La Cieca’s on vacation this week, but here’s something to watch until she returns.
This entry was posted on April 23, 2006 at 3:42 am and is filed under youtube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
116 Responses to “Idomeneo Jacket”
ROTFLMAO! I could do without the special effects person, but that fellow Wolfgang sure wrote some great music for the soundtrack! 🙂
Oh, and speaking of Grubernova and a recent discussion on the high price on her recordings of the Three Queens operas, a copy of her Roberto Deveruax just became available on e-bay for about 5 bucks plus shipping.
Baritenor….Sutherland is in a dvd version of the opera from an Opera Australia production in 1983. She at least waited to the end of her career to tackle this role. As far as cd’s go…..she has recorded the arias and I’m pretty certain the entire role but I cannot remember the label. Probably Decca.
it’s quite unmistakably Edita in the strait-jacket video. the ‘despair’ and ‘urgency’ in the timbre (especially when she sustains high notes), wonderful edgy tone, school-girl sounding lower register and the crazy sssssssss consonant sounds. hehehe.
la divina due, which dvd ‘of the opera’ did you mean Joanie is in?
Sorry but I don’t understand how anyone can mistake Sutherland for anyone else or vice versa- Joannie rules!! Today I turned on the radio to hear some hopeful attempting the Leibestodt – it was a reasonable attempt but no where near the class of a Birgit and others. I was interested to hear later it was actually one Cheryll Studer. With a lot more work I’m sure she’ll do very well one day. 🙂
Well, no matter what one thinks of her artistry, it’s no secret that Cheryl Studer is no Isolde. Not that that’s a bad thing. Her’s is a basically lyric voice that she had to strech to sing the lyric Wagner roles…sing them very well in her prime, might I add. But a Cheryl Studer Isolde is like a Nathan Gunn Rigoletto, not going to happen
Yes, il stupendo, Joan only sang the role once, and it is preserved on a very hard to find live recording. And I know I come very late into this whole discussion, but there’s no way I would ever mistake Edita for Joan on that recording, but I am a long-time Joan fan. And yes, it is from the complete Pritchard recording with the great Popp and Pavarotti, and even Nucci singing all those high notes as Arbace (he sounds like young Domingo up there).
I think I’ll find a way to play this clip in the club where I sling drinks. It would be a smashing (or chopping?) hit (whack?)! Reminds me of some of the other Frankensteined videos I’ve seen played in the clubs (Mommie Dearest set to Mama Mia or that fabulous Serial Mom patch-job).
Il Stupendo: Love your idea regarding use of Mme. Davis’ “Dead Ringer” and “The Star”; and rather than Bartoli for the Vivaldi, I would cast my vote for Mr. Jaroussky. 🙂
true studer is a good artist … within her ‘fach’ and she did make some great recordings. but i wonder why we need to have all those reviews of obscure spanish song recitals etc etc. i wont diminish her artistry but i think she doesnt need to be brought up in every other blog. ditto to renee bashing. but hey throw some opera fanatics together and the hanbags start flying….
Yours truly posted the Spanish review as a reminder that the artist is still very much with us. Just so you know, that recital was a rescheduled appearance after the original date in Nov. or Dec. of 2005 had to be cancelled following a minor stroke suffered by Studer a day or two prior to the performance. Had you known this detail you would have been happy to encounter the goddamn review, perhaps.
You have excellent taste il stupendo – would be an honour to serve.
I’ve been a Joannie groupie even before I found out the terrible news about Santa Claus. (Not being a name dropper – but) when I made the admission to la Joan, she laughed and said “oh there are quite a few of you, I can assure you…”
You’ve probably seen the video of her and La Marilyn in the concert they did in the Sydney Opera House about 20 years ago – it was a stunning night! (Lord was it 20 years?) – and Marilyn was in great form – like you, I’d wash her feet and dry it with my hair!! Peace to you oh sister! 🙂
At the risk of further derailing this topic… My first experience with Cheryl Studer was this DG recording of Le Nozze di Figaro with Bartoli as Cherubino. She sang the Countess in that recording, and I was not very impressed. Though, now I’ve come to realize that she probably made that recording past her prime, so it might not be fair to judge her by that. Also, I’ve been hearing many good things about her Straussian roles. I have to admit I’m skeptical about her, but is it worth giving her a chance? So many people praise her Salome, but I’m solidly in the Rysanek camp (I’m in the process of buying every recording with her name on it! — speaking of which, what do you guys think of her German Aida on Myto?). Thoughts?
The Studer Figaro Countess for Abbado and DGG is excellent and fascinating. She is wonderful in the role. In fact, a much underappreciated recording. She can also be seen as the Countess in the Sony video (on VHS, not available on CD), also w Abbado but with a different cast. Again, she is exceptional. As for Rysanek, well, no more flawed singer exists and she made an art of pandering to camp. And so a camp icon she remains. Rysanek was no aristocrat and, in fact, came from a hardcore blue/collar family. Her hardness reflects this and she never sought to overcome this. But she wasn’t stupid and she used all that crass working/class stuff to her advantage. After all, many if not most of her fans came from the same piece of cloth and there you have the strong bond/identity factor. On purely vocal and interpretive terms, she is not much other than the occasional and much valued (because so campy) Geschrei. The Rysanek Aida? Phooey. Avoid like the plague.
daniel, it has been exactly 20 years since that gala concert was in 1986.
you must have been blessed all over to hear Joanie’s school-girl laugh. 🙂 once, i dreamt of Joanie, Hornie, and Montsie (my top favourites) giving a 3 sopranos concert. it was just a dream but it was a fabulous one!
