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Not just in Hollywood: Gay singer reveals sexual harrassment in opera

I’m a gay, married, 32-year old former opera singer living in New York City. There’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for a long time. All of Hollywood, and much of the country, is talking about Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long history of sexual assault. After years of ignoring rumors, and silencing women who came forward, the media and the movie industry are finally taking it seriously.

It’s time for the opera world to also look at its own epidemic of sexual harassment and assault. As much as there is to say about what women go through, I’m starting from the gay perspective because it’s what I know. The first time it happened, I was at a patron dinner, seated next to the donor who was funding my presence there. He touched me knee inappropriately a few times, before leaning over during the salad course and whispering in my ear “[the General Director] said you were a cute one.” I pushed him away, high tailed it for the bar, and didn’t return until dessert.

I innocently never expected it to happen again. But then there was the conductor who friended me on FB with a message promising a gig, but quickly pushed that aside in favor of descriptions of his prowess in bed that would appear in my inbox once a month for the next year or so. There was the up-and-coming composer whose work I premiered, and whose penis would subsequently appear in text messages sent at 2am, shrouded in a metal Chastity cage and accompanied by the words “hello, sir.”

More at link

I’m a gay, married, 32-year old former opera singer living in New York City. There’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for a long time.
Medium
--Anonymous
replies 417Oct 13, 2017 7:59 AM +00:00

While the prevalence is MUCH higher for women being treated inappropriately, immorally or illegally, men - gay or straight - are certainly not immune to sexual harassment and rape. Shit stains are present in every walk of life. They are everywhere.

--Anonymous
replies 1Oct 13, 2017 8:05 AM +00:00

Musicians and singers are sexy beasts.

--Anonymous
replies 2Oct 13, 2017 8:08 AM +00:00

R1: I will bet the “prevalence” is higher or gays on a percentage or per capita basis, it’s just seems higher for woman because they are more numerous. Also, it depends on the field. Female hair stylists probably don't get harassed as much as male. I’ll bet males in Hollywood get more harassment than femails as a percentage, too. In finance or engineering, the woman get it worse, I’d expect.

I’ve worked as a construction engineer and software engineer. I’ve been sexually harassed by one woman and by two men. I’m not counting the sexual harassment I got as a teen working in Provincetown, as that would explode the tabulation machine.

--Anonymous
replies 3Oct 13, 2017 8:12 AM +00:00

Sorry you had to experience that, OP. It happens everywhere and to everyone, sex or sexual preference is irrelevant.

There was a Reddit thread that asked about women being predators, too. They definitely can be. (I shared an anecdote about a very attractive woman who was an absolute pig and she got away with it!)

And just like domestic violence against men, men feel they can’t speak up or they’re being wimps that they can’t “handle it”.

--Anonymous
replies 4Oct 13, 2017 8:14 AM +00:00
www.reactiongifs.com
--Anonymous
replies 5Oct 13, 2017 8:22 AM +00:00

Did anyone ask op?

--Anonymous
replies 6Oct 13, 2017 8:25 AM +00:00

You can't be serious re that men/female sexual harassment percentage claim. You can't.

--Anonymous
replies 7Oct 13, 2017 9:14 AM +00:00

Do only cute guys get sexually harassed?

--Anonymous
replies 8Oct 13, 2017 9:21 AM +00:00

r1 Just FYI, gay men are as likely as women to be raped.

I'm not sure about how sexual harassment compares, but we're likely to be harassed in this way than straight men.

--Anonymous
replies 9Oct 13, 2017 9:22 AM +00:00

lol. I love the photo in the article.

--Anonymous
replies 10Oct 13, 2017 9:26 AM +00:00

I was sexually harassed and I'm homely!

I can't believe how desperate people are. I'm the last person in the world I would go to bed with.

--Anonymous
replies 11Oct 13, 2017 9:29 AM +00:00

OP, who cares? Aren't you all big fat persons, anyway? You should be grateful anyone wants you.

--Anonymous
replies 12Oct 13, 2017 9:35 AM +00:00

I used to be in the music distribution business and many years ago I was told by one of the most important classical buyers in the city that a good friend of his who was a bass/baritone was offered a role in an opera on the condition he sleep with the music director of a very important company which he declined.

And this music director makes Harvey look appealing.

--Anonymous
replies 13Oct 13, 2017 9:36 AM +00:00

They didn't me!

--Kathleen Battle
replies 14Oct 13, 2017 9:38 AM +00:00

R11, are you Rob Schneider?

--Anonymous
replies 15Oct 13, 2017 9:39 AM +00:00

He's not Rob Scheider, he's a stapler!

--Anonymous
replies 16Oct 13, 2017 9:41 AM +00:00

Sexual harassment is about abuse of power and is as old a mankind. The more civilized the world has become, the less this kind of behavior is acceptable by in large. Powerful gay men abuse young gay men. But overwhelmingly it is powerful straight men abusing women simply because of the greater numbers in both groups. It's horrible- and pervasive- in Hollywood, in corporate America, academia, and gov't- everywhere.

I remember my Mom, who was a beautiful woman, reacting to Clinton years ago. She said one of the first things a young woman has to learn is how to handle "dogs". She went on to describe some of her experiences handling some of my Dad's peers in at the top of the corporate world, i.e, the occasional powerful asshole- think Trump. It was one of the first times she spoke openly to me as an adult. I also experienced some of it myself as a young gay man- from some names familiar to readers of DL. I observed it too- and on one occasion the powerful asshole got decked by the guy he was harassing which is the difference between man/woman and man/man abuse. We can defend ourselves sometimes.

Harvey is nothing new- it has nothing to do with politics. It's about powerful, shitty assholes. These types tend also to be yellers and abusers in other ways as well.

--Anonymous
replies 17Oct 13, 2017 9:51 AM +00:00

Second R17's post. We are not living in the dark ages anymore and this culture needs to stop.

--Anonymous
replies 18Oct 13, 2017 9:56 AM +00:00

I'm sure this also occurs in the ballet world and all aspects of the music world.

--Anonymous
replies 19Oct 13, 2017 9:58 AM +00:00

The trouble with music is you have to give so much of yourself from an intimate side.

--Anonymous
replies 20Oct 13, 2017 10:05 AM +00:00

*on an intimate level

--tired R20
replies 21Oct 13, 2017 10:59 AM +00:00

When I was a 20-year-old music major a number of years back I was asked by a famous conductor to be a soloist for a series of symphony concerts. He had a relationship with my university and there were a couple of us he took an interest in, all of us gay boys. I was naive and didn't know what was going on, but after every performance he would come to my dressing room, close the door, and stick his tongue down my throat. He wasn't a horrible looking guy but he was not someone I had any interest in. I didn't know what to do. I just let it happen. Clothes remained on. But the implication was that I could do more concerts if I did more. Fortunately I didn't have any interest in being a concerto soloist, especially under those conditions. So those were the only concerts I ever played with him.

I can't stress enough how much I didn't know about life and had no idea what I was supposed to do or if it was right or wrong. No one warned me but I figured out later that there had been whispers while it went on. I've not been in a situation like that since but it was very unsettling.

The conductor in question was well known for this. He is no longer with us. I don't think it was ever officially remarked upon beyond gossip.

--Anonymous
replies 22Oct 13, 2017 11:38 AM +00:00

R13 Harvey is one ugly fuck.He would be hard to top in the ugly department.

--Anonymous
replies 23Oct 13, 2017 11:57 AM +00:00

It's very strange and sometimes you don't want to believe. There are artists (musicians) who take their art further, who are able to create worlds, make the invisible visible, move you to places you never thought possible. But, sadly, on a human level, the very same people can make you feel like shit. The way they look at you, either like a piece of meat or through ice-cold eyes. What they say that can be unsettling or inappropriate. Some are able to radiate love throughout a performance, through music, while others only have love for music, and maybe some of their peers on an artistic level, but not for the people. Not for the audience, not for themselves as people. Only as musicians. They take their art to the very top, but the price is unbearable it seems. It's something I have trouble reconcile. I'm speaking about artists, not Harvey W who was a moneyman and mobster.

--Anonymous
replies 24Oct 13, 2017 12:36 PM +00:00

I really couldn't care less about the male victims. Good luck finding support elsewhere.

--Anonymous
replies 25Oct 13, 2017 12:52 PM +00:00
You can't be serious re that men/female sexual harassment percentage claim. You can't.

They don't know what they're talking about.

--Anonymous
replies 26Oct 13, 2017 12:54 PM +00:00

Harassment is about power. I have the power to do this to you. Doesn't matter if you're straight or gay.

They get off on the fact that you're powerless and can't tell anyone.

--Anonymous
replies 27Oct 13, 2017 1:21 PM +00:00

I've known a number of women in classical music who have complained about harassing conductors and managers.

--Anonymous
replies 28Oct 13, 2017 1:32 PM +00:00

" I will bet the “prevalence” is higher or gays on a percentage or per capita basis, it’s just seems higher for woman because they are more numerous"

Why, R3? Are gay men more predatory than non-gay men?

--I think not
replies 29Oct 13, 2017 1:44 PM +00:00

I believe you, R28. I love classical music as a listener and concert-goer, but don't know how I would fare if I got deeper into it. I'd be very scared of an experience that would put me off completely. Then I wouldn't know what to do. I'm very sorry any of this happened to your friends. It's not the same when it's a job you hate. With music... it just poisons and destroys something that can otherwise be very special.

--Anonymous
replies 30Oct 13, 2017 1:54 PM +00:00

Why do you think there's the stereotype of classical music greats being all kinds of monsters? Temperamental beyond reason, making crazy demands...

Verdi, Beethoven and Wagner were well known misanthropes.

Callas was a very great singer but there's a lot you don't want to know about her.

--Anonymous
replies 31Oct 14, 2017 3:43 PM +00:00

I don't want to be harsh, OP, but you describe yourself as a 'former opera singer'.

You need to be more tough to survive in a competitive field which uses the casting couch in order to compete.

And you have shown that you were insufficiently tough.

So 'all's well that ends well' and 'no crying over spilt milk'.

--Diosmus
replies 32Oct 14, 2017 3:59 PM +00:00

Isn't there a big classical music story that DL has talked about that would be a big scandal yet never comes out?

--Anonymous
replies 33Oct 14, 2017 5:04 PM +00:00

Like the world-famous director that has a thing for young black boys?

--Anonymous
replies 34Oct 14, 2017 5:06 PM +00:00

yes.

--Anonymous
replies 35Oct 14, 2017 5:08 PM +00:00

R12 looking in the mirror again, Mare?

--Anonymous
replies 36Oct 14, 2017 5:11 PM +00:00
I really couldn't care less about the male victims. Good luck finding support elsewhere.

That says a lot about you, none of it good, but not a thing about them.

--Anonymous
replies 37Oct 14, 2017 5:12 PM +00:00

Every word in that article is true, and then some. It’s coming for the classical music business, and not soon enough.

--Anonymous
replies 38Oct 14, 2017 5:31 PM +00:00

I heard that the head of London's 2nd or 3rd opera company got the job because he was somebody's boyfriend.

They're losing money. And I think there's some American connection as well (but it's not Kevin Spacey).

--Jacob Rees-Mogg
replies 39Oct 14, 2017 5:32 PM +00:00

I know the writer of this article (as an acquaintance within the same industry).

I've either seen, heard about, or personally experienced many of the things he describes. I am absolutely certain that I know who he's talking about in a couple of instances. I'm honestly surprised that names haven't been named yet, if not by Kempson then by others with nothing to lose.

The thing is, when someone in power acts this way to you, you know without any doubt that (1) if you play along and keep your mouth shut, you *might* have a career and that (2) if you call them out on their behavior, you absolutely *won't* have a career. These people can and will bury you, professionally speaking.

--Anonymous
replies 40Oct 14, 2017 5:47 PM +00:00

I’ve been in the business for a lot longer than Kemspon and I absolutely know who he’s talking about. It’s even worse in the bigger companies and at the very top, and websites like Parterre and Barihunks perpetuate the bullshit and ancient gay stereotypes. Those sites need to die right along with the queens that run them. An entire coterie of ancient gay agents like Matthew Epstein and his miserable protégés like Matthew Horner need to go down with that ship as well. The gay power structure of the Met is currently being reordered (years of hiding behind the awful Levine) I’m not sure for the better, and let’s not even start with the dead City Opera. There’s so many other opera houses, managers, conductors, singers, symphonies that have a lot to answer for. The whole business needs to be restructured or die.

--Anonymous
replies 41Oct 14, 2017 5:54 PM +00:00

I don’t know how Santa Fe and John Crosby got away with what they did for so long. It’s amazing there wasn’t a major lawsuit from every gay apprentice who ever sang there. It was a nightmare of sexual harassment and coercion for thirty years. That old creep Crosby is lucky he’s dead, he wouldn’t survive in the current legal climate.

--Anonymous
replies 42Oct 14, 2017 5:58 PM +00:00

[R25:] I was raped by my boss, a choreographer, at age 21. I have never gotten over it. It affected and affects every aspect of my sexuality now. I'm 61 now. Feel good about your perceptive post now?

--Somebody suffering
replies 43Oct 14, 2017 6:09 PM +00:00

Oh fuck off, r43. Women deal with this shit constantly and aren't believed. And now suddenly we're supposed to hold a vigil because a man went through it. We don't have time for you.

--Anonymous
replies 44Oct 14, 2017 6:12 PM +00:00

I work with a small regional opera company. We hear the stories about the bigger houses but in the dozen or so years I've been around, all I have ever seen is singers hooking up with the local chorus because they're bored and living out of a suitcase in an extended stay hotel.

