Cher Public

One Grecian urn

So, in the Michigan Opera Theatre production of The Merry Widow, is Deborah Voigt channeling Joan Sutherland…  

…or Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn?

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    That’s one blue fillee of a Villi. The made uppers on those brown shoes have got to go. Looks like she’s surrounded by Home depot LED rope. Oh well, at Michigan is still a state and they have an opera company. Looks very Ariadne auf Smetana.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      man-made uppers

  • operaspike

    As a long-time costume designer, all I can say is “WTF” is she wearing? And brown shoes with that schmatta? Please Mary!!!

  • la vociaccia

    Costumes taken from primary school Aladdin Panto

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Michael Kaiser last week in the Miami Herald:

    ““If I’m a local theater or ballet or opera company and I’m going to compete successfully against this online presence [of major companies] then I had better be doing work that’s really interesting and special and has something really unique,” he says. “Or I will be viewed as a poor, expensive competitor to what I can get online’….In some ways, the cultural future Kaiser describes reflects other social and economic trends. Just as wealth and power are increasingly concentrated amongst a shrinking number of powerful individuals and corporations, he sees a few famous mega-institutions dominating what’s left of the arts landscape, sucking up the talent and attention, catering to the wealthy who can underwrite their productions and afford their tickets. As the number of small and mid-size groups shrinks, he predicts, so will the ethnic diversity and artistic experimentation that brings us the next defining trend or great artist, since the mega-troupes will have to appeal to the widest possible audience (at least in their online, mass offerings.) … Preaching that the arts are good for society, on the other hand, won’t get you far. “It works for those of us who believe that,” he says. “I’m not sure it wins over lots of people coming to our theaters. But good performances do. Excitement, word of mouth, people going ‘wow, that’s something to see.’ ”

    Read more here:

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • laddie

    and, speaking of clown cars:

    • Camille

      The WORST costume I have seen on a lead soprano for a long time. Who puts white tights on a chubby woman? A disservice to her and her performance. And that Colombina wig? Marie Antoinette on steroids.

      • littoraldrift

        The hot shirtless Silvio adds a whole level of dramatic credibility to proceedings. (Nice definition!) The Canio with the mild case of the moobs too, I’m afraid…

        • Cicciabella

          Littoral, I listened to this on the radio today, after watching the video earlier this weak. Silvio sounded very small-voiced and bleaty in the part: a real weak link in the cast. Maybe they made him take off his shirt as a distraction from the voice.

  • PCally

    What a dreadful costume, surprised she agreed to wear it. Anyway I wish her well. Was never the biggest fan but I saw her sing Sieglinde, Ariadne, Elsa, and Chrysothemis in the late 90’s and she was exquisite each time.

  • Patrick Mack

    No Gay Friends.

    • Rowna

      This confirms my belief that many costume designers are sight impaired (blind)? And why don’t the singers say something when they get the costume? Is nothing changeable?

      • bluecabochon

        Perhaps she likes the costume? The shoes are basic character shoes from Capezio (or somewhere equivalent). If she requested them because they are comfortable, they could at least have painted and embellished them to match the gown.

        • Camille

          Hi blue.
          Yes, I thought those were the same Capezio shoes I had years ago — you can get them at that shop down in the thirties, south of the Morgan Library. They are very comfortable and supportive, as well, and of course, will help with the dancing.

          I tried out my tap-dancing in them but, uh, it didn’t quite work out!!!!!!

  • Buster

  • danpatter

    Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn, of course, brings to mind the great, irreplaceable Hermione Gingold. A unique talent who always seemed to be having the best time ever.

  • antikitschychick


    think she took the “Greene” in Greene Space too literally :-P…but WHAT a performance! Beautiful voice, wonderful control of the line, fabulous fullness to the core of the sound, good coloratura…and good acting…bravissima.

    • antikitschychick

      and she knows it lol

    • LT

      At least she didn’t put on a moo moo like this one.

      • antikitschychick

        yeah I like that she’s wearing little makeup and going for a more natural look and trying to connect with the text, but that was an unfortunate choice of dress…and, out of respect, I won’t say a word about the singing.

      • bluecabochon

        It’s “muu-muu”, but I think that your spelling is more apt!

      • Camille

        It’s a muu muu, not a moo moo. That is what a cow does.

