Cher Public

Webcast: Semiramide

Watch and discuss, cher public, as the Bayerische Staatsoper streams a new production of Rossini’s Semiramide boasting a starry cast including Joyce DiDonato, Alex Esposito, Daniela Barcellona and Lawrence Brownlee. Semiramide,  which begins at 11:00 AM ET, is directed by David Alden and the conductor is Michele Mariotti.

  • simonelvladtepes

    Sorry, I don’t know where to post this: when you check online, the MET is at least 35% unsold for many nights, maybe all, I didn’t check all, sometimes 50% unsold. I was told that even the matinees are 35% unsold (used to be sold out) and they dump the tickets 20 hours ahead.

    The house was 35% unsold online last night for Puritani, but there was only one ticket for sale on the Orchestra front row, Behind the Conductor. However, in reality most of the front row was unsold and people upgraded during intermission (they don’t allow that for ballet). The 2 seats Behind the Conductor where sold to a couple for a fraction of the price, the rest they didn’t make available for cheap. If there are even more unsold tickets than it shows online, how many seats do they actually have unsold, and why don’t they make all of them available online? I can’t believe that half of the Orchestra front row patrons just didn’t bother to show up or turn their tickets in.

    • Satisfied

      Question about this, despite all the times I’ve gone to the met, I’ve never rushed seats. Is this generally an option for undersold performances? Is there an age requirement or a time in which to do it?

      Thanks in advance!

      • Ivy Lin

        On weekday performances rush tickets are sold at noon online. They’re generally easier to get for poorly sold performances.
        http://www.metopera.org/Season/Tickets/Rush-Page/

        • Satisfied

          Thank you, Ivy! I’ve rushed theater for well over a decade but never opera!

    • La Cieca

      You would write to the Met’s general office if you genuinely want some action to be taken. Or you could comment in the “on this day” comments section, which is the assigned place on parterre for discussing off-topic and general interest subjects.

  • simonelvladtepes

    And again, Puritani, sorry to be so negative, but in addition to the baritone and bass unfit for their role, the soprano getting away with murder, the conductor hopeless -- Camarena: OK, high Db’s galore, but how could anyone compare this peasant to Pavarotti or say he’s better than Florez in Bellini? He can’t do mezza voce even though he tried all night and every night this run. He can only do loud and high, the phrasing and line are boorish.

    • Nelly della Vittoria

      There have been and there still are, presumably, peasants who can execute a deft pianissimo in alt. If not for the industrial servitude of working-class Modena, Pavarotti might’ve been a proper peasant too. What’s it got to do with anything?

      • simonelvladtepes

        “peasant” refers to his sense of style, line and inability to execute any pianos or pianissimos deftly -- he is struggling with them. I know nothing about his background.

        • southerndoc1

          ‘ “peasant” refers to his sense of style, line and inability to execute any pianos or pianissimos deftly’

          Nice redefinition that has nothing to do with reality.

          Fuck you.

    • Ivy Lin

      What a microaggressive racist comment. “Peasant” because he’s Mexican? I bet you’re a Donald Trump supporter too.

      • simonelvladtepes

        I have no idea how “peasant” can bring up racist or Mexican associations. Florez is a Prince and Camarena a peasant -- people throw “racist” about so quickly it’s become a cliche.

        • Ivy Lin

          Why is Florez a prince and Camarena a peasant? Do you know the socioeconomic backgrounds of either singer?
          Is it because Florez is lighter-skinned than Camarena? Thinner? Think long and hard about whether you’d call someone from a white European background a “peasant” and then get back to me on whether you’re not racist.

          • simonelvladtepes

            You are out of your mind. Florez is lighter-skinned than Camarena? And I am the racist, like I even knew that? Do I need to break it down that Prince and peasant are not used concretely but in a borrowed sense? Florez is Prince because…oh, this is silly. Is Callas La Divina because of her skin color?

            • Johnny Bravo

              Don’t pay attention to her. She’s a sh*t-stirrer and single-handedly responsible to not having an active chat on this site anymore.

            • simonelvladtepes

              Thank you, I shouldn’t have sweated it to respond at all. But she used to write the best ballet reviews on Amazon and her opera reviews are spot on. What a shame.

            • Ivy Lin

              What’s a shame? That I think calling someone a “peasant” is a racial slur?

            • Johnny Bravo

              And this is why Trump won.

            • Ivy Lin

              Why Trump won? Yeah I guess the racists have to take their last stand.

