Cher Public

One little name to remember is better than having a string

Happy 91st birthday actress Helen Gallagher

Born on this day in 1819 poet and novelist Gottfried Keller.

Born on this day in 1868 soprano Florence Foster Jenkins.

Born on this day in 1920 baritone Aldo Protti.

Born on this day in 1921 stage designer Robert O’Hearn.

Born on this day in 1924 soprano Amy Shuard.

Born on this day in 1935 conductor Gerd Albrecht.

Happy 69th birthday soprano Yasuko Hayashi.

  • Rosina Leckermaul

    It’s good to see a bit of the O’Hearn HANSEL AND GRETEL, an antidote to the Met’s current Richard Jones production. O’Hearn had the knack of designing productions that were traditional without being dull or overblown a la Zeffirelli. I remember fondly his TURANDOT, MEISTERSINGER and AIDA. They were great improvements on their predecessors and the TURANDOT was certainly far superior to the monstrosity that replaced it.

    • La Cieca

      Wait. You saw the Joseph Urban production of TURANDOT for comparison?

      • Rosina Leckermaul

        No, but I did see the old Gerard AIDA many times and the old MEISTERSINGER.

    • quoth the maven

      Where did O’Hearn design TURANDOT? Not at the Met.

      • Rosina Leckermaul

        Yes he did. 1961, I believe. The production was used for decades.

        • No he didn’t. The Designer of the Turandot production in 1961 was Cecil Beaton, whose work was highly praised. Nat Merrill (Mr. O’Hearn’s usual partner as designer) stepped in as director when Yoshio Aoyama fell ill and withdrew, but Merrill worked with Beaton, the originally engaged designer.

          • rapt

            Metropolitan Opera House
            February 24, 1961
            Benefit sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild
            for the production funds
            New production

            TURANDOT {28}
            Puccini/Alfano-Adami/Simoni

            Turandot…………….Birgit Nilsson
            Calàf……………….Franco Corelli
            Liù…………………Anna Moffo
            Timur……………….Bonaldo Giaiotti
            Ping………………..Frank Guarrera
            Pang………………..Robert Nagy
            Pong………………..Charles Anthony
            Emperor Altoum……….Alessio De Paolis
            Mandarin…………….Calvin Marsh
            Prince of Persia……..Edilio Ferraro [Debut]
            Servant……………..Thomas Russell [Debut]
            Servant……………..Craig Crosson
            Servant……………..Robert Bishop [Debut]
            Executioner………….Howard Sayette [Debut]
            Executioner………….Wally Adams
            Executioner………….William Burdick

            Conductor……………Leopold Stokowski [Debut]

            Production…………..Yoshio Aoyama
            Stage Director……….Nathaniel Merrill
            Designer…………….Cecil Beaton
            Choreographer………..Mattlyn Gavers

            [Yoshio Aoyama planned the staging of this production, but when
            he fell ill during early rehearsals, Nathaniel Merrill took over.]

            Production a gift of John S. Newberry

            Turandot received sixteen performances this season.

  • O’Hearn’s Elisir d’Amore production replaced Dulcamara’s horse and buggy with a hot air balloon that delighted MET audiences. I remember a wonderful typo in the headline of one of the NY newspaper’s review in which they unformed the public that the delightful quack had “entered in a Ballroom.”

    • Satisfied

      I saw an amazing production in Tokyo where he flew in on a prop plane. So much fun and it started a young Joseph Caleja!

    • Rosina Leckermaul

      Delightful production.

  • Sanford Schimel

    I adore Helen Gallagher but not for her singing and dancing. She will always be Maeve Ryan on Ryan’s Hope. It was one of my favorite soaps (One Life To Live will always win) and she played mom to two future stars, Marg Helgenberger and Kate Mulgrew.