Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • umangialaio: Here we go: orchestra and chorus of Teatro dell’opera di Roma collectively fired. That... 12:20 PM
  • Buster: Annick Massis rehearsing Manon. The second time only she sings the role, after Rome, but she was ill... 12:09 PM
  • ML: Manou, r u looking forward to Lausanne? Will a report be forthcoming? 12:08 PM
  • La marquise de Merteuil: And as Brendan Behan has said “Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how... 12:07 PM
  • ML: Oh, La Cieca is too much! 12:04 PM
  • DeepSouthSenior: http://www.telegra ph.co.uk/culture/m usic/opera/9568889 /Elina-Garanca-We- mezzos-get-to... 12:01 PM
  • Baltsamic Vinaigrette: Indeed I remember you mentioned this before, Monty; I wonder if you attended on the... 11:51 AM
  • Dabrowski: Where did I see an interview with Garan?a where she talked about moving into Wagner? 11:51 AM
  • manou: La Cieca on the other hand has called British critics “a passel of overeducated prats”,... 11:47 AM
  • armerjacquino: It’s a tag. 11:42 AM

Must… reach… endowment…

The Man of Steel is in danger again, this time from a new gang of supervillains: Lila and DeWitt Wallace. [NYT]

69 comments

  • il Rogo says:

    There is a negotiation meeting between Steel and the unions Wednesday july 20 at 9 AM sharp. Anyone want to speculate on how long that meeting actually lasts?

    • brooklynpunk says:

      yup… atta boy… lets “speculate” the absolute WORST…. in fact… why even have the meeting at all.?.. let’s just “tell” what happened… with our pre-conceived opinions, ….

    • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

      We await your reports of the results of said meeting. The kid has balls just to attend it. I hope he’s bringing backups and members of the NYCO Board.

  • balabanov11 says:

    has anyone mentioned here that in Steel’s fantasy season of next year, he has listed two productions at BAM -- BAM is a union house. Does he really think stagehands and the wardrobe dept are going to cross of picket line to set and clothe whatever scabs he can come up with? just another reason why the entire idea of next season is a scam.

  • Henry Holland says:

    Speaking of incompetent opera management, can somebody *please* get Placido Domingo out of Los Angeles? Pretty please? A live boy, a dead girl, whatever it takes. PLEASE?

    http://www.laopera.com/press/releases/071811/

    LA Opera has regretfully withdrawn from a potential collaboration to present the Hungarian opera Bánk Bán, by Ferenc Erkel, as an addition to our 2011/12 Season. Both the Company and our Hungarian colleagues have worked tirelessly to try and make this production possible, and I was particularly looking forward to the opportunity to conduct the first major production of this little-known masterwork in the United States

    So, to recap: Domingo announces with great fanfare a while back the addition of a 7th opera to the paltry 2011-12 season, an opera that no one outside of the small Hungarian immigrant community here is clamoring for, that he --surprise! surprise!-- was going to conduct but now is put off to a future season (i.e. will never be produced here).

    There’s that little project called Recovered Voices that is still awaiting the production of its final promised opera, Die Tote Stadt, and yet the management of LAO decides to do a piece that’s obscure outside the borders of Hungary. Unreal.

    • brooklynpunk says:

      HH:

      I am only ..perhaps.. marginally Hungarian ( I’m sure , sometime, in my family tribes eternal wanderings, that someone past through Budapest…) BUT I would have LOVED to see and hear “Bank Ban”-- and quite disappointed that it will not be done , in LA…

      “Die Tote Stadt” on the other hand.. as much as I love it.. has been done ALL OVER THE FRIGGIN COUNTRY… nothing rare, in the slightest, anymore, about that work, nu?

    • m. croche says:

      Wait a minute -- what’s the matter with Erkel? His music can be rather nice. In a previous thread you were complaining about the inertia that causes worthwhile operas to languish unperformed. Now you’re sniggering at an “obscure” opera?

      Since I tend to feel that Korngold is currently overrated, and since there was just a Tote Stadt in SF in 2008, I’d say the Erkel performance would have made a superior contribution to American operatic culture.

      A little cimbalomania:

    • Henry Holland says:

      You’re both missing my point.

      “Die Tote Stadt” on the other hand.. as much as I love it.. has been done ALL OVER THE FRIGGIN COUNTRY… nothing rare, in the slightest, anymore, about that work, nu?