--Anonymous
replies 45Oct 14, 2017 6:22 PM +00:00

I'm guessing R44 is home alone this Saturday night, and every Saturday night.

--Anonymous
replies 46Oct 14, 2017 6:30 PM +00:00

Let's just be honest for a moment. If you are talented, have a great voice, or musical skills you will succeed on your own. Otherwise, bend over and let someone push the career right inside of you. As simple as A B C!

--R
replies 47Oct 14, 2017 6:37 PM +00:00

Yawn, r46. You know I'm right, but men can't help but steal attention and sympathy away from women. Tired and weak as hell.

--Anonymous
replies 48Oct 14, 2017 7:12 PM +00:00

I was also not believed when I went to the Rape Crisis Center in my city. Fuck you. I'm not trying to replace women's concerns. That's your idea.

--Yeah bitch
replies 49Oct 14, 2017 7:18 PM +00:00

So women have a monopoly on attention and sympathy?

Ok.

--Anonymous
replies 50Oct 15, 2017 3:41 AM +00:00

R40 says it like it is.

--Anonymous
replies 51Oct 15, 2017 3:49 AM +00:00

R41, is saddens me to read what you've written. Yet I believe every single word is true.

--music-lover
replies 52Oct 15, 2017 3:50 AM +00:00

Fuck you R47.

--Anonymous
replies 53Oct 15, 2017 3:52 AM +00:00

R33, R34, what is this story? The Met?

--Anonymous
replies 54Oct 15, 2017 3:52 AM +00:00

Oh wow, I was reading about this and was about to pop in and mention Sante Fe but someone did it for me.

Crosby, what a creep.

--Anonymous
replies 55Oct 15, 2017 4:10 AM +00:00

This NY story has been so thick with innuendo for decades either it's not true or the biggest power brokers in the city have been so protective of this man they would totally crush anybody who came forward about him. Another story has it than a big name opera singer bailed him out in one terrible situation and then was in so many productions after her voice was gone subscribers threatened to no longer subscribe and she was no longer cast. Probably got a nice payout. Like the catholic church this organization is constantly begging for money for bribery payouts far beyond what it costs to run the place.

He is adored by so many people as a musician my opera loving friends and I are baffled because we feel musically he is nothing special and never has been.

Even when young so ugly that he was not so much beaten with the ugly stick but an oak tree.

--Anonymous
replies 56Oct 15, 2017 4:21 AM +00:00

And a perpetual homophobic closet case R56. If Levine goes down, he takes the Met and the entire industry with him. Opera would lose its funding completely. Opera survives only by donations. A Levine sized scandal would be catastrophic, and I can guarantee you there are many people invested in it not happening including some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, although the days of the rich hiding out in opera houses are fading.

It’s not just Levine at the Met but a certain idolized supposedly ageless tenor, now baritone, who has been a sexual predator for fifty years. He’s literally rewarded many sopranos, including someone singing a title role right now on the opening night with roles and attention if they fuck him. If the don’t, things can work against them. He uses his competition for this behavior as well, and don’t think his talentless wife doesn’t know, who’s used him for her own career purposes.

This kind of behavior is all over the classical music industry. I think it’s got even more scum bags in it because it’s so ignored and disliked by the wider public that asshole entertainment industry abusers feel like they can hide out there unnoticed.

--Anonymous
replies 57Oct 15, 2017 5:24 AM +00:00

I can't tell if R47 is joking or not. Because if they're not, they have no clue what it takes to have a successful career in the arts.

--Anonymous
replies 58Oct 15, 2017 5:45 AM +00:00

Me too sort of, several conductors would try to slap my Mother for having such an unattractive son. I had to keep her close to me and as a result often wore too much makeup in hopes I could look cuter than rationally possible. To this day my mother won't go near an opera house with me. In defense of my Mom, I gave up music and only sing with a bag over my head.

--Anonymous
replies 59Oct 15, 2017 5:58 AM +00:00

Mezzo Soprano, Susanne Mentzer, has written about sexual harassment in classical music, and has included gay men.

r22, why not mention the name of the conductor if he's dead? Or if you really don't want to name him, give initials or clues?

I have been a professional opera singer for over 36 years. I don't have enough digits to count the times I have been either approached inappropriately s...
HuffPost
--Anonymous
replies 60Oct 15, 2017 5:59 AM +00:00

American Opera is just as shitty as American TV/Films. I only listen to Euro and old recordings now. And the productions, fuck, even worse. Like La Traviata being set in a 1940s swing club and the like. Complete fuckery.

--Anonymous
replies 61Oct 15, 2017 6:05 AM +00:00

Holy shit... Thanks for your post R57. It does feel like they live in a world completely of their own, since the general public doesn't care. Although everyone can sing bits of La Traviata or Carmen, but I digress.

I've wondered about the ageless tenor/barytone for a while now. If he's the one I'm thinking of, I'm also thinking his charisma let him get away with a lot. He does seem predatory, and unfortunately very attractive (I'm a lesbian so don't really care).

--Anonymous
replies 62Oct 15, 2017 6:45 AM +00:00

R60 I wonder if the initials are LB? At least that's what I thought. Very handsome in his youth and even had the self awareness and honesty in later years to admit he used as his mentor(maybe he even slept with him?)Mitropoulos and then used a homophobic smear campaign against him to get this greatly gifted and by all accounts good man eliminated from the directorship of the NY Phil.

The idea that great art is enlightening and somehow makes you a better person is 110% bullshit. For some reason people still pretend this is the case. It helps the PR machine sell it.

--Anonymous
replies 63Oct 15, 2017 6:55 AM +00:00

Bernstein was notorious R63. Look no further then the head of SF Symphony to see how that played out, who also has his own little secrets with basses and baritones.

--Anonymous
replies 64Oct 15, 2017 7:00 AM +00:00

Excellent post by Suzanne Mentzer R60. "Some men in power are above any accountability. Many are tremendously talented. Few can even match their level, so people look the other way when they act inappropriately." I'll even add, unfortunately, women. This is a lot more rare, just as it is a lot more rare in the workforce too. Anyway. I witnessed this firsthand as a concertgoer and was left confused and embarrassed, and in equal parts flattered, because of the extreme talent we are talking about. This is not just someone who has a lot of talent. It's way, way out of the park. Simply something that you cannot imagine, and that will be gone once the person is gone. The inappropriate didn't go very far (enough to embarrass me, but really not all that much) and I might have felt flattered had it been more subtle, but it was the forcefulness that scared me. And I left wondering how often this happens, something that for me was inacceptable but that might just be day-to-day in these persons' lives.

--Anonymous
replies 65Oct 15, 2017 7:06 AM +00:00

Johnny Did It Too! Johnny Did It Too!

--Anonymous
replies 66Oct 15, 2017 7:09 AM +00:00

From Suzanne Mentzer's account:

"I have had a major conductor accost me in my dressing room prior to a performance. At first I felt flattered but then I felt gross and like one of many. Moreover, since it happened right before a performance I could not just walk out. I had to continue and perform. I spurred this man’s advances. After six years of working together quite regularly, he never hired me again. This was a man I admired and from whom I had learned so much. I do not regret the work and I cannot replace what I learned, but I have always been baffled and saddened that, by not accepting his advances, he could not put his ego aside and still hire me. My singing was at a very high level then. There was no way I could speak publicly about the incident or even to any of the higher-ups at the symphony where I had been performing."

Again, this is the vibe I got simply as a concert-goer. I'd say a similar atmosphere can be found in academia.

--Anonymous
replies 67Oct 15, 2017 7:10 AM +00:00

Academia is an entirely different and equally revolting subject R67.

--Anonymous
replies 68Oct 15, 2017 7:15 AM +00:00

so basically, the majority who made it to the top had to put out somehow? I am referring to pianists, violinists etc.

--Anonymous
replies 69Oct 15, 2017 7:20 AM +00:00

Anywhere you have power, you have abuses of that power, whether it's Hollywood, opera, classical music, politics, the tech industry, the Fortune 500 ... it's everywhere. It's disgusting, it's pervasive, and it's long past time that these assholes were called on it.

--Anonymous
replies 70Oct 15, 2017 7:33 AM +00:00

There's the rumor as well about Byron Janis and Horowitz. Horowitz lost interest in him as a pupil after Janis spurned his advances.

--Anonymous
replies 71Oct 15, 2017 7:52 AM +00:00

I know (female) pianists and violinists who are exceptionally talented but who also started making it big after sleeping with the same (male) conductor.

--R40
replies 72Oct 15, 2017 7:53 AM +00:00

Just the initials for the male, R72

--Anonymous
replies 73Oct 15, 2017 7:55 AM +00:00

C.D.

--R72
replies 74Oct 15, 2017 7:59 AM +00:00

Thanks R74. If it is the only one I can think of with those initials, it fucking sucks because I love his recordings (well I only have one actually).

--Anonymous
replies 75Oct 15, 2017 8:03 AM +00:00

Actually, not even one. Every time I was going to get one of his recordings there was another I liked better. So, at least in that regard I feel a little better.

--R75
replies 76Oct 15, 2017 8:05 AM +00:00

Is this conductor still alive? There was one recording of his I was meaning to get, but haven't yet.

--Anonymous
replies 77Oct 15, 2017 8:10 AM +00:00

Uh oh. The fat lady done sung, and the dung has been flung.

--Opera World
replies 78Oct 15, 2017 8:14 AM +00:00

One recording of someone with these initials, I mean.

--R77
replies 79Oct 15, 2017 8:22 AM +00:00

Yes, C.D. is still alive.

I've heard a lot of rumors about a conductor name C.E., however it was gay rumors. Mostly involving pianist L.L. It wouldn't surprise me, but it's nothing more than rumors (as far as I ever heard).

--R74
replies 80Oct 15, 2017 8:23 AM +00:00

R80, if LL is the one i"m thinking of...I don't think he's that great.

--Anonymous
replies 81Oct 15, 2017 8:35 AM +00:00

I don't think he is, either, R81

--R80
replies 82Oct 15, 2017 8:42 AM +00:00

Me neither.

However outing him would add absolutely zero to my life... I'm just glad the female pianist and violonist probably are musicians I've never heard of... I hope.

--R77
replies 83Oct 15, 2017 8:45 AM +00:00

well everyone knows Lang Lang is gay. I mean, he's Liberace of the classical world.

--Anonymous
replies 84Oct 15, 2017 8:46 AM +00:00

Really? Well I don't follow him at all, but it makes sense. Anyway. Classical music can be... painful. In his case it's mostly boring, but I get the mass appeal. Good for him, good for his manager.

--Anonymous
replies 85Oct 15, 2017 8:47 AM +00:00

(Gay) pianist Earl Wild called Lang Lang "the J-Lo of the piano."

--Anonymous
replies 86Oct 15, 2017 8:49 AM +00:00

Ya no shit it even happens to little boys in catholic churches!

--Anonymous
replies 87Oct 15, 2017 8:51 AM +00:00

The CD I'm thinking of died in 2013 so have to come up with another.

--Anonymous
replies 88Oct 15, 2017 9:12 AM +00:00

Got it. Former wife one of the great pianists. Went to two concerts with them doing Prokofiev piano concertos.

One ended with Bolero the other with The Planets. Felt as if I didn't need to hear those warhorses again.

With that magnificent orchestra they were mindblowing great experiences. Tremendous.

Have a box set of his worth getting especially for the French pieces.

--Anonymous
replies 89Oct 15, 2017 9:29 AM +00:00

I remember when George Cleve was burned so badly in a house fire in 1978. A female violinist from his orchestra was in bed with him, and she did not survive the fire. There was so little mention of her at the time, she was just an afterthought in the papers, it seemed.

--Anonymous
replies 90Oct 15, 2017 9:38 AM +00:00

My god, what a horrible story, R90. Did the wife do it?

--Anonymous
replies 91Oct 15, 2017 9:44 AM +00:00

R34, are you speaking of SS?

--Anonymous
replies 92Oct 15, 2017 9:44 AM +00:00

R92 I think you are very very off base.

Are you talking about the Broadway composer?

--Anonymous
replies 93Oct 15, 2017 9:49 AM +00:00

Someone FF R92. We are talking about OPERA.

--Anonymous
replies 94Oct 15, 2017 9:50 AM +00:00

Do not try and get this thread deleted by derailing it.

--Anonymous
replies 95Oct 15, 2017 9:50 AM +00:00

Wikipedia does not note that he was married at the time. I never heard anything about how the fire started.

--Anonymous
replies 96Oct 15, 2017 9:51 AM +00:00

Have any Olympians spoken out yet? Surely they must get harassed a lot, with their hot bodies and all.

--Anonymous
replies 97Oct 15, 2017 9:56 AM +00:00

A man touching another man's knee is not inappropriate or harassment. This is a big difference between what would be inappropriate when done to a woman versus between two men.

--Anonymous
replies 98Oct 15, 2017 9:57 AM +00:00

Since we're talking about serial sexual predators who have been protected by powerful institutions, I'd like to talk about James Levine. Somewhere around 1985 or '86, I started a years long affair with Henry Lauterstein who was the in-house counsel to the Metropolitan Opera. More than once Henry told me that the Met had to pay money to mothers in Harlem because Levine had assaulted their under-aged boys. Of course, I wasn't actually there to witness the assaults or the payouts so I can't say for certain any of it happened but I can't think of a reason Henry would have lied about such a thing. So there's that.

--Anonymous
replies 99Oct 15, 2017 10:05 AM +00:00

Wow, R99. I live in Europe so only know of James Levine through recordings, but that's quite a scandal. I have to say he's not my first choice of conductor when I'm looking for a recording. But he did work with some singers in their prime, so sometimes I have little choice but to give in.

