... and I'm still dazed. But what's this silence about? I'm surprised to find so little blognoise and listchat about Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's phenomenal New York City appearance: there's Alex (who's reserving further comment for a New Yorker article in the spring) but no Steve (damn that tummy bug: bad leftover turkey?). Meanwhile, the New York Times spent space on the Boston premiere a few days before, therefore nothing more about the Carnegie Hall visitation. We try to avoid the New York Sun, but would never miss the queen(l)y emanations of its version of "music critic" Jay Nordlinger, who never fails to elicit a laughing WTF from Sieglinde. (On slow blogweeks, Sieglinde promises a dissection of her favorite Nordlinger "reviews." You will die.) Well folks, he was there; he calls Neruda "the bad old communist," characterizes Lieberson's Songs "Romantic in nature, and slightly Latin American," and continues the standup routine by noticing that "the presence of the Spanish language can make virtually any notes sound Hispanic." (OK, you get the picture; I suggest to print out the "review" and save for a sad, rainy day.) Anyway, he liked LHL nonetheless (but does that count?). Meanwhile, another netreview (via ConcertoNet.com: new to me too) was less generous about the husband's work (and the rest of the evening's program of Strauss and Mahler) ... But no substantial Opera-L hysteria? Strange.
Speaking of the Mahler, I'm a (shy) Mahler newbie, and would not dare comment deeply on the non-vocal aspect of Levine's rendition. (I'm quite familiar with much of Mahler's vocal work, however; surprise, surprise.) The hourlong Symphony No. 4 ends with a peppy little soprano solo; we got Heidi Grant Murphy (subbing for Dorothea Röschmann, elsewhere occupied), who tried her best. On this rare occasion I was frighteningly close to the stage (second tier, side) (so I could savor the LHL): during Grant Murphy's solo, I feared for my sisters sitting up in the upper balconies, who may have heard nothing more than two or three top notes. From my dear vantage point, I saw that she mimed her lines through the lower registers with a lot of gusto. Didn't hear much, but I forgive her and the many other aging light/lyric sopranos suffering similarly.
I actually enjoyed the Mahler. [Sidebar: months ago, I asked ionarts's jfl for (among others) non-vocal classical instruction, and he promptly provided me with a starter list of recordings to get me on track. I'm embarrassed to say that I have yet to find the station. So I'm shaming myself in public; let's see if that works. But opera is so f*cking all-consuming (emotionally, temporally, economically) that it's nearly impossible to obsess about anything else. But knowing now that the way to jfl's heart is through Mahler, Sieglinde will drop the Nixon in China temporarily for some sizzling 6th.]
But Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Oh! ... Fleming & Co. hit us with rich glorious goddess beauty, but there are so few vocal artists who approach us as quiet poets too. She is a stunning, stunning treasure.
P.S.. Anyone have an extra playbill program from that evening? In my confused state, I wandered out of Carnegie Hall without my copy. (E-mail me; I will be forever grateful.)
30 November 2005
29 November 2005
Lieberson NERUDA SONGS; Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, 28.11.2005; c. Levine; Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson.
In red, she is the color and sound of cool fire. Everyone else "sings"; on a perpendicular plane of beauty, Lorraine whispers in the spoken, earthbound, miraculous Callas mezzo. In the void, she speaks to you directly; the music falls into place; the event makes sense. Her gray resonance is unique: while other mezzos resonate from the chest outward into space (onto wood and through walls and dense air), her sound resonates from her chest but burrows deeper inside her warm insides: like the small vibrations I feel when I talk to myself (or sigh), or when someone's chest is nestled against mine and he (with concealed motions) whispers something in my ear, or else it's the feel of the deliberate physical action of my beating heart (at airports, train stations and other places of separation). That familiar, overwhelming sensation makes her singing a heavy, intimate, frightening thing. And when she scales the upper registers, the stress is palpable, and the sound comes out as elegant, bittersweet wails. Her vibrato occurs at natural intervals and in the right moments, and the plaintive tones that she forms to legato her phrases are sculpted exquisitely: the paradox of meticulously planned spontaneity, or the naturalness of awesome virtuoso. While deeply beautiful, her music is never a platform for high beauty: with her, song becomes a fundamental occasion. I adore her; she is singular, and beyond diva; she has no need for Opera Queen.
at 12:02 AM
23 November 2005
1. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Boston Symphony at Carnegie Hall)
2. Anna Netrebko (Gilda)
3. Rolando Villazon (Duke of Mantua)
4. Natalie Dessay (Juliette)
5. Jake Gyllenhaal & Heath Ledger
6. Giuseppe Filianoti (Edgardo)
7. Elizabeth Futral (Lucia)
8. Marcello Giordani (Don Jose)
9. Katarina Dalayman (Marie)
10. Susan Graham/Jennifer Larmore/Dolora Zajick (Picker mezzorgy)
11. Nathan Gunn (to wash it all down)
at 8:39 AM
22 November 2005
21 November 2005
Sieglinde reads Time Magazine's little interview with our resident diva Renée Fleming, and can't help but submit follow-up questions to continue this most interesting conversation.
RENÉE: "Every singer eventually gets around to a Christmas disc. Only now it's called a sacred collection."
SIEGLINDE: Yes, we hear Leyla Gencer is under intense negotiations with Fonit Cetra, or Legato ... or is it with Falcon/Mustang ... In any case, what do you think she should call her disc?
RENÉE: "[Audiences] want to hear the most thrilling singing. When a human being without amplification makes a sound that is high and loud, it is almost unworldly."
SIEGLINDE: How gracious of you to recommend that audiences hear the likes of Deborah Voigt and Christine Brewer, the huge diva that you are. Who else sings high and loud these days?
RENÉE: "But I think the real future is streaming video over the Internet--then you can be heard not just by 3,000 people in the hall but live all around the world. One of the biggest markets for classical music is China."
SIEGLINDE: Oh these Diaries believe streaming video of opera is the next porn too. And speaking of piracy, I hear Sacred Songs is number one in Hong Kong. Is it because your voice is just so easy to fake?
RENÉE: "The voice is such a mystery. It is hard to diagnose if something goes wrong. No one really knows what happened to Callas' voice when it went. But I am now at a point where I can trust my voice better."
SIEGLINDE: So, you think you're better than Callas. Funny, a lot of people say that! Who else do you exceed?
