Cher Public

Chat: Bayreuth Festival

Green HillSeekers of Kunst among the cher public (and you know who you are!) may convene here over the next week or so to chat about live broadcasts from this year’s Bayreuth Festival.

  • Camille

    Kunst lovers rejoice greatly! The Parsifal from the other day is now up as a video: just follow the video links at the bottom of the Operacast page, probably available in the link Cieca above.

    Die Walküre starting @ 10:00 EDT.

    • lorenzo.venezia

      I can’t find the link sweetie darling (“at the bottom of the Operacast page”) ???? what am I missing? would LOVE to see this new Parsifal!

      • Camille

        I’m sorry lorenzino--that is the information which Monsieur Camille shouted from the other room at me! Now we are actually listening on Rai Tre to the Bayreuth transmission right now and I don’t know anymore about it. Listen to what ofhers around here have to say about kinks e speriamo bene. When and if I listen I’ll let you know if we get through to it. Mi dispiace!

        • Camille

          Links, not kinks!

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin
      • Camille

        Muchissssimo Danke, Jungfer, for all your advices and chats with me during the Bayreuth week. I have really enjoyed it far more than usual and primarily because of this Parsifal, which, when it finally disappears from video view , I shall go to your house to visit once again. Thank you so much but, above all, as ABBA would say… thank you for the music!

  • go to this link and enjoy
    i watched act one last night as a relief from convention talking heads. production values are VERY high.

    https://www.br-klassik.de/concert/ausstrahlung-775304.html

  • whiskey per tutti

    Is this available on demand or streaming only at specific times? I went to the site, clicked the “play” button, and nothing happened.

    I just upgraded to Windows 10 last night and maybe my player settings were changed.

    • Papageno

      The Bayreuth Parsifal streams fine in Safari on my Mac. However, it won’t play in Chrome or Firefox.

  • Signor Bruschino

    Does anyone have any tips for us poor souls in the US who would love to watch the Sky Arts broadcast of the ring this weekend?

    • dont know if there is a way.
      i think sky is via cable so would probably need account info .

  • Camille

    I’m so glad they changed the Wotan from Rheingold and Sarah Connolly sounds REALLY good as the Walküre Fricka!

    Heidi Melton’s voice sounds to me as if it is being pushed into the wrong Fach, or roles, and is off balance from its natural placement--I don’t know how else to describe what has happened with her once free and beautiful high notes. Christopher Ventris is perhaps not as exciting as some but, after twenty years of listening to him, he still sounds well. Foster got all her Walküre ruf remarkably on pitch and sounds okay this far.

    Nicht zu schlecht, überall!

    • PCally

      Saw connolly in the role in London and thought that she was the overall highlight. She’s a really underrated singer imo. The voice is not that special but she’s technically polished, very stylish and a tremendous actress.

  • Camille

    Jungfer, are you listening?

    How does the orchestral sound mit Mo. Janowski stack up to your past experiences in vivo?

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      Sorry, dear, but when one is in Bayreuth one need concern one’s self only with dressing for the opera, attending the performance, eating, and sleeping. Alas, since I am not breathing that rarefied air this summer, everyday life gets in the way and I forgot about the broadcast until midway through Act III. (Grocery shopping, changing the cat litter box, etc.)

      In all my years at Bayreuth, I can hardly recall anything other than superb performances from both orchestra (some isolated inevitable bloopers from the horns on occasion) and, even more so, the chorus. I was also just listening on the computer today, so I can’t really say anything about the Klang of this “Walküre.” I also have no plans to listen to anything until the “Tristan” in Monday, for which I am ravenous to hear Petra Lang’s Isolde (she has also been announced for Brünnhilde in the annual Wiener Staatsoper “Ring” in May 2017 -- I just wish it were someone more inspired than Peter Schneider on the podium…).

      • Camille

        Oh thank you for your reply and I understand. It’s so sorry when life gets in the way but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

        The reason I ask is because I find the orchestra so good today (and in the Parsifal, as well) and wonder if it is because of Thielemann, or Janowski’s experience, or what it might be. It sounds so much better and so differently than the Met orchestra in the Ring, that’s all. I can’t remember enjoying th orchestra from Bayreuth so much as this time and am just trying to determine why that may be.

        Bis später!

        • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

          I can only suggest (a) tradition and (b) the astounding, perfect acoustic of the house. Have you ever been? I’ve even visited the Orchestergraben and saw one of two chairs which are still around since 1876.

