Cher Public

Un walzer

LeopardOn this day in 1963, The Leopard directed by Luchino Visconti won the Palme d’Or at the 16th Cannes Film Festival. 

Born on this day in 1893 soprano Rosa Raisa.

Born on this day in 1894 baritone Heinrich Rehkemper.

Born on this day in 1913 baritone Horst Günter.

Happy 88th birthday conductor Günther Wich.

Born on this day in 1932 soprano Ilva Ligabue.

Happy 80th birthday soprano Ingeborg Hallstein.

  • Opera Teen

    A couple years back, I went through a Zandonai “Francesca da Rimini” obsession phase, and the Ligabue recording of the piece (a live French radio broadcast from the ’50’s or so that has since been released commercially) was definitely the weakest recording I had come across. Well-sung, but lacking absolutely any fire or urgency, and that music doesn’t really provoke (or withstand, IMO) an intellectual reading. I’m not familiar with much of her other rep. I’ve heard Alice ford was her specialty -- I can see how that (and Mozart) might be.

    • Rudolf

      @ Opera Teen
      Are you familiar with the Bulgarian “Francesca” recording with Raina Kabaivanska? On RCA.

    • Krunoslav

      Just to make sure, Opera Teen, that you have seen these Kabaivanska FRANCESCA clips (Turin, 1980 w/ the wooden but serviceable Franco Tagliavini) among my favorite things on Youtube:

  • grimoaldo

    A new production of Traviata opened at the Rome Opera last night, the stars of the show are the designers as Valentino has designed the costumes for Violetta, which are couture creations, and the other costumes are by members of his salon. The production is designed by ” British production designer Nathan Crowley, whose previous work includes Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.” Hollywood director Sofia Coppola is the director of the opera.
    A lot of famous people who I only have the vaguest idea who they are went to the premiere, including ” Diane von Furstenberg, who came expressly for the event; Frida Giannini and her husband Patrizio Di Marco; Luke Evans; Fendi chief executive officer Pietro Beccari; Vanessa Beecroft and Keira Knightley ”
    and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (reality TV stars or something, I know they are very famous as I see their pictures on the front of magazines when I wait to pay at the supermarket, but I really don’t know what they do).
    It is such a big deal that Kardashian got dressed up and went to the opera that it gets a big splash in the Daily Mail

    • Cicciabella

      Did Kim’s ass fit in the seat? Did the Daily Mail investigate?

    • armerjacquino

      I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Kanye’s music, but given that he’s sold 21 million albums ‘reality TV star’ is more than a tad belittling.

      • grimoaldo

        I wasn’t trying to be belittling, I seriously have no idea who that is except that I see him and Kim K on the front of magazines at the supermarket.

        • armerjacquino

          Fair enough! I guess when someone says ‘I don’t know who X is’ when they’re sitting in front of a machine that can access all human information, it feels like a point’s being made.

  • reedroom

    Thank you for the recording of Rosa Raisa whom I had never heard before. She was Puccini’s first Turandot I believe. The Vespri bolero isn’t necessarily the first piece that comes to mind when thinking of other repertoire a Turandot might sing (and vice-versa); for example I’m not sure Nilsson ever sang it--but I’d bet she could have.

    • Krunoslav

      OK, armer, unbidden I’ll list some Turandot/Elenas:

      Maria Guleghina
      Martina Arroyo
      Cristina Deuetkom
      Monteserrt Caballe
      Maralin Niska
      Angeles Gulin
      and, of course: Eliane Coelho
      Don’t think Silja or Schlemm ever took on VESPRi, but who knows?

      • la vociaccia

        You forgot the Greek woman.

        • Krunoslav

          Yes, of course- Jenny Drivala! :)

          • Krunoslav


            -Daniela Dessi

            -Olivia Stapp ( VESPRI in Geneva; I saw her TURANDOT at Torre del Lago, aptly matched with Antonio Ordonez-- to the Timur of Paolo Washington!)

            • armerjacquino

              Ha! And Netrebko has erred as far as the arias…

      • mjmacmtenor

        Elinor Ross could have. She debuted at the Met as Turandor and sang Nirma and several florid Verdi roles (though I cannot find if she sang the aria from Vespri)

        • Krunoslav

          Well, one can think of several “could haves”, but VESPRI was not all that commonly given until relatively recently.

          How about Maria Nemeth and Pauline Tinsley?

          • armerjacquino

            Hunter could have managed both but did neither as far as I know. And Sutherland.

            • Krunoslav

              Hunter’s WNO Turandot in 1979:

              Tinsley also sang the role there.

              But I don’t think either sang VESPRI.

            • armerjacquino

              Welsh or Washington? (can’t click on the YT as the shared wifi here blocks it)

            • lyrebird

              That one is W for Welsh.

              She sang a spectacular tile-cracking concert Turandot with Collins at the Sydney Opera House c. Cillario, far preferable to Armstrong in my opinion. She arrived on the concert platform dressed in red chinoiserie with seriously peaked shoulders looking like a squashed pagoda to chants of Rita Rita Rita from the groupies. She had a huge fan base. 1988. There’s a pirate around.

          • grimoaldo

            This conversation about one of the things I love the most in this world, Verdi’s Sicilian Vespers, led me to a really terrific performance from the tiny Verdi theatre in Busseto, with the tremendous bass Orlin Anastassov as Procida, wow is he awesome, and the truly excellent soprano and baritone Amarilli Nizza and Vladimir Stoyanov. The production is updated to the Risorgimento and they build a walkway around the lower seating level so that the singers are more or less mingling with the audience, how wonderful it must have been to be there.

            Thank you RAI and Busetto opera house and youtube and most of all illustrious,immortal maestro Verdi!

            • grimoaldo

              Stoyanov sings “In Braccio Alle Dovizie” from the above performance. When I hear this aria sung like this I feel it must be the most beautiful and moving thing ever written.

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      In a New York Times interview in the early 1970s, Nilsson was asked about Norma. “Too many little notes,” she replied (but she did confess, “I have this recurring dream that I must sing Carmen…”). Have you ever heard her attempt Rezia’s florid music on the DG recording of “Oberon?” It’s sort of like a Sousaphone trying to play “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

  • Nelly della Vittoria

    What a thrill it gives the imagination, and what baffled yearning, to read Claudia Cassidy writing about Rosa Raisa:

    “Raisa’s voice was a royal purple dramatic soprano shot with gold and fire, and if you ever heard it on a great night you know that isn’t fancy writing, but a reasonable description of the improbable come true […] Raisa’s voice struck straight at two vulnerable places: the spinal column and the heart.”

    Too much of the great Rosa’s (well, this great Rosa’s) recorded legacy seems to’ve been poorly engineered, and the tremendous size of her voice probably didn’t help matters, but I love (as we should all love) this 1923 recording of the Mefistofele aria, where for once you can hear the unforced size and voluptuousness of her sound, and also the fluent authority of her florid singing. What Turandot, save Callas, has ever sung like this since?