Cher Public

“Yes, I am imperious”

Born on this day in 1924 soprano Leyla Gencer, represented after the jump singing music by Giuseppe Verdi, born on this day in 1813. 

Born on this day in 1854 composer Jerónimo Giménez.

Born on this day in 1903 composer Vernon Duke.

Born on this day in 1905 conductor Alexander Shamil’yevich Melik-Pashayev.

On this day in 1935 Porgy and Bess opened at the Alvin Theatre (today known as the Neil Simon Theatre) on Broadway

  • fletcher

    Is tonight’s Don Carlos from Paris being broadcast?

    • I’m sitting here in Paris listening to Ann Hallenberg live from Madrid on RTVE; Brahms / Clara Schumann / Medtner / de Frumerie / Mahler, with Mats Widlund, piano.

      • According to the Paris Opera’s website…

        (a) “Tonight’s performance will take place.” I take that to mean there was a chance of a strike.

        (b) Don C. will be broadcast on Arte and Arte Concert on October 19 at 20.55.

        Oh, and Camille, I read in Opéra Magazine that we will hear the full rehearsal version only *without* the Act III ballet.

        • Satisfied

          Hey NPW…great news: I finally scored a October 19 ticket off of the ticket exchange! Thanks for all of your help! Really excited for this cast and to finally see a Krzysztof Warlikowski production live!

          • I wish I’d actually helped! Heheh, now you have to hope they won’t be on strike.

            • Camille

              Merci mucho, NP! Wondering why no extraits of Yoncheva? Ildar did much better than I would have given him credit for, so good on him. Garanca is certainly showy and a good times girl, haha!

            • gaga

              Because Yoncheva did not sing in the dress rehearsal. It was Hibla. And that’s why she’s not on any picture in the review.

            • Camille

              Merci, Lady/Lord gaga.

          • fantasia2000

            Yay! I’m glad to hear you finally scored ticket! I’m going on the 25th, and yes, hope they won’t be on strike!!!! Super super excited for this! The production picture slideshow looks really good!!!! Very modern production. Sonya Yoncheva looks like Imelda Marcos! Hahahaha

            • Satisfied

              Thank you, Fantasia! Praying for no strike as well :-I

            • Satisfied

              Were any Parterrians in the house tonight for Don Carlos?

        • Camille

          Oh, I KNEW it!!!!!!!!
          Sacre bleu, (mutter,mutter!!)
          I knew they would NOT put it on JUST to spite me!!

          Zut alors!!!!!!

          I will listen in to Arte and thank you beaucoup for that, NPchéri

          • I took a look at the reactions on the ODB forum. Of course there’s no more consensus there than you might expect to find here, especially over the production (which it seems was both applauded and booed), but Garanca (who, incidentally, in this production apparently chain-smokes) and Tézier would seem to have shone.

            • Porgy Amor

              The one review I have seen indicates, as NPW-Paris’s surfing does, that Garan?a and Tézier were the standouts and deservedly received the most applause. But it sounded as though everyone was pretty good. There was something about Kaufmann singing beautifully but being very cautious, which seems to be the review he gets for everything he does lately. Praise for the conducting of Mo. Jordan and for an intelligent production that was not properly appreciated by traditionalists.

            • On ODB Jordan is getting some stick for being too ponderous.

            • Satisfied
            • Camille

              Hmmmmmm….and merci for the post. Much appreciated.

              Wondering what Nézet-Séguin would make of this at the Met and if he has plans to instigate a similar reform of the opera here? Since these sets are in use and these singers, with the exception of Tézier, are house stars or staples--pick one--mightn’t it be a good idea for the incoming Music Director?

            • Satisfied

              My pleasure, Camille.

              As to your suggestion, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Don Carlos was performed in New York with YNS conducting, especially since Kaufmann already knows the Hytner production from the London run. Conceivably, he wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time in New York for rehearsal. While I am not particularly fond of the production, I would love to see this cast in New York.

            • fantasia2000

              A rave from FT:


              I think I’m going to be REALLY enjoying this! (Yes, I’ve been researching the reviews lol)

            • Camille

              One has to subscribe in order to read it. Tell me, is it by Bernheimer, or by someone else?
              Merci, and happy hearing!