RENÉE: "[Opera at La Scala] is a little bit like a sports event, with fans shouting at their teams."
SIEGLINDE: Oh, the booing was really just about soccer (or football?), and had nothing to do with your singing whatsoever?
RENÉE: On practicing singing in front of the mirror. "Once in a while. I can see if I am singing out of the side of my mouth or lifting a shoulder--we do all these involuntary movements when we sing."
SIEGLINDE: Do you see the saccharine tone drool coming out of the side of your mouth too? We can see it all the way from Family Circle, you know.
RENÉE: "If I could just sit in the audience and hear myself, I would be so much better, but I have to rely on others listening to me."
SIEGLINDE: So tell me, who in Opera-L do you really, really hate? And what is it that La Cieca hears when she attends one of your soirees?
RENÉE: "Would you believe--in two dialects, old Elvish and new Elvish? Who knew? It was wonderful. It put me in touch with a whole new audience, including my children's friends."
SIEGLINDE: Why, do they speak Elvish too?
RENÉE: "I think of (Luciano) as Ella Fitzgerald, and Placido as Sarah Vaughan. Luciano-- classical, crystal, timeless perfection. Placido--more baroque, a little bit twisted, crazy and sexy. For my own singing, I used to be attracted by the baroque, the flashier the better, but now I prefer a simpler, purer style."
SIEGLINDE: So you did sleep with Placido in your younger days. How twisted and crazy did he get? But now you're into simpler and purer, and yes, Luciano can be wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am these days, but do you also hate it when he calls you Marta during the sex?
RENÉE: On Chef Boulod's creation called Diva Renee au Chocolat. "It is too many calories! And with my face lasered on the front of the dessert, it is hard for me to look at that and then eat it anyway!"
SIEGLINDE: What is the best way to slice your face? And speaking of dessert, have you tried the day-old Gheorghius at the corner Polish deli? They're not only sweet, but they're just so high in fiber too.
at 10:22 AM
18 November 2005
... to last evening's Met Romeo because she's officially saving up her dimes and nickels for three spectabulous weekends in the woods of the Berkshires in the sweet midsummer of 2006. Tanglewood, here we come.
SCHOENBERG Gurrelieder. Friday, July 14. Boston Symphony Orchestra; James Levine, conductor; Christine Brewer (Tove); Waltraud Meier (Wood Dove); Johan Botha (Waldemar); Matthew Polenzani (Klaus Narr); Eike Wilm Schulte (Peasant).
STRAUSS Elektra. Saturday, July 15. Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra; James Levine, conductor; Lisa Gasteen (Elektra); Christine Brewer (Chrysothemis); Felicity Palmer (Klytemnestra); Alan Held (Orest); Siegfried Jerusalem (Aegist); Claudia Waite (Overseer); Jennifer Check, Marjorie Elinor Dix, Sandra Lopez, Mary Philips, Ellen Rabiner (Maids).
MOZART, All-Mozart Program; Friday, July 21. Boston Symphony Orchestra; James Levine, conductor and piano (concert aria); Susan Graham; Richard Goode, piano (piano concerto); "Ch'io mi scordi di te...Non temer, amato bene," K.505, Concert aria with piano obbligato; Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat, K.595; Symphony No. 41, Jupiter.
MOZART Don Giovanni; Saturday, July 22. Boston Symphony Orchestra; James Levine, conductor; Mariusz Kwiecien (Don Giovanni); Michele Pertusi (Leporello); Barbara Frittoli (Donna Anna); Soile Isokoski (Donna Elvira); Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano (Zerlina); Matthew Polenzani (Don Ottavio); Patrick Carfizzi (Masetto); Morris Robinson (Commendatore).
J.S. BACH & HANDEL; Friday, August 11. Boston Symphony Orchestra; Harry Bicket, conductor; Corey Cerovsek, violin; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. BACH Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D; BACH Violin Concerto No. 2 in E, BWV 1042 ; HANDEL Selected arias; HANDEL Royal Fireworks Music.
at 2:33 PM
17 November 2005
BEFORE Elizabeth Futral, there was Ruth Ann Swenson. Three years ago, also around this time of year, I visited the Met a few times for Swenson's Lucia, which, under the baton of Maestro Patrick Summers, was a brooding, Gothic, delicate piece of high bel canto. Swenson then was coming out of a series of failed Gildas in the prior season, marked by forced top notes, weak resonance, widening vibrato: all dire signs of an overripe soprano passing into the twilight of her coloratura career. But then somehow she regroups, and returns triumphant with a gorgeous, masterful Lucia, hypnotic, with mint notes that sparkled like the crystal bursts of the Met chandeliers.
The Edgardo then was the dashing Marcelo Alvarez. The Swenson-Alvarez tandem was soothing, their love was down comforter, their fall into death inevitable and classic. Maestro Summers' work was expansive but elegantly understated: the orchestra was transparent and gracious, and knew its proper place in this Donizetti. Succeeding Lucia evenings seemed like trips to the spa after a long day's work, and those velvet seats took you in softly, soothing bones and muscles. Beauty was the first command, and everyone delivered. Voices were relaxed, exceptionally civilized, symmetric. Therapy in predictability: the soul fed, the universe realigned: Sieglinde reached a peace by each curtain's fall.
Fast-forward this season. We are force-fed the fiery pair of Elizabeth Futral and Giuseppe Filianoti, and a heavy-handed Maestro Edoardo Müller whose orchestra likes to partake in the screaming match transpiring on stage. The air of minor regional opera, uncertain, unpolished, permeated every scene. Each aria is a tour of subterranean emotions, and the pain rises from each unsettled phrase: by the end of the Mad Scene, I fall to the ground, and during Edgardo's suicide, I feel the dagger slice through my skin. I don't think Donizetti meant to write the first verismo opera, but no matter: Futral treats the high notes not as sweet academic flourishes but as sonic symbols of an unreachable happiness, and every time she launches something up there (in distressing screams) I'm pushed closer to a hard precipice. Though Filianoti moves about the stage gracefully, silent-film style, his grave, desperate heart is too easy to discern amidst the stylish poses of his voice. His phrasing is formidable in beauty and lightness, but it's much more than beautiful: long lines taken in one breath (when it's perfectly fine to break), top notes soaked in grief (throbbing), all compose a sense of vulnerability. Because these emotions appear more spontaneous than designed (young Filianoti perhaps buoyed by this city's extraordinarily warm reception), the evening unsettles right from the fountain scene, and through to the last bars of Edgardo's dying music the internal chaos deepens.
