Cher Public

Broadcast: Aida

Today’s broadcast of Aida from the Met begins at 12:30 PM, as does the traditional chat.

  • Cameron Kelsall

    Wow…this Radames manages to make Jorge de Leon sound like Corelli in his prime.

    • Ivy Lin

      He’s Mr. Anita Rachvelishvili

      • ines

        I think he WAS…
        Stoyanova is a class act…. curious about the rest

        • Gualtier Maldè

          If you check Anita Rach’s Instagram she recently married a Georgian guy. So Mr. Massi is possibly on the market… BTW: Massi debuted as Radames some years ago and he was very promising and much firmer sounding back then.

          Stoyanova is the class act here, really she should be the prima donna assoluta here. She sings 13 Verdi roles and I have only heard 4 of them -- I want the other 9. Heard Traviata, Lida in “La Battaglia di Legnano”, Desdemona in Otello and Aida.

    • Peter

      An improvement over Marco Berti.

      • Cameron Kelsall

        You or I or any third man off the street is an improvement over Marco Berti.

  • Massi and Grigolo last night…Bring back Mario Ortica!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • “Parsifal” starts at 1:30 pm EST (in 10 minutes) from Wiener Staatsoper with Christopher Ventris, Nina Stemme (role debut), René Pape, Gerald Finley, and Jochen Schmeckenbecher, conduced by Semyon Bychkov (new production by Alvis Hermanis):

    • John L

      How was Nina?

  • Degan

    What about Stoyanova as the new Tosca?
    She should absolutely be a star, in front of many others (Opolais, Rebeka, Radvanovskay…). The voice is first rate!

    • ines

      Maybe her publicity pics are not first rate…to this we’ve come….
      I remember hearing her as Micaela on my Ipod playlist, and wondering who is this wonderful soprano

    • Liz.S

      I’d like to hear that someday, but this time around, our Cavaradossi would look more like her son, no?

    • Bill

      I may be incorrect but I do not believe that Tosca is (or has been) in Stoyanova’s repertory which she has expanded in recent years to include Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Aida, Rusalka, Ariadne, the Marschallin, Danae and in Salzburg this upcoming summer, Lucrezia
      Borgia. She has sung Liu, Mimi, La Villy but otherwise far more Verdi than Puccini. I read in an interview two years back that she hankers to do Lisa in Pique Dame in Vienna.

    • Armerjacquino

      Surely she’s a bigger name than Rebeka?

      • Porgy Amor

        Worldwide, I would say Stoyanova has greater name recognition, and of course has been singing a lot longer, being in her fifties rather than her thirties.

        Limiting focus to the Met only, though, Marina Rebeka has had two new productions in the Gelb years (as Donna Anna and Mathilde), one of them an HD. Stoyanova has been appearing there since 2001, but always in “The Beautiful Old” whatever (several now-retired Zeffirelli productions plus the two Puccinis still serving, Moshinsky’s Otello). Usually she has been in a second cast, or well along in the season.

        Now, there could be very good reasons for this, and maybe Stoyanova has been as disinclined to spend weeks in New York as Kaufmann is. But she hasn’t had a very high profile (about 50 performances in 16 years).

        • Armerjacquino

          At the Met, maybe… but ‘she should surely be a star, ahead of… Rebeka’ was the original statement, and I’d still stay that globally Stoyanova is by far the bigger name (in no small part, as you say, for being further into her career).

          FWIW, I like Stoyanova, but can absolutely see why someone like Radvanovsky and, (at her best), Opolais, would be a bigger draw.

        • Bill

          Stoyanova made a very late debut in opera --
          so has actually only been on stage something like 21 years -- her Vienna debut (as Micaela) was in 1998 and for her overall stage debut in Bulgaria or wherever, she was already over 30

  • ines

    BTW, it was nice to hear an hommage to Roberta Alexander, a singer I have admired in Mozart roles as well as Jenufa and the Handel Cleopatra

    • Camille

      It was really nice to hear what Troyanos did on stage to help her out in a moment of blank out--not all colleagues would be so inclined to do so. A fine Bitellia in that transmission and an accomplished singer.

    • MissShelved

      I played in a Ohio youth symphony that got called in to play at Central State where Alexander was an undergrad. They had a great choral program but no orchestra. It was the height of the Civil Rights era, and we (white kids all save one black bassist) were not allowed to eat in CSU’s student union. We did Messiah and some Bach with her and other soloists and the amazing choir. Then she came and sang in our concert one spring--Ritorno Vincitor believe it or not! I was over the moon to move to NYC years later and hear her live at the Met (Contes des Hoffmann). And delighted to see her in Elektra last spring. An inspiration.

  • Ika

    Stoyanova was incredible in Un Ballo in San Diego. Voice may not be the biggest voice out there but what she does with it is great.

  • The horses!

  • I started listening at the top of Act II, so I haven’t heard Massi yet. It’s too bad he’s having trouble. I heard him as Manrico a few years ago and he showed promise. Not a beautiful sound and not a terribly refined singer, but still a genuine voice capable of doing spinto roles justice. At that time, the idea of a Radames five years later would’ve sounded just right.

  • The Dybbuk

    Really struggle with Aida. Never seen, let alone heard, a wholly satisfying performance. Bits never adding up to a whole. Today no real difference. Parterrians may be more fortunate, but aside from the C de Mille spectacle few beyond the MET can match, where and when in recent memory was the last cast that measured up to what Verdi wrote?

    • Ivy Lin
    • Camille

      You are not alone in this feeling. I have struggled with this opera for years, attending many a performance with several Aïdas and there is always something--or a lot-- lacking. Maybe it was written for Verdi’s rumored lady love and it’s a part best left to its creatrix?

      I don’t know, but aside from admiring a great deal of its invention and orchestration and the masterful domination of massive forces, it is just a work I cannot love. It seems to me nothing so much as Meyerbeer’s best opera in some respects, including the key “O patria mia”‘s ‘O cieli azzurri’ is pitched in --same as Sélica’s in L’africaine.

      My Italian friends all poo-poo this reservation of mine and say that I can never be initiated into the sacred rites of PTÀH, cuz I ain’t one of them. Maybe they’re right, I don’t know. Do know it’s their bloomin’ national anthem, or it was, for so many oldtimers.

  • Porgy Amor

    I hope Stoyanova is one of the other sopranos to get a crack at the new Rosenkavalier while there’s time (she’s in her mid-fifties, about three years younger than Fleming). I thought her Salzburg performance was fabulous.

    A bit like her countrywoman Anna Tomowa-Sintow in repertoire.

  • I really can’t take Urmana — she’s been a real trial, unsteady and shrill.

  • I do appreciate an enthusiastic audience but would it have been so bad to hear the last few notes?

    • Porgy Amor

      I do not think I have ever heard the last notes of a Met Aïda from any era. They usually start clapping during Amneris’s last “Pace.”

      • That’s completely true. But usually, it’s the knee-jerk reaction of people who see the curtain and can’t help but starting to applaud. Today was a bit different. People were cheering and whistling through the final “pace”. It was odd. I guess if you’re going to drown out the music with inane applause, do it with enthusiasm.

        • Camille

          There were war whoops and loud whistling in refined little old Alice Tully Hall ‘tother night after the Razumovsky Quartett, I mean… made one think a wrong turn had been made and we’d ended up at Shea Stadium.

          Whatever happened to “Bravo”?

          • I’m a bravo-er myself but I like all kinds of cheering at the opera, including loud whistles.

            But you remind of an Ivo Pogolerich piano recital I saw some 25 years ago. The audience loved him and there were a lot of loud whistles at the end. Finally, he made a visible grimace at one of the whistles and they stopped. Only bravo-ing from then on… Until the next encore, after which there was more loud whistling. His playing (there was this one particular Liszt showpiece that was astonishing) just elicited a visceral response.

            • Camille

              As Mefistofele says…”Fischio, fischio…”

              Hey, whatever happened to that guy? He was the SHEET for a while there and I bet that Liszt was mephistophelian all right. He was gone pffffft these days — maybe on account of too much whistling?

              Hell, I guess ANYthing is better than stoney silence.

            • I think I heard news of some kind of nervous breakdown. If I”m wrong, I’m sorry to be spreading false rumours. In any case, he did come back but, from I read, he was increasingly mannered in his playing and alienated even ardent fans.

              That night I saw him (in ’92 or’93), he was amazing. First half was all Scarlatti sonatas and the second half was the Listz B minor sonata. I was still in high school and had never heard the piece. Boy, was that some introduction!!!

            • Camille

              Sounds like Horowitz deux.

              Yep, I heard something or another along those lines but never anything definitive about his actual state of being. He was truly outstanding and stood out from the pack, so maybe it all was too much for him or maybe he went off the deep end with too much Scriabin.

