Cher Public

A time to ill

Pretty Yende will sing the role of Elvira in tomorrow evening’s performance of Bellini’s I Puritani, replacing Diana Damrau, who is ill,” says the Met’s press office.

And “Roberto Aronica will sing the role of Don José in the February 15 performance of Bizet’s Carmen, replacing the originally scheduled Marcelo Álvarez, who is ill.”

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    Not sure if Eglise Gutiérrez was the official cover for Elvira, but if she saved the dress rehearsal (as reported on Parterre), one wonders why she is not being permitted to sub for Damrau in the performance.

    • La Cieca

      You do realize we have had this discussion every time an artist canceled for the past ten years, right?

      • And we’ll have it again, damn it!!

    • Camille

      Maestro QPF:

      Have you heard of ‘HOT OR NOT’?

      I think, that with the house selling so poorly — go take a look, it is just unbelievable how few seats are sold — the management has got to go with who’s HOT and not with who’s NOT.

      Miss Yende has been making a big positive splash, and is poised to make a success in the upcoming Juliettes, (which I had intended to hear rather than the first cast), so I’m afraid they have to put their money on the horse that’s going to cross the finish line first. Miss Yende has a lovely personality and is young, intelligent, and yes, I’ll say it, PRETTY!

      I do wonder what happened to Miss Gutierrez, though, who started out so well, and was a beautiful young lady. By the time I heard her a few years back at Caramoor as Giulietta, the voice had receded very distressingly and sounded as it was being forced in the wrong direction. I don’t know much about her other than she promised a great deal at one time.

      • Armerjacquino

        Is she reprising her Covent Garden role when CENDRILLON comes to the Met next season?

        • Camille

          That is a good question, armer. I don’t know but remember watching that Cendrillon and thinking how good she was in it.

          Supposing that, too, would be a role for Miss Yende, come to think of it. I don’t know it at all well but from what I remember of listening to Ruth Welting’s version, it requires a formidable display of coloratura ability along the lines of a Philine or Ophélia, not just a pretty good or generalized display, if you follow me.

        • calaf47

          No….Kathleen Kim sings Le Fee

          • I think that must be “La” not “Le”. French fairies are feminine.

      • Daniel Swick

        The unsupported top always made me nervous. Very Moffo.

        • Camille

          “The unsupported top…”.
          Whose? Mine?

          I ALWAYS wear my brassière, I’ll have you know, Young Man!!

          (You mean l’Église?)

          • Daniel Swick

            My dear, of course you do and you wear it SO well. I was referring to Eglise’s way with her top notes…desolé.

            • Camille

              Glad to know it is possible to sort things out in a stylish and courtly manner here on parterre and merci!

              Is it her top notes that give her the mischief? When I heard her it sounded to me like she was eating her voice, as it was so far back in the throat, and everything she sang was an affected piano/pianissimo. it was very distressing to hear and I’d hoped that she would pull out of it eventually and get back to form, as it really did not sound healthy to me, at ALL.

            • Daniel Swick

              Yes, exactly! Everything is very dark and very “back” and she does a weird switch on the tippy top notes…A sort of throat close…Very strange. I heard her as Lucia in Montreal and I found the whole thing well sung but darkly monochrome. The top sounded great and she hurled out high D’s and Eb’s with aplomb but there was something off about the whole thing.

            • Camille

              Yes, something “off” about it all is how I would characterize it, too. Withheld and trying to superimpose some kind of control over the voice.

              Did she sing the Lakmé there as well? Remember thinking I’d try to make it but, of course, did not. As I have never seen Lakmé and it was being done in a francophone theatre I felt there was a chance it would be done well.

            • calaf47

              No…she cancelled and Audrey Luna sang the role in her place…and very well too….complete with high G# in the “Bell Song”.

            • Daniel Swick

              Aline Kutan was the Lakmé in 2007, Audrey Luna in 2013.

              Gutierrez sounded like a star here:

  • Camille

    Oh HURRAY!!!! Me so hoppi!!!! I was praying for a substitution as that other child needs to go home and plop a plaster on her bosoms!

