Cher Public

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Happy 75th birthday Barbra Joan Streisand.

Born on this day in 1706 composer Giovanni Battista Martini.

Born on this day in 1924 Broadway performer Ruth Kobart.

Happy 73rd birthday soprano Norma Burrowes.

  • Cameron Kelsall

    Hei-Kyung Hong has quietly withdrawn from her scheduled performances in Madama Butterfly at Washington National Opera. Considering she similarly withdrew from what was to be her role debut at the Met last season, it’s probably a safe bet this is not a role she’ll ever perform.

    • southerndoc1

      She’s on the Met schedule for two Lius next season, one in the fall and one in the spring. I’m surprised that she isn’t, so far, on the roster for the 50th gala.

      • Cameron Kelsall

        I heard her do a Mimi about a year and a half ago. The voice sounded drier than even just a few years ago, but still, it was an intelligent and deeply musical performance. My guess is that she will still continue to give performances here and there at the Met (and probably remain engaged as a cover artist) as long as she is able in the roles with which she’s most identified--like Mimi and Liu. She certainly still has a following, as she received entrance applause at the one-off Mimi which is not something that happens very often these days, and I noticed a lot of Korean being spoken around the house at intermission.

        But adding Butterfly to her rep at 57 always seemed like an odd choice, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

  • chicagoing

    Daytime soap the Young and the Restless, in a nod to the real opera world , sent one of its main characters to the Met last week. In NYC for a business meeting, Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) and a co-worker attend “one of the greatest operas in one of the greatest opera houses in one of the greatest cities..” last Tuesday or Wednesday night depending on how they honor time. I was curious whether the writers did any research into the actual schedule or would keep things vague, but a post-performance discussion between the characters makes it clear that the unnamed opera was La Traviata which was not performed last week. Fprtunately for the audience at home these potential influencers spoke highly of the experience; “Intense and passionate”, “That ending!”, ” …the crescendo!”. The performers were “so devoted” and “into it”.

  • La Cieca
  • fletcher

    I’ll save my comments on the LA Tosca with Radvanovsky, Thomas, and Maestri for that eventual thread, but I wanted to mention that I caught a charming performance of Béatrice et Bénédict at Thornton this weekend -- sung in French but with Shakespearean dialogue. It’s a really wonderful score, obviously, and well-suited, I think, to a student production, with extended solos, ensembles, and chorus numbers, without much dramatic hand-wringing. There’s even a guitar solo! The production was simple but well executed, with beautiful projections of the evening, night, and morning sky as the opera progressed. The principals were uniformly very good, considering how tricky some of the music is, but the Béatrice, Katie Beck, was especially impressive. Landon Shaw, as Bénédict, has surprisingly good French and is also distractingly attractive.

    • DonCarloFanatic

      Please don’t save them. I’m about to buy a ticket and I’ve never been to that house and don’t know where the best seats are. I do know Sondra’s voice will carry to any of them, but what about the orchestra?

      • fletcher

        I usually sit near the back of Founder’s Circle but the front few rows of the Loge are fine. The Balcony is pretty bad (but cheap!).

  • loveopera

    Have looked in vain for official reviews of the Schwanewilms recital. Nothing in the Times or the Post. Tomorrow maybe? Is this typical of classical reviews these days? It is alarming.