Cher Public

Exactly what it says on the tin

On this day in 1927 Mae West was sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex.

Note: this posting may also serve as your “Intermission Feature” location for the week.

Born on this day in 1892 composer Germaine Tailleferre

Born on this day in 1892 tenor Walter Widdop

Born on this day in 1908 conductor Joseph Keilberth

Happy 91st birthday mezzo-soprano Hertha Topper

Happy 79th birthday conductor Bernhard Klee

Happy 77th birthday tenor Kenneth Riegel

Happy 50th birthday soprano Natalie Dessay

Happy 49th birthday soprano Veronique Gens

  • sdika

    TOday was 2nd(and last) concert in San Diego celebrating 50th anniversary of San Diego Opera. The concert was awesome. For me highlights were René Barbera, Stephen Powell and Emily Magee although everyone else was awesome as well. Pearl Fishers duet with Rene and Stephen was great. Stephen closed out first half with powerful Te Deum from Tosca. We are so lucky to have him singing in San Diego in several productions now. René was excellent in Ah! mes amis. He is so infectious as performer and got a huge ovation after hitting all those high Cs. I really liked Emily Magee. I think I read some negative things here about her but she was wonderful. I wish she had more to sing other than Tosca aria and Marietta’s lead. I found her superb in both. Lise Lindstorm had 4 arias(Tanhauser, Turandot, Ariadne and Isolde). She looked stunning and I liked her as well but not as much as Magee. From nose bleed section she looks a lot like Garanca.

    • chicagoing

      Clicked on the San Diego Opera site out of curiosity about this event and noticed that Latonia Moore will sing Cio-Cio San there in their next (abbreviated) season.

  • Of course, no April 19th could pass by without remembering the birthday of Azerbaijani composer Afrasiyab Badalbeyli, creator of 1948’s “Nizami”.

    • And for the balletomanes, the first Azerbaijani ballet -Afrasiyab Badalbeyli’s “The Maiden Tower”

      • manou

        Is the maiden tower lots of maidens piled up in a heap -- or a very chaste tower?

        • Per Wikipedia, both interpretations are possible.

          • manou

            I am bowled over (even if not a bona fide maiden).

            • luvtennis

              So you are a “bad faith” maiden? What is that like a Catholic schoolgirl? -- he said clutching his various (3) crucifixes… and beating a hasty retreat…

            • manou

              Cricketing terms may not be familiar to a US audience…

              A propos your three crucifixes -- someone wrote to a newspaper to say they had been to a jeweller’s to buy a gold cross and were asked by the young assistant “Do you want a plain one, or one with a little man on it?”

            • Cicciabella

              At least it wasn’t “a little man in a nappy”.

        • My tower has been chaste for some time now, and frankly, I’m fed up.

          • manou

            Power to your tower.

    • phoenix

      m.croche -- memory refreshed -- I remember seeing Nizami at the newly (and beautifully) restored Akhundov Azerbaijan operahouse in Baku (circa late 1980’s). I stayed in Azerbaijan for awhile, always fascinated by their operas, particularly the solo vocal writing. One of my favorite memories.

      • Phoenix, I know I can always rely on you to upvote the Azeri selections.

        Not everyone can get to Baku, so it would be nice if some of these performances toured more often. I’m still kicking myself for missing “Arshin Mal Alan” in L.A. a couple years back. “Arshin Mal Alan” has also been done a couple of times in Germany and Austria. I follow a couple traditional mugham singers on Facebook and their bookings stretch from Iran to Mexico. The European games are being held in Baku in June -- perhaps it will provide sort of stimulus for European presenters to host these unique combinations of Russo-european music with Azerbaijani mugham.

        (Also hopeful that the easing of the sanctions regime against Iran will bring more Persian opera, puppet opera and traditional opera to the world’s stages.)

        • Whaddya know, just found this clip from the L.A. performance of Uzeir Hadjibeyov’s “Arshin Mal Alan”. Dialogue in English, sung in Azeri. The dialogue, as usual with operettas, suffers in a large hall. Perhaps Jeremy Sams would be free to provide a new book?

          • phoenix

            m., I’m not a big operetta fan but those wonderful dramatic historic Azeri blockbusters (sung by those incredible tenors) really were the thing that hooked me on that Baku operahouse; they only did one of those masterpieces a few times each month, the rest of the rep was usually operetta, comedy, ballet -- and once in awhile a Slavic or western european opera.
            -- Due to episodic changes of circumstance in my own life, I haven’t been back since the Soviet U.S.S.R. days (but those days were very happy indeed -- I never encountered anything but sincerity from the Azeri and even more unforgettable: a strange recognition & acceptance from them I never encountered anywhere else -- the atmosphere was always comfortable, relaxed and friendly. Like I’ve said many times before, it’s the only place in the world I ever visited where I felt like I actually belonged there -- my soul’s homeland.
            -- But now things have changed so much I don’t even know if I really want to or can go back -- it has become very expensive (one manat = $0.95) and the inflation is as high as here in USA, food and lodging (particularly in the more upscale hotels) is on the European price scale -- whereas in days before, luxury restaurants and international chain fortress hotels didn’t even exist -- only inns, small family hotels. The most prestigious hotel in Baku was a pleasant, simple Soviet-style hotel run by hospitable Russians. But if there is one place in Central Asia I would return, it would still be back to the Azeri. Actually my favorite place wasn’t Baku, but Shemakha (of the legendary Queen in Coq d’or) and the magical town of Shekhi. Although Baku is definitely the commercial & cultural center of the republic, the Caucuses are the real jewels in that crown.

  • Camille

    MoMA is showing Citizen Kane through Thursday (see http://www.MoMA.org/films), for those of you who never tire of this:

    • antikitschychick

      fabulous clip! Thanks for posting it Camille. Glad you enjoyed the perf of Don Carlos the other night as well :-). Thinking of going to MoMA on Friday, May 15th after finals…if I’m still alive lol.

      • Camille

        Beware of Free Fridays! Yesterday, during a rainy Monday afternoon the place was PACKED! Lots of turistas, as I heard various languages spoken throughout.
        Also, please be aware that the Björk tickets are “timed tickets”, so you have really, really either got to pay the full admission or get in line super early, as the tickets were all sold out yesterday, except for members. This was at 2 pm on a Monday, to give you an idea.

        The line for the free admission on Friday — as the time is 4pm — you’d have to be there at least by 2-3pm to stand online. If you pre-buy your ticket, fulltime student with a current ID is $14. An annual membership for students is $50. So, you might want to consider that option.

        • antikitschychick

          Noted, and thank you! :-).

    • phoenix

      On the subject of Don Carlo, decided to go to the Wednesday, 29 April performance at Academy of Music in Philadelphia. I know Aulus plans on going, if anyone else from the crowd will be there perhaps we could meet at the interval (apparently there is only one 20 minute intermission scheduled, so on 2nd thought I don’t know if there would be enough time to meet up) or perhaps before -- I haven’t been there since circa 1990.
      -- At any rate here are some interesting media promotion interviews with the singers (said singers being the reason I am going):
      http://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/2015/04/20/basses-discuss-being-black-opera-singers/
      and
      http://www.phillymag.com/ticket/2015/04/16/in-the-wings-the-cast-of-opera-philadelphias-don-carlo/

      • aulus agerius

        Terrific! Let’s definitely try to work something out. :-)

        I was there only one time before: Goerke’s Norma.

    • Batty Masetto

      Mildly à propos: the etymology of the name Salammbô:

      http://languagehat.com/salammbo/#comments

  • aulus agerius

    zenpoazc-at-gmail-dot-com