Cher Public

Hard to handle

On this day in 1928, the play Diamond Lil, written by and starring Mae West, opened at the Royale Theater in New York City. (Miss West revived the play frequently later in her career, last appearing on Broadway in the role of Lil in 1951.)

Born on this day in 1898 tenor Julius Patzak

Born on this day in 1906 conductor Antal Dorati

Born on this day in 1910 mezzo-soprano/contralto Cloe Elmo

Happy 72nd birthday bass-baritone Claudio Desderi

Happy 70th birthday tenor and conductor Neil Jenkins

  • turings

    Vienna’s 2015/16 season is online:

    The Culturall month by month is quicker to scroll through, if you want to see who’s singing without having to click through. Here’s September:

    • Lady Abbado

      Jonas and Ange shall be reunited in April…:)

      • Camille

        Sorry, Lady Abbado, but after having peeked a bit at that film she made with her caro ex-sposo, I will always hear them united as one in Tosca. Really and truly, a beautifully wrought rendition. I’ll have to get the whole film someday.

        • manou

          Chère Madame, vos désirs sont des ordres.

          The whole enchilada is here:

          • Camille

            Wow, I’m going to Madame manou’s X-press Tacohouse from now on—the fastest service in town, or your money back!!

            Muchas gracias! I have had enough Verismo Jonas for one day so I’ll move on over to this one. I just always FORGET all this manna from heaven is so easily available because of the scarcity of opera records and the hard labour I had to endure as a girl, to find them. Such is the recompense of la vecchiaia!!

          • Very nice!

          • Camille

            Just now returning from the naughty step at Castel Santangelo—where I did my italicisation penance while watching this truly wonderful film. As marvelous as were the Alagnas in this, Raimondi gave the greatest performance I’ve seen of Baron Scarpia (as Count Dracula here!). Stupendo.

            Now I’ll have to go back to my former favourite film, that one with Kabaivanska/ Domingo et al., and review it. Wonderful conducting, of course. A great treat and now I wonder what took me so long to find this and mille merci a Mme manou!

            • manou

              Glad you enjoyed it Camille. This was the DVD I showed my small granddaughters who were quite enraptured by it (and relieved to know that the Alagnas were married to each other, which made it OK for them to kiss). They took it back to Scotland for more showings (and then I took them to see it at Scottish Opera where the lack of Alagnas was much remarked upon).

              I looked for it on YouTube for some of the other grandchildren, but it is not always there. We struck it lucky this time.

            • Camille

              You mean little children were watching all that smooching? Oh my! Even I got embarrassed by being witness to all that good lovin’. Children grow up so fast these days, faster maybe in Scotland?

      • degan

        I love Angie and I will be there for sure but I am getting angry at her waste of talent. From July 2015to July 2016 she has only 6 Performances of Tosca planned. I believe she will do something more at the ROH but out of 365 days, only 6 performances (+maybe 4-6 at the ROH)?!
        If she is not in the mood of taking on new roles, then she should sing Tosca and Mimi all around the world, not only in 2 opera houses for a few performances each…
        What about Violetta (past her?!)? What about her own words about taking on Norma, Manon Lescaut and so on…?!

        • Lady Abbado

          Agreed; but even assuming she’s a selfish utility maximizer who chases revenue above all else, what puzzles me is the irrationality of giving sets of only two performances when the norm is six.

          Since the rehearsal and travel costs are fixed, the marginal utility of doing more performances is great: why would she travel and rehearse as if for six performances, but actually get paid only for two, instead of getting all your money back, so to say, by doing six?

          However fabulous she is, I doubt that she gets paid for one as all others for three!

          • degan

            Now at the age of 50, she should give it a try to Norma, Manon Lescaut, some spinto Verdi, Donizetti queens and above all to other Puccini heroines before it is to late…
            She will always be remembered as a fantastic Violetta (which she is not singing any more), Magda (what about Rondine somewhere else than at the MET and ROH), a very good Mimi but I doubt she will be remembered as one of the greatest sopranos of all times, singing 8 performances of Tosca per year…
            I know Tosca suites her perfectly at this stage but she should give it a try like she did with Werther (I am still asking myself why she chose this).
            I still hope she will change her mind and surprise me with something special!