Is it futial to bash every artist we on this board prefer in a certain role to Ms. Studer. I have no quarrel with fans of either the Rysanek or Studer Salomes, both of which are exceedingly fine. My favorite Salome: Ljuba Weltisch. I have a bootleg of a Met performance conducted by Fritz Reiner and starring Hans Hotter where she is just on fire.
il stupendo I have wondered for years why there was no female counter performance to the 3 Tenors. Your suggested trio would have been wonderful indeed.
Unfortunately with the retirements and passing of most of the greats of yesteryear it is hard to imagine any concert with any three of today’s female singers that could come anywhere near to generating the same excitement.
I suppose I’d start a flame war if I suggested a threesome of Bartolli, Rennay and Jessye 🙂
isnt it weird how marschallin can only praise studer while slagging another singer off? as i said before, studer was good and i do like her wagner and strauss (her senta is quite good indeed) but her singing per se i find not memorable (maybe her kaiserin in frosch and her salome apart), as it had a certain synthesized quality to it, which sometimes bothers me. i do know the figaro countess under abbado and as much as i tried, i just dont warm to it. the sound is a bit tremulous and even though i cant really fault her singing in that role as such, it does not touch me.
on the salome count, welitsch indeed was from her voice and temperament the ideal salome…
Welitsch and Rysanek were and still are the greatest interpreters of Salome ever. the Welitsch-Reiner performance from 1949 is still the standard that others hope to reach. Rysanek is the only other Salome to have the same intensity or understanding of the part. I also am very fond of the Stratas film, though I realize she probably could not have pulled it off in an opera house. Finally the best way to deal with some demented queen’s fetish for a mediocre studio voice form the nineties is to just ignore her rantings.
Yours truly deplores ignorance and loves reviews that support her cause. Oh well, I’m only human. With all the talk here about the off/topic Leonie Rysanek, why not go along on that same vein? At least yours truly writes about the living. I thought I’d share another review of dear Cheryl Studer’s last appearance in the USA, which I am sure so many of you knew about, right? In late 2003, Studer was heard in St. Louis singing Sieglinde (the whole of Act I) and Isolde’s Liebestod.
“St. Louis Post-Dispatch” 16 November 2003 by Sarah Bryan Miller
“St. Louis is a lovely place to live, but for some of us it has one severe drawback: There’s no grand opera. In particular, there is no Wagnerian opera. This is a hardship.
That shortcoming was addressed this weekend at Powell Hall, when the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra imported three international-class Wagnerians, stoked up the orchestra and gave the audience a full measure of glorious music: the complete first act of Wagner’s “Die Walkure,” the Prelude and “Liebestod” from “Tristan und Isolde” and three instrumental selections from the “Ring,” all conducted by Asher Fisch.
To its credit, the Symphony’s administration didn’t stint on the singers. Chief among Friday evening’s pleasures was renowned soprano Cheryl Studer, doing double duty as Sieglinde and Isolde, and singing gloriously as both. Studer doesn’t perform often in this country, which made it a special treat to hear her as her big, burnished voice rose over the augmented orchestra. It was an exemplary performance, flawlessly sung.
Tenor Mark Baker, although planted in an infelicitous spot (the sweet spot for singers at Powell is just to the house right side of the podium), was well matched as her Siegmund, singing heroically as required by the composer. Although he was occasionally swamped by the orchestra, particularly in the “Wintersturme,” he never pushed and never sounded strained.
Bass Eric Halfvarson brought a voice as dark and rich as premium chocolate to the role of Hunding, and filled the hall effortlessly. Menacing from the moment he stepped on stage, he was an paradigm of effective, understated villainy, creating a complete character without any of the usual assists of wig, costume and makeup.
Fisch, while not an ideal Wagnerian, did a creditable job. He rushed the beginnings of the lyrical passages in “Walkure,” and his “Ride of the Valkyries” had some trouble getting off the ground. The “Tristan,” on the other hand, was lovely. The “Ride” loses a lot musically without its singers, but one can hardly expect the Symphony to bring in a girls’ glee for one short piece. “Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” (strangely missing the first part of its name on the title page and the first part of its story in the program notes) wasn’t as crisp in its final bars as it should have been but did benefit from principal horn Jennifer Montone’s offstage solo, the best live rendition I’ve ever heard.
At the conclusion of the three instrumental pieces, Fisch gave solo bows to a number of the principals, including, most deservedly, trumpet Susan Slaughter. But principal timpani Richard Holmes should have received one, too; his part is crucial. Oboist Lisa Lalev’s solos in “Tristan” were lovely.
