Cher Public

Broadcast: Idomeneo

Settle in for an afternoon of opera seria, cher public, and chat as you will in the comments section of this post. (Photo: Cory Weaver)

  • Rowna Sutin

    Welcome to the chat Parterrati! Not a fan of this format, but is what we have.

    • Batty Masetto

      Sierra has an attractive voice but not much in the way of colors does she?

      • Rowna Sutin

        I’ll take her!

        • Batty Masetto

          :)

          • ines

            You are all gonna put my knowledge of voices in serious doubt… but Coote sounds a bit like today’s Netrebko down there…
            Seriously, hearing Ilia’s music I regret that Mattila’s take of the role ( SF ) is nowhere to be found

            • Rowna Sutin

              Ines -- there are NO WRONG OPINIONS! Because that is all they are -- opinions :) However, Ms Coote is a mezzo and therefore her lower notes are supposed to sound rich.

            • ines

              Thanks for the encouragement….
              I agree with you ( and I know the soprano- mezzo bit ) but Netrebko darkens her low notes ( artificially, some say ).. That was about the only quibble people had about her Scala Traviata

            • Rowna Sutin

              I am no voice expert, but as I am a singer myself I can really relate to the challenges that today’s artists have: Ines, each voice is so individual. You really can’t make comparisons or be disappointed that he/she doesn’t sing this way or that way. Ms. Netrebko is a phenom! I don’t love everything she does, but she is so superb overall, I never want to criticize her. (although her coloratura work is probably her weakest link -- and I should have such a weak link!)

            • Laura

              Coote’s costume made her look older than Dad.

            • Benrenki

              I thought Coote’s wig made her look like Margaret Rutherford as Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest.

        • Rowna Sutin

          Batty, very often that type of voice doesn’t have the palette of larger voices. But what she does, I think she does VERY well :)

          • Batty Masetto

            Yes, she sings very well.

            • Laura

              Agree. And the voice seems larger than usual in this type of voice, or maybe that was the HD sound. Good actress, totally comfortable on stage.

  • Prince Charmant

    We’re spoiled. This is the 4th Met radio broadcast of the work this season.

  • Rowna Sutin

    And Mr. Polenzani is no chopped liver! This is awesome singing . . . everywhere!

  • OK, Levine is a great conductor. And he’s in good form today. But do half the interviews have to be everyone reaching for superlatives in expressing their awe at working with him? Even Ira Siff felt that he had to interrupt Mary Jo to say how moved he was that the singers were moved by working with Levine. Enough already.

    • Yige Li

      Based on what I got from private talks with some singers, they really like him, that he’s listening to and supporting singers. That seems to be a big deal, as I’ve also heard not so positive words on some famous conductors--even the performance itself sounded great for me as a listener (and seems in those cases, sometimes orchestra members had better words about the conductor).

      • Rosina Leckermaul

        And yet he has a tendency to favor the orchestra over singers. I remember in the early 80s some cynical audience members near me saying that he was willing to drown out everyone except Scotto.

  • La Cieca

    The Met broadcast intermission today was notable for the inclusion of a hotly contested new sports event: the 200 Meter Crawl Up James Levine’s Ass.

  • Did no one tell Polenzani that there is a less difficult version of “Fuor del mar”? He’s been in fine form today but why suffer through all the coloratura when most of it is clearly beyond reach?

  • Rowna Sutin

    Ilia’s aria Zeffiretti lusinghieri is being sung devinely by Ms. Sierra. My opinion only :)

    • Jay Haskell

      And mine.

  • Olivero Fan

    I saw this production when it was brand new. Pavarotti, Cortrubas, Von Stade, Behrens, John Alexander. This was pre titles on the back of your chair. I had read the synopsis. I remember the direction by Ponnelle made the story very clear. I wonder if his direction has held up?

  • Laura

    If they do an opera based on Bette Davis’ life, I think Van Heever would be perfect casting.

  • Olivero Fan

    This afternoon’s Elettra, Elza van den Heever, is next season’s Chrysothemis. I don’t hear enough voice for the latter.

    • Dr.Malatempra

      Am looking forward to her Alcina in Santa Fe this Summer. Should be exciting.

    • spiderman

      … if she is a musical singer she would take different approaches to Mozart and Strauss, no?

    • PCally

      Were you in the house or just listening to a broadcast? I prefer a more conventionally beautiful sound for Chrysothemis (I think van den Heever’s sound can be a bit raw and squally though I think it’s a good voice) but I’ve seen her live several times now and terms of size and stamina I’m pretty sure that the role is in her voice. It’s hardly a smaller sound the Pieczonka’s for example. Ellen Orford is hardly a dramatic role but when I saw her sing it in London she quite literally drowned out everyone whenever she sang in ensembles.

      • I think Pieczonka’s voice is bigger but I agree with your post. I’ve heard van den Heever live as both Leonora (Trov) and Norma. I think she’d be able to handle the role just fine.

        • Bill

          van der Heever would sing Chrysothemis
          probably in full voice for the exposed high notes and as Elettra in Idomeneo that would not be in keeping in a Mozart role to blast out so we do not know of what volume van der Heever is capable -- van der Heever’s voice is not small and Chrysothemis has been successfully sung by Mozartian type sopranos (della Casa for example or maybe Studer) albeit not in an opera house as cavernous as the Met.

          • PCally

            It will also be her role debut, which means that even if it’s not successful, she can just drop it from her repertoire (della Casa sang it for one run I think and Studer for two). Singers stretching themselves is always a potentially good thing I think.

            • Bill

              della Casa sang Chrysothemis 4 times in Vienna over a year’s time June 1958 to June 1959 and 4 Salzburg performances in the summer of 1957. Perhaps also a few performances in Munich where she did sing a limited number of Salomes as well -- but otherwise della Casa sang mostly within in her fach. Studer sang it in Vienna only 3 times in a new production in 1969 perhaps elsewhere but probably not frequently Singers such as Zadek, a spinto, sang the role very often -- I think van der Heever has a voice approximately of Zadek’s volume. I liked van der Heever when I saw her in Idomeneo, somewhat less when I heard the broadcast but perhaps that was as van der Heever seemed to be a good actress which added to her performance.

            • PCally

              Thanks bill-I a only aware of the Salzburg performances. I think the microphones emphasize van den Heevers vibrato and makes it seem more prominent than it is in person.

            • Bill

              PCally -- indeed. van den Heever’s vibrato seemed more prominent on the radio Broadcast --
              but some singers do not sing as well in matinees (and others such as Rysanek
              once commented that singing so early in the day was an asset as there was not as much
              time to get nervous before a performance)

    • southerndoc1

      Van der Heever may be doing a Goerke here -- clamping down the voice to sing Mozart when she should be letting it open up. We’ll see.