Cher Public

Broadcast: Die Walküre

The Bayreuth Ring (and perhaps the parterre discussion?) continues at 10:00 AM.

  • Camille

    OBERON Webcast is about to begin on the Live Webcast of Bayerisches Staatsoper!!!

    • Liz.S

      It’s being simulcasted on Arte Live also and I assume it would be available on demand later.

      I switched back to Bayreuth (I really love what I’m hearing today. Janowski orch sounds superb!!! :-)

      • Camille

        Yes, the ARTE logo is in the upper left hand corner so am assuming it would be. I wasn’t too thrilled by the first act Walküre anyway, after the Rheingold. Maestro Janowski still can pack a real punch after all these years and bravo to him. At the intermission I’ll check in to hear Lundgren. Annette Dasch is a real screamer in this one, unfortunately.

        • Dasch? Was there a last minute substitution? Camilla Nylund was the announced Sieglinde. Any changes are usually posted immediately on the Bayreuth Web site.

          • Camille

            Oh pardon me gnädige Jungfer, as I am talking of two operas at once. Annette Dasch is in the Oberon. Camilla Nylund is indeed the Sieglinde.

            I was just remembering the great bleeding chunks of Oberon die Heilige Leonie breezes through on my ancient Melodram recording. She made a picnic of it.

            • No problem. I am watching the Yankee game to see if they can make it to seven straight wins and remain in first place in the AL East. I will have enough opera next week, sweating in my Smoking (tuxedo) in the sauna the Festspielhaus becomes when temperatures hover around 30° or more. (Nasty forecast..)

            • Camille

              Can you not take your Smoking off once inside and slightly loosen your collar? I would faint, for certain. Make sure to check about your pillow!

            • Many gentlemen remove their jackets after the houselights dim and fold them over their laps I tried this all of once and found it made my torso even warmer. As for loosening a collar, not easy to do when wearing a tuxedo shirt and bow tie. I have found that moving slowly and being as still as possible is the best recourse. I have also never schlepped a stolen Gasthof pillow with me; I find the practice somewhat… well… less than classy (yes, I can turn on my inner latent snobbery when auf den Grünen Hügel).

            • Camille

              Ach so! You belong to the “You have to suffer to be beautiful” school. Well, so long as you don’t faint from heat and here are always smelling salts and a wet handkerchief to put on one’s forehead inbetween acts. Viel Spaß!!!

            • Vanity, vanity, vanity! I am, at heart, a cowboy boots-and-jeans dude, but I have a wonderful classic double-breasted shawl collar Perry Ellis Couture tuxedo (purchased in a “who cares?” shopping spree), and I love wearing it. Bayreuth is just about the only chance, as the practice of dressing up at Wiener Staatsoper has drastically declined. I last wore my Smoking to a big gala there, with an after-performance sit-down dinner in the Gustav-Mahler-Saal, and I was the only man in the entire house in evening dress. So rather than being the elegant sore thumb, I’d rather maintain tradition at Bayreuth.

            • Camille

              You know—
              Last night I was watching the film from last decade “The September Issue” about Anna Wintour and Vogue and contemplating this very subject: one just never sees people “dressed”, even here in New York City, a major fashion capital of the world. There are myriad good reasons for this but I do miss seeing a display once in a while. There is just no time and it takes so many pfennigs to get together these ensembles. When I do manage to see something it’s either too outré or just too old lady Chanel suit matchy-matchy, so—--

              Just a while ago I was watching the rank and file of the good citizens of München in attendance at the Oberon and it was all mostly very California casual--a style which has had far too much influence.

              Oh well, I’m just an old fart so what do I know anymore? Over 50 on has one’s validation carte revoked und so weiter.

            • jackoh

              Let me offer a few thoughts on the notion of how to dress at the opera. Much of what is considered to be proper dress and how one should present oneself at the house is driven by “commodity fetishism” (where is Dabrowski when I need him). That is to say that the notion of how one presents oneself in terms of how they are attired can, in fact, be driven by the goods that some manufactures or designers need to sell. And, make no mistake, theses “norms” are produced by those who have a monetary stake in them. There have been times when attending a particular production I have wanted to attend in boxer shorts and a terrycloth bathrobe. And there have been some of those productions when that attire would have been not only a comfort but entirely appropriate given the need to sink into some sort of soothing bathos given what was transpiring on the stage. When attending any sort of theatrical production, in my opinion, it is incumbent on the attendee to give full attention to what is going on on stage, and not to be concerned with what someone in the next seat, the next aisle, or the next table at intermission is thinking or remarking about how you appear. It (the production) is, as they say, “not about you”. And I can assure you that at the end of the performance, when those on the stage are assessing the reaction of the audience, they are are only looking at the reaction in the faces and hands, not at what they are wearing from the neck below.

