Category Archives: 02.3 WagnerDiction (Alive)

Barenboim: Anna Netrebko

🙂 The Art of Criticism > Voice
02 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Facebook: Anna Netrebko

JUNE 29, 2009
To: Anna Netrebko
From: Jiwon

http://www.morgenweb.de/nachrichten/kultur/20090626_srv0000004400156.html

Finally, I found you. Your recital with Elena Bashkirova. Are you also going to join Jersualem Festival as a special guest? I’ve been suspecting this partnership since the moment I found you from Waltraud Meier’s private-connection. And I was waiting for this performance because you will sound worst in the Russian repertoire and this Russian whore will make you even worse… or hopeless. And then… I am NOT allowed to criticize Barenboim’s diva, especially in this situation, no matter how much she stinks. Could you please, please record this performance? (It would be perfect if Bashkirova posts this video-clip on Youtube.)

Sorry about saying this… but there was NO exception in Bashkirova’s case, and I don’t think you used to treat yourself as another Callas. THEREFORE… I’m now suspecting if your professional career is already dying after having a baby. I now know why Foruminte questioned about your Lucia at La Scala… (I even suspect if Barenboim himself wanted to find a good replacement through my open insulting your Bashkirova-recital.) I feel funny… because I always wanted to help you since the moment I heard your voice and your personality on the radio, and I didn’t care your Barenboim-like dresscode, which rather made you look cheap. Anyway, I never support Bashkirova’s friend, and I will always remember this concert and reaise this issue when your audience start forgetting your attractive outlooks. I’m thinking… if you want to keep singing Lucia like your recent days, you don’t have to cancel this performance. NEVER… Thanks in advance.

P.S.: You don’t have to answer me. And will you reply that you don’t know me? You can answer me, of course… since I will post this message in my blog. And your answer, too.
https://theartofcriticism.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/anna-netrebko/

http://www.annanetrebko.com/schedule/
August 12, 2009
Rosengarten Mozartsaal, Mannheim
Recital

http://www.bb-promotion.com/index.php?option=com_bbevents&task=view_event&event_id=2427
Anna Netrebko
Mannheim, Rosengarten Aug 12, 2009

http://www.morgenweb.de/nachrichten/kultur/20090626_srv0000004400156.html
Klassik: Sopran-Diva singt in Mannheim in der Muttersprache
Netrebko mit Russischem
Endlich ist das Geheimnis um den Mannheimer Abend mit Anna Netrebko gelüftet. Lange haben wir uns gefragt, was die Südrussin am 12. August im Rosengarten singen wird, hieß es doch von Anfang an, sie komme ohne Orchester und “nur” mit Klavierbegleitung zu einem Liederabend. Solche Abende sind selten und sehr intim. Nun hat der Veranstalter BB Promotion das Programm bekannt gegeben. Demnach wird Netrebko ein russisches Programm singen: elf Lieder von Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow und neun von Peter Iljitsch Tschaikowsky. Ihre Klavierpartnerin ist die in Moskau geborene Elena Bashkirova, die sich als Kammermusikpartnerin und Solistin internationalen Ruf erworben hat. dms

01 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

NEED TO FIND MY OLD WRITINGS… or message to the READERS…

Advertisements

Barenboim: Deborah Voigt

04 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

JUNE 9-10, 2009

Please check the comments.
http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/2009/05/scalas-20092010-season-make-it-a-blockbuster-night.html May 26, 2009
http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/2009/05/preview-teatro-alla-scalas-20092010-season-teaser.html May 19, 2009

How come Waltraud Meier dares to plan this recital? No wonder…
Very interesting to check the date of Lissner’s announcement: May 19, 2009 (or couple of days before), on which La Scala’s Lissner was supposed to rein Salzburg in the name of Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Waltraud Meier, who sleeps at Barenboim’s feet… according to the forumite’s comment. Lissner failed, though. Who was first, by the way? Eva Wagner-Pasquier or Waltraud Meier or BOTH? This is my only concern…

Of course, Waltraud Meier will be welcomed with Elena Bashkirova and those golden couple should appear in NUDE. However, I believe it was to prepare Meier’s Wagnerian role at La Scala. So is Angela Denoke. (After checking Youtube, I now realize why this German voice was OK to sing with Bashkirova and ran to Jerusalem Festival. I now know how to understand blogger’s questionable comments. Though never planned to accept her in my world, I used to think that this was an innocent victim. Now, I feel no need to sorry for this German diction. I am pretty sure what kind of self-admiration she used to enjoy in Meier’s Unter den Linden, where Barenboim can find Meier’s copycats or foreign dictions only. Did she learn this vocal technique and cheap acting in Cabaret? A perfect singing in a Beer hall. Anyway…) Now, I clearly know this singing level and Karita Mattila’s are entirely different…

Jesus… I found one comment on Denoke’s recital after sending this draft… cool!

Curious… Karita Mattila is going to join Jerusalem Festival after reading this? According to the rule of Bimbo-Battle… Therefore, I now decide to post EVERYTHING with REAL NAMES.

I am now serious.
Can Deborah Voigt have a recital at La Scala?
It was purely out of curiosity when I started my research… but suddenly I realized everything.

Before writing this…
I HATE FAT SINGERS.

It’s just my personal taste and no one can blame me since I am one of innocent consumers. (I never plan to make a living as a film star, so this is the end of my story. No one can blame me. *.*) Have you ever seen any TV soap operas or screen films, in which ugly-looking females dominate the scenes? Even while the female characters are being judged by acting ability, I’ve never seen their outlooks under the standard. At least, they should look intelligent or charismatic or uniquely bla-bla-bla…
Perhaps… this is why I’ve never been interested in the world of opera. I still hate watching that boring thing. All my voice-writings were purely due to the fact that it is a disaster to watch Waltraud Meier’s ACTING and purely to disprove all those professional’s f*cking theory that Waltraud Meier is a Wagnerian voice. And then, I’ve finished analyzing ‘Orchestra’ long ago and all those orchestras have never planned to make enough improvement to ask my further analysis and so on and so on…

Then… I started studying human body or physical ability in the world of music. Then, there became one more reason not to accept FAT SINGERS in my list.