--Anonymous
replies 100Oct 15, 2017 10:08 AM +00:00

I assume Lauterstein is no longer alive?

--Anonymous
replies 101Oct 15, 2017 10:36 AM +00:00

If you’re telling the truth R99, and you’re not just trying to get this thread shut down, how revolting that you chose to be with a man who would provide that kind of cover for such completely revolting acts. You’re an awful person, as was your whatever he was.

--Anonymous
replies 102Oct 15, 2017 12:03 PM +00:00

The James Levine stories have been around for decades. So have the Lenny Bernstein ones. The Met is in trouble for all sorts of reasons but I don't think covering for Levine (who has been in poor health for a while) is one of them at this point. Maybe a couple decades ago...

--Anonymous
replies 103Oct 15, 2017 12:14 PM +00:00

What were the stories with Bernstein? Not really a fan of his conducting...

As for the guy covering up, it was part of his job. Not really much he could do... But he did talk, and now we have R99 to tell us.

--Anonymous
replies 104Oct 15, 2017 12:28 PM +00:00

Earl Wild (who loved to gossip and who spilled the beans on nearly everyone in his verbose, poorly-edited, posthumously-published memoir), told me many stories about Bernstein. One I remember was about how Bernstein fell for this hot Marine, had an affair with him, and bought him a fancy car... and then the Marine took the car and high-tailed it to Florida, disappearing completely.

--Anonymous
replies 105Oct 15, 2017 12:52 PM +00:00

I've got most of the references, except for CD.

I know the father of one of tenor> baritone's protégées. Her family was so proud of her.

--Anonymous
replies 106Oct 15, 2017 1:00 PM +00:00

It’s not any lawyer’s job to knowingly cover up for a serial sexual child abuser, but thanks for playing.

--Anonymous
replies 107Oct 15, 2017 1:01 PM +00:00

Didn't have ANY idea Bernstein was gay. I still don't like his conducting.

--Anonymous
replies 108Oct 15, 2017 1:02 PM +00:00

Everyone in the opera world knows about Levine.. it is so sad that he has not been outed and sent to prison. The fact that Scotto covered for him is also common knowledge. It makes me sick that he has not served time for his crimes

--Anonymous
replies 109Oct 15, 2017 1:50 PM +00:00

All the discussion of women versus men in this thread is missing the issue on a massive scale. The problem is people in power who believe they have the right to other people's bodies, and who get off on demonstrating their power in a sexual context. Women and gay men are especially vulnerable because they're more likely to be viewed as sexual objects and often have more to lose, whereas straight men (though they undeniably are sometimes victimized by women) are less likely to be viewed as objects who can be "taken"/used. It's not really about sex (as the saying goes). It's all about power.

I tend to think the arts attract a lot of men who have deep complexes about feeling powerless (especially true for closeted gay men) and who are therefore drawn to "proving" they're powerful by harassing and abusing people in this way. I don't know if that's true or not.

--Anonymous
replies 110Oct 15, 2017 2:03 PM +00:00

I don't think there's any difference with the arts - this happens everywhere. Upthread someone asked if this happens to Olympians - the answer is yes, there's a few sexual harassment scandals unfolding in a number of sports. It happens everywhere where someone has power, the only difference with the arts is people have heard of the victims.

--Anonymous
replies 111Oct 15, 2017 2:07 PM +00:00

The major problem with the arts is there is a supposed sense of liberal sexuality. Of course it’s extremely different from a corporate and office setting. That goes without saying.

--Anonymous
replies 112Oct 15, 2017 2:26 PM +00:00

Oh R99, that's been known for YEARS about James Levine. The rumors are discussed at the link here, however wasn't it Time Magazine who famously said about Levine something along the lines of he'll date someone regardless of "sex or color"?

Apparently conductors are well known enough in Japan that comics can make a living on conductor humor. Well in any event, this cheery Levine...
evantucker.blogspot.com
--Anonymous
replies 113Oct 15, 2017 2:30 PM +00:00

So there is no reason to be circumspect about the rumors surrounding that James Levine. Just google it.

--Anonymous
replies 114Oct 15, 2017 2:32 PM +00:00

Absolutely, and you're supposed to give your all.

On a different level, I suppose sports is not that different.

--Anonymous
replies 115Oct 15, 2017 2:38 PM +00:00

Yeah it has been open common knowledge in the arts world for decades that Levine has been abusing young men and boys of color.

And the New York Times never did a story on it but they do it on Weinstein.

Who and what the hell did Levine know? And was the Times so beholden to the Met as an advertiser or were there NY powerbrokers who would have had any reporter defamed and made miserable and worse if they pursued the story?

--Anonymous
replies 116Oct 15, 2017 3:06 PM +00:00

Peter Gelb who is now running the Met is the son of a very powerful former managing editor of the NY Times.

One hand washes the other.

The Times is a disgusting rag which has as much credibility as the NY Post.

It though dispenses its sewage like a Madison Avenue boutique vitrine presentation.

--Anonymous
replies 117Oct 15, 2017 3:43 PM +00:00

since the NY Times did the Weinstein story, maybe the LA Times will do the James Levine story

--Anonymous
replies 118Oct 15, 2017 3:46 PM +00:00

Haha, good point R118

--Anonymous
replies 119Oct 15, 2017 3:48 PM +00:00

Serious question: could this be what caused Jerry Hadley, the lyric tenor known for his bright tone, to take his own life? Things were going well again and he was poised for a comeback. I don't remember seeing anything the motivation for his suicide. Perhaps experiences like these are the answer.

--Anonymous
replies 120Oct 15, 2017 5:39 PM +00:00

I met Jerry Hadley a few times, and he seemed like a congenial guy who liked to tell some (bad) jokes. He apparently had a drinking problem, had split from his wife, and unfortunately was arrested by someone who saw him staggering and going into a car (which he did not then drive). I think his career might have been flailing around that time, though he had done a lead role in a Met production a few year prior. It's a shame because even if he had stopped with opera singing, he would have been welcomed and supported as teacher of voice at one of the conservatories or music schools, which love to hire singers who actually had careers. He could have gone for more training and come back or do musicals like Roberta Peters, Patrice Munsel or Robert Merrill did as well. I don't know if he was sexually harassed, but he was a wonderful singer and a good-looking guy, and it's a shame he couldn't cope ultimately.

--Anonymous
replies 121Oct 15, 2017 6:37 PM +00:00

Hadley was bipolar.

--Anonymous
replies 122Oct 15, 2017 8:51 PM +00:00

I'm beginning to think a lot of these men outside of the Weinstein scandal itself coming forward to claim they were harassed is because they just want to brag that other people find them attractive.

--Anonymous
replies 123Oct 15, 2017 8:53 PM +00:00

There are stories of guys sleeping with Bernstein to get important roles in new works of his years ago. He was good-looking when young, but when he would do these later things on tv discussing different kinds of music he would be like practically picking his nose and other kind of disgusting stuff. Bernstein also was part of a coterie of other famous gay classical composers when he was coming up

A well-known baritone at the Met supposedly shtupped the elderly Elisabeth Schwarzkopf to advance his career when he studied with her Europe. There are old videos where another guy was considered a front-runner for a career in some master classes, but he apparently wasn't diddling the Frau like someone who got a lot better feedback.

--Anonymous
replies 124Oct 15, 2017 9:01 PM +00:00

I think we are going overboard with all this, to be honest. Women are now claiming sexual harassment for being flirted with. I find it bizarre. Every single woman on my Facebook timeline right now has posted ME, TOO. This either means that every woman has been sexually abused or that women are now considering anything at all that they don't welcome--a look, a gesture, a touch--to be sexual harassment.

--Anonymous
replies 125Oct 15, 2017 9:16 PM +00:00

R125 well a lot of men are fucking vile pigs! Like the president who thinks he can touch womens vaginas!

--Anonymous
replies 126Oct 15, 2017 9:18 PM +00:00

Obviously, walking up to a woman and grabbing her pussy is sexual abuse/harassment. There's no gray area there. But a hand on a knee? A glance that's held a moment longer than usual? How is this harassment? Are we entering a world where it's going to be impossible to touch anyone without getting their permission first? This is just utterly bizarre to me.

--Anonymous
replies 127Oct 15, 2017 9:25 PM +00:00

I wouldn't want anyone to touch my knee either,unless you are a close friend or family, keep your damn hands to yourself!

--Anonymous
replies 128Oct 15, 2017 9:29 PM +00:00

precious little snowflake

--Anonymous
replies 129Oct 15, 2017 9:34 PM +00:00

R129 you are utterly moronic!

--Anonymous
replies 130Oct 15, 2017 9:37 PM +00:00

you are a precious widdle baby who needs his safe space!

--Anonymous
replies 131Oct 15, 2017 9:55 PM +00:00

Well a lot of things that we don't welcome ARE sexual harrassment, clueless R125. And straight men on the receiving end of such treatment from males usually react with a pretty short fuse. What's so different when it comes to women?

And for the record, I do enjoy flirting, like everyone I guess. And, like everyone, I'll feel uncomfortable when someone gets pushy in situations where there is no escape.

--Anonymous
replies 132Oct 15, 2017 11:48 PM +00:00

Re: "A glance that's held a moment longer than usual": staring at someone for 30 seconds straight is a very long time if you ask me, especially if you haven't met/been introduced. Anybody doing that in a crowded room, or a meeting room, is bound to get your attention. Now either you break the ice or you don't - if there's no way you can then you've just stared down someone for no good reason. It is an uncomfortable experience.

Of course there's no equating it with pussy-grabbing or any of the ordeals the women in HW's stories have been going through. It's still the kind of thing someone in power believes they can do. Personally I'm not really into powerplay, so that approach is never going to work.

--Anonymous
replies 133Oct 15, 2017 11:56 PM +00:00

"What do enough snowflakes become? An avalanche." (Stolen from a friend.)

--Anonymous
replies 134Oct 16, 2017 12:19 AM +00:00

It's been a long time coming...

--Anonymous
replies 135Oct 16, 2017 12:31 AM +00:00

Too bad R127. Your creepy stalking days are over.

--Anonymous
replies 136Oct 16, 2017 1:25 AM +00:00

A hand on the knee is not flirting unless you get obvious feelings from that person they are interested in you. And a polite smile is not a welcoming smile. This is pretty obvious especially among gay men. You know when someone is interested or not.

I always wondered about the video of those students taking classes with Schwarzkopf. A physically beautiful woman. One of the greats and one of my personal favorites.

I have no doubt though she remained throughout her life an unrepentant anti semitic Nazi who wished the axis powers had won the war.

The students she is teaching in those videos are all as to be expected at a very high level. Yet she completely crushes their morale with a cold ferocity that is very uncomfortable to watch. There is one male singer though that she thinks is wonderful and you're thinking wtf? He's no better than anyone else. He was sleeping with her? I find it hard to believe yet at the same time her praise of him over everyone else is inexplicable.

--Anonymous
replies 137Oct 16, 2017 3:14 AM +00:00

One of the major problems is that in show business there are simply no professional standards. It’s even more of a problem in classical music where there’s practically zero oversight. Everything is completely self regulated, which is a huge, huge problem. The culture exists where these things can happen and those that perpetrate the actions are protected and even lauded.

--Anonymous
replies 138Oct 16, 2017 6:28 AM +00:00

Exactly R138. Classical music is a very complicated business because it's so secluded. And some of the talents who are in many ways out of this world, may also be well "above" or beyond basic human decency - not all of them, I hope. But it can happen. In some cases, all that they do well is the music.

Which would also explain why music has taken such an overwhelming place in their lives.

What was it? A tenor is not a man, it is a disease.

--Anonymous
replies 139Oct 16, 2017 6:35 AM +00:00

any Dudamel gossip?

--Anonymous
replies 140Oct 16, 2017 8:26 AM +00:00

I think it's absolutely essential to name names. No more of this coy "blind item" bullshit. If men (and it's mostly, but not all, men) think there's a chance that they will be publicly shamed, then maybe they'll think twice before they take liberties with other people.

--Anonymous
replies 141Oct 16, 2017 11:05 AM +00:00

I’ve been naming names, read above.

--Anonymous
replies 142Oct 16, 2017 2:45 PM +00:00

Schwarzkopf was also a Nazi so nothing she did really surprises me.

--Anonymous
replies 143Oct 16, 2017 3:16 PM +00:00

I was sexually abused, too.

--The whole damned planet
replies 144Oct 16, 2017 3:20 PM +00:00

r125, you are incredibly naïve. Bless your heart.

--Anonymous
replies 145Oct 16, 2017 4:43 PM +00:00

I said she was a Nazi.

Also Karajan joined the party not once but twice just to make sure and admitted it. Schwarzkopf denied it but the records were found and she slammed down the phone on the reporter who confronted her with it.

A person I knew in the music industry had a musician friend who was jewish and had supposedly such an ugly altercation with her that I hope he was making it up. He also told me Cavett cruised him and they went to his home. I hope he didn't make that up.

--Anonymous
replies 146Oct 17, 2017 1:42 PM +00:00

What was the deal with Matthew Epstein? How did he operate? I've a friend who went to school with him who said he didn't know much more then about music other than a big fan would, yet he apparently had a big influence over the years. Was there something shady going on?

--Anonymous
replies 147Oct 17, 2017 4:01 PM +00:00

Aw, little princess r102, are you on the Jimmy Levine d?

--r99
replies 148Oct 17, 2017 4:33 PM +00:00

DIAGF R148. Pathetic. Blocked.

--Anonymous
replies 149Oct 17, 2017 6:11 PM +00:00

Yes, please someone explain Matthew Epstein's incredible power and influence during the last 30 years. He's a complete asshole from everything I've ever heard.