The bass trumpet seemed (to judge by evidence both audible and visible) to be giving principal trombone Timothy Myers a hard time. But the augmented orchestra (complete with Wagner tubas) played outstandingly overall, from the sweetest moments to the biggest. It was an evening to cherish.”
Thanks Il Stupendo – we somehow missed that trio “downunder” but I have the Reims Rossini on video and of course love it.
Paddypig- re “feral demented queens” of course you are right. As my old Grandad used to say- “You wouldn’t go into an assylum to argue with them would you?” 🙂
I’m also glad you mentioned the Stratas Salome film. It has to be one of the best opera films ever- everything’s good about it and Stratas is nothing short of sensational. Her physical “change” throughout from “girl to demon” I’ve never seen done better. As for the Dance of the Seven Veils, it is utterly convincing- a great change from the awkward gyrations so often a feature of stage productions. In fact, once you’ve seen this production- it is almost impossible to watch any other presentation and be totally satisfied. To my mind it’s almost definitive.
Of course I wish I had been around to see Lubja Welitsch, who was by all accounts a sensational Salome. With the recordings of her, it is not hard to imagine why- that steely tone, once heard, cannot easily be forgotten.
I see that a certain Mr. Wotan of Kansas City, Missouri slobbered about a pig called paddy. If Mr. Wotan was in the vicinity of St. Louis in mid November of 2003, would he care to comment about the two Studer concerts at Powell Hall? Or maybe he knows someone who was there?
Incidently there is a short video clip of Welitsch’s final scene (probably news footage) at the MET on the I LIVE FOR ART video about Tosca and the different divas who have performed Tosca- it is a fun video, includes clips of Rysanek, Tebaldi, Vishnevskaya, Bumbry, Caballe, Turner, Te kanawa and Crespin.
If you want to explore more of Welitsch her AIDA from the MET (1950) is quite good and you can also find a complete BALLO from the UK and DonGiovanni with her. A very short career, but WOW.Incidently the 1952 Salome is not quite in the same league as the 1949 performance, there is a reason this performance is legendary. It was available on Melodram years ago, is currently available on GUILD out of Canada with the Gianni Schicchi with Tajo and Albanese that was performed with it that evening. Salome was usually presented as part of a double bill with Gianni Schicchi
I said before that I thought that marschallin came off as someone on death row who had internet access, but I’ve changed my mind. I’m now sure she is suffering from OCD and needs to have her meds adjusted.
The sad part is, I have a few Studer recordings which I used to enjoy. But, it’s a little hard for me to approach them now since I’ve had her crammed down my throat.
irenedadler-the rysanek AIDA from germany is wonderful as is the early TOSCA from germany with Hopf. If you are looking for great Rysanek performances some of the following are my favorites: FIDELIO -met 1970 with Vickers and Bohm (Melodram) (identified as San Francisco Elektra with VARNAY from 53 (GALA) AIDA from SF with Vickers and Dalis any and all Salome’s (I have 6) Cavalleria with Domingo ( a real hot performance) Any and all FRAU performances – The first MET Ariadne or the Chicago ARIADNE, the studio recording is wonderful also THE CLASSIC WALKURE with Bohm and Nilsson -the scream is famous. MACBETH from the MET 59 Don CARLO with Corelli, 1964 Don Carlo from the MET with Gari- I am sure others can add their favorites to this list. The only performance not worth getting is the house tape of TOSCA from the MET with Tucker (on MELODRAM), the sound is so awful it is hard to appreciate the performance Rysanek was originally suppose to be in the Solti AIDA with Vickers and Rita Gorr, but an argument with Solti led to her withdrawal and Leontyne Price replaced her.
This is making me sick….how can marschallin even begin to say that studer is superior to rysanek???? In almost every way, rysanek is superior: acting, power, interpretation, timbre etc. I’m not even that big a fan of rysanek, but i can certainly appreciate her greatness as leonore, salome, lady macbeth, etc. Studer, i’m sorry, is just plain awful in many of her recordings. I have tried hard to like her, but after hearing her gilda, lucia and la traviata, i feel that there is no hope. I can’t help but feeling bored to death by what i can only call the most sterile voice i have ever heard. She seems much more credible and comfortable within her fach (strauss, wagner), however there are about half a dozen sopranos i would place before her even in her most notable roles.
baritenor- the three “sopranos” was Scotto, Obratsova, and Cotrubas, three grand old dames toward the end of their singing careers in great form. I think it is from 1989. It is available on DVD. We don’t have to push Scotto down peoples throats, she, like Rysanek (two of my all time favorites) was a great artist and her artistry speaks for itself, she doesn’t need a blog terrorist pushing her wares.You have to do the hardsell on a mediocre product!
What entertainment this all is (at risk of “slobbering”)!
Listening to a most impressive “celebration” of Janet Baker on BBC 3 right now – anyone else listening?
