Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • lyrebird: I heard Magee in Britten’s War Requiem in Berlin (BPO Rattle) and she was the best thing in... 4:15 AM
  • NPW-Paris: … oops, I hadn’t finished! … but doesn’t meet them, it was a very special... 1:23 AM
  • NPW-Paris: “EarnestR 21;. That is very well put. I may quote you on that. Even so,and despite a very... 1:22 AM
  • la vociaccia: Few things here: I’m done with the “give her time” meme. The time to hope... 12:35 AM
  • warmke: A bit harsh. Typical American schooled singer, more focused on evenness of resonance than the curve... 11:23 PM
  • Camille: Just now, remembering how well Poplavskaya played Elisabeth’s scene. I won’t see that... 11:23 PM
  • whiskey per tutti: You are correct. It had the imprimatur of the Kurt Weill Foundation. Conducted by Julius... 10:46 PM
  • warmke: Damned AutoCorrect. 10:32 PM
  • warmke: He was, according to many inside reports, asked to retire from Washington National Opera, which he... 10:31 PM
  • PCally: yeah that’s probably the role for her, and I would like to see how she would act it. 10:25 PM

In the day of success

Just as, back in 1955, dear Vivien Leigh discovered about the Weird Sisters, La Cieca today is ready today to say of her cher public, “I have learned by the perfectest report they have more in them than mortal knowledge.” Or, to put it in less allusive terms, it’s time for you to put your skills to the test in yet another voice identification quiz, this one with a Scottish theme.

Your doyenne’s precious little sister DeCaffarrelli—I call her little in spite of the fact she’s somewhat older than I. Just slightly. Less than a year—well, anyway, DeCaffarrelli has devised yet another potpourri of live performances by divas obscure and, uh, not so obscure. Between the 18 of them, they sing the entrance aria of Lady Macbeth from Verdi’s masterpiece, and it’s up to you to discern who is whom.

Make your guesses in the comments section below, and the first commenter to guess all 18 correctly in the proper order—or, failing that, the commenter with the highest number of correct identifications as of midnight on Friday, August 10—will win a coveted Amazon.com Gift Card. The other usual parterre rules apply, naturally.

Here’s the clip, cher public, and off you go!

Lady Macbeth Quiz


  • javier says:

    Larmore is definately here:

    Lately I have been really enjoying the radio broadcast recording of Larmore’s Lady Macbeth. She’s awesome.

    Voigt is also quite good as well. Too bad she doesn’t sing like this anymore.

    • Larmone s unrecognizable in that clip. The singing has none of the veiled sound that Mary her mezzo work. Loved the ornamentation too.

      • Cocky Kurwenal says:

        I think Larmore’s Lady Macbeth is kind of dire. It sounded too good to be true and Lo! it was. 3 different voices now (at least), the only one of which seems to work is the top -- the middle is hollow and virtually never in tune. And the much lauded ornamentation just seems laboured.

        I really like Larmore’s recordings from her major Rossini/Handel etc days, and I enjoyed her as Countess Geschwitz at Covent Garden.

  • stevey says:

    Ok, as predicted, Mr. Fickle here is going to make a couple of changes. Here we go:

    1) Maria Callas
    2) Marisa Galvany
    3) Tiziana Fabbricini
    4) Cristina Deutekom
    5) Liudmyla Monastryska
    6) Anja Silja
    7) Deborah Voigt
    8) Maria Guleghina
    9) Adelaide Negri
    10) Irene Dalis
    11) Christa Ludwig
    12) Grace Bumbry
    13) Elena Suliotis
    14) Carol Vaness
    15) Renata Scotto
    16) Jennifer Larmore
    17) Mara Zampieri
    18) Astrid Varnay

  • Camille says:

    This gave me a migraine. Not the Marschallin kind, either.

    1) CALLAS, M.

    2) GALVANY, M.


    4) DEUTEKOM, C.

    5) VOIGT, D.

    6) SILJA, A.

    7) GENCER, L.

    8) SHUARD, A.

    9) BALTSA, A.


    11) LUDWIG, C.

    12) DIMITROVA, G.

    13) SULIOTIS, E.

    14) URMANA, V.

    15) SCOTTO, R.

    16) LARMORE, J.

    17) ZAMPIERI, M.

    18) VARNAY, A.

    There are two or three I remain unconvinced of, and there will probably be even more which are incorrect(!), but I haven’t the courage any longer to screw to a sticking post!

    • Camille says:

      This is just to reiterate the obvious: I am not totally convinced about number 18) being Birgit Nilsson, but she is my final answer, O Quizmaster!

      And not Astrid Varnay, as in the original list.

      I look forward to finding out who REALLY was singing and how the hell that happy face icon always comes up at #8.

      Good luck, steven, my dearest!

  • Camille says:

    18) NILSSON, B.

    emendo il fallo.

  • spiderman says:

    the ones i am pretty sure about
    1. Callas
    2. Galvany
    3. Fabbricini
    4. ?
    5. Voigt
    6. Silja
    7. Gencer
    8. ?
    9. Zajick