Cher Public

La fanciulla del west side

Bigger! Longer! Uncut?

Jonas Kaufmann‘s Dick will highlight the Met’s 2018-2019 season, when the tenor sings a new production of Puccini’s La fanciulla del West in New York. (Not to be confused with La fanciulla del West in New York, a forthcoming work from Adams and Sellars.) Until  now, only Vienna State Opera audiences have had the honor of enjoying Kaufmann’s Johnson.

The big news is part of Opera magazine’s monthly roundup of future engagements, which currently (embarrassment of riches!) includes the announcement of Sarah Tynan‘s role debut as Lucia.

  • Porgy Amor

    I’m not sure what I find more surprising, the presence of Kaufmann or a new production of Fanciulla as soon as next season. How did that get past the Future Wiki people? This would have seemed more likely to me if it had been a revival of the Giancarlo del Monaco show that did so much to heal a nation after the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

    Welcome, if accurate (Minnie approval pending). I hope it’s scheduled at a time of the season when Jonas is amenable to being in New York for the rehearsal period.

    • Vivienne H

      To be fair Future Wiki did mention a new Fanciulla, just not Kaufmann.

      • Porgy Amor

        No, they just had/have it under “repertory.” So we’ll see how this pans out. I actually like that Giancarlo del Monaco/Michael Scott production reasonably well (unlike the same team’s Stiffelio, Boccanegra and Forza, each worse than the last), but not to the extent that I’d lament its loss 27 years later.

        • Vivienne H

          Oh sorry, I just remembered seeing it on there, and assumed it was a new production.

  • Camille

    Wait--WHAT??? !!!

    Is this FAKE NEWS or real or alternate reality news or what? Oh me oh my, la mia testa si gira!!!

    I had noticed a Fanciulla slated for a season or two from now on Met Wiki Futures for some time now and had been scratching my head wondering Who, What, How, Maybe?? Pls tell me it’s TROOOO! And who will sing Wowkle, pray tell?

    PláDo singing Guillaume Tell in Pesaro--what???

    Confusa io son.

    • QuantoPainyFakor

      Plácido as TELL??!!! Can Sachs be far away?

      • Camille

        Well, isn’t something on at Bayreuth for him next summer?

        Actually, after the shock I began to think Tell might even be a sort of good role for him as it is the lead but perhaps not as continuously demanding (well, it’s a lot of work, truth be told), but not so over-exposed as, say Macbeth would be. Rossini, I think, is always so beneficial for the voice and healthy for its preservation, usw……

        I don’t know what to think anymore.

        • QuantoPainyFakor

          As he is fond of saying: ‘there’s a lot more to come.’ Toi, toi, toi and more power to him for having the stamina to do things like this.

  • southerndoc1

    Maybe Rad as Minnie?

    • Kullervo

      Opolais, Westbroek or Dyka are my guesses.

      • Camille

        No, no, and NO! And no Nina, neither.

        If I have to board The Radvan, I shall, but there has got to be someone newer, fresher, and younger out there in the dark, somewhere.

        • Susan Szbornak

          Yoncheva. Doesn’t she sing everything?

          • Camille

            Well, yes she seems to but is that very smart? She’s the girl from the Crimean Coast, moreover, or Red Sea, or the Aral Sea, I dunno. The voice doesn’t have quite the metal or ability to “talk” in the middle, quite. It would be an improvement over any of the above, however, except the Radvan on a good day.

            Isn’t there an Italian or American soprano who could manage the part? It’s really necessary to be able to “speak” in mid-voice with the role of Minnie.

            • Having attended Don Carlos recently, I’d say it was too early for Yoncheva to sing Minnie.

              Poppea was the first role I saw her in. Not so long ago in fact -- 2012, in the Lille production that made such a good video.

            • CKurwenal

              Surely Yoncheva will never get around to Minnie? I know she has confounded expectations but she only produced 2 high notes during the whole of the ROH Norma performance I saw that were of the kind of volume and fullness that Minnie needs to come up with over and over again, and though loud and replete with colour, there still wasn’t really any vocal weight behind them, and no steel at all.

            • Possibly not. But certainly not now, when Elisabeth is already stretching it.

        • Kullervo

          Gurl I’m with you 100% but I don’t know who else there is that they would go for. Maybe Naglestad; she’s doing it in Zurich this season.