        They were very popular after Hawaii joined as the fiftieth state, especially on the West Coast, that’s where I came by this bit of lore.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Vapid! She does not communicate any meaning of the text. I could not listen past “mostrarsi a me! Ah!” Wondering why people are so taken by her, I went back to give it a second hearing… total snooze. She is singing at the MET?

      • antikitschychick

        well, I didn’t her her live at the Met but I listened to a recording of the entire mad scene and not only is it a gorgeous voice but is so well-produced…the lines are clean, the core of the voice is solid, the registers well integrated and she is perfectly in tune…it sounds effortless. I don’t think it sounds mechanical or ‘vapid’ either, I think she puts emotion into what she’s singing without being overly-indulgent. Sure, she could do more with the text but for a non-Italian I think her enunciation isn’t that bad…it’s mostly just spectacular singing though imho. Hopefully with some coaching she can add more nuances and color variations…but she’s right up there with all the great Lucias, in terms of the singing. I can’t speak to her acting skills since I haven’t seen her live, but after listening to that clip and the mad scene I definitely would like to.

        • Camille

          Yes, you didn’t and you should have, as there were student tickets aplenty and it would have been far more instructional for you than this in studio recording, with the sound adjusted in god only knows what manner to give a more gratifying experience.

          It was not so much vapid as totally meaningless.

          • antikitschychick

            I definitely would if I could but going to NY is a long and somewhat costly trip for me since I have to take 2 hr trains to an fro, and since I’m at the end of the semester such long travel is not feasible for me at this point, though I do hope to attend more next year since I’ll finally be taking the classes that I want :-).

            I hear what you’re saying about the limitations of recordings and it’s something I’m definitely aware of, which is why I prefaced my comment by saying I didn’t get a chance to hear her live, and I honestly didn’t intend to make any sweeping generalizations. If that’s what came across then I apologize. However it seems like a lot of the complaints aimed at her have to do with her interpretation, or lack thereof, whereas I’m focusing more on the vocal production, which I found to be impressive, at least initially. I may very well change my mind completely once I get to hear her live, or I may not. My initial comments were just that, initial reactions. I also haven’t had one of those experiences where I go see/hear someone live and they sound completely different than they do on recording, well at least not any opera singer. Sure, recordings can’t accurately capture the size and the overtones of a voice, as well as it’s ability to project into a large theater a lot of the time or the ability to sing through a piece without the slicing and dicing that leads to the best take, but that’s something I think we’re all aware of given that we’ve all, or at least almost all, gone to the theater at some point and heard these voices live. Thus, if and when that happens, it won’t come as a complete shock because I know it can, and does happen. For instance, I’ll never forget how one of my professors in college told me she went to go hear Cecilia Bartoli live and was shocked at how *small her voice actually is compared to what it sounds like on recording or at least to what she thought it sounded like on recordings. Based on that and other experiences I’ve always avoided making any final pronouncements based on just recordings, two notable exceptions being singers that are no longer with us, since its impossible for me to hear them live, and the other is about a certain SPINTO soprano, who I knew was fabulous right from the very first note I heard her sing and I was right. Eeep :-P.

            (I do have doubts about other star divos and divas, but I won’t get into that now…)

            No but seriously, I know that a compressed sound bite is ultimately not an apt comparison, much less a substitute in many instances, to the live experience, and you’re right that the the audio may have been adjusted in that clip but I don’t think it was enhanced in any way, otherwise she would not be singing at the Met, so I do think it’s still possible to get a sense of what she sounds like based on that.

            Have a lovely evening! XO.

            • antikitschychick

              you’re welcome and I agree with you about the voice having ‘meat’ to it. Have not heard Peretyatko much so can’t really comment on her.

            • antikitschychick

              meant to add at the end that in no way did I intend to take a jab at Ms. Bartoli. I was merely relaying an anecdote. I think she is a highly accomplished musician and recording artist and I greatly admire her contributions to the art form.

