attack wears out really fast for me. He’s always doing it. It’s fustian, not expression. To me.

      Frittoli? Well… I have enjoyed her so much in other parts. I want to excuse her for not having the voice to sing Elisabetta. But there it is. She doesn’t have it.

      So Yannick wins. Followed by the two Russians. Followed by a lot of “I wish this were different”.

      But the score never tires for me. I’ve seen Met Don Carlo’s for over 30 years now. I’ve seen most casts and configurations. I give credit to Yannick NS for keeping the score itself squarely in the fore, despite a patchy cast. I was on the edge of my seat, music-wise.

      • Thanks for this review. I remember loving YNS’s Don Carlo last time around.

        Very glad to know that Lee has improved. It’s an impressive voice so I’m glad he’s making more of it.

        How was Morris as the GI? I was surprised to read a couple of raves about him on Facebook.

        • Milady DeWinter

          I thought Morris was excellent -- not a wobble to be heard -- although some hard moments at the top, no matter. He held his own with Furlanetto, who seemed in “crazed rejected lover” mode, which is a valid artistic choice; he chewed the scenery and lines, and it worked for me as a memorable portrait. I feel more kindly disposed towards Frittoli : time has attenuated the top of the voice a great deal, but that doesn’t register as not having an “Elisabetta” voice to me. Gubanova the real deal, although N-Seguin’s sometimes too white hot tempi undermined the mid-section of “O don fatale,” robbing the return to the climactic section of some wow power.

          • turings

            I recognise exactly what Ilka Saro means, but I love Furlanetto’s Filippo –he seems to find so many nuances in it. Interesting if he was doing a ‘crazed lover’ approach at the Met – a few weeks ago in the Vienna livestream, it was more Filippo-as-Prufrock in the quartet.

            It’s here on YouTube, DeepSouthSenior – you can add it to your list of videos :)

            • Milady DeWinter

              “it was more Filippo-as-Prufrock in the quartet.”--well, you’re right, turings. I think we’re saying sort of the same thing, although I can’t be sure that I heard Philippo’s lovelorn frustration as Prurock-ish in terms of modern man’s disillusionment with society, unless you count the Inquisition as the strand-in for that issue. The king has a lot of issues.

            • Milady DeWinter

              “stand-in” for those issues.

            • DeepSouthSenior

              If I add any more Don Carlos to the binge-watch week, Mrs. DeepSouth’s patience may finally break. I’ve resisted adding an HD TV, good speakers, and home network Blu-ray setup to the spare room. It’s looking better every day, though.

      • PCally

        Don Carlo never tires for me either and after reading this rave about the conducting I’m very excited to be going. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Furlanetto in general but I have to say I think he’s pretty amazing in this role. Regarding Frittoli, I think it’s a shame that she sings this role because even though she’s clearly past her prime she could still do quite well by certain roles. I enjoyed her Vitellia and Donna Elvira very much and actually thought she was fine as Amelia. But her Elisabetta last season was under sung and abnormally dull, even taking into consideration that she’s not the most intense actress.

      • Camille

        Good grief, I didn’t inow how to put what I feel abiut Furlanetto’s Filippo into words and now I see you’ve done it for me. This will be the fourth time now I’ve heard him in the role, and the only time I have sort of liked his interpretation. His Silva I lime much more, not to mentiion, Leporello. As far as Frittoli is concerned, she dis have the voice at one time, but it is sadly diminished now, I feel as well. She is interestkng to watch in her Mozart toles but I found her rather dowdy as Elisabetta. I am sorry. Yes, I thought Nezet-Sequins qas of course an improvement over poor Maazel, and I hope to listen a few more times. The score seemed alive and fresch and not interminable and stifling. Good job. Gubanova was an improvement over Smirnova but I’d rather Garanca for Eboli!!!

        Anyway, I am always grateful to hear this magnificent score, my absolute favorite Verdi score, an unending source of wonderment.

