Cher Public

Broadcast: Fidelio

Listen to Beethoven’s ode to the human spirit and kvetch about the singing this afternoon at 1:00 PM, cher public.

  • ER

    Hello all, look forward to the broadcast. And La Cieca, would it be possible to go back to the older chat format? That was easier for live back and forth. This current format is better suited for replies to posts rather than live and lively discussion.

    • La Cieca

      I wish I could help you. But the old chat had two problems: it was unstable and sometimes interfered with the proper function of the site, and, frankly, a few commenters regularly became abusive in the live chat.

  • Brackweaver

    Marzelline isn’t very free on the G’s.

    • ines

      Is one allowed to go back in time ( only 16 years…) , recalling the exiting broadcast of this production in Jan 2001 with Mattila, Hong, Heppner etc with Levine.
      I was taping with audio cassettes ( about for the last time ).
      Times have changed fast…

      • ER

        I agree, Ines! I would do the same thing. I was always worried that the tape would run out during a climactic moment. Those were the days!

  • Brackweaver

    Rosebud.

  • Brackweaver

    Are these the standard cuts in the dialog? I’m not complaining but some reduction are entire pages into a sentence.

    • Bill

      The Met seems to cut more dialogue in Fidelio than is usually the custom in German Opera Houses -- Other German operas with dialogue (Entfuehrung for example or
      Zauberfloete) have more dialogue cuts also in American performances. Entfuehrung has considerably more dialogue than one would normally hear even in Germany.

      • Brackweaver

        Thank you for the info. I saw a Magic Flute decades ago at NY City Opera and they did most of the dialog. (In German.) After the first few segments the audience grew audibly more restless with each segment. At first it surprised me that German houses cut anything…but it’s logical that they immediately know what works and what doesn’t work in each individual case.

        • David Prosser

          I’m only just listening to this and despite not being a German speaker I’m disappointed that they have cut “O, meine Leonore, was hast du fur much getan?””Nichts, nights, mein Florestan”

          I know it’s just a few words, but for me it gets to the emotional heart of the opera. Leonore has just done something remarkable and brave, but it’s ‘nothing’ cause she loves him so much -- how much more would she do for him! And it sets up ‘O namenlose Freude!” perfectly

          • Bill

            David -- i cannot recall previously these
            phrases being cut in any performance
            of Fidelio -- they are the crux of the emotional palate of the scene -- also no
            Leonora # 3 -- I guess the Met (which did not originally plan on doing Fidelio and only added it as the originally scheduled Lohengrin was cancelled reputedly as being too expensive a production) just
            wanted to get the Fidelio performance
            over with as quickly as possible -- and it is not a long opera to begin with --

  • laddie

    I just love KFV!

    • ines

      Yep…. but he sounds a bit like a little boy, whose toy was taken away ( in the end of the aria )

    • laddie

      Specifically, the timbre is wonderful I think for the heroic roles.

      • JBKnuckler

        the timbre sounds like an evangelist from the St. John Passion showed up at the wrong theatre

        • laddie

          Yes, that explains all the Wagner gigs he has been singing for at least the last 10 years.

        • Armerjacquino

          The Bach gag: so good he made it twice.

  • Giannetta

    Hi. Just listening…

  • JBKnuckler

    KFV sounded like a prepubescent F*ckboy who had no stamina for the phrases. Could someone stick an evangelist score in his hand? If I wanted to hear that sound, I’d listen to any modern Bach tenor. Even Bostridge has more balls than this turd.

    • laddie

      Hopefully, you’ve turned off the broadcast; I wouldn’t want you to suffer from too much trauma here.

    • La Cieca

      You seem nice.

    • LePhilosophe

      The thing with that idea is that a larger voice Evangelist could probably be a very good Florestan, especially when you realize that an Evangelist would have also sung the tenor arias. A tenor who could really sing arias like “Ach, mein Sinn,” “Erwäge,” and all the dramatic recitatives of the John Passion surely has the stamina, range, and power should be able to sail through Fidelio. After all, it was the part that Vickers constantly practiced to refine his craft. Vogt isn’t my idea of a Florestan generally, but there were many things to admire in the house, I must say.

    • Luvtennis

      I really believe you should rethink the phrasing of your first sentence. Two of the words should probably not be used together in any sentence.

  • Is it really necessary to call Mr Vogt a “turd” to critique his performance? Lyric tenors as Florestan are not new — Jan Peerce sang the role and so did the great Swiss Mozart tenor Ernst Haefliger. Both recorded the role. A lyric voice actually suggests the reduced situation of a man shackled in one spot for two years on probably a very sparse and non-nutritious diet.

    • JBKnuckler

      There’s a huge difference between a great lyric voice like Häflinger or Gedda and something with depth and weight of tone as an English boy soprano.

      • La Cieca

        so remind us of when you heard those two tenors live, or for that matter when you have heard Vogt live?