    • Rudolf

      @ antikitschychick
      You really get goosebumps from this performance? Yes, the voice is beautiful and evenly produced but in the end one takes nothing away from her singing. I don’t hear the emotion. The ghostly appearance near the fountain did not scare her much. Where’s the ecstasy she sings of? Where’s the trembling anticipation of seeing Edgardo again? The abandon? It’s not even spectacular singing. I’d not want to sit through such a “Lucia” if it were for free.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor


      • antikitschychick

        well Rudolph, again, I didn’t see her perform this at the Met fully costumed and whatnot, so perhaps you are right, but I thought that for a low-key performance in front of a small audience such as this, with just piano accompaniment, this was very impressive and sincere singing in that she sang the music straightforwardly, with zero mannerisms or ‘effects’ and, whats even more impressive is how easy she makes it look. To me that’s what made it an effective rendition; she is very much a stimm diva and, while I appreciate a good dramatic performance, I appreciate good clean singing just as much. But it’s fine if you disagree…we all have our particular tastes, likes and dislikes. There are certain singers I wouldn’t want to hear either, even for free and yet others can’t get enough of them and I mean, that’s cool…art is subjective, and sometimes when it’s really good, it’s polarizing :-D.

        • LT

          I did see her at the Met and she was just as emotionally sterile as on this clip.

    • CwbyLA

      I agree with you anti. This is absolutely beautiful singing. Beautiful voice, beautiful legato, beautiful use of rubato. It is not expressive in the way of a Maria Callas but it has its own beauty.

      • antikitschychick

        thanks and glad you agree CwbyLA. I hadn’t actually heard much of her before this and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised.

        I watched this short biographical clip of her as well:

        and I found her to be very endearing; throughout the video you also hear singing a stunningly beautiful rendition of Ah Forse Lui and Sempre Libera as well :-).

        • Rudolf

          @ antikitschychick
          Thanks for posting this clip on Ms. Shagimuratova. Very likable person.

          • antikitschychick

            you’re welcome :-) and yes she really is.

            @LT: maybe she needs time to dig deeper into the role…? Or maybe the production didn’t suit her. Natalie made a very strong impression in that production (AN also performed in it as did DD) and set the bar very high, so I’d be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Having said that, she may just not be the stage animal that other divas are, but I still think there’s much to enjoy in her singing. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

            • Camille

              Let me just say this: it was very different in performance, and I did find it quite automatic and meaningless with a constant oscillation to the tones, all, except the extreme top, the D and E flat. It was nice but it was boring and it seemed she was thinking about the singing all the time, ‘placing’ the tones. There was not much art at all, nor was it in any way exceptional

              You need to go hear these people live before drawing any sweeping generalized conclusions for it’s a whole different world, and it’s your best teacher.

              Analysing a recording or youtube is like cutting up a cadaver and saying how beautiful it is/was. You won’t understand a lot of things until you amass a quantity of experiences from actual LIVE performances, even if student or local or whatever, and then you may look at a youtube and have an idea of what actually it sounded like.

              Sorry to be harsh, but I have been there, and done that. It doesn’t work unless you want to live in an ivory tower.

    • meowiaclawas

      Sorry, but for me it was boring. All legato throughout, might have been nice to change things up with a staccato note or two, otherwise it just sounds all the same to me. Also, did she learn trills from Netrebko’s teacher? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • vilbastarda

      Thank you, antikitschy, really nice voice indeed. I don’t agree that she is not giving any meaning, I think she is doing a lot with the musical line actually. Yes, she is not enunciating the text as clearly as one might like, but she is definitely doing a lot musically. It is a different approach, a different school. What I like the most is that the voice has meat, it is not fluff, and she is taking that “meat” almost all the way up to the top. In a way she reminds me of Peretyatko on recordings. Peretyatko’s voice is unfortunately a bit too small for the Met, but she might grow. Never heard Albina live, and at the Met, would be curious how she sounds in the barn.

      • antikitschychick

        whoops, for some reason I replied to my own post instead of yours but again you’re welcome and I agree about it being a meat(ier) voice.

    • javier

      I saw her sing Lucia at LA Opera last season. I have never seen an entire house rise to a standing ovation any fast during a final curtain call! Albina is truly amazing.

  • -Ed.

    Who knew Pier1 Imports started selling clothes?

  • DeepSouthSenior

    Here’s the delivery of that outfit to Hermione Gingold as Mrs. Shinn, who promptly rejected it:

    • manou

      …starring Ron Howard.

  • javier

    renee’s costume was also similar although she had different colors.