Cher Public

Coffee break

Relax, enjoy a steaming cup of java and celebrate Sunday with a discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects.  For example, did you know that on this day in 1908 conductor and director Herbert von Karajan was born?  

In honor of the maestro’s natal day, our friends at Opera Depot are offering their entire catalog of Karajania at 50% off regular price through midnight tonight PDT.

Oh, and…

Born on this day in 1784 composer Louis Spohr

Born on this day in 1869 composer Albert Roussel

Born on this day in 1925 bass Keith Engen

Happy 82nd birthday soprano Eugenia Ratti

Happy 67th birthday tenor Dano Raffanti

Happy 54th birthday soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci

  • chicagoing

    I am not familiar with author Donna Leon or her mystery series but a mini review in the NY Times led me to look up her latest. Returning character Flavia Petrelli is a renowned soprano performing Tosca at the Teatro La Fenice who is a victim of a stalker and according to a customer review “Because of her busy schedule sees her children less frequently than whe would like, spends may evenings alone and is expected to greet fans with poise, grace and a smile , even when she is exhausted.” The Times did say for opera buffs “…going backstage at Teatro La Fenice is the real treat.”

    • semira mide

      Donna Leon’s books are a guilty pleasure for many. She is a very interesting person and among other things is passionate about Handel. She dedicated one of her books “A Question of Belief” to none other than Joyce DiDonato!

      My Venetian friends say that the pictures she paints are quite authentic.

  • Buster

    Listening to the Pamina of Marjanne Kweksilber right now. She is on the Ton Koopman Zauberflöte, strangely enough never issued on CD until now -- luckily in a superb transfer in the Originale Period Instrumental Series of Warner Music Japan. Kweksilber is easily the best thing on it. Never heard a more individual or more moving Ach, ich fühl’s. Gorgeous tone throughout. No dialogue, fortunately. Endless stretches of it were included in the 1982 live performances in The Hague, from which this recording was assembled. Applause at the end of the acts only.

  • zinka

    Yeah..He sometimes made us nuts..but the great Franco,born Apr.8,1921..can NEVER be replaced!!!!
    Maybe some of his fears stemmed from Loretta…with whom he once had a spaghetti fight in Atlanta…WITH SAUCE…but anyway…he was spectacular….Bless him!!!!

  • Help?

    Vienna Staatsoper announced the 15/16 season this morning. Can anyone (FM?) enlighten me how to purchase tickets? No success on the website, is it possible the 2016 Ring is sold out already?


    • Lohengrin

      Official Online-Ticket-shop

      • Thank you Lohengrin -- but indeed it looks like most seats for the January Ring are already sold!

        • Lohengrin

          Can`t believe it. There is a very mysterious way on ticket sale at WSO. And for those who did not find a ticket there are 500 Stehplätze every evening.

        • John L

          I might not be explaining it 100% correctly, but they have a weird system where you put in a request for a ticket. You specify certain guidelines like price range, aisle seats, whether you want to be in a box with others, etc. And lastly, you have to specify how long you want to make this request for. For instance I went to Die Walkure in at around June 2014. I made my request sometime in the spring of 2013 and designated that the latest I want to hear from them was sometime late winter of 2014 (so I can have enough time to get flight tickets and do other vacation planning etc). I heard from them about a month before the latest date I wanted to hear from them. They were pretty good seats, orchestra level, maybe two thirds back. I think they do this to give priority and the maximum time for their patrons to decide before opening tickets to non-patrons. I’m semi contemplating getting Lohengrin tickets in May 2016. Most likely not though.

          • Thanks John L -- on the website it looks like it works exactly as you describe. A very provincial way to do business. My problem is I can’t even get to the stage of making a request -- I get a message saying “No allocable tickets meeting your criteria”.

            • John L

              When I did it, it took more than a couple tries. I didn’t quite understand the system then and the layout could have been more user friendly. The thing is I don’t think they (or a person) really looks at your request until it approaches the deadline you give them. So not sure why you are getting an error message as such. I saw that Linda Watson will be singing Brunnhilde, I can’t believe she is still singing!

            • John L

              Maybe some of the restrictions you are putting are competing with each other i.e. up to how much you are willing to pay/where you want to sit vs where you will settle to sit.

            • Thanks again for trying -- I’m leaving price and notification wide open and almost no restrictions on location (I just don’t want a seat at the extreme sides). Maybe I’ve spent enough energy on this for one morning!

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    DIVO WATCH: from Wiener Staatsoper -- “KS Juan Diego Flórez singt am 18. April 2015 den Lindoro in “L’italiana
    in Algeri” anstelle von Javier Camarena, der die Vorstellungsserie krankheitsbedingt absagen musste.”

    • ducadiposa

      Interesting that Florez is down to sing the Duke and Des Grieux in Vienna next season. I thought at one point he said he wouldn’t be singing the Duke anymore after trying it out a few years ago. Des Grieux is also quite a step up in terms of vocal amplitude from his usual rep. Will be interesting to see how all that plays out for him.

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    DIVO WATCH: Simon Keenlyside has now cancelled all performances through Jauary 2016, when he is scheduled to sing Renato in “Ballo” at Wiener Staatsoper.

    • john

      Now that nearly all of the major houses have announced their forthcoming seasons, does anybody have any idea what Marina Poplavskaya is up to? She doesn’t seem to have performed in public since the Met Onegins in Fall 2013 and I haven’t seen her listed for anything next season. Is she still planning a return to the stage? Will she work her way up slowly again with concerts before attempting opera? Thanks for any info.

  • zinka

    I am so SICK of the “put down” of singers,especially tenors by using the word “provincial,” as if everyone has to be Tito Schipa or Carlo Bergonzi.


    having or showing the manners, viewpoints, etc., considered characteristic of unsophisticated inhabitants of a province; rustic; narrow or illiberal; parochial:

    Lando Bartolini,Apr.11, 1947 is “narrow…unsophisticated???” Let us start naming the HUNDREDS of these so-called “provincial” singers… is pure snobbery to dismiss singers like Lando,Giacomini,De Muro,Masini,etc…in this negative way…..Many of these guys are much more exciting than the “biggies.”
    Best to Lando on his birthday….

    Clip to follow….

  • zinka

    If this is “provincial,” I’ll take it above the tenors who made 5000 CD’s…..

  • zinka

    Another One???/ Chatting about Poliuto with guess who…and came across this guy…..Mamma Mia…..We need him!!!!

    • zinka

      Sorry..Piero Pretti is the dude…i thought his name was on he clip……


  • zinka

    Apr.11, 1969….Sondra Radvanovsky MUST be seen live,because no recording (like Cossotto) tells the real story…It is as if she is singing in your ear, even in “innocent” phrases..Love to a great lady!!!!!!