Cher Public

You should embrace the past and understand it, deal with it and go forward

Happy 79th birthday composer John Corigliano

On this date in 1892 Massenet’s Werther premiered in Vienna.

Born on this day in 1901 tenor Tomáz Alcaide.

Born on this day in 1907 conductor Fernando Previtali.

Born on this day in 1907 composer Alec Wilder.

Born on this day in 1922 baritone Geraint Evans.

Born on this day in 1926 director John Schlesinger.

Happy 81st birthday conductor Eliahu Inbal.

Happy 78th birthday opera television director Brian Large.

Born on this day in 1939 soprano Marita Napier.

  • Camille

    Hey, parterrians! Why isn’t someone giving a big old shout out to Mr. Corigliano, a LIVING composer, as his opera Ghosts of Versailles, as filmed and performed by the Los Angeles Opera, just won a big ol’ Grammy award a few days ago? Why does an old ottocento hag like me have to bring this up? Where are the 20th c. peeps?!!!!

    Anyway, Mr. Corigliano, good for you!! And congratulations on the win!

    • Williams

      Hi Camille, here’s a big croak out from this ancient pooftah to Maestro Corigliano. I’m aware that Ghosts gets little respect in these parts but I thoroughly enjoyed it at the Met both times I attended.

      • Camille

        What’s an ancient pooftah? I like this word. Is that from l’italiana in Algeri?

        Well, everyone complains about ‘new music’ not getting any respect and then no one notices he wins a big ol’ Grammy.

        I’ve never heard the work in the theatre but have enjoyed sections of it on Sirius. Sections, mind you. At least he had the temerity to try the impossible: write a 20th c. opera. It also afforded a host of opportunities for opera singers to be employed so he can be lauded for that as well. I think the ‘Baba the Turk’ elements are best passed over in silence, however, ahem…….

    • Eaglerocker

      Hey Camille,
      Yes! LA Opera was awarded two Grammys for Ghosts:

      It was a stunning production.

      • Camille

        Yes, who was it that reviewed it herein; our own Patrick Mack, perhaps? Anyway, there was a review of either the actual performance or also the recording somewhere on parterre a while back and which would be easily resesrched.

        At any rate, it was a very good match for L.A. and I’m pleased they won.

        • ‘Twas I, though I’m happy to be confused with the always excellent Patrick Mack. I reviewed the recording which won the Grammys — didn’t see the production.

          • Camille

            Thank you much for the link. Pretty sure the actual performances were reviewed as well and maybe someone will show up with those, too.

            Kashania, you are going to gnash your dentures and turn green when I tell you whom I’ve just finished listening to: Jessye in Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung.

            One HELL of a sing and she actually made music of the Erwartung, a terrifying score. She shoulda been a conductor! My husband has the fondest memories of that Castle production and says it was one of his all-time favorites. I’m sorry not to ever have seen it. If Mattila sings it in the future I’ll go to the new one. I guess it works okay and she’d be a lot of fun, anyway.

            • Camille, when you’re right, you’re right. Patrick did indeed review the L.A. production. Here it is:

              I’m going to read it myself to see how his in-theatre experienced compared to my audio-only experience.

              That Jessye Erwarthung is one of the best things she did, musically speaking. She really sang the hell out of it. I have a friend who trained as a dramatic soprano, and who is not always a fan of Jessye’s, and she said she was just in awe of her after she heard the Met performance. She was reaching for superlatives to describe it. That Met performance also features the loudest high B I’ve ever heard from Jessye. In contrast, her high C as Judith in the first half of the evening is barely audible. I think La Cieca once made a funny joke about how Jessye made a big show of opening her mouth, widening her eyes, and singing that C while hardly any sound came out.


            • Camille

              Right you are and that goes equally for when I am RONG!

              Monsieur Camille is setting here correcting papers and sez to tell you it was, Levine, orchestra, direction and sets one of the greatest things he’s ever seen at the MET or anywhere at all and that Jessye was nothing sjort of phenomenal. She let it ALL out.

              It’s the reason why we would not even consider going to hear Michael. Now the new Trelinski production may be just fine but I had no wish to go hear a baaaad soprano take a bath, if you follow. I’d be more than grateful and happy to hear that wonderful lady Miss Karita do this role, however, and jump up and down for her success.

              Right you are about that big B. Just the way it ought to be. And the F was rather faint at first but then came into focus and she held it slightly longer than necessary--I counted at least three or so beats.

              Anyway, was happy to hear it and will try to snatch another hearing before it fades from the menu.

              Whatever else may or may not be said about Jessye, she is a musician par excellence to attack that score. It gives me a migraine to just contemplate it!

            • I think that Judith suits Mattila temperamentally, regardless of the production, and that she could do very well in the Trelinski.

    • chicagoing

      I did peruse the list of Grammy winners published in the New York Times print edition specifically to learn who in the operatic world was awarded but it is a sad commentary that they did not include this award in the list, referring readers instead to the web site for the comprehensive listing (which I never followed up on). Thanks.

  • La Cieca

    Please use this comment section to discuss tonight’s Broadcast of Werther beginning at 7:30 PM.

    La Cieca apologizes for the inconvenience, but she lost track of time before tonight’s show.

  • Cameron Kelsall

    Vittorio’s bravo boyfriend is in the house, it seems.

    • JR

      That guy’s a rude lunatic!

      • DonCarloFanatic

        Question is, is he a paid clacqueur?

        • Camille

          It sounds like a plant.

          The guy who dissed Javier had a bit of an accent from what I could tell so the Boo-Bird is not the same as the Bravo-Boy.

          Stange days.

          • Cameron Kelsall

            I doubt he’s a paid plant. More likely just an overzealous fan, perhaps somewhat unstable. We all know that some people can become obsessive about their favorites.

        • JR

          He’s in love, he’s in love, he’s in love with a wonderful guy!