Fat singers usually don’t utilize their entire body to sing. Their voice doesn’t ring the entire body. This is a limited ability. (Studying Pavarotti is very interesting… BTW. How many Pavarottis are found during his lifespan? It is a sad fact that most of his fans remember Pavarotti as a voice of past his prime.) Furthermore, fat singers are usually physically bigger and famous for their big volume. This bigger volume destroys his/her ensemble partners when it leads average-sized or tiny singers, who are required to use the entire body to ring their voice or vice versa.

Anyways… I still can’t accept ugly looking Opera singers for the very commercial reason. And if I were among the CEO of Opera Company, I will fire ALL the fat singers… except Mr. and Ms. Fatty-Cuties. Even in the film industry, they can be valued as commercial jewels and who can blame my management skills?

Finally, time for Deborah Voigt.

I knew people, Americans in particular, kept trying to introduce this name whenever I write something Wagner but I kept ignoring.
Waltraud Meier is disgusting… but I never wanted to accept this name in Barenboim’s professional career too. WHY?

Of course, this German whore was frequently looking for ugly-looking fat females in order for her to become a final winner in Barenboim’s home whenever I started my insulting… because this b*tch knew that innocent public would praise her sexism more and my analysis would only result in igniting fat singers’ anger. But this was not the real reason. Barenboim has already been allowed to play with inferior females only. Nothing matters when my weapon is with or without Deborah Voigt in Barenboim’s Opera Company…

TWO REASONS.

1. Opera lovers kept writing that her Wagner is ‘casual’. What does it mean? ‘Casual’ is a nickname of Mehta’s interpretation. It means ‘never-sensitive’. In America, I was in shock. So many fat Americans… then I was in shock again. Unlike Korea, those fat ladies and gentlemen were very sensitive. In my view, they were too sensitive or too nice or too weak and therefore frequently failed to control themselves, including their weight. Then what about ‘casual’ Voigt, which means ‘Never-Sensitive’ Wagnerian Singer? Oh, well…

2. Then, I read her interview. More exactly, I read forumites discussing her interview during their debate of FAT-WAGNER. There, she insisted that unlike other fat singers, she can move easily on the stage. What does it mean? A ‘foreign’ German diction, which interpretation is ‘never-sensitive’ and whose voice is able to ‘move’ very easily on the stage? It simply means that this singer never relies on her spine while singing. That’s the end of story. NO need to listen to her voice.

Therefore, it was my nicest version of ‘NO-THANKS’ when I quickly replied your previous article on June 11, 2008. I didn’t read, felt no need to read the article, of course: Second Date With a Little Black Dress. I think it was not my first reply… I remember that I also mentioned her hair style, which needs a drastic change after surgery.

As I wrote before, it was only after her fashionable outlook in RED hooked my attention that I suddenly started my curiosity about her VOICE: Onstage, an Alceste-Like Struggle (as Alceste)

Too tired to check all those Youtube clips again. When I did couple of days ago, I never planned to make a message and I was already tired by then after barely finishing Egyptian part… and it was all after I checked her different voices that something suddenly hit my brain. Gosh… already too tired to write…

To cut the long story short,

I used to think that she lost ‘support’ or ‘supportive muscles’ (in her legs or hip or diaphragm or whatever…) after surgery, which took all her fats-therefore-healthyvoice.
It was not. (True that female singers really need physical training in special ways… Do the fat singers exercise? I just hate their fat-voice, which lacks fresh air.)

The real problem was her acting.
More exactly, everybody around her, who tried to imitate Waltraud Meier, and kept destroying her concentration.
I just can’t understand… How come they just can act like this? Don’t they feed-back their own performance when they go home and prepare their next performance schedule? Or has been this the only way to survive in the world of opera since Meier’s prostitution?

I’m now curious if this is why Waltraud Meier was dismissed in Munchen and decided to suck all Barenboim’s bloods in Berlin and then Milan in the name of D-I-V-A-N… I can’t help thinking this whenever I read commenters, who travel Europe and compare the quality of opera houses. Whenever there is a shadow of Waltraud Meier, the entire stage looks noisy, unorganized, untrained, ugly, messy…

Apart from this problem, I also suspect if Voigt herself wanted to ‘move more easily’ on the stage, especially after the surgery, to please all those f*cking stage directors, whose ideal VOICE is Waltraud Meier.

Then… here come her vocal problem.
I recommend her to practice in front of mirror, (… it will be difficult to sing in front of mirror…), or video-tape her practice and check her… um… behind her neck… from her head through her spine and down to her hip and all to her toes… but watching around her neck or ‘feeling it’ will be crucial to check if she ‘always and equally’ opens her throat. And then there is a need to check her facial muscles, but this will be a next step for her. Intensity? It simply means to drive all her airs to the core of her body with the interpretation of proper(?) German diction. (I can’t say ‘exact’… because I know how difficult it is in this situation. Please look Nilsson how much she concentrates on her diction on every each word. Then… I only hear wannabe-singers imitating Nilsson’s diction instead of her air-and-air-and-air. What’s wrong with them?) It will be entirely different from Meier’s intensity, which sounds like F-U-C-K-Y-O-U and destroys EVERYTHING… but… which used to be worshiped by presidents of Meier-Fan-Clubs especially in European countries.

Basically, it was the very basic of Birgit Nilsson. True that it is the common characteristics of all the legendary divas, but it is especially prominent in Nilsson’s case… compared to Kirsten Flagstad.

