Cher Public

Silvers thread

On this day in 1952 the Johnny Mercer musical Top Banana opened on Broadway. 

Born on this day in 1877 composer Roger Quilter.

Born on this day in 1902 conductor Eugen Jochum.

Born on this day in 1923 baritone Ernest Blanc.

Also born on this day in 1923 soprano Victoria de los Angeles.

Happy 85th birthday baritone Giampietro Mastromei.

  • swordsnsolvers

    Tonight at 6:15 eastern, 5:15 central, WFMT.com will be broadcasting the prima of the LOC Walküre with Goerke, Owens, Jovanovich, Strid, Baumgartner, Anger, and Sir Andrew Davis conducting. I will be eagerly tuning in and in the house on the 14th.

    • Rosina Leckermaul

      I will also be in the house on the 14th. Can’t wait! Also looking forward to Patricia Racette in THE CONSUL this weekend.

  • Rowna Sutin

    I received a review of Opera Connecticut’s Rigoletto. The power of someone else’s pen!

    MADNESS & MAYHEM in MANTUA

    Special to Town Times by LARRY KELLUM

    On Oct. 27, Opera Connecticut launched its 26th season with a stirring performance of Verdi’s powerful “Rigoletto” at St. Joseph’s Univ. in W. Hartford with a stellar cast, conducted by maestro/impresario Doris Kosloff and directed by erstwhile Met Opera mezzo/current stage director Sondra Kelly. In a nutshell, it was “one for the record books!”

    Two years ago, Nelson Martinez stupefied this company with his titanic Scarpia in “Tosca”. Since then, he has debuted at the Metropolitan Opera and appeared all over North and South America. As Rigoletto, he proved that he is quickly becoming the Pavarotti of Verdi baritones. for not only does he resemble the legendary tenor in girth and beard, but his voice is “as good as it gets” today in the great dramatic Italian roles. His portrayal of the complex tragic jester was also more sympathetic and less hectoring than usually seen.

    Also returning to OC from that same 2015 production of “Tosca” was
    tenor Tau Papua as the licentious Duke. Vocally, his brawny, manly
    Casanova” was more in the darker Corelli/Domingo versus the
    lighter Kraus/Valetti mold, but his stentorian high B’s shook the
    house 8.9 on the Richter scale. Radames anyone……..???

    Sandwiched between these two forces of nature was young soprano Sarah Tucker as Gilda. Hers was more the traditional instead of original Gilda… ie two spiraling interpolated high D’s and a zinfandel versus merlot tonal quality. However, she is already one of those rare
    sopranos today who can actually trill……….and basked in the long
    ones that conclude “Caro Nome”. She also mustered up the sheer volume to ride the swirling orchestration of the Storm Scene, at least in this venue anyway. As always. our state’s favorite veteran basso
    Laurentiu Rotaru served as deluxe casting as the sinister Sparafucile.

    Next October, this innovative company will present another Puccini
    masterpiece “La Boheme.” For info/tickets, etc please visit
    operaconnecticut.org or call 860-722-2300.

    • Rosina Leckermaul

      Such metaphors. Zinfandel vs. merlot??? I like the image of the stupefied audience. Some audiences are like that from the start! Can’t wait for the review of BOHEME. Please share!

  • Rosina Leckermaul

    TOP BANANA is on of the few musicals of its time to have its stage production filmed “as is” — in 3D no less. I think a video is still available (in 2D). Not a classic but if you’re interested in seeing what a run of the mill post World War II musical comedy looked and sounded like, the dvd is worth seeing.

    • Brackweaver

      ‘Run of the mill’ is very fair. It looks like an early TV show or early TV shows looked like it! The music is by Mercer as well as the lyrics. His many gifted lyrics make me forget that he also wrote music on occasion.

  • Rowna Sutin

    And MOI gets into the act as well. I know of at least one person who wanted to see this: Cammissima! https://youtu.be/bv1OORUu3c4

    • Camille

      Rowna--you look FAB!
      When did you go the silver fox route?
      Looks as if life in CT is agreeing with you, and should you do Leoncavallo’s Bohème, I’ll make it over there. Puccini’s, I don’t do anymore.

      I’ll be on the lookout for Mr Nelson at the Met again and will keep checking on Operabase. Hoping all the best for him.

      • Rowna Sutin

        Re hair: I got tired of going to get it done so often. Transition was painful and slow. Glad you like it. I think I look older, but perhaps wiser? Sorry you will be a no show for Puccini, but I, too, wouldn’t travel to see it either. However, we have to think of ticket sales when we choose our operas, hence don’t hold your breath for Love of Three Oranges! Nelson is covering two met roles -- one in Lucia and I can’t remember the other, but maybe someone will be indisposed. And keep the name Sarah Tucker high on your list of watches. Stunning singer.

        • Camille

          Not to worry — as you only look CHIC, and chic is ageless.

          I don’t know if you are aware of it or not but there has been a huge trend toward dyeing one’s hair grey, silver, steel—whatever tonality one prefers — by the under thirty set in the last few years. Accordingly, it is no longer considered “old”. You’ve just joined the new wave, Rownisssima, so complimenti!

          If Mr Nelson is singing Enrico in the upcoming Lucias I shall be on the alert. The role I WISH he’d take over would be that of père Miller in the Luisa Miller production in spring. That would be spectacular.

          Sarah Tucker is already a famous name in the operatic pantheon as that was the late, great Richard Tucker’s wife’s name, so—easy to recall.

          Ciao 4 now, Rownisssima!

  • La Cieca

    Holy Grail Found: Yma Sumac sings Queen of the Night.

    https://youtu.be/bEcdaueZmi4?t=178

    • If only it were always like that…

      • gryphone

        She wasn’t half bad in “One Last Kiss” in Follies at Long Beach Opera many years ago (also with Dorothy Lamour singing “Broadway Baby,” for crying out loud. Unfortunately, Yma did not do the mambo version. And then there’s this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdagPyHgfFg

        • Dan Patterson

          Wonderful! Thanks for posting.

    • Nelly della Vittoria

      Oof, she does the Hempel variation too!

    • Dan Patterson

      Oh, thanks for this! I’m so sorry I never got to see her live. She’s great fun on records. Yes, this is certainly a Holy Grail of sorts.

      • I look forward to a production where Parsifal heals Amfortas by crowning him with an assortment of tropical fruit and unveils this clip at the end.