Cher Public

Tosca è a palazzo!

La Cieca has heard from a very reliable source inside the Met that Angela Gheorghiu is physically in New York and is rehearsing and being fitted for costumes (not pictured) for her impending brace of Tosca performances.

  • Chimene

    She came over here for just two performances??? She must be desperate for the exposure…

    • julie

      If you think someone at her calibre needs exposure, you must be pretty ignorant…if she wasn’t here, you’d also probably have something bad to say

    • springspring

      Such a strange complaint: Why did she come??!!Because she is scheduled to perform.By the way, she has rarely canceled lately. Toi Toi Toi Angela!

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      It’s quite normal for her to do just 2 performances at a time.

  • Lady Abbado

    There is hope she won’t withdraw at the last moment: during her Vienna Toscas she made it clear that she disliked the production but went with it nonetheless. She knows she has less leverage than 10-15 years ago, especially with Gelb. Here’s a preview:

    • messa di voce

      I think it’s safe to say that she has NO leverage at the Met these days. She was never as big a star in NYC as she thought she was; tickets for these two performances aren’t selling all that great.

    • spiderman

      How can she dislike Viennas Tosca, a producion from Margarethe Wallmann from 1958 playing in Sant’Andrea della Valle, Palazzo Farnese AND on the Castell Sant’Angelo in periode style costumes!?
      Are you confusing it with Werther?

      • Lady Abbado

        Yes, it was the Margarethe Wallmann production she said she didn’t like -- I don’t know if I can dig up evidence because I think it was a TV interview. Even though traditional, probably it felt too cheap compared to the J Kent ROH production made for her, to her standards (see around min. 2:40).

        • julie

          I really don’t think she said she disliked the Vienna production, considering she is returning next season in Vienna as Tosca, alongside Jonas Kaufmann. I think you are confusing it with Werther

    • PCally

      Youde been better off showing a later video. She certainly doesn’t sound like this anymore.

  • Her freezer must be empty.

  • Satisfied

    Wow…I bought tickets on the assumption that I would probably be trading them in (or hope for an amazing replacement).

    Props to Gheorghiu for making it over for her two (*scheduled*) performances. To her credit, Kaufmann didn’t last year.

  • LT

    I don’t understand why there are 4 different Toscas in a relatively short run and on top of that most performances, incl. the prima given to the terrible Dyka.

    • armerjacquino

      Yes, it does seem odd that they couldn’t find one singer, or even two to share it. Four just seems piecemeal.

      • antikitschychick

        beautiful dress!

        It does seem kind of uncommon for them to cast 4 different sopranos for one role in a close succession of performances. I could see it being totally logical if there were a continuing spring run of performances. What’s so odd is that Dyka sang the premiere, the 21st and will sing the 24th and then has to wait until November 14th to sing the remainder of the performances she’s scheduled for, unless AG or MG cancel before then, so she’ll presumably be covering those performances in the meantime.

        I saw on the Met website that the December 1st performance of Tosca with Glammyla is being streamed online for free. Not that this needs saying but OMG I AM SO EXCITED TO GET TO HEAR HER AGAIN!!! AHHHH!!! Oh and they hung a portrait of her on the wall of singers!!!

        *fan girl moment*: http://33.media.tumblr.com/45353d248338b6f4c7f8db9e8b0458b7/tumblr_n6m77yA5vY1qj4315o1_500.gif

        Ok I’m done lol.

        I’m unsure as to whether I should go the performance on the 25th or Saturday the 28th. The 25th would be exciting since it’s the first of the three so it’s likely to get reviewed I no? My folks are coming to spend Thanksgiving up here though so the 25th might not be feasible, especially since *God himself* could not convince my mother to go see an Opera (Kevin Costner might…nah, not even :lol:). Don’t know yet if student tickets will be offered. On the one hand it would save me $$$ if they are but otoh it would mean the performance(s) did not sell well. I any case, I really don’t want to sit anywhere besides the 1st balcony after getting to sit there for the latter halves of Anna Bolena and Turandot. The sound is amazing from those seats!! They’re like 85 to a hundred dollars (except for the balcony boxes which only have a partial view)…I really shouldn’t have ordered those MAC products for Christmas. Oh well :-P.

    • steveac10

      It’s not really that unusual. As a base line from the Bing era: 1954-55. 7 performances in the house and 6 on tour. A similar number of performances as this season in total. 4 Toscas, 5 Cavaradossis, 3 Scarpias, 3 Sacristans. That kind of casting was more the rule than the exception back then.

      • LT

        Callas wasn’t fond of that practice.

      • steveac10

        …And lest one consider tour a separate entity -- all but one Tosca (Kirsten) sang it in the house and all but one(Tebaldi) on tour.

