Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pronounce it "Lou-a-vul" please

Picture your host as a young man, driving around on a Saturday with a broadcast of Rosenkavalier (with, like, Mechtild Gessendorf) on the radio of his 1983 Tercel, and you must perforce picture Kentucky, where this took place. Well, picturing it is better than growing up there, but it's hard to find an unkind word about Louisville, the state's smartest and most progressive corner. Home to the Humana Festival, the elegant Seelbach (mentioned in passing, under a nom de plume in The Great Gatsby), and my high school friend Michelle who probably had a personality disorder but was very funny, Louisville is the faint praise that damns the rest of the state. Wait, that came out all wrong. Seriously a lovely town. And here's what they're seeing next season at the opera.

11 comments:

armerjaquino said...

Missing the point slightly, I know, but I have an old cassette recording of a Met broadcast of Gessendorf in Rosenkavelier and it ain't half bad. I put it on more often than, say, the dull Haitink recording, at any rate.

Maury D'annato said...

I mean, in order for you to miss the point, there would have had to be one. I thought I remembered Gessendorf as dull but I was something-teen and knew almost literally nothing, maybe not even the alphabet or how to tie my shoes. Maybe I just assumed that since I didn't hear a lot about her later, she wasn't that great.

Will said...

I think she was more than respectable, just not a big star. In other words, the kind of performer an opera house needs on its roster very badly.

Burns said...

Wow, rare Telemann in Kentucky! What next?

Chester said...

Gessendorf came to the MET after a long career in Europe when I think she was almost 50. She was much better in house than over the air.

Earl said...

I'm already booking the tickets for the Telemann outing, actually...

Maury D'annato said...

Earl: road trip!!!

winpal said...

Wow, driving an import in 80s Kentucky with opera blaring. Lived life on the edge, eh?

ermur said...

I heard her a couple of times in the 80s. First in a concert performance of Rosenkavalier here in Toronto and then a Walkure at the Met.

She was one of those dependable singers -- good but never too exciting. At least that's how I'm remembering the voice now...

Alex said...

I am awfully curious about the Yolanta...can't say I know from Louisville, but I did go to Lexington once and was very taken with that part of the state.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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