Cher Public

The rise of the Roman empire


Okay, La Cieca has sifted all the evidence thus far, and she has done Pravda-style scrutiny of what was said and what was left unsaid (particularly by Peter Gelb) in the most recent New York Times analysis of the issue, and ignoring the most recent Jeremiads from Rome on account of the fact that pretty much everybody has come to the conclusion that Franco Zeffirelli is gaga. 

She’s added into the mix a couple of emails she’s received recently from Met insiders who will remain anonymous. And she’s come to a conclusion, so, Lady Margaret, if you would be so kind as to ask your guests please to gather in the billiards room? Thank you.

Now, before the lights suddenly go dark and a shot rings out, fatally wounding your girl detective and thus silencing her forever, La Cieca will share with you the fruits of her deductive reasoning. To wit:

When the Met makes its belated announcement of the 2010-2011 season, the repertoire will include a revival of the Zeffirelli production of Tosca, but no Bondy. The reason given will be the size and complexity of the new productions of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, with perhaps some indication that the original notion was to revive Bondy alone or in alternation with Zeffirelli. But, financial conditions being what they are, the Met cannot afford that particular extravangance, which is of course a pity, because we remain fully committed to the Bondy production which we continue to regard as a success. And so forth.

Once the numbers are finally crunched, cool heads will prevail, deciding that the face-saving provided by a revival of the Bondy is simply too expensive a proposition.

It’s a limb, but La Cieca’s going out on it.

  • diva2themax

    Anyone else watching the Kennedy Center Honors? Grace has on a huge white collared dress & Angela is going to perform for her. Can’t wait to see all of the fab. Grace clips.

    • CruzSF

      I’m watching it (a few hours later). Angela is singing now. I love how Grace turned down her collar a little for her segment. Simon Estes said that Grace and Angela are friends and Grace certainly seems moved by Angela’s rendition of “Vissi d’arte.” :-)

    • CruzSF

      But darn it, during those clips of Grace on stage, I kept hearing “Tasty Hasty Pudding.” Thank you, La C!

    • MontyNostry

      Does anyone know if the Honors programme is available online (I am in the UK)?

      • CruzSF

        MN, I noticed that the honors show was available on, with each honoree’s segment available separately (i.e., you can watch only the segments that interest you).

  • Camille

    It’s neither the Board nor the Box —

    It IS the nightly haunting of Peter Gelb by the spectre of Sybil.

    • Krunoslav

      Love it!

      Sybil: “Troika… semyorka… tuza… troika… semyorka… tuza…”

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    I think the more important issue is a problem inherent with most opera companies here and abroad, in that revivals get short shrift in terms of rehearsals and even the most talented assistant director have all they can do to put things back together working “from the book” or archival videos resulting in “so and so stood here”, “Yes, turn to him for Assassino then eat the floor bitch”, and “where the hell is light cue 499B, special on the dummy? -- GO! Productions that remain in repertoire should grow with each revival, but that is rarely the case. If something doesn’t work then fix it between performances; “Schwertleite needs more coaching sessions” -- FORGET IT.

  • irontongue

    I have some reasons to think that casting for the Met’s next Trovatore might be up in the air; i.e. might not be S. Rad. We’ll see.

    Feb. 22 does seem late for a season announcement. SF Opera has canceled their usual press conference in favor of a press release, sigh.

    • rommie

      irontongue DO TELL. what do u mean that La Radv might not be leonora? she is out of tosca for trovatore then out of trovatore?

    • CruzSF

      Feb 22 does seem late. SFO is unveiling its season Jan. 19. I hadn’t heard that the press conference had been cancelled. Thanks for the info, irontongue.

      It all seems like a long way from the days of Gatti, when the Met season planning would begin in February.

  • justanothertenor

    The question that is haunting me, and that no one else seems to have posed: if the set for Rheingold is so big that they cannot fit it backstage concurrently with other productions, how are they going to EVER produce a full Lepage Ring-Cycle in one week?

    • Baritenor

      …the Magic of Live Theater?

      I dunno, maybe it’ll be a unit set for all four operas.
      Or perhaps they’ll be able to disassemble RHEINGOLD because they’ll have a week or so between performance of that opera.

      • Lalala

        I would guess that parts of the set (i.e., the decking) are used throughout Lepage’s concept of the Ring. This is done in so many Ring productions these days and would provide continuity between the four operas.

      • LittleMasterMiles

        I agree that a unit set is likely; that sort of thing is Lepage’s trademark. His recent ‘Lipsynch’ and earlier ‘Seven Streams of the River Ota’ (both seen in NYC at BAM) rely almost entirely on set pieces that are reconfigured in a zillion clever ways over several hours. Not unlike Wagner’s music.

  • iltenoredigrazia

    Totally unrelated: The latest issue of Gramophone magazine includes a review of Domingo’s first Boccanegra’s in Berlin. It says that Domingo is considering following with Iago and Falstaff.

    I guess when you are Domingo you sing whatever you want wherever you want. He’s already scheduled to sing Boccanegra in Milan, New York, London, and Madrid.

  • MontyNostry

    Domingo as Iago? Has he ever played a villain before?

    There is a lot to be said for interpreting Iago as an apparent Nr Nice Guy. On the other hand, I always feel that the wicked ensign’s evil nature is far too obvious in Otello: the Moor must be really dumb not to realise he is being taken for a ride. One of the problems with the DVD from Covent Garden with Domingo and Leiferkus under Solti is that one could never imagine such an urbane fellow falling under the spell of such an obviously chilly psychopath.

    • Baritenor

      I think he could pull it off. I just pity the poor tenor who would have to sing Otello opposite him. Falstaff, on the other hand, no matter how hard I try, I can’t quite picture.

  • iltenoredigrazia

    The problem for me is that I expect/want/like a big, meaty, round baritone voice for these roles. At this pace he’ll be doing Boris in a handful of years.

  • rysanekfreak

    I’m listening to the baritone version of Werther now on Sirius. I’m surprised Domingo hasn’t tried that one yet. Maybe he could sing Erda and Fafner in the new Ring Cycle.