Hottest aria of the century

Hottest aria of the century


norman lebrecht

January 08, 2017

Simone Kermes came on stage in Moscow to face an audience that looked sparser and colder than her normal crowd.

So this is what she did.

If you’re still feeling unwarmed, jump to 3:30 and see what she did to an unsuspecting young man in the front row.

I wonder if his glasses ever got unmisted.



  • Peter says:

    I was not watching and just heard someone sing very badly, out of tune, breathless, bad phrasings, Foster-Jenkins-style. Was that her?

  • Myrtar says:

    That stopped being funny very quickly and turned inappropriate. Pretty disrespectful on her part to pull that one on the audience.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    Why is this offensive semi starlet given coverage?

  • Cloe says:

    She makes Florence Foster Jenkins sound great! So sad that people go to hear that crap.

  • Cloe says:

    The word “vomit” describes only a part of her “performance”

  • Daniel Morgenstern says:

    Nonesonse to the curmudgeons! That’s breaking the barrier between the artist and the audience!

  • NoelAnn says:

    She does not sound like ms. jenkins. it’s not my cup of tea but i understand it. it seems the conductor was in on it you can’t do something like this unless it’s planned. I’ve never seen an audience clap so fast. It’s important to take risks, the audience seemed to enjoy it and they might even come back and bring friends. We need more life in classical music to break down the snob barriers. Was this over the top? yes. but i’d much rather see this than someone just phoning it in as it’s always been done like a real automaton. once she attacked and it went off key. once. She is a fine singer.

    • Myrtar says:

      Snob barriers? She shoved his face on her chest and grabbed his hand and placed on her breasts, come on. Please realize that there could be children in the audience too, do you think this kind of vulgar behavior is a good example for a child? I’m not even talking about the music, I’m talking about her vulgar stunt.

      • Christopher Morley says:

        This is what strippers do. I wonder how she would have reacted if he’d started to explore her, in response to her advances.

  • Alexander says:

    Some people would probably love being made the centre of attention like that, but I reckon most would be very uncomfortable and embarrassed. In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that he had been planted in the audience for the purpose, but it looks like he’s genuinely uncomfortable and seems to be seated with someone who is possibly his wife or sister and on the other side someone who is possibly his mother. I might just possibly be amused if this happened to me on a lads’ night out at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall – a kind of musical stag party – but under these circumstances it looks awful. I was quite prepared for the comparison with Florence Foster Jenkins to be an exaggeration, and, of course, it is an exaggeration, but only just. How did she even manage to get booked for this? Surely any student from the Moscow Conservatory could have done a better job of it than she did.

    • V.Lind says:

      I agree — he did not look planted. He looked as if he was wishing with all his heart she would just GO AWAY.

      I detest “audience participation” of this sort. One (of many a good) reason to avoid front seats. When I pay my money my part of the deal is to be a decent audience:quiet, attentive and as appreciative as I feel. when you go to classical music you do not expect to be treated as if you are in a 20s speakeasy where the “chantoozy” walked around and occasionally perched on a gent’s knees.

      This dizzy broad could not even heave herself back up on to the stage without help. Graceless end to a graceless episode.

  • pianoronald says:

    Ms. Kermes sings Fiordiligi and the Figaro-Countess on the Sony recordings from Perm- Teodor Currentzis conducts. I can see Dr. Legge shaking her head up in heaven.

  • M2N2K says:

    Well, at least she compensated for the low quality of her singing by giving the audience a glimpse of her other talents.

  • yolanda salapata says:

    I think she is definitely on drugs..

  • yolanda says:

    I think she is definitely on drugs..

  • John Borstlap says:

    Maybe this is what some promotors advocate as ‘total immersion’ in the classical music experience.

  • David Bolger says:

    C’on, people. Lighten up. There is nothing wrong with a bit of fun at a classical music concert, and I’ll bet the “victim” will be telling about this experience for a long time.

  • Cyril Blair says:

    I was honestly worried she was going to give him a blow job there. Funny to a degree, but if the other person doesn’t want it, it’s sexual assault. (In the U.S. at least. Maybe in Russia it’s just a laugh.)

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    I think that she went playing so long as she could go, but she did not stop earlier than she ought to, otherwise she would not have started it. Risky, arguably inappropriate for a classical concert, but definitely not as offensive as certain opera productions.

  • Lachera says:

    I am old enough to remember the time when singers gave the public the same effect just with their singing abilities, no need to leave the stage, no need to overindulge in little tricks.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    Somehow I’m reminded of Madeline Kahn.

  • Peter says:

    to each his own, but to me this is not hot. only cheap.

  • Frankie says:

    I can see why the hall was two thirds empty – they knew what was going to be served up and stayed away!