Monday, July 30, 2007

Yes, We Mourn

Just to sum up the opera world's heartbreak from the past month...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No News is Good News (aka another RIP)

It has been reported that renowned (but underappreciated) bass Nicola Zaccaria died last Tuesday. The cause of death is Alzheimer's and he was 85.
He's perhaps known more for his roles in most of Callas's recording than for his voice, but it's sad nonetheless.

(You see what you started, Bubbles??)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Teresa Stich-Randall dies in Vienna

American soprano Teresa Stich-Randall died this past Tuesday in Vienna. Stitch-Randall was best known for her interpretations of Mozart. She was 79.

Another sad death in the opera world. It seems to be mostly American singers though, doesn't it? I mean, except for Regine Crespin every opera death so far this month has been of an American singer. Tragic, just tragic!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Replacements, lacking the surprise factor

A press release from the Met says that there have been quite a few cast changes for the 2007-2008 season! Some of them don't come to a surprise to any of us.

Pay attention, this may be confusing:

Angela B. Brown will replace Maria Guleghina in Aida on September 29, October 4 an 16. Ms. Brown will sing, as scheduled, on November 2, 5, and 8. Micaela Carosi will replace Ms. Brown on October 30.
Maija Kovalevska will replace Krassimira Stoyonova as Micaela in Carmen on February 9, 8, 13. Ms. Stoyonova will sing all other performances. Lucio Gallo will sing (role debut) Escamillo in all performances next season.
Matthew Polenzani will sing Romeo in Romeo et Jiuliette opposite Anna Netrebko on the December 27 and 31 performances. Rolando Villazon will sing all other performances.
Neil Shicoff will not be singing in Peter Grimes at all this season. Since I'm guessing he backed out, Anthony Dean Griffey, will sing the entire run.
Isabel Bayrakdarian will be replaced by Ekaterina Siurina in the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro on November 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28, and December 1. Ms. Bayrakdarian still holds her performances on October 2, 6, 10, and 13.
Maria Guleghina is replacing Andrea Gruber as Lady Macbeth on October 22, 26, 31, and November 3. Andrea Gruber is still scheduled for May 9, 13, and 17.
Maria Guleghina is not singing in the November 12, 16, 19, and 23 performances of Norma. Instead, Hasmik Papian will sing the Bellini opera. Ms. Guleghina is still scheduled for November 26, 30, December 4, and 7.
As Lady Macbeth we anxiously await the wonderful return of the lovely TBA, on January 5, 9, 12, and 15.

Run, everyone, and check your subscriptions! If you don't have a subscription, make sure that if you buy tickets you know which cast you're getting. It could be a very confusing process.

I, personally, was not at all surprised that they gave away at least some of Andrea Gruber's Lady Macbeth. Excuse me, but her vocal decline is painfully obvious. Come, come, we all heard that Turandot broadcast! I will be perfectly happy to see Maria Guleghina as Lady Macbeth. Most people don't seem surprised at Neil Shicoff either backing out or getting pushed out. Something to do with assuming in advance that he would not show up for rehearsals? What ever the case, the Met decides who stays and who goes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jerry Hadley 1952-2007

Jerry Hadley died today at 11:20am just two days after doctor's took him off of life support. What a tragic end to such a talented artist. Rest in Peace, Mr. Hadley.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jerry Hadley

The New York Times just reported that last night acclaimed American tenor Jerry Hadley shot himself in the head. This is a shocking attempted suicide. Doctors told the press that he has severe brain damage and they are not sure if he will survive.

We opera lovers have had a tragic week already, how much more can we take? This blog has turned into the "Mourn Desk." We need good news, and fast!

****UPDATE**** Jerry Hadley has been taken off life support and will be "will be kept comfortable until his passing."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Tributes to Beverly Sills

All over the Internet, from YouTube to the Metropolitan Opera Website, there are tributes to our wonderful Beverly Sills. Undoubtedly one of the best loved opera singers ever, Ms. Sills deserves every single one of these tributes.

Anthony Thommasini from the New York Times:

Remembering Beverly Sills (nytimes):

Metropolitan Opera:

New York City Opera:

Statements from the Sills family:

The Beverly Sills website:

Carol Burnett remembers her friend:

Baltimore Sun:,0,4136001.story?coll=bal-artslife-music
New York Daily News:

The New York Times Obituary:

Beverly Sills was laid to rest yesterday (July 4th) with only a small service and burial. We are all praying for her family and those who knew her best. We all know that she's singing beautifully in the opera house in the sky.

Regine Crespin 1927-2007

Regine Crespin reportedly died today in a Paris hospital. She was 80 years old.

What is with this??? Are we going to lose every great singer within the span of a month??? I heard that Pavarotti's health is also failing, and no news is good news with Marilyn Horne... This is so upsetting. I can't take much more of this!!!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Beverly Sills (May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007)

Beverly Sills died yesterday at approximately 9pm. The cause was an aggressive form of lung cancer, although she never smoked. Ms. Sills was an extraordinary coloratura soprano and gave 110% of everything she had into every role she ever played. I'm very sorry I never got the chance to see her perform live or see her at all. I feel like I know her through her recordings and everything I have heard about her. She is and will always remain one of my favorite sopranos of all time. She was a great advocate for the arts even after she retired from the stage. Ms. Sills was first the general director of the New York City Opera, then was a Chairwoman of Lincoln Center, and finally was a Chairwoman on the Metropolitan Opera Board of Directors. On top of all this she had two disabled children, Meredith (Muffy) and Peter (Bucky).

I sincerely hope that Bubbles's last moments were peaceful and that she is in a better place. We love you, Bubbles!!!!

Beverly "Bubbles" Sills