Regarding Rysanek (nice little bit of alliteration that), I would love to obtain a complete video/DVD of the Rysanek/Jones Elektra from which a clip was posted by our La Cieca on the Google Video site: Elektra Clip Anyone know whether or not it is available? Can’t seem to find info. on its existence. Also – anyone know the details regarding this performance (venue, year, conductor, etc.)?
Further evidence of a completely untrustworthy ear. Rysanek nearly always went sharp.
“Saying she sang sharp is like saying she sang Strauss.”
And who the f*** is marschallin to complain about Rysanek’s intonation when Studer goes all over the place? Just listen to the first few phrases of her “Der Hölle Rache” or any of “Caro nome.” And butt-ugly sound? Just consult “Caro nome” again. Holy goat vibrato, Batman!
as marschallin wants to make every blog about studer … why dont we all just diregard it and only refer to her as ‘the american soprano’ … similar as actors only refer to shakespeares macbeth as the scottish play as there lies a curse on it! that would save us some grieve…
similar to julienned i have some recordings of the american soprano that i dont think are bad but with all of marschallins ranting i dont want to listen to them again. and i agree with scifisci as well.
so lets put the topic to rest and not mention the american soprano again, unless there is reason for it
and as we were talking rysanek recordings … there is a live ELEKTRA from the met (25 march 1961) with her and inge borkh. and boy, that is what i call drama! incidently the rest of the cast is more than worth mentioning as well (jean madeira, hermann uhde and ramon vinay).
incidently the solti aida wasnt the only recording that rysanek dropped out of or was associated with for a while. she was supposed to be donna anna under krips (danco took over) – in any case rysanek never considered herself a good mozart singer, claiming she neither had the voice nor the singing style for his roles – sieglinde under leinsdorf (brouwenstijn stepped in) and rosalinde under karajan (in the end the role went to gueden).
what about her desdemona under serafin, paddypig? it is not a typical desdemona voice but she makes so much of the role – i have always been very partial to that recording….
Thanks for the recommendations 🙂 I recently got Bohm’s 1977 FroSch with Rysanek/Nilsson (the one that’s pieced together from a bunch of radio broadcasts of live performances). I’m not really satisfied with it, so I was thinking about getting either the 1955 live version on Orfeo or the studio recording on Decca. Does anyone know these recordings and could offer me some insight? I can’t find any sound clips or anything on either recording 😦
In a similar vein, does anyone have her Aegyptische Helena on Opera d’Oro and Orfeo? The Amazon reviews say that the d’Oro version is actually has better sound than the Orfeo, but god only knows how reliable those are Again, I can’t find any sound clips 😛
btw, paddypig, I can’t find any studio Ariadnes that have Rysanek… In fact, I can’t find any recordings of Ariadne with her at all! Are they out of print? Or only available in Europe? If you could post a link to one, that would be awesome, b/c I really like that opera and would love to have a recording with Rysanek 🙂 (also, how on earth do you have 6 Salomes? I only know of 2 recorded performances with her in the title role — one with Bohm and one with Kempe).
I too admire Rysanek. I can’t say she has a sound that I instantly took to, but God, you just can’t help but be moved by the intensity, the integrity and the committment of her performances. I am always moved beyond belief at the way she truely inhabits a character.
As far as Electra, I also like Inge Borkh. I have a recording from a concert at Carnegie Hall with her, Frances Yeend, Madiera, and Metropolous conduction. It is a concert version and just terrific. I especially like Frances Yeend. It’s so good to hear that part sung by someone with an unending top.
At the risk of becoming tiresome with my questions: anyone know anything about Rysanek’s Tannhauser on Melodram?
anyway, picking up on Daniel’s suggestion of “The 3 Sopranos” and pretending that Tibor Ruda’s pathetic attempt in the 90s never took place… I’d have to say, based on hype, the 3 Sopranos of today would be Fleming, Netrebko, and Gheorghiu. They seem to be the 3 “hottest” sopranos of this generation (discounting Bartoli since she’s technically a mezzo). Though, I have to say, none of them deserve the distinction quite to the degree that the 3 Tenors did (whatever their merits now, they all were beyond amazing in their prime).
The Video has French Subtitles and the production is a bit stark for my taste, but It’s great to have evidence of the three great singers in the roles (Anne Evans is the Chrysothemis and burns up the stage). And, with this video, I now own Ms. Rysanek singing all three of the leading roles on Video. My Favorite: Her Elektra in the Friedrich film. Fantastic. Why the hell was that Soundtrack never realesed as an Audio Recording? Rysanek and Varnay are fantastic, and Catarina Liegendza, the Chrysothemis,sings beautifully. And, of course, It’s extremely valuable to hear Bohm’s last thoughts on the score.
I love that Elektra of Rysanek’s on video. The scene with Varnay is too much to be believed.
I also own the Elektra you mentioned from House of Opera. I haven’t watched it for a while, but remember really liking it. Rysanek is of course quite good, and Jones is very exciting, although in a few places, she is singing at the very limits of what her voice can deliver (if you can imagine it.)
paddypig- isn’t that Tosca video wonderful? Unfortunately of late it’s almost become a “dead file” as there are only a few left standing – but I never tire of watching it.
