Cher Public

Upbeat news

Put your hands together for Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who has been named Musical America‘s Artist of the Year. (Photo via Facebook)

  • Milly Grazie

    Bravo Mighty Mouse ! THIS man is the future… move over Jimmy (with all respect and love of course).

    • DerLeiermann

      I think I’d support this, Milly Grazie. The thought of it doesn’t infuriate me so I guess I stand behind this wish.

  • Camille

    Well, goody gumdrops! Maybe all this exposure will give him the deux centimes to buy a shirt!

    Seriously, a gifted guy, and hopefully we will see a lot more of him at the MET in many years to come on the podium. Clothed. He sounded good in his halftime interview last night…he referred to Giulini as his Maestro--therefore I assume he studied with him? I hope so, for he would have benefited greatly.

    The King is dead—long live the King.

    • steveac10

      It is starting to seem like a concerted effort on the part of many, isn’t it? Not that I object in any way. Others might bring as much to the podium as he can, but few other conductors in his age group have been capable of generating that rock star aura about themselves. Even though he’s 40 and well experienced, he has an air of freshness and youthful enthusiasm about him that is very attractive to fans of opera -- dedicated and casual alike.

    • Liz.S

      “he referred to Giulini as his Maestro”

      Well, this is a tricky thing.
      Giulliani was not his mentor actually and YNS was not his assistant. Their relationship was not anything close to that sort of master-disciple one.

      He was allowed to attend Giulliani’s rehearsals about 5, 6 times. He must have learned a lot from that experience and also from Giulliani’s records and concerts, though.


      • Porgy Amor

        However, YNS is quoted in that article: “He had the capacity to make me feel more confident about my own ideas, which in the end is the best lesson in conducting. Any question I would ask him would always go back to: ‘How do I feel? How would I sing it? How do you keep things simple?’ ”

        So, it was a little more than auditing some rehearsals and listening to Giulini’s recordings, as educational as that may have been. The writer mentions that they went over scores together.

        • Liz.S

          Having a person=to-person chat and going thru the score together -- that’s nothing special -- young conductors do that all the time @ master classes, etc.

          What it is is what it is. There is nothing wrong with YNS consider Giulini as his maestro regardless in his mind. I think it’s rather wonderful to have that sort of respect.

          • Camille

            And you know, even a LITTLE bit of contact with a really great maestro, of any sort, can have an exponential effect on a young, very bright person. I mean to say, a lot can be said and done in very few words and gestures. Very interesting.

          • steveac10

            Liz.S -- I would have to say even an hour or two going over a score with the likes of Giulini could be life changing for an aspiring conductor.

          • Liz.S

            No doubt at all. I had no idea I sounded like I’m doubting the lasting impact of Giulini on YNS -- despite of numerous spelling erros ;-)

            People usually and automatically assume certain length of guidance and acceptance from a mentoring maestro to a young conductor -- like Karajan & Ozawa, Collin Davis & Ticciati, etc., etc. I only pointed out that theirs were not that sort.

            • Camille

              Liz.S — Pro Tip — when being Superior, it’s important, no VITAL, to get the spelling of the pertinent party’s name correct. For all I knew, there was yet another conductor out there named ‘Giulliani’, or worse yet, our former mayor, regularly named Mr. GUIliani in various and sundry publications, may have put on his musical cap and had a stab at conducting himself.

              Yes, and I only was half listening to the interview and caught the words “Maestro” and “Giuliani” as I went in and out of the room — and did end the sentence with the question mark, as I was not entirely sure of what had preceded his remark, usw.

            • Camille

              and the disease is catching for now I note that with all this i have referred to the late great maestro as Giuliani in the last paragraph so, I am going to hang it all up now.

      • Camille

        Huh, that IS interesting. You do mean Carlo Maria GIULINI, correct?

        Anyway you slice it, a smart young man. May the best man win.

