Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

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Remember me!

Take a boozy short leave of your nymphos on shore, and enjoy your weekly intermission chat, cher public.

557 comments

  • Camille says:

    MADAME LA CIECA! Our Intermission Feature from Last Week is now so overpregnant it has become OctoMom! Can you please return from the salon de beauté from your mani/pedi/facial and anti-cellulite treatments to feed your starving children, please?

    Now I am worried about you. Are you cleaning up after Isaac???

  • Camille says:

    MARSCHIE II !!! Achtung—cannot find where to put this so will tack it on the end of this donkey:

    Superb Sutherland and Richard Conrad in Alaide’s entrance strophes plus duetto. Mr. Conrad was a countertenor back in olden times, long before the popular vague of the lSt two decades.

    • marshiemarkII says:

      Wow Wow Wow Camille Belle what gorgeous sounds she makes, she really is “metafisici”. It really is one of the most glorious voices of all time no doubt!!!!
      Brava St Joan!

    • Camille says:

      That is strange. After all these years of not hearing her sing this, I believe I have come to prefer the Caballé version, especially her languid opening tempo:


      Maybe I shall repair to Casa della Scotto to listen to hers as well.

    • marshiemarkII says:

      Caballe is also metafisici in this:

      • marshiemarkII says:

        The cabaletta starting about 7:00 is simply spectacular!

        But here, same version better sonics, you really hear the voce di vagina (MMII tm :-) )

        • marshiemarkII says:

          that was the cover of the LPs I had in college, ah the memories……

          • Camille says:

            MarschallinaII!!

            Well then,

            After exhaustive listening to the posts of my beloved Strange Lady, I have to concede the palm to Montsy. Simply sublime.

            Renata is absolutely wonderful in certain portions and so is St. Joan. I could not choose between them. Montsy just whups ass, though, no two ways about it.

            All for now and buonanotte from
            Camille Bells

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Cammilita Belle look what you hast wrought!!!! You brought memories from my earliest youth, it was that recording above in LPs of course that persuaded me that there was a world beyond the Only Maria!!!! because that full voice dramatic singing was the equivalent (if not ever the same,) plus that voce di vagina (MMII tm), again, was as close to the Only Maria as you could get. And THAT was so many years ago…… and thanks to you I have reacquainted myself with that Strange Woman. Very special

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Sorry I have not heard the Piccola Renata just yet, to be able to opine, but I was really busy today. But soon we shall return to that glorious Strange One.

          • Camille says:

            Now I cam sleep in santa pace for that makes me so very happy

            The witching hour doth strike! Hence away

            Big hugs amd love
            Cow Bells

        • Vergin Vezzosa says:

          A deep thanks to Camille and MarshiemarkSegundo for the Straniera postings. I had totally forgotten about the Stupendous One’s excerpt and appreciated a refresher on MC and RS. I agree that Caballe’s is the belle at the ball, especially since in the Scotto I think Sanzogno (?) moved Isoletta’s number someplace else in the action and upset the already marginally coherent plot.

          Thanks also to the Kid for the Beatrice clip over on the Anna Bolena thread and to Hippolyte for the heads up on the Meade Beatrice at Carnegie Hall in December. I have never managed to hear it live and am just bursting with anticipation.

      • Camille says:

        How utterly glorious she was.

        It is wonderful to hear her sing a C in alt in full voice, not laden with those ppppppppp’s that Clita DT didn’t care for.

        • marshiemarkII says:

          I had the same problem with Montsy as Clita, when she overdid the pppp she drove me to distraction, but when she let it all out there was no one like her! I saw both Montsys, including a tu che la vanita that was sung between ppp and ppppppppp in dynamic range, vile!!! but in some recitals at Carnegie Hall she really let it rip and how!!!

          • Camille says:

            Oh say, MarschallinII, were you there at her Carnegie concert in the spring of 1979? Unforgettable, divine madness

    • Krunoslav says:

      Cher(e) Camille

      Wouldn’t one say that Richard Conrad was singing as an “haute contre” on this LP set? And at a time, the mid-60s, when Alfred Deller and Russell Oberlin were both very well-established a countertenors, if not as frequent stage performers?