          As far as Italians who can do it….Anna Pirozzi sings it next month in Napoli. Amarilli Nizza is singing three consecutive productions of it later this season. I don’t know if either is on the star level the Met is looking for in a Jonaskunstwerk.

          • Camille

            Right. It can be turned into a Jonaswerk cum StarStunde--so with someone adequate—funny you should mention Amarilli Nizza, as I’ve wondered what has become of her. Pirozzi is a little too valuable in the difficult Verdi line of soprano, but, if she is doing it in Napoli and succeeds, well she may be an option, however unglam she may be, or not.

            Naglestad had to cancel her Salome last season and I have scant recognition of her other than a Siegfried Brünnhilde which is an entirely different style.

            It would be so nice if the adorable Mevrouw W. didn’t have that infernal wobble that wakes the dead. She’ll be back in January so we’ll see if it has improved a bit.

            I better go Minnie hunting at operabase--rots o’ ruck!

            • Nelly della Vittoria

              Would watch Rad, but can’t they tell Christine Goerke to drop her other plans and make a Nilsson-esque “holiday role” of it?

            • Porgy Amor

              Goerke did say on Facebook once that Minnie is a role on her “bucket list.” Hmm. But this is probably too short of notice, unless everyone has been very quiet about something.

            • Nelly della Vittoria

              Damn timing; I’d go in a heartbeat to see her do it.

            • Seconded!

            • quoth the maven

              Nilsson called Turandot her “party role” because it’s so short. Minnie, on the other hand, is quite a long role, with lots and lots of dialogue. I don’t think any soprano would look on it as a “holiday.”

            • Nelly della Vittoria

              What if it were a soprano of heedless daring and foolhardy courage?

            • Kullervo

              Mevrouw W. has given me some real moments. “Heinrich! Was tatet Ihr mir an?” haunted me for a week -- just unbearably gorgeous in tone and inflection. I’m still reeling over that second ‘Heinrich.’ But the same cannot be said for the rest of the role.

              I was looking forward to seeing Naglestad in Salome and was very sad that she cancelled. I’ve never heard her live and don’t know if/when she will sing in the states again, but I really admired her Senta on a DVD. Someone uploaded videos of her Santuzza last season and while she’s isn’t long on italianita (and she does the most bizarre tone-row on ‘A te la mala pasqua’), her vocalizing is quite beautifully controlled. Very admirable singer IMO, if somewhat chilly for this sort of repertoire.

            • Camille

              A tone row on “A te, la mala Pasqua”??? I’d like to hear THAT!!

              Naglestad and Nylund (and I’m forever getting those two mixed up) will be sharing the boudoir of die Feldmarschallin in a season or two at the Met, according to the gospel known as Wiki Future. At least one hopes they’ll make it over the pond.

              Her acting of the role and the pictures she created were absolutely ideal. The singing was not and I am so so sorry it wasn’t. One hopes she will recover from all those Katerina Ismailovas. Mah!

            • Bill

              I saw Naglestad as both Salome and as Tosca in Vienna where she occasionally appears in repertory performances -- the Salome was quite impressive and the Tosca far more than routine. Very solid singing and acting though for the life of me I do not distinctly recall the timbre of the voice.

            • Cicciabella

              The latest dramatic soprano buzz from over here in Yurp is Lithuanian alleged phenomenon Ausrine Stundyte (http://www.ausrinestundyte.eu). She has Puccini in her repertoire but not, as yet, Minnie. She probably won’t sing Minnie at the Met because the Met prefers to cast singers in roles they’ve tried for size somewhere else first, unless they’re marketing a star singer’s role debut.
              But she’s one potential Minnie.

            • Camille

              Yes, Ciccia, an intelligent suggestion —and as she was recently reviewed here in that opera done in Antwerpen, what was it, again? Someone like this, filled with energetic high notes, daring, and personality. I should go listen to her. Thanks for the suggestion.

            • Cicciabella

              The Met should book her before all those Renatas take their toll.

            • Opéra Magazine, reviewing Das Wunder, not-very-usefully suggests that Ausrine Stundyte, while she has remarkable stamina, wasn’t as good as Leonie Rysanek would have been…

            • Cicciabella

              You could review any singer using this scale. Singer A was not as good/just as good/even better than Leonie Rysanek would have been. It would save hours of creative reviewing time.

