Cher Public

Principessa altera

Turandot-NetrebkoAs Peter Gelb announced just now on the Met broadcast, Anna Netrebko will sing Turandot at the Met in a “forthcoming season.”


    Will they give her a new production at least? This isn’t the way I was hoping this career would go but Anna rarely calls me for advice anymore. The Zeff sets are going to be 30 years old.

    • Armerjacquino

      I quite like the thought of her in that old production. It’s pretty abysmal as direction but it looks good and she’d have fun in it. And she might be canny enough to realise that she’d share a lot of the attention with a new production, whereas if she rocked up in the Zeff the spotlight would be firmly and unshakeably on her.

      • Porgy Amor

        It has been a while since Trebs was in anything really old at the Met. Bohème in 2010, and before that the generally regrettable revival of Puritani.

        I would not regret the passing of the Zeffirelli Turandot at this point, although the first filmed version of it is good fun for a flashback to Reagan-era operatic profligacy (and I like the cast). Stemme was diplomatic about it in an HD interview last winter, discussing her then-upcoming appearances in an “antique” she had seen 15 years earlier with Eaglen, followed by the very different Chéreau Elektra.

    • Rosina Leckermaul

      Yes, please, get rid of that tacky Zeffirelli production. Chinoiserie kitsch. It forces the principals to park and bark way upstage.

      • LOL Chinoiserie kitsch perfectly describes that production. It’s also blindingly bright. I nominate Chinoiserie kitsch as the mot du jour.

  • Jorale-man

    Suitably vague. Winter? Spring?

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    She looks quite good photo shopped in the Cecil Beaton costume above. Unfortunately that production did not transfer well in the new house and looked very skimpy there -- even with Corelli.

  • Degan

    As she is rarely going back to old roles and after reading her post on Instagram about Manon Lescaut it could have been her last one ever.
    Seems like she is going into real dramatic repertoire.
    Anyone expecting her to relly
    Show up and sing Traviata next spring in Milan?!

    • Cameron Kelsall

      I believe AN said she was going to do another run of Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi sometime in the next two years. She’s done four separate productions of the role in less than one year. The insta post says that she is “saying goodbye to Manon Lescaut for a while”…not sure where you’re getting that she’s retiring the role from that.

      I also wouldn’t say that she is rarely going back to old roles. She’s made the Trovatore Leonora a staple of her current rep and she’s continuing to do Tatianas

    • DonCarloFanatic

      I agree Traviata seems unlikely, but she’d have the opportunity to do it in an older woman, worldly wise manner that would make her a different Violetta from what she’s done in the past. Not saying she would do it that way, but it would be interesting if she did.

      • I think Anna at this point projects way too much robust vitality to be convincing as Violetta. This is wonderful in most things — the volume and scope of her voice are astounding. And it makes things like Turandot very exciting. But it’s no longer a very delicate sound and she certainly doesn’t project delicacy onstage anymore.

        • Kenneth Conway

          Attended “Manon Lescaut” yesterday afternoon. Afterward I couldn’t help thinking again how much I would love to hear Netrebko as Minnie. But Turandot? Seems like a waste of her talents to me. Record “Turandot,” sure. But why bother singing the role on stage? Anyway, yes, I pretty much loved the performance yesterday, although the conducting seemed hit or miss at times (frantic, then underpowered). And that production? God, Eyre is just about the worst director I have ever seen. He has people on stage do all this little “stuff,” little “bits” … and he thinks that’s directing. Awful. Even worse than his “Werther,” which I thought was an insult to Massenet and the (wonderful) singers. About Netrebko and Violetta: I do wish I had been there in person for at least one of the performances of that famous Salzburg “Traviata” …

          • Zachary Chasworth

            I think AN would make a good Turandot, although I think her voice is about one size too small for the role. I prefer a full-fledged dramatic soprano for the part, such as G. Jones, Marton, Dimitrova, etc.
            But AN is a stage-savvy singer and I think she would not attempt Turandot if she did not think she could successfully pull it off.
            As for the Zeff Turandot production, I happen to love it, glitz. glitter and all.
            I think AN would look great in those costumes as well.
            I certainly hope P. Gelb isn’t planning on scrapping the Zeff so he can import some ridiculous “Eurotrash” Turandot production for AN.

