29 October 2008

Met Futures: Halloween edition

Guys, science has once again taken Sieglinde's attention this month. So while that runs its drowsy course, she invites you to ruminate on the latest juicy tidbits from Brad Wilber. The Met Futures page has been updated thus:

For Season 2009-10, Frank Porretta III will debut in Turandot, sharing the role of Calaf with Ben Heppner; Alice Coote will come back as Hansel.

For Season 2010-11, Peter Rose joins the cast of Capriccio to sing La Roche, in place of Franz Hawlata.

For Season 2011-12, Nadja Michael is still debuting, but this time as Lady Macbeth instead of Abigaille; and English tenor John Daszak debuts as Captain Vere in Billy Budd.

24 October 2008

20 October 2008

19 October 2008

The soprano will be saying no to some repertoire in the future. Donizetti and other bel canto composers will be put aside soon. Manon and La traviata also "will probably disappear," she says. But there are tantalizing plans for Wagner's Lohengrin.

16 October 2008

Tongue, part 2

Really been busy the past week, too busy for opera (it is possible) but I just wanted to drop by quickly to post this pic. And as far as Joe the Plumber is concerned-- clearly you and I chose the wrong college major. (And congrats, Phillies. See y'all in St. Pete!)

12 October 2008

Florida's lawns are voting our way

On the infamous I-4 corridor, our little boating "island" of 400 residences (white, upper middle class, voted for Bush in '04) has, get this, 19 Obama-Biden signs to only 6 of the McCain-Palin signs. At a local convenience store, we overheard a conversation between two neighbors who've decided they're not voting this year because "we got two bad choices". They're most definitely Republicans. Yay!

10 October 2008

O terra, addio

The Yankees and the Mets are moving to new stadiums. According to this New York Times article, it's a problem for some baseball fans, who have surreptitiously scattered ashes of dead beloveds in the old stadiums to honor their last wishes. Their "final resting place" will be turned into a parking garage, which is sad. The same article then proceeds to infer the following:

Perhaps it is a measure of sports fans’ attachment to the places their teams fight it out, season after season over a lifetime, that they think about scattering ashes in stadiums — Lincoln Center, for example, says that no music lovers have asked to have their relatives’ remains left there.
Yeah, as if I'm gonna let the Met know that I've instructed my partner to sneak in and disperse a vial of my dead ashes about the dusty corners of my balcony box. Silly New York Times writer. Music fans are just as rabid and irrational as sports fans. I bet dead ashes have been strewn around the hallowed grounds of Lincoln Center bathrooms since the 80s. This is obvious. As I'm certain those who haunt the Met stage door will continue to haunt the Met stage door forever, in the form of their dead ashes. I'm so sure of it. (In fact, I think many of them are already beginning to shed some remains around there. I mean, have you seen that freakshow lately?)

The article gets more tragic:
“Where I put the ashes is in that little triangle in foul territory where they put those recliners where people sat,” said Ms. Brass, an administrative assistant at a Long Island company that maintains medical equipment. “They put recliners on top of my sister. I was annoyed about that. Those people were sitting on my sister. Now she’s going to be in the parking lot. Don’t laugh. I’m going to figure out where she is in that new parking lot, and park on top of her.”

The joy of HD TV: tongue

Supermodel pitcher Cole Hamels led the Phillies to a victory over the Dodgers last night. I'm still firmly for the Rays on the other side, but I may have to edit my forecast to the Phillies for the National League. I'm torn; once again, tongue is clouding my judgment.

09 October 2008

So I didn't miss it after all. Super!

Thanks, dear JSU of AUV, for correcting my inaccurate mental datebook. This past Saturday, I was so depressed to have so much work that I had to miss the HD theater simulcast of the Salome. Turns out I was just being stupid about dates. The Big Show is this weekend. Yay!! So: (1) Sieglinde's not missing it, uhm, this time; (2) like JSU, I thought that the show has improved vastly from previous evenings; (3) all of you cannot, cannot miss it; (4) who cares if pussy won't be shown, we're gay and we don't get into that stuff.

Met Futures: yet *more* fall updates

When it rains, it pours! Brad Wilber has uncovered quite a bit of new information for his fabulous Met Futures page since the last update just two days ago. Here's a summary:

For Season 2009-10: Simon Boccanegra loses Barbara Frittoli and Ferrucio Furlanetto, but adds James Levine as conductor and Nicola Alaimo in his Met debut as Paolo; Elizabeth Caballero makes her house debut as Frasquita in the new production of Carmen.

For Season 2010-11: Simon Boccanegra added to the roster, with Barbara Frittoli, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Nicola Alaimo returning as Paolo, and conducted by James Levine; Patrick Fournillier makes his Met debut conducting the revival of Hoffmann; Vladimir Ognovenko sings Varlaam in Boris Godunov; Micaela Carosi sings Leonora in Il Trovatore (only for the spring performances, alongside Dolora Zajick); Felicity Palmer returns as Genevieve in Pelleas; Dimitris Tiliakos makes his Met debut as Marcello in La Boheme.