--Anonymous
replies 150Oct 17, 2017 9:32 PM +00:00

There you are. Music heals the soul - not for the professionals, apparently.

Musicians are three times more likely to experience depression, with many working under ‘poor conditions’, a new academic study from Help Musicians UK has found.
M magazine: PRS for Music online magazine
--Anonymous
replies 151Oct 18, 2017 2:18 AM +00:00

I read the article R151 posted. My only response is, "Tell me something I don't know."

:(

--Anonymous
replies 152Oct 18, 2017 9:46 AM +00:00

R152 this is R151. I'm not a musician by any stretch of the imagination, yet over the past year I've wondered about taking singing lessons. I discovered singing late in life (I was 21), joined a choir (briefly) at 22 and have been singing - for myself - on and off since. I'm pushing 40 now but feel like I'm just starting to understand my voice. Anyway. Would singing lessons be a good idea or would that put my own mental health at risk? It's a serious question, I've contacted a teacher who replied and now I've been postponing a first date (lesson) because I'm scared of all it might do to me. I suspect whatever it is, the change will be profound.

--to live or not to live
replies 153Oct 18, 2017 10:03 AM +00:00

Well for Pavarotti he gave up his mental and physical health.

--Anonymous
replies 154Oct 18, 2017 10:26 AM +00:00

I don't think you have anything to worry about, R153.

It's more a problem for people who decided to get three degrees in music, spend the ages of 18-36 exclusively pursuing a career with no guaranteed prospects while foregoing any kind of meaningful personal life, romantic relationship, "normal" employment, or a savings account, and ended up making more money bartending at a pretentious fine dining restaurant than as a musician, all the while having no skills or experience that even builds a resume for even the most basic entry level position at a job wherein you don't have a required uniform, and then end up living in the middle of nowhere while renting a room from lifelong friends who just pushed out their first baby.

--R152
replies 155Oct 18, 2017 10:56 AM +00:00

THere were always stories about the late lez mezzo Tatiana Troyanos being rather aggressive with the ladies.

--Anonymous
replies 156Oct 18, 2017 11:24 AM +00:00

Hmmm. I see what you mean R155. Sounds like any career in the arts really. Thank you for your post, must say I was close to that one (translating and publishing, in my case) but ended up marrying for security - glad I dodged that bullet.

--Anonymous
replies 157Oct 18, 2017 11:37 AM +00:00

R156, thanks for mentioning Tatiana Troyanos. Had never heard of her. She sounds fine! I like her. Great presence.

As for being aggressive with the ladies... Well... What can you expect, really. She's a mezzo. Does it mean you have to have a dominant personality? It's not my thing, as I've discovered I'm "versatile" and enjoy other "versatile" women. It's just more fun. Dominant personalities force you to be submissive in response, which gets boring real quick. Personally I like a little more playfulness and less forecefulness when approaching someone, but I guess what is required for the stage and what is enjoyable in real life are very different things.

Honestly she sounds very good. Surprised I'd never heard of her until now.

--Anonymous
replies 158Oct 18, 2017 11:49 AM +00:00

People suddenly are destroying millennia of sexual power playing and domination.

Life is getting not fun.

--Anonymous
replies 159Oct 18, 2017 12:34 PM +00:00

Dear Lord, Suzanne Johnston looks lovely! I realise this is totally OT and goes against the very purpose of this thread, but it's very hard to resist mezzos. Except when they're super-butch (to each their own I guess), but she's not.

--Anonymous
replies 160Oct 18, 2017 12:34 PM +00:00

There are also these agents in opera known as the Evil Twins. Anyone know about them? Maybe like some other agents they pushed their singers to sing roles too heavy for them, but got the commissions for higher-paying roles, never mind that singers would burn out or screw up their voices and the the agents and conductors would move on to another singer. Von Karajan was notorious for this, pushing Jose Carreras' basically beautiful lyric tenor into roles he shouldn't have done like Calaf in "Turandot". Still curious to hear more about Matthew Epstein and how he rose to such prominence.

--Anonymous
replies 161Oct 18, 2017 1:23 PM +00:00

I always liked Jose Carreras, but I remember in the 1990s stronger personalities were pushed to the front. Maybe they had more talent. I don't know. Von Karajan used to cut a jaw-dropping impressive figure when I was a teenager, but today I see mostly a dictator.

--Anonymous
replies 162Oct 18, 2017 1:29 PM +00:00

Carreras was handsome, had a pretty voice, but besides pushing his mostly lyrical voice to some vocal distress, also cane down leukemia from which he recovered fortunately. But there's a reason he was in the middle between Pavarotti and Domingo in those Three Tenors concerts: he had a reputation for being a nice guy, and he also wasn't seen anymore as a vocal threat anymore to Pav or Domingo, who were both very competitive with each other.

--Anonymous
replies 163Oct 18, 2017 1:40 PM +00:00

Yes, I remember he was very ill. I was pretty young at the time. But I remember he was my favourite of the three - he was the only one that seemed non-threatening, the other two being an ogre and a singer that is adored by many women and now as a grown woman I can see the charisma, but yea as a kid I preferred Carreras.

--Anonymous
replies 164Oct 18, 2017 1:47 PM +00:00

And then there was Barcelona!

Amigos para Siempre by Sarah Brightman & José Carreras
YouTube
--Okay this shouldn't turn into a thread about our favourite singers
replies 165Oct 18, 2017 1:47 PM +00:00

I loved those Olympics! They made my summer.

--1992
replies 166Oct 18, 2017 1:50 PM +00:00

Tatiana Troyanos was in the original production of West Side Story. She had a WONDERFUL voice and did a lot at the Met in the eighties.

--Anonymous
replies 167Oct 18, 2017 3:54 PM +00:00

That article is *rich*, especially that little crack at Barihunks, when Dan is ALL. FUCKING. OVER. that site in various states of undress and flex-itude.

Hypocrite much, honey? GTFO and STFU, you're part of the problem. You don't get to climb up on a horse and preach to the people when you have gleefully participated in the whole thing.

--BariNotAWhore
replies 168Oct 18, 2017 4:20 PM +00:00

? R168?

--Anonymous
replies 169Oct 18, 2017 4:34 PM +00:00

For the Schwarzkopf fan @ R143

"True, she commanded every vocal art except that of concealing how artful she was. Her self-esteem was too pronounced for that. She was, after all, the castaway who chose eight records of herself for ‘Desert Island Discs’ . But if I had her voice, I would do the same. She was the ultimate professional: immaculately prepared; tirelessly perfectionist."

www.classical-music.com
--Anonymous
replies 170Oct 18, 2017 4:35 PM +00:00

It's not RAPE-rape unless he hit a crescendo!

--Anonymous
replies 171Oct 18, 2017 4:38 PM +00:00

If you’re referring to Bruce and Alan (the Evil Twins,) one of them is dead. Yes, they were horrible people.

--Anonymous
replies 172Oct 18, 2017 4:42 PM +00:00

The thing is, those of us who are into opera and classical music tend to admire singers etc too much. I know I'll definitely turn a blind eye if the talent is exceptional. I wouldn't want to be in the victim's shoes, but I also love the music too much.

--Anonymous
replies 173Oct 18, 2017 4:42 PM +00:00

You're speaking in riddles!

R172

--Anonymous
replies 174Oct 18, 2017 4:43 PM +00:00

Please tell me more about the Evil Twins. I'm fascinated. Spill!!!

--Anonymous
replies 175Oct 18, 2017 9:31 PM +00:00

All. Holes. Matter.

--Anonymous
replies 176Oct 18, 2017 9:45 PM +00:00

Who are Bruce and Alan (the Evil Twins,)

--[174]
replies 177Oct 18, 2017 9:54 PM +00:00

Zemsky Green - used to be with Columbia Artists, then formed their own company

--Anonymous
replies 178Oct 18, 2017 10:07 PM +00:00

Sounds like there are lots of juicy stories there---please relate

--Anonymous
replies 179Oct 18, 2017 10:12 PM +00:00

With this being a very small world and players being emotionally or personally very involved, I can see these stories playing out like a game of charades.

--Anonymous
replies 180Oct 19, 2017 1:00 AM +00:00

There's the difference with the movies, where things can spill out on a massive scale: there's no mass appeal. Most of the performers we really like, we've seen live. There's a personal connection. It's not the same with celluloid screen. Here if it spills out, everything is very intricate.

--Anonymous
replies 181Oct 19, 2017 1:49 AM +00:00

Intricate = specific = interesting. Spill, please.

--Anonymous
replies 182Oct 19, 2017 9:53 AM +00:00

I've got nothing to spill. I'm just a concert-goer.

--R181
replies 183Oct 19, 2017 9:57 AM +00:00

classical musician here, casting coach was INVENTED by opera companies. it's well known fact of the business and often summered about

--Anonymous
replies 184Oct 19, 2017 10:05 AM +00:00

Opera/ballet in the beginning functioned as a de facto "buffet" for the European elites. The performing arts have always had this dual purpose. I guess these recent "relevations" can be seen as a sort of retro-renaissance, a returning to the roots or wtf. Maybe there will be a retreat of the Arts, who knows. There is nothing of quality being done these days anyway, it's all a big supper club of grifting parasites.

The function will forever remain one of a lure, aimed at culling talented, willing, intelligent, and often impoverished young people to the dens of the elite where they'll be minded, caged...and sometimes much more.

--Anonymous
replies 185Oct 19, 2017 10:34 AM +00:00

Listened to this singer once saying no director had ever demanded sex for a role, gotta admit my first thought was (cause you're the one doing the harrassment...) Anyway. Some people are protected, maybe. By their talent or connections. Still it does feel like eat or be eaten.

--Anonymous
replies 186Oct 19, 2017 10:35 AM +00:00

Your description, R185... So on point.

--melancholy
replies 187Oct 19, 2017 10:36 AM +00:00

I don't think anyone will talk. Those who know something have too much to lose. We might hear something, but it'll be about an obscure critic dead 20 years ago, or a conductor same thing, someone dead. I don't think there'll be anything even about names big in the 90s, let alone those who are big now - that'll be totally out of the question. And the legends from the 1950s and 1960s - apart from "learning" that Schwarzkopf was a nazi - that's all you'll get. The rest is up to your imagination and capacity of perception. Knowing that performers lie, all the time, because living with a mask is literally how they survive and thrive.

--Anonymous
replies 188Oct 19, 2017 10:48 AM +00:00

Great post, R185 and I agree, R188!

--Anonymous
replies 189Oct 19, 2017 11:00 AM +00:00

Well Callas married her husband for his money helping her start out in a big way. Before then she was a promising singer going nowhere. His help allowed her to persevere.

It doesn't get more blatant or bigger than that.

Also Schwarzkopf married the most important record producer of their time.

I know these were marriages but only because of an official document.

Like Crawford said of Shearer after she married Thalberg 'How can I compete when she's sleeping with the boss?'

--Anonymous
replies 190Oct 19, 2017 11:15 AM +00:00

It seems to me there are ogres - for lack of a better word - for whom everything gets recycled into the performance. And that's every interaction, every element that comes into their sensorial net, no matter how fleeting or how deep, literally everything. Other performers have the humility to know we are all, artists, concertgoers, humans, part of a deeper thing, and may take the experience into a cosmological approach, while some have a bigger ego and swallow everything unto themselves - even if their public image as performers may be that of humility, that's just an image. It may even be their upbringing, who knows? They've been raised polite. But it doesn't mean that they don't have a bigger ego than anything you've ever seen and aren't totally self-centered to the point of remaining completely oblivious to anyone else's circumstances, at any point. When I see what these monsters (I believe immense talents are monsters, I believe they know this themselves and this is what they see in the mirror) are able to do with music, with a talent and imagination very few of us possess, I can understand why they would choose to focus on that. It's a choice once made, there's no turning back really. I don't think they could function doing anything else really. At some point you play the cards you're dealt. They serve a purpose in society. Personally, I need them. But no, I wouldn't let them into my living room. For anyone who's seen Ronald Guttman's speech in Todd Haynes' Mildred Pierce, "coloratura snake". It's immensely beautiful to look at, on stage. But would you pet it, take it home? No.

--Anonymous
replies 191Oct 19, 2017 1:42 PM +00:00

I've lead a virtuous and sober life

--Maestro Jamie Levine
replies 192Oct 19, 2017 3:42 PM +00:00

To think, outside the "inner" circle, J Levine is just considered very boring.

--Anonymous
replies 193Oct 19, 2017 3:46 PM +00:00

if the stories about him came out, he wouldn't be considered boring

--Anonymous
replies 194Oct 19, 2017 3:49 PM +00:00

Honestly before this thread I had no idea about any of this. He was just a conductor I avoided because of the boring.

I do have a couple of his recordings, though. But not because of him.

--Anonymous
replies 195Oct 19, 2017 3:52 PM +00:00

I never slept with underaged boys, ever

--J. Levine, old and boring
replies 196Oct 19, 2017 3:55 PM +00:00

plus one of the star sopranos who was alleged to be procuring little black kids...

--Anonymous
replies 197Oct 19, 2017 3:59 PM +00:00

The one who makes phone calls from her limousine, which are directed to her driver via her agent?

--Anonymous
replies 198Oct 19, 2017 4:11 PM +00:00

for mentoring, no doubt

--Anonymous
replies 199Oct 19, 2017 4:11 PM +00:00

R167, Tatiana Troyanos was not in the original production of WEST SIDE STORY though she did sing Anita in the 1985 Bernstein-conducted recording of the score. She was, however, in the chorus of the original Broadway company of THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

--Anonymous
replies 200Oct 19, 2017 5:16 PM +00:00

No R198. You are speaking of an American soprano who was known hither and yon as an absolute nightmare and despite being one of the very few singers who could actually sell tickets at the Met was fired in front of the entire company. That's how miserable a human being she was.