          • Camille

            Nein, I never been and I ain’t goin’ now.

            Well, Jungfer, I think you oughta write a book about all your summers on the Green Hill. You know—a sort of Lonely Planet “A Jungfer’s Guide to the Green Hill”. Make sure to put in the cheapest food and the best sex clubs, and you’ll sell a million!

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              As long as I can still get up that Hill, I would rather prefer to keep my secret places just that: I don’t want to encourage competition in finding all the reliable cheap-n-cheerful bargain spots I’ve established as my own over the years.

              As for your “never,” warum? Never say never! I think you’d have a ball!

            • Camille

              My joints creak too much, Jungfer, but one never knows.

              That’s okay--just include a couple of the cheap beer and pizza joints or McDonalds and keep your secrets to yo’self. A lady never tells.

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      Cami, going back to your first question, I have now had some time to listen to some bits of the “Walküre.” I do like Janowski’s fast-tempi (Act I is just under an hour), but I did hear some mistakes from the orchestra. Ventris, who I have loved in the past (especially a great Jimmy Mahoney here), is starting to show his age, and this Heidi person as Sieglinde just made me skip most of the act. Was the originally-cast girl truly worse than this, or was it just some good-ole’ Bayreuth intrigue?

      By the way, if you -- or anyone else -- wants to hear any of the three Bayreuth performances which have so far been broadcast this week, just shoot me an e-mail at marianne_leitmetzerin@aol.de. Dienen… dienen…

      (Actually when Kundry sang that, she began to clean Gurnemanz’s kitchen and kept doing scene-stealing stuff throughout the first scene, starting with a pronounced and very distracting palsy; she opened the refrigerator, took a whiff of some bad hummus in a container and made a “peeewww” face; meanwhile Parsifal shows up as a Navy SEAL…)

      • Camille

        Vielen Dank, Jungferissima! We are taking a break from all that blabberblah at the DNC with Zweiter Akt of Parsifal for the moment. A great privilege to be able to see this production and I hope many get to view it if they are so interested.

        Actually, I have no more time to listen to the Ring so I’m good for now, utt thank you so much.
        Monsieur Camille is still a little peeved that Herheim’s production was taken done so soon but hey, that’s show biz. I gotta to--the burqas are advancing.

      • Camille

        I just cannot get over how WELL; how inTUNE, and how Pankratova sings ALL the notes the Kundrys usually dodge out on!

        I have watched it now and will watch it again so long as I can. What a pleasure to hear things SUNG and not SCHREI UND TRIED, for a change, and I’ve mostly been lucky with the Kundrys I’ve heard, but this one beats them all. What a voice and what singing!!

        Now I REALLY understand what that ROAR after Akt II was for!

        • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

          Wasn’t she just extraordinary? Not just hitting the notes, but the security and power took my breath away. She’s making her Wiener Staatsoper debut in February as Turandot. I cannot wait!

          • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

            By the way, the camerawork and directing of the HD broadcast were impeccable. When the final credits rolled, there were a lot of international co-sponsors/producers, so I would not be at all surprised if this performance appears on DVD/Blu-ray.

            I read that plans to release the Herheim production on DVD have been dropped due to some kind of rights problem -- what a great loss!

            Oh -- since this was my first experience with an HD broadcast, do they always have free beverages, wine, and fancy finger-food at the intermissions, or is that just a Wiener thing?

            • Camille

              Ha! Jungfer, we get popcorn and hot dogs and sodas, at least that’s what I have observed.

              A shame about the loss of the Herheim as it was extraordinary. A real shame.

              According to the operabase data, La Pankratova has sung a ton of Italian roles in the last six years or so and only in the last couple has expanded into Strauss and Wagner, but still, recently even singing Norma, this year. A formidable technique and a real voice and really capablemof expressing the composer’s musical intent! I am so delighted to have finally had such a experience listening to her. As well, the combination of she and Vogt playing off one another worked so very well. He has the perfect aspect, voice and physical bearing for the role, so I am, as Rarely I am, very pleased and encouraged by this performance!

        • PCally

          Camille that’s the most I’ve heard you rave in a while. She really must be something and I’m very sorry that I missed out on hearing her since my once experience with her as the Dyer’s wife was quite good but not so memorable in that I immediately assumed she would be such a special Kundry. I hope that when they eventually film it she’s still in the cast. The Herheim production that preceeded this one wasn’t blessed with the greatest of Kundrys any time it was put on.

          • Camille

            PCally--I have no time to chat this morning but I must tell you--

            Just go to that link which sogalitno has provided above ( http://www.br-klassik.de ) and get the video of this Parsifal, as soon as you are able to (as I have no idea how long these will last) and you may watch it as well as hear it. Well worth the time invested. Or write to Unser Gnädige Jungfer !

            Yes, I heard a portion of that Frau as well and although it was good, this was SUPERB.

            Ciao 4 now and happy hunting!

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              Cami, the link to BR-Klassik has said -- from Day 1 -- “Aus rechtlichen Gründen ist dieses Video nur in Deutschland verfügbar” so how is it that you are watching it? Did you record it when it was livestreamed? I am happy to share the audio with anyone who wants it, but I am at a loss as to how to help anyone -- myself included -- who wants to see it.

            • Camille

              Jungfer--sorry, but I have been out all day and I have to tell you—

              -I have no idea how we got to view it --Monsieur Camille was the one who found a link and it was on BR-Klassik—--SO, I just assumed he found it here on parterre somewhere and the one above was the only one I saw, so I just assjmed. He is asleep now but I’ll ask him tomorrow about what and where he went. We sure did SEE it and it was quite thrilling to be able to do so, and as we have yet to see Acts I and III, it would probably be a good idea to do so right away.

              It’s all magic to me. I don’t know how any of it happens, really. Bis morgen!

            • Camille

              Well, Jungferissima—
              I have been commanded to remain die Schweigsame Frau until Monsieur Camille has a chance to see The Dritter Akt, und dann, Alles shalll be revealed. We just now finished the Erster Akt and really liked a lot of the points taken and made. Love Vogt and Pankratova in this act as well. Now we have to listen to The Hollander sail the Seven Seas! Verloren!!

              Gee, I thought “verfügbar” was something akin to “Fahrvergnügen” because we are having a run ride at this Bayreuth Fest Ride!

              Bis später!

            • Camille

              Jungfer
              Because a girl’s duenna comes first, I am disobeying the edict to be die schweigsame Frau: (Monsieur Camille is iutta the house because he doesn’t like this Hollander)

              go to the Operacast page and look for the listings of Parsifal and you should see at the bottom of the list, a BR-Klassik VIDEO link. All he did was click on that one (not the one posted above from sogalitno, as I originally thought), and it led direct to the page with Parsifal. Just click on the arrow and voilà! Live from Bayreuth. I don’t know how in hell it works! It’s Zaubermusik! Or Karfreitagzauber!

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              Nope. Nyet. Nein. I click on this “operacast” link:

              http://www.operacast.com/bayreuth_2016.htm

              and I see the listings for “Parsifal” from top to bottom from Radio Románia Muzical, NDR Kultur, ARS -- 3. Program Radio Slovenia, Bartok Radio, BR Klassik, HR2Kultur, Radio Clasica de Espana, and WDR3. These are all on a pale blue background. Underneath the last entry, in a sort of band-aide colored strip is:

              1400 GMT 10:00AM BR Klassik — V I D E O Video Link

              and when I click on that “Video Link,” I get the BR Klassik page with the video player and the photos of Ryan McKinny, but when I hit the “play” icon to start, I just get an endless revolving wheel in the center of the screen, and at the bottom of the text it clearly says: “Aus rechtlichen Gründen ist dieses Video nur in Deutschland verfügbar.”

              Are we on the same page? I have no idea how you are accessing this site in the USA if I can’t get it in Austria!

            • Camille

              Yoo hoo, Jungfer, bitte!!!

              Aber JA! Wir sind on the Same Page! You are going to the same exact page and doing exactly what we have done and I have just no idea why it is not Verfügbar für Du!!! I am SO SORRY! I know how much you want to see it. Maybe if you change your browser? We are just using the usual browser of Safari and nothing fancy.

              Monsieur Camille just now went through all the steps once more and after the little wheel spun around a few times it all started up again as before. Now it’s time for Götterdämmerung so will try another time to see all of Parsifal as thus far we’ve watched in segments--it’s a lot to take in.

              I don’t know what else to suggest--could you take your computer to a public access and try some other wi-fi?? It just doesn’t make any sense at all--but all I can say is I am deeply grateful to have seen this production and I wish you Viel Glück!!

