Cher Public

Turban outfitter

turban“Ms. Netrebko is not the kind to wear sweatpants unless they are fancy, but her wardrobe and homes are an eclectic amalgam of high and low.” [New York Times]

  • La Cieca
  • Luvtennis

    Still waiting for the maribou or is it maribo. Oh well, where is rhe feathered boa!

  • I saw Anna N’s Manon Lescaut last night. I was bowled over by the floodgates of sound she could produce. But in terms of characterization I was not very enthusiastic:

    • PCally

      I have to say Ivy I agree with you completely with regards to characterization. I’ve often seen netrebko referred to (here and elsewhere) as being an exciting prescence as opposed to an actress (this came up specifically in relation to marina pop) and I’ve often found that classification unfair since I’ve often felt her roles to be detailed and differentiated enough to justify her acting abilities. Her manon lescaut made understand why some might feel that way. Ridiculously charismatic and insanely committed but paradoxically I found her to be weirdly indifferent to what was happening around her and her relationship with Alvarez I found to be completely undefined. Interpreting it reminded of Mattilas interpretation, a bit too ballsy and aggressive for my taste, though mattila couldn’t even begin to sing it as well. You’ve described netrebkos handling of the jewels and here was a moment where I thought opolais was actually more interesting and ambiguous. She conveyed the idea that manon was purposefully fumbling up the packing process because she was reluctant to leave behind her life of luxury and her jewels. I really appreciated that even though I wasn’t sure I agree with it because I respected that opolais didn’t condescend to make manon likeable and demonstratively sympathetic. I couldn’t really understand what netrebko was aiming for because her manic clumsiness was so crazily broad IMO. Perhaps the lackluster production, conducting, and colleagues meant she was left completely to her own devices? Like opolais (and mattila for that matter) I thought dramatically she was remarkable in the final act where passion and intensity was key and unlike the two other ladies she can actually sing the music (though I’ve mentioned elsewhere I found her to be rather sluggish sounding throughout quite a bit of opening night). I also can’t think of any other singer I’d rather see/hear in the role right now. Westbroek got a positive reception in Amsterdam and I imagine she’s quite moving in the role with the right sort of sound but her voice is declining whereas netrebko seems pretty much born to sing this music.

      • LMacbeth

        She was very moving in the final scene at the Bolshoi recently.

        • Well the Bolshoi production I think is more focused, more minimalist, and I agree that her performance overall was less fussy and mannered than the one I saw last night.

      • Cicciabella

        Westbroek’s Manon L was highly praised by the local press. I thought the praise was exaggerated, more an expression of delight that the local diva has returned “home” than anything else. Although she was very fine as an actress, even overcoming the dire production at times, I thought her legato was not in great shape and the wobble got in the way. (You can still listen to a broadcast of a later performance at, search the archive under “Uitzending gemist”, when she sounded a little better). The problem remains that a voice like hers is better suited to heavier rep, so Act 4 was good, but the scene with the madrigal etc. lacked vocal finesse and charm. Although Westbroek’s voice is not what it used to be, I disagree that it is in decline. She is still fantastic in the right roles. Last summer she performed the final scene from Salome during a concert and bowled everyone over. The house erupted, and with good reason. She was vocally secure and fearless and her interpretation had the right mix of tragedy, craziness and pathos. It’s a role she should sing, and she has said she wants to sing it, but nobody has offered it to her yet. The problem with Manon Lescaut is that it needs a big dramatic voice in the fourth act, but loads of Italianate pliability, even softness, in other places, and this combination of qualities is rare. Westbroek had the volume and the stamina, but sounded too heavy and Teutonic overall. Some German critics loved her as well. I guess they like their Italian heroines sounding Teutonic. Anyway, the names “Westbroek” and “Puccini” proved very good for business. Despite the disastrous production, the run sold out.

        • manou

          Yesterday morning I saw Sandra Rad at the ROH dress of Manon Lescaut -- a second run for the Jonathan Kent production which originally featured Opolais and Kaufmann. It seemed to me an unlikely role for La Rad, but she certainly pulled out all the stops and even gamely wore a less revealing version of Opolais’ pink teddy costume. She was paired with Antonenko -- another unlikely Des Grieux (and let us say there are not enough stops for him to pull to make this work). The production stays a disappointing mess. I am going to see it early in December.

          • Cicciabella

            La Rad certainly has the vocal goods for the role, unlikely as the casting seems. Glad she is giving her all in it (and relived she’s not revealing her all in the teddy), and I hope you also enjoy the real performance. Westbroek had a vocally beautiful Des Grieux: Stefano La Colla. Unfortunately, the director undermined both of them, but him especially, since, unlike her, he is not a natural actor.

  • KarenMrsLloydRichards

    Less Norma Desmond, more like Norma Deloris Egstrom.