Cher Public

Kunstdiva

waltraudHappy 60th birthday soprano/mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier

Born on this day in 1890 dramatist Karel Capek.

Born on this day in 1896 conductor Warwick Braithwaite.

Born on this day in 1899 composer Alexander Tcherepnin.

Born on this day in 1902 opera manager Rudolf Bing.

Born on this day in 1909 soprano Herva Nelli.

Born on this day in 1916 bass-baritone James Pease.

Born on this day in 1921 composer Seymour Barab.

Born on this day in 1932 bass-baritone Wladimiro Ganzarolli.

  • PCally
    • PCally: Thanks for posting the Isolde Narration. I remember it well from the Levine Gala. She walked on in that frumpy dress (looking ready for cotillion) and gave a hair-raising account of the piece, creating a mini-drama on stage.

      • I haven’t watched that Levine Gala Narration in ages but to this day, when I hear anyone sing the piece, I often picture Meier’s face at the end line “Das Schwert, ich liess es fallen”.

    • Luvtennis

      You know, I greatly admire her artistry but in this, Isolde’s narrative and curse, her intonation seems very inconsistent. Could just be the recording….

      Marvelous artist. I love her Kundry.

      • Porgy Amor

        No, I don’t think you’re being fooled. It’s a later-career performance (2007), it doesn’t come easily, and there are imperfections and compromises one has to forgive in it. But it’s a journey one takes with her, a mature statement on this character, focused, personal, uninhibited. It’s the kind of performance, when seen in total (and “seen” it must be, from beginning to end; it wouldn’t have the same effect only heard), that makes me want to be more discriminating in referring to just anyone who sings and performs as an “artist.”

        • PCally

          I think luvtennis is referring to the gala performance. Even during her prime years Meier was somewhat variable vocally and I’ve certainly heard her sing that section more accurately. I just happen to find it pretty astonishing, as kashania pointed out, that she simply walks onstage in a rather unflattering gown and proceeds to basically create and perform and miniopera right there onstage. The highlight of that gala imo opinion.

          The chereau Tristan is something else entirely and not just because of meier. One of my favorite recordings of anything.

          • Porgy Amor

            Oh, how did I miss that? Yes, of course. What is posted above is from the other end of the opera.

            I’ll leave my pro-Meier blather as is, because it is, after all, the occasion for it.

            • PCally

              Every occasion calls for it as far as I’m concerned lol

  • Liz.S

    Both Camarena & Mattei sound like they have colds tonight (il barbiere), no? Mattei almost doesn’t sound like himself without that dolcessimo legato.
    I felt Belosselskiy was under the weather all thru during Nabucco run, too… so it could be just me.

    I really wish la casa della C would be open again soon. I miss the fun of sharing the “live” listening experience there

    • Oh no!!! I hope they recover soon if that’s the case!! I’m going to see it on Friday with 3 friends :-). The Met let me buy 4 student tickets instead of 2 tehehe. I’m so excited to get to hear Camarena, Mattei and Pretty Yende.
      I also want to see Bohome on Saturday but because it’s a matinee there are no student tickets and Family Circle is sold out so am going to call tom and ask just in case and then try to get a rush ticket. Fingers crossed I get it!

      • Liz.S

        Oh I’ve no doubt you’ll have a blast. Camarena sounded better after the break, Yende is very unique & daring -- and best of all, wonderful chemistry on the stage is very apparent even on the radio :-)

    • Betsy_Ann_Bobolink

      Anybody else miss the clockwork wind-up sound effect when they get Rosina going again?

      • BABs!! It’s been ages, darling! Ages!

  • Leontiny

    The best thing about that Venus excerpt is watching her breathe. I wish we could see her back muscles working. I could put that outfit to good use.
    Don’t want to incite competing Liebestod’s, BUT this is my fave, although the original has disappeared. It certainly has the physical incandescence in the face and eyes. And she was a great Kundry, and marvellous as the Clyte’e in last season’s Elektra. Happy Birthday, maestra diva.
    https://youtu.be/2qAF2ab9hyg

    • Leontiny
    • Porgy Amor

      Knowing as I do that she disliked that production, considered it “banal and psychologically wrong,” I admire her work in it even more. I never would have guessed. (I did like it; it’s one of the best of the Konwitschnys I have seen.)

      • PCally

        I too am suprised about her dislike of the production, not least because she sang in it so many times. I also think it’s pretty brilliant.

        • Porgy Amor

          Meier is not easy to please when it comes to productions. She has firm ideas about “the essence,” a term (or its German equivalent) she often uses. She feels that even directors she admired for their intellect and craftsmanship, and worked with more than once, failed to serve that (the late Chéreau being a shining exception). The big surprise: she apparently feels not one of the many Parsifal productions in which she appeared really did justice to the work.

          But her remarks on the subject are unfailingly interesting; she’s not just saying, you know, “These modern directors…get off my lawn!”