After realizing everything… I just couldn’t understand.
How come no one was talking about this? I am not an opera expert while you and all the commenters are. They attend all kinds of operas as frequently as possible. Among them, there are more accurate ears than I. I just can’t understand. Had they talked about this problem just a little bit, I could have started my research earlier. I just felt no need to listen to her until couple of days ago.

It’s terrific to find productive comments on La Scala. Then, it would be more terrific if those sensitive ears recommend specific singers, whose Milan performance Barenboim could greet with his whole heart and support their talent with his whole brain. Still, I know nothing about opera and its singers.

By the way, this vocal and physical training is venerable to attacks from (swine) flu. Need to be very careful.

Curiously, this voice is scheduled to sing with Asher Fish in London. We’ll see how this ‘casual’ conductor makes things all messed-up and then… will she join this Jewish Pig’s Jerusalem Festival after making an improvement through my analysis? According to the rule of Bimbo-Battle…

One more…
I think I should make a sincere apology for my previous comment… about her getting too fat… (I read her biography and learned that it was due to her painful divorce. During the research, I just couldn’t understand why she became so fat like that… because Voigt in those days rather looked fatty-cutie, which looks better than bony-skinny singer…)
Now, I understand another reason of Maestro Solit’s comical remark. Have you ever seen this guy talking to ugly-looking females?

P.S.: I need some more work before writing Italian Part. Now, I’m thinking to include ‘Ezio Mauro, direttore di Repubblica’ in my list of VIP in Italian Part, since there are too many opposition parties and leaders in this lovely country. Whenever I barely remember opposition leader’s name, he is replaced by new one. This is horrible! Now, I really feel pity for those Italian Crying Babies as much as I worry for President Silvio… Sigh…

P.S.: With NO doubt, all the members of ‘Garbage & Sh*ts’ will be busy at demonstrating Voigt’s vocal training. Let them practice day and night. Musicians are physically born. Imitating is easy and NO garbage can make its physical-then-mental training. Let them try. Why not?

03 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

MAY 29, 2009
Seriously, I need to listen to her recent performances. (Too tired to check Youtube. But after sending my previous mail, in which I didn’t expect this singer while writing something DIVAN, something suddenly hit my brain.)
I know I have to be very careful, but I know her personality. IMHO, the best thing Maestro Soli did was to throw a comical advice to this female singer. See… it did and does help her professional career… even her private life. Once she looks in the mirror and check her another body shape, she will be the first one, who would fall in love with her.
Now, this is my analysis. She used to be criticized as ‘casual’ Wagner. And I thought it was due to her ‘fat’ personality. (I mean… nice and cool personality in private life can suddenly become ‘fat’ thing in professional world.) Now, I need another way of thinking. Though I really need to listen to her ‘diction’, this is what hits my instinct. Her vocal technique is very unique. She is not Callas. (I mean… the vocal technique.) It means… she needs to ‘activate’ upper part of her facial muscles much more while singing. Then, the right posture of her upper body is crucial for her right-diction or sensitive interpretation. Last time, I didn’t read your article, but now when I check, I find that you also wrote the same thing…

Today, no more time for this. By the way, it just took two weeks for this ‘mouse-brain’ to remember her old habits. Since no one gives her (my girls’ hedgehog) during the weekend, I left enough food and this little thing ate everything and lost all her instincts, where to poop or how to exercise or etc… Then, I was too tired to train her and this ‘mouse-brain’ just forgot how to respond my ‘tickling’. She is normal now. When I tickle her arm pit, she start stretching one of her arms to ask more and she looks like one matchstick sticking out of a thorny ball. It’s almost impossible to show this cattiest scene to outsiders, even my girls, who are hardly quiet while playing with her.

Have you checked my report to Egyptian Prof. about those Mideastern Monkeys? Now, it is easy to imagine Bashkirova’s NEW project to make Michael Barenboim worse than ever before. Is this b*tch really a mother? I’m done with this boy, but I worry… I know it’s none of my business. He will NEVER be able to join Barenboim’s future Divan-project. Probably, the boy himself doesn’t want to experience THAT miserable situation again and want to live as Guy Braunstein’s second fiddler. He looked real happy with them. This was what Glander wanted to see from Barenboim’s private life when he rushed to take care of this boy after being insulted by my analysis. I’m still curious. Does Glander have a family? He doesn’t look like. Or this is the most disgusting human trash, who never thinks of outsiders but his kids only.

02 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

MAY 28, 2009
Something added in Egyptian part…
Onstage, an Alceste-Like Struggle (as Alceste)
Deborah Voigt
P.S.: See… finally, she looks fantastic. There is still something wrong with her standing posture, though. Gosh… I still don’t know which hair style is good for my new physical shape. When are you going to answer my QUIZ???

01 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Still looking for my old writings on Deorah Voigt.
Should be somewhere in my computer files.

00 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Part of Wagner Diction on 20071207

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Deborah+Voigt&search=Search

Deborah Voigt

JIWON: When can I watch her recent singing? I just saw her photos after the surgery, in which lots of supporting muscles are still needed to regain her healthy voice.

00 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Voigt’s new fashion on February 2, 2007
Part of Who are YOU? American Big Five (NY-Sun)

P.S.: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2007/02/02/voigt_revels_in_her_new_profile/ (February 2, 2007) Voigt revels in her new profile:

JIWON: As usual, she is honest. I doubt if her favorite hair style and fashion is working for her. I’ve never thought about this when she was HUGE…, and now I have to ask my eyes again and again. In my case, my physical shape is not same as years ago. I mean… it always changed since my graduation from university. But there was something basic that used to hole my physical shape in the same way; it was still same while I was working as a member of Korean professional ensemble and while I was surviving my further study in Chicago. Even though I have many things to achieve more, my body is different now. As a result, all my old fashion doesn’t work for me, and I still don’t know which hair style or which clothes fits me best. So, I never went to the beauty shop nor I bought new clothes. Korean royal fashion hasn’t worked for me, so it was OK that I was penniless. Now, I feel that her case is similar to mine. Unlike me, her job is to appear in public, then she knows who she should hire for the best result. So, I say, “Good Luck!”