              Sincerely und mit Herzlichen Wünschen--
              Camille

            • Fluffy-net

              The trick is to use a MAC and Safari.

            • Camille

              Fluffy-net—is that the case, then???

              It is indeed what we are using to access the Operacast link. I don’t know that Unser Jungfer has a Mac--I remember her talking about her computer breakdown a while back and it was an HP or something along those lines?

              Anyway, YES, Mac+Safari does the trick.

            • Fluffy-net

              I cannot get it in the desert southwest on my PC with any browser. I think I tried Firefox on the MAC and failed, but Safari (which I never use) works.

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              Thanks to you both for the clarification. I am indeed using a PC and Firefox. I will download Safari and give it a try, although, lacking a MAC, it may be futile. By the way, I DID see it already, in the cinema on Monday, but I wanted to have a look at certain parts again,

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              Nope -- PC + Safari: same old, same old -- “nicht verfügbar”

            • Camille

              Then, it must be necessary to have a MAC to access it as otherwise there is no explanation.

              Yes, you DID see it, that’s right, so that is good but perhaps you know someone with a MAC who would be able to lend it to you or something? Well, I am very happy to have seen it as what I saw in differentiating the Kundry and Parsifal characters in the various acts, especially the differences in wigs(!) between the first and third acts, really told a story about the characters and their respective developments. Pankratova certainly does have guts to allow herself to look just like my old Polish landlady used to look, in the last act. I especially liked the dissolution of the visages of Kundry, Titurel, and Wagner himself, before the final scene of the last act.

              I must away, Junglier, it is time to catch a bit of second act of GD. Not loving either Foster, who now sounds tired, or Vinke, or sounds like an ordinary good enuf kind of singer. At least he gets his high notes, murderous for the poor Siegfrieds most of the time.

              Bye for now and thank you for all your goodnesses, and I wish I could have helped you out more.

            • It also works with Safari on an iPad

            • manou
            • lorenzo.venezia

              OMG! Thank you Manou, a link that finally works. I just finished listening thanks to JML and that was glorious. I’m interested to see what the director has done ;-)

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              Well, I’m so happy that so many of you found a solution (and I’m not being sarcastic). I just tried manou’s link and while it took me to a different page, I now get the message “Der Inhalt kann leider nicht abgespielt werden” over the image of McKinny. Guess I’ll just have to wait till next summer to go see it!

  • bronzino

    The role of Klingsor is such a lost opportunity--with his particular ‘amputation’, would not this have been a GREAT castrato role?! HeldenKounterTenour!

    • Indeed. Domenico Mustafa, castrato (1829-1912) was considered for the role of Klingsor by Wagner himself.

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      In this production he gets his balls handed to him as a crucifix extends downward and becomes a dildo. I am not making this up. Mucho giggles throughout the audience.

      • grimoaldo

        https://next.ft.com/content/e8ee535a-5317-11e6-9664-e0bdc13c3bef

        “There was no red carpet at this year’s Bayreuth Festival opening. The official state reception was cancelled. Security, even during the rehearsal period, has been so extreme that at one point tenor Klaus Florian Vogt was seized by mistake. He was wearing full military attire and carried no identification; can you blame them?…(The) production was rumoured to be overtly critical of religions, including Islam. On the edge of panic, perhaps overestimating its own importance, Bayreuth girded its loins for disaster.Sixty prime seats stayed vacant as Wagner hopefuls queued for tickets — local politicians who could not attend declined to return their unused tickets. A ban on cushions, traditional accessories to soften six hours on Bayreuth’s notoriously uncomfortable seats, was issued…”

        Review goes on to say that it was a lot of fuss about nothing, no overt criticism of Islam, the production was “provincial” and a “washout” but the singing and playing was good.

        • Hey Louie

          I approached this video with no info about the production, and I for one was stunned by the shift from the churchy setting of the first act to what I thought was the mosque-inspired atmosphere of the second. I wondered how they dared, especially with Klingsor laying down a prayer mat, not once but twice!

          The appearance of the burka’d ladies added to my amazement (“surely they can’t be doing this!”). The disclosure that we were inside a harem didn’t completely wipe away my first impression that Bayreuth would shortly become a second Charlie Hebdo!

          • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

            I interpreted the Act One set to be a church in disrepair (bombings?) and Act Two to be set in a hammam.

