Monday, February 19, 2007


I know everyone's probably seen it at this point, but I feel it necessary to point out that this is essentially the definition of humor for my mother, lifelong piano teacher and cat lover.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Belated Jenufa love

Since much not-ink has been spilt already on the finer points of the current Jenufa, I shall eschew the play by play in favor of a numbered list format:

1. The Mattila: If Karita Mattila, after she retires (God forbid), decides to become some kind of Finnish Mother Teresa, and then when she passes (again, God forbid), the Vatican starts taking calls for granting her sainthood seriously, and needs to drum up the requisite three miracles, I feel they might have a not unserious screening of her Jenufa. No one is cured of leoprosy or anything, but I think it qualifies as a minor opera-miracle. An operacle if you will. Quoth my previously unfamiliar seat mate at intermission, "Why don't they put her in everything? No, seriously..."

2. Forst: So, yes, I am bummed that I won't see La Silj. The reports suggest that being in the same room with her Kostelnicka is a bit like being impaled through the chest by some large blunt yet also pointy object, only more pleasant. That sounds awesome. But Forst, whose Herodias we recently enjoyed concurrently with the Dance of the 1/7 Voigts did not disappoint.

3. Silvasti: Silvasti's Laca is the stuff Laca-related dreams are made of. Wow.

4. Production: Mattila-epiphany seatmate pointed out how this production has really great blocking for opera. That plus the wonderful, spot on design helps really locate Jenufa where it should be: alongside the great realist human dramas of Chekhov and Ibsen.

5. General: Listening to this cast is likely diving into a giant bowl of half and half, that's how creamy the Slavic goodness is. It's Smetanalicious.

6. A-holes behind me: Don't you look like nicely dressed, well to do people in your 30s...and you're sitting in orchestra row P, so you must have money or actually care, right? Why then do you break into chortles at the precise moment when Forst shreiks "Fruit of Sin" before taking the baby to the river? We both know you know that's not supposed to be funny. Are you in middle school? Seriously people.

7. Insanity: One afternoon left, bitches who haven't been yet. I got on a plane and sacrificed my stats grade for it. What are you gonna do? Huh? Wanna go? Right now? Professing enjoyment of opera, living in the tri state area, and not seeing this should be grounds for finding someone criminally insane.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Nous sommes "it"

Sieglinde comes out of hiding, announcing herself with a new design and a tag. The game: pick up the nearest book, turn to page 123, and copy the 5th, 6th and 7th sentences. The result:
"Thus the R2 also can be expressed as one minus the ratio of the sum of squared residuals to the total sum of squares:
R2 = 1 - (SSR/TSS).
Finally, the R2 of the regression of Y on the single regressor X is the square of the correlation coefficient between Y and X. The R2 ranges between zero and one."
That's from a swell read entitled Introduction to Econometrics, by James H. Stock and Mark W. Watson.

I tag Maury, Chalkenteros, and Mr. Patrick J. Smith.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Onegin Vacation

So, in an act of utter disrespect for the statistics midterm I have to take tomorrow afternoon, I spent the weekend taking in some long denied entertainment back east. After all, the shame of a poor showing on the midterm should be forgotten by the final, but the shame of missing out on Mattilla Jenufa would last a lifetime.

Friday's Eugene Onegin opening was the first order of business, though, thanks to a last minute ticket procured by J's near pathological enjoyment of hitting refresh on Met ticket pages. There's no denying this is a classy showing, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was a tad too smooth.

Maybe my expectations for Tchaikovsky are out of whack thanks to last season's beloved spectacular-spectacular Mazeppa. Maybe it's that the big blank slate set starts out feeling "inventive" but ends up kind of static and annoying. Maybe it's that I didn't find Renaay bothersome and cringe inducing so much as I just found myself distracted when she was on stage (tho decidedly less so in the last act). Props: her pureed diction thing stayed home tonight, and the Beautiful VoiceTM FX were present but doled out tastefully. Demerits: is that really the loudest you can sing? Seriously? Sing out Renaay!!

In sum, there seemed to be a little something missing there, but no biggie. Let it be noted, however, that Hvorostovsky certainly wasn't an accomplice. Lest you have to sit through my clumsy paraphrase, I'll just say "my sentiments exactly" and blockquote Maury:
Hvorostovky is such an obvious choice in this. He's not quite handsome but extremely interesting-looking, and his vocal suavity and the hint of coldness about him are Onegin in a nutshell. Additionally, he sings the fuckity fuck out of Onegin's splendid, introverted, better-than-the-tenor-aria aria.
Fuckity-fuck, indeed.

Rrrramon sounded nice. More importantly, he managed once more to avoid a velour leprachaun costume. With any luck, he will one day live that down.

Thoughts on Saturday's Jenufalicious delights next...

Thursday, February 08, 2007



Announcing the first ever Wellsung Giveaway Spectacular!

Two extra Onegin tickets for tomorrow night, 2/9, have fallen into our lap.


The seats are crappy, Like, honestly crappy. Family Circle row K. But this entire run has been sold out for weeks....yet here we find ourselves staring at a pair of tickets to a sold out *event* that could potentially go unused.

Rather than stand in freezing cold air haggling with a throng of, er, enthusiastic Renee fanatics, we decided to GIVE them away to YOU.

All you have to do is email us an argument laying out just how badly you want to see Renaaay & Co. tomorrow night. The most heartfelt, gut wrenching, desperate argument wins. We'll post your argument on the blog and meet you in front of the Met at 7:40 tomorrow night with your tickets.

E-mail your plea to:

Good Luck.....

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Love, exciting and new...

A: the library dvd section is pretty good
A: I am happy to report
J: oh sexcellent
A: curtain just went up on this T&I w/ Waltraud Meier
A: the set is like love boat
A: the guy doing the sailor song just served Waltraud a daiquiri
J: hah
J: that is ridiculous
J: who is the T?
A: Jon Frederic West
J: oh yeah, him
A: Waltraud is doing it up...too bad she is standing next to a canary yellow deck chair
J: where is this boat sailing from?
A: I guess its like the Ireland-Grand Cayman-Cornwall tour
J: like 14 nights or so I guess
J: but which opera company is it?
A: Bayerische staatsoper
J: ah


A: um, Tristan just rolled a floral print couch onstage for the Act 2 bidness
J: hah
A: they are tossing cushions now
J: this sounds silly
A: yeah
A: it is kind of inoffensive silly
A: but it definitely doesn't "work" in any sense
A: waltraud is pretty good...but it doesn't feel as comfortable as her Kundry
A: the Tristan is pretty nice for now, but he has a bad habit of constantly looking at the prompter, which is distracting in closeups
J: hm
J: yeah the the Barenboim (I think) T und I with w-traud is not totally wonderful
A: it is such a weird part
A: there's really no telling who one is going to like or not like in it
J: like Toni Braxton
A: haha
A: exactly like
J: Carol Channing maybe
A: oh man
A: that is amazing
J: I'd listen to a Channing Liebestod
A: we need to find someone who both does a good Carol Channing impersonation and knows the Narrative/Curse
A: this needs to be realized
A: lord knows there is someone in the parterre comments section that fits that description
J: I'm almost certain of it
J: Patty Wortham does a pretty bang up Carol Channing. we could teach it to her
A: that would be so, so awesome
A: despite minor vocal misgivings in this, Waltraud is still really fun to watch
A: she has such a neat face
A: I mean
A: obviously not that neat
J: clearly
A: I now also want to see a scene between Carol Channing and a muppet Carol Channing
A: I feel one would lose track
J: i.e.
A: aaaahhhh!!!!
J: haha
A: well I guess that's what I'll be dreaming about this evening