In truth, Futral does not have (or no longer has) a particularly attractive sound. It is now a tattered (yet still bejeweled) bag of tricks: a conclave of ringing top notes desperately wanting to cross into Wagner, curious colors in the middle range, seemingly inexhaustible shower of raw sound (and an ad hoc chest); and that face! Futral's face forces the capital Q in opera Queen. She scowls and she clutches her gown a la Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons and runs around the bare stage like a vampire in heat. Every time she opens her mouth, she declares war. (War against sensibility, physics, Donizetti, the Enrico, high D-flat, Swenson, obscenity laws, the pit ...) She collapses, the tornado ends, and as the curtain falls, Sieglinde is challenged to explain where the bel canto hid all evening. But somehow it's all OK. Taking in three of these Lucias is closer in impact to three Mattila Salomes than to, say, three Fleming Rodelindas. Exhaustion has set in; thankfully, I don't have to deal with it again till late December; and much like puking your guts out can never be an effective deterrent to binge drinking, this three-evening Lucia assault will not keep me away from going back and paying good money for this kind of sweet obscenity.
OUR SISTER Vilaine Fille believes that the Anglophone blogosphere is full of people who don't know how to listen (in an added comment she wrote in her stupendously praised post on Giuseppe Filianoti, written in Italian so Anglophones like me can't detect their little chatter dagger), referring to Sieglinde's 'alleged' comparison between First Archangel Juan Diego Florez and Peasant Filianoti. Sieglinde's post VF was all venom about was a simple text message relay from a hyperventilating friend who was turned into a Filianoti fan overnight. The comparison was simply a reaction to a wild evening; Sieglinde, having not heard Filianoti live then, translated his *humorous* text messages inaccurately. There was no intention on our part to offend the Most Holy Congregation of Florez, and particularly the High Priestess of the Doctrine of the Congregation of Faith (a.k.a. VF), for we worship rabidly in the same temple. Lest we spark a crusade here, Sieglinde will state for the record (seriously now, after having heard Filianoti thrice) that (a) Florez and Filianoti have different vocal constitutions, (b) they both have a place in the wide operatic altar, (c) Florez is an allcaps GOD, (d) she will check with the High Priestess regarding any future comparisons with Florez the Great, and (e) she promises to go to the ear doctor this afternoon. (So when can Sieglinde get her I-Love-Florez-Like-French-Fries membership card back?)
at 9:44 AM
16 November 2005
WTAW: What Tony actually wrote in his NYT review.
WTATS: What Tony appears to say.
WTRM: What Tony really meant.
WTAW: "But since Ms. O'Flynn performed without having had a stage rehearsal, it would be premature to assess the production of the Belgian director Guy Joosten and his creative team, all in their Met debuts."
WTATS: "This is my official 'out', gimme a break, people."
WTRM: "Thank Milanov I don't have to say how utterly crappy that was. But shit, does this mean I have to go back to see it again? Oh crap. Bummer."
WTAW: "By advance reports, Mr. Joosten had worked exhaustively with Ms. Dessay on her portrayal. The tenor Ramón Vargas, who sang Roméo, is a vibrant singer but a stiff actor. He often seemed ill at ease here ..."
WTATS: "Joosten, typical opera queen, ignores tenor. Poor Vargas: looked grotesque in those tights, but boy was he stiff!"
WTRM: "F*, can't figure out a way to insert 'strapping' here ('stiff' was good though). But there's hope yet ... because that Mercutio looks fine ... hmmmm ..."
WTAW: "Still, most aspects of the production are describable."
WTATS: "Some aspects of the production are just indescribable."
WTRM: "Would be fun to describe indescribable aspects, but I'm boring, so forget it."
WTAW: "(They) have given Gounod's operatic telling of Shakespeare's tragedy a historically appropriate Renaissance Italian look, though with surreal touches. The set evokes Renaissance interiors lined with elaborate wood inlay, like the studiolo from the ducal palace in Gubbio, which can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum."
WTATS: "Skip this crap, go straight to the Gubbio studiolo at the Met Museum, have Freni-Kraus in your iPod: cheaper ticket and much, much more nuance."
WTRM: "Really, it felt surreal to be touched during the opera by the hot Italian duke (my date!! LOL) showing elaborate wood."
WTAW: "Above the stage hangs an armillary sphere, a complex of orbs and globes used to teach astronomy in Renaissance Italy. Indeed, the production makes explicit the celestial metaphors that gush from the mouths of the impulsive young lovers."
WTATS: "Explicit metaphors gush big time."
WTRM: "Hope no one's yet noticed that I'm halfway through this review and all I've done so far is to call this production describable."
WTAW: "As they sing of their ecstasy, the walls of the set part to reveal milky firmaments and galaxies."
WTATS: "Big bang sex scene shook the walls and was so milky and so gooey. Meanwhile, nix that Gubbio studiolo reference; try the Big Dipper and some Uranus instead."
WTRM: "Production team was on ecstasy."
WTAW: "The celestial imagery culminates in the scene in which the secretly married young couple share their one night of wedded bliss. Against a starry expanse, Juliette's bed hovers in the air. As breezes waft through the silken white sheets that hang from its sides, the lovers rustle in each other's arms. The image produced applause and ah's from the audience."
WTATS: "Note: this is the only thing that half-worked all evening. Savor it."
WTRM: "Meanwhile, how'd they manage to float that bed????? (Which reminds me, my sling's still in the shop, been two long weeks already, I should probably give them a call.)"
WTAW: "In its Busby Berkeley-esque way, it was quite a sight, though you worried as the singers performed a long, difficult duet confined to a small bed suspended from wires."
WTATS: "Quite a sight, oh it was quite a sight; quite a production indeed!"
WTRM: "Singing while suspended: not recommended (I tried once, strap broke, that's why it's in the shop, really blows). Meanwhile, let's see how many idiots google 'Busby Berkeley' today, haha."
WTAW: "Still, it would be unfair to judge the impact of this and other long-rehearsed staging effects until Ms. Dessay returns."
WTATS: "In case you forgot."
WTRM: "Oh they'll all be f*ed bigtime if Dessay doesn't do an Isolde-cum-Tosca-cum-Lulu on Thursday."
WTAW: "Actually, Ms. O'Flynn seemed more comfortable than Mr. Vargas, who looked rattled."