        The best score Meyerbeer never wrote!

        • Camille

          Oops, typos galore. Blind old bat up at the bat. Sigh.

    • DeepSouthSenior

      Last Christmas, Santa delivered the Blu-ray of Don Carlo with Kaufmann, Harteros, Hampson, Salminen, Vienna Phil., Pappano conducting. I have no excuse -- none -- for not watching it yet. How does this production and performance compare to the best (or worst) on video?

      • Ilka Saro

        I’ve barely seen any videos of DC, ever. But outside of the auto da fe scene, the key color choice for this production was black, and the key lighting choice was dark. I wasn’t bothered or offended by this, but I wasn’t very engaged by it either. The virtue of it was the tragic irony it gave to the final duet, when both Elisabetta and Carlo try to rekindle their faith in the struggle for liberty.

      • Rackon

        Not my favorite production but it looks better on video than it did in house. Very traditional and somewhat sparse. Kaufmann and Harteros are very fine IMO. Suggest you watch this asap and form your own opinion. (I was happy to add it to my collection.)

        • Lohengrin

          A more interesting production of DC with Harteros and Kaufmann, Pape and Daniel/Tezier was given in München on several occations the last threee years, but no DVD……………..

          • moi

            Just listening to the Verdi Requiem from Salzburg… very promising. We won’t critisize Monastyrska’s acting this time? That is a voice, superior to Harteros heard at laScala.
            Coincidetally just today I heard Radvanovsky’s Aida bits from Vienna, also superior to Harteros, IMHO.
            BTW I have heard all of them live on different occasions..Kauffman sounds good as Always when miked.
            Raschvelishvili surprisingly good

            • antikitschychick

              hey there moi…am listening too…the orchestra and chorus sound fantastic…think Jonas sounds tired, but the slight rasp in his voice makes him sound sexy :-P and as always his phrasing and musicality is great. LM unfortunately hit a bum note during the first duet with Anita R :-(, but other than she sounds pretty fabulous and yes, what a voice…I have the DVD of the performance from la scala and I thought Anja Harteros was very moving…think they are just different…LM has more of a steely quality in her voice but with overtones and a luminous quality that is gorgeous, and musical; Anja H has a more lyrical voice and sings with more tenderness…Ildar’s voice sounded a bit bottled up in some parts but I didn’t get to listen to his numbers completely since I was having lunch with a friend so I can’t give an overall assessment…Anita Raschvelishvili sounds fantastic! I love her voice also. Her voice blends beautifully with LM’s. Can’t wait for the Libera Me…:-) overall it’s a great performance thus far.

            • DeepSouthSenior

              antik, A raspy, sexy tenor sound is always welcome, especially in a Requiem. Nothing focuses the mind on death, damnation, and redemption like a little sex appeal.

              Now, which one shall I use? Let me see . . . Oh, this one’s good. ???? (Love all your posts, by the way!)

            • DeepSouthSenior

              Well, that didn’t work. It was the emoji laughing so hard he’s wiping tears from his eyes.

              Emoji tutorial on an iPad, anyone?

            • antikitschychick

              hey there deepSouthSenior :-) (got your name right this time; ha!) thanks for the compliment, I enjoy your posts as well and am glad you and the missus had a good trip recently. Yes Jonas was definitely tired and kind of crooned the end of the Requiem but I mean, who wouldn’t be after singing those two monster roles back to back??? And did sing a very loud, thrilling high note at the end of the Ingemisco. Also, because he was tired, he didn’t cover as much which I liked.

              I didn’t get to listen to the entire performance but I listened to most of it and musically it was on point and the singing was beautiful and thrilling.

