Before you ask: yes, I did consider renaming this whole bloggity endeavour as The von Otter Post. The reason, sadly, prevailed. The Otter Times will instead be an imprint of DtO.
In the Who Else Would Dare Do This But Her? rubric, a video from the recent Royal Swedish Opera production of Gluck-Berlioz Orphée et Eurydice. Maybe because von O has been rightly kvetching that nobody offers her the roles of young men anymore, maybe because some smart stage director realized that death has been glamourized much too often in opera, here comes the 80-year-old geezer Orpheus, fat suit, gossamer hair and all.
In other WEWDDTBH news, Die Oper kocht book is out. Among the many pictures of opera stars wielding kitchen utensils or peculiarly shaped vegetables, this:
Toy Boy Collaborations heading, the double CD with Brad Mehldau is either already out or about to come out, depending what country you’re in. The cover picture is very kewl, although it looks like the two have been photoshopped together. Nota bene that Mehldau has been adopted by an opera diva before for a CD collection that has Love in the title. The von O-Mehldau have been giving à propos CD concerts this year and are coming to North America early next year. See here, starting at 4:36, von O and Fleming discussing the benefits of Mehldau as a collaborator.
The list of songs contains a few potential gems. There will be of course the unavoidable pieces of Boomer nostalgia. (The Beatles, people?! Why? If I don’t hear another Beatles song ever again, it’ll be too early. And why Marcie of all the possible Joni Mitchell songs, the slowest, most monotonous song of the 60s?) But there’ll also be Brel‘s gripping La Chanson des vieux amants, and possibly the queerest choice on the list, Michel Legrand‘s La Chanson de Maxence from Demy’s Les Demoiselles de Rochefort. Monsieur Maxence sings here about his search for the woman who embodies his idéal féminin, and lists all the places where he looked and what exactly he is after. Les paroles ici.
Now as if that isn’t enough for this blog which tends to read too much into stuff, the original Maxence…
bears a striking similarity to somebody’s Prince Orlofsky at a certain Met gala circa 1991.
Moving on to the Thank God, No Pop rubric, next year la O will continue taking on the French Baroque, to the joy of opera-going pubblico and DtO in particular. She will sing Charpentier’s Médée at the Frankfurt Opera in June’11, a rarely performed and rarely recorded pièce de beauty and horror, of which we had a taste in Ombre de mon amant. Before that, in January and in Vienna, von O will sing a role of Phébée in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux at the Theater an der Wien. You wouldn’t know this by consulting the Deutsche Grammophon ASvO website which has gotten lazy about updating ASvO itinerary. The Otter Times, on the other hand, won’t miss a thing.