            • Johnny Bravo

              There is one racist here and it’s you. That’s in addition to all the other “qualities” you have displayed that further erode your credibility.

            • Ivy Lin

              How am I racist? I wasn’t the one who called Camarena a “peasant.” But I understand this is Trump’s world now, where racist white men throw a daily pity party for themselves.

            • Johnny Bravo

              Of course, you’re a racist. How did you assume I was a white man? What’s racist about being a peasant? You are not only a racist but also an irrational person in search of validation by trying to appear as morally superior. And no, you don’t understand anything, actually. It’s quite amusing. Don’t you have an elderly lady to bully online or something?

            • Ivy Lin

              Don’t you have to go preside over one of your Grand Wizard ceremonies?

            • Johnny Bravo

              No, peasant. I’m not Hillary’s endorser Robert Byrd.

            • simonelvladtepes
            • Armerjacquino

              Mate, your Disqus account has literally never posted anywhere but this thread. If you want to talk shit-stirring there it is. Ivy may be part of the problem (I don’t know, I wasn’t there) but you sure as hell aren’t part of the solution.

    • Olivero Fan

      Why did you feel the need to insult Camarena in a thread to discuss Semaramide where Brownlee is singing? Do you have an agenda?

      • simonelvladtepes

        Yes, I have an agenda, you’re spot on with the incongruity of insulting Camarena when Brownlee is singing, you’ve uncovered a conspiracy. My MO is to insult Camarena when Brownlee is singing, and insult Brownlee when Camarena is singing, and in general insult, insult, insult. It’s already established that this forum is not an insult-free one, so I indulge. Brownlee is singing and Camarena is a peasant.

        You neglected to mention that I referred to Florez as a Prince when Brownlee is singing -- surely at least Ms. Lin can find some racial subtext to that.

      • Johnny Bravo

        Ivy Lin will short circuit trying to give a racist spin to that theory.

  • laddie

    It would be so wonderful to be able to watch one of these broadcasts without having to get around all of the initial hiccups. Safari won’t open the expanded picture for me on this broadcast. Chrome won’t even load. Perhaps when those days of EXTREMELY fast internet speeds ever show up here in the hinterlands, this will improve.

  • Jm35

    None of the streams are working. I either have a test pattern or frozen picture of a chandelier. Yesterday at my theatre there was a hilarious satellite problem with 15 minutes to go in Rusalka. The local receiver downloaded a software update and restarted. Instead of the opera there were pop up information boxes and progress bars on the movie screen. A fairly full theatre missed the entire ending.

  • laddie

    OMG Larry Brownlee! Magnificent voice for this role.

  • laddie

    The first trio conducted brilliantly by Mariotti. Joyce as elegant as ever.

  • questocor

    I tried streaming on my computer, laptop, and TV and the stream was too hiccupy. But I am streaming on my kindle fire now and the stream is perfect.

    • laddie

      Everything working perfectly now. I presume the server gets overloaded initially.

      • questocor

        Ok. In that case I will try to stream on my TV again.

    • swordsnsolvers

      I found the same thing, somehow my computer hiccuped terribly, but when I used my phone and chose the mobile devices stream it’s flawless. Ok, whatever works.

      The singing is superb so far. I hope I’ll be able to catch the whole opera before I run out to LOC’s prima of Eugene Onegin.

    • Batty Masetto

      Having the same problem -- can’t get a steady feed at all after multiple tries…

  • Nell TuoCuor

    Well I can see this is going to be one of those operas where I need to quit googling Assyrian history and just sit back and enjoy the music.

    • laddie

      Alden’s amusing take is always interesting. Love the exaggerations in set and costume design.

      • Ivy Lin

        But Daniela Barcelona’s drawn on beard is back again. I never thought I’d see it after La Donna del Lago.

        • laddie

          For David Alden, a drawn on beard would apropos.

        • Nell TuoCuor

          It occurred to me that he/she looks a lot like Press Secretary Spicer.

  • laddie

    Love Assur’s tiny statue, a lot like someone’s *tiny hands.*

    • laddie

      The picture of Azema is a scream.

  • Ivy Lin

    Some shaky top notes from Joyce in “Bel raggio” but her skill at ornamentation in Rossini rondos is always amazing.

    • questocor

      the high notes are shaky, but her characterization is amazing.

    • laddie

      Audience appears to be thrilled by the singing today.

  • Rowna Sutin

    greetings parterrites!

  • laddie

    Joyce’s widow’s weeds indicative of 1950s hostess pantsuit in black.