Though she had a pretty ingénue popularity not one person who ever worked with her had a single good thing to say about her.

I always wondered if she had a drug problem. Her nastiness was psychopathic.

--Anonymous
replies 201Oct 19, 2017 5:35 PM +00:00

she's a famous bitch

--Anonymous
replies 202Oct 19, 2017 6:25 PM +00:00

R201 R198 That's the same person. Some think she had a real psychological problem. She also would get mad if people looked at her in rehearsal (on stage - duh, where's she's supposed to be looked at by thousands).

--Anonymous
replies 203Oct 19, 2017 8:50 PM +00:00

Both Tatiana Troyanos and Joey Heatherton were in the chorus of the original "Sound of Music". Joey was actually really talented; there's an Ed Sullivan appearance of hers that was staged and choreographed by Michael Bennett.

--Anonymous
replies 204Oct 19, 2017 8:52 PM +00:00

Dear Lord in Heaven!

--Concerned Tenor Team Mom!
replies 205Oct 19, 2017 9:10 PM +00:00

Why are we pussyfooting around with names? You're talking about Kathleen Battle.

--Anonymous
replies 206Oct 19, 2017 9:13 PM +00:00

My teacher said she was more like a squirmish, but yes, she had a very bad reputation as a colleague. Her firing made the NY Times front page. Her lashing out at a mezzo friend of the manager at the time during a rehearsal, and then interrupting an orchestral rehearsal with petty stuff while a whole room of musicians and singers were being paid mucho prompted the conductor to call for her cover to take over. Lots of stories about her. There's a youtube video where she's being interviewed; when asked about her difficult reputation, her whole manner changes, she gets up and walks out. I don't think she ever opera again, only concerts with people she can get along with, plus she can be in and out quickly for the concert.

--Anonymous
replies 207Oct 19, 2017 10:20 PM +00:00

Okay R207, that's a person with mental illness. Very good-looking, though. I think I saw her on the 25th anniversary DVD or something. Not entirely sure and don't feel like checking. The one that really stood out for me was Frederica von Stade. There seemed to be genuine warmth and beauty exuding from her. And she seemed to be beloved by the audience.

Other than that it seemed like the Tenors could get away with anything in terms of behaviour with women.

The whole show feels like a battle of egos, but then... that's an opera gala.

--Anonymous
replies 208Oct 19, 2017 11:27 PM +00:00

So anyway, was the star soprano somebody else? Allegedly?

--Anonymous
replies 209Oct 19, 2017 11:31 PM +00:00

she was indeed

--Anonymous
replies 210Oct 20, 2017 2:37 AM +00:00

I attended a Carnegie Hall concert where the lights suddenly dimmed to total darkness while she was performing. I have seen her perform 25 times.

--Anonymous
replies 211Oct 20, 2017 5:50 AM +00:00

Anyone copy-paste this?

Pudgy, wrinkled and repellent; shamelessly predatory, detested and feared — no, this isn’t another article about Harvey Weinstein. It is, however, about the quasi-Weinsteins in the worlds I know...
www.thetimes.co.uk
--Anonymous
replies 212Oct 20, 2017 5:51 AM +00:00

Another Battle story has her screaming at Troyanis in rehearsal in front of the company when she took her hand as Julius Caesar.

A favorite is her clearing out the prima donna's dressing room before a performance of Figaro because Susanna rather than the countess should have it. At the end of the run of performances Vaness in front of everyone said she would never sing with Battle again.

Vaness was too nice. I would have reclaimed the dressing room for myself and kicked Battle onto W 65th Street.

--Anonymous
replies 213Oct 20, 2017 9:35 AM +00:00

Okay, can we have the initials on the alleged soprano? Or at least clues? Clues won't be of much help as I don't follow sopranos, but somebody might get lucky.

--Anonymous
replies 214Oct 20, 2017 12:23 PM +00:00

KB are the initials of Kathleen Battle. (!)

Btw, von Stade has a reputation of being one of the nicest people in opera and a terrific colleague.

I was told Alan Titus, who years ago appeared either nude or in jockstrap at City Opera in "Incoronation of Poppea" set his mitts (and more) into Leonard Bernstein for that solo in "Mass".

Hampson's one who apparently shtupped Sckwarkopf to get ahead.

At least she was pretty when she was young, though a Nazi.

Who had to make their way through M. Epstein (who in person looked a bit like a brunette Bert Lahr Cowardly Lion).

--Anonymous
replies 215Oct 20, 2017 12:57 PM +00:00

The Bolshoi is 'a brothel for oligarchs', claims former ballerina

Offsite Link
--Anonymous
replies 216Oct 20, 2017 4:51 PM +00:00

If linky is stinky, try

Modern Russia’s artists cannot remember a single famous sexual harassment lawsuit filed by an abused actress.
The Daily Beast
--Anonymous
replies 217Oct 20, 2017 4:52 PM +00:00

being an opera director means never saying your sorry

--Anonymous
replies 218Oct 20, 2017 5:32 PM +00:00

Makes sense about Hampson. Wasn't he married to an older Austrian woman for a long time? Someone rich, natch.

--Anonymous
replies 219Oct 20, 2017 10:13 PM +00:00

Sounds like a horrible place to work

Seven performers in "Les Contes d'Hoffman" are paid less to wear a bra instead of pasties on stage.
New York City, NY Patch
--Anonymous
replies 220Oct 21, 2017 12:10 AM +00:00

R125: BREAKING! Yes, Mary, it is absolutely true - every woman alive has been sexually harassed, I have no doubt about that whatsoever.

Also, once I was privy to an absolutely fascinating conversation wherein two teenage sisters were reminding each other of various times in their young lives where they had been stalked or harassed by all ages of men, beginning from the age of 10. Being followed, attempted coercion into various acts, being touched or grabbed, being surrounded by other kids (male)...it ran the gamut, all out in the open, during the daytime, at the mall, on the way to school, at their parents' friends parties, in other words, relentlessly. And it happens to every single female to one degree or another.

What I find incredible is men who doubt or refuse to see that it happens to every girl or woman.

--Anonymous
replies 221Oct 21, 2017 12:13 AM +00:00

The Met under Gelb is also a horrible place to see an opera burlesque strippers or not.

--Anonymous
replies 222Oct 21, 2017 3:56 AM +00:00

Jeez. You'd think with everything going on right now, the Met would have a little more smarts about something like this (re: R220).

--Anonymous
replies 223Oct 21, 2017 5:25 AM +00:00

It's trashy European regietheater(even if directed by an American) which Gelb loves.

The guy has luck without talent which is far better than talent without luck.

--Anonymous
replies 224Oct 21, 2017 8:32 AM +00:00

regietheater is ruinous

--Anonymous
replies 225Oct 21, 2017 1:35 PM +00:00

The Met did cancel what would have been Calixto Bieito's debut as a director at the house, but apparently it was due to cutting back of funding. He's known for using lots of nudity and violence in his productions -- very Eurotrashy. It actually might have a hot ticket in NY actually -- I think it was going to be "La Forza Del Destino".

--Anonymous
replies 226Oct 21, 2017 8:53 PM +00:00

Did he do the production at Covent Garden that included an orgy/rape scene that they had to apologize for?

--Anonymous
replies 227Oct 21, 2017 9:14 PM +00:00

Back in the 1960s when I was studying voice in college, my teacher was an outstanding contralto with a three octave range. Her voice was huge, deep and luscious but she could sing a brilliant High C. She had sung under Toscanini, Walter, everyone, and all the major houses in the country and many places in Europe. Really magnificent. She had been a prize pupil of Estelle Liebling and spent several years singing in a touring women's quintet of Liebling's pupils with her friend Beverly Sills. Her photo as part of that quintet is in Sills' autobiography.

I finally dared to ask her why she had never sung at The Met. She was surprisingly forthright and replied that she refused to sleep with the right people. She was a religious person and very much in love with her husband and she told me that in the thirties and forties you simply couldn't sing at the Met unless you agreed to the casting couch.

I later moved to New York where I have lived for over 40 years and her stories have been confirmed to me many times over the years. It's a little better now.

.........

Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy. Volpe finally called him into his office and told him that he had been instructed by both the Board and the legal staff to inform him that the next time they wouldn't save his ass. Jimmy became slightly more discreet.

.......

Battle was singing at the SFO and called her manager in New York to call her limo driver to tell him to adjust the temperature in the car. The other examples of her craziness talked about above are all true and just the half of it.

......

Lenny slept with *everybody*, including, allegedly, an extended affair with his sister when they were both teenagers. Only his last biographer dared to address the rumors in print and after studying everything available she said we'll never know -- there were things to suggest it was true but it can't be proven or disproven.

--Anonymous
replies 228Oct 21, 2017 10:49 PM +00:00

^ Meant to add that Jimmy's recordings are indeed dull for the most part but in the house the experience is mesmerizing. His Parsifal especially. Five hours of pure exquisite bliss that seems over in five minutes. Likewise for most of his Wagner, Strauss and Mozart. And his Verdi is so powerful. None of that experience spills over to his recordings. It's a puzzlement.

--R228
replies 229Oct 21, 2017 11:18 PM +00:00

A Late Baroque opera set in the time of the Caesars is being rehearsed at The Met. The director calls out "All catamites stage left!"

Half the administrative staff runs up onstage.

--Anonymous
replies 230Oct 21, 2017 11:43 PM +00:00

I think Calixta's Ballo is the one where when the opera opens with the men's chorus they are all sitting on toilets wearing suits, reading papers and with their pants around their ankles.

What is even more laughable is when they get up you can see they are actually white bikini briefs and don't even wipe themselves.

So they've been shitting in their underwear and they pull their pants up and zipper, button and belt up. Gross.

I think that lack of funding is a lie. The Forza would have been too disgusting for even Peter Gelb's sick fetishes and fancies.

One can only imagine those of the members of the Met board which extended his contract ten years.

--Anonymous
replies 231Oct 22, 2017 2:06 AM +00:00

R22 here from a billion pages back. The conductor whose tongue probed my tonsils and hands grabbed things was initialed EK. It feels weird actually ID-ing him even though it was years ago and he was notorious for it. It was an amazing opportunity for me. Very weird feelings about it. In my case my life and career went a slightly different direction and now it's just garden-variety assholes who don't touch but at age 20 it was a headfuck.

--Anonymous
replies 232Oct 22, 2017 2:21 AM +00:00

Erich Kleiber? Well that really is years ago.

--Anonymous
replies 233Oct 22, 2017 3:30 AM +00:00

What were the rumours re CE&LL?

I heard them several years ago, and I thought LL was very good.

It made me wonder whether CE had told LL to get rid of the theatrics and play properly.

Maybe it was pillow talk.

A pianist/conductor friend in NY mentioned a pianist SB - or sometimes TB - who allegedly availed himself of both LB and CE. (This pianist also regaled is with a Joplin rage after his Rach3 with CE.)

--Anonymous
replies 234Oct 22, 2017 3:42 AM +00:00

This is like reading code. Why so coy?

--Anonymous
replies 235Oct 22, 2017 9:10 AM +00:00

I love it

--NASTY
replies 236Oct 22, 2017 9:41 AM +00:00

The only name I can think of for EK, makes me wonder R232: how old are you??

--Anonymous
replies 237Oct 22, 2017 10:29 AM +00:00

Christoph Eschenbach is well known for mentoring Lang Lang. There are youtube videos of Lang Lang praising the older maestro.

Tzimon Barto has played Scott Joplin rags as encores. Eschenbach is one of the few major conductors who will work with him as he has a reputation of being a lightweight eccentric.

--Anonymous
replies 238Oct 22, 2017 10:30 AM +00:00

Barto's one paragraph entry at Wikipedia:

"Tzimon Barto (born Johnny Barto Smith, 2 January 1963 in Eustis, Florida) is an American classical pianist. He is also a bodybuilder, novelist, poet, philosopher and speaks seven languages.[1] He is best known for his work with Christoph Eschenbach of the National Symphony Orchestra, who discovered Barto in 1988."

--Anonymous
replies 239Oct 22, 2017 10:58 AM +00:00

I speak seven languages too!

--Melanoma
replies 240Oct 22, 2017 12:33 PM +00:00

R232 has to be at least 90.

He was quite dishy 70 years ago.

--Anonymous
replies 241Oct 22, 2017 2:29 PM +00:00

Does E.K. refer to Erick Korngold?

--(he may have been jewish)
replies 242Oct 22, 2017 2:58 PM +00:00

Thank you r238 and r239

I was wondering whether Lang Lang and Eschenbach had actually slept together. I recall LL was also coached by Barenboim, but I would be completely shocked if there was anything there beyond professional.

The Joplin rag was definitely weird after the R3. My conductor/pianist friend said Barto’s bio was .... well, not truthful. He said Barto is gay and tries to deny it.

--Anonymous
replies 243Oct 22, 2017 3:35 PM +00:00

Kleiber and Korngold both died in the mid 1950s. That's a long time ago.

Erich Kunzel?

--Anonymous
replies 244Oct 22, 2017 4:29 PM +00:00

maybe

--Anonymous
replies 245Oct 22, 2017 7:20 PM +00:00

Just googled a pic R244. It's in his eyes. Thanks R232 for posting!

--Anonymous
replies 246Oct 22, 2017 10:42 PM +00:00

Erich Kunzel isn't a real conductor.