          • LT

            What makes you think she gets offered more than 2 performances?

    • antikitschychick

      thanks for the link turings…some interesting operas being offered, including Tchaikovsky’s Fidelio with AN. Not familiar with that opera…and Glammyla is making her debut as Aida (again :roll:).

      • Camille

        Tschaikovsky’s FIDELIO?? WTF???? What subterranean coffer has that been cached all these long years.

        Not possibly a blooper kn the part of the website? Beethoven’s Eugene Onégin is the next surprise offering???????????

        • manou

          Tchaikovsky’s Fidelio -- up there with Mozart’s Nixon in China.

          • Camille

            And Adams’ The Clemency of Titus!

            Hey sounds tood to me! This is fun!

            • Camille

              Tood = good.

              Or maybe not.

              Maybe tood was correct, like ‘o tempura, o morays’!!!!!

            • Krunoslav

              Tippett’s MALA VITA

              Menotti’s IPHIGENIE EN AULIDE

              Webern’s DIE MEISTERSINGER [if only! Prelude, Quintet, Preislied and out]

            • Camille

              That’s the Mastersingers for me!!! I Maestricantori alla breve!--
              That Hit Parade of Hitlerian Deutscher Volk Vun!

              I just finished watching Leoncavallo’s Wozzeck, ossia
              Berg’s I Pagliacci, so why the hell not?!?!?????

            • I think they’re also doing Kaija Saariaho’s Monsieur Choufleuri.

            • manou

              …in a double bill with Offenbach’s Einstein On The Beach

            • Yes, with the same cast, sets and costumes.

            • manou


        • antikitschychick

          whoops! I had clicked on the link for the cultural month by month calendar and I could have sworn it said Fidelio, not Eugene Onegin but I checked the WS website and there it does say Eugene Onegin…don’t know what happened there; my apologies!

          • Camille

            Oh don’t apologize chicaquerida! You reported correctly. They muffed it up.

            I was just wondering where this piece had lain hidden all this time as there are all sorts of weirdnesses if one goes trawling about in the muck and mire of music.

            • antikitschychick

              Oh good! So I wasn’t hallucinating then yay lol I checked again and it is now fixed.

            • Camille

              No, you weren’t hallucinating and many congratulations and tons of toi, toi, toi in the internship this summer—I happened to see somewhere else. As those things are usually very competitive, you must have done well thus far, so good on you and keep it together.

              Just don’t follow in the footsteps of one Miss Lewinsky. The poor child has never been able to live it down and is recently engaged in an effort to finally get on with her life, and I hope she is able to do just that.

            • antikitschychick

              Ha! Thank you and no worries as I plan to stay far,far away from politics ;-).

        • Rowna

          And did anyone else catch the typo of Helen DonUt and her hubby doing a something? I purused the entire year’s calendar and have some thoughts in general: By and large, there aren’t as many Russian filled operas, although there was one with Beczala and 3 Ruskies. Lots of Janacek. A Ring Cycle plus Dutchman and Parsifal. Then there is Manon and Manon Lescaut.
          Will Vargas, Keenlyside, and Giordano all appear? Between Carlo, Elektra, Salome, Turandot and the Ring -- no Goerke. With all the up and coming young tenors, Costello and Borras get a few tries. No Fabiano, Lee, Hymel, etc. Anna Bolena with Gruberova. She is the Placido of sopranos, and yet she still sings in her original range. And yes, Domingo in Traviata. So the Viennese still find him hirable.

          • manou

            Hi Rowna -- well done for spotting a typo while purusing the site.

          • Camille

            Yes, Helen and Dunkin DonUt.

          • Rudolf

            @ Rowna
            I believe you “perused” the calendar in question …

            • manou

              Ahem…that was really my point.

    • Good to see Péter Eötvös’ Tri Sestri continuing to make its way.

  • JohninSeattle

    In a non-opera observation…

    The clip from SEXTETTE reminds me what a career-killing manager Timothy Dalton must have had. He makes a great impression in LION IN WINTER. But then he has to romance an ancient Mae West in SEXTETTE, feign interest in a vapid Brooke Shields in BRENDA STAR and look lost in FLASH GORDON before going on to two appearances as the James Bond you can’t remember (no the other one, not the one in the kilt).

