Oh god this is awful. What is she doing? Did she walk into some horrible alternative universe? Does she think this will make opera popular? Has the compere crawled in from the land of the living dead? 4 'questions' was as much as I could take....... Please tell me she didn't really do this........
27 September 2013 at 07:50 PM
After Netrebko, DiDonato and Kaufmann bad-taste shows (Facebook, ads), couldn't she refrain ? No! She had to do worse ! :(
I hate this new Kitsch-and-hip-hop style that is becoming a rule in opera stars and opera stages.
27 September 2013 at 08:40 PM
Haha! I think it's great. Maybe she didn't have a cultural agenda in doing it - just for a bit of fun.
Could do with a bit of context - did people write in with mundane things it would be fun to set to opera?
But, yea - come on! Like whatserface on the muppets singing C is for Cookie...
Philip Lawton |
27 September 2013 at 09:01 PM
Letterman's humor -- I've seen his shows occasionally since his NBC days in the '80s -- often comes from giving the audience something that is more silly and curious than laugh-out-loud funny, and presenting it in an ironic, self-deprecating way, as if the show is in on its own lameness ("Tell your friends at the Met about THIS!"). This was not the most inspired example, but I thought it was a pretty good bit and that she sounded great.
Yes Addison |
27 September 2013 at 10:06 PM
I'll probably regret this...what exactly is your problem with this? It's a late night entertainment show, built on the personality of the well-known (in the US) host. His "top 10 list" is a feature of the show. I didn't think it was hilarious but I thought it was funny, the audience liked it, and it gave some publicity to RF and to opera in general. She stayed (of course) with obvious bits of arias (and O Fortuna). I'm getting that sneering vibe about the US that annoys me about the Brits sometimes. (OH MY GOD they clapped before the curtain came down BECAUSE THEY ENJOYED IT SO MUCH BUT WHO CARES THEY DIDN'T FOLLOW THE RULES BECAUSE THEY ARE UNSOPHISTICATED RUBES!)
Intermezzo replies - I have posted a video with not a word of comment. What makes you think my opinions are any different from your own? If all you want is a dig at "the Brits", do it somewhere else please. That's not what this blog is here for.
28 September 2013 at 12:24 AM
Since when does being an opera star have to prevent someone from having a good time clowning around? She's 100% America, has raised two daughters, and she knows what makes people laugh. The David Letterman Show is a late night talk show and all types of actors, singers, authors, etc, appear on the show. The "top ten" is a regular part of the show. If Michelle Obama could do it, why not Renee Fleming??????
She's hardly slumming. She's having fun on a nationwide TV show. It's no big deal. I thought that some of it was funny indeed.
Les Mitchell |
28 September 2013 at 07:21 AM
whoops. Looks like a nerve has been hit. Look, I love the States. Some of my best friends even live there. (uh-oh, is there an emoticon for British irony?) As a freshman and sophomore in a Mid-West high school I had a great time, (and incidentally the best teachers of English anyone could wish for).
I suppose I like my adored singers to preserve a little mystique. Some fun games are best kept for home.
28 September 2013 at 12:31 PM
Intermezzo - Are you certain "WTF" sits comfortably with "with not a word of comment"?!
Intermezzo replies - A title is not a comment.
Su Traditor |
28 September 2013 at 01:08 PM
I took "WTF Renee" as your comment. I apologize for misunderstanding you.
28 September 2013 at 02:49 PM
Yes, funny like going to the circus. I'm sorry but there ARE boundaries. I can't imagine Lorraine Hunt, Marilyn Horne or even Cecilia Bartoli accepting to play the clown like that.
It's about being serious about their job.
28 September 2013 at 03:47 PM
Well, it struck me as forced and cringe-making, and not even well-written let alone "funny". But as I've always thought, there's more than a mere 3,000 miles between us and the US. And just to annoy fragendefrau some more, audiences at the Met and elsewhere I've attended in America clap prematurely not out of enthusiasm but simple ignorance and lack of musical manners.
28 September 2013 at 05:24 PM
Here's Marilyn Horne, enjoy!