00 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Recording-Technique, Playing w/Meier, Kundry on November 6, 2006

Nina Stemme

01 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
Nina Stemme – Domingo’s Isolde on February 1, 2008

Well… I heard Nina Stemme with Domingo.

Speechless… How come Barenboim doesn’t know this name, when she was the first winner of Domingo Competition?

It is a studio recording… so it was also her problem along with… and then… how on earth Mr. Domingo kept practicing Meier’s Wagner Diction after his recording with this diva? This sonnavabich sounds real cheap whenever he imagines Waltraud Meier.

I really want to save this voice.

Just in case, http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&q=stemme+domingo&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wg

WOW! I need more time to read everything here… need to organize all the comments.

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

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nina+stemme
Nina Stemme

JIWON: I was surprised at the comments in this thread. All of them sound terrific and should be read. Have you ever seen this kind of from any of Meier Fan-club? It is not only academic, sophisticated, but also very intuitive. I believe Ms. Stemme herself should read all the comments and take them seriously, if she truly wants to be a Wagnerian heroine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8enypX74hU Wagner – Tristan und Isolde – Liebestod
JIWON: 4 comments to remember.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Ifh54ywDY Nina Stemme sings Strauss / Antonio Pappano
JIWON: 2 interesting comments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZYobLznfOk Nina Stemme Final of Der Hollander
JIWON: 5 comments should be heard. Real loud.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T3shnV254w Mild und Leise – Nina Stemme
JIWON: 2 interesting comments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYNdStfYsWw Placido Domingo and Nina Stemme sing Otello
JIWON: One exquisite comment to study. Well… here Domingo again. It was du Pre’s book, in which I read about Barenboim’s friendship with Domingo. But then, Domingo’s Barenboim is very different from Barenboim’s Domingo. Whenever I find talented voice, I also find their partnership with Domingo, yet I never heard him recommend these voices to his maestro Barenboim, who is also his friend. Unlike Maestro Abbado, who was enjoying Barenboim’s failing by casting Meier in his farewell concert in Barenboim’s Berlin, perhaps to make fun of me or my Furtwangler writing to his BPO, it seems that Domingo treats Meier as Barenboim’s mistress, so he comes to Barenboim’s territory to play with his buddy’s girl and then returns to his territory to “sing” with his favorite divas. By The Way, Domingo Owes Me. How much is he going to pay me? Had he forgotten how he made a dramatic recovery after reading my analysis of “Hopeless” Domingo with Meier’s Delilah? But then, how he had behaved? Had he tried to save Barenboim’s failing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdXLCy8QBgo Nina Stemme in Der Koenig Kandaules
JIWON: 1 impressive and 2 interesting comments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eZt_JlEyb8 Rosenkavalier – Hab’ mir’s gelobt (R. Strauss)
JIWON: 3 terrific and 1 interesting comments.

JIWON: To sum up, Nina Stemme is born a diva, whose singing is off the balance, and it is getting worse. This means, her dramatic singing will collect more opponents as much as earning more supporters. Though she is doing a very fine job, difficult as well, her minor characteristics will offer Meier fans good excuses for insulting whatsoever achievement of Meier’s rival. Fans usually want to act and think like their idol. I hope Ms. Stemme to read all the comments here and think about WHY. Reviewers compare this voice with Jessye Norman, Leonie Rysanek, or Birgit Nillson. It is very true, however I think… Instead of sticking around Flagstad, she’d better listen to Nilsson and study her. There are things to learn from her (written) interview, in which she mentioned how she learned to fix her own vocal problem. If she understands Nilsson’s REASON, she can make a huge improvement. I may be wrong, but once she makes it, she will be one step closer to Flagstad, if she really wanted to sing like her. I believe that she’d better not open her mouth to speak during the training period.

Rene Pape

03 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
Part of Wagner Diction on 20071207

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rene+pape
Rene Pape

JIWON:
This is a voice, who wants to sing Wagner, and he is now considered as a German Jewel. Thus, I am making my inquiry, and heaven knows that I am not insulting this German soul.

Is this a genuine Wagner diction? In these days, even without iPod-Touch in his hand, anyone can have access to the Youtube.com, so Barenboim can never say that he hadn’t any opportunity to experience what his audiences already knew. The legendary (male) Wagnerian Singers don’t pronounce Wagner’s Poetry as this German guy does, even in a rehearsal room. One can’t say that it is an old-fashioned fad, for it comes from the Wagnerian Voice, which is a successful outcome of our musicians’ physical ability, which healthy body consists of one brain and one heart, one tongue and one belly button, two nostrils and two nipples, ten fingers and ten toes, and so on. According to Ms. Nilsson, the secret to singing Isolde was not her secret relationship with the maestro, but “comfortable shoes” and her egotistic relationship with the baton technique.

Here my opinion goes. Please look at his singing muscles. He is born a musician, but still, he is not spitting his German diction from the core of his body. If he appreciates the ability of his lungs more, there will be a slight change in his singing posture and then a huge change in his German diction. Imagine his new air and another German diction. Does it sound more intelligent? It will sound more intuitive. You close your eyes and will fall in love with this guy, who is still under fifty. (Somehow, I can’t help imagining Garfield singing songs…) Sooner or later, he will be over fifty and then it will be impossible for him to achieve what he can achieve.

02 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
Part of German Sound on December 7, 2007

I am writing about German sound, am I?

