Cher Public

What dreams may come

La Cieca is assured by one of her most reliable mavens that a 2018-2019 production of Lohengrin at the Met looks like a definite “go.” The Claus Guth staging (seen previously in Milan and Paris) will be conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and will feature an opening night cast including Anna Netrebko, Stuart Skelton and Evelyn Herlitzius. [Future Met Wiki]

  • southerndoc1

    Adriana and Elsa in one Met season -- that must be a first for the house.

    • berkeleygirl
    • Armerjacquino

      Met Adrianas:

      Cavalieri, Tebaldi, Albanese, Curtis-Verna, Caballe, Scotto, Lorange, Freni and Guleghina- so I’d say you’re almost certainly correct.

      • PCally

        Zylis-Gara sang both roles with the met, but not in the same season (I think the Adriana was a tour).

        • Armerjacquino

          You’re right. Five Elsas in 1980, then Adrianas three years later in Washington, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and Boston.

          • Olivero Fan

            I saw one of the Adrianas in Boston. Her Maurizio was a very young Neil Schicoff who sounded like the second coming of Corelli!

            • Bill

              Shicoff is a tenor not so often mentioned on these pages -- a very committed artist. During the stretch when he was not performing much in the USA I saw him sometimes in Vienna and thought his Peter
              Grimes there to be the finest sung Grimes in my experience -- apologies to Vickers.

            • PCally

              I liked Shicoff every time I saw him, though it might have been the most inherently lovely sound. But in my experience, he has cancelled more than any major artist I’ve actively tried to go see (including Harteros). He cancelled almost every single performance at the Staatsoper I attended.

            • actfive

              Shicoff was a superb Lensky, Werther, and Eleazar. I also saw him in the 80’s as Maurizio to Scotto’s Adriana--now that was quite an evening…

            • Shicoff is an absolutely disgusting vile person and for that reason I can’t support any of his artistic efforts. Running out of the country to avoid paying child support … that’s the lowest of the low. Scum.

            • Bill

              One does not always know what is in
              a marital relationship -- why Shicoff avoided
              payment ? -- what caused the breakup ?-
              That he did not sing in the States for a time
              was Vienna’s gain -- the Met’s loss. When Shicoff eventually returned in La Juive, I understood the opera sold very well but the
              production, which not everyone liked, went back to Vienna for further performances.

            • Bill

              PCally -- sorry to hear that. He was
              absolutely brilliant in Billy Budd there
              as well. They had planned a new
              Death in Venice for him but it never took
              place. I think his last role there was a reprise of his famous Eleazar, very moving.
              Then there was a Gala for him. 40th anniversary or something. And he sang at the Volksoper, Turandot and something else I forget.

            • PCally

              Bill-one of the few times I did see was in Billy Budd, in 2011 (?). He was however announced as ill and was pretty rough sounding.

            • Cameron Kelsall

              Shicoff was meant to sing Grimes in the John Doyle production of 2008. Gelb bought out his contract and plainly stated it in the press, without giving specific reasons. I always wondered if he did it as a pre-emptive strike against potential cancellations. We ended up with Tony Griffey giving a musically solid but dramatically bland performance.

            • Gualtier Maldè

              What I heard was that Gelb, prior to that season, requested that Shicoff go to a professional photographer in Vienna and have publicity photos in costume as Grimes taken for the advertising and brochure. Shicoff refused to do that. Gelb then pulled Shicoff from the “Grimes”. I suspect Shicoff had a difficult relationship with the Met (stemming from his divorce from Judith Haddon) and that was the final straw for Gelb.

  • Rowna Sutin

    Sign me up! You all know this is my favorite opera today :)

    • ER

      I assuming you’re referring to Lohengrin, Rowna. IT is one of my faves too… And that cast sounds sizzling. Can’t wait.

      • Rowna Sutin

        Yes. Lohengrin! I have reservations re Netrebko. But, she always amazes me. So on paper she is not my first choice for Elsa, but I bet she will knock ’em dead ????

        • hai lui

          After listening to the Stella clip posted earlier this week, I youtubed a Netrebko “D’amor sull’ali rosee” -- shivers and tears to my eyes yet again, so yes, whatever she does with Elsa will knock me dead for sure

        • berkeleygirl

          Rowna, have you heard this? My only regret is that Beczala isn’t rumored to be her Lohegrin. This is simply divine.

    • Only today I hope, Rowna.

      • Rowna Sutin

        Ummm. Ok for today. But really is just the richest story I know. And the music isn’t bad either.

  • Satisfied

    I suppose the only bit of bad new here…and I do mean the ONLY bit of bad news…is that we won’t likely see Jonas next season either. I guess this was to be expected, but still not pleasant to realize.

  • Laura

    Looking forward to Dialogues and Trittico

  • Lisa Hirsch

    So much for Peter Gelb’s 2013 statement that he’d be reviving the Robert Wilson production with Christine Goerke as Ortrud.

