US soprano makes two Met debuts in a week

Last week, Jennifer Rowley deputised as Tosca in David MacVicar’s production.

Last night, she was Leonore in Il Trovatore.

It’s the first time she sang either role at the Met.

Mark McLaren says she was not outshone by big stars. Read here.

 photo: Karen Almond/Metropolitan Opera

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  • Like Angela Meade, Jennifer Rowley is a raw, unfinished product who belongs in provincial companies at best. Would be even better (for them and the general public) if both were readmitted to music school to learn how to sing. Neither is anything remotely to an important or interesting or charismatic singer and neither belongs on the stage of the Metropolitan. In our lives we all have read footnotes. When the story of our days is eventually written, these two names will not even rise to footnote level. That they made it to the Metropolitan is as puzzling as it is an affirmation of dire, desperate times in the vocal arts.

    • Don’t know anything about this singer (and don’t have time to listen to the video supplied here), but I would like to say: in fairness, even back in whichever Golden Age you care to name, not every performance at the Met was full of “important” singers. I’m sure they used people who weren’t 100% ready for the big time, and used them again if they didn’t fall apart. (Maybe some of those eventually became ready?)

  • I heard her in the Tosca on Friday 10d ago and she was perfectly good; not memorable but she was engaged and her big voice filled the house. Not callas or even Yoncheva who I heard on NewYear’s Eve but I was happy to hear her and will be going to Il Trovatore soon

  • How quickly people forget how awful Callas could be. She was not as good as Sutherland, who was not as good as De Los Angeles, the finest soprano of her generation, hands down. She was not perfect, but used her flaws for their expressive values, creating great art, not just great singing. Too few singers aspire to artistry.

    • No singer could ever compete with the peerless Jenny Lind. The standards have sunk lower and lower since the 1870s, the last “Golden Age” of singing.

      • Jenny Lind’s peerless voice was kept at a peak of perfection by Jenny Lind Soup, her concoction of “a thick mixture with the consistency of wallpaper paste. The dish is made from mashed rutabaga or sago, chicken stock thickened with a roux, Gruyère cheese, sage, egg yolks, and heavy cream, and topped with beaten egg whites. (This latter topping, unfamiliar to many, is a common tradition in French cuisine de famille, as it uses up the whites left over from using the yolks as a thickener).” (wikipedia)

        Jenny Lind’s soup kept her opera career going for an exceedingly long time, to the age of 29. (She had sung the role of Agathe in Der Freischütz at age 4 months.)

        Naturally our evidence of the peerlessness of Jenny Lind’s voice comes by way of P.T. Barnum, making it even more believable than if it had come from other sources.

  • Meade is an absolutely horrible singer who flutters on top and sounds worse than regional sopranos. How she got anywhere and won every competition in late 2000s is beyond me.

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