WTATS: "Vargas was shorter than O'Flynn."
WTRM: "The tights! The hideous tights!"
WTAW: "The French baritone Stéphane Degout, in his Met debut, brings a hardy voice and a strapping physique to Mercutio."
WTATS: "Aha! Strapping!"
WTRM: "Aha! Strap him!"
WTAW: "The conductor Bertrand de Billy elicits an incisive yet elegant account of Gounod's richest and most sophisticated score from the orchestra and chorus."
WTATS: "If he were any more competent, his name would be in the second instead of the penultimate paragraph."
WTRM: "And if he were Jimmy Levine, he'd be the lead."
WTAW: "Ms. Dessay is scheduled to sing the second performance, tomorrow night."
WTATS: "We were told."
WTRM: "And now that Ms. O'Flynn has gotten her one stage rehearsal, that excuse will not fly tomorrow. Now let's see ... who else we can blame ..."
at 7:11 AM
15 November 2005
Gounod ROMEO ET JULIETTE, Met 14.11.2005; c. de Billy; O'Flynn, Vargas, Degout, Sigmundsson, DiDonato, Pittas.
Sieglinde has attended about 15 Met operas (give or take) so far this season. This new production premiere of Roméo is easily her worst evening. Sieglinde has seen many new Met productions in recent years, including the Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini from a couple of seasons ago (a frightening event). This new production of Roméo is easily the worst she's seen. Set design went nowhere; voices were misplaced; the conductor (a Frenchman!) didn't inspire: the entire evening alternated between insecure and listless; this Gounod turned out so amorphous it was like watching a Greyhound bus trip unfold. It seemed that all the bright ideas of the production/design team were spent on the spinning stage, a constellation diagram of sorts: and once that gigantic mechanism was set, everything else was patched in to form the rest of the so-called "scenes." Truly, the entire evening felt like a mediocre patch-up job. On any other day, the singing would have been OK, except that this was meant to be a special event. Maureen O'Flynn was understandably cautious thoughout the evening; her voice, a Judith Blegen clone, isn't what I remember it to be: there is now an unpleasant quiver stitched into its backbone, and her top notes are no longer as crisp. The exact same thing can be said of Ramon Vargas (well, except for the Judith Blegen comparison): he may have been a bit under the weather as well, for he has never sounded this "small" or inelegant in the lyric realm: top notes were forced and pianos seemed to cause actual physical pain. Vargas isn't the most dashing figure in the roster, this is obvious: now why did they insist on clothing him with those purple blue tights: in those tights, with his limited stature, and on such an open, cavernous set, he looked like a sorry midget: and how can one appreciate that kind of a Romeo. Yes, that spacious set design, empty of coherent ideas, sometimes left characters too "naked" for comfort. Then, there's Bertrand de Billy (is he really French?), who had little sense of drama: I mean, Gounod delivers high romanticism on a silver platter, so I imagine one could at least sleepwalk through the score and come out with the likes of the Zeffirelli film. But for one reason or another, nothing gelled: Acts IV and V, usually devastating in poignancy, went by without a "tear." The house felt it: I've never heard a more tepid curtain call of a production opening than this: there were a couple of boos for the production/design team, and I would have joined in, except that I was too preoccupied with the hard question of how they can manage to strip the Love off this vivid as a rose garden of a score. By they, I mean everyone involved (except a number of minor singing parts, which I'm too depressed to list here). I doubt that Natalie Dessay can rescue this thing.
[Pictured above is Dean Lois Kirschenbaum, checking out the evening's poster, and wondering why she wasn't consulted about the last-minute cast change.]
UPDATE: Steve Smith gives a more generous account of Maureen O'Flynn's performance, while the Wellsungs (now did you boys think that'd become your blognick?) J & A give Ramon Vargas a pass. After a good night's sleep, I too am inclined to forgive, especially under the circumstances. Specifically, in light of the frightening production the singers have been asked to animate. Steve says it was an "ultimately static affair that left me scratching my head pondering relations to Copernicus, Kepler, MC Escher and Swatch watches." Jonathan characterizes it as "sort of like a Griffin and Sabine book meets a Nova episode meets a bad dream of Galileo's," and Alex calls it precisely as a "kind of shallow compromise emerging again from the tension between not wanting to do another straight-up production while being unwilling to do too something too far out." Oh what a waste of space, indeed.
at 1:07 AM
14 November 2005
Months ago, upon hearing that Natalie Dessay had agreed to sing Juliette at the Met this season, Sieglinde wondered who her cover would be. Sieglinde is psychic. She's also less depressed by today's breaking news than you'd expect. Maureen O'Flynn, the new Juliette in this evening's new Met production premiere, is not an entirely unknown quantity to Sieglinde. She's seen her twice at the Met in recent years: a Gilda and a Violetta, and both were more than competent performances. She displayed a gorgeous light lyric soprano, clear and seamless in the upper registers, and able to fill the Met cavern effortlessly. And whereas recent Violettas and Gildas have been avoiding the optional high E-flat to end their respective signature arias, O'Flynn faced both challenges without any trepidation, and spun them with a breathtaking yellow gold hue. I remember asking myself why she wasn't a bigger star than she was. Now is her chance to sparkle.
at 3:54 PM
Rossini GUILLAUME TELL, Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, 13.11.2005; c. Queler; Blasi, Giordani, Chingari.
[SCOTTO/MILLO PIC UPDATED: Many thanks to Leyla, Sieglinde's personal archivist.]
The night before, I decided I wasn't going to the OONY Guillaume Tell. I'm tired. I'm poor.
Forty-five minutes to curtain, I get a three text messages: (1) "Zaza is here she needs a ticket"; (2) "Scotto is n da lobby"; and (3) "Everyone here you crazy". I cave in. Therefore: quick Chinese dinner; rush to Carnegie Hall; grab front balcony ticket from scalping gentleman for $15 (score!); take crummy seat; switch seats during first intermission for a better view of the last two prima prima donnas. (I know, worthless pic; but I was far and it was dark; gimme a f* break, puhleeze...) But here are Renata Scotto (left) and Aprile Millo, seated in the center box, first tier, chatting about Marcello Giordani during the second intermission. Or about the Zazà of a lifetime (Millo asks: "Why you not come to the Zazà? Licia was there, why you not?"). Or maybe just about the best penne carbonara in Lower Manhattan.
