Cher Public

Halfy birthday

Friend of the box Andrew Whitfield (not pictured) is celebrating his birthday by slashing prices in half on everything in the Opera Depot catalog for the rest of the week. And there are free downloads, too!

  • parpignol

    Happy Birthday, Andrew--
    I love your recordings--
    are you able to tell us a little bit about how you put together the collection?

  • Satisfied

    Not surprising but…The People’s Diva’s theatrical vehicle is getting a thrashing

    • Satisfied
      • davenport

        Not really what I would call a thrashing -- but then this is what most people were hoping for.
        I’ve seen worse reviews.

        • brooklynpunk

          I haven’t enjoyed myself in the Theater as much as I did, last night..!…I expected the worst…BUT..WAS VERY VERY HAPPILY SURPRISED…..!!

          The play itself is very silly…and stylistically dated….BUT… the cast plays it spot on..

          Renee has A SENSE OF HUMOR …AND TIMING ( who wuda thunk it?)…when she finally hangs up her opera cleats… I think she’s a natural fer the B’way stage..(comedies)

          GO-GO-GO….( it is very very delightful…..)

          • Gualtier M

            Brantley is correct that the play is very old hat and would have been dated in 1957 when it was set. Also Renee is basically good-humored and sane which this species of diva is not. If Angela Gheorghiu had an ounce of self-aware humor she would also be a supreme Raquel De Angelis -- but it ain’t gonna happen, folks. She has to be a woman of a certain age who has kept her figure, wears couture dresses well and has diva attitude. Renee is a little weak in the latter quality but is fine in the first two. She can behave naturally onstage, can handle dialogue and can land a laugh with throwaway delivery. Her comic timing is inconsistent (especially in comparison with top banana Douglas Sills) but it isn’t non-existent. I saw the show, it is diverting and disposable. The audience enjoyed it the night I went.

            Renee gets a nice write up here:
            Here is a roundup of reviews -- most are positive about Fleming but some chide the play for being too retro:
            and here:

            Brantley has his diva darlings -- for example Kelli O’Hara got a love letter from Ben in the Times for “The King and I”. But Poison Ivy and others have noted that she also comes off as too nice and low key for Anna Leonowens. Her performance lacks spunk, attitude and confrontational fire. But Brantley just elevated her theatrical divinity with no qualms.
            The Times review is probably one of the few that is critical of Fleming saying she is miscast -- no one says she is inept.

            • peter

              Brantley certainly has his favorites. I will never forget how he gushed over Bernadette Peters in the Little Night Music revival a few years ago. I thought she was horribly miscast and it was just awful how she wept through Send in the Clowns.

            • Gualtier M

              I am not a Peters hater but she was terrible as Sally Durant Plummer in that “Follies” revival that came in from DC. She played the end of the character from the beginning -- you expected men in white coats to come and take her away before she got to “In Buddy’s Eyes”. And yes, she wept her way through “Losing My Mind”. I actually liked Bernie’s Desiree in ALNM. Also by the time I got to “Gypsy” (almost at the end of the run at a Wednesday matinee!?! :0 -- Peters had found her own particular way into Mama Rose and though it wasn’t the best sung, it worked for me.

              But he has his own diva worshipping tendencies especially for veterans of a certain age. Kelli has joined that particularly sorority judging from the “King and I” review.

            • peter

              I’m not a Peters hater either but the last few roles she has done on Broadway have not been good, including Sally Durant.

            • brooklynpunk

              …I should have said “I haven’t enjoyed myself in the theater…for quite some time”…..( no— this is NOT the greatest show, ever…lol lol…

              For me, it might be that i really expected a train-wreck….or, at best, nothing…at all… so that’s why I was so pleased..

              Fer me , it past my “squirming” test…so many times at t he theater…or the opera…or ..a family get together…I sit and fume and squirm and try not to fall asleep… i didn’t do any of those things last night…EXCEPT… for that rather cheesy fake “Italian” accent from “the Maestro”…that really wasn’t necessary, at all…

    • messa di voce

      Thrashing? The Variety review is very positive.

      • manou

        “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

        ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

        ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

        • phoenix


  • First of all, in addition to Opera Depot, Andrew Whitfield is hothothot, And he can sing Rossini coloratura just about as well as anyone performing today. PLus he’s a fine conductor. I sang with him at Amore Opera in Barber Of Seville and he both performed it and conducted it.

    Second, I saw the Follies in DC before it came to New York and Peters was execrable. TO be pushing 70 and still do that pouty Shirley Temple-ish baby talk is just beyond me.