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“You call that a trill?”

La Cieca invites the cher public to engage in lively but non-violent discourse on off-topic and general interest subjects.

349 comments

  • antikitschychick says:

    Vid of Angela Meade talking about how she made her Met debut…this is in anticipation of the Richard Tucker Gala airing on PBS next Friday (can’t wait!!!!)

    She is fabulous…and funny! Can’t wait to hear her live this Feb! :-D

    • MontyNostry says:

      Am I imagining it, or does she look rather like Ruth Ann Swenson? (And I’m sorry, but I don’t hear beauty or individuality in her tone, though she is obviously a more than decent singer.)

      • antikitschychick says:

        you’re not imagining it Monty. I see a slight resemblance between them as well…speaking of Ruth Ann Swenson, she is a singer I really need to hear more of as I really did like the little I have heard of her.

        As for Angela not possessing individuality of tone, well we all have our tastes and I certainly respect yours. I will say that I do hear a distinctive quality in her (very polished though not quite voluptuous) sound. Tbh though, I only really thought she sounded truly ‘beautiful’ in Norma. That casta diva and that mira o norma duet with Jamie Barton were downright gorgeous imo. Before hearing her take on that role though, my general impression of her was that she was a very good singer, very accomplished, but after hearing her tear the final scene to shreds I was like um, yeah she’s a superstar lol. Definitely one of the anointed ones and a distant cousin of Joan Otherland for sure :-P .

  • zinka says:

    I wanted to share with you a note i just received from the brother of my first opera buddy,Richard.. We were 15…and sang along with Gina Cigna’s Norma..and we went to my first opera. Richard passed away of AIDS several years ago,and suddenly his brother Paul wrote this to me.I was overcome with emotion…We were inseparable friends and I will never forget our fun times together….

    “I need to tell you about our recent trip to Milan

    Before Richard died he gave instructions for his partner, Gregg, to spread some of his ashes in certain spots around the world

    As part of this request Gregg went to Milan and secretly spread some of ashes in La Scala and some at Verdi’s tomb

    When we were there at the end of October we somehow got tickets to see a wonderful performance of Aida at La Scala plus visit my brother

    We also hired a guide who took us to Verdi’s tomb which is part of a very unique retirement home for musicians

    Our guide had contacted the Director of the home so we could get a tour

    When we were there our guide told the Director that “Richard was there”.

    For a while she kind of freaked out thinking that everyone who loved opera would be there dumping ashes but eventually regained her composure and gave us a wonderful tour

    Even in death Richard still has an impact on people and the opera world”

    Smile

  • WindyCityOperaman says:

    I guess I only dreamed I had posted today’s birthday tributes . . .

    Born on this day in 1698 poet and librettist Pietro Metastasio

    Born on this day in 1869 composer Charles Levadé

    Born on this day in 1914 conductor Rudolf Neuhaus

    Born on this day in 1926 mezzo-soprano Nell Rankin

    Born on this day in 1930 tenor Gerd Brenneis

    Happy 70th birthday conductor David Atherton

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    BTW Manou you can leave the furs at home since it will be 10-12 degrees here. More Spring than Jan. but not complaining here. My bulbs are starting to show and according to the papers there is not winter in sight here for Jan and Feb. Hope you and Fidelia have good travelling conditions. See you both tomorrow and Jonas is still listed as of this morning.

    • manou says:

      Thank you Feld. I am looking forward to Forza with or without Jonas.

      I am yet to make the momentous decision as to what to wear -- all my ballgowns are being colour-coded at the moment be several minions to help me pick one. I shall be accessorized with Mr Manou in any event.

      Off to pack my several trunks soon.

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    BTW make to sure check out the gorgeous Valentino evening dress in the window of Valentino on the Maximiliansstraße opposite the Vier Jahreszeiten. Gold lace with long sleeves and you would be the belle at the Garden in that dress.

    • manou says:

      If you mean this

      http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=60160793

      I fear you are in for a serious disappointment…

      Lowering your expectations is now mandatory.

      • Feldmarschallin says:

        My God I think that is the dress! How did you know or is the same frock hanging in the window in Bond Street? I said it was gold but it really isn’t and I saw it only as I was riding in the streetcar after the last Forza. But it is more beige than gold.

