Cher Public

Owning it

Happy 33rd birthday tenor Michael Fabiano

Born on this day in 1829 composer and arranger Louis Moreau Gottschalk.

Born on this day in 1901 bass Mihaly Szekely.

Born on this day in 1917 mezzo-soprano Maria von Ilosvay.

Happy 87th birthday soprano Heather Harper.

Born on this day in 1932 tenor Carlo Cossutta.

Happy 84th birthday conductor Elio Boncompagni.

Happy 70th birthday soprano Felicity Lott.

Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

  • Porgy Amor

    Rhinestonecowgirl asked (in a comment that was hard to find, because it was buried in the 900-post thread about the Met gala, and “Comments Feed” was lagging behind Disqus):

    Anyone got any opinions re Kristin Lewis, the new Elisabetta?

    I have heard Ms. Lewis in a few things. I’ll just say that if I had had a ticket to hear Stoyanova, and Lewis were the replacement, I’d be disappointed. Of course, I’d give her a fair hearing and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

    She is one of the world’s in-demand Aïdas of the moment (already on two DVDs, the respective productions of Peter Stein and William Friedkin), and this is a troubling situation to me, because I think it is largely for cosmetic reasons. She looks like the Aïda of one’s dreams, a very pretty African-American woman, but sounds more like a Mimì, maybe an Amelia Grimaldi, pushing it. I haven’t found her a very vivid theatrical presence either, just with a basic sincerity/pensiveness. She has a reasonably attractive middle register. If you go to this, perhaps you can let us know what you think.

    • rhinestonecowgirl

      Thanks very much for the info. I do find the Aida casting situation a double-edged sword as well. Frustrating for the sopranos and the public. Elisabetta does need to have some power in the ensembles and Tu che le vanita and the only soprano in recent times who convinced me in both roles was Mattila. I am going to the dress and will report back. Just wondering if Semenchuk will turn up for Eboli as she pulled out of the recent Paris Snow Maiden.

      • Bill

        Though I have not heard her (yet) Kristin Lewis has
        sung several series of Aida in Vienna and most
        recently Amelia in Ballo. The reviews are so mixed about her vocal performances it is hard to grasp whether she is an exceptional Verdi singer or
        one of only routine value.

  • manou

    Also buried in the 900-post thread were questions about Scotto and Hymel -- this is where they were last night:

    http://tinyurl.com/n8u7ewd

    • rhinestonecowgirl

      Some well deserved winners there, especially the Lyon Opera, whose programming is never safe even if casting is variable. With the dashing Daniele Rustioni now its Musical Director I’m sure it will keep up the high standards.

      • manou

        And apparently Serge Dorny spoke very well.

    • Camille

      Very interesting. Good to know Scotto is getting her lifetime achievement Oscar: she earned it, the hard way.

      One wonders what “PHILANTHROPY: FEDORA, Paris ” is all about!?

      Did Fedora not take that vial of veleno after all?

      “Loris, dove sei…?” was all a pretense to fake a death, and then be wisked back safely to Paris to escape Loris’s righteous wrath? All these years . . . .

      • manou

        Camille -- here are some details about FEDORA:

        http://www.opera.co.uk/view-review.php?reviewID=158

        • Camille

          Oh my goodness this is very, very impressive. May they keep true to their mission and their financial noses clean, however! It does my heart good to know of such an organisation and that this grand restorative effort is being made. I’ll keep an ear out for Kein Licht in September and hope its net effect shall be positive and not dampening, what all with that librettist.

          Que vive FEDORA! Caruso, or someone, used to say “Fedora fè d’oro”, so let us hope this holds true in our fraught times. Grand merci.

  • Camille

    33, eh? Didn’t see this yesterday as I was so tired out from Gala-ising, so a day late and many dollars short, tanti auguri!

    So— do wish this fine fellow all the best —
    and for a long, long career arc. Since I first heard some Macbeth mavens whispering “he will burn out in no time”, I’ve been rooting for him and hoping he’ll be watching as they all float down the river.

    One of those artists of the younger set who sing with something more than their expensively-bought “technique”. It so took me by surprise how much he seemed to sing with such deep feeling and innate understanding when first heard him.
    It felt like going back home.

    • I was struck by his generosity.

      • Camille

        Oh really--what role was that, or maybe a recital? Wait, did he sing Faust there a couple years back?

        • Rigoletto just a year ago. Or rather, the Duke.

          • Camille

            D’accord.