I'm exhausted; no more words. Sieglinde gives the bottom line: Marcello Giordani is the reigning admiral of the High Cs; to have that kind of balls to bis Arnold's Act IV vengeance cabaletta "Amis, secondez ma vengeance" after 11pm: BRAVO DIVO! I've not heard pandemonium like this in a long while. Below, Eve Queler's curtain call, surrounded by the principal cast. (Angela Maria Blasi is in green.)
But wait. Before I collapse, I leave you with a zoom of the best pic I was able to take of Stephen Costello, in case you're interested. (Yet another crappy pic. Whatevah.) He has a light, easy tenor: luxurious in the cute role of the Pechéur. He can sing! All he needs now is a centerfold in Opera News.
UPDATE [the following morning]: I'm up. A few more impressions before I rinse Guillaume Tell off my ears with Roméo et Juliette, this evening's French buffet at the Met. Steve Smith summarizes the Hall's hysterical adulation for Marcello Giordani here (not since Semele ... haha!): an electrifying standing ovation (including La Scotto, La Millo, and La Kirschenbaum) after the cabaletta; then, Giordani whispers to Eve Queler, index finger raised, which I thought at first meant "Gimme a second to catch my breath," but soon becomes clear to me as a sign for "Let's do that f* thing again" when La Queler and orchestra start flipping their scores back a few pages. During the bis of the second stanza of the cabaletta (with the pumped chorus on his back), I tell myself "This guy is nuts, he's surely gonna do damage to that voice." But what a generous, joyful artist! Kammersängerin Angela Maria Blasi essays an attractive Mathilde; this is Sieglinde's first Blasi hearing; highly expressive, technically unblemished, she pings a la Cheryl Studer, like the smooth, round bottom of a fine porcelain bowl. Eve Queler, we all love her!, but that Overture is how a computer, taught the values of notes and pitch, would play it. The basic (sleepwalking) temperament of the orchestra never changes through the evening, but that's hardly a surprise. We go (and return and return) to OONY events to revel in the voices, which always fill in the missing blood and guts: this evening the voices deliver once again.
at 12:52 AM
13 November 2005
Leoncavallo ZAZÀ; Teatro Grattacielo at Alice Tully, 12.11.2005; c. Silipigni; Millo, Powers, Gartner, Grunewald, Monaghan, Yoon.
Aprile Millo's Zazà is a supernatural achievement. In a career of countless landmarks, this may be the greatest yet. She was announced as just coming out of illness, which explained a frightening Act I, marked by fat vibrato during do-or-die leaps in the upper registers, and her alarming gargly coughs between acts. But by Act III, the meat of the soprano's work, and through the inevitable fall in Act IV, Millo overcomes biology and delivers the exact verismo animus. While both constitutionally melodramatic, there are two approaches to doing verismo: one is to come from elegance and post-romantic style (Tebaldi), and the other from base, filthy, almost subhuman crevices (Olivero). I dare say Millo, miraculous, takes both approaches without trickery, and shows that tonal beauty can actually thrive in hard incongruence. Highly histrionic for sure, but only as much as Leoncavallo wrote in. For this Zazà, Millo didn't need the grand stage of an opera house, towering sets, costumes and hair (though she came out with a number; another story for another time), complete choruses, competent costars and orchestra; she didn't need supertitles, Met titles, or libretto books: from her endearing pantomime, to her flawless articulation of the many layers of pain and happiness, a sure Italian stand, and that voice, unmistakable echo of past giants, Millo does art to make sense of all the excesses of verismo. She makes us believe. I don't need to say that I'm a fan of the Aprile, but only as far as she meets minimum requirements of music and taste: Sieglinde will maneuver to emphasize the little jewels over the rot any time for her: however, what I have seen at Alice Tully Hall this evening is a performance of a lifetime, by a sensitive worker, sadly fragmented by time and age, still fighting for a true place. Her sobs and cries alone can give masterclasses to the premiere roster of the Metropolitan: the density of shading of these sonic outbursts has more fire, more story than any other diva's 'Amami, Alfredo' or Liebestod: the range of despair explored by Millo's final sounds others can only dream of in their tedious lifetime of singing. And these were just the sobs! For those who weren't there, a 'transcription' of this historic evening will surely surface; rejoice; hear to believe; the operatic legacy is once again enriched by Aprile Millo immeasurably.
at 11:50 AM
12 November 2005
NICK IN LOVE: "I am inclined to think that she might know about the lighter, headier tones of Love itself and stir those into her brew, instead of being outright witchy. One gets the sense that, with Fleming, Armida is levitating by way of her own vocal magic." [SIEGLINDE: Love the new look and feel of trrill, btw!]
VILAINE FILLE ON VOCAL GEOGRAPHY: "Frittoli's growing flutter is troublesome in this music. But it's a flutter through periwinkle silk, shaded with gunmetal grey and shimmering with peachy-gold and pearls. (Though Frittoli is from Milano, her timbre makes me *see* Venezia.)" [SIEGLINDE: This is how you write about voice.]
A & J ON RENAMING FAMILY CIRCLE: "J: Po' People Pavillion?; A: 'Single Guys and Cheap Tourists'; J: seriously tho who can we talk to about this?; J: I think 'Upper Balcony' would be lovely; J: 'Rear Balcony'; J: 'The Sky' " [SIEGLINDE: How about "Celestia" or "Inferno, 7th Circle, Inner Ring" or simply "Blog Level".]
STEVE SMITH ON LHL NYT RUMORS: "[T]o what end should speculation be allowed to virtually substantiate rumor? What role should an individual's right to privacy play in determining whether a story like this one should be reported to a broad public -- many of whom will most likely accept what the article suggests as truth, simply based on where it appeared? And why, lacking hard facts, should this particular story be spun this particular way in print, when in the case of any number of other famous artists -- one cult-favorite pianist in particular -- constant cancellation has been spun as jitters, even caprice?" [SIEGLINDE: Uses OONY Guillaume Tell money for soon-to-be-sold-out BSO/LHL concert at Carnegie Hall instead. Wooops, is Sieglinde really missing the Tell and the boy? She needs a sugar daddy.]