  • laddie

    Stunning costumes!

  • Johnny Bravo

    I’m not at all convinced by JDD in this role. I prefer a soprano, but if it’s going to be a mezzo, at least have some good chest notes.

  • Nell TuoCuor

    Hee.. I can understand Alden when he speaks German!

  • Nelly della Vittoria

    Observations:
    1. Stun-gun trill is still an ungainsayable weapon because only approx. 3 people ever seem to have it.
    2. Joyce’s is still an oeuvre of consonantal fury: Io trrrrrrremo!
    3. Can someone explain her makeup to me? I don’t understand visual art.

    • La Cieca

      The impression I got was “Duchess of WIndsor,” or in more general terms, Semiramide was a woman renowned as a great beauty when she was younger. Now that she is middle-aged, she is trying to soothe her vanity by painting on a heavier makeup.

      I think the makeup can also be taken as a symbolic representation of Semiramide’s character as it is interpreted in this production; that is, she is an habitual liar and deceiver who hides her true feelings behind a sort of mask. I noticed in the first act duet with Arsace that DiDonato’s emotions were ambiguous at best: is she truly in love with this young man, or does she regard him as a tool to maintain hold on her political power?

      • Nelly della Vittoria

        “The impression I got was ‘Duchess of Windsor'[…]”

        It was love, love, love alone /
        Caused King Edward to leave his throne Semiramis to leave the throne to the lover who’s really the son of the husband she killed but also there’s the thing with the ghost and the prince and the priest and the tomb?

        Yes, it’s very mask-like makeup--and clearly JDD likes playing with and thinking about this sort of thing (she did the half-recreations in concert of her War & Peace album makeup herself). In general I think one of the pleasurable surprises of her mature career has been the discovery that she can be successful at playing liar, politician and enchantress (I thought the Alcina at Carnegie Hall was to die for, and this Semiramide thrilling) as well as the so-earnest-I’ll-shatter boys and women she’d often been singing.

    • Cicciabella

      Being much more superficial than La Cieca, I kept thinking that Joyce’s costumes and make-up were inspired by Sheikha Mozah:
      http://sheikhamozahfashion.tumblr.com

      • La Cieca

        That is a very good catch! I think both what you say and what I say can be true here.

      • david alden

        Well done Cicciabella! Sheikha Mozah is indeed our main visual reference for the fashionably murderous Semiramide.

  • Nell TuoCuor

    OK definitely you need to check this out. https://youtu.be/2EbAtXUQNtY

    • Camille

      Very cute. Thanks for posting as I love her crime series and am hoping she’ll invent a way to include some Semiramide mischief in her next book.

  • laddie

    Larry does NOT disappoint. The cantabile sections are always especially beautiful in his Rossini.

    • Dr.Malatempra

      Indeed, Brownlee is superb in this. Interestingly, it would appear that the he has had a parting of the ways with The Met, at least for the time being. Absent last season, as well as this one, and nothing on the books for 2017/18. However, The Met has cast Camarena, by his own admission a problematic Rossini singer, in this role. Just sayin’.

      • overstimmelated

        Brownlee was not
        “absent last season.” He was in the revival of La Donna del Lago in
        Dec. 2015.

        • Dr.Malatempra

          You are absolutely correct. That’s what I get for relying on my aging memory. However, it does appear he will be absent thru 2018. Based on today’s performance and the amazing virtuoso turn at the Tucker Gala, that absence will be keenly felt. Especially when Semiramide rolls around.

  • basso.profundo

    I’ve admittedly not been around as much lately, did I miss something re: the chat format? is Casa della Cieca no longer used?

    • Porgy Amor

      Yes. That feature was retired in mid-December. Here is La Cieca’s announcement for the first broadcast with which the chatting was to be done via Disqus comments (a Salome with Patricia Racette) rather than the old chat room.

      After much pondering and discussion with a number of parterre associates, La Cieca has come to the conclusion that the “Rumbletalk” chat format must be discontinued as an official feature of the site. I believe that the non-archived and unmoderated nature of this chat encouraged occasional off-topic and abusive conversation that simply does not belong on parterre.com.

      • basso.profundo

        Thanks, Porgy.

  • La Cieca

    La Cieca has deleted a number of comment that went wildly off-topic here. Two things:

    1. Off-topic discussions belong in the “on this day” thread which appears daily.

    2. Everyone needs to stop with the personal attacks, including the personal attacks on the personal attackers.