Headshot of La Cieca

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The meme that wouldn’t die

La Cieca (pictured, lower right) has had time on her hands and access to Photoshop, a lethal combination—especially the day the new Anna Netrebko Verdi album cover has been leaked. There’s more where this came from over at Facebook.

59 comments

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    I can’t figure out why they would make this recording with Noseda -- with zero pizzaz.

    • Porgy Amor says:

      I read some time ago that Netrebko is a big fan of Noseda’s and loves singing with him. He conducted her first DG disc when the world was young. Maybe she wanted him for him.

      To give him his due, while he’s not a maestro I follow closely, I have heard him lead some excellent performances. There was a live Schumann 2nd that stacked up well against anyone’s.

      • Porgy Amor says:

        Oh, Christ. “Maybe she wanted him for THIS.”

      • Regina delle fate says:

        He was an assistant conductor at the Mariinsky when Anna was a member of the ensemble, so he probably conducted all her early Sonnambulas and Lucias. They go back a long way.

  • Opera Teen says:

    Cieca, these are the definition of perfect. Now, imagine her head on an Awkward Family Photo! ;-)

    • Regina delle fate says:

      Speaking of “awkward families”, Erwin has just pulled out of the Deutsche Oper’s concertante Attila. They say he’s sick, but I bet there will be alarm bells ringing in Floral Street re his Procida in the upcoming Herheim Vêpres at the Garden, which has already lost its choreographer….Does anyone know if he has sung any of the big Verdi bass roles anywhere on stage?

      • grimoaldo says:

        The new production of Vêpres was supposed to be a collaboration between the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet with the full ballet of the Four Seasons performed in Act Three by artists of the Royal Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet Not just the choreographer but the Royal Ballet the Royal Danish Ballet and the Royal Ballet school have all walked out and the Four Seasons ballet pulled from the show.
        ROH press statement: “As a result of artistically differing approaches to the project between Johan Kobborg and director Stefan Herheim, Johan Kobborg and The Royal Ballet will no longer be working on this production.”

        “There will still be a strong element of dance in the production, however no longer featuring Artists from The Royal Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet and students from The Royal Ballet School.”

        It is all rather moot in my opinion anyway however since the star soprano will be the wretched Popsy, I shudder to think what she will be like, casting her is a desecration to Verdi and this great opera.

    • Big Finn says:

      The FB series is simply grand, standing ovation to La Cieca! -- I have an inspired addition to the series in jpg format, where to mail?

  • oedipe says:

    For personal reasons, Roberto Alagna renounces his participation in the new Alceste production which will open in September at Palais Garnier. Yann Beuron will replace him for the whole run.

    • A. Poggia Turra says:

      Differences with Olivier Py, perhaps?

      • oedipe says:

        L’histoire ne le dit pas…

        I think it would be either too early, or too late for differences with Py at this point. The rehearsals will not start till August, but the general theme of the production must have been known to everybody for some time now.

  • aulus agerius says:

    She has never seemed to be happy with her lips. Remember the ON cover with the cherry? The lips were ‘filled out’ in the most obvious fashion. Reminded me of my senior English lit teacher who after lunch had her valentine lips painted on in the most entertaining way!

  • Noel Dahling says:

    Does anyone know what the track listing will be? Or have a wish list? I would like to see Ritorna vincitor, Tu che le vanita…

    • la vociaccia says:

      I think Tu Che will be on it, but I didn’t see anything about Aida on a press release. Sleepwalking scene, Giovanna D’arco, definitely a duet from Trov (with Villazon) so maybe the act 1V scena as well. Also mentioned Vespri so probably “Arrigo…” (unless she’s gonna go stare the potential tide of trill-doubt in the face and do the Bolero).

      So no Aida, but on the plus side the press release indicated that she would be doing the first act of OTELLO in concert at Verbier, which is good news since I believe it was mentioned that Desdemona was on her ‘not-interested’ list at some point

      • Maury D says:

        I was thrilled with her not-interested list, as I seem to remember it including Desdemona and Marguerite, both of which I find powerfully soporific. Now I’m told she’s not interested in Tosca--some quote about “you all just want to see me murder the baritone!”--which seems like a shame. The voice is ripe for Puccini, right? If it weren’t a voice killer, I’d love to hear Turandot, even.

        • kashania says:

          Wasn’t Butterfly also on her not-interested list? Great shame.

        • la vociaccia says:

          Voice killer, yes, but Turandot also exposes and magnifies even the slightest intonation idiosyncrasies. Those little slides in the macbeth aria would stick out like a sore thumb. I don’t think it would compliment her. Liu might be pretty good, though

        • Porgy Amor says:

          “Don’t say Tosca! Because I am so tired of this. Everybody wants me to sing Tosca, come on. They want me to kill baritone, because they think it’s sexy.”

          I find Desdemona a fascinating character (both in Shakespeare and in Verdi/Boito), certainly richer and deeper and easier to make something of than some of the ones Netrebko has sung, with exquisite music along with it. I was disappointed at first to hear she wouldn’t be doing it, but I’ve made my peace with it. A soprano who finds Desdemona boring will most likely be a boring Desdemona…or Liu, or Marguerite.

      • Cocky Kurwenal says:

        Maybe Tebs and her trills should be the next Parterre canard for debunking. I heard Netrebko sing the Bolero live with an absolutely exemplary prolonged trill at the Royal Albert Hall in I think 2012. I know I wasn’t the only contributor present. I’m no Netrebko apologist and agree that her trills as heard the majority of the time in Bellini and Donizetti were rather smudged and far from exemplary. However, whether she has got them together generally, or the particular context in the Bolero makes it work for her, or even if it was a complete fluke (it didn’t sound like a fluke -- far too pristine for that), the fact is that she is capable of an excellent trill at least in certain circumstances.