            • southerndoc1

              “Eurotrash.” What an interesting word -- very descriptive and informative.

  • Krunoslav

    Gee, Mr. Alessandrini-- who’dja think the Calaf is going to be?

  • Yige Li

    For those who have doubts about her upcoming Traviata, at least do your homework before raising your doubts, could you? Begin from 10:14 (or -3:47)

    • DonCarloFanatic

      This was homework I enjoyed.

    • MisterSnow

      Netrebko is one of the VERY few who has successfully sung the leads in the Verdi big three (all written about the same time) -- Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, & La Traviata. Violetta is the “catch all” role. Many Gildas have sung Violetta (Moffo, Contrubas, Anderson) and some Leonoras have as well (Ponselle, Caballe) but few have sung all three. Sutherland and Scotto did, but the Trovatore was a bit of a stretch. Callas, of course, was a touchstone in all three. On the page, these roles look alike -- similar range and use of coloratura, but we have (wrongly?) come to expect different voice types -- lyric for Gilda and dramatic for Leonora, while .Violetta is open to a various vocal types. Who else has pulled off this Verdi trifecta?

      • Krunoslav

        “Who else has pulled off this Verdi trifecta?”

        Luisa Tetrazzini
        Clémentine De Vere
        Hjördis Schymberg
        Leyla Gencer
        Gabriella Tucci
        Gilda Cruz-Romo [yes, RIGOLETTO early on]
        Cheryl Studer [ducks for cover]

        • Nelly della Vittoria

          Unfortunate about the ‘concert ending’ but a great record, maybe one of her best. I like all the extra text she manages to fit into that sequence of slurred semiquavers around 2:51 — you couldn’t do it reasonably today, but it sounds right here.

        • O Fank you, Krunoslava!!!! I used the Disqus blocking software and am now calmer.

          Tetrazzini was of course world famous as Violetta, and also an acclaimed Gilda. We don’t know about her Trovatore complete but the two arias are spectacularly sung, with amazing tone, stunning phrases, her voice sitting naturally on that tessitura and coping effortlessly with the implied florid writing.

          The Tucci performances are all documented. I saw her do Violetta it seemed 1000 times (wonderfully sung, heartbreaking) and Trovatore (very well sung, stylish and easy) and the Gilda video from Japan is fabulous.

          You forgot Patti. Verdi himself was awed by her Gilda, she was a famous Violetta and also sang Trovatore (and Aida and Norma).

          Gilda Cruz was a great singer, shrugged off for some reason (race/ethnicity?) and tremendously effective in Trovatore and as Violetta. I assume the Gilda was impressive, for her Lady Macbeth showed a remarkable florid capacity (she was also an impressive Aida and took a late stab at Norma, not her best outing as documented but some earlier performances were described as better).

          Little Renata was a world famous Violetta and Gilda. I didn’t think her Trovatore was bad at all (I saw 11 over two years). She had a cautious opening night in ’76, but Big Lucy was worse and poor Shirley who had been so thrilling a few years before was not in voice. Later, she did it really well on several occasions, and unevenly on several others. Style, words, musical impulse, the shape of phrases were NEVER in doubt.

          You also forgot your favorite June Anderson, who made her Met debut as Gilda (and was very good) and was also a good Violetta and sang Trovatore (don’t know her performances but it wasn’t a big stretch).

          As for our Cheryl, I don’t think she actually sang a complete performance of Gilda (recording, interrupted and long delayed is it, I ween) and only did ONE Trovatore. I’m not sure she did more than the six Violettas she did at the Met (she recorded it though).

          Here is Luisa Tetrazzini in D’amor Sull’ali Rosee. You hear the beautifully managed “timor di me”, superb words and declamation and then the phenomenal trills.

