David M. Wagner Profile picture
Apr 25, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Ok gotta hand it to WQXR-NY, they came up w wins-the-internet slogan for TURANDOT this afternoon: “Wrong answers only.”
Besides winkingly turning the plot on its head (see what I did there?) it also invites conduct deadlier than injecting whatever, *and* invites anti-#TURANDOT zingers, longed-for by a finite nonzero % of #opera fans, tho not including your present tweeter.
So, other “Twisted Tales From Kobbé’s” slogans?

#AÏDA: You’re gorges, Napata!
#BOHÈME: Of cough!
#SAMSON: Welcome to my shop/Let me cut your mop
#TROVATORE: sick burn
#TANNHÄUSER: Venus and a harpist
#PARSIFAL: Grailroaded
#LOHENGRIN: (Wd u believe, “When does the next swan leave?” has ALREADY BEEN USED? Legendarily, by Leo Slezak (tenor, & father of Walter), when a confused stagehand caused Duke Gottfried to pull back from the gate and move out onto the swanboat tarmac?)

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More from @david_m_wagner

Aug 15
1/ TLM readings for Assumption are boss! Gen 3 - we know there in enmity betw the snake and “the woman” - a typological category that includes several OT women, including Judith, so 1st reading is from her book, where she is explicitly praised for her most famous accomplishment.
2/ Old ‘Olofernes - ‘e’s been ever so much better since ‘e ‘ad ‘is ‘ead off.
3/ Not in the readings, but “the woman” includes Jael, in Judges.
Read 4 tweets
Jul 6
What’s going on? fundyProts w nmore Biblical depth than Antietam Creed attacking Our Lady, then someone does a hostile (some wd say homophobic) thread on GKC, and now R. Brazen Witch is on about Dante.
For more about Dante and Courtly Love, read on.
2/ Dante took the Courtly Love tradition more or less as he found it; one of the rules of the CL road was that your “amor” cdn’t be your wife. But in part he broke with the conventions. CL usually involved sexual passion for the “amor,” and sometimes (less often) actual conquest.
3/ This surprises some ppl, bc we think we know all about CL from TANNHÄUSER or “Man of La Mancha” - “to love pure and chaste from afar” - n’uh uh. Except for a minority of CL poets, including Dante. “Pure and chaste from afar” was v much his thing re Beatrice.
Read 6 tweets
May 31
1/ So far it sounds good. Konieczny is excellent; Dmitri Belosselskiy as Daland is threatening to steal the show.

Soon we’ll hear from Elsa v d Heever as Senta. @MetOpera she’s done Elisabetta in MARIA STUARDA, Elettra in IDOMENEO, and now Senta, i.e. …
2/ she specializes in chicks who are a bit cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs.
3/ Elza’s fine. Noted, too, how Eric Cutler, formerly bel canto (Arturo in PURITANI) here moves to the threshold of Wagner-tenor-world, turning in a well-sung Erik - a role that doesn’t need, yet frequently gets, a full-blown heldentenor.
Read 6 tweets
Apr 23
For a dark lord, Pizarro sure gets a jolly intro march. Beethoven’s FIDELIO on MetOperaChannel now, perf from 1976. Gwyneth Jones, Jess Thomas, Donald McIntyre; cond. John Mauceri.
2/ The horns effed up their exposed slow passage early in the overture, so they provided lovely support for Gwyneth in the Abscheulicher, and maybe the maestro didn’t demand their asses for dinner.
3/ Leonora (“Fidelio”) persuades Rocco (John Macurdy, old pro) to let the prisoners out for some air, hoping she’ll spot her husband. When Pizarro calks on Rocco to please explain, Rocco says well it’s the king’s b’day. …
Read 4 tweets
Apr 22
1/ A 2002 FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN on rn. My old friend from Opera-L tenor Thomas Moser is singing the (kind, slightly silly) Emperor, and sounds good despite a bit of strain at the top of his brief Act I appearance. Thielemann conducting sensitively.
2/ In Deb Voigt still had the coloratura as well as dramatic passages of the Empress.
3/ Baritone Wolfgang Brendel and soprano Gabriela Schnaut (back then a leading Brünnhilde and Ortrud at Bayreuth) shine as the Baraks.

Reinhild Runkel was the bulldozer dramatic mezzo that the villainess role of the Nurse needs but sounds here like she’s in her 4th quarter.
Read 12 tweets
Apr 15
1/ Ok what with changing laptops I’v gotten behind on @MetOpera bcasts. This afternoon it’s a live ROSENKAVALIER. I heard the season 1ère earlier. I predict it will be excellent and @GGboeck will steal the show.
2/ I heard 1st two acts of a 1978 OTELLO that I saw in the house. Tho I really wanted to see McCracken in the role, Vickers was excellent esp considering late date. Ricciarelli - took her for granted back then bc spoiled rotten. And Cornell Macneil as Iago!
3/ Also caught last act of a 1955 SAMSON. Ramon Vinay and Risë Stevens - again, we were spoiled rotten. Baritone Sigurd Björling - not2b confused w tenor Jussi - was good at the bads and so made an impression as the Philistine High Priest.
Read 4 tweets

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