Cher Public

Ow, my keyboard!

A milestone of sorts is reached today at La Cieca and her team of experts have posted 7,000 articles on this WordPress-powered site since May 2005, when the hot operatic gossip of the day concerned Matthew Epstein and the art of the strip-tease. (La Cieca should emphasize that these were two unrelated stories.)  

During that same time, you, the cher public, have enriched the site with 369,137 comments.

And do keep in mind, cher public, that La Cieca’s column, then rather archly entitled “Questo e quello,” appeared online as early as 1997, when, as you can probably figure out for yourselves, she didn’t like much of anything then either.

  • DonCarloFanatic


  • DerLeiermann

    Ve need to celebrate!

  • Cicciabella

    Congrats to La Cieca and all the contributors and correspondents through the years!

    And now a shout-out to lovers of rarely performed repertoire. At the moment I’m listening to Mascagni’s Guglielmo Ratcliff from the Wexford festival, a live broadcast from yesterday which is available on demand for a while:

    What an opera! The plot is Lucia di Lammermoor/Jacobean drama with enough ghosts and dead bodies to clog the River Tweed. It’s got a killer tenor title role and an Intermezzo which contains the Somewhere Over the Rainbow refrain motif: that’s where they nicked it from! And the production pictures are stunning. The cast throws themselves into the roles with great passion, and it sounds good! Highly enjoyable.

  • CwbyLA

    Is there a metric that shows the top 10 posters?

  • uwsinnyc

    hi, sorry that this is off topic but I heard the Richard Tucker Gala, which should be going on as we speak, was going to be broadcast.
    I don’t find it anywhere- radio or PBS. Any info?

  • Lady Abbado

    I don’t think it’s broadcast anywhere live: the recording will be broadcast on pbs in February 2016.

    From the program, it looks like Andrea Bocelli is carrying a good chunk of the freight (Martha, Lucia, Boheme, Aida)…

    • Gualtier M

      I was there and so was Poison Ivy. First of all, Bocelli if he was miked he needed even more miking -- like halfway down his throat. This is a very faded geriatric tone now -- Bocelli suggested an old Italian comprimario tenorino from Casa Verdi. Every week the oldsters gather around the piano and belt out arias and duets in faded worn old voices with falsetto or shouted high notes and with attempts at the old school vocal stylings. That was Bocelli tonight. Also the finale Triumphal Scene from Aida was a mess because George Gagnidze didn’t show up to sing Amonasro’s music. The orchestra just played without him during those sections. Gheorghiu was quite fine and Fleming was Fleming…beautiful tone, bad musical choices. Ivy, myself and others will fill you in about the rest later.

      • uwsinnyc

        oh great- can’t wait to hear both of your reviews!!!!

      • Satisfied

        The Bocelli situation was beyond painful, especially at the finale. I’ve never cared for him nor feel he deserves scorn for his popularity. That said, he was clearly out of his league this evening…which was only so more noticble after following Goerke.

  • eric


    And let’s also remember and celebrate the earlier Parterre Box, a pink booklet which La Cieca distributed by mail to select subscribers (I was one) before she moved it online.

  • Satisfied

    Just back from the Richard Tucker gala concert: one if the best I’ve attended, not least of which because all the principal performers showed!

    As much as this was Ms. Barton’s night (who delivered lovely solo work by Berlioz and Cilea), the highlight of the evening was the incredible Ms. Goerke who killed this evening with works from Don Carlo and Aida. Of course, the absolute heighlight of the evening was hearing the pair perform “E up anathema!” from La Giocanda! If ever there was a reason for a revival….

    Angela made a fantastic impression with pieces from Pucchini’s Manon and La Wally without any of the audioability issues present during last season’s Boheme. She seemed very present and desiring to please the audience. She succeeded. Now I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow’s Tosca.

    • uwsinnyc

      What did la goerke sing from Aida? One of Aida’s arias or Amneris’?

      Does someone have the whole program?

    • DerLeiermann

      Did Nadine Sierra perform? I thought she was ill. Was she replaced?

      • Satisfied

        I wasn’t familiar with her prior to tonight, but it would seem she was there. And basically led her performance with Bocelli.

  • Krunoslav

    Ms. Goerke sang the GIOCONDA slanging duet w/Jamie, lots of fun; and “O don fatale”, just thrilling; and part of the Triumphal Scene with Barton, Paul Corona, no baritone and a gray haired figure who sounded like Paul Franke at the end of his career.

    Maybe Bocelli’s presence helped them get a PBS deal, but he should have done a Bixio song or two and left. His wretched vocalism was an active discredit to the memory of Richard Tucker’s strong clear singing in MART(H)A, the Act I LUCIA duet-- Bocelli was a *disaster* there, Nadine Sierra quite good, “O soave fanciulla” (in which he sounded like a fatigued Altoum) w/Fleming and AIDA. A shonda.

    Fling was in pliant form though her idea of Adriana phrasing is not too veristic. Beczala was in god voice but made very limited impact in “Nessun dorma”. He was, however, wonderful in the FAUST Garden Scene duet-- Fleming kept up pretty well, and joined him with a high B at he end- THAT was new…

    Brownlee was pretty dazzling in the ZELMIRA scene with chorus. Isabel Leonard looked lovely and sounded like a good regional Angelina, neither very expressive nor honestly handling all the rondo’s bel canto demands-- cheered to the echo, natch.

    Bocelli’s ghastly dry sounds made Stephen Costello shine the brighter and he was in much better form than in BOLENA, maybe particularly in the ARLESIANA aria which suited his manner. He and Sierra did a pet-through ROMEO Act IV- quite decent, though he needs more dynamic nuance. But it was nice to hear him sounding much more confident.

    I thought Gheorghiu a bit pillowy in the middle voice in “In quelle trine morbide”, and she’s careful when it opens up. but it was a success. But the WALLY aria was an excellent choice for her: quite admirable.

    Jamie Barton started with the Principessa di Bouilon’s aria, to me a piece only musically interesting in the last 40 seconds or so, but sounding rich and chesty. The very best thing on the whole program was her “Je vais mourir/Adieu, fière cité” -- really a class act, and I am glad they allowed such an untypical Tucker Gala selection to be sung. She’s going to be a great Didon.

    A fine evening when Bocelli was not onstage.