      • steveac10

        …And lest one consider tour a separate entity -- all but one Tosca (Kirsten) sang it in the house and all but one(Tebaldi) on tour. Talk about piecemeal.

        • steveac10

          Apologies for the double post.

      • Krunoslav

        The 1964-65 season TOSCA performances featured:

        Kirsten, Tucci, Rysanek, Crespin, Tebaldi, Callas

        Labò, Corelli, Kónya, Tucker, Morell, Prevedi (d)

        Merrill, Bacquier, Gobbi, Bastianini, London, Colzani, MacNeil, Cassel

        Corena, Esparza (d), Davidson, Flagello, Alvary, Pechner

        • Nero Wolfe

          Recharging my flux capacitor for this!!!

          The 1964-65 season TOSCA performances featured:

          Kirsten, Tucci, Rysanek, Crespin, Tebaldi, Callas

          Labò, Corelli, Kónya, Tucker, Morell, Prevedi (d)

          Merrill, Bacquier, Gobbi, Bastianini, London, Colzani, MacNeil, Cassel

          Corena, Esparza (d), Davidson, Flagello, Alvary, Pechner

  • mia apulia

    but the last time I was “physically in New York” I didn’t get to sing Tosca! How dare she!

  • Constantine A. Papas

    In all honesty, you experts (me a plateia man) believe that Angela G has the gravitas of volume and tessitura control to sing a creditable Tosca at the Met? I wouldn’t bet my money on her.

    • springspring

      Angela is one of the most beautiful, sensitive and credible Toscas . She has already had great success in this role.

      • PCally

        Where have all these great successes been? Her debut in the role received mixed reviews and her more recent performances (not just of tosca) have gotten lukewarm receptions at best.

        • Bill

          PCally -- Georghiu did have a success with her first
          Vienna Toscas. The critics were positive -- that was a year or two ago. The production in Vienna is a Wallmann
          production done first for Tebaldi and Gobbi in 1957 with von Karajan conducting, hence quite traditional and virtually almost every important Tosca (aside from Callas) has sung the title role in that production. There are a couple more Toscas in that
          production with Gheorghiu, Kaufmann and Terfel conducted by Franck coming up in April, 2016 in Vienna.

          • PCally

            Bill-did you ever see crespin as tosca?

            • Bill

              Pcally -- yes once -- at the Met -- she was rather stately but sang attractively -- She was, to my mind, much better
              as Sieglinde and the Marschallin. I like her Ariadne
              from Chicago (1964) which I have heard on CD and she is
              an absolute favorite in Nuit d’Ete and in other Berlioz --
              she must have been fabulous in Gluck’s Iphigenie (Taurus)
              with her rich middle voice.

            • PCally

              I have a Tosca recording of hers from 1961 I believe where she’s in excellent voice. Even the top c’s work (very rare for her). She may one of my favorites after Callas. Agree that I like her better in other things though.

      • Krunoslav

        How apposite to quote one of the fawners in Act I, ADRIANA LECOUVREUR!

  • julie

    Dyka was absolutely awful in the premiere! She is not credible at all, very boring and a waste of time and money

    • steveac10

      And yet the NYT 3rd string opera critic, the improbably named Corrina da Fonseca-Wollheim described her as irresistible and searing. I don’t know where the Times found her -- but they need to send her back.

      • messa di voce

        JJ also liked her. Should the Observer send him back?

        • armerjacquino

          Ha, just what I was about to say. I find the famous video of Dyka getting booed in PAG at La Scala fascinating, partly because I LOVE the attitude she gives in the face of it, and partly because I think she’d sung the Balatella pretty well.

          • julie

            The public of La Scala is well known for boo-ing and I find that very rude. I don’t think any artist deserves this, no matter the way he/she sings…It’s unfortunate that boo-ing is now a common thing in a lot of opera houses especially for many directors and productions that are so far away from the composer, the synopsys and the music

            • armerjacquino

              Tell me about these productions that are ‘far away from the music…’

          • julie
            • armerjacquino

              Sorry, I can’t see anything about changing the music.

          • julie

            I’m sorry for you that you don’t understand what I meant :)

            • armerjacquino

              Well, rightbackatcha. My point- which you seem to have missed- is that the only way to stray ‘far from the music’ is to change it. Music doesn’t have one fixed meaning, whatever the original intention may have been. Take the C major finale to COSI for example. In a society more aware of subtext than Mozart’s was there are endless options available beyond ‘hurray, we’re all happy’.

          • julie

            this is my last reply on this topic -- your point is fair but has nothing to do with what I meant. Take for example the aria “E lucevan le stelle” from the opera Tosca ( The setting is in Rome in 1800) sang by Mario, a painter in love with Tosca, while he waits his execution..Now imagine Mario singing this aria in his underpants in the shower on a mobile phone. This kind of setting/production distracts you from the wonderful music and lacks emotion

            • armerjacquino

              But nobody has staged the aria that way.