    • La Cieca

      Yes, because the practice of blind adherence to plans made five years in advance has served us so well over recent decades. You can remind yourself of that whilst reveling in the much-anticipated Aurelia Florian/Atalla Ayan Traviata next season.

      • Lisa Hirsch

        In general, you’re right. However, Goerke sounded a hell of a lot better when I heard her in November 2016 than Herlitzius sounded when I heard her Isolde in August 2015.

        There’s no good reason to think that in 2018-19 Herlitzius will sound any better than she did in 2015.

        • La Cieca

          Or possibly Herlitzius will be in a second cast, or not cast at all: this is a rumor, after all. But by all means keep looking for those dark clouds in front of the silver lining.

          • Lisa Hirsch

            Indeed, “one of [your] most reliable mavens” may well be wrong.

            • ines

              Mattila expressed her wish to sing Ortrud in
              NYTimes last November…. That would be something.

            • I’d love a Matilla Ortrud!

        • Porgy Amor

          Herlitzius is one of those singers with chronic issues that are either under some degree of control or not controlled at all, but that 2015 Bayreuth Isolde was the rockiest-sounding performance I’ve ever heard from her. She has, in fact, sounded better since then.

          • Lisa Hirsch

            THAT I am extremely glad to hear.

          • Also, Isolde is twice as long as as Ortrud and requires a lot more beautiful, lyrical singing. I imagine Isolde would expose her vocal flaws much more than Ortrud.

          • Florian Kaspar

            I agree. Her voice has never been beautiful but her awful Isolde in Bayreuth can mainly be blamed on her refusal to cancel her five Elektras that ran parallel to rehearsals.

            • CarlottaBorromeo

              Another viewpoint might be to note that she chose to honour her contract for the Elektras which existed long before Bayreuth found itself running out of Isoldes. “To lose one Isolde may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness ” as the great Oscar almost said.

    • simonelvladtepes

      I wanted that production so much on blu-ray, I’ve been waiting for this for 11 years…:-(

    • berkeleygirl

      Since Goerke is Chicago’s Brunnhilde, it’s quite possible that the Met schedule conflicts with Lyric’s Siegfried.

  • Camille

    WHY Not Beczala or Vogt as the Lohengrin, either of whom I’d prefer to Skelton.

    At least Herlitzius is good on stage and the voice
    Is so variable--like so many of her Fach — that who knows what we’ll hear from her by that time and, indeed, if any ONE of the above singers will want/be able to/or still be on the boards due to life issues or a particularly virulent strain of influenza.

    ‘Tis sweet to dream, though.

    • Susan Brodie

      Herlitzius was a perfectly fine Ortrud in Paris this January. I personally find her voice bloodcurdling but that certainly works for Ortrud. As Isolde or Brunnhilde, no thanks.

    • Bill

      Camille -- as I originally understood it Vogt was supposed to
      sing in Lohengrin this season (in the old production) but the
      idea of doing Lohengrin this time around was scrapped
      by the Met (some statements saying it was too costly) and
      they gave Vogt, who was booked at the Met for this time, Fidelio instead. When they stated recently that they would have a new Lohengrin in 2018-19 perhaps Vogt, if he was asked, was not
      available as he has a mound of bookings for his roles in
      Europe probably for five years hence and with Botha now dead and some of Botha’s future bookings previously fixed many of the European opera houses where Botha was expected to sing including his first Tristans in Berlin this year also have to find replacements for him and the roster of good Lohengrins, Tannhaeusers, Kaisers and such is not all that large. Skelton has proved to be a reliable Wagnerian whose efforts at the Met, Siegmund, Tristan have been effective.

      As the 1918-19 new Met Lohengrin was probably conceived rather late (not five years in advance) and
      Netrebko was willing to sing Elsa, at the time she was available, the Met has probably had to scramble to
      fill out the cast. Neither Vogt, Beczala nor Kaufmann
      (if the Met ever invites him back) may have been free for the month of rehearsals of a new production and a run of
      8 or so performances.

      I have seen Herlitzius I think only twice -- once as Fidelio in Vienna where she sang wretchedly, probably the most unevenly sung Leonora in my experience and once as the Faeberin where she was dramatically effective and in better voice.

      We cannot quibble too much -- Lohengrin is finally
      returning to the Met after a very long lapse and if the production is successful it will likely be repeated in future seasons with different casts.

  • fletcher

    Mattila as Croissy seems… odd.

    • ines

      Agree… and if the Carmelites performances would take place during the fall , it would mean that she sings Sieglinde ( in SF) and Croissy a few months apart… has anybody done that?

  • Opera Teen

    The Met’s gonna get the absolute most out of that reinforced stage floor next season between the Ring and Trittico, aren’t they?