    • Camille

      After last night’s performance it was apparent that he ain’t dead yet nor does he appear to not relish the love and bravos which rained down upon his chubby countenance. It is a tense situation but I wager that it will continue for a time, whether or not anyone cares for the long delay.

  • And it looks like the Google Ads algorithm has got me figured out.

    • Camille

      Ooooh, I like those bai drinks and now I likem even better! Peachy!

      • Camille

        I’m sorry.
        This was another gay moment I intruded upon.
        I’m sorry that I don’t know the difference between gay and merry and sometimes get confounded.

        I do like bai drinks, however.

    • DerLeiermann

      I wonder if the calories or the name came first.

  • Will

    Possibly known to you all, but I did a bit of a search on the web and came up with this bit of biographical information:
    “He is also the first openly gay conductor of one of the “big five” orchestras in the United States. Mr. Nézet-Séguin’s partner of sixteen years, Pierre Tourville (shown in sunglasses behind Yannick), is the assistant principal violist of the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), and they appear everywhere together. When the conductor was fêted by the city of Philadelphia a couple of years ago, Pierre Tourville was also introduced at every stop – amazing, considering that Philadelphia is not exactly known to be a progressive city.”

    After the Otello I heard him conduct at the MET last Saturday I would definitely like to see his youth and energy at the service of the Metropolitan. He’s the real deal.

    • sutherlandfan

      Actually, Philadelphi is quite progressive regarding LGBT issues. Our very active and visible community is well integrated into the city as a whole. In that contex, YNS and his partner have been warmly received by the city, and thanks to Yannick’s own personality, vitality, and inclusiveness, that included parts of the community not ordinarily interested in classical music. Philadelphia loves YNS and he loves Philadelphia and the Philadelphia orchestra and we hope he has a wonderful career GUEST conducting at the Met, but Philadelphia strongly urges NY to keep your hands off YNS!!

      • Camille

        don’t worry too much, sutherlandfan, for at the GLACIAL rate of progress around these parts, nothing seems to be happening right away, but then, non so nulla, nulla.

        Certainly, Madame La Cieca may be better informed in all this matter and will be filling us little people in who dwell out here in the dark.

      • Gualtier M

        Given the slow but steady decline in Levine’s abilities and physical strength and the not insignificant fact that he is 72 and has a major neurological disorder the whole idea that he can go on indefinitely is ill-advised. The fact is that he could just not wake up one morning and the Met would be f*cked. And the whole idea that Fabio Luisi (who I think feels he has been shafted/used) and YN-S are just sitting around waiting to ditch their long-term contracts and jump is also wrong. Those top tier conductors are contracted for years and years in advance. A successor has to be chosen NOW and plans have to be put in place.

        I think the easiest thing would be to choose a successor to both Levine and Gelb to take over at the same time.

    • ML

      “2015 Artist of the Year” is also gay.

    • Don_Dano

      Partner of sixteen years? So I missed his “seven year itch”?

  • Will

    Thanks, sutherlandfan for confirming my feeling that Philadelphia would be supportive and welcoming to LGBT issues and community. I was surprised when I read that sentence at the end of the article.

  • parpignol

    YNZ was wonderful conducting Otello tonight, and the whole ensemble is actually coming together quite well, as it proceeds; this was even more true for Anna Bolena last night, way better than earlier in the run; you could actually understand why you’d mount these operas for Radvanovsky who was almost entirely in control, with something of the presence she had in Norma; and the young tenor seemed like he was growing up over the course of the run, very nice top to his voice--

  • gustave of montreal

    Another great Montrealer -- like me!

  • Krunoslav

    Meanwhile, Musical America‘s *Vocalist* of the Year is the routinely overpraised Mark Padmore, a NYT favorite who has nearly displaced Bostridge in their pages as a cultural icon.

    “British tenor Mark Padmore is our generation’s foremost interpreter of the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passions” says Musical America.

    I would have said that was Christoph Prégardien , b. 1956. not Padmore, b. 1961.

    • 98rsd

      And you would have been right!

    • gustave of montreal

      He only sings Passions ? how dull.

    • armerjacquino

      And that’s why superlatives in the arts are a waste of time. Padmore and Pregardien are both terrific. It couldn’t matter less which one is ‘better’, and nobody would ever agree on it anyway.

      • Hippolyte

        Pregardien’s son Julian, also a tenor, is excellent in the title role of the new recording of Rameau’s wonderful opera “Zais.”

  • mrsjohnclaggart

    I wrote this to someone a few years ago: “At the talkback tonight our Yannick was viciously attacked by an audience member for his Eroica, in detail, and with shocking force. Yannick was utterly taken aback, and I thought the queen moderating would faint dead away. I would have written what the attacker said (we both had scores) BUT probably have been kinder. Yannick is trying, but this was a miscalculation (and trying to do the metronomes was as always a mistake and it is also ALWAYS wrong to omit the exposition repeat in the Eroica since it contains new material in transition to the development”.

    “Truls Mork canceled but his replacement in the Shosty 1 cello was Johannes Moser, utterly demented in stage manner but TONS of fun and very good too, but Yannick didn’t make much of the piece (Johannes got EVERYTHING and then some out of it). I wonder if Edda is his mother? He acted rather like her when going completely insane with fury at Dreary during those never to be forgotten Don Giovannis. But Johannes is Canadian-German, so perhaps not.”

    MODERATOR QUEEN: A woof-woof.
    YANNICK: Are you barking?
    VARIOUS IN AUDIENCE: Yes! Woof-woof!
    YANNICK: A wolf?
    YANNICK: j’aime les chats.
    SOME IN AUDIENCE: Hisssssssssss.
    QUEEN MODERATOR: I think we are done here. (THEY RUN OFF STAGE)”

    Yannick’s English is a lot better now. I know something about Musical America and the REDACTED who runs it, SCUM, I mean REDACTED. I’ve even written for both rag and blog and REDACTED. I knew Mo. Giulini who always struck me as hilarious mostly because he never intended to be (I think) and would say outrageous things as though praying.

    He may have had some serious dealings with Yannick, who knows? But Giulini hated most of the popular music. He LOATHED Puccini and the verismo and NEVER did any even when trying to make a career (exceptions were an Adriana and Cav and he SHUDDERED when mentioning them.) He didn’t like primo ottocento either and never even did Norma (though he did do that wonderful if cut and not entirely stylish series of performances and the EMI recording of L’italiana in Algeri, with GIULIETTA.)

    Tebaldi told me he was so green when they hired him to replace the greatest De Sabata at La Scala at the last minute and he had to do La Wally (De Sabata had been stabbed by the Countess Castelbarco, nee Wally Toscanini whose pro Callas clique ran the place) that they had to help him cue the chorus and supporting people to come in, except for “that piccolona Scotto — she always look pregnant then, I wonder why? — I ask Mario [Del Monaco], he laugh — SHE cued GIULINI!!!!!”

    Giulini hated la Wally too, but he wanted/needed the job. However, he ran afoul of The Countess by forcing a performance of Bluebeard’s Castle.

    He learned slowly. “One has to become the music,” he said to me. But he was very finicky and at first hated Mahler and Strauss, although eventually did Mahler 9 beautifully if without the rage and hate and being more practical than he sometimes pretended did some of the Strauss audience pleasers because orchestra managements wanted them. (He did gorgeous Debussy and Ravel).

    He didn’t really see the value in early Verdi, though he does a great job with Due Foscari with my twin Maria Vitale (who like me ended in a madhouse, from which I write this) and does the long introduction to “liberamente or piangi” from Attila more fabulously than anyone I’ve ever heard (for Mancini singing the aria on a radio program).

    He also hated Wagner and didn’t like Fidelio. He had a great fondness for Casella but didn’t like most of the then “new or newer” music not even the great composer Dallapiccola, who like Casella sometimes used “classical” Italian composers as starting places for pieces, charming from Casella but phenomenal from Dallpicolla who was also a great thinker.