I just know that Rene Pape has it, though his inheritance is still not allowed to blossom. I’ve written about this for ten years, yet none of his bosses listened to me. They were just busy at sweating their workers to support You-Know-Who for their very special reasons. One of their reasons was to see their rival, Barenboim, failing. Another reason was to make fun of me because they happened to be insulted by my analysis. Did I insult them? I just analyzed music and sometimes I didn’t even directly mention the names, but then those who considered themselves as Barenboim’s rival felt insulted by ME, who they called Barenboim-stalker. I am curious… exactly who showed my writings to each of them, because sometimes they made a dramatic improvement after reading my analysis while Barenboim was hopelessly failing. If time allows me, I want to write the full details about who’s who, starting from Maestro Abbado. Anyway…

How old is Rene Pape? Once he reaches 50, it will be damn difficult to prove his improvement. I heard that human lungs shrink after certain ages. Even now, the present situation prevents him from training more of his supporting muscles. It only forces him to over-strain his unnecessary muscles to match the voices of “Meier & Co.”

If Rene Pape is happy with his situation, it’s the end of the story.

01 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
Recording-Technique, Playing w/Meier, Kundry on November 6, 2006

Michelle De Young

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

http://www.parterre.com/2007/12/barenboim-sings-again.html

(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.

http://groups.google.com/group/humanities.music.composers.wagner/browse_thread/thread/33175475bae8a356/92144a4229fea1b9?hl=en&lnk=st&q=storey+meier#92144a4229fea1b9

(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.

http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/2007/12/baci-classica-f.html

(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…

http://www.metoperafamily.org/operanews/issue/article.aspx?id=3286&issueID=155

(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.
 

JIWON:

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.

Linda Watson on YouTube

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

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Linda+Watson&search=Search

Linda Watson

JIWON: Who is Linda Watson???

Jane Eaglen on YouTube

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

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jane+Eaglen

Jane Eaglen

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SRYmPKSWe7s

Jane Eaglen as Donna Anna:

JIWON: This is Jane Eaglen, who I truly believe in. I want to ask her. Was she happy when she checked herself in the mirror while adding pounds of pounds? I can ask, because I know she is a woman. This voice should never gain a weight. I am not the only one, of course. Read them, please.

Comment 1: Marked as spamShe was so much smaller than she is now. She actually had a waist! Great singing!

Comment 2: Marked as spamI find it a bit sad listening to this. Her voice has spread so much now, and lost focus, beauty and nuance. She should never have moved so quickly to the heavy dramatic repertoire. She could have been another Margaret Price.

Comment 3: Marked as spamTrue that….

Comment 4: I have only seen her once live at her total peak 10 years ago and it was a nice size voice in the middle (I heard bigger but “bigger is not necessarily better”). However, the high register -though it kept its focus- it was rather not giving that blooming top notes that the middle register was promissing… I think she was a lyric spinto who had no choise because of her corpunence…

Comment 5: I’ve seen that happen a few times. Singers forced to sing roles that fit their looks rather than their voices. Ms Eaglen may very well have been a lyric spinto but who would hire her to sing that repertory?

Comment 6: Her voice is not in shreds. Don’t be ridiculous. She had bloody great teaching and knows exactly what she’s doing with her instrument.

Comment 7: Nice try, and I wish that were so, but I was at the performance and Jane was struggling mightily for anything above a G. Every high note was about a second and a half in length, the luster had pretty much abandoned the rest of her range. I agree that she has had great teaching and has great technique, which is what makes her a great professor of voice now at UofW. I do wish her well. It used to be one of my favorite voices.

Ian Storey

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

http://mostlyopera.blogspot.com/2007/12/review-of-tristan-at-la-scala-pure.html (December 7, 2007) Since every new Tristan seems to be judged by Lauritz Melchior standards, British tenor Ian Storey obviously fell somewhat short in the reviewers eyes, and I don´t particularly care for his voice either, but he has one very important advantage: He actually looks and acts like someone Waltraud Meier´s Isolde could fall in love with.

JIWON: It was the funniest comment from Meier Fan. It is none of my business when folks praise Waltraud Meier. It is still none of my business when they insult other talented singers, who can never blossom their talents due to the present Meier-Scandal. However, I feel very funny when they are yearning for the Heldentenor to match vocal techniques of their favorite sexy Isolde. While reading this reviewer, sigh…, I couldn’t help thinking… He is a young, passionate, and serious concertgoer, whose favorites include a real professionalism and intensity in music. What if he knows just a bit more about music, about the secrets of all those legendary musicians, Wagnerian (Dramatic) Divas and Heldentenors? Sigh…

http://lavocedelloggione.splinder.com/post/14998600#comment Comment #108: (#106 & #103). Se è per quello, anche *smalto* è piuttosto opinabile, e andrebbe allora esteso, come giudizio, a tutte le altre note (come giustamente osserva Max). Sbaglio o Storey, alla fine del 1° atto, ha avuto qualche dissenso? E infatti aveva mancato un paio di LA… Se la Waltraud non ha avuto buuu, forse è perchè, almeno tecnicamente, non era censurabile. Sull’interpretazione si può invece discutere, oltre ad avere preferenze (Stemme, Voigt, Urmana?)

JIWON:

This is another funniest comment from Meier Fan, whose nickname is Perfect-Wagnerite in Loggione’s Blog. His ideal Wagner conductor is Furtwangler and interpretation is his favorite word whenever he defends Meier’s vocal technique. What really means interpretation? The reason I can never accept Barenboim’s Meier is her sickish interpretation, which is based on her NO-Voice, and the best part of which is that trashy acting and comical diction. I can never accept Barenboim’s Meier because Barenboim himself always boasts his big mouth that there is absolutely NO compromise in the world of Barenboim’s MUSIC and criticize all the politicians, such as Prime Minister Sharon or President Bush, who were sincerely doing their job. I’ve been written this for ten years. If Barenboim felt sorry for the Miserable, who died due to the politicians’ sincere job, what about his poor Berlin singers, who died under Meier’s directorship? What about ALL the poor musicians, who had to give up their professional dream while his Zubin Mehta was enjoying unlimited fame as MAESTRO, under whose leadership countless trashy musicians were able to find their secure job? How many of them have I met in America? They looked so miserable, then I heard that they soon lost their job even after their travel to Chicago for their secret study with the CSO’s King. When I recall their performance, there was nothing wrong with their performance.