            • I wear my Smoking to performances at Bayreuth out of respect for Wagner, respect for the performers, respect for a long-standing tradition, and respect for other attendees. And -- ahem! -- I look damned good in it! It is going on 25-years-old, but it is holding up well. I bought it in the early 1990s when I was on the planning committee for an annual benefit dinner/dance by one of the top dance companies based in NYC, and have enjoyed the occasions since then when I felt it was appropriate. I have assembled some nice accessories over the years (z.B. 1920s lapis lazuli and silver cuff links at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul), a small collection of bow ties, and a new shirt every few years, but I have never been compelled to cater to the fashion industry to acquire something new: I paid a lot for a classic tuxedo, and it was an excellent investment.

              And it IS, to some degree, important to the people seated near you. For instance, at Bayreuth, I have no problem if the gentleman next to me removes his jacket, but if half of it winds up draped over my lap (the seats are narrow and do not have arms rests), I am going to nudge him to remove it.

              Just for your reference, I have discussed this with the people in the Pressebüro at Bayreuth and they reported that formal dress is prevalent for the first week of performances, and then it gradually becomes more relaxed -- more suits and sport jackets than tuxedos for the men -- as they go deep into August.

            • jackoh

              Let me be perfectly blunt. Your “respect” for the composer, for the performers, for the orchestra, is not shown in your attire, which you donned before the first note was played or the first note was sung. Your respect for what was put on stage should be registered not by your attire, an exterior manifestation adopted before anything happened on stage, but by your (naked) reaction to what you have witnessed. In the audience for any performance, whether we realize it or not, we are all naked; it is just masked by the cloths that we wear. And our reaction to any opera, to any production, to any performance should be based on our visceral reaction to how it strikes us as a naked human being, stripped of all pretense, reduced to a living entity reacting to something that has meaning put in front of him (or her). Put another way, clothing has no meaning only art has meaning.

            • DonCarloFanatic

              I doubt clothing designers would agree with you.

              We don’t have an opera uniform anymore, although we used to, and that is confusing. Shorts and tennis shoes? White tie and tails? If we’re to reflect what’s happening on stage, maybe bustiers and fishnet stockings?

            • fletcher

              What on earth makes you think clothing has no meaning and can’t itself be art? What a silly thing to say.

            • eric nyc

              We’re excited about our upcoming trip. We’d pretty much given up on Bayreuth, with what I understand is a ten-year wait for tickets, particularly since many of the Regietheater productions in recent years haven’t been well reviewed. But a friend recently brought to our attention a Bayreuth tour by Great Performance Tours, and we decided it’s time.

              Both of us are Wagner fans … I’m an enthusiast and he’s a fanatic. We’ve seen the Wagner operas many times, at the Met and elsewhere, so we’re familiar with the operas. But I figured that the occasion of our Bayreuth pilgrimage called for some serious preparation. So I’ve just finished Frederic Spotts’ 1994 book on the Festival. Fascinating. Now I’m in the middle of Lucy Becketts’s guide to Parsifal, part of the Cambridge Opera Handbooks series, playing through the score as necessary.

              Thanks for the tips, and the warnings.

            • Damianjb1

              Wow -- they’re my two favourite Wagner books. Especially the Frederic Spotts. I love it.

            • Ora McCreary

              My husband and I will be in Bayreuth for the first time in a couple of weeks (Aug 14-18). I’ve started anxiously looking at the 10-day weather forecast for Bayreuth. Temp will be in the 90s next week. Oy.

            • Well, Bayreuth will actually be better for me as the forecast for Wien goes to 100°F by next weekend (38°C!). Be prepared for extreme heat and sudden thunderstorms. The weather in Bayern in summer is very wechselhaft (I am forgetting my English). I will be there for eight days starting Monday. On my opera days, I will have an umbrella if it is raining (no traffic allowed on the Hill, so the only way to get there is on foot), and in any case I will carry in my pocket one of those thin plastic hooded raincoats they often sell at outdoor events, in case it is raining when the show gets out (I snagged a drawer full of them at Grafenegg and Bregenz!). Unfortunately our visits to Bayreuth do not overlap.

            • I have always been secretly jealous of women who can wear something summery -- light and elegant -- and look comfortable and stunning. You should advise your husband to pack enough plain white cotton T-shirts to wear under his tuxedo or dress shirt to each performance: no matter the outdoor temperature and weather conditions, it is unrelentingly humid in the Festspielhaus, and one will perspire no matter what. A T-shirt will help absorb the perspiration, and he may wish to remove his jacket as the houselights dim before each act and drape it over his lap.

            • eric nyc

              Clarifying a point: Ora is a man’s name in my case. My husband and I will face the same challenges with the heat and humidity, though he’s generally more sensitive to the heat than I. My own concern regarding the heat is less the discomfort than the probable drowsiness.

