Michelle De Young

01 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
Part of Wagner Diction on 20071207


(08 December 2007) Barenboim sings again! : Brangäne, the Wagner “specialist” Michelle De Young, offered the worst vocal performance of the night,

Comment 2: I found the review very interesting and I think it describes truly what the production was. (……) I hope he will find the right singers for these operas if they exist today. Very awful was the Brangaene of Michelle De Young, I just couldn’t stand her ugly voice and her horrible technique.


(December 7, 2007) Tristan und Isolde: I found Michelle DeYoung as Brangäne the less convincing of them all. Her singing sounded shrill and off-pitch at many places, a negative surprise for me since I heard her as Kundry 6 months ago, where she was in good voice.


(December 09, 2007) Comment: Thank you for the photographs of the opening night “Tristan.” Having heard a fair number of Brangänes in the theatre in my day (including Grace Hoffman and Tatiana Troyanos), and having been exposed to any number of directorial takes on (or swipes at) “T&I,” I am gobsmacked by why a director or costume and make-up people would think it in the best interests of the opera to turn Brangäne into a XX version of Fafner. My deepest sympathies to Michelle de Young. If, as the reviews have it, she did not sing well, do people think you can costume a woman to look like a monster when she is performing the epitome of a sororial role and expect her to sound like Sigrid Onegin? Some years ago, a friend of mine who was singing Brangäne hit the roof when she was asked to perform it wearing a contemporary business suit-in retrospect, she’s lucky she wasn’t costumed as King Kong…


(December, 2007) Michigan-born Michelle DeYoung, is a free spirit who finds singing Mahler “fun.” ON visits with the mezzo, who makes her La Scala debut this month as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde. : MD: I am a mezzo (…) [ON: Leaving aside present-day colleagues or anyone whose career is still active, who’s the one singer you wish you could have sung with?] – MD: Flagstad. I’d be satisfied if I could have heard her live, in the opera house, but, yes, Flagstad. I would have loved to be her Brangäne.


What is unique to her singing is that there are more than one way to improve. Why doesn’t she take a shortcut? However… I don’t understand why I have to give my advice when this lady is imitating Meier-like diction, which is the very basic reason causing her physical defect. Can’t she just throw away that sickish singing diction? It sounds shit. How come she could interview that Flagstad is her ideal female partner? In reality, she sounds like studying Meier’s recordings all day and memorized all about Meier. Even the deaf can explain how different Meier’s Wagnerian diction sounds from Flagstad’s, which is ringing her entire body. They can watch.

Whatever she is, I can’t watch her Scala production as long as she does everything with Meier. The moment I clicked her on the YouTube.com, she tried to sing and Meier was outsinging her, so I had to hysterically turn it off. How do I know Meier was outsinging? I grew up in her kind of ensemble, where outplaying was their favorite way of ruling the group. In American music schools, there were always want-to-be-pros, who played like Meier especially when they had a golden opportunity to play with someone-from-Chicago called JIWON. So sick of this kind of performance. No one can outplay his ensemble partners with unlimited volume. Sooner or later, one has to change his sound to rule his partners in a normal situation. When I happened to find an obituary notice of Astrid Varnay, her singing photo, and forumites’ comments, in which they remembered not only her fabulous singing but also her great manner to treat her talented juniors, I dropped my jaw because Barenboim’s Prima Donna was exactly opposite to this legendary Wagnerian Diva. But then, Meier’s manner is not same as Ms. Nilsson’s egoistic character, in which her vocal skill was the fundamental reason of her pride. Even in this situation, there is no change in Meier’s manners on the stage.

But I did hear her Stravinsky with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra two years ago. Speechless… No wonder this lady proved her worst performance on the night of Meier. Doesn’t she still realize that her voice sounds real different on the stage and should forget some of her rehearsals? I know it is impossible to fix her vocal/physical/mental problem while she is standing/sitting/walking next to Meier, though.

%d bloggers like this: