Cher Public

Missus Sally Adams requests the pleasure of your company

On this day in 1950 Irving Berlin‘s musical Call Me Madam opened at the Imperial Theatre to run 644 performances.

Born on this day in 1872 composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Born on this day in 1892 soprano Gilda Dalla Rizza.

Born on this day in 1906 bass Herbert Alsen.

Born on this day in 1928 conductor Jerzy Semkow.

Born on this day in 1935 tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

Happy 73rd birthday tenor Bruce Brewer.

Happy birthday to soprano Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs.

  • Rosina Leckermaul

    Went Monday night to Gluck’s ORPHEE ET EURYDICE at LOC. A silly concept — Orpheus is a choreographer, Eurydice his prima ballerina. During the overture she arrives late, he and she have a feud, she walks out, then wrecks her car. Since there seems to be no love lost between them, it’s not clear why his grieves throughout the first scene. No happy ending, she lives on through his choreography. Concept unconvincing. Choreography uninsured and repetitive. Musically better. I’m not crazy about Dimitri Korchak’s voice but he sang elegantly and was game to do what was called for in this nonsensical production. Harry Bicket conducted superbly.

    • Camille

      Sounds something like that silly Sonnambula we had here which Javier Camarena rescued from the dumpster to make something beautiful of.

      Years ago, Seattle Opera put this on and with one of Mark Morris’s first attempts at staging opera. It was all right—until he came out to the Dance of the Furies—at which point my friend went to sleep—and I put my nose deep down into my programme muttering “it’ll all soon be over”. Quite lovely in the original French, though, and I am curious and excited to hear of the Joffrey Ballet’s presence in Chicago.

      • Rosina Leckermaul

        The Joffrey is “in residence” in Chicago. They do a four program plus Nutcracker season here. In 2020 they move from the vast Auditorium Theatre to share the Opera House with the Lyric.

  • fletcher

    I’ve been waiting for this to pop up again ever since that Susanne Mentzer piece from a year or so ago, and this week’s news made it inevitable -- baritone Dan Kempson calling out gay sexual harrassment and assault in opera. Seems that any industry where powerful, entrenched men hold so much sway of the careers of young people will have stories like this. Pretty easy to guess who the composer is.

    • Cicciabella

      Bravo, Mr. Kempson! Now it’s up to opera journalists to take this up. Instead of conducting endlessly repetitive publicity interviews with “stars” they should be investigating this shameful state of affairs. Everyone knows this sort of thing goes on. Expose it and eradicate it.

    • basso.profundo


      • La Cieca

        You really are some piece of work. For the sake of your idle curiosity about gossip, you expect a commenter on this site to open themself up to a lawsuit for libel.

        Mind your fucking manners.

    • Camille

      While I applaud Mr Kempson both on his stand in his letter and for sensibly getting out of the business, if one reads Mr Odom (of AGMA) in his response letter, one may infer that their is no easy, quick solution to this age-old problem. AGMA is trying to assist the victims, or at least it appears so, but if the abused are in fear of losing their jobs, then eventually their careers—and have no other means of survival at hand—well it becomes a Gordian knot for which someone somewhere, and somehow has got to outfox the perpetrators and the extant system--and that is not so simple as the denouncing of it.

      Shining a light on Hollywood abusers is one thing, but how will an art form effectively considered a niche ghetto only frequented by snobs, richy-Riches, and mélomanes ever get any sympathy or assistance from the media? At least, here in the good old USA where the National Endowment for the Arts is--well, does it still even limp on or exist? In the America where TEXACO withdraws its support affer an over 70 year history of underwriting fhe much-beloved Saturday Met broadcasts? Does any of it matter at all anymore except to the very few?

      Remember that even the Bill Cosby case, with the belated testimonies of dozens of women, was a mistrial. It’s just a horrible situation from whichever prism it’s refracted from. Dialoguing and interviews and exposés may help and get the ball rolling but — some brilliant coalition of minds will have to come up with a plan that I could not even begin to imagine, in order that real change be effected, as so much of it lies in basic primal human nature and the powerful vs. the weak. That’s never going to cease.

      And this all reminds me: whatever became of the Wendy White casus belli? What a sorry state of affairs that ended up to be.

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    Thanks to an arrangement with CUNY, Regina Resnik’s son, Michael Philip Davis, has his splendid video documentary about his mother on Youtube. The rare excerpts of her Lady Macbeth aria are astonishingly beautiful. So much to appreciate in this film!

  • Armerjacquino

    The Dalla Rizza excerpt (how exciting she is, even in the terrible sound) led me to her wiki page and the discovery that she sang Octavian with Rosa Raisa! and Amelita-Galli-Curci!!! and I mean wow.