      • Camille

        No, you are NOT making it up, just like Anna Russell!

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    I took one look at the first scene of Das Rheingold televised on SKY turned it off.

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      QPF: what specific factor(s) made you quit?

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        The realization of “Ihr, da oben!” / “Was willst du dort unten?”
        Pfui!

        • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

          I know they have made some changes to the Regie -- is it still the inflatable swimming pool and smeared condiments and cowboy boots and tighty-whities in the pool? On my second (and final) trip to that “Ring,” I simply tuned out during “Siegfried” and put my head on my chest and prayed for sleep. I simply could no longer subject myself to its utter meaninglessness and affront to my intellect. Castorf directed as if his audiences at Bayreuth would know his work in Berlin. But most of us didn’t, and I have never seen so many confused people.

          I particularly pity a couple form Japan who had finally made it to Bayreuth, having studied the “Ring” scores and on recordings, and they had absolutely NO idea what was going on. The woman was practically in tears (at the first Pause of “Die Walküre”). I had to try and explain it for them, but even I could only go so far with squeezing some justification out of that mess.

          • lorenzo.venezia

            I found it fitfully fascinating. My big objection was the way he consistently undermined the important moments with distracting projections and other disorienting business which diffused the drama rather than clarifying it. Often I didn’t know where to look. By the middle of Walkure, I decided that it intentional and perverse. That said, there were some gorgeous moments… of the entire cast, only Erda knocked my socks off, although Botha sang beautifully. Foster left me cold. Vinke fared sounded much better at La Fenice but that was (already. oy.) several years ago.

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              At one of the two performances of the Castorf “Ring” which I attended, I was seated next to a very kind German journalist who gave me some background on Castorf’s style of theater which he practices on his home stage in Berlin, and – I will never forget these words – Castorf’s utter arrogance in assuming that everyone would simply be familiar with and understand his style.

          • Cicciabella
  • Krunoslav

    Note the absence of any discussion in the NYT review of Ryan McKinny’s , um, *singing*.

    • Camille

      I read a part of TT’s book report summary and do not recall him even mentioning the excellent Kundry. In fact, Mr McKinney’s singing; of which I’ve just heard the fist act, was very good and that withstanding the very trying stage action he was complied to perform.

      When did musical journalism come to just consist of defending one’s faves or dissing one’s hates, and summarizing plot points? When I read old reviews in the Archives there are actial technical vocal terms used and description of the music using correct terminology. And not that many decades ago. I grew up with good old lovable Bernheimer, and even if his infatuation with Mme Bubbles became ludicrous at times, one always had the feeling there was considerable education or musical understanding going on in his writing. Now it’s sufficient to write “It sucks because I say so”, and give a nine-grader’s reiteration of the plot, which anyone can access and is superfluous.

      • Krunoslav

        ” In fact, Mr McKinney’s singing; of which I’ve just heard the fist act”

        Oh, is it THAT kind of production? Any photos of the act in question?

        • Camille

          O! What eagle eyes you have to have swooped down on that one, MastroKruno! NO, am not referring to “Cruising”, neither “Bruising”, if such there he and there may well be for all I know!

          Just another egregious typo attack, as per usual e BOLSCHITE SPASIBO!

  • redbear

    It was absolutely clear to me that Castorf was deliberately making fun of and emphasizing the banality of the story and I cannot understand how this cannot be understood. Why such an absurd work of theater with preposterous themes can be seriously “worked over” here and elsewhere has always been a mystery to me. Wagner is not Goethe or Schiller, if anyone is paying attention. Of course the Rhine is a plastic swimming pool and anyone who wants to find universal meaning in that gibberish should seek some counseling. The music is fine.

    • Cicciabella

      Do the Old Norse myths are banal gibberish. Now we know.

    • lorenzo.venezia

      @ redbear: The issue isn’t what we think of Wagner as a dramatist. The issue is that Wagner’s music, text, and subtext are inextricably entwined, incredibly layered and detailed, and Castorf has chosen to obfuscate that. That he chose to do so is his decision and I could respect it if he pulled it off interestingly. However, only in Rheingold, IMO, was the regie as detailed and consistent as the music. Walkure, Siegfried, and Gotterdammerung were not as rigorously thought through, were not as consistent or arresting, and not as meaningful. I felt he put all his effort into Rheingold, and then said “ok, you get the idea” and threw the rest together. In comparison the rest seems lazy and uninspired. I might feel different if I looked at it again, but there isn’t enough “there” there to encourage me to do so.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      The scenario and the text are part of the Gesamtkunswerk. To compare Wagner’s libretti to Schiller and Goethe is to miss the point. In any case, what makes a great opera libretto is not what makes a great play or novel.