          And here is Gabriella Tucci from her EMI recording

          And here is Joan, condescend to by some idiot. This was greatest singer I ever saw over THIRTY-ONE years. This D’amor is said to be from 1975. It is live. It’s fast but sensitive, the trills are stunning.

          And here is Renata Scotto, live 1977. The recit alone is supremely shaped and the impulse behind the rising phrases in the aria is sublime.

          And HOW could you have forgotten the famous Margarthe Siems: A Gilda, Violetta, Trovatore Leonore, Aida, Queen of the Night and of course, the creatrix of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.

          • Nelly della Vittoria

            MrsJC, in re: Tetrazzini, I tracked down that Andre Benoist memoir you spoke of!

          • LMacbeth

            “As for our Cheryl, I don’t think she actually sang a complete performance of Gilda (recording, interrupted and long delayed is it, I ween) and only did ONE Trovatore. I’m not sure she did more than the six Violettas she did at the Met (she recorded it though).”

            Cheryl Studer did not sing a full Gilda on stage, only recorded the role in full for Levine/Met. She did sing excerpts at a Met gala and was fantastic in it.


            She sang more than one Trovatore Leonora, in Vienna for Michael Halasz, after Mehta fled the production. Wish someone captured on tape at least one of those. Recall that Studer was a last minute substitution for Michelle Crider who for some reason or another abandoned the gigs. And it is worth repeating Studer was suffering from a severe cold on opening night.

            As for Violetta, she first sang it in Braunschweig, Germany, then in Hamburg and maybe München and elsewhere in Europe? before the Met and before recording it in full for Levine/Met.

          • Krunoslav

            Studer sang at least two performances of TROVATORE, in Vienna in 1993 under Mehta and later Michael Halász . She was booed at the prima ( Kalt, Leiferkus, Baltsa) if memory serves.

            • PCally

              There’s an audio clip floating around somewhere that’s pretty unfortunate. Some really explosive booing and not just at her. The tenor gets it just a bad.

          • Luvtennis

            Can anyone recommend a good Gilda CR pirate? Didn’t she get lost between Arroyo, Scotto and later Ricciarelli?

            • PCally

              Isn’t she the Desdemona on the first televised Domingo Otello from the met? Haven’t seen it in a while but I remember some lovely singing and a winning if somewhat generic prescence

          • Those were all fantastic recordings. I listened to all of them and I especially liked Gabriella Tucci. Thank you for sharing these!

        • MisterSnow

          Not surprised by Gencer of course (who sang almost every Italian role) or Tettrazini (whose voice had some heft as well as her remarkable coloratura). Didn’t know Tucci or Cruz-Romo did Gilda. Virginia Zeani would seem to have been a natural. She sang Gilda early in her career and Violetta was her most famous role. Later in her career, she moved on to Aida and other more dramatic roles, but she never seems to have sung Leonora. Pity. Seems like she would have had all the goods for it.

        • Armerjacquino

          Did we ever do Susanna/Turandot, or Zerlina/Turandot? I would imagine Netrebko will be in a smallish group when it comes to those doubles. Cebotari, presumably, and probably the inevitable Moser. Anyone else?

          As for the Verdi trifecta, did Agresta ever sing Gilda?

          • Krunoslav

            Pauline Tinsley sang both Susanna and Turandot!

  • Luvtennis

    Thoughts on Anna:

    Looking back on Anna’s career, I have to say kudos! I first heard her decades ago in that early Ruslan and was blown away. But the intervening years brought doubts. She never seemed really committed to being perfect. (Hey, my triple goddesses are Callas, Price, and Sutherland -- vocal perfectionistas). I can’t help but think what might have been if her mentor had been von Karajan or Muti….rather than VG. But then came the Anna Bolenas and things seemed to change. Despite some rocky first performances -- Anna began to grow like crazy as an artist. And now, she seems poised for a truly historic career. I will always regret the vocal perfection of my goddesses, but they were lucky in their mentors. Anna has done it on her own.