    Oh well. Talent alone is never enough for a performer in any field.

  • Krunoslav

    No surprise here, but too bad:


    • Camille

      Yes, no surprise and thanks for saving me the trouble of posting an inquiry as just last night I was eyeing this once again and thinking ‘how nice if….’

      He must be very unwell if he has been out this long and hoping the poor man recovers from whatever afflicts him. Too bad, indeed.

      • That was sad to delete from the calender :(

  • Camille

    Armerjacquino & Madame manou—
    This is an article about “The Queen” on Broadway, reviewed by Zoë Heller which I thought could be of some interest to you both. I couldn’t get the tinyurl thingey, but here it is:

    It is kind of amazing to me how much Helen Mirren can turn her likeness into Her Majesty’s when she really does not resemble her that greatly, but I guess that is what’s called “Acting” not to mention hair and makeup + costuming. I hope it will serve to be of interest. Thank you for the information in the Browns. Monsieur Camille has to teach Beowulf at times and he just loved the comic strip!!!

    • manou

      Camille- very thoughtful of you to post this link(just wait for armer to unleash both barrels).

      I saw the play in London -- well, not really a play, more a series of skits. The fun resided in spotting the resemblances to the various Prime Ministers and the likelihood that they would utter Peter Morgan’s dialogue. And of course Mirren did a splendid turn as HM, with lightning changes (nothing is in chronological order) and very precise gestures and strangulated tones.

      The role has been taken over here by Kristin Scott-Thomas

      again -- not exactly a dead ringer for Hey Maj. I guess the clue is in the coiffure, given that it is a given that the Queen must look exactly as she does on the pound notes. No Mohican for her any time soon.

      • manou

        (Sorry about the brace of “givens”)

      • Camille

        Oh, good for you. I am sure armerjacquino will protest but perhaps he is a “Queenist”, as they call those that love not the monarchy but the Queen? That, I sincerely doubt, but I wanted his twopence on the whole proceeding.

        I am wondering in what sort of taste, as in bon goût, this actually is in — to carry on with the portrayal of the Queen, as if she need be included in this Age of Oprah-ization of all Media Image? And I wonder what and how
        Her Majesty actually thinks about it all? One would imagine she did not mind winning an Academy Award, and Mirren DID dedicate it to Her (‘To the Queen!’), but, well, I admire her, her rectitude and her uprightness, as she lives a life as a symbol, and that takes intestinal fortitude and perseverance, which she has shown to possess in spades over the decades. and as an emblem of an entire nation one would/should comport one’s self with great circumspection.

        Forgive me, armerjacquino!! Just a colonist with reveries about the Monarchy! No harm intended. Please look at it only as an exercise in The Theatre!
        love from the rebellious thirteen colonies

        • armerjacquino

          Blimey, I hope I’m not that intolerant. I’m a republican*, not a Stalinist! I don’t have any problem with people writing, performing or attending plays about the Queen. For what it’s worth, I think she’s done a decent job (and I hope she lives for a million years so we’re spared that disaster she gave birth to).

          *constitutional sense, not GOP sense, obv.

    • I imagine Beowulf is sometimes a recalcitrant student.

      • This now cries out for Offenbach’s recalcitrant husbands…

      • Camille

        HA!!! He Lurves BEOWULF! He plays the thing for the class and they doth HOWL!!

  • Hippolyte

    Always to the rescue:

    Traviata in Madrid:
    “La artista Patrizia Ciofi, cuya participación estaba prevista en esta producción en el papel de Violetta Valéry, será sustituida por Ermonela Jaho.

    • LT

      And a great improvement.

  • manou

    Calleja alert:

    On my facebook public page right now for those of you who want to join the question and answer session!— Joseph Calleja (@MalteseTenor) April 9, 2015

    • LT

      Joseph Calleja Hi Susan. When I cancelled at midday I did so in the best interest of the theatre so that they would have time to make arrangements. In the evening I got a call from the administration asking me how I felt and I replied much better, at which point they asked me to go on. That is exactly how it happened. Please understand that the Metropolitan Opera will always do what it thinks its best its audience and we artists agree with this stance as YOU are what makes opera performances possible.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Looks like this 10-year old studies position of the lips from Jonas Kaufman videos

    Blatant infringements here