      • In any case, what makes a great opera libretto is not what makes a great play or novel.

        Amen. A great libretto should be completed by the music.

  • Camille

    Following the 1841 Schott republished score of Der Fliegende Holländer, which was the author’s original libretto and which takes place on the shores of Scotland (doesn’t indicate where exactly) the character of Daland was named “DONALD”. The Steuermann is referred to as “Der Steuermann Donalds”.

    Erik is, similarly, transformed here into “Georg, ein Jäger”, or “George, a Huntsman”. Mary is still Mary and Senta bleibt immer Senta.

    Interesting to note that Donald pimps his daughter off at the drop of a golden coin, no matter where or when, real or fictitious.

    The basis of this story was taken from Heinrich Heine’s ‘fictional fragment’ Aus den Memoiren des Herren von Schnabelwopski, whatever in the world that may be. Wagner changed the locale to Norway only at the last moment for the premiere in 1843, which took place in Dresden. He successivly tinkered around with the orchestration and, of course, he added the famius Tristanesque coda at opera’s but never went into an extensive and definitive overhaul, this leaving us with whatever for whomever to do whatever with.

    This broadcast is not sounding as god as the others but I have to listen to Senta now and the. The big duets.

  • Camille

    Bluecabachon--I left and then you came in and now you left? So I’m leaving as there is nothing to talk about this rather generic run of the mill Holländer. Bye blue!

  • Krunoslav

    OT: Editing on rare Marjorie Lawrence footage.

    Too bad Mme. Behrens’s famous 1992 ELEKTRA premiere didn’t end this way.

    • luvtennis1

      How fortunate you are that MMII so seldomly frequents the site anymore. Surely his wrath would consume you in an instant!!!

      Pankratova is the real deal. I have only heard her “In quests reggia,” but she seems to be a real singer. How long before she and LM are rivals. Perhaps Pankratova will go full-hog on the German rep. If not, she and LM will be fighting for the best lyric dramatic gigs for a good long while -- at least one hopes!

      Pankratova strikes me as stronger technically but not as visually striking. The voice also sounds bigger in the middle.

      • PCally

        Pankratova more or less has gone full hog into the German rep. She sings the dyers wife more than anything, does elektra, and has several Ortrud and Venus’ coming up. I doubt the two would ever be real rivals since LM seems to be exclusively an Italian rep singer at the moment, though I personally prefer Pankratova who, while not visually striking, is a far better actress as well. And to get a bit bitchy, both are superior to behrens.

        • Camille

          Yes indeed she has gone hole hog into Deutscher Kunst, but she has sung Norma as recently as January at the Mariinsky, so, if she is smart, she will keep some Italian stuff — some prosciutto if you will — in midst of the SchnitzelFest. She has sung Odabella and Abigaille a bit, too, which you may view on youtube.

          Whatever, the best sung Kundry I’ve seen (albeit via remote viewing on TV) or heard live on stage. The only ones I’ve heard sung as cleanly and evenly are the Callas and Flagstad recorded ones, the first from in performance and the latter in studio.

          • LT

            Schnitzel? You surely mean Frankfurter Würstchen.

            I became aware of Pankratova from this video of Elektra in duet with Alex Penda as Chrysothemis (who sounds crazier than Elektra).

            • Camille

              I just mean German sausages, that’s all, and could not think of any off hand.

              I can hardly wait for the Idomeneo with AlexPenda coming up this month! It’s her Mostly Mozart debut so Sshe’s sure to oull out all the stops!!!! Fun, fun, fun!

            • Camille

              “She’s sure to pull out all the stops!”

              Yes, I thought the same thing when I saw that video--little sister looks battier than Big Sis.

              Hardly wait for Idomeneo.

    • Camille

      Of great interest to me as she writes, in her autobiography--the name of which escapes me at the moment--of the preparation of the role and her great anticipation in singing the role in Carnegie Hall—and there ends her story. So, I’ve always wondered a bit about how it actually sounded and I suppose this bit will have to suffice. She had a wonderful voice. I especially like her Ortrud sung in French alongside Monsieur Singher.