              Ms. Glammyla sang a fantastic Libera Me. LAWD that woman can SANG. She was rushing the tempo slightly, and she scooped up to the last high note, but once she got up there she held onto it ferociously and it reverberated across the hall :-D…and there were many many wonderful dynamic variations throughout the performance from her, amazing crescendos, very nice phrasing, beautiful pianissimos…you name it and it was there. She over-sang slightly on one high note during one of the final ensembles, and she let the vibrato spread a bit too much; and in the beginning she chopped up the climactic Kyrie eleison phrase to take a breath but after she took the breath, she sang a very thrilling dramatic eleison, with vibrato in check so I’m glad she took the breath :-D. There was 1 slightly off pitch note I heard in the first duet with Anita R unfortunately but I think that was due to nerves since it wasn’t a high note or anything. I’d have to listen to it again to pinpoint exactly when it happened but I heard it pretty clearly. But overall she was amazing as this piece capitalizes on her wonderful upper register and she utilizes it to full effect.

              Anita R sounded fantastic as well. She has a very warm, opulent and even sound which blended very well with LMs. Her phrasing was also elegant and there wasnt a hint of strain or shortness of breath.

              Ildar as I said sounded a bit bottled up toward the beginning but once he warmed up and especially during the last ensemble he sounded very good.

              The balance between singers, orchestra and chorus was immaculate. Thielemann did a great job as per usual. Hope they make a CD of this!

            • Fidelia

              I was only able to listen to a little bit of this requiem & enjoyed what I heard of all the singers (very little of Ildar): agree that Raschvelishvili was surprisingly good, JK tired but very musical as usual, and Monastyrska in fine voice. I usually admire Thielemann’s direction, but found it almost metronomic this evening, cold and somewhat distant. No existential questions raised here for me.
              Is it just because I got to this after a hard day of work ?

            • antikitschychick

              hey Fidelia, I agree with you about the lack of spark, but then again I was only listening to a broadcast…I did think there were a lack of dramatic pauses and right before the Libera Me people were shuffling and coughing and LM began singing almost immediately after the last piece, which I don’t think people were expecting. Then she also rushed the tempo a bit but the singing was so glorious and glamorous you can hardly fault her and yes she was in very good voice. Already found a recording of the performance online so will listen to the entire thing now since I too didn’t get to hear a lot of Ildar either.

            • nachEule

              Arrggh, I was looking forward to the Salzburg Requiem, but my work schedule changed and I had to miss it. Anyone know if it’s going to be re-broadcast? Plus, my search skills apparently aren’t up to turning up an internet recording of the broadcast. Any tips, antikitchychick? I could use a little Kratzigsexytenortodmusik (or so Google translate advises me) this evening.

            • antikitschychick

              nachEule: email me at and I’d be happy to share it with you ;-). Anyone else that’s interested can email me as well.

          • Rackon

            I have that Don C on DVD from Premiere Opera. I love it.

      • DeepSouthSenior

        Through Met Opera on Demand, I have access to the Don Carlo December 2010 Live in HD with Nézet-Séguin, Poplavskaya, Smirnova, Alagna, Keenlyside, and Furlanetto. I need to carve out two consecutive afternoons for comparison and contrast. One of the great advantages is retirement is not having to consult your Busy Social Calendar (Ha!).

      • DeepSouthSenior

        Also on Met Opera on Demand: 1980 Don Carlo with Levine, Scotto, Troyanos, Moldoveanu, Milnes, Plishka. Listening to “O don fatale” with Troyanos right now. Wait -- let me turn my speakers down. Too close to permanent damage.

        Now it’s up to three dedicated Don Carlo days.

        • Ilka Saro

          “Three dedicated Don Carlo days” sounds like very sensible self-care to me!

      • Porgy Amor

        DSS: If you want one more vote…

        The Salzburg ’13 Don Carlo DVD is a valuable one for giving us more music than any of its competition in Italian, and the most in either language except for the French Konwitchsny/De Billy (which is a very different edition — all-1867 including music cut before the premiere).