              (I used to post here under a nickname (Eric) but La Cieca changed the interface to disqus, and I can no longer figure out how to do that. I’m unmasked. Maybe I’ll try harder to re-adopt a nickname, precisely to avoid this sort of confusion. I think I might have just figured it out… let’s see.)

            • Camille

              O meine gutness, Nein! I did not know. I shall go looking for the Stoned Guest since it is now a long time since I’ve entertained one. Wie gute Sie sind! Danke Tausenmal! I am glad to know Leonie’s Rezia is on your cloud, as I don’t know where in hell that disc may be and I loved it!

              Danke danke danke!

            • Magpie

              Thank you oh my Cowboy Jeans and Boots/ Tuxedo God/ess for this Leonie feast!!! I am going to listen to this now since I found the broadcast of Walker fraught with what I must think were some kind of technical difficulties on my feed. You never cease to amaze me with the wealth of your recordings and insights.
              yours truly, always-shirtless-but-have-an-Armani-pink-tux-that-can-barely-fit-into-anymore-but-used-to-love-to-wear-at-the-opera outdoors beast

      • Cicciabella

        It seems Oberon is even more difficult to cast than to stage. So far only really enjoying the Fatima, Rachael Wilson, and the wonderful orchestra.

        • Liz.S

          How’s Prégardien jr?

          • Cicciabella

            I find him disappointing, so far. But then, he has to sing and speak ALL of the spoken parts as well. Not easy to pull off. As Camille remarks above, Huon is talented, but I think the demands of the production are interfering with his breath support.

          • Cicciabella

            Sorry, I’ve misinformed you. Oberon does not take on all the the spoken parts. The puppeteers/actors who play the parts seem to be speaking as well. He does, however, have to speak more than usual.

  • Cicciabella

    Oh dear, no-one deserves to sing Ozean, du Ungeheuer with pink lipstick smeared all over their face. This Oberon the Experimental Psychologist is a real sadist.

    • Liz.S

      Oh no. TBH, the explanation of scientific setup at the beginning was another reason I switched back…

      • Cicciabella

        It’s not a bad idea at all, but the opera is too long for the experiment to remain interesting. Some interesting puppetry and props. It seems there are also sadists in the audience: one of them just booed Dasch after her big aria.

        • Liz.S

          Ay, seems booers gathering in Bavaria this summer. Thanks for your input -- I’m sure I’ll check this out!

          • Cicciabella

            Johannes Kammler, who sings Sherasmin, is also very good. And it’s such a fantastic score!

    • Camille

      Yes, I agree! Dr. No invades the Fairie Kingdome!

      That was very very nasty of them to do that to her in that moment but she seemed to be able to rise above it and just chug on the waves despite the schmear!!! It isn’t exactly a pretty voice but she doesn’t shirk her job and gets it done, plus plays “die primadonna” role well. What do you want? Rosa Ponselle? Joan Sutherland? Anita Cerquetti (who is fab in italiano)???? They aren’t available.

      • Cicciabella

        Indeed, they are not. Neither is Eileen Farrell, my favourite interpreter of this Ungeheuer of an aria. Dasch got the job done in the near-impossible challenge. Very unfair for her to be booed. She is also a convincing actress. I enjoyed the second half much more than the first half. Bolton and the orchestra did the music justice. Much of the production was fun.

        • Camille

          I am glad not to have heard the boo and it may have just been a jealous competing colleague or some petty intrigue of some sort as she did not
          merit that.

          I’d say it was a brave attempt to solve the dilemma of this beautiful thorny rose of an opera. Not perfekt but it is a just effort and I’m so grateful to hear this beautiful music live once more.

          Years ago I read a critic, in passing, say words to the effect that Weber “threw his best music into a pig trough”. Or was it a “latrine”? I forget but you get the picture. Weber hasn’t been done since 1970-71 at the MET and I find that inexcusable.

          Oh yes, I used to love that Farrell recording too--she hit a homer with that one, for sure!

  • Camille

    There is a stampede of applause at the end of Walküre! Lundgren sounds like a god. Can’t wait to hear him again.

    • Maybe he will be Maestro Domingo’s Wotan next summer since Mathias Goerne has now publicly denied the reports that he would be making his Bayreuth debut. Will you listen to that if they broadcast it?

      • Camille

        I love Lundgren’s voice. He was my other discovery a year or so ago and I will listen to him sing anything, anytime, anywhere. About the Domingo Dirigent job next year--I’ll believe it when I hear it. A relief to hear Goerne will not be attempting Wotan as he is so talented in other areas. He’ll be here later in the year I believe with a lieder recital with this pianist he is currently working with.--I can’t think who --oh yes!
        Daniil Trifonov. Should be interesting.

        In any case--have a wonderful time at Bayreuth and do report in to us about all that is currently going on there.

        Thank you for die Leonie link,
        Not to mention PDQ!

        Gute Reise und gute Nacht!