For Season 2011-12: Carlo Colombara sings Zaccaria in Nabucco; David Kueblre sings Vitek in Makropoulos Case.


Strauss SALOME, Met 07.X.2008; c. Summers; Mattila, Uusitalo, Begley, Komlosi, Kaiser, Glassman, Schaufer.

A quick one: went back in to see Karita Mattila's Salome two evenings ago; wouldn't have been surprised if there was some sloping off of effort and energy after Saturday's big global simulcast, but no:* Mattila was crisper and in command compared to her prima performance, searing from first to last bar. The mercurial Mattila sound, grey and turbid in the middle but glistening as a penetrating liquid when pushed above the staff, is truly thrilling in this music. Indeed, this role, in my opinion, is the best match for her soprano: ecstatic, neurotic, lush, athletic, destructive. The forte top notes are becoming more challenging to her, but isn't it always an enjoyable thing to observe a singer battle the elements, who cares about the resulting carnage? She probably tears vital tissue during each Salome performance; it hurts me to receive all that sound; but lots and lots of pleasure all around; a classic S&M experience. Seriously, this is among the greatest miracles to happen at the Met in this generation. There is a reason why Deborah Voigt, as powerful as she is, will never, ever sing this role in her own home stage. I doubt there's anyone foolish enough to follow this immortal performance anytime soon; opera queens will be there to pillory the sorry pretenders.

*Duh. It's this weekend. Hasn't happened yet, folks.

07 October 2008

Met Futures: fall updates

Sieglinde announces a number of updates to Brad Wilber's Met Futures page (which, it appears, will continue to reside in Sieglinde's Diaries for the foreseeable future):

For Season 2009-10: Juha Uusitalo replaces Bryn Terfel as Scarpia; Lise Lindstrom makes her Met debut as Turandot; Tony winner Paulo Szot makes his Met debut as Kovalyov in The Nose; Rodell Rosel makes his Met debut as Begearss in The Ghosts of Versailles; Peter Hoare makes his Met debut as Shapkin in From the House of the Dead; Daniel Sutin returns to the cast of FRoSCH as the One-Eyed Brother.

For Season 2010-11: James Maddalena makes his Met debut as Richard Nixon; Aleksandra Kurzak sings Olympia in the revival of Hoffmann.

For Season 2011-12: Ernani added to the roster; David McVicar set to direct the Met premiere of Anna Bolena; Paulo Szot returns as Lescaut in Manon.

For Season 2012-13: David McVicar set to direct the Met premiere of Maria Stuarda.

03 October 2008

Three videos to tide you over to weekend booze

1. The crucial Great Schlep campaign. Sarah Silverman is funny; Florida ain't.
2. More on Renee Fleming's fashion show last week, who cares if you've had enough. This time with special guest star Annie Leibovitz in the role of "artist" photographer.
3. Forget Biden vs. Palin, or even "bailout" vs. "rescue". Here's what matters more: a Debbie/Olga catfight. I hear a certain Ewa won that one in the end. (via Score Desk)

Sarah Palin is illiterate

Sorry, just needed to get that off my system and out into the electronic universe. I couldn't sleep!

02 October 2008

Sieglinde's fall predictions

Division Series: Phillies in 4; Dodgers in 5; Rays in 3; Red Sox in 4.
League Championships: Dodgers in 6; Rays in 5.
World Series: Rays in 6.
Presidential Election: Obama by 84 electoral votes.

Aprile Millo is a Podles fan

Podles electrified the audience and for me gave me one of the most satisfying nights in the opera. She is real, yet unafraid to be grand. Borodina also reminds us what it is to hear a voice that plush and immense, yet velvet. I am a huge fan of this voice. Everyone I enjoyed, Debbie’s first Gioconda here and my friend Achilles Machado and Carlo Guelfi, with the magnificent contributions of the ballet, which is really quite a great piece of both music and theater, I just loved this grand opera.
In the same post, she also talks about a "benign pornography" seeping into opera. And also about a certain porn star named "Netremko" who she's not (yet) resentful about.

01 October 2008

Balcony box forever

Covent Garden cheap seats SUCK. They are just armless chairs squeezed as close as possible together and the air conditioning in the upper reaches is pathetic. Plus it is London so everyone has a jacket on because British July is like New York October. Clearly it wasn't enough for the Victorian lower classes to get cholera and spend their childhoods making artificial flowers, they also deserved to be super uncomfortable at the opera. If one can stomach the nausea inducing exchange rate, it is seriously worth it to spring for a lower balcony.