Cher Public

True verismo

Jonas Kaufmann‘s Puccini album (the new one on Sony, not the repackaged one on Decca) is being previewed by NPR. You can listen to it here on parterre, right after the jump.  

  • Lohengrin
  • Lohengrin

    Sorry : “more”

  • Chenier631

    Anyone know who the soprano is on the Manon Lescaut duet?

    It sounds like Opolais.


    • Camille

      That was my guess, but I frankly turned it off after the first few phrases.
      If only her voice was as beautiful as her looks and personality.

    • manou

      It is indeed Opolais

      (I posted this link elsewhere).

      You’d think they would try to spell her name properly.

  • Lady Abbado

    Speaking of Manon Lescaut, Gheorghiu’s upcoming Australian concerts seem to include her first live performance of Sola Perduta Abbandonata -- hopefully a teaser for her next role debut…

    Sydney Opera House -- October 8
    Hamer Hall Melbourne -- October 13

    Angela Gheorghiu
    Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
    Tiberiu Soare, conductor

    “Lascia ch’io pianga” from RINALDO (Handel)
    “Adieu notre petite table” from MANON (Massenet)
    “O mio babbino caro” from GIANNI SCHICCHI (Puccini)
    “Pleurez mes yeux” from LE CID (Massenet)
    “Habanera” from CARMEN (Bizet)
    “Un bel di vedremo” from MADAMA BUTTERFLY (Puccini)
    “Vissi d’arte” from TOSCA (Puccini)
    “Sola perduta, abbandonata” from MANON LESCAUT (Puccini)
    “I could have danced all night” from MY FAIR LADY (Loewe)

    • Krunoslav

      “Gheorghiu’s upcoming Australian concerts seem to include her first live performance of Sola Perduta Abbandonata — hopefully a teaser for her next role debut…”

      Bet she aces the line “O, sarà la più bella…” Practice…

      • Lady Abbado

        I’ve just noticed several other “for-the-first-time-in-a-live-performance” in Gheorghiu’s (very generous) upcoming Los Angeles recital: “Ombra di nube” & “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” included…

        Angela Gheorghiu
        Jeff Cohen, piano
        The BroadStage Los Angeles 19 September
        (& likely the same for the recital in Bloomington, Indiana, 23 September)

        “O cessate di piagarmi” from Il Pompeo by Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
        “O del mio dolce ardor” from Paride ed Elena by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
        “Tre giorni son che Nina” by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
        “Nel cor più non mi sento” from L’amor contrastato by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816)
        “Malinconia, ninfa gentile” by Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835)
        “Me voglio fa na casa” by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
        “Brindisi” from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
        “Nebbie” by Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)
        “Morire?” by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
        “Sole e amore” by Giacomo Puccini
        “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini
        “In Quelle Trine Morbide” from Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini
        “Come Again, sweet love doth now invite” by John Dowland (1563-1626)
        “The Last Rose of Summer” by Friedrich Von Flotow (1812-1883)
        “The Bohemian Girl” by Michael William Balfe (1808-1870)
        “Ombra di nube” by Licinio Refice (1883-1954)
        “Ideale” by Paolo Tosti (1846-1916)
        “La Serenata” by Paolo Tosti
        “Chanson de l’adieu” by Paolo Tosti
        “A vucchella” by Paolo Tosti
        “Cantecul Fluierasului” by George Steph?nescu (1843-1925)
        “Pianul” by Mi?u Iancu (1909-1994)
        “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” from Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
        “Ecco: Respiro Appena” from Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea (1866-1950)

      • Camille

        Oh, sarò la più bella!

        Couldn’t let that one slide by.
        Yes, I know the “h” looks funny in italiano but for some reason it’s there.

        Sorry to be a pedantic asshole but, you know, it happens.

  • chicagoing

    What is it about “I Could Have Danced All Night” which seems to make it the go-to nonclassical selection to include in many an operatic performer’s recital? It must be something more than a lack of imagination.

    • Camille

      It’s the god-given right of every soprano to interpolate a High C at the end, à la Birgit Nilsson, examples of which abound. I don’t know if Birgit started it, but it sure was a good idea!

      • Camille

        Exhibit A:

        And much later on:

        In the heart of every Brünnhilde lives a silly, giddy young girl who dreams of dancing all night, it would seem.

        • DerLeiermann

          She really makes it sound like a mix between “Frühlingsstimmen” and “I am the wife of Mao Tse-tung”.

