Cher Public

Here am I; where are you?

Happy 97th birthday actress Nanette Fabray

Happy 90th birthday composer Dominick Argento.

Happy 88th birthday mezzo-soprano Cora Canne-Meijer.

Happy 79th birthday soprano Edda Moser.

Happy 76th birthday countertenor Charles Brett.

Happy 73rd birthday tenor Stuart Kale.

  • Camille

    “Yoo-hoo, Mrs Rowna!!”

    Mrs Sutin, are you in the neighborhood? And are you going to hear what looks to be your friend Mr Nelson sing Rigoletto tonite or tomorrow night? Since you’re in Connecticut, you’re the parterre representative. Let us know if you do!

    Ciao from the Big Rotten Apple!

    • Rowna Sutin

      Well darling Cammie -- I am the President of the company that put on Rigoletto! I just returned from the Sunday Matinee . . Can you spell an authentic standing O? Nelson was what you would imagine -- a great singing actor with a drop dead gorgeous true Verdi baritone voice. The talent you should be watching is a very young and recent college grad named Sarah Tucker, our Gilda. Sensational. She and Nelson had voices to match.

      • Camille

        I am so pleased for you and for that maravilloso Mr Nelson! He is the real thing, I do agree. When I heard him on that Saturday broadcast the first time, singing Monterone, I stopped still and told Monsieur Camille “THAT’S the guy they should have singing Rigoletto!” So I am hoping he will continue to grow from strength to strength and be back soon at an opera house nearby. He is on MY List!

        Crack that whip, Rowna and get those Connecticuttians out and listening to music at the opera house. They are lucky to have you as La Presidentessa!

        Ciao 4 now!

        And P.S. Rowna la presidentessa--you should most likely do a review on this on your channel, doncha think?

        • Rowna Sutin

          You know I am not shy :)

          • Camille

            Well, I am, so you crack that whip and review on away for me.

            What’s up for your next production? Der Ring des Connecticut?

            • Rowna Sutin

              La Boheme! In 27 seasons has never been done before by the company. And just so you know, we have members of the Hartford Symphony playing in the pit. They were a huge hit -- as much as our singers! Next year come to Hartford. We put on a fun show. Our resident stage director is Sondra Kelly, a past singer at the Met.

  • Camille

    And you know, Porgy Amor, I received your thoughts on another thread about the great, late Elisabeth Söderström and will certainly look for that televised version of Pique Dame, with what you had to say in mind.

    In the meantime, and to prepare for the upcoming 90th birthday celebration for Dominick Argento (Happy birthday, Mr Argento!) the resurrected New York City Opera is planning, I think that this old production from Dallas of The Aspern Papers (featured in today’s birthday parade above) which has Söderström as an aging diva at a much younger age, may serve very well as a kind of optimal jumping off point to review her virtues, especially as there is NOwhere I’d rather be than in a villa by Lake Como in 1895, anyway.

    Just to let you know I received your advice and it is heeded and appreciated.

  • southerndoc1

    Nanette Fabray (film debut Elizabeth and Essex!) had it all -- voice, looks, timing, humor -- but never seemed to make it past second banana status for most of her career. One of those mysteries . . .

    • Brackweaver

      If Love Life had been recorded…

      • southerndoc1

        Yes. And still no recording of the whole score.

    • Camille


      What’s NOT to love here:

      Gotta give her an Oscar just for delivering this number with a straight face.

      • southerndoc1

        Fabray has a delightful interview on Youtube where she describes her MGM screen test as the most expensive in Hollywood history -- 20 minutes, 2 full musical numbers with orchestra, choreography, costumes, etc. It was designed to introduce her as the Freed unit’s new Garland.

        And as soon as it was made, the audience for musicals collapsed, and after Bandwagon, she was given the boot.

        She says none of the footage has ever surfaced.

  • Dan Patterson

    I was quite charmed by this video, in which an 85 year old soprano sings some Verdi, and gives us a lesson in technique and vocal longevity.

    • Camille

      I wish PláDo would take a few lessons from her as she actually sounds much better than the Unsinkable Magda did at a similar age. Absolutely remarkable and admirable in every way.
      Thank you. Very sweet. Must have been somewhere in Italy?

      • Brackweaver

        The only moment of note of operatic interest in my past was singing in one of the many extra choruses in the 1976 Newark NJ production of Mefistofele with Hines and Olivero. (My memory says 1975.) In rehearsal she was a tiny old lady. In performance she put all of us young-uns to shame. Most of the choral singers ignored the scenes they were not in but for a few of us it changed the way we thought about singing, opera and performance forever.

      • Dan Patterson

        I’m sorry, I intended to post the performance specifics and forgot to:

        Dal Concerto di Sabato 8 maggio, nella bellissima Chiesa di Sant’Alfonso, la romanza “La Vergine degli angeli” dalla “Forza del destino” di G.Verdi.
        Soprano : Fausta TRUFFA
        Coro maschile Ensemble Coro di Torino e Coro ArcalRai
        Direttore : M° Riccardo BERRUTO
        Pianoforte : M° Andrea TURCHETTO

      • Dan Patterson

        I have mixed feelings about Domingo’s career, but it’s nice to see him continuing doing what he loves. I first saw him around 1967 or so, in HOFFMANN with Sills and Treigle in Cincinnati (at the Zoo!) He has a great technique, incredible stamina, and he’s a fine musician. He’s not a baritone but he gets away with it, given his status. So my comment below for another video of Miss Truffa.

    • Daniel Swick

      Sometimes ya just got it. My theory on these things is that sometimes someone has a great set of pipes and they just never make it or give up. So, here they are with this great sound and no career. Provided they keep up their voices to some extent they will likely preserve the voice well into old age. Remember, singing on the stage full-time is very tough on a voice even if your technique is rock solid and your health is good. Without the stress of singing for your living it’s plausible that you could keep the cords relatively undamaged for a long time. She really has any extraordinary sound for someone her age.

      • Dan Patterson

        Ms. Truffa repeated this a year later for some television show, looks like one of those “Got Talent” things. It’s on YouTube as well, but it’s not as affecting as the earlier performance.

  • Ivy Lin

    So … I had a Harvey Fierstein double bill yesterday and highly recommend Torch Song (and Kinky Boots):