With regard to Leonie Rysanek- to me she is one who was always so darn real in voice and hystionics! Love the Salome clip of her banging her fists in frustration.
To anyone who doubts her abilities I can only refer them to the recording of her and Leonard Warren in Macbeth – exceptionally good.
The charges that she “always sang sharp” is crap – but I must mention that years ago I bought a record of Monstie doing Verdi and Puccini arias. When I played it I couldn’t believe she seemed to be under every note so I put the record away. Some time later a friend of mind who is a bit of a techno head discovered my turntable belt was ever so slightly stretched/worn and was thereby distorting the sound ever so slightly. When a new belt was put on – Montsie sounded as awesome as I expected her to be.
I also have a recording of Debbie Reynolds in concert on video and on it she sounds as flat as a tack all the way through. Sure no turntable belt is at fault here but its very clear that something technical is certainly at fault. in the recording.
These examples have brought home to me, particularly where sound technics and technology of yesteryear is concerned, that sometimes something was amiss that made it seem like the artist was at fault. It may not always be so!
True enough, daniel–particularly with as powerful a voice as Rysaneks. Oh, and I must mention–I’m a fan. I love her Desdemona, and she’s my second favorite Salome (my favorite is Mattila–that broadcast was staggering!). And Salome’s one of my very favorite operas–when asked, it’s what I pick, at least.
Say what you will, cry as you might, bitch all you want but dear beloved Leonie’s career was riddled with severe pitch problems. This is a well-known FACT. No number of campy Geschreis or fistings can redeem this sad aspect of her high/camp art. Now, if you’d like to watch a staggering video of Elektra you may do so while witnessing extraordinary living singers. For instance
Chrysothemis: Cheryl Studer Elektra: Eva Marton Klytämnestra: Brigitte Fassbaender Aegisth: James King Orest: Franz Grundheber Orestes’ Tutor: Goran Simio The Confidante: Waltraud Winsauer The Train-bearer: Noriko Sasaki A young serving man: Wilfried Gahmlich An old serving man: Claudio Otelli The Overseer: Gabriele Lechner 1st serving woman: Margarita Lilowa 2nd serving woman: Gabriele Sima 3rd serving woman: Margaretha Hintermeier 4th serving woman: Brigitte Poschner-Klebel 5th serving woman: Joanna Borowska
Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Live recording: Vienna Staatsoper Saturday 10 June 1989 Stage Director: Harry Kupfer Video Director: Brian Large
Don’t buy the house of opera version of Elektra, both Encore (available through Berkshire music outlet, and Premiere do much better jobs with these videos) I used to buy alot from House of Opera but have found the quality is much better from Premiere or Berkshire’s ENCORE line. rysanek recorded Ariadne for RCA with Jurinac, Peerce and Roberta Peters, It is available on DECCA, If you are in NEW YORK, Academy had a live ARIADNE available. The Chicago performance I taped off the radio myself in 1981 when it was broadcast. I also like the Desdemona, she and Vickers were replacements for De Los Angeles and Bjorling. Vickers had not sung Otello yet.
Also forgot to mention the BALLO with Rysanek, Bergonzi and Merrill from the MET, available on numerous labels. It is a real hot performance also. Many of these performances that are not avialable for sale in the USA can be purchased from Crotchet Music Service in the UK or through GUILD in Canada (Crotchet is best, when You subtract the VAT from the price, the shipping is reasonable and I have received most orders wtih two weeks.)
A few items. No, Marschallin is not Cheryl Studer. The latter has more class than anything yours truly could ever summon.
The only recording by Leonie that yours truly enjoys is her early one of Verdi arias for RCA. She was stunning. But this is before her well/known vocal crisis crept in, I believe.
As for Leonie’s Desdemona, well, it is an inglorious match and one has to wonder what in heavens was the casting department thinking of. Avoid as you would the avian virus.
Now, for you urban, open/minded, international prissies out there, be grateful that a really nice Otello exists from a German conglomerate with a French orchestra, a Korean conductor, a Spanish tenor and an American soprano. It is awesome.
I’ve heard Birgit’s studio recording with Solti, but I’m not a fan. I’m not sure she sounds quite right for the role. The main problem I have is with her final scene: “Ach, ich habe deinen Mund geküßt, Jokanaan!” The first time she utters these famous lines (and then the following ones, talking about the bitter taste, and all), she does the whispery / scared voice. Now, Nilsson is trying to show how the character is terrified of what she’s become (or…kind of already was), but I don’t think this is how Salome operates. What Salome does is puts on a façade and acts tough and bratty–which exposes her vulnerability most truly. Well, that’s my take, anyway. I won’t say Nilsson’s interpretation isn’t valid–it’s just not my view of the character.
Paddy — I’ve done some more investigation and I’ve found that Decca recording… sort of. Apparently it’s been out of print for ages, and the only copies of that recording I’ve found are old LPs 😦
I just got her Lohengrin in the mail yesterday and it was just stupendous. I was really lucky there was a used copy up for sale on Amazon 🙂 And I really lucked out with her Elektra with Nilsson, Resnik, and Bohm on Standing Room Only, another recording that has been out of print for ages.