              And even if they did, the only way to say whether or not it would work would be to see it- in exactly the same way as you told us earlier not to criticise singers without hearing them.

            • You’d have to explain to me why a prisoner waiting for execution would be showering in his underpants with a mobile phone.

              On the other hand, suppose this were a production set in the present. the jailer might have a mobile phone, and Cavaradossi might try to bribe him to allow him to call or text Tosca one final time (“Consentite ch’io le scriva un sol motto”) He might try a voice call first only to find Tosca is not picking up, and then he could attempt to text her with the familiar “broken” lines of the aria (“E lucevan le stelle… ed olezzava la terra…”)

              If the set includes a shower, then perhaps the justification for standing there would be that Cavaradossi would have some privacy for his furtive call. I can’t immediately think offhand of a reason to have him in his underwear unless perhaps it is established that the Castel Sant’Angelo used Abu Ghraib-like humiliation tactics on their prisoners.

              It would have to be a very specific production of Tosca to incorporate this kind of extreme staging, and obviously a very special sort of performer of the role of Cavaradossi. But if it were done sensitively and with great commitment, I don’t see why it couldn’t be emotionally very powerful.

      • julie

        I can’t believe anyone could say that after the performance..but hey, critics surely have their favourites as well and music is a matter of taste so maybe she heard something different. I personally didn’t like it at all

  • degan

    From a review of Tosca 2 years ago in Vienna (translated with google translate,; excuse the English):

    Angela Gheorghiu may not make freinds with full-bodied statements in her interviews, but when it comes to the stage, any objection must be silenced. This is precisely the Primadonna Assoluta which the role of “Tosca” needs, even Gheorghiu is far removed from any powerful diva posturing. Let’s talk first of her voice: a wonderful, light, beautiful soprano, confidently and never reaches its limits . The Singing Culture of Gheorghiu is extraordinary -- finally a Tosca who does not roar, scream, shriek, but offers nicely and cultivated singing. No highest note (and she had them all, even the dramatic outbursts) ever ear-offending. Even the special feats such as that her “Vissi d’ arte” is sung with those tears in the voice, which are quasi in the text …

    • Lohengrin

      Next WSO-Tosca with Kaufmaann and Terfel in April 2016.

  • Lady Abbado

    I wonder if Angie has informed Peter Gelb of her creative use of time in New York:

    “Angela Gheorghiu will perform at the Richard Tucker Opera Gala, held by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation on Sunday, November 1, starting 6:30 p.m., at David Geffen Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center.
    Maestro Eugene Kohn leads the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Choral Society”

    (posted on her Facebook today)

  • Gualtier M

    This is not Gheorghiu’s first brush with Tosca at the Met:

    [Met Concert/Gala] CID:351293
    Opening Night Gala Performance. evening ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 09/19/2005.

    (Opening Night {121}
    Joseph Volpe, General Manager)

    Metropolitan Opera House
    September 19, 2005
    Opening Night {121}

    Joseph Volpe, General Manager

    GALA PERFORMANCE
    TOSCA: Act II

    Tosca……………….Angela Gheorghiu
    Cavaradossi………….Marco Berti
    Scarpia……………..Bryn Terfel
    Spoletta…………….Bernard Fitch
    Sciarrone……………Richard Vernon

    Conductor……………James Levine

    Production…………..Franco Zeffirelli
    Set Designer…………Franco Zeffirelli
    Costume Designer……..Peter J. Hall
    Stage Director……….Sharon Thomas

    The other stuff on the bill was Act I of “Nozze” with Terfel, Susan Graham, Isabel Bayrakdarian and Dwayne Croft and Act II of “Samson et Dalila” with Denyce Graves, PDommy and Frederick Burchinal.

    I didn’t go but reports from the theater was that Gheorghiu was underpowered and small-scale and made little effect vocally and dramatically in that huge production and theater. In more intimate houses I am sure Angela could do lovely, if small, things with the part. It is a dark, idiomatic Puccini voice. However, the Mimi last season with Fabiano was barely audible in Row G of the orchestra. A young friend “Well I had never heard Gheorghiu in “Boheme”…and guess what? I still haven’t…

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      I don’t know if the ROH qualifies as ‘inimate’ but Gheorghiu has been brilliant in the role there, with nothing small scale about it -- completely convincing in all 3 acts.

      She acts this role particularly well, managing to make the insecure Act I stuff with Mario rather playful, sexy and charming -- for once I wasn’t thinking ‘why does he put up with her’.

