Cher Public

Her and the man in the moon


Born on this day in 1904 singer and actress Helen Kane

Born on this day in 1875 composer Italo Montemezzi.

Born on this day in 1884 librettist Béla Balázs.

Born on this day in 1908 conductor Kurt Eichhorn.

Born on this day in 1910 composer William Schuman.

Born on this day in 1927 tenor Jess Thomas.

Happy 88th birthday soprano Gabriella Tucci.

Born on this day in 1930 director Götz Friedrich.

Born on this day in 1935 baritone Victor Braun.

Happy 70th birthday mezzo-soprano Alicia Nafé.

also Happy 70th to baritone and conductor Peter Knapp.

Happy 62nd birthday tenor Guy De Mey.

Happy 57th birthday soprano Deborah Voigt.

  • southerndoc1

    Apropos of nothing, Broadway’s Betsy Wolfe has taken over the lead in “Waitress.”

    Is she known as the Met’s Betsy Wolfe when performing on the Great White Way?

    • Camille

      When she presents at the Met she is known around here as “The Bane of Krunoslav”.

      See Fledermaus or Merry Widow reviews for whatever it was she was in for more detail.

  • Fernando Balliache

    No Louis Armstrong? Bah!

    • Camille

      Phil, the guy who knows EVERYTHING about Charlie Parker, is currently on KPFK giving the second Louis Armstrong brithday party. (The fIrst was on July 4th). It’s on KPFK and will be going all this evening. He was just now speaking of Armstrong’s desire to sing through his trumpet and citing Tettrazzini and Galli-Curci as models, I kid you not. He was saying that what Louis was trying to emulate was “belcanto”. Smart guy.

    • jackoh

      I know that this is an opera site, but since you raised the issue(and good for you) let me respond about jazz (Louis Armstrong) and opera. Forget Louis Armstrong, in his later iterations he made popular riffs on jazz themes and the driving force was sales (i.e. making that music popular and saleable to white America). But if you want to hear “real New Orleans jazz” listen to Bunk Johnson’s recording of “Down by the Riverside” captured in 1942 by Bill Russell. That was operatic at its base. When you listen to this imagine Johnson and his trumpet (probably a cornet) as a tenor and see how his lines, a slight beat behind, against the base lines of the ensemble musicians works like Verdi compositions.

      • jackoh

        Oh, and if you want to hear a jazz equivalent of Strauss, dial up Chet Baker.

        • jackoh

          And another thing. The typical front line of a jazz band,(a clarinet, a trumpet, and a trombone) mimicks the front opera line of a soprano, a tenor, and a baritone all singing against the base line of the orchestra. And the narrative of a lot of jazz renditions, drawn from negro spirituals, is as impactful as many of operas stories.

      • Camille

        Um, I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies neither do I know shit from shinola when it comes to jazz. Just listen in when and how I can and have come to love and admire a lot of what I hear.

        It was Mr Schaap who brought up Tetrazzini and Galli-Curci, much to my amazement and I am standing on the Fifth.

        • jackoh

          Here is the thing about jazz and opera and any other form of musical expression. They are are the same at base and are all designed to achieve the same response. Whether it is primarily vocal (Gregorian chant), primarily instrumental (Beethoven symphonies), or a combination (opera), the idea is to invoke a response of recognition on the part of the listener that the musical entity expresses something that resonates within them. If a musical composition (of whatever iteration) fails to connect, then it suffers the condemnation implicit in E M Forsters exhortation “only connect.” And I don’t think that the connection to musical composition is based on “identity politics.” It should be based on some notion of universal resonance or shared human meaning. If your response is “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies neither do I know shit from shinola when it comes to jazz” then don’t worry about it. Respond to the composition and its performance as its is. If it fails to resonate with you, that’s OK. Music, in all of its forms, is designed to “resonate.” If it fails to do so in a particular incidence that is not a condemnation of the composition itself or of the listener. That’s just what happens. Engage with music as you would with any other human being (and music is simply another human being, the composer, attempting to communicate with you). If you like the interaction, OK. If you don’t, it’s not necessarily a reflection on you or on the person creating a composition.

          • Camille

            Dude, seriously????

            You be preaching to the choir here.

            You must be that guy who lectures at Merkin Hall under the “What makes it great?” series.

            Word to the wise: try someone younger and more impressionable on your next volley as this would have made the front page maybe forty-five years ago or so. And although I share a lot of your sentiment, not everyone does, or should, or even has to.

  • Sorry I’ve been so quiet all week, but I have extremely limited Internet access up here (the one modem in the house is not strong enough to reach my room). The news of the day is that Hartmut Haenchen is ill and has cancelled today’s “Parsifal.” Marek Janowski has graciously agreed to step in. (I just hope he tends to Haenchen’s fast tempi!). Gotta shower and get myself into my Smoking and up the Hill… (and go through security).

    • Camille

      You needn’t apologize to us, just do your duty to yourself and don’t neglect to not wear Le Smoking so as to register all emotions on your nude face! Think of the savings on drycleaning!

      ‘Twill be interesting to hear of the differences you may discern between the two maestros. Viel Spaß!