            • As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, a dinner companion was unimpressed by the singers in Don Carlos. “Maria Callas…” etc. etc.

              But I agree, it simplifies matters. I must try it when I write up From The House Of The Dead. “Willard White wasn’t as good as Leonie would have been in the same role…” Or of course, Maria Callas.

            • Satisfied

              Having been at the same performance you attended and having perhaps the same or similar experience with this phenomenal cast in other roles, I have to say, the “but the dead…” commentary is particularly obnoxious.

              IIldar was the only one of the four principals who left me wondering “WTF.” Not because his voice was less than exceptional, but simply because he didn’t have the aged vocals I expect or, at least, am accustomed too, when hearing Philippe (french or italian). Tézier lacked presence, but damn if he was not vocally perfect for Rodrigue (and the audience simply adored him…I gather a hometown favorite?).

              As for Elina, Sonya and Jonas: any opera company throughout the world would be thrilled to have just one. To have all three singers on one stage was a small wonder to behold.

            • CKurwenal

              I have read this sort of criticism of Abdrazakov’s Paris Philippe from a few different people, which surprises me because I thought that in London recently he was fantastic in the role, projecting immense gravitas and authority with some very fine singing. I actually preferred him to Furlanetto, who I have seen and loved a few times in the role. I wonder if the productions in Paris vs London explain it -- in the ROH production (which has been seen also at the Met) a lot of work was obviously done to imbue the singer in the role (both when a new production and in revivals) with a physicality that immediately commands attention and conveys his status. I don’t know how the character was played in Paris but maybe it had a different emphasis which drew attention to/didn’t compensate for the fact that they had cast a bass baritone in the role and not a bass.

            • Porgy Amor

              I don’t know how the character was played in Paris

              It was direction on a high level of detail. I thought the production was astoundingly good, actually, one of the best things I have seen this year.

              The treatment of Philippe suggests that weakness and neurosis run in the family, in Warlikowski’s view. Philippe is going to pieces behind the scenes, disheveled, drinking a lot, but he can put on a good front in public. He is caught between two authentically strong personalities, Rodrigue and the Inquisitor. This was interesting to me, but I would call Ildar the weakest link vocally. At least as heard on the broadcast, the tone sounded to be losing some focus, and he can just scrape the bottom. Of course, he does have ease at the top, and that helps in parts of this edition, such as the quartet, where the line goes up to repeated Fs rather than the E-flats familiar from the revision.

              Re: Satisfied’s point about expecting/being accustomed to aged vocals in Filippo/Philippe. That’s more of a modern thing, isn’t it? In any case, while I will live with it and I can even admire a performance of that sort, it is never ideal for me. I saw no gain in 68-year-old Salminen’s dessicated singing at Salzburg four summers ago, great singer though he was in his prime.

              Siepi didn’t sound aged when he sang it at the Met and Salzbug in the 1950s. I highly doubt anyone walked out fuming that the theaters had not cast a bass who had been a big star in the 1920s. Ghiaurov, Raimondi, even Christoff were all on the young side when they took it up. As was Furlanetto the first time around, for Karajan in 1986, and his beautifully sung Filippo was the best thing about that sad artifact (Salzburg video).

            • Might I add that in the Paris production no effort was made to make Philippe actually *look* old enough to be Carlos’s father? Someone already said here on parterre that it might be understandable if Elisabeth in fact preferred Philippe to the dishevelled, barefoot -- and suicidal -- Carlos in his cricket sweater.

              (Sorry, I thought this would appear *after* Porgy’s post)

            • Porgy Amor

              it might be understandable if Elisabeth in fact preferred Philippe to the dishevelled, barefoot -- and suicidal -- Carlos in his cricket sweater.

              Philippe was most of the same, though. He had shoes, but if you replace the cricket sweater with a half-untucked white dress shirt, and add alcohol abuse and domestic violence, the two are on level ground. And they both did show the ability to “clean up nice” when necessary. They looked quite spiffy in their auto-da-fé duds. Chicks dig the epaulets.

            • Greg Freed

              Ausrine Stundyte is the most Mawrdevian name I think I have heard yet.

            • Cicciabella

              Isn’t it?

            • CCorwinNYC

              My current favorite is French mezzo Aude Extrémo

      • Antikitschychick

        Good guesses. Out of the three I think I’d prefer Westbroek (though she’s not sounding like she used to these days) although Opolais might not be a bad choice. I’ve never heard Dyka live so I couldn’t say if she can sing Minnie or not.