          • Camille



            • John L

              Eliza Doolittle meets Turandot.

              Straniero, Ascolta! the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!

      • DerLeiermann

        I think it’s just like that song everyone knows. As written it has no notes above the staff and in general, it doesn’t seem like an extremely demanding song. They could probably trick the audience with that. The audience feels cherished and the singer does an encore that doesn’t take much from her and everyone leaves with a nice memory.
        Besides who doesn’t like a bit of camp?
        *interpolates high e flat, adds trills and portamenti *

        • Often admonished

          it doesn’t seem like an extremely demanding song

          The breath control required to phrase it properly has defeated a number of sopranos. For ex, it was a stretch for Dawn Upshaw.

          • armerjacquino

            Damrau’s version on her recent album is terrific.

          • DerLeiermann

            I didn’t know Dawn Upshaw sang it- She sang a fantastic “glitter and be gay”. I’ll check her version out if it’s available somewhere online.

    • operadunce

      I don’t know about other singers, but when I saw Fleming perform it, she invited the audience to sing along. Everyone knows the words and the response was very enthusiastic. It was fun!

      • chicagoing

        I don’t necessarily want a bon bon served to me at the conclusion of a recital. I get that Joyce DiDonato is from Kansas, for example, making Somewhere Over the Rainbow a clever or charming closing to an evening but content such as that almost implies that the audience needs a reward for sitting in silence through the heavier formal program. For me as an audience member it can detract from what has come before.

    • DeepSouthSenior

      Add Deborah Voigt to the obligatory “I Could Have Danced All Night” crowd-pleaser for the masses. At our local university last April, Debbie did not interpolate a High C, if I remember correctly. The one thing I do recall is the (very good) student orchestra’s failure to switch gears from the earlier Strauss and Wagner to understated, Broadway-style accompaniment. I mostly blame the conductor for this. What should have been a light, frothy number turned into a battle between voice and orchestra worthy of the final scene of Elektra. This time, the voice lost, but the singer survived.

  • DerLeiermann

    Speaking of sopranos singing weird non-classical selections. If any of you goes back in time, don’t forget to record Madame Callas singing “Stormy Weather”.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    This is a treat to run in the background

  • Heartwarming news: Meredith Monk, composer of the opera “Atlas”, dancer, choreographer, composer, and filmmaker, will be awarded the National Medal of the Arts at the White House.

  • antikitschychick

    thanks for the link Cieca; I listened to some excerpts and while we certainly get some lovely & virile singing from herr Kaufmann I have t concur with the npr critic about the orchestra being mixed too loudly throughout. The final vincero is not drowned out but it almost is. Perhaps since its a verismo recording they wanted a more ‘realistic/raw’ sonic quality but unfortunately the loudness of the orchestra detracts from Jonas’s performance. I listened to the duets with Opolais as well and I actually find that she does have a pleasant timbre; its an unusual one but I don’t find it unappealing and I think she sounds pretty good, if a bit bland here, which is surprising she’s she is a musical singer; perhaps she held back a bit so as to not take any of the spotlight away from Jonas. She’s a great actress and a formidable singer but she’s not someone I’d actively seek out. Although I think she’s very good in this type of repertoire, though I haven’t heard her live so I’m limited to what I’ve heard on Youtube and on recordings.

  • Kaufmann is doing a Puccini recital this season at the Champs Elysées. I imagine he’s touring it to promote the album.

    • manou

      Yes -- he is coming to London in October. I have just given my tickets away because we shall be abroad on the day. Not that they were a giveaway in the first place -- ridiculously overpriced.

      Standing spaces (only ones left) are £85.00 = $130.00.

      • Five to 175 euros here.

      • Lohengrin

        London-Ticket-Prices (sold out!)

        £125 £95 £85 £50 £40 £30

  • schweigundtanze

    The “O soave fanciulla” with Opolais is fantastic! It reminds me of Simoneau and Alarie’s recording.

    • la vociaccia


      • la vociaccia

        I just…Simoneau has to be the polar opposite of Kaufmann in..every respect.

    • Rudolf

      @ schweigundtanze
      Well … that’s a surprising statement.

  • DonCarloFanatic

    Finally listened to this again, and Jonas does the saddest Act I Rodolfo I’ve ever encountered. The joy of life lived to its fullest should be in his voice at this point in the story. He’s got the girl. Life is good. I heard no joy at all.