    He DID LOVE mid-period Verdi. He told me not being able to conduct La Callas in Trovatore was a great sadness for him (after saying how much he admired “Maestro Von Karajan’s” ear and technique he felt he might “with God’s help and careful preparation, have done a … more Verdian Trovatore with Callas, maybe a few years later with a more musical tenor”) and although he had the honor of conducting her in the Visconti directed Traviata (“well, you know La Scala, all those mistakes…” he meant di Stefano, comprimarii, chorus, and orchestra in that order) he had tried to persuade Callas to do a Traviata with him in the studio despite it’s being “too late” for her live. I was thrilled that he agreed with me about the greatness of Trovatore and Rigoletto.

    He worked a miracle for which I was present. He led the Chicago in the Bruckner 8 (he LOVED Bruckner, “not a poor, diseased human being like Mahler”) without a baton. He simply DANCED IT. They played like magical beings, and he got rubatos and colors and long, long phrases such as I have never heard pretty much in anything.

    I’ve seen Yannick (as everyone calls him) many times over the last years (alas! Not for Yannick but for me stuck in glue like a mouse waiting for Bob Kosovsky I mean REDACTED to smash me with a shovel). To my utter amazement, he did the Rach Symphonic Dances astoundingly (not a piece one expects to be astounded by) but has done other things less well. I do think he is a very good in the theater opera conductor. He likes singers.

    • Camille

      Well, what fun! Yes, it certainly would be wrong, wrong, wrong to omit that exposition, you are certainly right about that one, Mrs JC!

      And yes, according to a former boyfriend who played with the L. A. Phil, Maestro Giulini was exceedingly finicky and the rehearsals went on and on and on. Be that as it may, the results for we, the little people out in the dark, were entirely gratifying. One such was my initial exposure to him and his impossibly tall and elegant playing, an afternoon recital of selected Verdi preludes and overtures (long since out on disc). It was one of the greatest thrills for me to have heard him conduct the wisping strains of La Traviata, as he distilled it in such fashion as to make it entirely possible to imagine that Maria Callas Herself was waiting in the wings to cough her last for us. I can still remember jow spellbinging a moment it was--I think that was 1981--long after those storied scaligera Traviatas. Through that recital I also became far more aware of the Ballo in Maschera overture and prelude to Act II, and most of all, the favoloso overture to I Vespri Sickliani, which was a reL ear opener for me, and since then has alwYs been my absolute favourite of all the Maestro’s curtain raisers. Yes, ma’am, Mrs JC, Maestro Giulini must have certainly loved his middle period Verdi from the way he so lovingly pressed the strains of that music. One of my fondest of all musical memories over an entire lifetime.

      Much as I remember it, only it was the afternoon and not on camera, naturally.

      Thanks for mentioning Casella, with whom I have a long deferred date--as so many people think so highly of him and I just never get around to him, and really should. Also, I shall check iut that recording of “Liberamente or piangi” as that entrance music (in G minor??) is one of my favourite moments in all Verdi and would love to hear him conduct it. As it was, I did attend the famous production of Falstaff, with Bruson, Riciarelli, et al., but at that time I figured amongst the musical unwashed and did not enjoy it--probably due to feeling very unwell that evening and taking along my opera-hating parent could have a lot to do with it as well. I should listen to the recording as, since then, I have striven to join the elite of the Opera Connoisseur, and do heartily repent my ignorance thereto.

