Cher Public

Infinite variety

CleopatraHappy 62nd birthday playwright, actor, commentator and diseuse Charles Busch

Born on this day in 1900 composer Ernst Krenek.

Born on this day in 1904 soprano Stella Roman.

Happy 88th birthday bass-baritone Raimund Herincx.

Happy 86th birthday baritone Franz Ferdinand Nentwig.

Happy 76th birthday soprano Celestina Casapietra.

Photo: David Rodgers

  • gustave of montreal

    Beautiful production of Jonny, adore that opera. Bring it back to the Met.

  • zinka


    As we approach (Aug.28) the birthday of my favorite tenor, Richard Tucker, I think of some of the negative criticism leveled at him for some of the “Cantorial sobs” that appear to bother some people, who refuse to accept the glory of that man’s career. I guess Gigli’s “Italian sobs,” not to mention his incredibly self-satisfying ad libs, sensational tenor that he was, are “better than Jewish sobs!”

    My answer to any critique of mannerisms and/or exaggerations is “SO WHAT!” Corelli was not Gerard Souzay and Luisa Tetrazzini was not Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, who had her own set of “peculiarites.”

    What matters is the overall picture, and so if Tucker holds a double consonant (Di diverse bellezzzze”) too long, or if Gigli adds all sorts of extra words in Boheme, or if Corelli diminuendos in the middle of “E Lucevan” for 10 minutes, and it can be self-indulgent, I’ll take it every time!

    Back to Tucker and his nay-sayers who do not hear his gorgeous legato phrasing in the Forza “Sleale” duet, or the Chenier act 2 “Credi al destino.” I refuse to allow any “personal idiosyncrasies” to stifle the basic glory of a singer. I will be posting a lot of Tucker this week, and I urge you to take in what the man was. Quoting Regina Resnik,as I always do, “He left his blood all over the stage when he left it.

    I am sorry we lost him sooner than expected, but at least we have so many treasures to prove he was a glorious tenor, in the “Caruso realm.”

    • danpatter

      I couldn’t agree more. Tucker’s voice was the first tenor voice I listened to and liked. He was on so many recordings I listened to (and still do!) I only saw him live one time, as Manrico at the Cincinnati Zoo Opera, and he was terrific. I remember how sheerly beautiful his “Ah, si ben mio” was. Yeah, the “Pira” was transposed, but he sang the hell out of it. He was very gracious backstage, signing my LPs and talking about them with real pride. I said I hoped he’d be continuing to record, and he said, a little wryly, that he hoped so to. But I think only the JUIVE highlights came out after that. I’d put Tucker’s phrasing and feel for the music up against most other tenors.

  • JohninSeattle

    Returns of the day to our favored “playwright, actor, commentator and diseuse”. That said…

    Oh to have seen Charles Ludlum! The scripts are incredibly sturdy and his regard for opera parody is well-documented. “Psycho Beach Party” is truly fun. But Ludlum was gifted with a rare inspiration and talent.

    • Last Castrato

      Seeing Ludlam live in the 80’s as Galas was one of the great brilliant stage experiences of my life. The next time you are in New York, you can view a video of the show at the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center. I watched it recently, and it was just as great as I remembered.

      • Leontiny

        and Irma Vep. Bette Midler’s tribute to him is lovely. Is that Busch doing Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra?

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    New FAUST production in Salzburg -- UGLY!!!!!!!!

    • Reports are mixed, as the saying goes.