But then… this reviewer is not a pro, but just one of naive audience. While reading him and his friends in various places, I kept thinking. What if his Wagner could pick up just a bit more about music itself, what would have happened to this group? I was surprised at his huge knowledge, which was really appreciated by his friends here. In my view, he is still the only one, who could answer one of my curiosities; why no one had ever listened to one American orchestra member, when he pointed out one of real problems our present orchestras are suffering. My favorites are Mravinsky and Toscanini, but I had to remember his article while listening to Furtwangler’s Wagner.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/12/13/bmstorey113.xml (December 13, 2007) I saw the second night’s performance, and admired his conscientious articulation of the text and sensitive acting – Storey is tall and handsome and moves well on stage. Vocally, however…

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article3086987.ece (December 23, 2007) There were no boos for Storey, but then Tristan is a rarity at La Scala. This was the first production since 1978. He might not have been as warmly received at Barenboim’s home house, the State Opera in Berlin, because he needs to work on his German text, which was admirably clear, but sometimes unidiomatic. His throaty, slightly greying tone lacks… (……) Meier, his Isolde, is one of the most experienced on the circuit, and remains perhaps the role’s incandescent interpreter today.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/opera/article3153314.ece (January 9, 2008) The La Scala audience – famously temperamental – gave him a warm reception. Storey was praised by British critics for his clear diction, stamina and sincerity…

http://www.herefordtimes.com/leisure/htleisurefront/display.var.1921879.0.countys_favourite_tenor_takes_la_scala_by_storm.php (December 21, 2007) The working relationships he has developed with conductor Daniel Barenboim, director Patrice Chereau, James Vaughan and Waltraud Meier, his Isolde, have been one of the great joys of the project. “It is great working with people of this calibre, just incredible. It’s been tough, but hugely rewarding.”…

http://www.ianstorey.com/ Future plans include: Tristan with Waltraud Meier at La Scala; Siegfried in Valencia and Florence with Zubin Mehta

JIWON: I feel no need to watch this Tristan on the YouTube.com. Of course, I have things to advise him how to improve his Wagnerian diction. But concerning his future plan, in which Barenboim’s Mehta is supposed to encourage his bravery, Storey himself will beg me for No Comments.

Gabriele Schnaut on YouTube

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

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Gabriele+Schnaut+&search=Search

Gabriele Schnaut

JIWON: They say that this is a huge, natural voice that can hardly be recorded properly in an opera house. I remember to read various articles about her, in which pros were united at criticizing her intonation problem or heavy vibrato, yet never know how to advise her better way to sing Wagner. IMHO, there is basically nothing wrong with her singing. What she needs to achieve is more techniques; much more delicate techniques; a more accurate, detailed embouchure change. It will lead her to enter the entirely different world. Then there will appear so many things that she should fix, including the personal habits, even her personality. I’m afraid to say that it will be very difficult to make it. If she is deadly serious about her Wagner-dream, she can make it, I believe. Mental therapy or physical therapy… Which one should come first?

Ben Heppner

02 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
Recording-Technique, Playing w/Meier, Kundry on November 6, 2006

01 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
Astrid Varnay, Ben Heppner on September 12, 2006

Adrianne Pieczonka on YouTube

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

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Adrianne+Pieczonka&search=Search

Adrianne Pieczonka

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF-N-dNFTBg

Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier – Hab’ mir’s gelobt

JIWON: She has the same problem with Nina Stimme. With a same training, she also can make a huge improvement. And she won’t sound like Flagstad. Why doesn’t she activate all the possible facial muscles to develop more of Kopf Stimme?

Wagner Diction on 20071207

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rene+pape Rene Pape

JIWON:

This is a voice, who wants to sing Wagner, and he is now considered as a German Jewel. Thus, I am making my inquiry, and heaven knows that I am not insulting this German soul.

Is this a genuine Wagner diction? In these days, even without iPod-Touch in his hand, anyone can have access to the Youtube.com, so Barenboim can never say that he hadn’t any opportunity to experience what his audiences already knew. The legendary (male) Wagnerian Singers don’t pronounce Wagner’s Poetry as this German guy does, even in a rehearsal room. One can’t say that it is an old-fashioned fad, for it comes from the Wagnerian Voice, which is a successful outcome of our musicians’ physical ability, which healthy body consists of one brain and one heart, one tongue and one belly button, two nostrils and two nipples, ten fingers and ten toes, and so on. According to Ms. Nilsson, the secret to singing Isolde was not her secret relationship with the maestro, but “comfortable shoes” and her egotistic relationship with the baton technique.

Here my opinion goes. Please look at his singing muscles. He is born a musician, but still, he is not spitting his German diction from the core of his body. If he appreciates the ability of his lungs more, there will be a slight change in his singing posture and then a huge change in his German diction. Imagine his new air and another German diction. Does it sound more intelligent? It will sound more intuitive. You close your eyes and will fall in love with this guy, who is still under fifty. (Somehow, I can’t help imagining Garfield singing songs…) Sooner or later, he will be over fifty and then it will be impossible for him to achieve what he can achieve.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Gabriele+Schnaut+&search=Search Gabriele Schnaut

JIWON: They say that this is a huge, natural voice that can hardly be recorded properly in an opera house. I remember to read various articles about her, in which pros were united at criticizing her intonation problem or heavy vibrato, yet never know how to advise her better way to sing Wagner. IMHO, there is basically nothing wrong with her singing. What she needs to achieve is more techniques; much more delicate techniques; a more accurate, detailed embouchure change. It will lead her to enter the entirely different world. Then there will appear so many things that she should fix, including the personal habits, even her personality. I’m afraid to say that it will be very difficult to make it. If she is deadly serious about her Wagner-dream, she can make it, I believe. Mental therapy or physical therapy… Which one should come first?

JIWON: If above were the Voices from the Slytherin, below are from the Gryffindor.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Linda+Watson&search=Search Linda Watson

JIWON: Who is Linda Watson???

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Deborah+Voigt&search=Search Deborah Voigt

JIWON: When can I watch her recent singing? I just saw her photos after the surgery, in which lots of supporting muscles are still needed to regain her healthy voice.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jane+Eaglen Jane Eaglen

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SRYmPKSWe7s Jane Eaglen as Donna Anna:

JIWON: This is Jane Eaglen, who I truly believe in. I want to ask her. Was she happy when she checked herself in the mirror while adding pounds of pounds? I can ask, because I know she is a woman. This voice should never gain a weight. I am not the only one, of course. Read them, please.

Comment 1: Marked as spamShe was so much smaller than she is now. She actually had a waist! Great singing!

Comment 2: Marked as spamI find it a bit sad listening to this. Her voice has spread so much now, and lost focus, beauty and nuance. She should never have moved so quickly to the heavy dramatic repertoire. She could have been another Margaret Price.

Comment 3: Marked as spamTrue that….

Comment 4: I have only seen her once live at her total peak 10 years ago and it was a nice size voice in the middle (I heard bigger but “bigger is not necessarily better”). However, the high register -though it kept its focus- it was rather not giving that blooming top notes that the middle register was promissing… I think she was a lyric spinto who had no choise because of her corpunence…

Comment 5: I’ve seen that happen a few times. Singers forced to sing roles that fit their looks rather than their voices. Ms Eaglen may very well have been a lyric spinto but who would hire her to sing that repertory?

Comment 6: Her voice is not in shreds. Don’t be ridiculous. She had bloody great teaching and knows exactly what she’s doing with her instrument.

Comment 7: Nice try, and I wish that were so, but I was at the performance and Jane was struggling mightily for anything above a G. Every high note was about a second and a half in length, the luster had pretty much abandoned the rest of her range. I agree that she has had great teaching and has great technique, which is what makes her a great professor of voice now at UofW. I do wish her well. It used to be one of my favorite voices.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nina+stemme Nina Stemme

JIWON: I was surprised at the comments in this thread. All of them sound terrific and should be read. Have you ever seen this kind of from any of Meier Fan-club? It is not only academic, sophisticated, but also very intuitive. I believe Ms. Stemme herself should read all the comments and take them seriously, if she truly wants to be a Wagnerian heroine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8enypX74hU Wagner – Tristan und Isolde – Liebestod

JIWON: 4 comments to remember.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Ifh54ywDY Nina Stemme sings Strauss / Antonio Pappano

JIWON: 2 interesting comments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZYobLznfOk Nina Stemme Final of Der Hollander

JIWON: 5 comments should be heard. Real loud.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T3shnV254w Mild und Leise – Nina Stemme

JIWON: 2 interesting comments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYNdStfYsWw Placido Domingo and Nina Stemme sing Otello

JIWON: One exquisite comment to study. Well… here Domingo again. It was du Pre’s book, in which I read about Barenboim’s friendship with Domingo. But then, Domingo’s Barenboim is very different from Barenboim’s Domingo. Whenever I find talented voice, I also find their partnership with Domingo, yet I never heard him recommend these voices to his maestro Barenboim, who is also his friend. Unlike Maestro Abbado, who was enjoying Barenboim’s failing by casting Meier in his farewell concert in Barenboim’s Berlin, perhaps to make fun of me or my Furtwangler writing to his BPO, it seems that Domingo treats Meier as Barenboim’s mistress, so he comes to Barenboim’s territory to play with his buddy’s girl and then returns to his territory to “sing” with his favorite divas. By The Way, Domingo Owes Me. How much is he going to pay me? Had he forgotten how he made a dramatic recovery after reading my analysis of “Hopeless” Domingo with Meier’s Delilah? But then, how he had behaved? Had he tried to save Barenboim’s failing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdXLCy8QBgo Nina Stemme in Der Koenig Kandaules

JIWON: 1 impressive and 2 interesting comments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eZt_JlEyb8 Rosenkavalier – Hab’ mir’s gelobt (R. Strauss)

JIWON: 3 terrific and 1 interesting comments.

JIWON: To sum up, Nina Stemme is born a diva, whose singing is off the balance, and it is getting worse. This means, her dramatic singing will collect more opponents as much as earning more supporters. Though she is doing a very fine job, difficult as well, her minor characteristics will offer Meier fans good excuses for insulting whatsoever achievement of Meier’s rival. Fans usually want to act and think like their idol.  I hope Ms. Stemme to read all the comments here and think about WHY. Reviewers compare this voice with Jessye Norman, Leonie Rysanek, or Birgit Nillson. It is very true, however I think… Instead of sticking around Flagstad, she’d better listen to Nilsson and study her. There are things to learn from her (written) interview, in which she mentioned how she learned to fix her own vocal problem. If she understands Nilsson’s REASON, she can make a huge improvement. I may be wrong, but once she makes it, she will be one step closer to Flagstad, if she really wanted to sing like her. I believe that she’d better not open her mouth to speak during the training period.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Adrianne+Pieczonka&search=Search Adrianne Pieczonka

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF-N-dNFTBg Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier – Hab’ mir’s gelobt

JIWON: She has the same problem with Nina Stimme. With a same training, she also can make a huge improvement. And she won’t sound like Flagstad. Why doesn’t she activate all the possible facial muscles to develop more of Kopf Stimme?