      • Armerjacquino

        Interesting how when an account crops up that has never posted anything else anywhere ever, it’s never to say anything nice.

        • basso.profundo

          Well, I’ve been here for quite a while and must agree that KFV is an abomination to my ears in this rep. Which is, unfortunately, pretty much his only rep. And yes, I’ve heard him multiple times. “Boy soprano” is probably a bit harsh. A Tamino who thinks he’s a Tannhäuser is more accurate. In the house the voice actually sounds bigger than one might expect from broadcasts. But it still sounds woefully out of place for Florestan/Parsifal/Tannhäuser/Rusalka prince etc.

          That being said, I don’t think him singing this rep is any more egregious than, say, the likes of Domingo and Hampson etc singing Verdi baritone rep. If people want to pay exorbitant amounts of money to hear stuff like this, why would any of them turn down such roles?

          Also: when did it become some sort of requirement that commenters here have to say “nice” things about singers? I wasn’t aware of this paradigm shift. Admittedly, I don’t post as often as I used to, so maybe some new edicts have been introduced of which I’m not aware. But I’ve seen many performers vilified here; I wasn’t aware that was somehow a no-go now.

          • Armerjacquino

            It’s not any kind of requirement. My point wasn’t that people should say nice things, it’s that whenever someone registers a brand new account that hasn’t posted anywhere else, it’s always to throw brickbats. Seems a bit sketchy, not to say a bit cowardly.

            • basso.profundo

              Fair enough.

          • Bill

            Basso -- actually Vogt did not sing as well
            on the Broadcast as he did in house in the second performance of Fidelio -- it may have been an off afternoon as Pieczonka also sounded better live and not so fine in the Broadcast.
            The others were about the same, Rocco (miscast), Marzelline (disappointing), Pizarro (quite bad vocally actually). Vogt’s voice is simply a bit different than others with whom we have been accustomed (McCracken, Vickers, Botha) perhaps a little more aligned with Patzak, and slightly with King. I have seen
            Vogt sing in Lohengrin in Vienna and as Paul in “Die Tote Stadt” and he was excellent -- with great clarity of voice. As to Lyric tenors (Mozartian) singing Florestan, my favorite Florestan on records is Haefliger on the 1957 DGG recording conducted by Fricsay (I only saw Haefliger live in concert, lieder and oratorio -- never on the opera stage) and I saw Dermota’s distinquished Florestan a number of times in Vienna and it was beautifully sung -- great heft of voice is not needed for a positive rendition of the role and Vogt’s voice carries well, always audible. Now what happened to the Leonora Overture # 3? -- often done at the Met in the past with conductors such as Boehm but not this time around?

          • There’s no requirement to always be nice, but throwing terms like “prepubescent F*uckboy” and “turd” at someone is really offensive.

            • manou

              Maybe nice is the wrong word. What is needed is courtesy and treating other people with respect even when we profoundly disagree with them. Ad hominem invective only rebounds on the offender.

  • Armerjacquino

    I love Pieczonka but it concerns me (as someone who isn’t listening to the broadcast) that there are no mentions of Leonore in any of these comments. Can’t be a great sign.

    • Batty Masetto

      To my ears, not an outstanding Leonore but certainly not a debacle. Vocally not brilliant but not worrisome. The Abscheulicher didn’t quite land where it needed to, but there were moments in the finale when I was reminded just a little bit of Crespin. Her spoken German is exceptionally fluid and expressive. (In fact a lot of the dialog played like real theater for once, rather than a linguistic embarrassment.)

      • Bill

        Batty -- agree about Pieczonka -- the voice is not (now) entirely even in tonal production and a couple of notes were slightly under the pitch -- she has adequate heft of voice, basically an attractive timbre, Clearly no problems with the German Language as she started out at the Volksoper (where most everything was sung in German) and she is dramatically very credible on stage. Her highest notes thin out slightly nowadays. I would rank her better than middling among the many Leonoras I have seen and heard. One true debacle was Herlitzius, one of the worst Leonoras vocally I have ever seen in recent years (though a commited actress) -- if Herlitzius is singing as many future roles at the Met as rumored on Parterre’s pages we are in for a great deal of shrieking (though i admit
        her Barak’s wife was somewhat impressive and certainly a better role for her than Fidelio).

        • Parpignol

          in the house yesterday Pieczonka had a fine vocal presence, voice beautifully produced for the most part, somehow couldn’t bring the big aria to a thrilling conclusion; Struckmann as Rocco sounded good too, forceful, engaging (though Grimsley as Pizarro not so much, with unpleasant tone, and it sounded like he was struggling to breathe in his aria); Vogt a very unusual and striking voice, you can’t help paying close attention, did he actually sing the first note of the second act falsetto? certainly from the head. . . beautiful quartet in act one, wonderful prisoners’ chorus--