M.C- ON SOPORIFIC SF NORMA: "Anyway, we had Catherine Nagelstad as Norma, Irina Mishura as Adalgisa, and Zoran Todorovich as Pollione. They were all fine, I suppose. If you judge them as Nick does, sing or suck, yea or nay, I would have to say they sucked." [SIEGLINDE: Renée to the rescue! In a titillating coincidence, Met Norma is back on Brad's futures list for 2007-08. Long shot, but so what.]
OT: WONKETTE ON BUSHIT: "In a Veteran's Day speech today, Bush came out with the administration's official policy on criticizing the war in Iraq: 'While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.' Because, he continued, 'That's our job.' " [SIEGLINDE: If you're not reading Wonkette, I don't want to know you.]
at 7:29 AM
10 November 2005
Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner, Lincoln Center presents Great Performers; Avery Fisher Hall, 9.11.2005; c. Fisch, Orchestra of St. Luke's.
So she's moving, cautiously, into deeper Wagner. In two seasons, New York will see her Isolde, and a year later as all the Brünnhildes of the Ring. The voice has really not changed since I first heard her many, many years ago: essentially the same bright, joyous sound that thrives in high tessitura, but solid from top to bottom (a well-integrated chest), enduring the ups and downs of weight loss and gastric bypass, as well as a formidable repertory of Strauss and Wagner-lite. The evening at Avery Fisher Hall presents her Isolde and high Brünnhilde, in duet with the magnificent Ben Heppner, plus the more familiar Elisabeth ('Dich, teure Halle') and Leonore ('Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin?'). Though starkly different in heft, quality, and repertoire, Leontyne Price is how her artistry reaches me: distinctively American, their voices are relentless in pure, heavenly happiness: Leontyne is the chorus of angels, Deborah is the mighty wind that carries their wings. The stubborn optimism and gratefulness in their voices (of the Ella Fitzgerald camp, as opposed to Billie Holiday), which in some quarters is condemned as emotional monotonicity, works to their advantage in many great roles: in Voigt's case, her Sieglinde is ecstatic and metahuman; her Chrysothemis is the white-gold light peeking through the solid darkness of Elektra; her big-screen Ariadne is above it all; the Empress she imagines is a true floated goddess. (But let us never speak about her Italian repertoire.) In each of these roles, Voigt becomes a radiant pot of molten silver, and when their music escalates up and hangs out above the staff for lengthy periods, the silver shines, flows, and covers every pore of your skin.
But now we have Isolde and Brünnhilde, two of the more complex figures in the operatic literature. They can be essayed in simple (but magnificent) gestures and still end in success: for instance, Birgit Nilsson does a take-no-prisoners approach to these two roles and blows everyone away with her liquid laserbeam. Voigt does have Nilsson's notes but lacks the density (but who else doesn't) and the thrilling attack onto the note that takes my breath away every single time. I don't know if Voigt can still correct her little pop-song mannerism of ever so slightly sliding up into her top notes, instead of grabbing them solidly right from the first wave cycle of sound escaping her throat. (Varnay slid too, but hers was a more "classical", elegant plié.) Sieglinde advises: attack top notes head-on, Debbie; don't ornament like you're on Broadway. But these are minute concerns. Unfortunately, there remain two main areas that Voigt can't even fake: (1) manic , demented terror and (2) quiet desperation. (Some "singers" have loads of these, but horribly senza voce. We shall not name names here.) These two aspects of coloring are required in measured quantities by Isolde and Brünnhilde, and these might prove to be her Achilles heel. I heard Voigt's Act II Isolde in concert some seasons ago (NYPhil), and back then her reading was straightforward at best. In the interim, Thielemann's influence has appeared to soften and somehow deepen her interpretation, and in last evening's concert (Love duet from Act II), her journey, it seems, has taken her about as far as she's able to go. The first half of the duet settles in the quiet, introspective part of the voice, and here Voigt struggled to color and textualize (or musicize?) emotions other than a secret joy. However, she was splendid during the second half, the ecstatic high tessitura orgasm, where the silver of her instrument gleamed shamelessly. Brünnhilde's final duet from Siegfried, always a unique Olympian challenge (short but a killer of an evening), was better served, with well-enunciated trills and juiced top notes. Extrapolating to the other parts of the Brünnhilde Ring, I look forward to her Acts I and II of Götterdammerung, but will remain ambivalent about her Die Walküre. We shall see.
But a translucent, stupendous sound over-all, laced with goodness and honesty: a kind of glittering thing that thrills the fans of physics and vocal calisthenics. Voigt has flawless technique and ample natural gifts (and what breath control, despite the weight loss), and though she may never be able to change the essential quality of her bright, open, joyful timbre, crossing to legendary (in the heavy Wagner repertoire, as she has done unquestionably in the Strauss) may still be possible if she shifts her attention away from the written music momentarily, and, in awkward ways, loses herself in the queendomain of opera. (Let everything go, Debbie. I will still love you.)
If time allows, I'll speak about the mighty Ben Heppner and the horrid acoustics and atmosphere of Avery Fisher Hall in the coming days. The short of it: I've not heard Heppner in finer form, though of course the recital was tremendously shorter than Aeneas or Tristan. But the molten cream of his tenor, his ravishing phrasing, his full-throated top, all made grand achievements of the Wagner duets, the Act I aria from Der Freischutz, and the winner Walther's Prize Song from Die Meistersinger. Meanwhile, Avery Fisher Hall acoustics is frightening, and that building should be razed to the ground.
at 3:07 PM
09 November 2005
Sieglinde, overbooked with two Met Lucias, the Roméo prima, the Millo Zaza and the Debbie and Ben Show tonight (all in a span of 8 days), was on the fence regarding the OONY Guillaume Tell this weekend. That is, until my mother and my sister started going on, not about the Mathilde, Arnold, or Tell (Blasi, Giordani, and Chingari respectively), but regarding the Fisherman, one 24 year old tenor named Stephen Costello. Rather than recycle the two measly (but nonetheless hot) photos on his manager's site (he ought to have more!), I'm including, below, the world premiere of another:
Granted, not a naked pic (as Mama Cieca fantasizes), but Sieglinde thinks it suits the present purpose. Voce o senza voce, young Stephen has many other career choices, reading simply from the radiant confidence he exudes in handling the pole (in the pic above, silly), though Sieglinde hears that Stephen's mouth is more than pretty smiles and luscious kisses: for instance, sample the audio aspect of his mouth here. OK, Sieglinde thinks it best to end this post right here; she's now rushing to the Carnegie Hall box office. (Meanwhile, La Voigt is calling me. Full report tomorrow.)
at 1:38 PM
08 November 2005
Ominous. Prior to the Met Lucia, the plaza fountain is the color of pee.