28 September 2013 at 06:18 PM
That was actually quite funny. A bit silly, but still funny. Doesn't top her appearance on Sesame Street, though: http://youtu.be/SJhwmJ8aTHY
28 September 2013 at 07:02 PM
I believe "WTF Renee" stands for "Way Too Funny, Renee". Besides, Ladies and Gentlemen, do leave your European sensibilities in the closet when watching American TV.
28 September 2013 at 09:32 PM
And you know this how, exactly? Telepathy? Is it any wonder that opera has a reputation as elitist and snobbish? I went to the opera in Munich and Wien this summer and guess what? The audiences applauded before the curtain was completely down. And to further annoy some of you every production had a prompt box and no one seemed horrified. (Angela Gheorgiu, the usual suspect for 'needing a prompter', was not in any of these productions.)
28 September 2013 at 10:22 PM
If it's serious you want, I bring you Ms. Beverley Sills in "Pigoletto" ...
29 September 2013 at 08:46 AM
I think it was a good idea for her to do the show. I didn't see what came before the Top Ten, but Letterman could have said something like it's opening night, or near to it, at the Met, or something to that effect, to put it more in context. Yes, all kinds of people do the Top Ten, and it is somewhat of an honor. That said, I only thought a couple of the ten were funny.
Finally, to paraphrase Rudolf, "Ladies and Gentlemen, do leave your American sensibilities in the closet when watching European TV."
29 September 2013 at 06:29 PM
"And you know this how, exactly? "
By exactly the same manner of personal observation and deduction that leads you to write "because they enjoyed it so much"
And how do you know this, exactly?
It's no surprise they have a prompt box in Munich: they barely rehearse anything outside of new productions for more than three days, and with artists on their books whose avowed methodology is to learn the role whilst rehearsing, it's clear why it's necessary.
29 September 2013 at 08:17 PM
It's not even funny - it just made me cringe.
Although for opera singers really making themselves look like complete idiots then surely nothing beats "Toi et moi" - that embarrassing video of Hvorostovsky dressed up like Lucius Malfoy and engaging in a bit of sci-fi S&M! I was traumatised for a whole year after watching it......
29 September 2013 at 08:22 PM
Britain is Europe? Gee, you wouldn't know it when you cross the Channel...
29 September 2013 at 10:06 PM
One of the previous posters made a reference to Marilyn Horne's refusal to "let her hair down". Well, that's completely untrue. Several friends of mine were in attendance during a lot of her rehearsals (not full dress rehearsals) and they all said that she used language that wouldn't be heard in a Marine boot camp. She also did some very funny things with Carol Burnett, Tony Randall, and other comics in the "biz". She could be very "blue" and she was a laugh riot.
Les Mitchell |
30 September 2013 at 04:44 AM
Who is the funny old man who has to look at a card to find what number come next?
30 September 2013 at 03:50 PM
Yes, crusade against "elitist" and "serious" opera, leave those to me, and keep the popular clown opera in the US, will you?
Pop is global world's novilingua, I resist that if you don't mind.
30 September 2013 at 03:52 PM
This got unnecessarily binary in a hurry. The top ten list on the Letterman program is not some "state of the nations" cultural exhibit. There are people in the US who don't enjoy David Letterman's shtick at all (he gets savaged to this day for his 1995 Oscar-hosting gig), and people who do. It has always been thus. He began as a cult figure, hosting a show for people who hadn't fallen asleep during Johnny Carson's. There is plenty of even less sophisticated television and other entertainment in the UK; we could only pretend there isn't in a pre-YouTube world. I found the libretto to "Anna Nicole" a lot of puerile smut, but I didn't roll my eyes and say, "So this is what passes for wit in England these days. How very sad." (I did wonder if an American librettist might have understood that character and her environment better, but that's getting far afield.)
Yes Addison |
30 September 2013 at 08:28 PM
That said, I'm with you, SJT, on the premature applause. I want to hear every note of every postlude or playout, every chord dying away to its conclusion, etc. I would happily see a traffic light installed at every theater, next to the surtitles screen, if that's what it took. But I'm an old crab on that subject.
Yes Addison |
30 September 2013 at 08:45 PM
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