              You’re fortunate to have heard him live. I never had the moment to do so.

  • Well, I missed the first act, and I was distracted through parts of the rest, but the conductor, Daniele Rustioni, really hit all the marks for me today.

    I assume that Massi improved over the first couple of acts. He didn’t sound so bad to me in the last couple of acts, and in fact, delivered rather well in the heroic moments.

    I liked Urmana’s Amneris. The voice has obviously lost a lot of its lustre and sheen, but I like her way with the role, more so than as Aida.

    Stoyanova was a lovely Aida. She took a couple of unfortunate breaths before the key high notes in “O patria mia” (the high C and the final A) but I’m wiling to forgive a fifty-something soprano doing that in such an exposed aria. She sang with attractive tone and sensitivity.

    • Camille

      I always have liked Urmana and always had respect for her for the difficult repertory she sang in, for a long time, with a great deal of skill and assurance. I heard her the night of her debut here as Kundry and the first thought I had was “she”s no mezzo”…as I had heard mezzos sing the tail end of Zweiter Akt and heard ’em go SPLAT! So, she kind of intrigued me. When she started some of the soprano repertory it worked for a while but it started to unravel at some point--I know not where but the Aïda was perhaps just a tad too much. Gioconda and Tosca and Santuzza, fine, but the Verdian line is a different kettle of fish.

      Anyway, because I’ve been listening to her since--when?--I guess it was 2001, wasn’t it?--well I can kind of calibrate the sound and adjust to the loss of the velour. I am just glad she is still at it as she is an intelligent and very experienced artist. She’s just not a very popular one, it would seem, ahimè.

      Stoyanova doesn’t have the absolute ideals of amplitude or perhaps the steely sheen for the big ensembles--well who does?--but she has a very lovely, very graceful and expressive quality to her singing of this role which is quite winning. I didn’t see her in house so have no idea how the sound travelled therein, a different matter altogether. I have only heard her in Carnegie Hall and it is not a huge voice and that’s that.

      She brought to mind what an old friend of mine had to say about Aïda, that is, what is needed is actually a “loud lyric”. I have puzzled over what exactly he meant for years now but she rather serves as example, for I think a lyrical sound which is expressive over a balls to the wall “dramatic soprano” in this role — if a lyric sings with sufficient expression and “intenzione”, is enough. I’d much rather relax and enjoy the Nile Scene and hear a beautiful wafting sound in “O terra addio” than a screamer in the ensembles and in “Ritorna vincitor”. That she breathed in those places you have noted in “O patria mia” was a big demerit, especially as she is a musician--a violinist or something, and should have known better—but—perhaps nerves got to her and that is entirely understandable.

      At any rate, much as I admired her Muti Desdemona, I liked this more, breaths and all, and this, along with the high profile Requiem in December will hopefully serve to up her profile here so she will be invited back for other things, as many suggest, the Rosenkavalier for one. For a woman in her mid-fifties she sounds damn good and, add to that the fact she is such a lovely person, ( in her interviews ), that one hopes for a bit more, before the inevitable curtain is drawn and closed.

      • Porgy Amor

        She brought to mind what an old friend of mine had to say about Aïda, that is, what is needed is actually a “loud lyric”. I have puzzled over what exactly he meant for years now but she rather serves as example, for I think a lyrical sound which is expressive over a balls to the wall “dramatic soprano” in this role — if a lyric sings with sufficient expression and “intenzione”, is enough.

        Stoyanova herself said something like that in an interview I read a few days ago. She considers Don Carlo/s the much more difficult opera to sing, especially if it is a five-act version, because after this already-long evening there is the aria followed by the duet. But not only because of that (“Aida, which has a huge orchestra is written very differently. For example for the role of Aida, I would say its more vertical than horizontal. Aida is more comfortable than Elisabetta. Elisabetta, you need a bigger voice and a longer line that I don’t necessarily have”).

        This was interesting to read, because we get lighter Elisabeths/Elisabettas much more often.

        • Camille

          I have got to think this over.

          Élisabeth is set in a slightly lower range, for one. She sings no higher than a B (H, if you will), but the way they occur--that ecstatic exclamation of joy in the initial woodsy encounter recognition scene with Don Carlos, and of course, that glorious final note which Caballé held a day in that famous performance--well, they as well he high Q flats!

