Cher Public

The Constantine Wife

On this day in 307, after divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine married Fausta, the daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Maximian.

Born on this day in 1893 conductor Clemens Krauss

Born on this day in 1899 tenor Franz Völker

Born on this day in 1911 soprano Elisabeth Grümmer

Born on this day in 1924 bass Frederick Guthrie

Happy 83rd birthday tenor John Mitchinson

Happy 77th birthday bass-baritone Jozsef Dene

Happy 75th birthday soprano Olivia Stapp

Happy 69th birthday soprano Christine Weidinger

Happy 63rd birthday soprano Nelly Miricioiu

Happy 61st birthday tenor Dénes Gulyás

Happy 60th birthday tenor Robert Gambill

Happy 54th birthday composer Jake Heggie

Happy 48th birthday baritone Matthias Goerne

  • The Met responds to the New Yorker, and a couple of idiot reactionaries chime in as well.

    • phoenix

      “If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.
      -- John A. Simone, Sr.

    • Allan Gordon: I just don’t understand why Peter Gelb won’t let me dictate how he should do his job. I’m amazed!

    • liza

      “You’re at the fore, you’re at the height, you’ve got the cheap transmissions” (Where’s Cole Porter when you need him?). There are usually laws governing what an org can take out of an endowment; being ‘energetic’ and ‘dedicated’ doesn’t answer a serious concern. As one poster noted, the New Yorker is now commuter fodder for a wide metro audience, many of whom are in the finance sector. I appreciate Mr. Gelb, but I think the handwriting is on the wall.

      • Arianna a Nasso

        “I think the handwriting is on the wall” And why not? This is Gelb’s 9th season in charge of the Met, and most general directors these days don’t last more than 15 seasons if that long. The 20-plus year reigns of a Bing or Adler are things of the past.

  • manou

    Fausta -- reincarnated as Christine Goerke.

    • phoenix

      Good catch manou, I see it in the eyes, but I miss the Kabaivanska factor.
      -- I have another suggestion:

    • Jack Jikes

      Fausta -- well-chosen name of a cat in Barabara Pym’s masterpiece “Excellent Women”

      • Jack Jikes


      • peter

        Jack Jikes, coincidentally I’m reading Excellent Women right now, but I don’t think there’s a cat named Fausta in it. There’s a cat named Faustina in the Unsuitable attachment. You can tell that I’m a Barbara Pym fan. In any event, either name for a cat is very clever.

      • parpignol

        that would be Faustina, one of the great felines of British literature. . .

  • Adalgisa

    After hearing (again) Franz Völker’s rendition of “In fernem Land”, who can honestly say that K.F. Vogt might be fit to hold a candle to Franz V.?
    That is lyrical singing of a role of the Jugendlich-dramatisches Fach without barking and without crooning.
    And right below Elisabeth Grümmer’s Elisabeth. Don’t get me started on that topic…

  • PCally

    Is the Konwitschny Tannhäuser worth getting? I’d love to hear Grümmer’s Elisabeth but have heard some pretty mixed things about the performance in general?

    • Buster

      If you want Grümmer’s Elisabeth there is no alternative, alas. A tape of a live performance exists (Patané, Berlin 1969) which was never issued completely on CD. The bits I have heard are not very interesting. I dislike the Konwitschny set as a whole: Schech is just awful -- the worst Venus I have heard. Hopf is even worse, and the whole thng never comes to live for a second. Still, I keep it for Grümmer, who is my favorite Elisabeth after Kirsten Flagstad.

      • Bill

        Elisabeth Gruemmer was another of Herbert
        von Karajan’s discoveries and had he not
        heard her singing at a private dinner party by chance in Aachen circa 1940-1941, Gruemmer probably never would have had a career at all as a singer. He immediately foresaw her as Oktavian though her actual debut was as a Blumenmaedchen in Parsifal
        (Seefried, another von Karajan protegee at the time was another Blumenmaedchen in the same series of performances Parsifal performances under von Karajan’s direction. Gruemmer remained a very
        natural singer throughout her lengthy career
        starting in Aachen (as many other legendary
        singers have done), branching to Duesseldorf,
        a bit in Dresden, and on to Berlin wih forays
        in Vienna and Salzburg and very late her wonderful Marschallins at the City Opera and Elsa at the
        Met and on tour. She was an ensemble member in Vienna only from 1952-54 afterwards a very welcome guest and did not singer there after 1066.
        Berlin was her home base for most of her career and I should have loved to have heard her in Capriccio with her marvelous attention to text (she had some experience as an actress before her operatic debut.
        Her Husband, Detlef Gruemmer, was killed in an allied bombing in 1943 at home in Aachen while she was making guest appearances in Dresden.

      • Camille


        Regarding your posting of Elisabeth Grümmer in the Meistersinger clip the other day, I would like to say a big DANK U, for she was so much more attractive and lovely in live action than any of her rather grim photographs have heretofore led me to believe.

        She was on my first recording of Der Freischütz, which had a huge influence on me. She, like Janowitz, have all my respect and fealty for their exemplary singing and use of the language. Since I have not heard her as Elisabeth, maybe I should go listen to it before the series of Tannhäusers in the autumn.

        • Buster

          Glad you enjoyed it, Camille. Luckily, there is an excellent recording of that Bayeuth Meistersinger (Knappertsbusch, 1961). Out of her five Bayreuth Eva’s, my favorite.

          • Buster

            1960. Krips conduct her in 1961.

    • Tiresome conductor. And the Venus is Marianne Schech, I believe? Maybe impressive live, she’s sour and boring and often off pitch on record.

      • Buster

        Schech is the worst. I even prefer Margaret Halstead. The other ones I have are Rose Pauly, and Kerstin Thorborg. All three from the Met, with Flagstad in spectacular form.

  • semira mide

    And Happy Birthday to Bach and Haydn…. the stars much surely have been aligned!

    • WindyCityOperaman

    • marshiemarkII

      Yessss Semira, the two GREATEST in the Pantheon of the Greats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Without Bach and Haydn there would be no Wagner, imagine what world would we be live in without them?!?!?!?!?

  • antikitschychick

    hey folks, just letting you all know that in 2 hrs the Requiem from Salzburg conducted by Thielemann and featuring Jonas Kaufmann, Liudmyla Monastyrska, Anita Rachvelishvili and Ildar Abdrazakov is being broadcast live on BR Klassik Radio:


    • Lohengrin

      in 45 minutes!!!!!!!!!!
      19:00 MEZ!!

      • antikitschychick

        oh snaps you’re right!!!! Thanks for the tip :-).