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Give until it hurts

Sadly reduced to penury by music fans illegally downloading his music, the once-mighty Placido Domingo has resorted to whoring himself out to a recording industry organization whose noble purpose is to assure that sleazy A&R people continue to afford top-quality cocaine and hookers hard-working artists will receive just compensation for their work. Well, the legendary tenor has to keep busy after all, and apparently in the middle of worldwide recesssion nobody seems to think it’s a good idea to give him another opera company to run into the ground. [Bloomberg]

67 comments

  • Angelo Saccosta says:

    Dear Camille,
    While I was not there for the Lucrezia, I WAS in CH for the Stuarda with Verrett two years later. The moment Montserrat called Shirley a “vil bastarda,” I became the Donizetti freak I have remained lo these many years. The sound of Caballe’s A flat pianissimo, held forever and swelled open to B flat, is a sound I will take to my grave.
    All good wishes,
    Angelo

    • Camille says:

      Thanking you very kindly, Signor Angelo.

      I had entirely forgotten about that stupendous Stuarda. I can’t imagine how wonderful it must have been, with both of them at the height of their powers. I was witness to one such Caballe Carnegie concert, a scene of mass hysteria which was the stuff of legends.

      Thank you, as well, for povero Donizetti, who gets so much disrespect, unmerited. I look forward greatly to Lucrezia Borgia @ SFO in September!

      • ardath_bey says:

        cammille not povero anymore, his reputation’s never been higher. In fact by the time Roberto Devereux is produced at the MET, Donizetti will have ten of his operas done by the company, which is more than Mozart.

        • Krunoslav says:

          You must work in advertising or marketing!

          The Tudor trio has yet to be done, so that leaves us with seven, including LUCREZIA BORGIA done *once* in 1904 and LINDA’s eighth and last-to-date performance having been in 1935.

          So we are talking ELISIR, LUCIA, PASQUALE, FILLE and FAVORITA (last heard on tour at Wolf Trap with Bianca Berini in 1978).

          Also: how many operas did Donizetti write vs. how many operas did Mozart write? Plus, every one of the Mozart operas that the Met has performed has been heard there in the last five years.

          Other than that your stats are very striking.

          • ardath_bey says:

            krunoslav go back and read it again, I said *by the time Devereux is produced* which is 2 or 3 years from now. Still, 7 operas done at the MET is quite an accomplishment for any composer. It’ll be 10 operas in 3 years which is more than Mozart. Yes, Donizetti composed a lot of titles, but so did Handel. And you don’t see Handel’s operas produced as frequently.

            Anyway, Donizetti operas will be performed after you and I are long dead and buried, he doesn’t need my advertising or marketing.

          • Krunoslav says:

            Ardath, I understood very well the first time the rhetorical trick you were up to and therefore responded as I did.

            It is not inconceivable that MITRIDATE and LUCIO SILLA will enter the Met repertory, no? Anyway as it is a greater proportion of Mozart’s works have figured in the Met rep and certainly figure in the word rep currently than of Donizetti’s.

            Nothing against him- I love the Tudor works and BORGIA ( when someone other than Fleming is singing it) and PASQUALE in particular. I have even seen GIANNI DI PARIGI and ADELIA with pleasure!!!

    • ardath_bey says:

      Angelo as a bigger Donizetti freak than you I ask, did you hear the moment GENCER called Shirley a “vil bastarda’ in Florence that same year? The crowd went crazy and interrupted the performance with a tremendous and spontaneous ovation.

      I have Montserrat & Carreras in Paris but the Elisabetta was Menendez. Let’s hope DiDonato does justice to the role at the MET next season.

      • kashania says:

        Gencer’s “Vil Bastarda” makes Caballe’s declamation sound fairly lame by comparison. Besides Caballe swallos the “b” and it comes out like “villastarda”. No, Gencer rules! What makes it so great is that she doesn’t just spit the line out angrily; she invests it with huge emotion and indignation.