        Of the cast, Harteros, Semenchuk, and Kaufmann are the biggest attractions, IMO. Not many people are going to care about the Count Lerma/Herald, but the tenor doubling those roles is outstanding. Hampson’s voice in 2013 is Hampson’s voice in 2013, but it’s an intelligent interpretation and he partners well with everyone. There is another of Halfvarson’s Grand Inquisitors, and another of Lloyd’s Carlo V’s — veteran work with no surprises. The big letdown is Salminen’s quite aged and none-too-expressive Filippo. He barely hints at what can be found in a fascinating character.

        Stein’s production is not terrible, but it’s the sort of thing that makes you wonder why a famous and accomplished director of long experience was needed to make it happen. He had festival preparation and rehearsal time, but it does not show in the work; one could see something as good in the provinces, albeit on a smaller stage. The best I can say is that it doesn’t get in the way. The one member of the production crew to emerge with any glory is the lighting designer, Joachim Barth, whose work is rich and beautiful.

        This would have been better with any of several active Filippos replacing Salminen, and I wish the cast had sung it in French, but it’s an exceptionally well-played account with a very generous edition of the score (a half hour longer than the two Met/Dexter DVDs and the earlier ROH/Pappano of the Hytner), and there are some superb performances. Recommended.

  • Sir Ferris

    Thanks, Peter and Camille--das hat mir weitergeholfen!

  • zinka

    Yes,I know it is not the Winterreise, but 40 times I was lifted out of my seat (or stand) by the incredible Franco…He was even more subtle than Gerard Souzay…Look, I prefer Lugosi in “Devil Bat” to “Citizen Kane.”
    NOTHING TODAY like this dude…..

    • Ilka Saro

      Come to think of it, Winterreise could use a little perking up. A few C’s here and there would do it!

      At least Citizen Kane had a few stock laffs here and there…

      • zinka

        I LOVE ITTT..I am still looking for the out-of-print LP of Fischer-Dieskau sings Frankie Avalon Hits…oh wait…he DID… Parterrians will kill me..Love ch

  • blanchette

    is that Requiem streaming somewhere right now? where are
    you listening to it?

  • aulus agerius

    “We’ve got a perception problem…..because some people have a different view.” Yeah, I thought Frittoli was pretty good last night (but I only listened to the first half).

    • Milady DeWinter

      I agree, aulus. Thought she was in better shape than I’ve heard for a few seasons.

      • Ilka Saro

        I don’t want to pick on Frittoli, especially because I think she is a terrific artist. I found the voice itself not to my taste, but here’s what I will say:

        Yes, she went through a rough patch a couple years back. She appears to have sprung back, and I am glad of it. To her credit, she isn’t pushing anything. Other sopranos develop these great big wobbles, and there is no trace of wobble in her sound right now. I hope this means she will be around a lot longer.

        There has been some loss in the size and range of her voice, though. Hers was never a huge voice, but it used to have more carrying or cutting power over dense orchestration. Now that isn’t the case. This is particularly true in the lower range, and right from the Fontainebleau scene, the lower parts didn’t strain her, but they weren’t very audible.

        That being said, she is such a terrific actress, and there were moments throughout the performance where I was glad of her artistry. But even with her high interpretation skills, there was something that was simply too light about the singing. For me. If others are pleased with it, that’s great!

    • phoenix

      I also ‘only listened to the first half’. I found Frittoli’s Elisabeth rather ‘undersung’ (as someone else mentioned above) but there was a certain polish about her phrasing that I did not notice last year. The bloom has faded from her tone but at least she still has her middle voice intact. That her lower tones lack resonance hardly matters since so many others at the Met have the same issue. Although she often loses articulation as the tone becomes shrill above the staff, I found said tone be more attractive to my ears this year than last.
      -- If one considers Elisabeth as a maternal figure (which she wasn’t at all in history), Frittoli is more believable in the role. But it’s not as if she ‘owns’ the role or deserves to sing it season after season. How about giving Anna Maria Martinez, Joyce El-Koury and some others a stab at it?

