Cher Public

Bridge over troubled writer

Ineffable Igor Toronyi-Lalic (pictured, right) either spouts a novel canard or perhaps just froths incoherently. La Cieca will let you be the judge.

  • Krunoslav

    Someone paid him to write that column?

    • Well, they paid him in pounds, so it hardly counts.

      • operadent

        Pounds of what? (I can’t believe it was Sterling.)

  • pavel

    Oh, that Princess Margaret! Such wit!

  • Its interesting that there are enough articles being written about opera in the English press that there are links once or twice a week here. Not so much for the North American papers or periodicals.

    Also rather fascinating that since things British are so dreadful and ridiculous that so much space is allotted to them.

    • Indiana Loiterer III

      It’s the difference between the higher reaches of British and American print journalism; the British devote more attention to the arts in general than the Americans do. Given the way the higher reaches of American journalism seem to be going, one should be thankful for small favors; considering the hash the likes of the Weekly Standard and the American Spectator make of movies, would you really want to read them on opera?

      • Indiana L III -- frankly no and that was my point. Guess I just didn’t express it well enough.

    • la vociaccia

      Or, more importantly, this is a dreadful article that deserves to be ridiculed. Period

      • Regina delle fate

        Oh, La V, Toronyi-Lalic is a professional attention-seeker, so he will love the attention he gets here more than the probable pittance -- in pounds -- he will be getting paid by The Speccie for this verbal diarrhoea. I certainly wouldn’t have noticed it if La Cieca hadn’t posted it here.

  • E-news

    Oh, we’re using the word “trannie” in arts criticism now? Good to know.

    • If for no other reason, there ought to be an “Igor Toronyi- Lalic is a douchebag” tag.

      • Regina delle fate

        He’s known as Ego Toronyi-Lalic over on this side of the pond.

    • I thought it was a little portable radio. Does that make me old?

  • -Ed.

    Maybe this is one of those things that makes sense in England but not in the US? I read the article three times and I’m still searching for his plot. One almost needs Dramamine. During one of his benders he careened rather close to one of my ongoing complaints about opera recordings and broadcasts — the over-active camera operators always zooming and panning and panning and zooming and generally fiddling with their knobs, like school boys at summer camp.

    • armerjacquino

      Believe me, nothing The Spectator publishes makes sense to this Brit. It’s as representative of the range of British opinion as Fox News is of the US.

      • Regina delle fate

        Hehe -- that’s about it Armerj -- when we get our own Fox News, Ego T-L will prosper.

    • -Ed.

      Well,.. Mr. Toronyi-Lalic could ask someone to write the BBC and persuade them to broadcast my latest fascination which, for a few minutes at least, would allay his fears of too close close-ups.

      • antikitschychick

        absolutely gorgeous singing! Thanks for sharing this Ed. Interesting to watch her sing it with her face covered. I definitely admire her but her facial expressions can be crazy distracting at times and its something she never worked on monitoring/controlling so this gives the audience an opportunity to focus solely on the singing…I find that very cruel though…perhaps that was the director’s intention. If it was it def worked lol.

        • -Ed.

          This scene from act 3 of the regie Giulio Cesare production in Salzburg in 2012 shows Cecilia as Cleopatra having a very, very bad day. Wish I could locate a DVD of the performance but the entire four hour recording is on YT so hurry! It’s the first regie production I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s brilliant. And with a cast that just won’t quit. Great, great singing throughout.

  • PushedUpMezzo

    Appalling,nasty, Philistine, Little Englander twaddle (but the Spectator has those tendencies -- and so did HRH Margaret). And they mis-spelt the soprano’s name. Feel sorry for Botha, who in the minds of these idiots is a legitimate target in the absence of Pavarotti. Sadly, whoever coined that phrase about fat ladies singing has done more harm the mass perception of opera than all the over-spending Intendants and wacky Regie productions put together.

    • PushedUpMezzo

      there’s a “to” missing there. Got rather carried away -- most un-Brit.

    • grimoaldo

      “that phrase about fat ladies singing”

      Which was about American baseball anyway, not opera.

  • April 1 is fast approaching.

  • armerjacquino

    This is the guy who wrote that RODELINDA ‘review’, isn’t it? I think I can safely save a few minutes of my life by not reading it.

  • Often admonished

    Igor has tried very (= too) hard to be a player, without success. So he’s resorted to shouting anything that comes to (= passes through) his mind.

    In medical circles this is known as The Lebrecht Manoeuvre.

    • Regina delle fate

      lol -- you know him personally Often Admonished? Good grief!

    • Fidelia

      He has a mind? Reading this drivel, one would think not.

  • Will

    “And then there’s the clown make-up and trannie costumes to deal with.”

    Since he’s a very bad writer one can’t expect any class at all, but you might think some editor would strike that out immediately.

    • Regina delle fate

      It’s a blog -- it doesn’t actually appear in print, so they probably don’t bother to edit it. He also writes for and “edits” stuff on the Arts Desk and his pieces there are the same First Thing That Comes Into My Head bilge, with again little evidence of anyone else having read it before it’s posted. Certainly, it’s a blot on The Spectator, which is only kept alive as a mouthpiece for right-wing Conservative ideas by people with money to spare spefically for that purpose. Strange world.

  • RosinaLeckermaul

    The guy is trying to be provocative, but he brings up an interesting question. There’s a big difference in acting for a 3800 seat house and close-up acting for television. I’m amazed at how many contemporary singers do a good job of acting in close-up while singing. It’s not easy for any good singer trying to be heard in a big theatre without a microphone taped onto his head. As someone who usually is in the balcony or family circle I notice that good operatic performers know how to act with their bodies. That we can catch up there though we miss facial expressions.
    There are great singers, Pavarotti, for instance, whose face registered nothing while singing — who didn’t act at all with his face. People loved to watch him — even in close up — nonetheless.
    My sense over sixty years of opera going is that the standards of acting have risen significantly. I wish I could say the same thing about the singing.

    • Funny, I would say that acting with the face is the only kind of (non-vocal) acting that Pavarotti did.


  • blanchette

    oh my god! cecilia with a bag over her head! her facial contortions have always prevented me from “listening” to her but I thought this sounded beautiful. I’m sorry but it’s just so funny- the whole concept. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…the director must have shared the perception of many of her audience. Does anyone know what that guy yelled after? Unica?

    • -Ed.

      My Italian is decades old, but it sounds like “sei unica” to me.