P.S. Baryton, if marschallin annoys you, just don’t read her posts. Luckily, you see the poster’s username before you see what they said, so just stay away from posts that begin with “marschallin said…”
Brett- as cute as you are I would like to say one thing to you- as wonderful as Salome is on records it is a theatre peice and until you hear these artists in the theatre you cannot make a judgement. The reason Nilsson is so RIGHT is because she could sing it in the theatre. If you have ever sat through a performance of Salome with an artist who couldn’t cut the mustard the you would understand whatI mean. The stage and the microphone are two totally different mediums.
“The stage and the microphone are two totally different mediums.”
Leontyne Price should be the first one to tell you that. Ya know, a lyric hyper/advertised as a Verdi soprano blah blah blah. In the house, though, it was different story. She sounds good on records, sometimes. But how dull.
Uh… I saw Ms. Studer in St. Louis when she sang Act 1 of “Die Walkure” (was that really three years ago?).
I must say that she was really fantastic. She seems to have gotten over her “vocal crisis” or whatever it was. I must say that I really do appreciate her singing. Her “Faust” was my first operatic love affair!
The only thing that marred her performance was the fact that she was as big as a house, and dressed in what La Cieca would certainly refer to as a “No Gay Friends” outfit.
But really, I was extremely pleased that she sang so well.
Point taken, leontyneluvr. Being the young’n I am, I must unfortunately rely heavily on recordings. So, lamentably enough, that’s what I have to go by. I will never hear Birgit Nilsson live. Still, I don’t see why her interpretation would have to be different with a microphone in front of her face–unless Solti was really wanting to show off the recorded sound quality. Oh, and incidentally, Birgit’s my top pick for Elektra. I *shields self* like it better than most of her Wagner. But yes, the recorded voice (for dramatics, especially) is an entirely different animal. So there’s only so much I can trust…
apparently in the solti/nilsson recording of salome, they used the whisper as an effect….its different in her live recording, i.e. buenos aires. but for some singers its true that recordings and stage interpretation were two very different things, such as rysanek, and dare i say…studer. rysanek’s voice was not only too big to capture, but she apparently was incredibly nervous in recordings and thus did relatively few. anyhoo, what exactly does marschallin mean by calling leontyne a “hyped up lyric” or whateveR? I would say leontyne was a SOLID verdian soprano with an unusually lyric beauty. Sure she had difficulty pulling off voice-wrecking roles such as minnie from fanciulla, but **almost** NO ONE sings Aida and either Leonoras like she does…especially not a certain american soprano.
I can echo the opinion of Paddypig. The House of Opera recordings are not as well done as those from Premiere.
As for Elektra, I have to say I really hate the recording with Eva Marton. At the risk of bringing down an Eva Marton fan on my head, I find it absolutely paiinful to listen (or watch) her. I heard her in the house (Met) a few times when she was Ok. I liked the timbre of the voice and she seemed secure, if a little wooden on stage (In her defence, she was with a really third rate cast.) However, she developed (to me) a thing that’s a little hard to describe…It’s like she had a top note and whever the line went above that note (which looked painful to produce, judging from her face), you just got her top note…with a terrific wobble. That Elektra is a prime example of it to me. Given all the great recordings (Varnay, Rysanek, Welitsch, Borkh), I don’t see any reason to go to endure Marton’s.
Not 3 years but 2.5. But one is not expected to make mention of performances so ancient.
“St. Louis Post-Dispatch” 16 November 2003 by Sarah Bryan Miller
…”To its credit, the Symphony’s administration didn’t stint on the singers. Chief among Friday evening’s pleasures was renowned soprano Cheryl Studer, doing double duty as Sieglinde and Isolde, and singing gloriously as both. Studer doesn’t perform often in this country, which made it a special treat to hear her as her big, burnished voice rose over the augmented orchestra. It was an exemplary performance, flawlessly sung.”…
as we are not getting reviews twice everytime an american soprano is mentioned let me be mean for once, cos as i share the same operatic character as marschallin (though i do retain my dignity!) for once i will let myself be pulled into sarcasm of a cheap sort: quote -> “Studer doesn’t perform often in this country…” – well actually, she doesnt perform often anywhere anymore!!!
but i shall end on a nice note. mattila was absolutely fabulous on yesterdays met broadcast. pity though that heppners top notes have become such a trial nowadays…
Hi Brett- re Salome- while I respect your right to have a different view, I would suggest there is a lot more going on with that gal than her merely being “bratty and acting tough” – and it might be worth taking a closer look.
Indeed, the whole opera is about her transition into becoming evil personifiedf- that’s why I love the Stratas video so much (because you can see it happening)and it is done so well.
As leontynelover so rightly said- it is one opera you’ve really got to see, perhaps, to appreciate. Funny you should mention Birgit’s “whispery aside”. I have always thought that to be particularly brilliant about her interpretation, because even she senses she has “crossed a significant line”. Don’t forget, early in the piece Herod even offers to make her his queen – 90 minutes later he is so revolted he has her squashed!
