Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • Rudolf: @ Poison Ivy Thanks for this posting of a younger Borodina Amneris. Warts and all. Do you know who... 12:38 AM
  • Porgy Amor: Well, this is an opera singer quip that goes back some ways, isn’t it? “The most... 12:36 AM
  • basso profundo: I may be late to this party but I just noticed that Elina Garanca has apparently written a... 12:26 AM
  • Poison Ivy: Poor taste, but … Entertaining to watch, no? 12:23 AM
  • Guestoria Unpopularenka: That’s beside the point. She’s had a history of attention-hogging. She... 12:19 AM
  • antikitschychick: ROFLMAO OMG Clita you are sooooo bad!! This made me laugh so hard…poor Mr. Giordani.... 12:11 AM
  • Poison Ivy: Yes but when you can sing like this, I say, carry on! httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=G... 12:05 AM
  • Guestoria Unpopularenka: This basically sums up her whole existence. 11:54 PM
  • Rudolf: @ Gualtier M Mr. Massi IS young and good-looking but I hope he sounded better in the house. From... 11:40 PM
  • Rackon: JEEZ I hate this effing phone sometimes. *Swedish* LOL! 11:24 PM

More deceit and intrigue from LOC

La Cieca assumes that it was while changing frocks from citron to sage that America’s Multitasker Renée Fleming approved the above-pictured outdoor advertising for LOC’s impending season. Because, after all, what celebrity screams “Lyric Opera of Chicago” more obviously than Vanessa Williams? (Thanks to AC for the photo!)

46 comments

  • chicagokok says:

    It made my day to see that the photo I took while driving to work yesterday morning made it up on parterre.com! The risk of driving with one hand and snapping a pic with the other and risking road rage from chicago commuters was worth it!

  • oedipe says:

    On the subject of opera audiences and the future of opera, here is an entertaining and thoughtful article by Sylvain Fort, the editorialist of the internet magazine Forum Opera (My translation; I am confident Sylvain Fort will not mind a bit of publicity).
    The article addresses specifically the French opera scene, but its bitter-sweet analysis of opera audiences seems valid everywhere.

    “From the outside, fans of opera represent a tribe with customs from another era. They astound with their ability to lock themselves in for long hours in order to listen to fat ladies scream unintelligible words; with their obscure comments they elicit a sometimes irritated disdain; their high average age is a sign that, in a few years, the survivors will be gone, the tribe will be extinct.

    Anthropologists of opera know the divisions, the clans, the differences, the options that sometimes deeply divide the world of opera lovers. This tribe is of a formidable diversity. Reheated rivalries and hatreds stir it in depth. Do not talk to a Wagnerian about Lully, he will laugh in your face: how inane this court music is! Do not mention Wagner to the lullystes: the supporters of the great French style will mock the Germanic fogs. Bellini appals some and exalts others. Puccini induces vomiting or elation. Rossini excites or distresses. Mozart seemed to elicit unanimous approval for a while; the Baroque lovers took upon themselves to drive a wedge among these people with interpretative methods that repulsed some and delighted others [Note: S.F. refers here to HIP Mozart].

    All these nervous, instinctive reactions create a syncretism, feed intolerance, supply exclusive doctrines. The eclecticism displayed by some is only a front. Remember the bitter laughter provoked by Nicolas Joel’s choice to open his era with Gounod. Gounod? Yuk! -- some spit; Yum! -- others grinned. The press echoed the success of the introduction of the Baroque to the Vienna Staatsoper at the start of the reign of Dominique Meyer; behind the press, let us not underestimate the allergies of the worthy Viennese cursing the French and invoking the spirits of Lehar and Johann Strauss to ward off the virus.

    Musicological or historical disputes (dodecaphonists against tonal aficionados, romantic versus baroque fans) are nothing compared to the squabbles about taste, the only ones that are worth while and that have made the history of the arts. But in the case of opera, this kind of squabble takes the strange dimension of a retrospective dispute: it is not the novelty that divides, there is so little of it. It is the old repertory! That’s what counts! It is a war conservatisms, a controversy about the patrimony. If at least we fought about whether ‘Akhmatova’ is a great work or not; but no, noone cares, and we know that ‘Akhmatova’ is destined to the neglect that strikes indiscriminately the works that daring contemporary composers venture to add to the repertory [Note: S.F. refers here to a new opera, 'Akhmatova', by the young and gifted French composer Bruno Mantovani, an opera that was savaged by the critics, but which I personally liked very much, and which was rather well received by the Paris Opera public] . Better to trade invectives about the worthlessness of Cavalli or the worth/aberration of Bayreuth productions!

    The poor blokes that happen to land in the midst of a heated opera die-hard discussion quickly lose their naïvité: they thought they were among worthy servants of the Art, and they find themselves in the midst of a domestic scene among insiders imbued with their own certainty. You must try to imagine the face of the ignorant, asking a scholar if ‘La Traviata’ is a beautiful opera and getting the answer: ‘ It depends whose Traviata! ‘

    You may think that the writer of these lines condemns an ill-conceived sectarianism. Should we rebel against these village rivalries that corrupt the territory of opera, already so reduced? Come on! Not at all! In a world flattened by conformism and devastated by unitary thinking, it feels oh! so good to throw the names of divas in each other’s face! It is so pleasant to fight for a high note! It is so sweet to induge in bad faith and irony at the mere mention of a composer, a conductor or a festival! Those who have not tasted these innocent delights do not know what refinement is and deserve our joyous contempt.”