Legend. Futral: loudest, most thrilling top notes outside a Wagner opera. Filianoti: pure as milk, his legato has legato. The evening: most vivid Lucia in all memory (this from oldtimers).
Golden. Filianoti, charming, is shy to speak in English; his collegiate looks and soft manner a winner.
Ambush. La Futral is asked to sign 26 programs, 3 newspaper clippings, a save-the-whales petition, a lease agreement, and various candy wrappers. Lois K. tells the diva: "You complete me."
Home. Sieglinde reenacts Mad Scene in subway; she ain't the weirdest case in the car.
at 11:15 AM
07 November 2005
(UPDATED; SEE BELOW)
THE GOOGLE IS ALWAYS RIGHT. Google "miserable failure" and see what appears as result number one. (It's his official website too.)
OH GOD, PLEASE--DON'T LEAVE OUT THE "S". The page balconybox.blogpot.com is freaky f*cked up sh*t. The missing "s" is for Sin. Or Satan. Or Sieglinde. Or Salami.
SHE IS MY DIVA. If these are the kinds of pictures you and your manager choose to represent your various faces, you are worthy of Sieglinde's utter devotion. The Lucia series is particularly Sick.
DEPARTMENT OF IRRITANTS. "Greg" from the Londonist calls Sieglinde's Diaries "irritating." In truth, Sieglinde was really going for "caustic" or at least "lubricating." I won't call their blog "limp" (the British so get more than their share of "impotent" and "small" references), but if "Greg" can only (a) spell La Cieca's real name, and (b) call her the "grandmama" instead of "granddady," then Sieglinde would have been truly insulted. (They give us Camilla, we give them Sieglinde: fair trade practices still in effect across the Atlantic.)
THE SECRET'S OUT. I am cyborg. Hear me roar. That ... mean ... usher ... must ... be ... nullified.
UPDATE: (1) I'm told the Londonist can now spell "Jorden." (2) No movement on the "granddaddy" reference as of yet. (Maybe it's a Brit thing.) (3) Meanwhile, we get a clearer picture of who "Greg" is. This is from his official bio: "Greg lost his virginity during a Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast of Aida, was seduced by his first boyfriend with Ariadne auf Naxos, and once had an anonymous sexual encounter in the standing room of the San Francisco Opera during Act 2 of Rigoletto." Hmmm. Sieglinde says comments about this will have to wait for another post; she was just at another Futral Lucia, and there's only room for so much WTF in one day. (Two preliminary questions though: who was the Amneris, and did the Gilda interpolate a high E-flat to end her "Caro nome"?) (4) FYI: Meanwhile still, JSU of AUV ain't gay, and his blog, no matter how fabulous it's become, ain't gay either. (Sieglinde never thought it possible till now.)
at 9:11 AM
05 November 2005
CHORUS. First off, let's welcome a three sparkling additions to the blogdrool. Foremost, the music critic of Time Out New York, Steve Smith, offers us indepth and personal analysis of the city's musical events and operas in his new blog (more than his publication will allow on print), subtitled "Conspicuous consumption of music, live and otherwise, in New York City." (We like all types of consumption here, music and otherwise.) Then, there's your operatic dynamic-duo-next-door, Alex and Jonathan, vigorously chatting about opera here, with a blogspot address of "wellsung." Are they aware that Sieglinde and Siegmund are the original "wellsung" duo ... or "Wälsung" for folks in Germany. (Lame, I know; but it's Saturday morning, and my orange hasn't been squeezed yet today.) Finally, another opera blog amusingly called "Fisher-Price, My First Opera Blog," curated by Maury D'annato, which should provide a nice counterpoint to the blogorrhea of opera queens like ... uhm, Sieglinde.
COSÌ THRILLS. Was there last night; same Jimmy; same ether; same magic.
OPRAH AND OPERA. Renée on Oprah: "Beverly Sills was so famous that she stood in for Johnny Carson for a week. But today there's no opera on Oprah -- she doesn't like it. There's no doubt it's lost a lot of its status." In other news, Google was kind enough to help illiterate Oprah fans who google "opera" when they really meant "Oprah." They do acknowledge that the reverse doesn't happen often.
INBOX. I'm moving away from AOL e-mail, and toward the more elegant Gmail. Here's Sieglinde's new internet hole.
at 11:45 AM
04 November 2005
Donizetti LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, Met 3.11.2005; Müller; Futral, Filianoti, Taylor, Relyea.
How can I put it in simple terms .... OK, if this blog post could sing, it'd sound like Elizabeth Futral. However, there's not enough insanity here to even imagine the mad Mad Scene that ensued tonight. In a word, it was totallyfuckedupIcan'tbelievethisshit. Futral's version of the cadenza is insane with a capital U: U for "I'm not even leaving the u off the fuck". (Allow Sieglinde just this one time.) People who've been reared on Sills, Sutherland, Callas, Scotto, even Swenson-- don't even try to sing along. Futral's grand plan was to embellish the cadenza with bits of Donizetti's written aria and ... generous pieces of Lulu, Wozzeck, and the Yellow Submarine. Is there a minor-minor key, because that's where she was, and maybe even a tone or two away (give or take) from the line she and the flutist agreed upon backstage. The flutist may have been half-deaf, or just too bewildered to attempt an adjustment to the altered key (key of Xanax), so he/she simply barrelled on with imagined earplugs and with the flute that said in bright neon "whatthefuckthisissofuckedup." And if you even try to figure it out at the moment by aligning the raw sound with the Donizetti-approved template in your mind, the result you'd get is Pure Dementia. Three independent melodic lines (you, flutist, Futral): like Schoenberg took over your mind's ear for 2 full minutes. A TAPE OF TONIGHT'S INFRIGGINSANITY HAS GOT TO EXIST. (Move over Anna Moffo, we have a new entry into the pantheon of Sick.)