      What on earth? It was done at NYCO --remember them?-- in 2001 (great performance) and 2006 and San Francisco in 2008, 3 productions in 10 years hardly equals ALL OVER THE FRIGGIN COUNTRY! Yes, it’s enjoyed a revival in German speaking Europe, non-German speaking Europe a bit. As we all know, those things can change quite quickly.

      And again, I’ll note that something like DTS is now considered “overplayed” but the greatest hits of Mozart, Verdi and Puccini get 20 times the overexposure, in often utterly mediocre performances, but no one seems to really complain about *that*. The double standards in the opera world just never cease to amaze me.

      More to the point, the Recovered Voices project was a major initiative by LAO, it’s a personal project for James Conlon. So, they can’t do the final production in that project because of money issues but they can import an opera that literally no one outside of serious opera fans has heard of. At least with DTS, LAO could play up the “Hey, famous Hollywood film composer wrote an opera!!!” angle.

      Plus, this was AGAIN shaping up to be a Domingo vanity project, and we’ve had enough of those here. I guarantee you, if the opera was produced, the publicity materials would have a huge picture of Domingo smiling beneficently, the copy something along the lines of “Maestro Domingo rescues from obscurity this Hungarian masterpiece! Get your tickets NOW!!!!”.

      In a previous thread you were complaining about the inertia that causes worthwhile operas to languish unperformed. Now you’re sniggering at an “obscure” opera?

      I’m not “sniggering” at it at all, I’ve not heard a note of it. To point out that it’s obscure in the wider opera world outside of Hungary and that there’s NOT a groundswell of people in Los Angeles demanding the piece be done while chunks of the standard rep still haven’t been done here is not sniggering.

      Since I tend to feel that Korngold is currently overrated

      Considering that he was a source of cruel mockery for over 60 years --Hahahaha more Korn than gold!!-- and still isn’t taken that seriously as a “serious” composer in some quarters because moved to Hollywood to make a living (and litterally saved his family from the death camps in the process*), it’s about time he was “overrated” for a bit.

      As for the “it was done in SF recently”, that’s a joke. It’s a constant source of amusement amongst me and my friends in both here and in San Francisco that the three major companies in California (LA, SF and SD) never seem to talk to each other about what they’re doing, there was one season about 10 years ago that they all did Don Giovanni. It’s a big state, not everyone travels to hear opera.

      * he wasn’t mocked for that, of course

      • brooklynpunk says:

        HH:

        I am certainly NOT “complaining” about the number of performances that DTS receives( I don’t think there can be too many….)… but you tend to kvetch a little too much concerning works that don’t seem to “rock your (own) boat” … (closed-mindedness seems to run both ways , HERE,-- and a desire for the new and fresh doesn’t seem to preclude one’s own reactionary view-points towards other people’s likes, eh?)

        I seem share a great interest in much of the same rep ( modern) as you do. ( while still loving pre -Turandot oldies, as well..). and don’t wanna fight over it… but it SEEMS that there might have been room for both DTS and the Hungarian work… BUT-- it seems we are getting..NEITHER ONE, NOW…

        …THEM’S THE BREAKS, in the tough times we’re living in, I guess…..

        • Henry Holland says:

          (closed-mindedness seems to run both ways , HERE,

          What on earth on you talking about? I have no animus toward Bank Ban or people who like it or people in the Los Angeles basin dying for it to be produced here. I was simply commenting on the inept management of my local opera company and the pathetic claim by you that DTS was “done all over the country”.

          I want my local opera company to actually exist in five years, not be left a smoldering ruin by a dilettante manager (and his inept underling) who somehow manages to find resources for productions that he’s personally involved in and can simply walk away after his contract is mercifully up in 2013. Does the history of his running of the WNO in D.C. not matter at all?

          This city went without a professional opera company until 1986 (it was all failed attempts and touring companies before that), I have no doubt whatsoever that if LAO folded, there’d be few tears shed by the majority of people here, if they even noticed it was gone.

          but it SEEMS that there might have been room for both DTS and the Hungarian work

          That’s the WHOLE FUCKING POINT! There WASN’T!!! When the Recovered Voices project was announced in 2007, it was said to be almost fully funded, they just needed to do a bit of fundraising. They then treated it like a red-headed stepchild as I’ve noted here before, to the point that the original director of Die Gezeichneten, Olivier Tambosi, walked out because they had taken a chunk of his budget and used it for the “Ring”.

