Saturday, January 12, 2008

Les Miz on (Upper) Broadway

J: my little sister just called me angry because she bought a Les Miz recording and she doesn't like the Eponine
A: ha
A: and that's how we know you're related
A: which one?
J: I think it was the broadway one, which I think is the same Eponine as London, which is the one she likes. But she was having none of that argument.
A: ha
A: that's funny
A: I have long disliked the Broadway over the London eponine
J: she was like "she sounds like fucking Madonna!"
J: it's the same gal though
A: yeah
A: look at that
A: well, she definitely broadways it up for the later version
A: not that she is the model of restraint on the OLC
A: but i think it is pretty striking
J: huh
A: i have now compared
J: hah
A: me and your sister are pretty justified
J: do you own both?
A: no
A: just london
A: even from the Itunes clip you could hear
A: "Frances Ruffelle" just really lets go
A: with the little whiny Eponinisms
J: on b'way?
A: yeah
J: hah there are reviews on Amazon where people compare the conducting of the various recordings
A: ha
A: people love them some les miz
J: and there is a guy who does a London/B'way comparison of every character and decides which is best
J: Fantine: LONDON. Patti LuPone is one of the few Fantine's who sings the role instead of wailing it. And she does more than just sing it. If LuPone's "I Dreamed a Dream" doesn't bring you close to tears, you have a stone heart. Randy Graff on the Broadway recording leaves a lot to be desired, but isn't nearly as bad as Ruthie Henshall in the Tenth Anniversary Concert.
A: heehee
A: true that about P-Lupes
A: tho
J: she is very good
J: Eponine: Now, while I ADORE Lea Salonga, I just don't think she is right for Eponine. Nor do I like Frances Ruffle. The best Eponine I've heard recorded is Kaho Shimada. I LOVE her portrayal, and it's even more impressive because she didn't know English at the time.
A: wow
A: which one is she on?
J: she's on that "Complete International Symphonic Recording"
J: the black one with gold writing
A: meh
A: maybe if i heard more than 15 seconds of it
J: eponine tempura
A: i think Trebs would get Eponine in an opera version of Les Miz
J: yeah I think so too
J: though Eponine strikes me as a mezzo
J: she dresses as a boy and all
J: Stephanie Blythe would me Madame Thenardier
J: be
A: word
A: Someone would probably try to cast J-mo as Jean Valjean
A: and it would suck
J: that would blow
J: actually no---they would use Thomas Hampson
A: ah
A: good call
J: imagine him singing "Who am I"
A: damn
J: it's entertaining
A: it really is
A: or the croony faces on the Bring him Home high notes
J: haha
J: I'd enjoy a Mattila Fantine, though it's awfully low for her
A: ooh
A: yes
A: please, someone transpose that and get her to do it as an encore
J: Aprile Millo could be the barricade
A: haha
A: i would enjoy Alagna as a flagrantly over the hill Marius
J: hah
J: who would be Cosette?
A: A Barbara bonney type
J: oh interesting
A: The real question though: who conducts?
A: I know Barenboim is something of a Boubil-Schoenberg specialist
J: hah
A: but I just love the clarity Thielemann brings to the synth/drum kit passages
J: hah
A: listening to some Bring Him Home right now
J: hah
J: natch
A: god help us of t-hampson ever gets ahold of this thing
A: if
A: ooh
A: I like Alan Held for Javert
J: oh good call
J: um, please take 5 mins and watch this
A: shut the fuck up Diane Sawyer
J: oh my god
A: he is such an absurd man
J: watch til the end
J: what a supreme douche
A: i don't know if i can
A: i feel like my computer can't handle this much douche
J: it's worth it
A: hahaha
A: good god
A: no
A: no
A: this is not happening
J: I mean....!
A: people had to start their days with this?
J: right?!
J: Then didn't we go to that concert that night with Randy?
A: yeah
A: !!!!
A: the ending!!!
J: oh you just got there?? haha
J: he does the closed eyes and the teeth and everything


JRD said...

Alex, I, too, hated Rufelle's Eponine. Out of tune.

The Eponine I love, back in the day when I still listened to musicals, was Lea Salonga. The beauty of her voice is out of this world.

P.S. Are you making a pilgrimage to see Fleming's Violetta at Lyric?


Alex said...

Probably not, I fear, since I don't have a ticket already and it seems unlikely that they will offer any student tix. Which is weak. Lyric really needs to put in a line of standing room. I would stand for Fleming Violetta in a heartbeat.

Ditto on Salonga, tho I never really got into Miss Saigon.

Gregory said...

Kaho Shimada all the way.

I loved this." Millo could be the barricade!" LOL!

Maury D'annato said...

Yay, a classic Wellsung column.

I just realized something I think I knew all along, on an unconscious level: William Shatner+Music=Thomas Hampson.

Alex said...

Damn. That is uncanny.

Anonymous said...

Waltraud Meier could be a fierce Fantine.

Anonymous said...

Random Les Miz thoughts:

1) I have a hard time saying "Eponine" without the words "your brat" in front of it.

2) My worst fear in high school was that a voice would sing, over the loudspeaker, "You're on your own; you have no friends," and everyone would know it was addressed to me.

3) The NY Marius is terrible. Why couldn't they shoot him and let Enjolras live? Is there no justice in this world?

4) Everytime I give money (or silver) to a homeless man, I sing to myself, "I have bought your soul for God."

5) Apparently prison tats were popular in the pre-Oz days.

6) Met Futures Page - 2013-14 season. Fantine: Joyce DiDonato/Olga Borodina, Cosette: Anna Netrebko/Natalie Dessay; Eponine: Ewa Podles(debut)/Britney Spears(debut), Mme. Thenardier: Stephanie Blythe, Valjean: Placido Domingo, Javert: James Morris, Marius: Nathan Gunn, Enjolras: Juan Diego Florez

Alex said...

JDF as Enjolras--that is some genius luxury casting. Yes to Borodina, tho I don't know about Dessay Cosette. How is that she can register as small and too precious but not as an ingenue for me? Odd.

I think we should all thank the fates that Les Miz peaked when it did, or we would surely be treated to a Britney Spears Eponine today. *shudder*

Anonymous said...

Great blog, thank you for posting!
Free Add URL to 4,000+ Websites & 25,000+ Locals!

Blogger said...

There is a chance you are qualified to get a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.