        • La marquise de Merteuil says:

          Kashania -- have you heard the ‘vil bastarda’ of Caballe’s ‘Stuarda’ from Frankfurt -- it will give Gencer a run for her money with a vil bastarda for all times with a blazing Top D ripping that stretta a new a-hole. (The Elisabetta is She-who-must-not-be-named -- yeah you guessed it: B Fassbaender -- I hear she is the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts.)

          • kashania says:

            La Marquise — No, I’ve only heard the La Scala performance with Verrett. I’ve heard legends of a Caballe high D in a Stuarda performance. Off to go look for it on youtube…

          • kashania says:

            Well, I couldn’t find the Frankfurt performance on youtube but I did find this Chicago performance where Caballe is more intense than the La Scala performance. No swallowing of the “b” in “bastarda” here. Don’t know the Elisabetta.

            And then, I was excited to disover actual video footage of Caballe and Berini in a 1979 Barcellona performance.

            This is fun!!

          • Camille says:

            Fassbaender as the Virgin Queen?? OmiGOTT! How fun would that be!! Thanks for the tip!

          • kashania says:

            Ah, here’s the Frankfurt performance with the high D!

            Gencer still rules for the “vil bastarda” line but Caballe does sing the whole passage (beginning with “Figlia impura di Bolena”) with comparable passion.

          • La marquise de Merteuil says:

            Now kashania -- IMAGINE Callas in that role! One can only imagine!

          • kashania says:

            Marquise — Indeed! Not to mention to the two Elisabettas.

            I had to run out for some errands, so I listened to around an hour and half of the Caballe Lucrezia Borgia on my ipod. My goodness, she is sensational in that performance! I can only imagine the sense of discovery that the audience in Carnegie Hall must have felt.

        • Camille says:

          Oh gosh, maybe I should order the Gencer Stuarda instead of or in addition to the Caballe one.

          Which Caballe version is best, according to you Donizetti lovers? I think there was a Parisian one I had put on a list…any suggestions?

          Merci bien.
          C.

          • phoenix says:

            Camille, I prefer the Opera d’Oro live recording with Alan Vanzo & Kostas Paskalis. I don’t remember hearing Caballe, Vanzo or Paskalis sing that well ever again. A big plus for this Carnegie Hall 1965 recording is the excellent sound. For a 1965 live performance vintage, this recording has super audio.

          • kashania says:

            Phoenix: You’re talking Lucrezia, not Stuarda, right?

          • phoenix says:

            Oooops! My mistake, Kash. I thought Camille wanted Borgia, but thanks to your correction I now realize she was interested in Caballe’s Maria Stuarda.

            A dull role in comparison to Elisabetta, at least Caballe makes more of it than most anyone else I ever heard sing it. The choice of a recording should therefore rest on your preferred Elisabetta since Caballe is pretty much uniformly excellent on all of them.

            Again, I am most likely in the minority around here again. I prefer the Chicago Lyric live Stuarda recording because I enjoyed Viorica Cortez so very much as Elisabetta.

          • operalover9001 says:

            Caballe/Verrett at La Scala.

          • Camille says:

            Thank you very kindly, phoenix for all the information, and yes, I did switch to Stuarda after first speaking of Lucrezia.
            I have the Sills Stuarda but only because of Farrell, so I wanted to finally get a Maria that I could listen to.
            Thank you all for your input as I appreciate.

            I apologize for once more going off thread; I am truly una traviata.

        • Camille says:

          EVVIVA LEYLA!
          The Pirate Queen of Donizettian High C’s!!

  • zinka says:

    GO HERE:

    7-27/domingo-joins-battle-against-music-piracy-as-even-his-own-income-declines.html

  • CwbyLA says:

    Does anybody know when the Met in HD tickets will go on sale to the Guild members?

  • zinka says:

    Placido..pobrecito….has decided to open up a vocal studio…His first pupil is La Cieca and here is the first lesson….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HohwjP_XCnk

    Creo que La Cieca necesita un poco mas trabajo duro…o tal vez el no debe quit his day job.