Cher Public

Evil twin

Born on this day in 1906 actress Brigitte Helm

Born on this day in 1863 librettist Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti.

Born on this day in 1901 soprano Franca Somigli.

Born on this day in 1902 tenor Walter Ludwig.

Born on this day in 1920 composer John La Montaine.

Born on this day in 1930 mezzo-soprano Betty Allen.

Born on this day in 1935 mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Steiner.

  • simonelvladtepes

    This is silly, but can I be silly? The April issue of Opera News has a piece AND TWO PHOTOS about lyric baritone Sean Michael Plumb. He looks like a god, I’ve never seen a singer with such gorgeous looks, I have the magazine in my office open on his photo in an evening jacket and I can’t take my eyes off it. Is it only me, or have singers become more physically attractive in recent years, as their vocal wares have declined?

    Also, when I survey all the now forgotten promising young singers I have heard over the years I get the impression that their voices don’t last as long as they used to in previous generations. Since I tape every performance I attend I don’t have to rely on my memory and have evidence of the promising peak and the quick decline.

    • Armerjacquino

      Some singers are attractive and others aren’t; some voices last and others don’t. I don’t think any one generation has a monopoly on those facts.

    • Porgy Amor

      Opera News tends to highlight conspicuously attractive up-and-comers in that monthly feature. Even one time when they featured a young composer, he looked like a model.

  • La Cieca

    “These surely must be the politest convicts ever. The unguarded common area into which they are released offers food, drink, a young woman in a red dress and open cases of semiautomatic weapons, all within arm’s reach—and yet they timidly arrange themselves into a tableau in their spotless white uniforms, sing their song and then, without the slightest demur, return to their dank captivity.”

    Our Own JJ takes on the Met’s Fidelio revival:

  • chicagoing

    After eight performances and a ten day pause to swap out the leads, Carmen reopened yesterday at LOC with Antia Rachvelishvili in for Gubanova and Jovanovich taking over for Calleja for four additional performances. I will attend a week from Saturday an astonishing (to me) six weeks after being present for the opening. Seats are scarce which may be due to the popularity of this opera helped by subscribers running out of time to make up unused tickets. Tonight though I return for another Eugene Onegin after being so impressed last weekend with this production and cast.

  • La Cieca

    The Kellyanne Conway of music criticism, Heather MacDonald, strikes again, this time continuing her long-time whinge about Rusalka.

    • Porgy Amor

      Zimmerman’s Rusalka, however, throws a spinning fit, her hands to her head like a high-strung neurotic. She puts the dead prince’s coat over her shoulders and stumbles catatonically offstage. The image recalled many a Peter Sellars production in which modern angst trumps the score. Art in the then-new twentieth century would soon enough forego redemptive closure. But that is not the narrative tradition in which Dvo?ák and his librettist worked.

      Hmm. That was one of the few things in it I thought sort of worked. After the transformation in Act One, she had stepped out of the sunlight; at the denouement, she retreats toward the moon. There is a suggestion (with the way the lights go down and she is in silhouette, now a slowly moving apparition) that her lot now is to do now what the rusalki do, in mythology. I would expect Ms. MacDonald to know the details of that. That is not “modern angst.”

      I am a little surprised to read characterizations of this production (from her and from Tommasini and others) as “dark.” If it had been “dark,” I might have liked it more. It was jokey-dark. It was “We don’t really mean it” dark. It was something you could take the kids to.

    • Kenneth Conway

      Isn’t MacDonald more the Antonin Scalia of music criticism? As someone wise once put it, “There is not a more repulsive spectacle than an old woman who will not forsake the world, which has already forsaken him.’

  • Reaching out for some advice -- I’m moving and cannot take my collection of lp’s with me, mostly opera and symphonic. Original pressings of Karajan Ring, complete Solti Mahler, many others. Vinyl shops not interested in classical these days.

    Does anyone know a local collector? Or a local institution that would appreciate a donation of my collection?

    Thanks much.

    • Dame Kenneth

      Whereabouts are you, Lurker? There’s a great shop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that sells good condition classical, Westsider Books and Records. Link here:

      • Thank you Dame Kenneth. Of course I should have mentioned -- I live in Manhattan and could easily drive to Westsider with the lp’s.

  • laddie

    Andrea Chénier live stream begins at 1850 Munich time. Link: