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TsuhYang

hey philip,

well, i'm gonna try to make it to salome this month. i had some reservations about mattila in this role -- i loved her in lohengrin and jenufa -- she made me cry in the janacek work -- but i always found her tone to be a bit too weepy for salome. but mostly, i think she's too placid and not maniac/hysterical enough for this part. i listened to her doing the last scene on youtube and i wasn't totally convinced that it's a great fit for her. but as you know, salome is one of my favorite operas.

i saw begley in the first run of jenufas at the met (with mattila) and he and the other brit tenor made no impression on me. i hardly remember them. the more recent runs had a much stronger cast (for the tenors and the kostelnicka -- silvasti and silja were great, and it was a magical evening).

in the early 90's, at the time of the mapplethorpe/NEA escandale, i went to the gay pride parade in manhattan, and there was a very thin, willowy black drag queen dancing in odalisque/belly dancer attire, holding a flat cardboard piece covered in shiny paper. she was dancing around and we were all wondering what she was doing with that piece of cardboard. then a few feet behind her, someone came up holding a large guillotine and the big head of jesse helms, and then the odalisque went over near it, the guillotine came down and the head of jesse helms landed on her platter. that was a hysterically funny piece of street theater.

Philip

Mattila placid? Well, in this production Salome is drunk so maybe she seems placid. She was carrying on like crazy last night.

TsuhYang

i meant vocally. i haven't seen it yet. maybe it's just me. when i hear her on youtube, i don't hear the fire/mania/hysteria in the voice as much as with other singers.

DYB

I think Mattila pretty much owns this role at the moment. Philip and I were trying to think of someone who could step into the Met's current production...and couldn't really come up with a name.

I loved this production and Mattila's performance since the final dress rehearsal I saw when it was new in 2004. It was technically a "closed" rehearsal, so there were very few people there, packed into Grand Tier. Valery Gergiev was in the pit. And you could hear a pin drop through the entire performance. I remember calling a few people as I walked out of the theater to rave about what I'd just seen and heard. I saw it a total of 5 times that season. The revival holds up for the most part. I really like the production. Mattila still owns that stage. And I thought Komlosi was an improvement over Larissa Diadkova (not enough neurosis) and Victoria Livengood (not enough high notes.) Kim Begley I don't think is neurotic enough either; his less hedonistic approach is a valid one, but I prefer a much dirtier old man. Siegfried Jerusalem and Allan Glassman (who filled in for Jerusalem several times) were superb in '04. Albert Dohmen and Bryn Terfel made a stronger impression as Jochanaan back then than Uusitalo now, but perhaps it's because Gergiev (uncharacteristically) was much more careful with the volume coming out of the pit than Summers. Overall I thought Gergiev's conducting had an urgency and a momentum Summers was lacking. But with Strauss' extraordinary orchestration you just can't help but marvel at the sheer sound of it all. I'm guessing Mattila won't be doing any more revivals of this...so we might have to wait a while to hear "Salome" again...

DYB

Oh, and as far as booing. It really was hard to tell who they were aimed at because the person waited for the entire cast bow...I guess they objected to everything. During the opera's original run I was at one performance where some idiot decided to make himself heard with a loud "Boo" just after the final chord crashed and before the applause started. It came from Family Circle. No class and again, it's hard to tell what specifically he was objecting to. Perhaps he just liked the sound of his own voice.

Nicole

Philip,
Wait to you hear Ildiko Komlosi sing Santuzza. She's really great & full of passion in this role. Her voice is beautiful as well as her physical appearence. On top of that, she's a good colleague.

Philip

Hi Nicole,

It's so nice to see your note here! Did you sing Lola with Komlosi in Berlin?

Hope you are happy...and busy!

xxx,
Philip

Nicole

Hi Philip,
Sorry I've been out of touch. Yes, very busy with the other La Boheme.
I did in fact have the pleasure of working with Ildiko in Cavalleria. I'll never forget how she grabbed the bottom of my dress when she sang "O fate bene, fate bene, Lola! It was awesome & I loved how she caught me completely off guard!

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