Yes my friend- she’s way more than just bratty! 🙂 Take another look at it sometime, or better still- take a look at the Stratas video and you’ll actually see her change before your eyes, from awkward but sexy young gal to demented personification of evil.
When/if this makes more sense to you, I’m sure you’ll see Birgit’s interpretation in a much more positive light. Good luck to you!
Like Hab Mir’s Gelobt, I heard the broadcast, and Mattila did sound fabulous. I feel so sorry for Ben Hepner though. It’s gotten so difficult to listen to him sing. His voice has gotten so unreliable, I’m constantly holding my breath whenever he opens his mouth. The bad part (and I’m not a singer, so I don’t know the technical reason for it), is that the cracking (gurgling) seems to come out of nowhere and is completely unpredictable. When I’ve heard him in the house, it was the same. I really like him as an artist and a singer, and so it’s sad. I can’t imagine how he’s going to be able to the roles he’s in line to do over the next few seasons.
I guess the question is (and maybe one of the singers can answer this), is this the end of the road for his voice?
I agree with the above about the “Lohengrin,” or “LohinnGREEEN” as the announcer kept telling us.
Mattila was great. Pape was great. But after the first cracked note from Heppner, I didn’t want him to sing anymore. After the second cracked note, I was shocked and just wanted the performance over with. And this man is going to sing Siegfried in a few years? Fink and DeVol were merely serviceable. The final curtain calls were certainly enthusiastic.
Nothing we heard yesterday, nothing, comes remotely close to the following legendary performances of this work. Not the aging/sagging/flat/dull/colorless/mediocre/anonymous-sounding but blonde aryan Mattila, not the disastrous Heppner, not the vile DeVol. Remember the Alamo.
Elsa von Brabant: Cheryl Studer Heinrich der Vogler, King of the Germans: Manfred Schenk Lohengrin: Paul Frey Friedrich von Telramund: Ekkehard Wlaschiha Ortrud: Gabriele Schnaut The King’s Herald: Eike Wilm Schulte Four Brabantian nobles: Clemens Bieber, Peter Maus, Robert Riener, Heinz-Klaus Ecker Four pages: Rachel Robins, Natsue von Stegmann, Katalin Benei, Akiko Makiyama Noblewomen: Sarah Fulgoni, Helen Lawson, Martina Beier, Kristina Gloge, Kriemhild Strettner, Isolde Claassen, Yehudit Silcher, Philippa Thomson Bayreuth Festival Orchestra & Chorus Chorus Master: Norbert Balatsch Conductor: Peter Schneider Recording: Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, June 1990 Philips 434 602-2
Elsa von Brabant: Cheryl Studer Heinrich der Vogler, King of the Germans: Kurt Moll Lohengrin: Siegfried Jerusalem Friedrich von Telramund: Hartmut Welker Ortrud: Waltraud Meier The King’s Herald: Andreas Schmidt Four Brabantian nobles: Bojidar Nikolov, Franz Kasemann, Claudio Otelli, Peter Köves Four pages: Amy-Linda Domaracki, Ingrid Sieghart, Senta Fischer, Elisabeth Mach Four Ladies-in-waiting: Renate Hasler, Gretchen Eder, Ulrike Erfurt, Marianne Sattmann Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsoperchor Wiener Philharmoniker, Conductor: Claudio Abbado Recording: Vienna, Musikverein, Großer Saal November 1991, May-June 1992 DG 437 808-2
Elsa: Cheryl Studer Lohengrin: Plácido Domingo Telramund: Hartmut Welker Ortrud: Dunja Vejzovic King Heinrich: Robert Lloyd Herald: Georg Tichy Vienna State Opera, Conductor: Claudio Abbado Virgins Classics VVD 841 (VHS Hi-Fi) (220 mins.) Home Vision 833-9659, VHS 2 cass., 219 mins. Hi-Fi stereo. In German, subtitled (1990) Video Opera House LOH 02V (2 VHS) (USA) Pioneer PLMCD 00011 (Laserdisc) (219 mins.) Polygram 079 258-3 VHS (04/1996)
oh there we go again. speaking of ‘aging’ though … mattila is still at least 25 years younger than a certain american soprano (we could also call her botox voice – as for the lack of personality – for whomever the term american soprano is too broad) and probably about a quarter of her weight as well…
see … as i said before, marschallin can only praise botox voice when slagging other singers off. what a pity! 😉 and i wonder what his (i assume marschallin is a him … though i might be wrong) idea of ‘legendary’ is?
right now i have been nasty twice in a day. i do apologize and promise that my next blog will be a positive one again!
That’s what happens whenever ANY topic is discussed on this blog….We all get Studered.
I know Marschallin denies being Cheryl Studer, but has anyone seen them together? Or maybe marschallin is in solitary confinement in some eastern European prison and the only thing she has for company is a worn, torn picture of Cheryl Studer glued to the wall above his bed.
I really liked the broadcast. Loved the Intermission features, thought the conducting was excellent. Pape was phenominal, DeVol good, Fink more than servicable, and Mattilia exceeding all expectations. Heppner had some issues, but I loved his phrasing.
