Cher Public


On this day in 1778 the Teatro alla Scala opened in Milan.  

Born on this day in 1823 composer Francisco Asenjo Barbieri

Born on this day in 1912 tenor Richard Holm

Happy 57th birthday bass Barseg Tumanyan

Happy 56th birthday baritone Simon Keenlyside

Happy Birthday parterre scribe John Yohalem, who is ageless.

  • WindyCityOperaman

    It’s the one big destination on my bucket list . . .

    • WindyCityOperaman

      • manou

        Extended version:

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      I had the opportunity to walk across the stage and stand downstage center before a performance when a friend was singing at La Scala a few years ago. I channeled my inner Maria and glared over at the “palco funesta!” It was thrilling to be out there, even if just for two minutes. The history!

      • damianjb1

        Giudici Ad Anna?

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Sorry, I meant this tribute:

    • Camille

      I am glad you posted it by mistake as I’d long had intention of watching it, so thank you.

      Now then, here is the pertinent parterrian part:


      Guessing this was what got old OperaChic all hot and bothered. When I saw him at ABT he wore an actual set of clothes, so his impact was not as robust, shall we say?

      • Camille



        If it doesn’t work this time just go to Roberto Bolle+Excelsior.

  • Camille

    Feliz cumpleaños a mi novio JoYo!!!!

    And many, many more!

  • Donna Anna

    I read last week’s story about a student production of Tannhauser at Museo del Barrio. Any Parterrians brave it? My question is why did do this in English?

    • Camille

      No, I did not brave it but did contemplate going.

      After the supernal glow transmitted by the Daphne I am unwilling to spoil it by chancing another lousy production. That said, one has to admit it took balls for a bunch of college kids to put on such as Tannhæuser, and wonder what they were up to….? Would love to hear about as well.

    • Gualtier M

      This is a review by Meche Kroop -- Meche specializes in covering smaller companies -- professional and semi-professional, student and amateur. She is very critical of the staging but felt it was musically solid. Oddly the tenor seems to have been on top of the assignment but the Wolfram was a problem -- usually the opposite is true at the Met and other international theaters…

      • Donna Anna

        Thanks! You’ve got to hand it to these kids, especially the conductor, for taking this on, although I take issue with performing it in English.
        We have three chamber opera companies here in Cincinnati and one has done Wagner, albeit in one-act segments in German with subtitles. Solid performances so far but the young conductor has difficulty maintaining balance. To be fair, the company uses a hall with no pit but the conductor should be able to rein in the orchestra. When they did the first act of Siegfried, I left with a splitting headache. Ah, youth. Wonderful to have their enthusiasm.

        • Gualtier M

          As for the fusty English translation -- I have a suspicion that they used an old, out of copyright translation from the turn of the last century. The “Ye Olde English” deliberately archaic style is typical of those old translations. If they had used lets say an excellent Andrew Porter singing translation it would require permission and licensing from the rights holder and would have cost them money.

          I remember going to a “Marriage of Figaro” given by the Amore Opera. They used the old Ruth and Thomas Martin translation that was full of infelicitous doggerel. The exception was the translation of “Voi Che Sapete” done by a fine mezzo called Alison Taylor Cheeseman -- after the show I complimented her on her singing and mentioned that the translation for Cherubino’s music was superior than that elsewhere. She smiled and confided that she reworked and revised the translation herself! The folks at Apotheosis Opera should have done their own singing translation.

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    WARNING ABOUT BAYREUTH: As of this past Saturday (01 August), Deutsche Bahn ( has suspended train service between Nürnberg and Bayreuth. They are rebuilding the tracks between Nürnberg and Pegnitz until sometime in September.

    To get here, I had to take a train from Nürnberg to Bamberg (and made the connection by literally less than a minute), and then another train from Bamberg to Bayreuth. In all, this added about 90 minutes to the usual time of the direct ride from Nürnberg to Bayreuth.

    But that’s not all: to get back to Nürnberg to catch my direct train back to Wien, I shall have to get a train from Bayreuth to Pegnitz at 08:03 and then take a bus from Pegnitz to Nürnberg, which is scheduled to arrive at 09:29. As my train to Wien leaves Nürnberg at 10:30, I must take this earlier train (I believe they run hourly).

    So: Anyone who is planning to go to the Festspiele in the coming weeks, and if you plan to get there by train, please go to the Deutsche Bahn Web site and figure out what route works best for you, and add on the extra travel time! Remember to do this in both directions of your trip.

    P.S. I attended a brilliant Liederabend (Schumann and Mahler, with accompaniment on Wagner’s 1876 piano) for about 100 people in the salon of Haus Wahnfriedn tonight by Austrian baritone Daniel Schmutzhard. I met his wife, Annette Dasch, afterwards and she told me she will make her Wiener Staatsoper in two years “and both characters start with ‘”E’.” I asked if the composer starts with “W” and she said “One.” So: I assume Elsa (or Elisabeth), but what is the other role?

    • spiderman

      (Donna) Elvira?

      • spiderman

        or Elettra

    • Bill

      Jungfer -- do not know Dasch’s repertoire --
      Elisabeta in Don Carlo, Donna Elvira, Eglantine,
      Ellen Oxford, Emma, not Esmeralda, Euridice, Euryanthe,
      the one with W could also be Eva.

  • Hippolyte

    Unhappy news and distressing plans: Kelli O’Hara in Purcell? Deborah Voigt in Gilbert and Sullivan? Why?

    • Camille


    • Krunoslav


      ‘The cast will include soprano Deborah Voigt and Broadway alums Betsy Wolfe and Montego Glover.’

      Maybe Carson Elrod as Ruth?

      • Camille

        Maybe if we cross our fingers and hold our breath we’ll get ALL NEW lyrics for Pirate and “Die, Dido, DIE!”, from the purple plume of Master Scribe Sams!

        “O gioia!”
        [slumps to stage].

        Das Ende.

    • DeepSouthSenior

      Poor Little Buttercup, when she is laid in earth. (OK, give me credit for getting that close.)

      • Camille

        Dido died to push up poor lil’ Buttercup…boo hoo hoo!!!

    • Signor Bruschino

      I mean, it almost sounds like an April Fools joke- next season, Jessye Norman in HMS Pinafore

      • Camille

        Yess to Jess singing thiss:

        Sorry she never La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein, as well.

        • Camille: There’s still time for the Duchess of Krakenthorp!

          • Camille

            ‘Twould be a SCANDALE if she didn’t ever do the Duchess of K.—
            She’d mop the floor with all them other fools on stage!

          • DeepSouthSenior

            Last month, Mrs. DSS and I took a preacher friend and his wife to their first opera -- The Live in HD Summer Encore of La Fille du Regiment (April 2008, Dessay and Florez). They seemed to have a great time, and not just because of free tickets and a good meal. My friend David remarked on Natalie Dessay’s acting ability. To tell the truth, I think he was a little smitten. (Join the crowd!) I can only imagine what they thought of Marian Seldes as The Duchess. “So, this insanity is what opera is all about?”

      • And Thomas Hampson will be taking on Mime.

        • manou