Cher Public

Wet and wild intermission feature

With this glimpse of Andreas Kriegenburg‘s production of Der Ring ohne Maschinen for Munich, La Cieca invites the cher public to discuss off-topic and general interest subjects during the week of February 12.

  • oedipe

    De Nederlandse Opera has announced its 2012/2013 season. Very original. Impressive! (Warning: the ubiquitous Popsy sings there too.)

    • brooklynpunk

      WOW…I gotta check my KLM frequent -flier miles…!!!! looks like Amsterdam is (HOPEFULLY) in my travels, a number of times, in the next year…..

      If nothing else…most , if not all of these should get broadcast on Dutch Radio..!

  • Another free streaming coming up via our friends at Arte Live Web:


  • m. croche

    Well this is a sad day for me and many Hong Kongers…

    Curtain falls on landmark Hong Kong opera house

    By Beh Lih Yi (AFP) – 1 day ago

    HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s last dedicated Cantonese opera theatre is holding its final performances before it closes this week, in what some art lovers see as another nail in the coffin of a 300-year-old tradition.

    I don’t think attendance at the opera house was a problem. I went here on a random afternoon and had to scalp a ticket to the sold-out performance. Predominantly women (it was a weekday afternoon, after all), but all age groups were well represented.

    The problem is that land in Hong Kong since 1997 has become ferociously expensive and subject to profound demographic and economic pressures. Young HKers are finding it horribly difficult to move out of their parents’ crowded apartments. Expectant HK mothers are finding that the city’s birthing units are all being filled up with vacation mothers from the mainland, hoping to secure for their own newborns coveted Hong Kong “citizenship” (which entails a number of legal privileges.) So it’s not surprising that this storied theater had to succumb to the pressures of deep-pocketed developers and their political allies. There will be municipal theaters at which the Cantonese troupes can perform, of course, but they lack the charm, warmth and history of the old HK opera theaters.

    But the larger problem this points to is the lack of government initiatives to preserve the country’s cultural heritage. Obviously, a lot of the damage to the cultural patrimony was engineered by poor political decision-making in the 20th cenutry. The 2001 declaration by UNESCO that China’s Kunqu tradition is part of the “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” sent a message to the Chinese leadership that the world valued the country’s artistic legacy. “Endangered” art forms, such as the dozens of types of regional opera, are slowly becoming a focus of concern among the country’s scholars, arts officials and media. Government support is flowing towards previously-neglected (indeed, actively suppressed) opera types. Older plays, once declared undesirable in China, are being revived. But days like this fill me with gloom.

    Pictures here:

    • m. croche

      er, “The problem is that land in Hong Kong since 1997 has become ferociously expensive and the city has been subject to profound demographic and economic pressures.”

      And all the other mistakes -- just assume they’re corrected, too. Thanks.

    • operalover9001

      Well, from what I’ve seen the HK government really isn’t doing much except for trying to pander to the Mainland Chinese and handing out $6000 to all the overseas people…Unfortunately, I don’t think the arts are really a high priority for them. Which is a shame, because it’s a prosperous city with a relatively wealthy public interested in the arts…

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1907 soprano Marjorie Lawrence

    Born on this day in 1924 soprano Margaret Truman

    Born on this day in 1926 composer Lee Hoiby

  • herbinetta

    I may be opening up a can of worms with this one, but I want to buy a DVD set of the Ring. Sound quality is probably number one priority, singing, production, etc.


    • When I asked this question a couple of years ago, I was told to buy first the Barenboim/Kupfer set and also the Boulez/Chereau. I believe one of these sets has been since been remastered. I personally prefer the Barenboim/Kupfer, but I am no expert. Good Luck!

  • brooklynpunk

    On Auntie BEEB,(BBC3) now…for listening to , on demand, until next Wednesday..


    Walter Braunfels -- The Annunciation

    LISTEN :
    Listen now (150 minutes)

    6 days left to listen
    Last broadcast yesterday, 14:00 on BBC Radio 3.

    Penny Gore continues this week’s theme of religious theatre music with a Bavarian Radio recording of Walter Braunfels’s musical mystery play The Annunciation, telling of a woman’s fatal pity towards a man with leprosy. Braunfels was a leading composer and pianist in Germany in the first half of the twentieth century, until his music was banned by the Nazis in the 1930s.
    Walter Braunfels: Die Verkundigung (The Annunciation), mystery play in four acts, Op. 50
    Andreas Gradherz ….. Robert Holl (bass),
    His wife, the Mother ….. Hanna Schwarz (mezzo-soprano),
    Violaine ….. Juliane Banse (soprano),
    Mara ….. Janina Baechle (soprano),
    Jakobaus ….. Adrian Erod (baritone),
    Peter von Ulm ….. Mathias Klink (tenor),
    Peter’s servant ….. Mauro Peter (tenor),
    An angel’s voice ….. Vanessa Goikoetxea (high soprano),
    First worker ….. Johannes Stermann (bass),
    Schulze von Rothenstein ….. Wolfgang Klose (spoken role),
    First woman ….. Jutta Bethsold (spoken role),
    Second woman ….. Sonja Philippin (spoken role),
    Second worker ….. Timo Janzen (spoken role),
    Third worker ….. Matthias Ettmayr (spoken role),
    Bavarian Radio Chorus,
    Munich Radio Orchestra,
    Ulf Schirmer (conductor).