    • julie

      It’s so funny to read critics coming from people who didn’t even go and listen to her…I find that very ignorant…Of course, everyone has his own opinion and their favourite but he/she should make one based on their own experience, not on what they hear from “reports”. Haters gonna hate. There is room for everyone in this opera world and Angela Gheorghiu certainly doesn’t have to prove anything anymore, being a superstar that she is, singing so many roles all around this globe with great critical acclaim and choosing them wisely for her voice, recording many discs, and not being afraid to speak her mind about productions (too many nowadays!) that don’t respect the composer and the music that he created. She always manages to deliver not only an amazing voice, but also emotion, something that very few artists actually can…

      • Krunoslav

        “Haters gonna hate. ”

        Just as idolizers gonna idolize, and pretend that voices age and vary in impact at different times and places, and that being a ‘superstar’ means that everything an artist does is perforce of high quality

        Most of us are neither haters nor idolizers.

        I have heard Gheorghiu wonderful and I have strained to hear her not so good. That happens.

        • Krunoslav

          [pretend that voices DON’T age and vary in impact at different times and places,]

        • julie

          well said! you are absolutely right. I just find it rude and unnecessary when people are commenting based on other peoples opinions or on “reports”…about Gheorghiu or any other artist..That’s all.

          • Gualtier M

            No I was not there but Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times was there. This is what he had to say:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/21/arts/music/met-season-opens-with-domingo-among-other-coming-attractions.html

            “Though the soprano Angela Gheorghiu has appeared in a successful film version of “Tosca”, until this night she had never performed any of the role onstage. She won a long ovation from the house but left me with mixed feelings. She is certainly the dark-eyed, dark-haired beauty of the story, and her dusky-toned and earthy voice well suits the music. Yet there were some vocal rought spots and moments of impetuosity that seemed calculated. During “Vissi d’Arte” she inhabited her own time world, though somehow Mr. Levine managed to follow her.”

            Now Tommasini doesn’t have a good reputation around these parts but he is faulted with being, if anything, too lenient with Met singers. He is the opposite of hater. My source is a man who has been attending opera since the mid-1950’s and saw Callas as Tosca along with Tebaldi and everyone else. He, like Ed Rosen, noted that her voice sounded two sizes too small for the role and others noted numerous musical mistakes and faulty entries.

            Gheorghiu sang her first staged performances the next year at Covent Garden. Those were much better received though critics still had some reservations. However, I stand by my comments -- she sang Act II of “Tosca” at the Metropolitan Opera a decade ago and it did not go well.

            I generally don’t get into disputes with fangirls of either sex as they only want to hear what they want to hear.

            BTW: I don’t hate Gheorghiu -- I liked her Marguerite in “Faust” at the Met, the initial Traviatas (with Jonas K) and her Magda in “La Rondine”. The first Juliettes were well sung but lacking in girlish innocence -- she was too sophisticated. The Mimi I never liked. The rest like Adina had good moments but were too affected and calculated and I could take or leave them. Based on the vocal condition of her Mimi last season (which I heard in the house live) I would say that Tosca now is a bridge too far.

            The Met got there too early, then too late. (She could prove me wrong -- which actually would be fun)

  • springspring

    This year isn’t 2005 not even 2014. ????I am very positive on her future performances.

  • la vociaccia

    I thought Dyka sounded quite bad over Sirius, but of course it may have come across differently in the house.

    Over the radio it was blaring and colorless (like a halogen light) and devoid of any textual detail.

  • Milady DeWinter

    “I thought Dyka sounded quite bad over Sirius…”

    --I agree, vociaccia. Cieca’s good review surprised me somewhat, but perhaps Dyka’s voice comes across better in the house, as perhaps Frontali’s physicality did, too, because vocally both Aronica and Frontali were capable, but not much more. (I found Dyka very good in Prince Igor, btw.)

    • With Dyka at the Bastille, the great thing was she was audible in such a vast hangar.

  • Lady Abbado
    • Well, I don’t know. The photo series looks to me like an experienced stage performer casting a critical eye and making sure every detail is just right. There was a parallel shoot in Opera News back in 1967 when Renata Tebaldi revived the role of Manon Lescaut at the Met and the company created a new second act dress for her. Tebaldi was photographed viewing the sketch, then inspecting the fabric, and then in fittings, and she was pensive, if not downright frowny, during the process. Then there was a photo of her in the finished dress and she was just beaming, presumably at how well it turned out.

      So let’s see. It does look like the Met is taking a good deal of trouble with the costumes -- the delicate trim on the first dress and the flattering drape of the bodice on the second.

  • Lady Abbado

    From New York Gheorghiu will be headed to Moscow to sing for a gala dedicated to Elena Obraztsova:

    http://bolshoi.ru/performances/928/

    • LT

      I hope she doesn’t make a fool of herself like last time around.