      Sorry for the literal-mindedness…

      • Camille says:

        Oh do not be sorry at all as upon hearing Mr. Conrad again I immediately felt that he was not a countertenor, or not quite exactly. I am afraid to be at a loss for the exact definition of terms for the ‘haut contre’, but somehow feel it may be a better definition of what he is representing? I do not know very much about this category of vocal production. Perhaps Mr. Conrad is singing more in the manner the French did before the advent of the almighty god of l’Ut de Poitrine?? I do not know, once more.

        Yes, Mr. Deller and Mr. Oberlin, very true, however did they sing any romantic ottocento operas to speak of? I always associate Mr. Deller with earlier epochs of music and Oberlin I fear I knew naught of at all, at that time.

        In the sixties these fellows were as scarce as hens teeth. Bad analogy, perhaps, but you get the idea. One would scarcely have found them on any regular basis at a major opera house, I think.

        • marshiemarkII says:

          I also thought the same thing but didn’t want to be contrarian, but Monsieur Conrad sounded to me like a “man”, albeit a high tenor like Nicola Monti for example, as opposed to today’s countertenors that sound like gurls, e.g. mezzos or contraltos.

          By the way L’ut de Poitrine = voce di vagina, if the ut is the low ut, of course! and so much more elegant :-)

          • Camille says:

            Voce di vagina equals a high C????? Bb no good?

            I’m glad you’ve trademarked it as well!

          • Cocky Kurwenal says:

            The very first time I put on that record when I bought it at the tender(ish) age of 15, I had only heard of Sutherland out of the 3 listed singers. For some reason, I started with the Semiramide duet and after Sutherland’s initial exposition, I was perfectly sure and confident that this must now be Richard Conrad, tenor who I am listening to. If I am not mistaken (I might be) the mezzo comes in in b-flat major -- it wasn’t until Horne hit an e-flat a compound minor 3rd above middle c in about the third phrase that I thought I’d better check the box, and realised the error I had made. Imagine how confused I then was on hearing Conrad’s delicate cadenzas in the Straniera number!

          • marshiemarkII says:

            Camille Belle, in trying to be camp I think I obfuscated rather than clarified the delicate definition of Voce di Vagina (MMII tm).

            I know that what you meant by L’Ut de Poitrine was the idea of Rossini tenors taking the chest voice all the way up to high C (who was it the first, Rubini?) which had not been done up to that point, with high tenors singing only in head voice, and sounding more like Conrad than Jon Vickers.

            Somehow I got carried away with the sheer camp sound of L’Ut de Poitrine and retrofitted it to fit with the voice needed for a LOW Ut, namely a genuine plunging Voix de Poitrine, which is the very definition of Voce di Vagina (MMII tm). Somehow it all became more confusing than clarifying.

            So final definition:
            Voce di Vagina = Voix de Poitrine = Chest Voice

          • Camille says:

            Very well then liebste Marschallina!

            The first Ut de Poitrine came feom the throat of one Gilbert Duprez, whom I have never forgiven for the wholesale destruction of the career of The Great Adolphe Nourrit, a genial gentleman of an artist whose life ended so tragically.

        • Krunoslav says:

          “In the sixties these fellows were as scarce as hens teeth. Bad analogy, perhaps, but you get the idea. One would scarcely have found them on any regular basis at a major opera house, I think.”

          No--no more than one would have found Richard Conrad!

      • Camille says:

        It is chère Camille.

        I am a little old lady.

        One with a sordid past, however, so undue reverence and courtesies are hardly necessary.

  • Nerva Nelli says:

    NT: ANNALS OF IGNORANCE, continued

    WHY does Allan Kozinn consent to cover mainstream opera, about which he evidently knows and cares little? Today’s NYT review of JENUFA not only tells the story in depth (of an opera repeatedly heard in NYC most recently in 2007 at the Met) and fails to specify how the greatly reduced orchestration in the Opera Slavic performance he heard affected the work (we are told it “conveyed that energy fully”, that’s it.)

