Cher Public

Broadcast: I puritani

Grab your veils, cher public, and join the listening party for I puritani tonight at 7:30 tonight. You can discuss the performance in the comments section after the jump. 

Following is the “infamous” moment in tonight’s performance, as shared by a member of the live audience exclusively with parterre.

  • Waluigi Alva

    a welcome reminder that no matter how miserably you’re defeated by the inhuman jungle of life, bellini will always love you.

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    The video of the new Bieto Tannhäuser from La Fenice has started making the rounds. Very slight applause at the end of the bloody finale of Act I, with plenty of boos and even whistles! Plenty of hoodies too.

  • Brackweaver


  • Camille

    Vaya, Javiercito lindo!!! Gigante C#!!!!!!!

    • QuantoPainyFakor

      Camille, is that really you? So many of us have missed you and have been concerned about you. Give us a sign that it is our Camille.

  • Brackweaver

    DD-such a struggle at the top. It’s sad but as I type the French horn had a funny blooper.

  • southerndoc1

    Mr. Brava from R&J apparently brought his lady friend tonight

    Damrau sounded like she was marking.

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    Sometimes Joan had to be reminded which cadenza she was singing (that’s what the business of her downstage then rushing to her position upstage was about in the wonderful glimpse fro the past).

  • Brackweaver


  • Desert Island Girl

    did some jerk in the house just shout at him for not taking the F?

  • Brackweaver

    I could not understand…

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    This new production of Madama Butterfly is really worth discussing. I don’t understand how any soprano could agree to do it this way.

    • I’ll be there tomorrow, so I’m not going to watch the video in advance!

      • It was very puzzling. I’ve written it up on my blog.

    • At first I thought that the Butterfly with long gray hair singing from the side of the stage was the old Butterfly reliving her own story until I remembered that, of course, Butterfly never got to BE an old lady. Do I assume correctly that Sharpless being one armed indicated that he was helpless to keep the tragedy from happening? That the inflatable baby who grows to proscenium height was an equivalent to the “800 pound gorilla in the room” as his bunraku mother died? As a designer, my favorite part of the whole affair was the marvelous folded paper costumes of the on the ensemble that came on and off at various times. Otherwise, I felt that there was so much alienation technique going on that I couldn’t feel anything for anybody which may well have been the director’s concept — a totally unemotional, objectively viewed Madama Butterfly.

      • QuantoPainyFakor

        So then maybe the old lady was really Suzuki, doomed to recount the story! But no, according to the publicity: “The ghost of Cio-Cio-San is condemned to recount her story until the end of time.”

        I thought that Sharpless had his arm blown away in military service.

        The bunraku-puppet-Cio-Cio-San doesn’t know the difference between the otto-kè, a fan, and a ritual sword. The LONG pantomime between the first and second acts was no more than an intrusion. Despite all of it, it afforded the opportunity to savor the way Alexia Voulgaridou inflected the nuances of the libretto. She must have been terribly indisposed when her voice gave out just before the climax of the love duet. In that single moment it was like her subtext was: “I’m sitting here in the corner singing my heart out while than damn puppet with the gorgeous wig is being hoisted in the air in center stage by four ninjas and the tenor is nowhere near me.”

        • Thank you, QPF, I didn’t see the whole thing but sampled here and there so I really can’t (shouldn’t) really make a judgement on the entirety of the concept. However, while the MET’s bunraku child solves many difficulties in staging the opera, I found the bunraku Butterfly to be emotionless and the operators to be unskilled at any nuances of expression, which is a major part of the bunraku art — for me, the suicide fell flat and was not enhanced by the giant inflatable child and Pinkerton at the end was a blank. I liked Ms. Voulgaridou very much but do think the object of the director’s work was alienation, to strip the work of emotional triggers.

    • rhinestonecowgirl

      I saw it live last week with Amanda Echalaz, who gave a very secure, if rather uninvolved, account of the music. But then you probably would if banished to the edges of the stage by a giant puppet. It may also have been even more difficult for the other principals interacting with the puppet, and certainly the Pinkerton didn’t succeed in imposing much personality. I really liked the rather indulgent conducting and some of the directorial touches especially the cherry picking and Yamadori’s scene. But nothing can excuse that dummy child who looked like Porky Pig. And why was Kate Pinkerton dressed like a bag lady? And as for the sotto voce reprise of Un Bel Di after the intermission….

  • La Cieca

    I’ve inserted a copy of the third act shout in the post above.

  • Ivy Lin
    • Bill

      Ivy -- pretty much echo your sentiments regarding this
      Puritani performance. The orchestra did not have a
      particularly fine outing particularly the horns in the second act. Damrau was reportedly ill and did not sing the dress rehearsal but there was no excuse proffered on stage
      prior to the performance suggesting she was not in the best of health and had consented to sing anyway. I have not seen this opera frequently but all the Elviras I did see,
      Sills, Sutherland, Gruberova and Netrebko actually sang
      with greater fluency and beauty of voice than Damrau did last night. Damrau was clearly not in her best voice with
      some higher tones slightly flat, a bit of graininess in her timbre and some spread developing in her higher
      register. Unlike the others cited above, Damrau rather
      overacted the girlishness of the character and some movements she made to make it clear that Elvira had (at that stage in the opera) gone mad were a little embarrassing. Her best singing was in the soft toned lower register and Damrau moves well on stage.
      Camarena has basically a lovely voice and delicately
      phrased Arturo’s music with a splendid legato and with dulcet sound. Some of his highest notes are a bit nasal
      but right on pitch. In costume and wig he is a bit
      dumpy on stage (compared to Damrau who was hyperactive) but the audience came to hear him sing and he had a personal triumph. Pisaroni and Markov were
      acceptable -- not thrilling singing as required in Bellini operas but routinely pleasant.
      After her solo curtain call Damrau enthusiastically scooted off the stage like a loony teenager and apparently (behind the curtain as she skipped off) must have tripped the conductor, Benini,
      who actually fell down to the stage floor and collapsed as he came from behind the curtain for his solo bow. Damrau then re-appearing to help him up and embrace him. It is my take that one must hear Damrau in some subsequent performance this month to fully evaluate her vocal performance -- perhaps she truly was somewhat vocally impaired due to her recent illness and bravely went on to save the performance.

      • Gualtier Maldè

        Eglise Gutierrez subbed for Damrau in the “Puritani” dress rehearsal.