    • Rowna Sutin

      What about Tamara Wilson?

    • fletcher

      After hearing her Tosca, I’d be 100% down for a Rad Minnie. Goerke, maaaybe -- haven’t heard her live yet (missed out on her SF Elektra because of general millennial poverty). What about Moore?

  • Antikitschychick

    Well this is good news, esp for those who have been wanting to see JK at the Met again. This is one Puccini opera I really like. I hope the rest of the cast is good…and for all intents and purposes it should be since he’s a big star.

    I also recently came across this: https://imgartists.com/roster/tatiana-melnychenko/

    According to this artist’s IMG page she’s going to sing/play Giorgetta in Puccini’s “Il Tabarro” at the Met in 2018. That’s one opera I’ve yet to hear.

    So yeah it seems The Met Wiki Futures page isn’t being updated with (nearly) all the scoop for future seasons like it used to be which is really too bad.

    • Yige Li

      I’ve never heard this singer before (how did you find this?). A quick search on MET archives shows she has sung only one performance of Abigaille last season. Was it an originally scheduled cover+1 gig or cover getting a chance when the principle was underweather? Wondering if her Giorgetta will be just a cover+1 (or, maybe just cover)? And does that mean there’s no Opolais singing “heroins” anymore? Then it would be interesting to see who will sing the other two female leads.

      • Antikitschychick

        Hi Yigeli. I honestly don’t remember how I came across that. I think I was Googling something related to the Met and that picture of her came up… and I remember thinking why is this coming up and then I clicked on the picture and started reading the bio and saw that mention of the Trittico and thought it was very interesting.

        She (Melnychenko) had a scheduled performance in Nabucco last season iirc. I don’t know if she was also covering the run but I imagine she was.

        Opolais is slated to sing the heroines in Suor Angelica I believe and last I saw she was still listed on the Future Met Wiki page for that. Guess we shall find out soon enough if she indeed will. Btw do you happen to have a recording of the Il Pirata with Meade that was broadcast on Sunday? I missed it and would like to hear it.

        • Yige Li

          Hi, sorry I don’t have the recording of Meade in Pirata. I think you may be able to catch it on WWFM this Sunday (Nov. 12) at 3 p.m. EST. http://wwfm.org/programs/wwfm-sunday-opera-michael-kownacky

          You sould be able to get the definite info on Thursday.

          • Antikitschychick

            Awesome. Ty!

          • Betsy_Ann_Bobolink

            Yige Li, I know this is not a trading post, but are you able to provide the Cincinnati Opera La Boheme from last Sunday night. ? It has a Sean Panikkar Rodolfo, which interests me.

            • Yige Li

              Sorry I cannot help. (I don’t even know where was the Cincinnati Boheme broadcasted…)

            • Donna Annina

              Dearest Bets7, he was quite good when we saw him. But absolutely no chemistry between him and Cabell. For our money, the best thing about it was Langree’s conducting.

            • Betsy_Ann_Bobolink

              Cabell seems not in synch with her promise.

            • Donna Annina

              She was quite good as Donna Anna two years back. But she was miscast as Rosalinda in last year’s Fledermaus and then again as Mimi.
              Sigh.

            • CCorwinNYC

              Donna Elvira maybe?

            • Donna Annina

              Oops, sorry. She did that well too!

        • Yige Li

          Also, where did you hear the Opolais/Angelica thing? I just checked future MET wiki and it’s still listed as “Heroines: Kristine Opolais”, which had been long rumored that she would take on the hat trick of playing all 3 leads but has been questionable since the news of she dropped (or “was dropped”) from the “Tosca” this season.

          And another (unrelated) thing about future MET wiki is that it seems the JDF freak fan is coming back. In 18/19, he is listed as Alfredo in Traviata new production, Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, AND Don Ottavio in Giovanni. Would anyone believe it?

          • Antikitschychick

            Oh you’re right. Sorry I guess I got confused. Maybe Mel is going to sing one performance plus the cover like she did with Nabucco. Or perhaps Opolais won’t be singing it after all. Either way time will tell.

            • Yige Li

              At least, it means the plan of Trittico isn’t dropped.