  • zinka

    Only 2 months ago.Virginia Zeani gave me the no.of her friend Camilla Williams, my first Butterfly. She was so sweet,but sadly we lost her so recently….Born Feb.18, 1922….
    Bless her memory!!!!

  • zinka

    ….and i said I hated titles………………..

  • zinka

    Whoopie Goldberg….Dove sei?????????????????

  • Buster

    An unforgettable performance of Kitezh last night.

    Had not seen anything by Dmitri Tcherniakov before, but this really was one of those exceptional evenings, where an entire audience feels they are witnessing something extra special. No coughs, not a noise -- for four hours.

    Fevronja was sung by the young Svetlana Ignatovich, who sings a lot in Basel. She has a simplicity and a goodness about her that were very unusual, even her voice sounds “good.” Unbelievable singer!

    A lot of the action is extremely violent, and the staging emphasized this by transposing the work to modern Russia – no Tatars, but modern terrorist. That really came as a shock. The scenes in which the men prepare for battle, and all put on white shirts, and say goodbye to the women and children who stay behind was very moving. After the battle, when everyone is dead, you see the women again, sitting at the back of the stage – a silent but harrowing moment.

    Marc Albrecht conducted as if his life was on stake – and the entire cast (all Russian, except John Daszak) was excellent, all seemed imbued by the opening lines of Tcherniakov’s synopsis:

    “After what happened on earth life can never go on as before. Everybody lives waiting for an unavoidable end.”

    This production will travel to Paris, Barcelona and Milan.

    • MontyNostry

      Hello, Buster. That Kitezh sounds really interesting. How has it been ‘sold’ to the public in terms of PR and so on? Did the audience like it?

      • Buster

        Monty -- I first took notice after Marc Albrecht’s pitch:

        The important role of the chorus was also stressed from the beginning -- they are outstanding. Robert Holl was supposed to sing in it, that got quite a bit of publicity too, it was supposed to be his long overdue debut with the company. Alas, he had to withdraw for health reasons.

        It got great reviews, in particular from the foreign press, that certainly helped. I would not be surpised at all if this was voted opera performance of the year.

        • MontyNostry

          Sehr interessant, Buster. Thank you! Maybe it will come to London too (some hope!).

        • oedipe

          Tcherniakov’s Kitezh production will be revived by the Paris Opera in 2015.

    • Belfagor

      I am sooo jealous! Wish I could have got to Amsterdam. I saw Cherniakov’s first version of ‘Kitezh’ -- which from what I gather from this new version, was more traditional, (though with contemporary accretions) on tour at the Met about 10 years ago and was totally poleaxed, though I’m not sure audiences got it. It’s time the piece got recognized as a real, if flawed and a bit peculiar, masterpiece. I haven’t found any reviews online……

      • The Wistful Pelleastrian


        “I haven’t found any reviews online…”


        If you don’t mind using Google translator the Opera Critic website lists 6 new reviews in German and Dutch:;The%20Legend%20of%20the%20Invisible%20City%20of%20Kitezh;&category=Opera&lang=&sorttype=

        And at the bottom of the page there are several reviews in English from 2003 and 2005.

        This magical, fairy-tale work, though overlong and eventually so over-religious that it makes Parsifal feel like a Three Stooges movie, is enormously effective on stage


        Filled with both folk-like melodies and Wagnerian influence, Rimsky’s score is lush and approachable, with many beautiful melodies and stunning orchestation

        • Belfagor

          Thank you indeed -- a very useful page.

          What a shame the Royal Opera in London weren’t brave enough to do this piece -- I heard they were scared of the length -- so they did ‘Tsar’s Bride’ only 30 mins shorter and way way less musically interesting and inspired, despite a cunning updating………

          • MontyNostry

            Let’s go and see it in Paris in 2015, Belfy. They probably didn’t do it in London because the ROH’s home-grown and increasingly ubiquitous Russian diva decided she wanted to sing Marfa rather than Fevronia …

          • Belfagor

            Sounds like a grand plan!

  • WindyCityOperaman

    Born on this day in 1917 mezzo-soprano Eva Gustafson

    Born on this day in 1926 mezzo-soprano Rita Gorr

  • MontyNostry

    Just saw on Facebook that soprano Elizabeth Connell has died.

  • grimoaldo

    Sounds like a great night for Dallas Opera and Tristan:
    with some suggestion of hanky-panky between Isolde and Brangaene and Tristan and King Marke:
    “The physical interaction of Charbonnet and Phillips as Isolde and Brangane suggested an erotic attachment that strengthens the motivation for Brangane’s well-meaning betrayal of the pair in Act I. The staging likewise suggested a similar possibility—and interesting implications—in the relationship of Tristan and King Marke.”
    “an unforgettable and thrilling operatic experience”
    “Rarely has a better cast been assembled. All of the singers did more than make it through Wagner’s superhuman demands, they sang the roles with conviction. There was some magnificent vocalism on the stage, delivered by fine singing actors. They even looked like their roles; so much so that a film of the opera could not have been better cast on purely visual merits alone.”
    Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Clifton Forbis,Mary Phillips,Jukka Rasilainen,Kristinn Sigmundsson

    • Chanterelle

      Peter Sellars introduced a homoerotic thread in The Tristan Project--he theorized a bond between Marke and Tristan in the program notes.

  • Feldmarschallin

    here the Gottschalk show with Jonas Kaufmann who comes in at 14.37. He sings Zueignung and they talk about opera etc.