    It also characterizes JENUFA as “a throughly wintry work” of “almost ceaseless grimness”. So much for the Jano scene, the extended drunken dancing at Steva’s entrance, the big Act I concertato ( minor key but hardly “grim”), Jenufa’s Marian prayer, the dance and song of the marriage crashers and the radiant final scene. This grimness is said to be apt as “much of the… Russian and Czech repertory… is set in dark, chilly landscapes.”

    YOU know -- just like THE BARTERED BRIDE, THE TWO WIDOWS, THE DEVIL AND KATE, THE STONE GUEST, RUSLAN AND LUDMILLA, JUDITH, THE MAID OF ORLEANS, IOLANTA, SALAMMBO, PRINCE IGOR

    and better still

    …SADKO, THE STONE GUEST, THE ORESTEIA, RAPHAEL, SERVILIA, THE GOLDEN COCKEREL, ALEKO, FRANCESCA DA RIMINI, MADDALENA, FLAMING ANGEL, BETROTHAL IN A MONASTERY, ARMIDA, JULIETTA, THE GREEK PASSION and LE ROSSIGNOL.

    Surely one unit set of an onion-domed igloo by the Winter Canal would serve equally for all of these works (and the “cool, Nordic” voices they require)!

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    Kent Nagano accepts Göteborg contract for 6-7 weeks per season starting from the fall of 2013.

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    Here two shorts excerpts of the Verdi Requiem from Salzburg plus a review. The ladies came across better apprarently as the men.
    http://www.br.de/radio/br-klassik/sendungen/leporello/salzburger-festspiele-verdi-requiem100.html

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    I have been meaning to write a few words about several new CD’s which I have recently acquired. I have been seeing the new double Martha Mödl around for a few months now and thought at first that it was all old things that I had on complete recordings but other than the Sieglinde from Bayreuth 1954 it is all new to me. What surprised me the most was at how easy and free her top was in the Götterdämmerung from Vichy 1957 under Georges Sebastian. That and the Tristan excerpts which are from two venues (1955 Royal Festival Hall under Leitner and 1958 Prinzregententheater under Keilberth. Here like in the Götterdämmerung she is in excellent voice with a free and easy top which isnt always the case with her. There are also Wesendonck Lieder from 59 with Keilberth conducting which are different from the ones I previously knew. On the second CD are also later things when she sang smaller roles and it has Bluthochzeit from Fortner, Melusine from Reimann and Pique Dame. These are all from the 60′s-80′s. The name of the CD is Martha Mödl The portrait of a legend on Profil Hännsler.
    Next are Tristan excerpts from the Met from 1933 with Frida Leider on Edition Frida Leider. I have most of the other things on various labels from the Met 30-40s and have to say this is one of the worst sounding recordings with sometimes on minutes of music and not in very listenable quality. But Leider is in stupendous voice as is Melchior and Schorr. The bonus is the Brangänge of Maria Olszewska which was new to me and what a voice she has. Again only for those interested in great historical singing since the quality is not very good.
    The Frida Leider society also has produced a CD of Getrude Bindernagl which I only knew from a Liebestod in the past. What a great dramtic soprano with a huge voice and easy top. Other than the Tristan there is no other Wagner and she sang quite a diverse repetory such as Margarethe, Eboli, Figaro Gräfin (quite good), Oberon and Aida. I listened to all my finds at least 5 times which in my book means they are worth listening to.

    • Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Interesting stuff, Feldmarschallin. Personally, when it comes to Modl who I do really admire and enjoy, I find that the febrile intensity is so strong and so intense that everything comes out a bit the same, so she isn’t a singer I’ve ever collected duplicate performances of (as in the same role on different occasions). However, Modl in Gotterdammerung with a free top IS a rather novel notion and I’ll bet it makes a difference.

  • zinka says:

    Born Sept.10, 1924..I’ma Shmuck had a range of 6798 octaves…especially when she gets MADDDDDDD!

  • zinka says:

    When La Cieca sees this version this week at La Fenice..he will get up and yell…”Ma,Verdi non ha scritto questo!!!”
    But he DID!!!!! I prefer it the way we hear it..but if we did not know..we would just accept it….