        • Porgy Amor

          Opolais is slated to sing the heroines in Suor Angelica

          Another thing I’ll believe when I see it. I think the Tosca situation served notice that all those eggs have been transferred to other baskets. The blind items here (two of them) during the 2015-16 season, the critical cold-shouldering, et cetera.

          • Antikitschychick

            That was a mistake on my part. Although I could have sworn I saw her listed for that opera, I don’t see it now so I’m just going to delete that from my previous comment.

          • Nelly della Vittoria

            I know we’re not supposed to like her, but it’s a little chilling, isn’t it, the silent turning of unseen wheels that’s maybe(?) whisked her out of sight and out of mind?

            • Kullervo

              She’ll be back. It’s fine. She’s probably booked through 2022. I’d hold off before assuming the worst.

            • Nelly della Vittoria

              Of course, if her vocal estate worsens, it might be assuming the worst to think she’ll be back and stay till 2022, but yes, I see what you mean.

  • Camille

    Also,
    Is Oliver von Dohnányi the son of Anja Silja and Christoph? Nice to think the family line of business continues on.

  • Dharmabray

    As it’s featuring JK’s Dick, assume the score will be presented uncut?

  • CKurwenal

    It seems so unlikely that he’d do a new production, after what he has said in the past about preferring revivals if travel is involved.

    • Porgy Amor

      Not that he showed up for his last scheduled revival in New York either.

      But, you know…if this report is accurate at all, I think he’ll do this. He isn’t stupid. He knows which way the wind is blowing. The hardships of several weeks in luxury accommodations in New York might be worth enduring to keep from burning a bridge that’s become very rickety over four years.

  • Satisfied

    Salzburg Festival 2018 has been announced, and sadly, no Anna in the Queen of Spades. Casting is across the board on the skimpy side this year, and the biggest artists are appearing for concerts only. With that said, the season offers a bevy of interesting directors and the welcome return of Carydis to Mozart in Salzburg!

    http://operawire.com/placido-domingo-jonas-kaufmann-cecilia-bartoli-headline-salzburg-festival/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/08/arts/music/henze-the-bassarids-salzburg-festival.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

  • Cara Speme

    Oh La Cieca, you have such a way with words. I can hardly wait to see Jonas’ Johnson.

    • Cara Speme

      Oh darn.. I meant HEAR…not SEE. What was I thinking?

  • QuantoPainyFakor

    That photo of Kaufmann bears a resemblance to Harpo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEK5SODA72k

  • Porgy Amor

    What, we aren’t even going to speculate on the Rance? “Blind item: There’s a new sheriff in town, and he looks like a bandit from yesteryear! Some peaceful afternoon, look for confirmation that a durable Met star will kick off his golden season by slipping the noose around a successor’s neck.” (Nah. Or maybe.)

    • Camille

      Oh no--
      Pládo strikes gold with the Girl, AGAIN?

      • QuantoPainyFakor

        Very doubtful. He does not like to play the villain.

        • Porgy Amor

          Rance is no more (and I’d say less) villainous than Count di Luna, which Domingo did sing in Berlin and Salzburg. That was one of his two least congenial baritone roles, vocally, the other being Ernani‘s Don Carlo.

        • Camille

          He will be singing Macbeth soon, and he certainly is not a hero in any typical sense; a protagonist role, surely, but would anti-hero do?

          Yes, probably Porgy was just having a bit of nudging fun, and that’s all!

    • Oh dear. Bari-Domingo does have a particular penchant for taking on baritone roles in operas where he once excelled in the tenor part. So, this is not at all surprising. Thoroughly depressing if true. Rance is a role in which I really want to dark, robust baritone sound.

      • Porgy Amor

        I was just musing, and getting creative with the form. That isn’t a “real” blind item.

        • Geez, Porgy, throw me for a loop, why don’t ya? Actually, I was wondering why I couldn’t remember this particular blind item.

      • Delmonaco

        I agree ( my favourite Rance is Tito Gobbi in the Scala live recordings). It would be sort of interesting though to see Jonas and Domingo facing off on the stage, since Domingo was once considered the great Dick of his generation. I was reminded that in 1962 Domingo sang Cassio to Mario Del Monaco’s Otello ( Ramon Vinay was supposed to sing Iago in those performances so there was almost the three most celebrated Otellos of the century on stage at the same time)

    • fletcher

      One would hope, these days, that he’d have enough self-awareness to avoid a role with a stage direction like “l’abbraccia violentemente e la bacia”.