          They then “postpone” DTS, part of a project near and dear to James Conlon, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it never gets produced here.

          Domingo then has the GALL 8 months after that postponement to announce out of the blue that they’re going to do an opera that wasn’t even a rumor 2 days before that press release, LAO going to the trouble (i.e. having to do fundraising for their cut) and expense of basically importing an entire company of Hungarians to do an opera that would be a very tough sell in the best of times. For a very similar situation here’s an article by Alan Rich about the production of Arshak II up in San Francisco in 2001. Note especially the fourth paragraph.

          http://www.soiveheard.com/2001/12/review-san-francisco-opera/

          It has nothing to do with not getting a DTS, I’ll survive, it has everything to do with them treating an artistic initiative that was launched to great fanfare and actually made them stand out from the crowd and increasingly acting like it’s something they wish would go away unless they can plunder funds from it.

          If you can’t see why that angers me, frustrates me and makes me wonder who the hell is making the decisions at the LAO, I don’t know what to tell you.

      • m. croche says:

        Henry Holland 1: I pulled out Werner Egk’s Peer Gynt and gave it a spin. It’s a very nice opera, firmly tonal, the vocal lines well written and upfront, nice orchestral bits, a vein of short-breathed melodicism evident throughout and it seems that it would work as drama. Why isn’t this performed? It’s the old vicious circle: it’s never performed, so to take a chance on it is a big financial risk (especially given how risk-adverse most of the opera audience is) so it’s never done but that means it never has a chance to build an audience for hearing it.

        Versus:

        Henry Holland 2a: So, they can’t do the final production in that project because of money issues but they can import an opera [Bank Ban] that literally no one outside of serious opera fans has heard of.

        Henry Holland 2b: I’m not “sniggering” at it at all, I’ve not heard a note of [Bank Ban]. To point out that it’s obscure in the wider opera world outside of Hungary and that there’s NOT a groundswell of people in Los Angeles demanding the piece be done while chunks of the standard rep still haven’t been done here is not sniggering.

        Zwei Seelen wohnen, Ach!, in seiner Brust.

        Auf Englisch: There appear to be no rules to this game.

        • Henry Holland says:

          Fine, I’m a hyprocrite, I have far worse personal failings.

          Still, it really IS hypocrisy for LAO to issue a press release in April 2010 announcing the scaling back of the Recovered Voices project with one opera to go, blaming it on financial woes (woes of their own making, of course) and claiming inanely “the company is working on the shape of the series” and that the new “shape” would be announced “soon” --there’s not been a peep about it in the subsequent 15 months-- but turn around a mere 8 months later and announce the possible production of ANOTHER freakin’ vanity project for the GM of said financially strapped company (see also: zarzuela; The Merry Widow in Spanish and so on), only to see that turn to dust as well?

          My personal struggles with logic and consistency aside, you get why I’m more than a little miffed, right?

  • DonCarloFanatic says:

    The Summer Opera Theatre of Washington, DC, gave Die Tote Stadt in the 2000s. That was the only show of theirs where I could buy a close-in orchestra ticket and there were empty seats at the performance. Clearly it was not a popular choice. That company went out of business in the recession despite many well-attended productions of more typical fare: Rigoletto, Trovatore, Carmen, etc.

    Not too far away, the Baltimore Opera, which dared to put on Lakme, The Siege of Corinth, The Bartered Bride (in Czech), Maria Stuarda, and Norma during that decade also went out of business at the same time. I never saw the Baltimore opera house other than crowded, but as we well know, filling the seats is not enough to keep an opera company in business.

    Presumably Domingo could not find a sponsor to promise to make up for the lower ticket sales that a relatively obscure work would produce. Rather than send the LA Opera into a financial downspin (hmm…sound familiar?), he chose to opt for more conventional fare that would pay more of the bills and make the business of getting sponsors to cough up big bucks a little less urgent. I don’t think he can be faulted for that.

    • Henry Holland says:

      It’s hilarious how you go from “I went to DTS, there were empty seats” to detailing the demise of two separate opera companies.

      I don’t think he can be faulted for that

      So, he and his underlings create a huge mess by a series of poor decisions > does what any sane arts administrator would do in the aftermath and he’s supposed to get credit for that? Wow.