          Élisabeth requires more breadth and depth, (as does Desdemona “Sposo ho peccato: dammi la dolce e lieta parola di perdon” et seq.) And Élisabeth’s second duet with Don Carlos; during which he collapses on her, she is making lower utterances and just punctuating the line, supporting him. I recall the amount of “testing” out which Verdi did with his not yet favorite-to-be, Teresina Stolz, with the role of Élisabeth and she was only accepted by Verdi after a rigorous orientation testing of the role. However, Élisabeth does have some periods of riposo and the searchlights are not trained solely upon her. There’s Eboli, for one, and then the Smothers Brothers duets, and of course Old King Fillipo and that dirty dawg, the Grand Inquisitor, not to mention all those poor souls going to the funeral pyre.

          So, I don’t know but would wager it is more difficult for her as it sits lower, is less flashy, and dramatically very tense. It is more work to grab the spotlight and THEN--The fifth act aria is a huge piece and one which almost never comes off satisfactorily as how does one push those final few phrases through to the tremendous climactic point it must be, after reiterating the same phrase a couple times. I have even seen a variant (wisely almost never taken) to go up to a C# on the penultimate “il pianto mio” phrase. So, it, is a matter of pacing and measuring it out whereas Aïda is on so much of the time, there’s little rest but once she gets going, she is up and running. And I cannot stress enough the difference a half-step down in the tessitura makes to the entire fabric of her vocal draperies. In every half-step there are worlds, WORLDS, of hemi, semi, demi quavers.

          I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it.

          • Luvtennis

            I agree that La Valois is a different kettle of fish -- interesting that Price avoided the role onstage -- but I also wonder if there isn’t a bit of positive self-delusion at work. Aida has brought low so many wonderful sopranos that perhaps its her way of “psyching” herself up for a role with so many exposed moments that it must feel like a vocal bar exam. Lol!!! That said, I do think Elizabeth is a very tough sing. It’s just got fewer moments where a misstep can lead to a performance-killing disaster.

            It will be VERY interesting to see how Ms. Moore handles the role later this month. I hope she has the courage to get back on the horse, as it were.

      • Porgy Amor

        I am just glad she is still at it as she is an intelligent and very experienced artist. She’s just not a very popular one, it would seem, ahimè.

        I found her more than respectable in what I heard today, which I’ll admit was not the whole thing. I love her early mezzo work and a few things from the soprano period. I always bring it up, but that Lady Macbeth for Tcherniakov (Paris, 2009) was fantastic. Thrilling singing, and the production — which had things to like and things not to like — was perfect for what she has on stage. She’s not exactly incendiary, but it worked in this. An idea of the production was that evil is just ordinary faces in a crowd, and hers was an outwardly harmless Lady Macbeth, who of course is anything but.

        • Camille

          Alas, the ordinary and banal face of evil.

          Why, Thank you for the mention and I will check that production out. I’m certain at that point in time her Lady would have been a very good one. I remember now I heard a broadcast of her Tosca in L. A., around ten years ago, with poor Mr. Licitra, who had the most enthusiastic, kindly big compliments on her work and about her. Not the usual tenor “me, myself, and I” blather.

      • Ika

        she really is super nice and very intelligent. I think her problem is she doesnt have PR machine behind her

        • Camille

          She is very musically intelligent and a very refined lady.

          Quite refreshing after all the babes and good ol’ gals that are Our Facebook Friends.

      • Bill

        Camille -- the problem with Stoyanova at the Met
        has nothing to do with her artistry but right from the
        inception of her career at the Met she was almost
        always in the second cast in a season (I think her
        excellent Donna Anna was an exception one season so (these days) generally important critics do not
        attend or review second casts as they used to. As far as I know Stoyanova has only sung the Feldmarschallin in Salzburg at the Festival and will
        do a series of Marshallins in Vienna this December.
        She used to post her calendar on her Website going forward several years but now it is only for 2017. I have always found her artistry rewarding, her acting telling and her face expressive on stage and vocally capable of many subtle nuances. She has made several recordings of arias on Orfeo. She is a star in Vienna and in Europe but I fear that at the Met she will be remembered more as a footnote which is a pity for she is a very accomplished artist as well as an Austrian Kammersaengerin to boot.

        • Camille

          Hallo Bill!!
          And may the Easter Bunny not bring you any rotten eggs! Only golden ones!

          I remember listening to that Donn’Anna and wondering who is this lady? Oh yes, once I heard her with OONY in Huguenots, I believe!!??!!