    • MontyNostry says:

      Out of interest, do they dress up for the opera in Munich (I mean the audience, not the singers)? The last time I was there was in 1992 for the Festspiele. I have seen German opera-lovers looking a bit overdressed at other venues around Europe in their Smokings and Pailletten when everyone else was a bit more casual.

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    Well for Premieres and Festspiele yes. Certain operas also are dressy than others. Strauss and Wagner for one and also if big names are singing. I mean that Valentino dress would be appropriate for the Premiere of Forza with Harteros and Kaufmann or for a Festspiele performance of a big opera or the opening of the Festspiele.

    • MontyNostry says:

      Interesting … something like that Valentino number would be too much on pretty much any evening at Covent Garden -- unless worn by an actress hoping to get an award when the place is taken over by the BAFTAs.
      A friend of mine who grew up in Germany once persuaded me to wear black tie/smoking/tuxedo for the first night of a revival of Turandot at the ROH, quite some time ago. I think the other people in the audience thought I was a waiter.
      Do people still wear evening dress for almost anything at the Salzburg Festival?

      • Feldmarschallin says:

        Salzburg is extremely dressy. Much more than Bayreuth and more than big premieres or opening of the Festspiele here. Not only do you have much on prominence there such as the Begum and her mother Renate Thyssen who are always dripping in jewels but you have Porsches and rich Italians from Milano and rich and nobled Viennese including the famous Manny who turned 80 or 90 this year. I saw Gloria Vanderbildt there one year in a red dress and huge diamond necklace that would put The Queen to shame. Bayreuth on the other hand is much more low key and towards the end of the Festspiele even dowdy. But you can expect to find people in evening dresses with jewels and smokings at an 11.00 concert with the Wiener Philharmoniker which I find way too much and I like to dress up. I recall one year I was there and Norman gave a concert with Karajan and I thought it was 11 in the morning and wore dark blue Valentino silk which I had bought in Rome and I was the only one not in smoking or evening dress. I felt underdressed and that was the only time in my life that that happened to me.

        • MontyNostry says:

          It doesn’t sound as though Salzburg has changed much since I was last there, then, which is now quite a long time ago. It always felt like some sort of very lavish exhibition of waxworks -- stiff and joyless. I’m sure the dark blue Valentino was far more elegant than all the mid-80s finery around you at that Karajan-Norman concert (1986, if I am not mistaken).

      • grimoaldo says:

        Have you been to Glyndebourne Monty? You see some interesting sights there.

        • manou says:

          That dress would be OTT even for Glyndebourne, grim. Although you are right to say there are some extraordinary sights there. Le spectacle est dans la salle (et dans les jardins).

          Poor Feld is in for a shock!

        • MontyNostry says:

          Haven’t been to Glyndebourne for about 15 years, grim, and I certainly wouldn’t choose to go there for people-watching. Let’s face it, the British (upper-)middle class at play is not noted for its chic. The members of the audience usually end up looking (and probably smelling) as though they have raided the dressing-up box. If I ever go again I flatly refuse to shlep from Victoria Station in black tie at lunchtime. It’ll be a lounge suit for me.

          • grimoaldo says:

            Yes, I didn’t like to say “you can usually tell at one glance which ladies are visitors from the Continent” but that is usually the case.
            They have an annexe with rooms for audience members to change in if you don’t want to embarrass yourself by being in evening dress on the train.
            I have seen audience members there in t-shirts and jeans, and once even barefoot, maybe deliberately to try to shock, but nobody paid much attention, they let them in.

      • oedipe says:

        Well, in Paris only some tourists dress up. It’s always fashionable casual or shabby chic. Which doesn’t necessarily mean cheap…

        By the way, here is “les soldes” at the very trendy (and expensive) luxury designer store Colette:

        http://zupimages.net/up/14/01/oa9g.jpg

        Crisis? What crisis?

  • WindyCityOperaman says:

    Born on this day in 1710 composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

    Born on this day in 1869 conductor Percy Pitt

    Born on this day in 1881 conductor and impersario Gaetano Merola

    Born on this day in 1892 baritone André Baugé

    Happy 91st birthday composer Flavio Testi

    Happy 77th birthday soprano/mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry

    Happy 65th birthday soprano Margaret Marshall

    Happy 60th birthday tenor Peter Seiffert