      As far as Monsieur N-Sequins is concerned, I frankly just thought it was a gay thing for a long time (remember that frantic Carmen debut night? Like la Carmencita had to catch the next donkey train outta Seville) and just listened to all the yadda yadda y’all had to say about him—UNTIL—I heard him and Jean Yves Thibaudet, of whom I’m fond, just SLAY the Ravel piano ckncerto @ Carnegie. It was Sumpin’! Those two got the rhythms and colors just right. It was just perfekt. It was reading the soul into the work. And THEN, I was seated in the orchestra at such an angle as to be able to observe YNS conduct the Don Carlo, and he just smiled and sang along and was so bubbly and vivacious and loving as he brought in the ladies of the chorus prior to Eboli’s Chanson, that I just suddenly realized (LIGHT BULB) ‘hey, this kid IS good!’ He stays with the singers and supports them; he supported the lovely Miss Lianna during her debut and even managed to deal with the scourge otherwise known as Tamura, at least for those last two acts, where there is far less of that doomed Don. Anyway, the kid stays in the picture, for me at least. So far as kicking Jimmy out of his throne right away--I just don’t see how that will happen and as he is happily contracted in both Philly and maintains loyally his ties to his hometown (and mon cher choux-fleur gustave’s!), wellllllll—-we’ll see.

      Thanks for the delightful description of La Scottissima (piccolOna)!!! Describes her to a “t”. And yes, despite my desperate love for a lotta the score of La Wally, most of it is about the rudest, crudest, lumpiest and uncoordinated instrumentation and harmonics to be imagined. I’m truly sorry Maestro G. didn’t like Dallapiccola, whom little old reactionary me just lurves, and I am truly sorry you are currently residing in a madhouse, Mrs JC—if you give me your address I would be only to happy to drive out to the country in Connecticut to visit and bring you warm blankets and chicken pot pies and mittens and kittens and brown paper packages tied up with strings, as well.

      I must away! My morning toilette awaits. It consists of daily reconstructive surgery so you will excuse me please if I tarry no further.

      Parting is such sweet, sweet sorrow—and yet, there is a morrow. And another, and yet another, for we lost souls on this damned ship of fools.

      Un bacio,
      Un bacio ancora—

      • mrsjohnclaggart

        Camille!!! We must have crossed paths in LA for, when a professional, I was there A LOT (and yet, live still, I wonder why?). I met many the monster there, in fact, worked for a few, but I hate the opera ‘Net People and REDACTED at Opera News more. How is that? Well, I hate Jeffrey Katzenburg too for whom I worked on and off for five years and when he won the Humanitarian Award at the Oscars two years ago (? might have been three) I had 100 emails and about 50 phone messages next days of writers and producers and directors SCREAMING in fury and shock.

        I went to rehearsals run by CMG and also some for the Trovatore recording and, although wizened, mad, and yes, obese, I have NEVER seen anything like those. I thought the Santa Cecilia crowd (with ringers) was going to up and kill him and the icy way he had them repeat chords over and over and over and over and over for tuning and balance and sonority and dynamics I am sure shortened some lives.

        I was around that Falstaff and it confirmed my feeling that he didn’t have a sense of humor. It was fastidiously and phenomenally prepared but… there is more to the opera. Yet from one point of view no matter how seductive it was (sadly the days of great casts in all the roles were gone — Bruson who I have to admit getting a kick out of had to be the most humorless human in history AFTER Mo. Giulini). And there was a HUGE affair going on between two of the cast, married to others; they did it EVERYWHERE.

        I did see him nearly killed by the LA Phil rehearsing La Mer. He even did SECTIONAL rehearsals and no one does those today. But that performance (conducted with his eyes) was maybe the most amazing I have ever heard live.

        Yes, I saw YNS do TWO Don Carlos and have lived (alas) to tell the tale. He did conduct it very well but does go fast. As for Jean Yves… I think in my memoirs (they will be banned in Boston) I may tell a tale I dast not repeat, but it is truly hysterical!! And yes they ARE great together (in concert, though he also did well with the heartbreaking Radu Lulu in he more heartbreaking Bartok 3 and with the I thought amazing Lisa Batiashvili in Shosty’s Violin Cto No. 1).

        • ML

          Musical America, afaik, is run by a pleasant woman in New Jersey. Definitely not as you describe.

  • Otterish Hunkonductor.

  • k0000

    Liz B.: “Giulliani”??