Strange. I saw Ben Heppner in Madison this January, and he was fabulous. I couldn’t hear any real problems with his high range. His masterful Prize Song had the necessary ringing high notes–no cracks or evident strain. However, that was in a theater of modest size with a piano; I’m sure contending with a full Romantic orchestra at the cavernous Met is quite another challenge…
And daniel, I didn’t give my entire interpretation of the final scene in two descriptive phrases (which unquestionably play a part in her character and I don’t think are exactly dropped). There is certainly a change after she kisses the head of Jokanaan–an extra layer, if you will. Yes, I may have been slightly rash in saying that’s exactly how she reacts. Still, the libretto supports she still thinks pretty highly of herself, though that could have changed back from how she initially felt after the kissing. There is so much at work in the text and music my claims can carry only so much weight, as I haven’t performed a full-blown holistic analysis (not that I haven’t done any at all). But, to clarify, I never thought the beginning of the final scene was just a bratty façade. I just don’t think she is quite so scareable–or, more accurately, that she expresses any fear so directly.
premiere opera recordings, are usually linked by parterre, but the addresse is premiereopera.com and encore can be found at the berkshirerecordoutlet.com website. (berkshire record outlet) I don’t buy any house of opera recordings anymore, both encore and premiere have been consistently better with premiere edging out encore slightly. I also agree that Marton’s Elektra was nothing memorable compared to say Nilsson, Varnay or Borkh. One of the hottest performance at the MET in recent years was Jones and Rysanek. after Behrens very variable performances (some nights were good others were awful) with Fassbander’s drag queen rendition of Klytemnestra, the fire on stage between Jones and Rysanek was amazing. They both were in great voice. Leontyne was probably the greatest Verdi spinto of her generation, in the tradition of Milanov, someone who could sing the two verdi Leonoras and Aida with style and abundance of voice. They were her best roles. To Brett, get the live Nilsson Salome from the MET 65, you will see a difference. She may not have been a subtle actress, but that voice was incredible. I saw her in the concert she did at the MET in the early eighties and with the orchestra onstage, she still drowned them out at the end of the love duet from Gotterdammerung. (with Mandfred Jung)
I guess the problem is that while I liked Marton and always thought she gave good performances, she never really gave me that sense of electricity that the others do. I saw her give many solid performances but while I always enjoyed them at the time, I rarely listen to her recordings (though I have many). There always seems to be someone else I would rather listen to. While her Turandot was wonderful, I still prefer to listen to any Nilsson recording, or Sutherland’s studio performance or Caballe (live) or Jones (with Stratas), same with Salome, prefer, Rysanek or Welitsch and so on and so forth. She was a great voice but not as memorable as many others for me. I guess, while she was a vocal heavyweight, she rarely brought much refinement or insight into her performances, they could be fun but always a little on the crude side. I felt sorry for her when she came back to the MET several years ago, She did a TURANDOT and there was simply no voice left. She was never strong on the artistic side and really could not cover the lack of voice. She had a major voice but when it was gone she had nothing to offer, unlike singers like soderstrom, or Scotto, or Rysanek who were able to add ten years to their careers doing roles that did not require voices in their prime but relied on artistry to give a great performance. I am really not trying to knock her, but there was always some other singer I felt did the job better.
paddypig, I have the same prblem with (gasp!!)- Nilsson. That Elktra from the Met with ticker-tape and all I can’t (gasps galore) can’t stand–o.k. whip me and beat me into the ground but that is the TRUTH!! God I feel so much better that I’ve told the truth (for me)
Leontyneluvr, that never-ending high b by Caballe was from the last broadcast of the Bing era back in the spring of 1972. Don Carlo with Corelli, Bumbry, Milnes, Siepi and Amara as the Celestial Voice. I have a tape of it and it’s the sort of thing to hear again and again. Unbelievable. I guess it’s not the sort of thing that Mme La Cieca can post here for everyone to enjoy, is it?
Having been at the Met for the Lohengrin matinee, I’ll say that yes, Pape was terrific. What a gorgeous and solid voice.
It was my first viewing of this production and it was uglier and more boring than anything I had anticipated. I’m all for symbolism and playing with lights, etc., but what I saw hit me as neither pretty, nor interesting, nor meaningful. I just have no idea what it was supposed to mean.
Someone seeing Lohengrin for the first time and not reading the Met titles would have had no idea whatsoever of what the opera was about. Probably could not have even told who the characters were.
Interestingly, I heard quite a few people around me say that they loved it. Whey I asked a couple if they knew what it meant, they said that they didn’t know, they just liked it.
At one point, the stage is rather dark and only the hands of the soloists are spotlighted. Afterwards, I asked someone about it and was told that the bad people had their right hands spotlighted and the good people their left hands. That was the most he could figure out. Oh well.
Thanks for the Caballe note- that’s what I miss these days. Just a note on a Price appearance at the Met- word from her camp has it that she has removed herself from all things Metropolitan at this time- not sure if it is a statement on current standards or what but I would be very surprised to see her appearing at any official function