Cher Public

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The Royal Opera House, which in its past season glitzed up its programming with such gimmicks as a tabloid tie-in and a mezzo-soprano strapped to a wheelchair, now looks to be getting desperate. The venerable opera company has commisioned a “Twitter Opera,” with a libretto to be gleaned from sundry tweets posted via the popular social networking service.  The resultant text will then be musicked by Helen Porter.

“Current posts can be viewed at”


  • 1
    browser says:

    To be fair, this is almost certain to be an ROH2 project or part of the Genesis program; both of which take place in the small Linbury Studio and aim at getting younger people introduced to opera…

  • 2
    Hans Lick says:

    Oh my dear Cieca, such a splendid subtle mating of imagery with text! The rapier not the bludgeon of thy wit has me in stitches as ever.

  • 3
    Cocky Kurwenal says:

    Exactly, Browser @1. There was a ridiculous article in a national newspaper yesterday that said Gheorghiu and Netrebko could be singing our tweets, when clearly this is a little sideline going on in the Linbury Studio Theatre because they have some spare money to play with on such projects as these.

    I also don’t think holding up the Sun tie-in is in any way evidence of desperation -- rather a laudable effort to reach audiences who otherwise wouldn’t even think of visiting the Royal Opera. It seems they’re damned if they do, and damned if they don’t, in some quarters.

    And Joyce DiDonato agreeing to perform in a wheelchair rather than canceling isn’t even tangentially relevant.

    The Twitter tie-in is of interest but shouldn’t be built up into anything it is not. The links to the other articles look like a mean-spirited attempt to pour scorn on the Royal Opera from some lofty position of po faced malice.

  • 4
    javier says:

    There is no good opera news in the summer so La Cieca is trying to make up a story about how the ROH is desperate. I guess this better than more Netrebko and Fleming bashing (and we’ve had loads of that this summer). How very sad.

  • 5
    brooklynpunk says:


    Look on the bright least the thread didn’t have “fukking Brits” in the caption…lol..!!

  • 6
    Alto says:

    My god, Cieca. You’re wasting you wit on poster after poster.

    The reference to the wheelchair was one of the funniest strokes yet. And we get a solemn, uncomprehending:

    “And Joyce DiDonato agreeing to perform in a wheelchair rather than canceling isn’t even tangentially relevant” [See, La Cieca is pretending to believe that the ROH arranged that. Get it?]

    as well as a complaint from Javier that La Cieca isn’t sticking to the stylebook of the Journal of the American Musicological Society. As for bashing Renay, etc. WTF do some people think this site if FOR? It has various sacred missions from Above, and that’s clearly one.


  • 7
    Baritenor says:

    This is either brilliant or the worst idea in the history of anything ever.

  • 8
    Harry says:

    Don’t you just love this era of post modern ‘bright spark’ thinking around opera houses? Wasting money on peripheral pursuits instead of using it for the main headline acts………Firstly use current ‘bullshit-speak’ words like ‘project’,’side-line programs’, ‘facilitator’, ‘experimental’, ‘created public participation’, or ‘developmental exercises’ for all these kindergarten level appreciation activities for the great walking dumb. People ever want opera as it has been long established, or they do not. What next? Perhaps, yet ‘another innovative proletariat program’ where Royal Opera House audience members can go home, ring up and give votes in a popularity poll on their chosen ‘most popular local promising performer’ from last night’? Can’t you see the TV announcements….. “They need YOUR vote to keep singing.! Keep those phones running hot, Folks!…It is only(the amount of English P)per call, but you are reminded that charges from mobile phones are higher.
    Make your voted idol … A STAR!”
    You cannot….. ‘Trust the fuckin’ Brits’…about anything cultural.

    Covent Garden: Save and stop wasting everybody’s time with these non event ‘programs’. The World would not be any the less, for it ……….just ring down the curtain and shut the place. Now that is sound thinking.

  • 9
    brooklynpunk says:

    “You cannot….. ‘Trust the fuckin’ Brits’…about anything cultural.”…

    …Hmm…one didn’t even need the prophetic powers of a Cassandra, to see that coming….lol..!!

  • 10
    browser says:

    And now a post from the Vicar of John Wakefield about how they should use some little known British singer. Yawn.

    Harry, you’re a tool. This opera is probably being done on a miniscule budget and aims to bring people between the ages of 11 and 18 into an opera house. It’s not aimed at you.

    Opera should be performed as it always has been? Well, I’m very glad you have never been allowed anywhere near an administration (I mean outside your fantasy life). Opera, like any artform progresses. New operas should reflect their environment.

    Oh, and local audiences and panels in Italy have been voting for opera singers in competitions and then rewarding them with roles in operas for well over a hundred years. Lucky you didn’t intervene, eh? Or we wouldn’t have had Ricciarelli, or Aragall, or Zancanaro.

    Ignorant fool.

  • 11
    Noel Dahling says:

    I just love all of La Cieca’s references to the lyrics of Sondheim. It makes me feel smart when I get them.

  • 12
    brooklynpunk says:

    This morning (Wednesday, August 12th) the NPR morning show “The Take-away” had an interesting and amusing report on the ROH’s plans for this “TwitterOpera”

    Availible for listening “on demand” at,

  • 13
    Harry says:

    browser: (comment 10#) for a start, being so confidently dismissive, you miss the ‘tongue in cheek’ of my comments. Those that reflect the present popularity of ‘Idol Show fame’ a la that Susan creature or any other number of Paul Potts’ wanting to scream Nessun Dorma out in their bathroom or shithouse and go on some show to be ‘a Star’. I was not referring to serious competitions for artists dedicated to a possible real life career in Opera…rather than gaining a CD recording contract for ‘pop -toast opera la-la turnovers’! So (as you alleged!)who is now left being the real ‘tool’? I can easily nominate one person, in particular!
    You also “am glad” that I have never been near administration of, or shall we say ‘direct dealings’ around Opera. Some people DO MAKE blind silly mistaken projections onto other people. Sorry to disappoint your misguided ideas that “they are just in my fantasy mind”.

    Contributing here I remind that some of us prefer to be rather circumspect: to stand back and not want to ‘blow our bags’ about our true personal experiences in and around /or with the production of Opera, per sec. Being -what one would call -- ‘not just the one of the usual general audience members’.Instead, drawing quietly upon those past experiences to comment on now presented ‘brainwave’ schemes to better Opera. You on the other apparently wish to personally be ever so forward. That is your prerogative.