--Anonymous
replies 247Oct 23, 2017 4:08 AM +00:00

indeed, he's a joke

--Anonymous
replies 248Oct 23, 2017 5:38 AM +00:00

I've never heard anyone in the industry say anything other than that Tzimon Barto is gay.

I met Eschenbach numerous times and he seemed like a strange man. He either couldn't hold a conversation with me or just didn't even want to pretend. He seemed very quiet in rehearsals as well.

--Anonymous
replies 249Oct 23, 2017 6:18 AM +00:00

Actually, Kunzel is dead.

--Anonymous
replies 250Oct 23, 2017 6:24 AM +00:00

And he received a lovely televised tribute at one of those PBS Memorial Day Specials that he used to conduct for over decades.

--Anonymous
replies 251Oct 23, 2017 6:27 AM +00:00

There was another "star soprano" who covered up for Solti and his wrongdoing for years...

--Anonymous
replies 252Oct 23, 2017 6:58 AM +00:00

So far I'm happy all these stories are about music I don't like, find dull/uninteresting, or have never heard of.

--of course this also says a lot about my ignorance
replies 253Oct 23, 2017 7:15 AM +00:00

How does a soprano cover up for a conductor's wrongdoings?

--Anonymous
replies 254Oct 23, 2017 7:15 AM +00:00

When one works with and champions said conductor, as well as considering him one of their mentors, and refuses to speak out about the behavior, inclusing excusing and sometimes outright denying it, R254.

--Anonymous
replies 255Oct 23, 2017 7:20 AM +00:00

R34 Sorry for my ignorance, but which world famous director likes young black boys?

--Anonymous
replies 256Oct 23, 2017 7:37 AM +00:00

That sucks, R255. Is that a soprano from his country? Found one in his biography, had never heard of her. Again, this speaks mostly of my ignorance. As for him, I just don't like his face, his attitude or his eyes. Sixth sense for creeps and can never be around one.

R256, you've not been reading the thread properly.

--Anonymous
replies 257Oct 23, 2017 8:00 AM +00:00

There's been some confusion partly because the person who has the penchant for mentoring young black men has sometimes been called a director instead of a conductor by someone who doesn't know the difference.

As r257 suggested just read the thread.

--Anonymous
replies 258Oct 23, 2017 8:48 AM +00:00

It's James Levine for heaven's sake. Everybody knows who it is.

--Anonymous
replies 259Oct 23, 2017 12:11 PM +00:00

Seriously if we could talk about anybody other than James Levine... We get he's important to NewYork audiences, but still.

--Anonymous
replies 260Oct 23, 2017 12:40 PM +00:00

Well if you are interested in classical music he is or was important to audiences worldwide.

In fact he was a top contender for leading the Berlin Philharmonic but even the Germans couldn't stomach those pesky nasty rumors. And they can stomach almost anything.

--Anonymous
replies 261Oct 23, 2017 2:04 PM +00:00

I do hope my feller-feller-DLers will lay some more clues.

We do have a rich history but, as well know, our love is that which dare not speak its name.

--(I never shared a bed with the late Lord Alfred Douglas)
replies 262Oct 23, 2017 2:42 PM +00:00

^ * my fellow-DLers

--L.A.D.
replies 263Oct 23, 2017 3:04 PM +00:00

No R257. She is in the UK but originally from one of their commonwealth countries. She's retired now, but was pretty well known and worked with Solti a good deal during her long career.

--Anonymous
replies 264Oct 23, 2017 7:49 PM +00:00

No.... You're talking about someone super-well-known. I think I know who it is. K, right? Beautiful voice who I enjoyed in my twenties but again not someone I listen to now. If this is who I think it is, she just seems focussed on her career, doesn't strike me as someone who has any interest in anything else. Then again this ability to laser-focus seems a common thing in opera...

To be fair just seen a few clips, and he's not exactly shy about touching her all over and she does say he has "a things for the ladies" (can't remember her exact phrasing) and everybody knows it. She speaks about it as if it were a positive, but there you go.

Again, don't know if this is who you were talking about. Always liked her name though cause it sounds really cool and once you got it is easy to remember.

Please say if I got this Cluedo right at least!

--O Mio Babbino Caro, A Room With A View
replies 265Oct 23, 2017 10:43 PM +00:00

I gather she's just announced her retirement.

--I Feel Pretty
replies 266Oct 23, 2017 10:47 PM +00:00

Kathleen Ferrier, not Kiri te Kanawa

--Dianthus
replies 267Oct 23, 2017 10:48 PM +00:00

So, yes, it's Ki.

--kiwi
replies 268Oct 23, 2017 11:18 PM +00:00
THere were always stories about the late lez mezzo Tatiana Troyanos being rather aggressive with the ladies.

Really? Because people I know who knew her said she was a shy and intensely private woman. So private, in fact, that even her close friends were stunned when she went into the hospital for terminal breast cancer.

Besides lead roles, listen to her duets with Benita Valente. They make me cry. I know - Mary!

She was only 54 when she died. Troyanos last sang on the last day of her life, in Lenox Hill Hospital for other patients, one of whom "told her that this was the first time in three years that she had completely forgotten her pain."

en.wikipedia.org
--Anonymous
replies 269Oct 23, 2017 11:55 PM +00:00

Beautiful story R269. I listened to Tatiana Troyanos thanks to this thread and must say I really enjoyed her voice and her presence in the clips I saw.

--Anonymous
replies 270Oct 24, 2017 12:06 AM +00:00

Thank you R269 for the recommendation

--Anonymous
replies 271Oct 24, 2017 12:13 AM +00:00

she sings like an angel

--Anonymous
replies 272Oct 24, 2017 3:48 AM +00:00

Please stop with the initials used in this thread in place of actual names. If you want to gossip, then gossip. If you don't, then don't. But don't let Colin Davis. for example, get smeared with dirt intended for Charles Dutoit.

--Anonymous
replies 273Oct 24, 2017 4:11 AM +00:00

I love Sir Colin Davis. Have no idea who is this Charles Dutoit.

So far, so good.

--Anonymous
replies 274Oct 24, 2017 4:43 AM +00:00

Yes, R265 you would be correct.

--Anonymous
replies 275Oct 24, 2017 9:00 AM +00:00

Charles Dutoit looks a fright.

--Anonymous
replies 276Oct 24, 2017 9:04 AM +00:00

I saw Troyanos live on several occasions. Very intense and compelling singer.

--Anonymous
replies 277Oct 24, 2017 9:20 AM +00:00

I'm glad this dirt-digging thread has turned into praise for Troyanos. Seems fit.

--Anonymous
replies 278Oct 24, 2017 9:26 AM +00:00

The poster clearly said CD was alive so you couldn't confuse him with Davis.

Also where in the world does Ferrier fit into all of this? Kiri I get but Kathleen died way back in the 50s.

Does RF figure into any of this?

Everyone is suspect!

--Anonymous
replies 279Oct 24, 2017 4:51 PM +00:00

RF is retired now, officially. . . .

--Anonymous
replies 280Oct 25, 2017 9:10 AM +00:00

That's true, but apparently it was KTK. Cannot stand R, btw. Fake fake fake fake fake plastic. That's not what opera is to me. But she's American.

--Anonymous
replies 281Oct 25, 2017 9:29 AM +00:00

KTK was stupider than a box of hair

--Anonymous
replies 282Oct 25, 2017 9:41 AM +00:00

Yes, well. That would explain why I enjoyed her voice as a youthful 20-year-old but lost interest later on.

--Anonymous
replies 283Oct 25, 2017 10:57 AM +00:00

RF just did a concert the other day, but she's moving to Broadway in a role originally done by a mezzo.

--Anonymous
replies 284Oct 25, 2017 12:54 PM +00:00

RF??

--who?
replies 285Oct 25, 2017 1:21 PM +00:00

Renee Fleming

--Anonymous
replies 286Oct 25, 2017 1:22 PM +00:00

She's not the soprano mentioned earlier. She may have her flaws (I'm not a fan), but the soprano covering up for Georg Solti's notoriously disgusting ways was somebody else.

--kiwi
replies 287Oct 25, 2017 1:23 PM +00:00

KTK was his bitch

--Anonymous
replies 288Oct 25, 2017 2:54 PM +00:00

^ Dame Kiri was Solti's bitch?

--Confused
replies 289Oct 25, 2017 3:33 PM +00:00

Dame Kiri was tremendous back in the day.

Seeing her in Cosi, Figaro, Capriccio and Simon Boccanegra were great opera experiences.

I still listen to her and I'm a big the old singers(as in before Kiri) were the best singers snob.

But then who the hell are you talking about if not Kiri?

The soprano most linked with him before then is BN.

--Anonymous
replies 290Oct 25, 2017 4:27 PM +00:00

Solti was a second rate conductor. He underlined the big moments in a score in the most coarse and obvious ways and had no subtlety rhythmically or otherwise,

It was between Solti and Knappertsbusch to conduct the Decca Ring and Culshaw went with Solti because he would always agree him with to agonize over over the smallest details while Kna would always be happy with the first take in the earlier Wagner recordings Kna had done for Culshaw.

Nilsson was a strong, independent woman with one of most incredible voices of the later 20th century. Her career never depended on any one conductor. She would never have covered for abuse by Solti or anyone. More to say but falling asleep, sorry.

--Anonymous
replies 291Oct 25, 2017 6:55 PM +00:00

Who is BN linked to Solti?

--???
replies 292Oct 25, 2017 7:12 PM +00:00

R291 thanks for your post :) Whenever you feel like it, please more about Birgit Nilsson.

Personally I have very little interest in Solti.

--out of the blue
replies 293Oct 26, 2017 12:43 AM +00:00
KTK was stupider than a box of hair

That's true R282, But early in her career, when she had to yield to intelligent directors and great conductors she was glorious. As the years rolled on and her reputation grew, she could demand to follow her own artistic instincts. Big mistake.

Dame Kiri was tremendous back in the day.Seeing her in Cosi, Figaro, Capriccio and Simon Boccanegra were great opera experiences.

Oh yes, R290. Just glorious. Among my greatest evenings at the Met. Also her Marschallin early on. But as the years went on her pretentiousness and sad power over her collaborators increased as her voice gradually diminished. I do admire her retiring while she was not completely past her prime. She did pull it together for those final Capriccios at the Met, which were sublime.

--Anonymous
replies 294Oct 26, 2017 1:06 AM +00:00

Back in 1974, before I escaped to New York from North Carolina, my then boyfriend had to go to New York for several days on business and sent me a postcard every day. I can't go through things in the middle of the night to find it but to paraphrase the first he said he had just seen Otello at the Met with Jon Vickers, that it was wonderful but the Desdemona was a last minute replacement and that she was incredible. He told me to remember her name because he had no doubt she was going to become a huge star. Kiri Te Kanawa.

Indeed, she was in New York to make her Met debut later that season, but Teresa Stratas cancelled that Otello with no notice (surprise, surpirse) and Kiri went on with no rehearsal. Overnight she became a major star.

--R294
replies 295Oct 26, 2017 1:47 AM +00:00

she was a whore, darlin'

--Dame Crystal C.
replies 296Oct 26, 2017 3:06 AM +00:00

A friend worked years ago at both Symphony Hall in Boston and Tanglewood and he had great stories of Bernstein and his endless parade of twinks over the years. Lennie liked them young.

--Anonymous
replies 297Oct 26, 2017 3:23 AM +00:00

People do say what you did about Solti but then I say what about Arabella? what about Elektra? And they're like 'I love those recordings!' Salome, Rosenkavalier, Tahnnhauser and Don Carlo are pretty wonderful too. And then his Mahler 8... If you are a collector I don't know why you would be without them. And even if you don't like his Ring conducting I think it's a must have for the singers. I used to play over and over again Hagan's call to the vassals. What was Wieland's comment about Solti? An orgasm every bar? Sometimes orgasms are good.

--Anonymous
replies 298Oct 26, 2017 3:31 AM +00:00

I wish we could focus on people a little more European. Birgit Nilsson poster, have you woken up?

--Anonymous
replies 299Oct 26, 2017 3:37 AM +00:00

R215, Alan Titus in 1971.

en.m.wikipedia.org
--Anonymous
replies 300Oct 26, 2017 3:39 AM +00:00

God that Mass was abysmal.

I just listened to it again for the first time since I saw it at the Met god knows how long ago in the Bernstein Sony box set and it was an even worse ordeal than what I remembered in the house.

--Anonymous
replies 301Oct 26, 2017 3:50 AM +00:00

Anyone have pictures of Titus in the "Incoronation of Poppea"?

--Anonymous
replies 302Oct 26, 2017 7:56 AM +00:00

Haha, good one R302

--Anonymous
replies 303Oct 26, 2017 7:57 AM +00:00

I remember seeing a picture of a mostly undraped Titus in a book about the history of the NY City Opera, so it does exist.

--Anonymous
replies 304Oct 26, 2017 7:54 PM +00:00

R 301. ...God that Mass was abysmal...

You're right. It was like a smorgasbord of 3 plates of Bernstein at his vibrant best along with seven plates of Bernstein at his most vulgar of schmaltziness.

--Ayrana
replies 305Oct 26, 2017 8:51 PM +00:00

I attended the Renee Fleming recital on Monday. Renee's voice was in quite good shape, that vocal rest must be helping her.

Renee has a recording of You'll Never Walk Alone which is TO.DIE.FOR. So I am looking forward to Carousel.

BTW, didn't Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, recognizing Renee had a brilliant voice, did all she could to vocally harm Renee vocally when she was a young student. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, NAZI to the end.

--Anonymous
replies 306Oct 28, 2017 6:53 AM +00:00

Renee is a squeezebox, Schwarzkopf was an artist.