      • Phoenix: I agree. Frittoli is no longer at her best (though she is a good artist with a still-decent voice). The Met would be better off being more imaginative and engaging a AMM or El-Khoury instead of going back to the same old same old.

      • marshiemarkII

        Caro Fenice, I saw the blessed Mme Frittoli last year as Elisabetta at the Met, and quite liked it in a sort of perverse way :-D . Her voice was also bottled up and produced in the back of the throat, and what bothered me to no end in the case of Magee, I found quite tolerable in the case of Frittoli, what gives?!?!?!?!? Frittoli also occasionally turned a bit shrill on the top notes, but altogether I found much to enjoy in the sheer italianita of her sound, and beautiful phrasing. The porta il pianto mio was just as one would want it with the requisite portamenti (without making one forget the Only Maria or the blessed Montsy of course).

        Now Joyce El-Khoury is a singer that really baffles me. She seems to get amazing notices from everywhere, and in no less than the Trovatore Leonore for example, while I saw her in the tiny role of Esmeralda in Bartered Bride, and to this day I thank God for the brevity of the role, because I found the thin, wiry, and incredibly shrill sound unbelievably intolerable. I’d have to go back to the tender mercies of one nasty coloratura of the mid-70s to find something THAT shrill and unpleasant. Was it just an off night? or why are people so hot on her, and yet her charms have fully eluded me?

        • steveac10

          My only experience with El-Khoury live was as Frasquita at the Met back in 2010. Lets Just say I was not shocked when she disappeared from the roster when her Lindeman stint was up. Squally is the word that comes to mind. I was shocked to see her getting big engagements elsewhere.

          • phoenix

            Frasquita! the true test of a great soprano -- The demands on the voice and technical skill of Frasquita far exceed those of the Trovatore Leonora!

        • marshiemarkII

          Well thank you Steve, there we go, in total agreement, I saw her also around 2010 or 2011, with the sublime Layla Claire and the glorious Paul Appleby, I mean what was she doing in that company?!?!?!?! and then I hear positive reviews of a Trovatore Leonore in Europe?!?!?!?! according to Karajan the most difficult role in the entire operatic literature?

          • marshiemarkII

            Gawd, of course I mean LeonorA, we are not talking of Fidelio here now eh :lol:

        • phoenix

        • Gentlemen, might I suggest hearing El-Khoury in a substantial role before dismissing her? The one thing she lacks is a truly beautiful tone. The tone can be a bit hard and lacking in bloom when she sings forte, but it’s lovely when she sings quietly. Putting aside the quality of the voice, she is a superb singer, with great phrasing, real morbidezza and a great overall sense of style.

          Based on this Belisario recording I’d love to hear her in more dramatic bel canto rep.

          And this live Vespiri recording captures her voice better, I think.

          • manou

            I am with you kash -- I was actually at the Belisario concert which your recording comes from, and also attended the Les Martyrs concert (also recorded -- with Michael Spyres in thrilling form).

            I found El Khoury both times to be very impressive and more than merely promising.

            Sorry marshie, but “unbelievably intolerable” -- really?? (I borrowed one of your question marks)

          • marshiemarkII

            Manoucee, yes I am sorry to say it was really I-N-T-O-L-E-R-A-B-L-E, it probably didn’t help the poor girl that the star of the show was Layla Claire who was piling dollops of heavy cream on the freshest peach you ever saw and then sparkling it all with some rays of brilliant sunshine. It was at Juilliard and at the podium was none other than James Levine!

            Now to be fair, I did listen to the D’amor that fenice put above, and the soft singing is quite nice and the phrasing very nice indeed, but the whole thing is sung in a sort of mezza voce that I am not sure would work in a place like the Met, but the voice under pressure turns acidic vinegary and shrill in a way that it reminded me of that horrid songbird from the 70s….

      • armerjacquino

        As far as I’m aware, neither AMM nor El-Khoury has the role in their repertory- I think where Verdi is concerned they haven’t much moved beyond the Luisa/Amelia B side of things.