          Yes, well, fact is, in looking over her current schedule, she’s singing at Scala, Covent Garden and where else? Vienna. She doesn’t need us. She is a European woman and probably prefers to stay on her home turf and be paid in €€€€€, besides.

          After the Requiem this December, we’ll see how things develop. Perhaps she could spruce up that pond of Rusalka’s although I do not see her with a blue wig. Rosenkavalier maybe.

        • Bill

          Camille -- just before Stoyanova essays
          her first Marschallin in Vienna in early
          December 2017 Regine Hangler is singing her first Daphne’s there and if one were interested there is Elektra (with Herlitzius) just at the same time, Ariadne a week earlier, Arabella interspersed with the Rosenkavaliers -- Salome is also on the schedule at other times and Capriccio also (Fleming did that production) but with Denoke. Time for some Schlagobers ???
          Do you go to Schwanewilms tomorrow ?
          I wonder why they programmed her for Easter Sunday.

          • Camille

            Yes, I am going to hear Schwanny. It’s been an entire year I’ve been waiting for it now and am keenly anticipating it. Hope she does not eat as many Lindt chocolate bunnies as I have so as not to be in good voice tomorrow--the lieder should probably suit her to a “T”, I would imagine. She is the Rosenkavalier Marschallin which I would have liked to have heard! Been thinking of the might have beens all week long. I guess they didn’t look at an ecumenical calendar??? Baffling!

            Happy to hear Miss Hangler is hanging in there: she impressed me deeply for her very genuine and unforced quality.

            And “one”, this one anyway, would NOT want to hear Herlitzius sqwuank out Elektra, at all, ever! Twenty years ago or ten years ago she was something but it’s “Schrei und TRY Einmal” for her at this point and I have too little time left to subject myslf to that anymore.

            I can hardly contain my slobbering over Schlagobers that are soon to be coming up. Yum!

        • rhinestonecowgirl

          I heard Stoyanova in the Salzburg production at La Scala last Summer. A beautifully modulated performance vocally and a very subtle acting performance. The great Groiissbock, Sophie Koch, Christiane Karg and Adrian Erod were the other excellent principals. I love the Kupfer production, which reminded me a lot of the old ENO Miller “Downton ” version.

          • Porgy Amor

            I wish Karg or Golda Schultz (other Kupfer-production Sophies) had been in the filmed version. Mojca Erdmann was low on the list of Sophies I’ve heard. The duets and trio were not wrecked, but…I don’t get it. Looks the part, speaks the language, but eh.

  • Camille

    And this: when will Morris retire?

    I just cannot believe we are still listening to him. Give some guy under forty a chance, for crissake!!! There’s gotta be fifty guys on the UWS that can sing Ramfis, come ON!

    E-NUF Already!

    • Absolutely! Cast a young, upcoming bass. Cast a mid-career bass. Cast a veteran bass. Don’t cast someone who never had a Ramfis voice and certainly hasn’t attained one in his old age.

      • Camille

        He must have some very compromising negatives in his possession or the keys to Hogwarts, or I don’t know WHAT!! What’s next? His Baron OCHS???!!!???

        What I don’t understand is why such a role like this one, or Oroveso for that matter as well, can’t be given to a newer, younger, FRESHER singer, as these roles provide enough stage experience to break in a newbie but their individual performance in a supporting role is not going to make or break a performance or a run of them.

        It is all very well to keep on old veterans and all that -BUT who are we kidding? This is not Vienna or some of the German houses where people are kept on in a variety of supporting and comprimario roles as they age. This is ‘MURICA, where you’re dead in the water past fifty. Just what gives?

        • Well, at least, Morris has now achieved the distinction of having sung Ramfis, the King and Amonasro — a first at the Met. Thank goodness for that!

          • Camille

            Next, as he has recently sung Oroveso, perhaps he can add Norma, Adalgisa AND Clotilde!

        • Magpie

          LMAO! : ‘MURICA
          We need someone to compose that opera!
          past 50 dead in the water…that explains my empty mailbox!
          Camille, I read the rest of your threads here and you were on fire, obviously fueled with some 80% cocoa chocolate. Hope the hangover is not too bad.
          And I don’t know it it is the age or what, but most of this old veterans sound like Domingo: not bad, not great, just serviceable and bringing nothing new. At least with a fresher singer, we may get a glimpse of a special new voice and the excitement that comes with it.