        I’m really pleased she’s doing Act I of Otello in Verbier, I really hope she does the whole role.

        • armerjacquino says:

          Yep, I was also at that concert and Cocky’s dead right.

          Garbo talks, Netrebko trills.

    • Buster says:

      1. Macbeth: Nel dì della vittoria io le incontrai
      2. Macbeth: Vieni, t’affretta!
      3. Macbeth: Or tutti sorgete, ministri infernali
      4. Macbeth:La luce langue
      5. Macbeth:Una macchia è qui tuttora
      6. Giovanna d’Arco: Qui! Qui, dove più s’apre
      7. Giovanna d’Arco:O fatidica foresta
      8. I Vespri Siciliani: Arrigo! Ah, parli a un core Vespri Siciliani
      9. I Vespri Siciliani: Mercé, dilette amiche
      10. Don Carlo: Tu che le vanità … Francia, nobile suol
      11. Il trovatore: Vanne, lasciami
      12. Il trovatore: D’amor sull’ali rosee
      13. Il trovatore: Miserere … Quel suon, quelle preci
      14. Il trovatore: Tu vedrai che amore in terra

      • la vociaccia says:

        Ahhhh, so the miserere is the duet, duh. didn’t think of that. Thanks buster!

      • grimoaldo says:

        Now there is someone I would look forward to hearing in a complete Vêpres.
        The “duet with Villazon” appears to consist of him singing the off stage contributions in the Miserere.

        • la vociaccia says:

          Double the post double the fun! This is for you grim

        • Gualtier M says:

          Frankly Trebs and Mr. Bean probably don’t have to be in the same room at the same time to do the Miserere. Villazon can record his track separately and they can mix it in.

        • antikitschychick says:

          Thanks for providing a link to the score Grim…I didn’t know the cavatina was split into several sections, mea culpa for not checking the score prior to my post :-P
          ALSO, thank you for uploading the vid of that Macbeth performance…I had not seen it and I must say I really liked it!

          Conceptually, I really like the production, and you are totally right about the witches…Thomas Hampson sounds really good in this role (his voice is seamless from top to bottom and sings with great musicality; I also took notice of the easiness of his upper register…he could perhaps have a go at some tenor parts if he wanted to, as he is a pretty high Baritone)…

          I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lady Macbeth’s costume here and how she’s chained up during the vieni aria/cabaletta…I also loved how they staged her la luce langue aria as well…very clever…
          Truth be told I am not familiar with her (the performer who sings LM) so perhaps I am making a rash judgement, but my overall impression is that the role is too heavy for her and she has intonation problems throughout the perf…the instrument itself is good and the overall sound is pleasant but I do think that vocally she was miscast in this role…my fav Macbeth performance so far is the ROH one with Simon Keenlyside and LuMi, (which has also been uploaded in its entirety on yt btw) though I’ve also been meaning to check out one with Leo Nucci in the title role.

      • antikitschychick says:

        Are they really going to split up the Macbeth tracks like that??? How can the letter reading be considered an aria/track when she’s not even singing??? That’s kind of a rip off lol

        I agree she should have included some arias from Aida and also some of the heavier Puccini would have been nice…and I read there was supposed to be a duet with Johan Botha for Otello…I hope it didn’t get cut.

        • spiderman says:

          well … as the next track starts with “vieni! t’affretta” there IS something to sing … “ambizioso spirto, tu sei macbetto”, even including the first of Lady M’s high cs!

          • antikitschychick says:

            ok, fair enough, but why is “vieni! t’afretta” a separate track from “or tutti sorgete”, I mean isn’t that the second verse of the vieni aria??? Or is it marked as a separate aria in the score?

          • grimoaldo says:

            It is called “scena e cavatina” and is in several sections, reading of the letter, recit and intro, cavatina, servant enters and says the king is coming there that night, cabaletta “Or tutti sorgete.”
            You can see the vocal score here if you are interested:

            http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/variations/scores/bhr5405/large/index.html

          • grimoaldo says:

            And on the subject of Macbeth, someone has recently uploaded the David Poutney production from Zurich with Thomas Hampson, which I saw in San Francisco, and has my all time favourite witches in it.
            Oh how I love these witches, I have remembered them fondly for years and now I can see them whenever I like!
            Check out the opening scene, it is great:

          • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

            It’s also a tricky way to get people to pay more for the aria if they just download and pay by tracks on ITunes and the like. Maybe they can make a track marker for some “che dici”s and charge $.99 for them.

  • Buster says:

    Very funny, and as a bonus La Cieca gives Anna her neck back.

  • Constantine A. Papas says:

    Anna is on a roll. Done with the “inas,” she’s ready for the big stuff.

  • MontyNostry says:

    OT, but La Cieca will certainly forgive me. An hommage to la petite Renata on France Musique, with the inimitably florid André Tubeuf.

    http://sites.radiofrance.fr/francemusique/em/traverses-temps/emission.php?e_id=100000060&d_id=515008623

    • manou says:

      If you find André Tubeuf “inimitably florid” -- have you ever heard Alain Duault?

      • MontyNostry says:

        I think I met Alain Duault once, but I have read Tubeuf frequently (and possibly even tried to translate him once or twice).

  • Tenorfach says:

    There is only one thing to say to that Verdi cover …………………. OMFG!!! Who let the cartoonist loose on Photoshop!?? hahahahha

    Brilliant alternative covers from Le Cieca.

  • Donna Anna says:

    Brava, Cieca. What a tour de force. Or farce, in view of all the kerfuffle over the design.
    I’ll be back later with a report on Don Giovanni starring Angela Meade.