Thursday, 5 March 2009

damn, double damn

Worst possible (well almost) opera news of the week (the season??, the year??):
Matti Salminen replaces René Pape in the Barenboim-conducted Berlin Parsifal on Friday. Notwithstanding I am a big fan of Salminen, and Plácido Domingo and Waltraud Meier are both appearing as well, I must admit I shall probably have to sell my ticket. Which at least shouldn´t be a problem.

And, as of Wednesday, a look in the comments section will reveal that he will be replaced by Robert Holl Monday. And by Robert Holl also next Thursday with Gergive at the Barbican.

Well...opera is only entertainment after all. I suppose that is the rational way to go about this. But I would be lying to say this isn´t a major disappointment.

16 comments:

Beckmesser said...

Damn indeed...
I feel sorry for you.
Do you think this might be related to his illness during a Faust performance ? Has he appeared on a stage in between ?

mostly opera... said...

Four days ago he was in absolutely superb shape as Méphistophéles, according to friends present. And he was fine in all the other performances except for the premiere as well.

On a second thought I may want to keep my ticket for Friday anyway as I have never heard Domingo´s Parsifal, and if he then goes on to cancel Monday, I will never get to hear it...

Anonymous said...

mostly opera are you mad? considering selling a ticket to a performance with barenboim, waltraud meier and plácido domingo just because rené pape is not there??

richard said...

We can only hope he is OK for Monday - Dutchman tonight in London and then to Berlin for Monday

Anonymous said...

Don´t sell it! Robert Holl sings on Monday, so I think Matti is a good choice!

richard said...

Just checked the Staatsoper website and this has changed since early afternoon. Robert Holl is indeed listed for Monday.

I suppose the Barbican concert performance on Thursday 12 March must also now be at risk.

billy said...

If he doesn't sing the Met gala on the 15th (I'm going to get a standing room ticket), I will flip a shit. I've been looking forward to his Wotan all year.

DB said...

I do hope you will attend mostly, as I'd like your opinion on the current state of Salminen's voice. I suspect I'm an even bigger fan of Salminen that you are, and I've been comparing his Gurnemanz in the Nagano (2004) DVD with the recently released Haitink (2007) version, and while I hugely admire his interpretation, I feel his voice has taken a noticeable turn for the worse in the interim.
However, I should say I found his portrayal of the role in 2007 even more moving than with Nagano, because he seemed to portray a greater sense of vulnerability and the vocal deterioration certainly contributed to this impression in my case. Of course, his voice might simply have been a bit off form for the Haitink taping.
Vulnerability is not an attribute I normally associate with Salminen and it was refreshing to encounter it.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Pape is the best Gurnemanz in the world. But a cast including Barenboim, Meier, Domingo, Salminen, Müller-Brachmann and the Staatskapelle is still not the worst case.

mostly opera... said...

Of course you are right. And as I remember from a couple of seasons ago (WITH René Pape btw), Barenboim is completely stunning with this opera. Not to forget Waltraud Meier. And what will probably be the last Parsifal´s in Plácido Domingo´s career..

Ed said...

Not good news! Pape's scheduled in the concert performance of Parsifal (last act) next Thurs in London.. Barbican still says he's going to show..

mostly opera... said...

Ed - he has cancelled that as well, as you probably know by now.

Anonymous said...

Well, yesterday was just amazing performance. But I missed Rene Pape's voice and understanding of this role.
Jane

Anonymous said...

Attending yesterday's performance, I felt that Barenboim's (at times extremely slow) conducting, the magnificent Staatskapelle, and Waltraud Meier's almost unbearably powerful Kundry were the true highlights of an otherwise good, but not stunning performance.
Salminen was good overall (despite some signs of vocal strain, particularly in act III), but Domingo was downright terrible, I felt.
I few missed notes here and there are one thing and absolutely forgivable, but not knowing one's lines at all and thus making the teleprompter shout (!) throughout almost the entire act II is an outrage. I'm sorry to say that, but almost having to stop singing entirely during some parts of act III because of severe text gaps is simply embarrassing to me.

mostly opera... said...

Jane and anonymous - I have copied your two comments to the post I just wrote about yesterdays performance. As you may see I agree with you on your two major points: 1) René Pape was indeed missed and 2) Domingo was down-right terrible.

Ed said...

Thanks - yes.. saw he cancelled his London performance.. I have likewise cancelled, and returned my ticket.. I shall go to Quasthoff on Wed instead.

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