  • Camille

    Just finished right now with the second act and—EVEN for a non-believer such as I — all I can conclude that is that the Italians have won the Superbowl. Jesus, lord above; there isn’t anything quite like it — just too bad there’s no spontaneous E flat eruption --maybe we can look forward to Nebby doing that — oh no, her E flats are all buried in the ground now, I forgot.

  • Camille

    And last of all-- the Million Dollar Question: will LATONIA MOORE sing on the night of the 20th, as scheduled, and has her post-partum period gone well? Have the babies changed her voice--as they do--and is Aïda still a comfortable fit.

    The tickets are all prohibitive at this point, so if I did go I’d be a very unhappy little camper if she cancelled at the last moment and was instead stuck with Madame X, Y, or Z, as I have no further need of ever seeing that Aïda production yet again.

    I am going to be on stand-by.
    Latonia, in bocca al lupo, darlin’ girl.

  • Juicy Bjoerling

    Camille, similar to you, I can’t stand Aida anymore… I have heard enough recordings in my life, and now I will sometimes venture into the house to see it live, but there’s something about the score that grates on me… from the opening violins that sounds like mewling cats… I think Verdi was trying for an “exotic” sound, but there’s something really annoying about this score now. Also, not too in love with the characters of Aida and Radames. (Another aside, while the libretto calls them “Ethiopians”, Aida’s people were obviously Egypt’s historical enemies, the Nubians — but while many Afrocentrists would like to believe the ancient Nubians were “black” like most sub-Saharan Africans, they were probably more of a mixed race people, like many of the peoples in Sudan and Somalia today — I understand the former Egyptian president Sadat was one).

    Like you, I’m wondering what Latonia sounds like these days and whether it’s worth going back to the house for that. I saw the (I think) 2nd performance with this cast (with de Leon instead of Massi, and Robinson instead of Howard)… Morris at the Met is turning into a joke (years ago, he ruined Tosca for me with his geriatric Scarpia, with Urmana, but I guess an elderly Scarpia makes the murder much more believable)… I mean, the man can still sing Grand Inquisitore or Timur, aged, old men, but not Scarpia, please! Stoyanova in the house was a bit disappointing, the voice is not large, nor rich enough, and somewhat colorless… she did a lovely Nedda more than 10 years ago, but some of the lustre is gone. Btw, I noticed that she seems to sing some variation (embellishment or inserted grace notes) at the end of “Ritorna vincitor” around the line “pieta del mio soffrir”, I have never heard it the way she sings, most sopranos seem to sing it straight. Did anyone notice that?

    I guess reading the comments here, I’m glad I got de Leon instead of Massi. Maybe three years ago, I heard Marjorie Owens (good but not excellent), Urmana and Tanner (he absolutely butchered the role…). And about 2004? I got a voiceless Gruber (the worst performance I have ever witnessed live), but a rather lyrical Botha and an astonishingly rich, deep contralto-ish Borodina (but alas no high notes). So I guess we should count on our blessings…

    • Camille

      Yes, I know what you mean about that Nedda but as only heard over the transmission from Sirius. Beautiful. Just the right weight.

      Actually, once Signor Massingot warmed ip
      And after that ball breaking “Celeste Aïda”, he got better. The vibrato is a little too elastic it would seem.

      Yes, she did a weird bit, I don’t know what as I wasn’t following with the music, on “pieta del mio soffrir”, but it is GENERALLY discreetly changed to accommodate the soprano, in a couple ways. Her way was distinctly different to me and can’t remember now what was what, only that it was not the norm. Sorry. Tired.

      I know what you mean about the score grating upon you but I think one has to eive deeper into it, a lot deeper. It’s a massive construction and one of genius, it just seems, well, a “construction”, because it really is just that: a construct of Verdi’s response to an offer he just could NOT refuse from the Khedive, or was it the Pharoah? I don’t know which and I am a tired little old lady who has to get up to greet the Easter Bunny tomorrow.

      The problem with Aïda is that it requires monumentality, impossibly and improbably talented singers to incarnate into these roles to bring these archtypal figures out of frieze of the Egyptian Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and flesh them out, and the kind of masterful singing which is hardly able to live in today’s world, for sch are the treacherous complexities of the parts.

      “Treacherous”—you say I exaggerate? What about Radames final pppp’s in “Celeste Aïda”--who does it? Who can do it? I’ve heard Jonas Kaufmann sing it, so it can be done. Just an example.

      Basta e buonanotte a tuttiquanti e


  • QuantoPainyFakor

    Comrad Leonora. I wonder if she will look like Zinka some day.