Thursday, February 21, 2013

More About the New Met Parsifal

One of the things I missed by skipping the Met in HD Rigoletto on Saturday was Renee Fleming’s interview with Jonas Kaufman and Katarina Dalayman. 

The two stars just happened to be hanging around backstage during intermission. So Renee asked a few questions about their experiences in Parsifal. Sometimes these interviews are really, really dumb  stupid empty  vacuous uninformative. But this one was a bit above the average.  

Now, we all know I am a bit biased in favor of JK, but I really feel like he always has something relevant to say; he doesn’t just mouth the usual party line platitudes and standard social niceties. (He does tend to go on and on, which is fine with me but I think Katarina would like to have had a chance to say a few more words! I, on the other hand, could listen and watch him speak and/or sing all day!)

Fleming interviews Dalayman and Kaufmann

 The reviews for Parsifal are all everywhere and generally very very positive. They're pretty easy to track down, but here are a few links in case you don’t feel like searching:

We all love JK, and Rene Pape is always a big favorite It's also great to see Peter Mattai getting such rave notices for his (what I think is a) rare foray into Wagner. 

Meanwhile, here also is a brief interview with director Francois Girard. This has been out for a while, and it's worth re-viewing if you're planning to see the production (live or in the cinema.)

Director's Video with Francois Girard

P.S. Stray from the Third Floor Republic just reminded me that the Met is streaming the opening night of Verdi's Don Carlo this Friday night (February 22). 


  1. " Sometimes these interviews are really, really dumb stupid empty vacuous uninformative"

    Can I just say "Hello mum" in Polish/Lithuanian/Korean?

    1. hehehe. Exactly. btw, conrats on your 200 reviews!

    2. Always calling coloratura "vocal fireworks" is more annoying for me.
      Though I guess I was lucky with the interviews I've seen so far - particular ones during Clemenza (by Graham with Garanca/Lindsey/Crowe), Les Troyens (by DiDonato with Graham and Hymel) and Maria Stuarda were all very lovely and fun.

    3. I always like it better when they interview singers who are NOT performing that day. It makes me anxious when Tosca is interviewed right before Vissi d'arte, for example.

      I wonder if it's in the Met contract that if you sing a broadcast you have to agree to be interviewed. I am sure if I were in the middle of a performance, I would NOT want stand around making pleasant conversation during intermission.

    4. Fair enough, that I can understand. And the rather limited time can be annoying... Recording an interview before the performance would solve that (they are actually doing that, but with the directors).

    5. you're welcome, John. and of course I meant congrats, not con-rats, which is more of a description of Neuenfels' Lohengrin for Bayreuth!


      Yes I like those director videos.There's a certain excitement of the behind the scenes during a performance aspect of the live broadcasts, but I kind of like i better if they have something pre-programmed.

      Zurich TV did a bizarre program for a Zauberflote ( with "newscasters" asking the (not always very well-informed) questions At least the Met has other singers doing the interviews; people who actually know a little bit about opera!

      The ROH did a nice series of videos for their La Boheme cinema broadcasts. I think the only thing "live" was Antonio Pappano introducing them and the opera.

  2. I just read a little snippet in the New Yorker (Feb. 25) about the production - not really interviews, but a summary of conversations with various performers and technicians and etc. during the rehearsals. My favorite parts were 1. Dalayman explaining, politely, how her feet and ankles are stained pink from the great big pool of stage blood - "I did wash them. It doesn't come out." and 2. The German artistic liaison explaining, emphatically, "It's not revolting. It's gorgeous."

    1. I will have to track that down (does the New Yorker let you read online without a prescription, er... subscription?) So far from the clips, I think the blood/bloody water in act two is somewhere between revolting and mildly disturbing. It sure looks uncomfortable too. At least all the water in the La Scala Lohengrin was picturesque.

    2. Apparently the fake blood is delivered warm each time so the performers don't get chilly. Met opera: always classy!

      If the New Yorker doesn't let you read for free, I'm happy to scan/email on Monday when I get back to the office.

      (this is earworm, writing anon comments because IOS is being crap w/r/t blogger)


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