  • Camille

    Yoo hoo Mrs Jungfer!!

    Are U listening? Zweiter Akt just commencing. I just awoke at “Mein die Hälfte!” So I missed the first act.

    Bis später!

    • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

      Of course. I followed the score for Act I and grew tired of it (following the score, that is). And don’t fear that you missed any of it: through the miracle of Mixclpoud, the entire first week of the current Bayreuth season will be posted in due course. Maybe sooner than later, as I must take the PC in for its annual checkup, and I need to clear as must data off the system as possible.

      • Camille

        Danke, Jungfer.

        Yes, when you go in to have the computer checked on perhaps they can explain the misterioso “Verfügbar” situation to you? Anyway, you will see it next year, and that is best of all worlds.

        I like Zeppenfeld very much in this role--no slackening nor raspy tired voice for him after all that Gurnemanz, unbelievably! Gould is okay and sounds better than his Siegfried at the Met, anyway, aber die Lang bleibt immer Brangäne für mich. Although she gets her high notes very well indeed, the timbre is not right, for me. Fun to listen to Thielemann’s take on it and I await the beginning of third act with special interest.

        After the Parsifal, nothing is quite as thrilling but overall a positive experience (excepting a bummer Holländer), and after having had the experience of actually seeing it in the theatre, I can’t help but think what a thrill it would be to hear it in that unique place.

        Bis später und zuviel Fahrvergnügen!

        • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

          Vielen Dank für die guten Wünsche, aber ich fahre nicht! I am a child of the Upper West Side -- so I never learned.

          I like Zeppenfeld much more as Marke than as Gurnemanz (which he must sing tomorrow!), especially in the context of this production in which Marke is rather a brute. Gurnemanz is one of the few truly sympathetic male characters in Wagner (Wolfram, too, but even Sachs has some problems there in the end…) and I want to be enveloped in a big, velvety sound, like Kurt Moll or Kawngchul Youn, so as well as Zeppenfeld sang it, it just didn’t do it for me.

          I am a longtime fan of Stephan Gould from his days in the ensemble at Graz, where I heard his first Tristan more than a decade ago. I think he’s doing just fine today. He’s also a hell of a nice guy. He’s doing Peter Grimes here this coming season, which I believe may be a role debut.

          And after Herlitzius -- who just totally ruined the opera for me last summer -- Lang is just balm to my ears, even if she’s straining on the high notes. I’m glad I have her Ortrud on DVD!

          • Camille

            Oh, that is interesting to me about Zeppenfeld, as it sounds pretty big and velvety to me here and oh yes, I do know what you mean about Herlitzius OY! Or should I say OW!? Gould will have his big chance now in Akt III--one of the most grueling things ever sritten for a human being to sing.

            Yes, I am thinking Ortrud would be better as the voice remains dark-timbred. I did hear her as Brangäne long ago and so that influences my ear.

            Bis später. Thielemann is weaving his web.

            • Camille

              Jungfer, I hope you enjoyed it and I must go decompose now as I am totally wiped out from this WagnerFest.

          • Cicciabella

            Jungfer Marianne, a big thank you from me as well for the Bayreuth Parsifal. I have no time to watch it for now, but I listened to your Mixcloud upload while working. What a performance! I enjoyed Zeppenfeld immensely: the emotion he put in came through loud and clear. Pankratova just makes you fall off your seat and Vogt seems to get better and better. Is there anyone else who sings these half-human; half-unearthly Wagnerian characters so convincingly? His voice is angelic and heroic at the same time. Wonderful orchestra.

  • DonCarloFanatic

    Listened to the Parsifal for a couple of hours. Every time I checked the video, it was the same bunch of guys I had no interest in looking at. Then the feed stopped and would not start again.

    It sounded fine. I must confess I prefer opera productions that do their best to be irrelevant to the modern world.

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    All seven operas from the first week of Bayreuth are now on Mixcloud. At the risk of overkill, I thought some friends in the USA might not have wanted to get up at 7:00 a.m. to listen to, say, “Götterdämmerung.” Also, my beloved ancient PC is going into the operating room to see if she can be patched together one more time, or if she must go to Valhalla, so I am not sure how long I will be senza Internet. As always, just go to https://www.mixcloud.com/Jungfer_Marianne_Leizmetzerin/ for all your one-stop opera shopping (except it’s free). Bis bald!