Cher Public

All my Edgardos

A friend of mine tells a story: it’s 1951 and he’s waiting at the stage door of the Old Met after a matinee of Rosenkavalier. The woman in front of him says to Helen Traubel as she emerges “Oh, Madame Traubel, it was such lovely music!” and Traubel thanks her. The Octavian, let’s say Jarmila Novotna (because it’s fun to say!) comes out, and the same thing happens.

Finally, Erna Berger makes her way to the door and the woman says “why, it was such lovely music!”

Berger dryly responds, “No, lady. It was not.”   Read more »

La vita e Club Inferno

O Nomi tutelarAh, dear Giuseppe Verdi and his masterpiece La forza del destino! Truly, this is a work with everything: romance, tragedy, religion, revenge, coincidence, mistaken identity, monks of varying dispositions and even an annoying gypsy vivandière. So what, you might ask, might a middle-of-the-road middlebrow stage director imagine would enhance this monumental chef-d’oeuvre?

Well, if you’re Francesca Zambello, the answer is easy: “More pole dancers!” Read more »