Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bubbles Gravely Ill

It was reported today that our beloved Beverly Sills is gravely ill.

She is now at a Manhattan hospital. reported that she is suffering from cancer, although in 1974 she underwent successful cancer surgery. One source said that she had lung cancer, although that hasn't been proven. Her daughter, Muffie, is by her side.

Bubbles, you are in our prayers and please get better!!!

(The full story can be found at, but as this story progresses I will be bringing you all the breakthroughs.)

******UPDATE: Bubbles's publicist confirms illness: (from
"It's grave. This whole matter of this discovery of cancer has been just about four weeks now. Up until that she had no idea," publicist Edgar Vincent said. He did not release details on the nature of her cancer.
Sills was in a New York hospital for a broken rib suffered from a fall. Otherwise she would be home, Vincent said."

******UPDATE: Apparently Beverly Sills is supposed to be going home to her New York apartment today. I've only heard this from a few sources, and they say that she's going home to spend her last days there.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

World Peace and Renee Fleming
I'm totally and completely convinced that this one video will create world peace. Every person who has any sort of power in this world should listen to this before going into any conferences or before deciding whether to go to war. There would be a lot fewer problems!
I also think that to enjoy this to the full extent, you should read the words/translation along with it, it makes it a ton more meaningful:

Glück, das mir verblieb, Joy, that near to me remains,
rück zu mir, mein treues Lieb. Come to me, my true love.
Abend sinkt im Hag Night sinks into the grove
bist mir Licht und Tag. You are my light and day.
Bange pochet Herz an Herz Anxiously beats heart on heart
Hoffnung schwingt sich himmelwärts. Hope itself soars heavenward.
Wie wahr, ein traurig Lied. How true, a sad song.
Das Lied vom treuen Lieb, The song of true love,
das sterben muss. that must die.
Ich kenne das Lied. I know the song.
Ich hört es oft in jungen, I heard it often in younger,
in schöneren Tagen. in better days.
Es hat noch eine Strophe-- It has yet another verse--
weiß ich sie noch? Do I know it still?
Naht auch Sorge trüb, Though sorrow becomes dark,
rück zu mir, mein treues Lieb. Come to me, my true love.
Neig dein blaß Gesicht Lean (to me) your pale face
Sterben trennt uns nicht. Death will not separate us.
Mußt du einmal von mir gehn, If you must leave me one day,
glaub, es gibt ein Auferstehn. Believe, there is an afterlife.
(courtesy of

I have something else that has been on my mind... Fleming-bashers. You people love to hate La Fleming, and love to hate her voice (and choice of, er, repertoire). I have wondered why for a long time, and also wondered why people are bashers at all. I don't claim to be innocent of bashing, because I often bash Mr. Roberto Alagna and Ms. Angela Gheorghiu. The thing is, I don't outwardly bash their amazing ability to sing things I probably never could, I just insult their intelligence and attitudes. =) I just feel that people are yelling and screaming at Renee for no good reason. They don't like what she's singing. Okay, well then don't listen!!! It's the quickest and most efficient way to avoid a singer! I really respect Ms. Fleming for not giving in to these people. She still sings what she wants, and that's the whole point, isn't it? You sing because you love it, don't you? Yeah, it's great if you're famous and all that, but you sing because you want to. Renee Fleming's got fame, fans, and a hell of a voice! That means, yes, she can do and sing what ever she wants! I don't know about the rest of you, but I'll listen to Renee any day of the week! Bashers, I think, want singers to sing exactly what they (the bashers) want and exactly how they want. So every basher wants something different; no swooping, no sobbing/gasping, no this, no that, and what ever else they say. When she puts emotion, or "too much emotion" ie. the gasping and sobbing, into songs and arias that means that she's singing the way she feels, which I think is wonderful. Going totally overboard is not so good, but if I was as famous as Renee and could sing like her and I wanted to put emotion into my songs, I'd go right ahead and do it! She has a right to sing because she loves it and put emotion into it! If she wants to make a jazz CD, fine! Don't buy it! See if she cares! She likes jazz too, is that so terrible? She likes to sing jazz, is that so bad? Apparently it is, but as long as you don't have to listen to it, does it really matter that much? In Renee Fleming's defence, I say let her sing what she wants how she wants, because some people out here want to hear her sing. I think this goes for every singer and every singer's group of bashers. Let them do what they want, for goodness sake. I'm going to have to swallow these words one day, I know it, but I'm sick of people hating on Renee because you can distinguish her voice from every other lyric soprano in the history of the world! Thank you for listening to these insane rambling about bashers and why it's a "no-no", so with that, I'm going to go watch the above youtube video a million times.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Daddy won'tcha help me?"