JIWON: Time for Michelle De Young and Ian Storey.

http://www.parterre.com/2007/12/barenboim-sings-again.html (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.

http://groups.google.com/group/humanities.music.composers.wagner/browse_thread/thread/33175475bae8a356/92144a4229fea1b9?hl=en&lnk=st&q=storey+meier#92144a4229fea1b9 (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.

http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/2007/12/baci-classica-f.html (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…

http://www.metoperafamily.org/operanews/issue/article.aspx?id=3286&issueID=155 (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.
 

JIWON:

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.

http://mostlyopera.blogspot.com/2007/12/review-of-tristan-at-la-scala-pure.html (December 7, 2007) Since every new Tristan seems to be judged by Lauritz Melchior standards, British tenor Ian Storey obviously fell somewhat short in the reviewers eyes, and I don´t particularly care for his voice either, but he has one very important advantage: He actually looks and acts like someone Waltraud Meier´s Isolde could fall in love with.

JIWON: It was the funniest comment from Meier Fan. It is none of my business when folks praise Waltraud Meier. It is still none of my business when they insult other talented singers, who can never blossom their talents due to the present Meier-Scandal. However, I feel very funny when they are yearning for the Heldentenor to match vocal techniques of their favorite sexy Isolde. While reading this reviewer, sigh…, I couldn’t help thinking… He is a young, passionate, and serious concertgoer, whose favorites include a real professionalism and intensity in music. What if he knows just a bit more about music, about the secrets of all those legendary musicians, Wagnerian (Dramatic) Divas and Heldentenors? Sigh…

http://lavocedelloggione.splinder.com/post/14998600#comment Comment #108: (#106 & #103). Se è per quello, anche *smalto* è piuttosto opinabile, e andrebbe allora esteso, come giudizio, a tutte le altre note (come giustamente osserva Max). Sbaglio o Storey, alla fine del 1° atto, ha avuto qualche dissenso? E infatti aveva mancato un paio di LA… Se la Waltraud non ha avuto buuu, forse è perchè, almeno tecnicamente, non era censurabile. Sull’interpretazione si può invece discutere, oltre ad avere preferenze (Stemme, Voigt, Urmana?)

JIWON:

This is another funniest comment from Meier Fan, whose nickname is Perfect-Wagnerite in Loggione’s Blog. His ideal Wagner conductor is Furtwangler and interpretation is his favorite word whenever he defends Meier’s vocal technique. What really means interpretation? The reason I can never accept Barenboim’s Meier is her sickish interpretation, which is based on her NO-Voice, and the best part of which is that trashy acting and comical diction. I can never accept Barenboim’s Meier because Barenboim himself always boasts his big mouth that there is absolutely NO compromise in the world of Barenboim’s MUSIC and criticize all the politicians, such as Prime Minister Sharon or President Bush, who were sincerely doing their job. I’ve been written this for ten years. If Barenboim felt sorry for the Miserable, who died due to the politicians’ sincere job, what about his poor Berlin singers, who died under Meier’s directorship? What about ALL the poor musicians, who had to give up their professional dream while his Zubin Mehta was enjoying unlimited fame as MAESTRO, under whose leadership countless trashy musicians were able to find their secure job? How many of them have I met in America? They looked so miserable, then I heard that they soon lost their job even after their travel to Chicago for their secret study with the CSO’s King. When I recall their performance, there was nothing wrong with their performance.

But then… this reviewer is not a pro, but just one of naive audience. While reading him and his friends in various places, I kept thinking. What if his Wagner could pick up just a bit more about music itself, what would have happened to this group? I was surprised at his huge knowledge, which was really appreciated by his friends here. In my view, he is still the only one, who could answer one of my curiosities; why no one had ever listened to one American orchestra member, when he pointed out one of real problems our present orchestras are suffering. My favorites are Mravinsky and Toscanini, but I had to remember his article while listening to Furtwangler’s Wagner.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/12/13/bmstorey113.xml (December 13, 2007) I saw the second night’s performance, and admired his conscientious articulation of the text and sensitive acting – Storey is tall and handsome and moves well on stage. Vocally, however…

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article3086987.ece (December 23, 2007) There were no boos for Storey, but then Tristan is a rarity at La Scala. This was the first production since 1978. He might not have been as warmly received at Barenboim’s home house, the State Opera in Berlin, because he needs to work on his German text, which was admirably clear, but sometimes unidiomatic. His throaty, slightly greying tone lacks… (……) Meier, his Isolde, is one of the most experienced on the circuit, and remains perhaps the role’s incandescent interpreter today.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/opera/article3153314.ece (January 9, 2008) The La Scala audience – famously temperamental – gave him a warm reception. Storey was praised by British critics for his clear diction, stamina and sincerity…

http://www.herefordtimes.com/leisure/htleisurefront/display.var.1921879.0.countys_favourite_tenor_takes_la_scala_by_storm.php (December 21, 2007) The working relationships he has developed with conductor Daniel Barenboim, director Patrice Chereau, James Vaughan and Waltraud Meier, his Isolde, have been one of the great joys of the project. “It is great working with people of this calibre, just incredible. It’s been tough, but hugely rewarding.”…

http://www.ianstorey.com/ Future plans include: Tristan with Waltraud Meier at La Scala; Siegfried in Valencia and Florence with Zubin Mehta

JIWON: I feel no need to watch this Tristan on the YouTube.com. Of course, I have things to advise him how to improve his Wagnerian diction. But concerning his future plan, in which Barenboim’s Mehta is supposed to encourage his bravery, Storey himself will beg me for No Comments.