            • fantasia2000

              Ooops, I’m sorry. It’s weird that I could read it from google search, but I couldn’t link it. It’s by Shirley Apthorp.

              Here is another rave, that went in great details on the singers:


              (I’m amazed how many US reviewers in the house last night! How does one apply for such high-flying job? ;) )

            • Camille

              oh, sorry for your trouble as I, too, resorted to Mr Google and he coughed up Apthorp’s review. I’d love to hear what good old Bernie has to say but he is getting up there and maybe doesn’t travel all that much anymore. It’ll be a sad day for me when he writes no more….I’ll give the operawire a look over.

              Why so many gringos in the house? Because these are house stars at the Met? Because Jonas is BIG news wherever he goes and whatever he does? Because this is an “historic” (kind of) recreation of an opera at the venue of its birth? Because people like to go to the City of Light? All of the above, maybe.

            • Opéra Magazine implied the house had been flooded with requests for seats from foreign critics.

            • Satisfied

              Damn! Paywall! Will try to work around it :-)

            • Well, if it’s as good as this review claims…!

            • Camille

              The Hytner production he has already conducted and was the proof upon which my theory he might well do so again…but it is THIS production, imported from Paris Opera, which I’d like to see and would occasion the necessity of singing it in French.

              Getting Kaufmann to NYC is not the easiest thing these days — maybe Alagna, before his sell by date?

            • Camille, from an interview with Jordan in October’s Opéra Magazine:

              “We will play all the music composed by Verdi in preparation for the work’s premiere at the Paris Opera on March 11 1867, before the cuts made during rehearsals. The only thing missing will be the act 3 ballet, ‘La Pérégrine’, which we have omitted for two reasons. First, in my view it is not the best passage in the score. And then, it is imperative that the director have a strong conception of how to include it in his dramatic approach, as Peter Konwitschny did at the Vienna Staatsoper. If Krzysztof Warlikowksi had so wished, I would therefore have agreed to keep it in, however reticent.”

              I take that to be a roundabout way of saying Warlikowski didn’t want to deal with the ballet.

            • Camille

              THANK you, as at last we have the answer.

              Did Mr Warlikowski have to deal so directly with the ballet and would that not have been actually the ideas of a choreographer —- oh now I get it *** he didn’t want to deal with the choreographer’s idée, as it was his (KW’s) Konzept! It would have been a war of wills.

              Well, not such a terrible mise-en-scène, these days I guess. I’ll be waiting on tenterhooks until you report in with your deux centîmes, M.NPW!!!

              As the bit right before the ballet shows Élisabeth passing the veil over to Eboli (another reference to the veil in this work!), and she displays it in her appearance (in the stead of E@lisabeth who begs off the festivities for a night of “prière”) near its climax, well then, at least the little Elisabeth-Eboli scene could have been included. It always provokes all kinds of hilarity when Eboli shows up with it for the tête-à-tête dans le jardin avec Carlos, unfortunately.

              Merci mille fois!

              I wonder if Monsieur œdipe is there and if he would deign to comment upon it for us all?

  • Camille

    Thank you pointing out that Gencer, a great Verdi interpreter, was actually born on the same day as the great maestro.

  • How do people usually pronounce “Gencer”?

    • Daniel Swick

      JJ always pronounced it as “GEN-ZAIR”…with a hard “G”.

    • Nelly della Vittoria

      You can hear her explaining it here, as I recall: “Il mio nome non è Leyla Gen-çer ma Leyla Gen-dger.”

      • Camille

        “E Questa Una Volta Per SEMPRE”!!


        • Thanks to all for taking the time and trouble to reply. Having lived in Turkey, I’d always supposed its was indeed hard “g” then “dger” as Camille puts it (Turkish spelling is phonetic). But just yesterday it occurred to me that (a) the “c” might actually be a “ç” that got “lost in translation” (rather as Händel tends to become Handel) or (b) as she lived in Italy a lot, she may have modified the pronunciation or it might have been a non-Turkish married name.

          • ChesterS

            I always thought Handel changed his name when he became a British citizen. As opposed to the umlaut being lost.

            • No doubt you’re right, but you get the idea -- these little dots and squiggles do sometimes go astray.