This is what happens when each one at the Met with any hint of artistic integrity is involved elsewhere, in sublime Mozarts (Cosìs and Figaros) and new productions (Roméo and American Tragedy). To begin, we have Edoardo Müller at the pit, who despite his name is an Italian conductor, and a La Scala fixture (for Verdi, Puccini, and Rossini, according to the program). Surprisingly, however, his conducting is closer to the Müller than to the Edoardo: Sieglinde smells no palpable Italian accent, no hint of olive trees and rolling Italian hills, no fresh aroma of tomato. The music of bel canto (indeed, of Italian romantic operas in general) is written to dance: there is a dance that undulates with the heart and is skindeep. Müller sounds like an old straight German man and would have none of that sensitive, graceful reading crap. I'm not indicting him straightaway, for I suspect (a) they weren't given enough rehearsal time for these Lucias (but then tonight was the third evening, so things ought to have been ironed out, right?), and (b) they put interns in the pit instead of real musicians. For starters, supergod concertmaster David Chan (who, I've noticed, is present in every major event at the Met) took the night off, so who knows how many other regulars did. (On the plus side, the glass harmonica mama was there, but oh oh so faintly.) Put it another way, if James Levine were conducting these Lucias: (a) the orchestra would be the Stradivarius we all know and love, (b) every nuance would have nuance, (c) Futral would not have been allowed to spread aural bird-flu at Lincoln Center like this.
Don't read Sieglinde wrong. Sieglinde now adores Elizabeth Futral like good porn. On a scale of dementia to dementia, she is a Guleghina. She fights for notes above the staff; she thinks she's Brünnhilde; she is spontaneity like Fleming is her CDs; she moves on stage as if she's channeling an opera queen channeling Joan Sutherland; she is Angela Gheorghiu if Angela Gheorghiu lost her dusk-lustre and gained sheer decibel; she illustrates the fine lines defining every kind of vulgarity; she will burn her voice away (soon) and blast right into the House of Sass and Negri; she will be the reason why some good friends will never speak again.
Tomorrow, I'll describe other aspects of her performance (if I have any energy left) as well as Giuseppe Filianoti's golden age aura. In the meantime, let's ask the age-old question: what did these guys hear, and why am I the only one laughing???
TONY TOMMASINI: "Let no one underestimate Ms. Futral's achievement in singing the role with such command, vigor and accuracy. In a bright, focused and sizable voice, she spins out streams of florid coloratura roulades and makes embellishments seem natural elaborations of long melodic lines. Though high floating pianissimos do not come easily to her, her midrange soft singing was melting."
SIEGLINDE: Command? (of the Schoenberg.) Vigor? (Viagra on Levitra.) Accuracy? (Like Bush on WMD.) Focused? (Like a gay firetruck.) Florid coloratura roulades? (Maybe, but with wilted flowers.) Embellishments that seem like natural elaborations? (Sieglinde has got to locate a pirate of tonight's hilarious masterpiece...) Midrange soft singing? (With a battleship bullhorn.)
And then, there's OPERA-L. I wonder if this gentleman was in the audience tonight, and whether he would say the same thing about the third performance as the first and second, both evenings he so loved.
BEDTIME. More later.
(PS. For the weblingo-challenged, WTF is *what the fuck*)
at 1:07 AM
03 November 2005
RENÉE FLEMING ON FUTURE BEL CANTO ROLES: "But I don't know how many more new opera roles there'll be -- I've done so much, there's plenty I'm happy to revisit. Maybe some more bel canto: everyone tells me to do or not to do Norma, and I've been looking at Donizetti's Maria Stuarda and Anna Bolena. But I don't want to do anything that beats up my voice. I'm limiting the opera to two or three roles a year, and spending more time on concerts and recitals."
Count this blog as one vote for the Norma. The Norma-phobia currently infecting the Met must be cured.
The diva who conquered America; interview with Rupert Christiansen [Telegraph UK]
(PS. We'll take the house premieres of the two Donizettis as well. In addition to the Norma.)
at 6:25 PM
02 November 2005
Mozart COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Met 01.11.2005; Levine; Frittoli, Kožená, Focile, Polenzani, Kwiecien, Allen.
All night he sits in what appears to be a velvet-cushioned chair especially designed for him, his field of motion these days confined to within about a foot and a half from his still trunk, filled in by half-folded arms, three or four small gestures (including one for turning the score), and one thin baton. It is a magic wand. There are moments in the Così when the evening doesn't sound like Mozart at all: the music is the music I felt that first time I looked out from the top of the Empire State over a silent city and there was only a breeze; cool air as I come out from a tropical subway platform; that flicker of light first seen as I wake up and it's a sunny day and I'm home. Sieglinde is always allowed a little over-the-top BS, but listen to me: this Così has become ether, and James Levine, in love, within his constrained physics organizes a swirl of sound with just enough quiet convection to keep the feather afloat. I can't explain what happens. No one pushes time or pulls for attention: the strings radiate an uncommon generosity, imperfect voices always find a good place, familiar arias are revealed from yet another secret view. I say to myself, "Oh, this may have been what Mozart heard in the opera house of his mind" or, at times, "Hold a sec, did Mozart even intend it to sound this light like light." I don't go to church any more; Levine's Così turns the house into a cathedral; God must be the Awe. Levine is 420, yellowtail sashimi from Tomoe, McDonalds french fries (kissed with lotsa McD salt) with diet Coke. Blindfold me, seat me in my box, start playing: I can tell if Levine's at the pit. But how can I, running on limited function, ability, and experience, make such a claim without any sense of arrogance, self-admiration, or ego? (Above the five other principals, Barbara Frittoli stands out, and among the many anti-Flemings around, she may be the most authentic: a veiled but clear sound, faltering beautifully at the edges, soft, sensitive attack on the notes and unforced lines, white opal dipped in tears, endearing.)
at 1:49 PM
01 November 2005
Text messages I got last night.
[7:36pm] Lucia tonight baby
[8:52pm] Futral is Insane Filianoti is Insane Dey all Insane
[9:59pm] Der Akt 2 Confrontazione is High Gothique Demented
[10:04pm] Mad Scena time Der Kadenza wil b Weird
[11:28pm] Filianoti greater than Florez
[11:42pm] Filianoti is hawt hawt hawt Sexay
[11:48pm] Lois misd da Tenor
TRANSLATION: Reporting from the Lucia at the Met last night; leads Elizabeth Futral and Giuseppe Filianoti are on fire; Filianoti is the next Juan Diego Florez; Filianoti is attractive in person; Lois Kirschenbaum, hound of the Met stage door, who gets everyone's autograph every single performance, somehow manages to miss Filianoti.
SIEGLINDE UPDATE: In transit today.
at 7:36 AM