Cher Public

Fully committed

CommittedSays the Glimmerglass press office: “Stephanie Blythe will perform in concert at The Glimmerglass Festival on Friday, August 5, at 4:30 p.m. The mezzo-soprano replaces Deborah Voigt, whose commitments have increased with her new position as a member of the full-time faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.”

  • Gualtier M


    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Stephanie Blythe will perform in concert at The Glimmerglass Festival on Friday, August 5, at 4:30 p.m. The mezzo-soprano replaces Deborah Voigt, whose commitments have increased with her new position as a member of the full-time faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

    Blythe makes her Glimmerglass debut with this concert that features the song cycle Vignettes: Ellis Island by composer, pianist and poet Alan Louis Smith, who accompanies her. Smith’s song cycle takes its text from the Ellis Island Oral History Project and sets a musical backdrop chronicling American immigration in the early 20th century. The second half of the concert includes selections from her new sing-along program Sing, America!, which she recently performed at Carnegie Hall, and features such favorites as “April Showers,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “By the Beautiful Sea.”

    “I could not be happier to welcome Stephanie to our stage,” said Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello. “Her work in American opera is important and extensive, and I think our audience members will really enjoy the program she has put together for her Glimmerglass debut. May this be the first of many times she joins us at Glimmerglass.”

    Blythe has sung in many of the renowned opera houses in the United States and Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Opéra National de Paris. A frequent recitalist, Blythe has been presented by Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, 92nd Street Y, Town Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Vocal Arts Society in Washington, DC; San Francisco Performances; the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor; the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; and Shriver Hall in Baltimore.

  • PCally

    Sad the way this woman’s career has turned out.

    • rapt

      Sad for her fans, perhaps; but do we know that it’s sad for her?

      • perfidia

        It looks like she enjoys teaching. She could be very good at it. She always came across as warm and communicative. And she probably will have a lot to say about what not to do.

        • PCally

          It’s quite possible she’ll be a fine teacher and it’s also quite possible she’ll be happy doing just that. However her decline was exceptionally prolonged, the most discussed aspect of her career within the opera community in the last eight or so years has revolved on the poor quality of her performances, her cancellation record, and the need for her to retire or reconstruct her repertoire. Outside the operatic community she’s know almost exclusively as the woman who was too fat to be able to move around in a very simply production was fired for it. So to my mind that’s sad and I have a very hard time believing that while Voigt might be happy that that chapter of her life is closed she doesn’t look back on those years with sadness. And very few singers end their careers with cancellations.

  • oscar

    Voigt is still listed as singing the Wesendonck lieder next spring in San Francisco with the Symphony. That would have been ambitious 5 years ago. I wonder who her replacement will be.

  • javier

    there is the old saying that “those who can, do, and those who ,can’t, teach” but I don’t think that’s necessarily sad or bad. voigt had a good career. opera singers can be forced to retire at any time because their instrument is so fragile. it’s never anyone’s fault how long a voice lasts, it’s just a natural progression and if you have a nice personality and the ability to shift focus in your career, like voigt, then you can continue to make a contribution to society in other ways. opera is like a sport. there are nfl players who retire younger than voigt has as an opera singer and they are not always considered failures in some way for doing something else with their fame and talent.

  • chicagoing

    Statement from Deborah Voigt about upcoming schedule (from her web site); Recent announcements from Florida Grand Opera and Glimmerglass Festival may have caused some confusion, and I want to take a moment to clarify. Though upcoming appearances with both presenters were publicly announced by the presenters, I had not signed contracts for either of these engagements. Contrary to what the presenters’ announcements said or suggested, I have not withdrawn from these engagements. Unfortunately, the presenters prematurely announced these appearances, which were never finalized, and I’m sorry for the confusion that this may have caused.

    • la vociaccia

      Honestly she shouldn’t have to explain herself; she cancelled and its her business.

      But it’s not really viable to say “hey, i wasn’t contracted so I’m not ‘withdrawing..” Engagements are contracted after the announcement all the time. Some orchestras, for example, aren’t legally able to go to contract until several weeks prior to the performances (by which time the performers have been announced for upwards of six, eight months). There was nothing premature about the announcements she is describing.

      She cancelled. It happens and it’s sad that this is the story of her career but she needn’t get into semantics like that.

      • Camille

        No, she needn’t but most likely she feels a need to ‘splain herself, unfortunately, to clarify that this time around, as in the Zambello/Washington Opera/Isolde cancellation thing, it is not through any vocal fault of her own and because she is only too keenly aware there are many out in the cyberworld who would love to see her fail?