--Anonymous
replies 307Oct 28, 2017 7:01 AM +00:00

Explain r307.

--The ghosts of 6 million Jews, homosexuals, etc.
replies 308Oct 28, 2017 7:03 AM +00:00

The American regime has outdone the nazi death count a few times over in the middle east, Latin America, SE Asia, Japan, not to mention the slave trade and NA genocide. Renee proudly sings at the white house sometimes several times a year. No doubt in 50 years she'll be regarded the same way Schwarzkopf is now, by whichever neo-brutal global regime takes the place of America's in the full spectrum dominance dept. It's all completely irrelevant. You want to entertain the elites(be a famous entertainer, period)? You must participate in the adulation of the regime. Schwarzkopf, afaik, never killed anyone. Neither has Renee, but my old roommates might beg to differ as I played her Bel Canto album at top volume a LOT as a young adult back before I knew much about opera.

www.gannett-cdn.com
--Anonymous
replies 309Oct 28, 2017 8:43 AM +00:00

Ok Lizzie was a truly shitty human being. Does it make her less an artist?

I mean why do people including many Jews who love opera listen to the contemptible Wagner?

--Anonymous
replies 310Oct 28, 2017 8:54 AM +00:00

TY, R310. I bet they also lust after Chanel shit, BMWs, etc. It's so fucking ludicrous. Elder-virtue-signalers.

--Anonymous
replies 311Oct 28, 2017 8:57 AM +00:00

The omg nazi affiliation thing is retarded. Another one, Zara Leander, while she never had the nazi resume of Schwarzkopf, she did go along as their entertainer early on. She fled back to Sweden when she could, and has denounced her participation, yet she is still brayed about as ONE OF THEM by shit stirring critics and journalists. The idiotic "Inglourious Basterds" revived her as a nazi icon, most recently. Anyway, like it or not, it's all about clicks and NAZI is the best clickbait since the Spanish Inquisition. Another reason Americans are so keen to keep the Nazi as archevil is because they know that Hitler had nothing on the likes of Curtis Lemay, McNamara, Kissinger, every head of the CIA including David HW Cop-a-feel, and now the cuddly "Mad Dog" Mattis.

zarah leander sings " kann denn liebe sünde sein?" ( can love be a sin?)no, naturally not, a daring song for at that time. the song text was written by bruno...
YouTube
--Anonymous
replies 312Oct 28, 2017 9:15 AM +00:00

The song above was written by a close friend of Zarah's, a homosexual.

--Anonymous
replies 313Oct 28, 2017 9:17 AM +00:00

^who?

--Anonymous
replies 314Oct 28, 2017 9:19 AM +00:00

Renee Fleming singing bel canto is one of the last things in the world I want to hear. She was booed at La Scala for good reason: she has no fucking clue what bel canto style is. It's all just "renee" style.

--Anonymous
replies 315Oct 28, 2017 9:20 AM +00:00

Yes, I realize now that my young mind was able to isolate and appreciate the bel canto repertoire, even through Renee's watery shrieking. Thank god I moved on to better singers fairly soon after. It's one of my early shames.

--Anonymous
replies 316Oct 28, 2017 9:26 AM +00:00

Renee has been one of the most beloved singers of the last couple of decades. A big big star.

I don't have a fucking clue why but people love her.

The Sominex soprano.

--Anonymous
replies 317Oct 28, 2017 9:28 AM +00:00

r314, Bruno Balz

en.wikipedia.org
--Anonymous
replies 318Oct 28, 2017 9:28 AM +00:00

Renee Fleming never became the household word that Leontyne Price, Beverly Sills and Joan Sutherland had been. There wasn't an Ed Sullivan show, Leno and most late night shows rarely had on opera singers - though Letterman had Fleming on a few times, and Fleming was a good marketable package for the opera world but not as fine as singer as the other three. I've head singers in regional and smaller companies who were much better sopranos than Fleming.

--Anonymous
replies 319Oct 28, 2017 2:44 PM +00:00

I put on Joan Sutherland's 1972 recording of Lucia di Lammermoor without really knowing what it was and stopped everything I was doing for 2-3 hours straight. Some levels of artistry are well above the ordinary, and even if you're not very knowledgeable about the art you can spot it right away. Something about it just seeps you in. From the very first moments I knew this was going to be a very special recording. Yet I knew next to nothing about it.

However, whenever I see the aforementioned American soprano, I just cringe. Good for her that she's made a career, but not for my taste.

--Anonymous
replies 320Oct 28, 2017 2:53 PM +00:00

[307] ...Renee is a squeezebox...

I love that expression.

It acknowledges that these singers are mere vocal athletes because of their physique.

It's not as though they have any superior knowledge or 'soul'. Like, I aways get a bit annoyed when some dope from Hicksville claims to have an intimate knowledge of Schumann's psyche.

--H.M.V.
replies 321Oct 28, 2017 5:06 PM +00:00

R317, She's Warren Beatty's favorite singer. Renee performed when he received his Kennedy Center Honor.

--Anonymous
replies 322Oct 28, 2017 5:13 PM +00:00

^ Is that an endorsement?

He was an adulterous lecher who let the world believe that he and his wife were "The King and Queen of Camelot'.

--Anonymous
replies 323Oct 28, 2017 5:27 PM +00:00

^ Dear, you're ranting about Kennedy instead of Beatty

--Anonymous
replies 324Oct 28, 2017 5:54 PM +00:00

R320 her first one from the early 60s is even better. Of course it is a matter of taste but you might want to give that one a listen as well.

Her Let the Bright Seraphim is one of the greatest pieces of singing you will ever hear. Nothing like it exists today. In fact I wonder if Handel himself heard it done so well. From The Art of the Prima Donna.

--Anonymous
replies 325Oct 29, 2017 2:54 AM +00:00

Neither of Sutherland's Lucias can come close to the Callas Berlin Lucia.

--Anonymous
replies 326Oct 29, 2017 12:30 PM +00:00

Sutherland and Callas are apples and oranges. We're fortunate to have both.

--Anonymous
replies 327Oct 29, 2017 1:00 PM +00:00

No one's going to come forward with allegations if what they partook in helped them further their careers. Most likely they did the same later on.

Those that did not play the game... might come forward. But they probably left the business anyway.

Not saying everybody plays this game.

Somebody upthread said historically, opera singers were "buffet" for the elite. What happens when aspiring musicians are offspring of the ruling elite? Are they treated any different? Do they enjoy special status? Given enough talent, are their careers that much protected?

--Anonymous
replies 328Oct 30, 2017 1:25 PM +00:00

What was the deal with Matthew Epstein and all his power?

--Anonymous
replies 329Nov 1, 2017 7:47 AM +00:00

No idea. No one has a good word to say about him except his best friend Neil Rosenshein.

--Anonymous
replies 330Nov 1, 2017 8:24 PM +00:00

Were Epstein and Rosenshein a couple?

--Anonymous
replies 331Nov 1, 2017 8:57 PM +00:00

No, I think Epstein is gay but Rosenshein is a notorious pussyhound.

--Anonymous
replies 332Nov 1, 2017 9:02 PM +00:00

Posters on this thread are very well-behaved.

--Anonymous
replies 333Nov 2, 2017 2:46 AM +00:00

This thread has devolved into an opera queen list. Go back to Parterre, you tired old hags. No one cares about your ancient opinions of dead singers from five decades ago. Ugh. You’re part of the problem.

I want to know why there hasn’t been a class action against Santa Fe Opera, the dead John Crosby, and his enablers Richard Gaddes and Brad Woolbright. Appalling what has happened there over the many years with sexual harassment, assault and impropriety amongst gay men (and straight) and the staff. It was a place where that behavior was coddled and encouraged from conductors and performers to administrators to designers and backstage. The apprentices took the brunt of the abuse. A miserable fucking place to work. And the coterie of business homos that would show up (like Epstein) and make the place even worse as they sat in the cantina ogling apprentices by the pool was horrifying.

All of that covered by the implication that if you didn’t play along your career could be damaged. A truly awful place filled with awful people.

--Anonymous
replies 334Nov 2, 2017 4:59 AM +00:00

It sounds awful, R334. But when you live 5 thousand miles away, it sort of gets lost in the fog...

--Anonymous
replies 335Nov 2, 2017 5:46 AM +00:00

"No one's going to come forward with allegations if what they partook in helped them further their careers. Most likely they did the same later on."

Absolutely - and I think the public realizes it - I do think people are savvy enough now to understand Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger and Amy Adams may very well be what women hate the most - ambitious whores.

--Anonymous
replies 336Nov 2, 2017 6:23 AM +00:00

While I admire Callas's work, I rarely go to her recordings when I want to listen. I love the beautiful voices of Price or Caballe.

Callas is dramatically intense (often for every role) so I don't want to be gritting my teeth constantly. I think I would have loved her more if I had seen her live. Scotto, who has a similarly ugly but dramatic voiee, I love, mainly because I saw her on stage and she is a stage animal.

Fleming induces me to sleep every single fucking time. She has a velvety voice like Price's but Price has something more to keep me engaged and adoring. I don't get Fleming.

--Anonymous
replies 337Nov 2, 2017 6:55 AM +00:00

Was there any truth to rumors of Tebaldi and Price being lesbians?

--Anonymous
replies 338Nov 2, 2017 6:55 AM +00:00

Is it true that standing room at the Met used to be a sexual haven for gay men?

--Anonymous
replies 339Nov 2, 2017 6:55 AM +00:00

I sucked a guy off at La Scala once, in the balcony restroom.

--Anonymous
replies 340Nov 2, 2017 6:58 AM +00:00

Callas's recital recordings are wonderful if you want to avoid the intensity of a complete role.

But the greatest one of all is La Muzio for intensity. She is jaw dropping. Especially her La Mamma Morte and selections from Cecilia.

And a number of greats were lesbians and in lavender marriages.

--Anonymous
replies 341Nov 2, 2017 9:15 AM +00:00

I'm excited to see that New Documentary "The Opera House" about the first year of the MET at Lincoln Center.

It's showing in a number of movie theatre via Fandom Events Jan 13 and Jan 17. (tickets go on sale Nov 3).

It features extended interviews with a 90 year old Leontyne Price as she created the role of Cleopatra in Barber's Anthony and Cleopatra, which opened the New Met

--Anonymous
replies 342Nov 2, 2017 9:53 AM +00:00

Sutherland is great but the power of her voice doesn't come across on records. She was phenomenal live because her Wagnerian voice exhibited such precise coloratura.

As she aged, however, her pronunciation began to get mushy and her voice overly melancholy. Early Sutherland is the best.

--Anonymous
replies 343Nov 2, 2017 9:55 AM +00:00

A female needs to know:

Can a coloratura enjoy intercourse with a dramatic soprano, or are they sexually incompatible?

A question for the experts.

--Anonymous
replies 344Nov 2, 2017 3:14 PM +00:00

^ it all depends how large their diaphragm is.

--Anonymous
replies 345Nov 2, 2017 9:42 PM +00:00

What are you talking about? A strap-on?

And it's usually a soprano and the mezzo Adalgisa in Norma.

--Anonymous
replies 346Nov 3, 2017 1:38 AM +00:00

Why does no one sing Butterfly well live? This woman who just opened at the MET is shitty, as is every other production I've ever heard live there.

--Anonymous
replies 347Nov 3, 2017 5:58 PM +00:00

I hate Butterfly. It should be retired. Puccini's worst opera, except maybe Fanciulla.

--Anonymous
replies 348Nov 3, 2017 6:15 PM +00:00

Please, more evil twin stories.

--Anonymous
replies 349Nov 4, 2017 7:33 PM +00:00

R347 You have foolish expectations. The brain responds to visual messages more than audio messages.

You go a performance if you want to see an opera but you should listen to a CD if you want to hear it sung well.

You can't expect singers to look and sound good at the same time.

--La Stupenda
replies 350Nov 4, 2017 8:06 PM +00:00

That's a foolish answer. Opera IS singing. I don't care what you look like, if you sing like a pig get the fuck off the stage.

--Anonymous
replies 351Nov 4, 2017 8:11 PM +00:00

Rosenshein was known for having cut his swath through a lot of ladies, then he married. I don't know if he's still married or continued to fool around during or afterwards. I thought he was a nice guy when I met him years ago, and quite a bit more substantial than the sort of American lyric tenor build I expected -- more like a less husky football player. I don't think he performs anymore (he was a fun Alfred in "Fledermaus" years ago), but he teaches at one of the conservatories or university music departments.

One of the evil twins passed away recently, apparently pretty suddenly. They were known for things apparently like double booking and pushing singers to sing too heavy repertoire so to get bigger fees (and bigger commissions).

--Anonymous
replies 352Nov 4, 2017 8:17 PM +00:00

R351 You have unreasonable expectations. You need to make your feelings known the Met and they may respond.

Most people I know do as I do.

--Stupenda—it's the voice not the looks!
replies 353Nov 4, 2017 8:26 PM +00:00

It is not unreasonable to go to an opera house and expect to hear good singing. Good lord.

--Anonymous
replies 354Nov 5, 2017 2:09 PM +00:00

What is wrong with Renee Fleming's singing?

--Anonymous
replies 355Nov 5, 2017 2:11 PM +00:00

All the swooping, scooping, swaying, sliding around she does....it nauseates me. As beautiful as her voice is, the WAY she sings is awful. I can't think of a single opera in which she is my preferred interpreter.

--Anonymous
replies 356Nov 5, 2017 2:13 PM +00:00

Then is she ok in recordings?

