Elektra

Elektra

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New New Nymphet

The Met says:
Kirsten Chambers will make her Met debut in the title role of this evening’s performance of Strauss’s Salome, replacing Patricia Racette, who is ill.
Ms. Chambers, an American soprano, has recently sung the Foreign Princess in Dvořák’s Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Kansas; Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio with New Amsterdam Opera; Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci with Bronx Opera; and Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin with Opéra de Rennes, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and the Savonlinna Opera Festival. 
Tonight’s performance of Salome is conducted by Johannes Debus and also stars Nancy Fabiola Herrera as Herodias, Gerhard Siegel as Herod, Kang Wang as Narraboth, and Željko Lučić as Jochanaan.
Parterre Box has a clip of her in Salome. Curious to hear how tonight's performance goes.

11 comments:

Cameron Kelsall said...

This is what a friend who was there sent me. I don't think he would mind me sharing: "think katherine jenkins sings salome. barbie doll look, no acting ability whatevr, atrocious german. voice could project above the staff hollow in the middle no chest voice for the low bits. big hand anywy i think cuz the jokes landed and the campy paris hilton vibe wrks w/the production. zelko soundd good despite pitch problms. honestly he ws the only lead who soundd anythng like a world class exponent of role. not the expectd train wreck but also who goes to salome expectng stepford wife vibes in the title role?"

I have tickets for Saturday and am hoping Pat is back by then. Much as I love this opera, I really have no desire to see this production again without her.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh man. Thank you for your friend's report. Very unfortunate. I also hope Pat returns by your performance!

Cameron Kelsall said...

Honestly, if she's not there on Saturday, I'm inclined to just eat the ticket (I only paid $35) and just grab tickets to something else. I know Pat's a trooper who rarely cancels, and I'm inclined to think she wouldn't back out of a matinee broadcast unless she's on death's door. That said, Salome is still a new role for her, so she might be exercising extreme caution. Either way, fingers crossed.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Sigh....unless, of course, they get a truly brilliant replacement for Pat. I wonder if Nina Stemme knows this role....

Cameron Kelsall said...

She does! That would be something. Or Angela Denoke...be still, my heart. Kind of like how they convinced Meier to come do that one-off Isolde in '08. I was just discussing with my friend (the same one who was there last night) how I wouldn't be surprised if they were trying to recruit an emergency cover in case Pat has to cancel the broadcast. My guess would be that they wouldn't want Chambers going out over the airwaves.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Christine Goerke, with a score, in the pit? She has expressed some interest in the role but doesn't know it yet, I believe.

Dress Circle said...

Her voice is absolutely gorgeous - although a little lightly projected - and the set is a sound swallower which doesn't help. I felt privileged to hear Ms. Chambers' Met debut.

Cameron Kelsall said...

Pat ended up singing the matinee, which I heard in house. Overall, I think Salome is a great role for where she's at in her career, vocally and dramatically. She has the low notes and the vibrato sounded pretty much in control throughout the performance. She acted very well, and I thought she made the production (which was very clearly designed as a Mattila vehicle) work for her. I particularly liked how she handled the final scene and its aftermath.

The rest of the performance was really hit or miss. Lucic just doesn't have the voice for Jochanaan and sounded weak and overparted when he wasn't in the cistern (and thus unamplified). It's a shame that Grimsley is relegated to covering the role when everyone and their mother knows he'd do it twenty times better. I feel like Siegel's voice and style is best appreciated in a small house; at the Met, he seems completely lost. Herrara was mostly inaudible from my seat in the mid-orchestra, although I liked that she didn't play Herodias as a pitiable drunk and nothing more. One positive note was Kang Wang's Narraboth; bright, ringing voice, excellent German, very committed stage presence. He'll be one to watch.

Debus made weird tempo choices throughout and showed little consideration for the singers. With the exception of Racette, who was quite loud throughout, nearly all of the principals were completely drowned out at one point or another. Honestly, it sounded more like the work of a pinch-hitting assistant conductor than the musical director of a major North American company.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you, what a great report!

I expect to hear Pat in March in LA, with Conlon conducting. He'll be better than Debus, from what you describe.

Just checked the cast and um GABRIELE SCHNAUT is singing Herodias. Well, probably won't be problems hearing her.

I'm under the impression that mid-orchestra is not great sound-wise. I think I was advised to sit elsewhere when I was looking into tickets for Die Frau ohne Schatten three years ago.

Cameron Kelsall said...

Schnaut...wow! I'm jealous! I bet she makes a meal of the role. Herrara is such a odd choice: a young lyric mezzo who doesn't seem to have the power to sing out above the massive orchestrations. I get the idea of wanting a younger Herodias who might actually bring some vocal glamour to the role, but if that's what you're going for, you should at least get someone with an appropriate voice in the first place. I have to wonder whether the Met owed her a contract and just kind of threw her into the role.

I see you're also getting Allan Glassman as Herod. He's singing the first Jew in this run of Met performances, and presumably covering Herod. I know people who've heard him as Herod and have good things to say.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yes, she can certainly stand up dramatically to Racette!!

In the Salome HD with Mattila, the Herodias was Komlosi, who was undoubtedly strong enough in the house.