        It might be time to just move right along, people, and allow Deborah Voigt to get on with her life and move forward into her next phase. Everyone knows what has happened as it has been rehashed ad infinitum, ad nauseam, and there’s just no going back and fixing any of it. There IS, however, a big new chapter for her and an opportunity to move forward--and maybe that’s really what she wants to do now.

        Yes, she made mistakes but so do we all, but HER humiliations have been public. How would you feel if yours had been held up to every Tom, DICK, and Harry to judge and condemn? Not very happy, I’d wager. And despite the mistakes she made, she also did an awful lot RIGHT in the beginning, and that should not be flushed away.

        The time for “les trébuchements de Deborah Voigt” has now expired, sorry.

        • Camille

          And so, so sorry to be an old chiding biddy (and not directing my comments at you, vociaccia but only using your comment as jumping off point) but, personally, I’ve HAD it with the Voigt piñatas being held up on view to bash. She’s a middle-aged woman who still needs to be gainfully employed so, Let Her GO!

          • armerjacquino

            I don’t like Voigt-bashing either, Camille, but she’s done fellow performers few favours with this sophistry. Of course she has every right to change her mind but this statement is dangerous.

            The signing of the contract has only ever been a formality compared to the agreement to take a job. In every job I’ve ever done I’ve taken the signed contract with me to *the first day of rehearsals* to hand over to the company manager. If enough performers break verbal contracts then a delicate balance will be lost and producers will feel more emboldened to break them too.

            • The Poet Lenski

              Perhaps things are done differently in the U.K. — I wouldn’t know; I’ve never worked there — but as a working actor in the U.S., this has never been my experience. In fact, in most cases, I’ve been barred from even announcing that I was cast in a production until a signed contract was in place. I’m not an opera professional, so I don’t know if things are different in that world, but I find what Voigt is alleging almost unfathomable. It seems particularly unbelievable that a signed contract wouldn’t be in place in June for a concert in August for which tickets had been on sale for some time.

            • Camille

              Oh is that how you do it there? My, that is interesting. I wouldn’t know about any of that and would hope this does not impact anyone as setting precedent, but since this is happening here in the States and regards contracts here, don’t think it will.

              And, after all, it’s mostly to do with her defending the fact she’s not being “let go” because of any vocal deficiency, and that’s all.

              I hope she will be happy in San Francisco. At the least, she knows the ropes there having gone through their system and has grown up in California, so in a way it’s kind of closing the circle, if you want to be corny about it all. At least, I hope to God so.

            • armerjacquino

              I stand corrected.

            • Camille

              Blimey! Cor! Blast it, armerjacquino!! What have you done here?

              You are upsetting the natural order of things here in parterria!
              First you admit your actual age -—VERBOTEN-—!!! And NOW you “Stand corrected”???? Egads--just STONEWALL it or you’ll set a bad example to others and they may stand up to be corrected as well!!!!
              It is quite interesting to hear your system as it seems a hit more on the ancient honour system model to me, actually.

              Seriously now, are you going to write a little piece on your blog about the BREXIT, as we Yanks need guidance in understanding how all this matter came not only to be but how it was ever passed. Or does it upset you too much to even think about it all?
              Thanks from the Yanks.

            • armerjacquino

              I’m flattered but I wouldn’t know where to start. Watch an episode of Game of Thrones at the same time as one of House of Cards and you’ll get an idea of what it’s currently like to live in this shellshocked country.

        • DonCarloFanatic


          • Gualtier M

            I agree with Camille regarding the Voigt piñata around here. She is not all that old and she needs steady, gainful employment to support herself. She also was a superior singer on the major operatic circuit from 1988 when she debuted at Carnegie Hall to her breakthrough as Ariadne at the Boston Lyric Opera in 1991 until about 2005 and a few good appearances after that. So she had over a decade and a half at the top and a few good years before and after that where she gave pleasure. Callas had a shorter career.

            An important point: Voigt, whether she verbally committed to those contracts or not, withdrew with enough advance notice that the performing organizations were able to schedule excellent replacements.

            Bigger question: is Voigt entirely curtailing her performing career including recital and musical theater appearances? If so, we must respect her decision since it wasn’t made lightly.

        • JohninSeattle

          AMEN, dearest Camille. AMEN.

          To Ms V: BUONA FORTUNA.