Well... who ever thought these two styles would cross over? No matter, they do it outrageously well! This video had me laughing for a long time after it was over. You might have to watch it multiple times, but I'm sure you'll enjoy it! =)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Stupid Things People Do At The Opera

The famous yell during the telecast of "Luisa Miller" with Renata Scotto. Some guy decided (right before she starts her big aria) to scream "Brava! Brava Maria Callas!" Well, as much as we all love Ms. Callas, we don't want her named screamed during a live telecast! The best part is Renata just stares the heckler down during the first part of the aria! =) Brava Renata!!!

Another stupid thing someone did was walk off the stage at La Scala. This "unnamed tenor" was booed... just like Pavarotti and Callas. Still, he felt the need to walk off and have his unnamed replacement walk on stage in jeans. =)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oh My God, Met in the Parks!!!!

Well, I have to say I am extremely impressed. Blown away and utterly speechless!! Met in the Parks is the most brilliant idea ever! I know it's been going on for many many years now, but it's like a revelation for me.

Last night was Gounod's Faust, and let me tell you this is no light opera. With seemingly inclement weather everyone waited anxiously to see if the sun (or stars) might make an appearance. Oh well, no stars (only clouds) but the stars on the stage were just as bright!!
The cast was as follows:

Faust- David Pomperoy
Marguerite- Katie Van Kooten
Mephistopheles- James Morris
Valentin- Hung Yun
Siebel- Kate Lindsey
Marthe- Jane Bunnell
Wagner- Keith Miller

Like the absolute brilliant person that I happen to be, I either forgot or was too lazy to prepare myself for seeing this opera. I never read the synopsis, got a CD, or read a libretto at all! However, before we left I cleverly printed out a translated libretto from and used it the whole way through. It was very helpful. We only made it to the end of the second act, though, because my brothers complained of the cold. I said "If those singers can stand up there and sing in this cold, then we can sit hear and listen to them in it!" We still ended up leaving. I brought a friend along to her first opera ever! She was so excited because I, obviously, tell her all about it. She was not disappointed in the least. She had the most wonderful time, I was so happy!

Now comes the tricky part... The actual performance...
Well, let's see. It was truly magnificent. All the singers sounded wonderful. James Morris especially, but he's one of my favorites so I'm kind of biased. I never heard any of the other singers in my life, but I love them! Katie Van Kooten was extraordinary as was David Pomperoy. Why aren't they singing more during the actual season? And if they are, why haven't I heard about/seen them!!! In any event, they were all charmingly beautiful. The entire experience was wonderful.
We did have a little help from the weather with dramatic effect. It seemed that every time Mephistopheles appeared there was a big flash of lightning (although it wasn't raining and we heard no thunder). There was drama in the scene, out came the lightning. It made it even more special!
I plan to go every year from now on, and I advise everyone else to go as well! You will not regret this, I promise!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Richard Strauss

Today is the birthday of composer Richard Strauss. He wrote some of the best loved operas (or operatic moments) including Salome, Elektra, and Der Rosenkavalier. This season the Met also produced his lesser produced work, Die Agyptische Helena.
In celebration of this great composer's birthday, here are some clips of some of his great operas:
Renee Fleming singing the finale to Capriccio.
The "presentation of the rose" from Der Rosenkavalier as sung by Lucia Popp and Birgit Fassbaender.
The "composer aria" from Ariadne auf Naxos as sung by Tatiana Troyanos.
The amazingly sublime final trio from Der Rosenkavalier. This is considered to be some of the most beautiful music in all of opera (arguably to some people). I will also ask you to ignore Renee Fleming's dress and just focus on her singing. This trio is sung by Hiedi Grant Murphy, Anne Sofie von Otter, and Renee Fleming. If you have never heard or seen this, please watch this!!!
Montserrat Caballe singing the final scene from Salome. This is pretty intense.
Singing a scene from Elektra is Eva Marton and Leonie Rysanek. This is also very intense!!

Hope you enjoyed! A big happy birthday to Richard Strauss!!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Change of Schedule!

There's been a change in plans for the Metropolitan Opera's 2007-2008 season.
Instead of doing Les Contes d'Hoffmann the Met will show Bizet's Carmen.

Well, why the change?

Funny story about that...
The tenor Marcelo Alvarez decided to retire Hoffmann from his repertoire.

"We want to ensure that the world’s greatest singers are performing at the Met in roles that suit them best,” said General Manager Peter Gelb. “While this change affects previously announced plans, we are delighted that Met audiences will get to hear Marcelo Álvarez sing Don José for the first time and that Olga Borodina will perform one of her signature roles.” *

Couldn't have Mr. Alvarez waited another year? Okay, guess not. However, we will have the pleasure to see the great Zeffirelli production of Carmen with the absolutely stunning mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina.

The the cast includes:
Carmen: Olga Borodina/ Nancy Fabiola Herrera (one performance)
Don Jose: Marcelo Alvarez
Micaëla: Krassimira Stoyanova
Escamillo: TBA
Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Too bad Hoffmann wasn't on my subscription! I'd be seeing Carmen! =)