--Anonymous
replies 357Nov 5, 2017 2:15 PM +00:00

sometimes, but surprisingly not all that often. her recording of the Embroidery Aria is one of the few examples I can think of when her singing is exemplary.

--Anonymous
replies 358Nov 5, 2017 2:19 PM +00:00

I'm guessing R347 is R54

--R359
replies 359Nov 5, 2017 2:22 PM +00:00

There was a time when you went to hear an opera sung spectacularly. I caught the end of the era so I know what I'm talking about. It was unimaginably thrilling. You really left the opera house in a stunned altered state.

And today the big and fat singers are just as mediocre as the svelte good looking ones so why bother with them?

Recordings are great but to have heard Sutherland, Nilsson, Rysanek, Caballe, Krauss, Bergonzi, Norman, Freni... live was far beyond anything you hear on a recording.

--Anonymous
replies 360Nov 5, 2017 3:04 PM +00:00

Freni figures into both of my two favorite nights at the MET, r360. I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of the era to which you're referring. It was thrilling, beyond thrilling.

--Anonymous
replies 361Nov 5, 2017 3:06 PM +00:00

I hope you got to see Freni in Fedora.

--Anonymous
replies 362Nov 5, 2017 3:23 PM +00:00

What is the difference between then and now, R360?

--Anonymous
replies 363Nov 5, 2017 3:30 PM +00:00

Can we get back to the sexual harassment in opera topic?

This thread is being taken over by the most boring elements of Opera-L.

--Anonymous
replies 364Nov 5, 2017 3:36 PM +00:00

then offer up some dish, r364

--Anonymous
replies 365Nov 5, 2017 3:54 PM +00:00

I’ve tried R364, but it’s been invaded by tired opera queens. There’s nothing worse.

--Anonymous
replies 366Nov 5, 2017 5:04 PM +00:00

R361. I also enjoyed the tail end of of Freni's career.

But the two highlights of my MET attendance were (1) brilliantly sung and (2) might just have felt great because I was coming off an ecstasy high

--Anonymous
replies 367Nov 5, 2017 5:52 PM +00:00

I can't think of anything more boring and crushingly dull than discussing an opera house casting couch. Leave it to Hollywood's beautiful people and depraved producers and directors to make something entertaining out of it.

We should be discussing the high e flat of the Mexico City Aida.

--Anonymous
replies 368Nov 5, 2017 6:44 PM +00:00

R368 Oh, it's plenty interesting to many of us. There's opera-L for you. Think of this thread as a highly specialized fach. So fach off and leave us be. There are some real jerks out there, and people should be warned about them and their proteges, since that behavior get repeated many times.

--Anonymous
replies 369Nov 5, 2017 6:48 PM +00:00

I saw Freni and Pavarotti sing Boheme at the Met in the 80s with Carlos Kleiber conducting. That was the most perfect evening I've ever spent at the opera: stupendous singing, fabulous conducting, gorgeous production.

--Anonymous
replies 370Nov 5, 2017 9:21 PM +00:00

Man, Neil Rosenshein has got a great face! SO cute! My god. And I'm a lesbian.

--Anonymous
replies 371Nov 6, 2017 12:25 AM +00:00

R356 that could also be said of LL at the piano

--Anonymous
replies 372Nov 6, 2017 2:00 AM +00:00

2 performers I care nothing about.

They're more pop/fabricated/plastic than classical.

--Anonymous
replies 373Nov 6, 2017 2:16 AM +00:00

OK, well bringing together a great voice, an opera star of today with good looks and gay rumors, what about Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecień?

I enjoy him onstage at the Met he has charisma to spare.

--Anonymous
replies 374Nov 6, 2017 3:59 PM +00:00

From what I've heard they are not rumors.

--Anonymous
replies 375Nov 6, 2017 4:07 PM +00:00

They're not rumors, they're rumours.

--Anonymous
replies 376Nov 7, 2017 8:31 AM +00:00

This thread should really be called Gossip at the MET.

--please expand your horizons
replies 377Nov 7, 2017 10:33 AM +00:00

Trouble with us classical queens is that we love the music more than anything else. So I'm listening to the CD of Parsifal by James Levine. Thank you to the poster upthread who recommended this recording.

The prelude at least is wonderful.

--Anonymous
replies 378Nov 10, 2017 2:02 AM +00:00

Well now you've got to start collecting Parsifals.

There is Karajan, Solti, Knappertsbusch, Kubelick, Muck, Krauss...

--Anonymous
replies 379Nov 10, 2017 6:42 AM +00:00

R378, well the guy who wrote it did not pick up children, so you're good.

--Anonymous
replies 380Nov 10, 2017 8:50 AM +00:00

No he just stole his best friend and benefactor's wife!

--Anonymous
replies 381Nov 10, 2017 11:09 AM +00:00

You can only steal inanimate objects. She made her own decision--and then wrote, like, thousands of boring pages about their life together.

--Anonymous
replies 382Nov 10, 2017 11:54 AM +00:00

To be fair I only enjoyed the prelude to the first Act. I don't like manly voices singing boring boring.

Still it was an interesting introduction to a composer I'm not really interested in, wife or no wife.

--R378
replies 383Nov 10, 2017 2:24 PM +00:00

It's because it a Jimmy Levine recording, he's an ice skater.

With the other conductors after repeated listening it's not so much a music drama as a state of being.

--Anonymous
replies 384Nov 10, 2017 7:35 PM +00:00

Lots of bad voice teachers (some famous names but no teaching training) out there taking money and ruining voices. If every production of "La Traviata" that some teacher told a soprano student told her she'd play Violetta ever took place, opera would be the most popular music of today. Less operas being produced, more opera companies going under and still conservatories and college music departments churn out singers with high debts. But if you have a hard to pronounce, hard to spell foreign name, and rich patrons, you're more likely to sing at the Met.

--Anonymous
replies 385Nov 10, 2017 7:51 PM +00:00

Rich patrons means supporters who finance your career?

Also, how do you ruin a voice? I keep reading about singers who are made to sing in a voice that is not really theirs. Too high, too low, etc.

--Anonymous
replies 386Nov 11, 2017 12:12 AM +00:00

Rich patrons also give you access to people like Matthew Epstein and people at the Met. Plus voice lesson are ridiculously expensive. The human voice is extremely fragile -- 2 little vocal cords vibrating. The smaller they are, the higher the voice, the longer they are the lower the voice. Singing the wrong repertoire can seriously damage a voice, as can singing with a bad technique.

--Anonymous
replies 387Nov 11, 2017 5:26 AM +00:00

When the public finds the Met has been hiding a major pedophile for decades it will turn into an ash heap.

But remember the New York Times would never go near this one. Gelb comes from a major Times family and too many powerful New Yorkers are on the Met board. You see going after women which Weinstein did was wrong but little boys are fair game.

The New York Times is a bad joke and I don't know how people can read that swill.

--Anonymous
replies 388Nov 11, 2017 6:15 AM +00:00

I don't like reading the NYT. There's something very fake about that newspaper, and they're decades behind.

--Anonymous
replies 389Nov 11, 2017 6:49 AM +00:00

I agree R388/R38 - it is even the same with Maggie Haberman's reporting -and believe me, I loathe Trump but I just don't trust her work. Something is not right with her especially since she is another product of nepotism .

--Anonymous
replies 390Nov 11, 2017 1:07 PM +00:00

The Centennial Gala from 1983 is a lot more fun to watch after reading this thread.

--Anonymous
replies 391Nov 12, 2017 9:25 AM +00:00

Liz Smith was first in print to insinuate about Levine at the Met years ago; she didn't name him directly, but went into detail about the allegations and arrest.

--Anonymous
replies 392Nov 13, 2017 9:20 AM +00:00

And he still flourished until age and illness curtailed his career.

He's untouchable. And not even George Bush senior is untouchable.

Such is the power of The NY Times.

--Anonymous
replies 393Nov 14, 2017 10:07 AM +00:00

Others? Who was that Italian soprano long past her time? Initials if you can't type the name.

--Anonymous
replies 394Nov 14, 2017 11:28 AM +00:00

R394

Now or when?

--Anonymous
replies 395Nov 14, 2017 12:58 PM +00:00

r393 Just wait until someone has the balls to investigate it as a RICO case. They will rue the day they protected him. The other point about that is it would be a great political coup to take down the Times on this; they would lose credibility with everyone, but especially with Middle America.

It's too bad no good opera/culture reporter will address this.

--Anonymous
replies 396Nov 14, 2017 3:48 PM +00:00

R393 ask anybody who was attending the Met in the last couple of decades of the 20th century which Italian soprano whose voice was shot sang too many performances because it was known she saved Jimmy's ass big time.

Any opera queen can tell you.

--Anonymous
replies 397Nov 15, 2017 2:16 AM +00:00

Yes that's the one I meant R397. But I'm guessing I probably just don't know who she is anyway.

Did she actually provide him with an alibi or something like that? Lord.

--Anonymous
replies 398Nov 15, 2017 2:22 AM +00:00

R398, it's Renata Scotto -- the alibi story has been told many times over the years. I don't know what's behind it.

--Anonymous
replies 399Nov 15, 2017 3:41 AM +00:00

Levine was supposedly caught with a young black boy while on tour in Italy and Scotto bailed him out of jail while the Met board did deft work to keep him and the incident out of the press. Scotto supposedly leveraged this info into keeping her in leading roles at the Met well past her prime for a few seasons.

Whether or not it’s true, it’s become urban legend, at least in the classical arts.

--Anonymous
replies 400Nov 15, 2017 4:30 AM +00:00

Really?? Well at least, this is a name I can recognise, which I was not expecting.

--Anonymous
replies 401Nov 15, 2017 5:07 AM +00:00

People were like why is this crash and burn soprano at every performance she sang constantly being given opening night of new productions and leading roles of the most demanding repertory?

I understand enough people were telling the Met they would start withholding subscriptions and donations if they were going to be expected to attend any more of her performances. So supposedly she got a nice payoff.

I remember she had a book signing for her autobio at Doubleday on 5th av and the buyer telling me not a single buyer showed up. Not sure if he was exaggerating(not one? come on.) but he said it was very embarrassing. And she actually was very popular before her voice deteriorated. I was never a fan but her live Boheme telecast with Pavarotti from the Met on PBS in the mid 70s was rightly historic. I listened to the broadcast of her final performance which was Butterfly(a role for which she was very famous and her recording is a classic) and though the voice was in tatters she was dramatically mesmerizing.

--Anonymous
replies 402Nov 15, 2017 5:07 AM +00:00

Yes her recording of a very well-known Italian opera was one of the very first (possibly the first?) opera records I ever listened to. I liked it very much. I was very young and at the time her "pure" sound (this was a recording from the mid-50s or 60s I think) was what I loved to hear.

I never followed her career outside of that one recording, which I knew almost by heart at some point.

--Anonymous
replies 403Nov 15, 2017 5:47 AM +00:00

I just wish Anthony Tomassini was dropped from the NY Times. I loathe him, he should have retired after Volpe left the Met. Perhaps then the NY times will produce some intelligent modern coverage of the classical music scene throughout New York.

--Anonymous
replies 404Nov 16, 2017 5:47 AM +00:00

I like the articles from Anne Midgette in the Washington Post. Maybe I misspelled the name, it's something like that.

--Anonymous
replies 405Nov 16, 2017 6:40 AM +00:00

Yes r405! Anne is a wonderful writer and I like following her on Twitter. She tweets about the classical world a lot.

--Anonymous
replies 406Nov 16, 2017 9:23 AM +00:00

R406, it's her job.

--Anonymous
replies 407Nov 16, 2017 9:34 AM +00:00

A police report obtained by the NY Post regarding Levine and a teen.

So here we go---as it hits the public fan

Legendary Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine molested an Illinois teenager from the time he was 15 years old, sexual abuse that lasted for years and led the alleged victim to the brink of su…
New York Post
--Anonymous
replies 408Dec 2, 2017 12:03 PM +00:00

"for years" is the shittiest part about it (haven't read the article yet).

I'm thinking of somebody else now (not him), and the worst of it is sometimes they don't even realise what they're doing. Not saying it's the case with Levine.

--Anonymous
replies 409Dec 2, 2017 12:05 PM +00:00

R409 it was a while ago and ongoing; but as we have seen all it takes is the first victim and the rest follow very quickly thereafter

--Anonymous
replies 410Dec 2, 2017 12:14 PM +00:00

I never thought Levine would ever be so exposed by the media and his victim(s), so this is a major deal. He will be erased from Met and CSO history.

--Anonymous
replies 411Dec 2, 2017 12:23 PM +00:00

R402 Scottois a legendary soprano who was one of the great bel canto interpreters of her time. She pushed her voice into heavier roles which compromised it but she was always a mesmerizing stage animal. I don't think there's been anyone as committed to every role dramatically since her. THAT's why she was House Diva for a few years, as the MET always does.

That last Butterfly was tough on the ears but she was brilliant in the role.

--Anonymous
replies 412Dec 2, 2017 12:58 PM +00:00

At least James Levine loves People of Color.

--Anonymous
replies 413Dec 2, 2017 1:06 PM +00:00

R413, that WAS always the rumor.

--Anonymous
replies 414Dec 2, 2017 1:20 PM +00:00

He has to be truly finished now - he is literally standing - or excuse me, propped up on a podium - he will never hear applause again without boos.

--Anonymous
replies 415Dec 2, 2017 4:38 PM +00:00

Well now James Levine - and with that news today about Bryan Singer, it means his career is finished too.

--Anonymous
replies 416Dec 2, 2017 4:40 PM +00:00

BUMP

--Anonymous
replies 417Dec 9, 2017 9:56 AM +00:00