    Just recently I’d been idly speculating that Miss Pretty would be pretty darn good as an Elvira, and so I get my Valentine’s Day wish come true!! Wait’ll I tell my date!!! YIPPEE!!

    Also, my date tells me it would be “terribly insulting” to go backstage afterwards and give Javiercito Lindo a jar of jalapeños, so I’m giving him a Valentine instead, and a big Besito!!!

  • Ramon Figueroa

    I think Yende has a much more appealing sound, though I don’t know if she has Damrau’s power.

  • actfive

    Ms. Yende does an Elvira scena on her new CD. I found it beautifully sung, but lacking a bit in depth and power.

    • Camille

      Okay. I’ll bear that in mind and thank you for the advices. I wouldn’t expect much depth at this point in any event, but DO expect great precision, however, as this role really depends upon and demands it. From what I vaguely recall of her Adèle I have my hopes.

      In bocca al lupo carina Pretty!

  • ernestlow

    This is a wonderful replacement. Toi toi toi Pretty!

  • Camille

    Just a note to the Pretty watchers:

    last night on the broadcast of Rusalka, Luca Pisaroni was interviewed (charming man), and made mention of the fact that there was to be a rehearsal of the Puritani this morning, especially for Miss Pretty. He said he was called and asked to come and he did so only too gladly as he would like to be working with her. SO! It means this is taken pretty seriously as a role debut and I am very glad of that, rather than her being thrown--SPLAT!--onto the stage with a road map and a piano rehearsal.

    I’ll be back with the 11:00 news on this hot topic.

    • southerndoc1

      They may be prepping her for the Saturday broadcast.

      Contrary to the above pan, a poster on Opera-l says she was spectacular tonight.

      • Camille

        Yes, the voice is relatively small but the talent is BIG and BEAUTIFUL. She had quite a success. Many many bravas for her. It was quite heartwarming on a day such as today.

        More Pretty Report tomorrow as there is much to say.

        • southerndoc1

          I’d say that the voice is not large, but it projects wonderfully well in Sybil’s barn.

  • simonelvladtepes

    I’m sitting in the second intermission and it’s so depressing. Yende has a small voice and can do anything a light coloratura can do, just not too fast. The main pleasure so far is a sadistic one, Markov lost his low notes exactly in the duet and had to skip what he could and fake the rest. Sorry, this is the most bland, boring Puritani l ever attended or heard. Benini is useless. Camarena can’t carry the entire evening on his shoulder. I think most people like Yende more than me, though. Anyway, almost anyone is preferable to Damrau in this repertoire in her current state.

    • Camille

      I share your enthusiasm for the Maestro. . . !
      Limp as a noodle. Really needs someone who can infuse some LIFE into this score. I’ll try to avoid his conducting in the future, if at all possible. Sorry.

  • simonelvladtepes

    I don’t know if Camarena had a bad night, I’ll find out when I return in 10 days, but I suspect not. It seems he was trying his version of “soft singing.” He has compromised breath control, he sounds great only loud and up high. His soft singing sounded like marking, it was too quiet, and he struggled to keep the pitch and was close to losing it a few time -- losing it like almost cracking, becoming hoarse, but that was barely heard because he was almost whispering (I was sitting orchestra front row). At one point he lost the tone at the end of a line and just camouflaged it as a dramatic gesture, a sob or something. Last night, at least, his soft singing was fake bel canto, and the decision to do the 2 successive Db’s in Credeasi misera much discussed is bad judgement -- can’t he hear it sound wrong?

    Yende at this early stage should be able to do rapid passage-work easily, and the fact the she is a little constrained there is a problem. It’s not a question of agility, because she can do very fast runs, it’s a question of stamina because when it comes to a complete line she has to cautiously pace herself.

    I was surprised how undepowered and bland Luca Pisaroni was.
    He sounds much better closely miked on blu-rays (and so many of them).

    Anyone I spoke with did not share my jaundiced view and the audience adored Yende. A well respected friend was raving about her.