06 December 2004

Monday Morning Roundup

Topics to take with you to the water cooler

Miricioiu Watch. A lusciously detailed post on the Nelly Miricioiu Yahoo list (who knew) recounting her first Met Vespri evening this season also sums up her performance on the second night remarkably well. Save for the Merce entrance mishap, of course. Speaking of which, the conductor Frederic Chaslin brushed off his boo'er(s) from Friday, telling a Nelly fan at the stage door that he did all he could to save a singer in distress, and what's a maestro to do, really. It was a mere one-second slip, barely enough time to do anything but move the music along. Just one of those things.

Rodelindamania Redux. Print reviews for the Met Rodelinda are overwhelmingly ecstatic (NYT, NYN, AP, NJSL), but Philly doesn't like the production; Liz Smith discusses "boy soprano" (a.k.a. woman with balls) Bejun Mehta's tough puberty. Speaking of falsettos, next season's Met Rodelinda is set to feature the company debuts of babes Andreas Scholl as Bertarido and Christophe Dumaux (b. 1979?!) as his sidekick. *pant* ... Tonight is Rodelinda's second evening (sold-out, baby); I will be there, along with those too cheap to justify buying a prima ticket.

The Legend Evolves. The CBS Evening News segment Sunday made it seem like Angela Brown broke into the big leagues on Nov. 2, when she was called mid-performance to substitute for an ailing Fiorenza Cedolins in Act IV of the Met Aida. Indeed, a more compelling, heartwarming story (the rookie being called to pinch hit at the bottom of the 9th, then hitting a walk-off home run, etc., etc.), but we all know that the real occasion of her first (national media) "success" was her debut evening days before, on Oct. 29 (arranged months in advance). She was originally scheduled to sing another on Dec. 1, completing the initial contract of two evenings; however, by final count she came away with four complete performances and the one Act IV; the Nov. 6 was a Cedolins sickday, but the intriguing question is how Brown muscled Norma Fantini out of this past weekend's matinee. Stay tuned.

Shattered Glass. Dame Joan Sutherland was recognized at Sunday's Kennedy Center Honors for helping "opera rediscover a long-lost world of beauty, the age of bel canto." The WPost article reports that "Leontyne Price, honored in 1980, turned her toast of diva Sutherland into a crystal-shattering aria." Also present were past honorees Marilyn Horne and Sherrill Milnes [AP].