Cher Public

Apocalyptic post

“We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” So intoned The Amazing Criswell at the beginning of Plan 9 from Outer Space, and in this, as in so many other things, the celebrated psychic was right. Where will you, the cher public, spend the future? Let us ponder that question after the jump.  

We here in the front office at are starting work on an eventual redesign of the site, with the intention of making the site easier to access and more useful. Towards this end La Cieca solicits from you, dear readers, suggestions for features and functionalities you would like to see added to what your doyenne hopes is an already pretty smashing user experience.

So this is the place to register complaints about the current state of and to dream big about what you’d like to be able to do here in the future. If, for example, there is a site that includes a feature you think would enhance the experience here, please include the URL of that site in a comment along with a description of the nominated gizmo.

No idea is too big, no idea is too small and La Cieca hardly thinks she needs tell you, my dears, that no idea will be considered too ridiculous. Feel free to respond to each others’ ideas. We don’t promise we’ll be able to implement every single suggestion, but each one helps us understand how we can best serve your needs.

La Cieca will get the ball rolling by asking for rich-text commenting form with an “edit” capability. Now, who’s next?

  • vilbastarda

    Adding my voice to the choir: wishing/dreaming for an improved search function . It seems right now the search function only searches the main content, and not the comments. There is so much wisdom, and knowledge, and humor in so many comments, that it is a shame to not be able to find them again. A better search function will also help preserve, and catalog all the knowledge spread in these pages.
    This will be my biggest wish.

    A minor desire will be to stop the auto-refresh. I only noticed it recently, is it a recent thing? It can get disruptive when reading longer threads, or watching embedded videos.

    • Chanterelle

      Yes, please drop the auto-refresh “feature”. It feels like a hiccup, most disconcerting for those of us who are easily distracted.

      • Can you tell me what browser and operating system you’re using. I’m not aware of an autorefresh being run intentionally.

        • Chanterelle

          Mac OS 10.9.5/Safari 7.1.6


          Mac OS 10.10.5/Safari 9.0.1

          (can’t remember whether the refresh occurs on one or both)

          • laddie

            I am using Chrome on Mac OS 10….same problem.

        • Lohenfal

          I use Google Chrome with Windows Vista. I’m also getting the auto-refresh, and it is indeed annoying and distracting. I don’t recall that it happened before the last few weeks, but it should be removed as soon as possible.

        • steveac10

          I use both Chrome and Firefox depending on what else I’m doing. The auto-refresh only happens for me when using Chrome.

          • Porgy Amor

            Well, I typically use Firefox on Windows 7, and I’ve been getting the auto-refresh in the last few weeks too. I’m a fast reader, but I still rarely get through a long review or column without “losing my place,” as it were.

        • -Ed.

          Mac iOS 9.1 using Safari on my iPad.

          • Leonora di Vargas

            The auto refresh makes it virtually impossible for me to read Parterre on my iPad, about which all I know is that it has an OLD operating system. The wretched thing keeps re-scrolling back to the top every time it refreshes or one of the images for the many videos. It also crashes when I use an iPad. I

        • I am using Chrome on windows 10 and had the issue for a while too.

        • LT

          I mentioned about the autorefresh on the 30,000 visit thread but the honorable Cieca paid no attention to me <_<

          Anyway, I use Windows 7 and Firefox.

    • mia apulia

      I, too, wuld like an edittting funcshunn sinse I am so pron to misssspellling and tiping erors witch I don cee untill the dam think iss posted

      • Camille

        LOL—I c u iz copeeee-ing vun ov mai posssssts!

  • antikitschychick

    The auto refresh happens randomly and it also happens when I want to reply to a comment as well. When I hit ‘reply’ the page refreshes and takes me to the bottom (of the page) where the comment box is, and on top of the comment box it’ll say the name of the person/user I’m responding to, whereas before when I’d hit reply the comment box would generate right below the comment I’d be replying to, without the page refreshing. At first I thought it was because of my tablet but its been happening on my laptop as well.

    • Secondsoprano

      Hi. I’m a newbie here. I had problems with auto refresh after upgrading to OS9.01. I eliminated browsing history in Safari and that helped.

      iPad Mini 4

  • Donna Anna

    Yes, a more user-friendly search function, please. I use Chrome and Firefox with Vista.

  • Feldmarschallin
    • Satisfied

      Link doesn’t seem to be working.

      • Hippolyte

        Like Denoke, another ear-assaulting soprano Herlitzius is out of Fiery Angel.

    • PCally

      Feldmarschallin, the link doesn’t appear to be working for me, would you mind saying why she cancelled? Agreed, this is VERY bad news and I was looking forward to this, knowing almost nothing about the opera.

      • Cocky Kurwenal

        I know next to nothing about Firey Angel too, beyond the fact that the soprano role is within the capabilities of very few -- I wonder who will replace her? Certainly there is nobody quite like her at the moment.

      • la vociaccia

        The link works is you erase everything after ‘html.’ Herlitzius’ replacement will be one Svetlana Sozdateleva (no idea).

        I recall saying when this production was announced some time ago that I don’t think the role is very congenial to Herlitzius from a vocal standpoint (dramatically I’m sure it would have been great, although it is VERY wordy and probably difficult for a non-native Russian speaker).

        However there obviously could be reasons that she pulled out that aren’t related to the role itself.

        • Camille

          Okay. With a name like that, I just had to go look up Svetlana on operabase and this lady has got a very specialized repertory, to say the least, consisting of Tosca, Renate in Fiery Angel, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and Emilia Marty. Et c’est tout! Most recently sang Renate in Düsseldorf early last summer. Also, just love the name of her agency, TACT. So cold war….

  • Opera Teen

    Not sure if it’s been said, but so many great recordings get posted on Parterre as features that it’s a shame that the audio players are so difficult to navigate in. The mixcloud format is much better. Could LC use that program for all uploaded recordings?

  • Talk of the Town

    I would humbly a for better mobile browsing. When I read on the go, the only options for reading the comments are (1) tiny text, or (2) zoom in but the text doesn’t wrap, so scroll sideways and down at the same time to read. Yuck!

    Perhaps this is a problem on my BlackBerry Q10 and all you Apple/Android types are not affected.

    This This This is my only real issue with the site (other than that I too miss the weekly intermission threads) but it is a big one for me.

    • LittleMasterMiles

      Yes! A functional mobile version of the site would be most welcome, especially so that one can conveniently comment during intermissions, etc.

      • armerjacquino

        I think this is a question of technology- it works perfectly on an iphone.

  • CwbyLA

    The ability to log in with facebook ID would be desirable.

  • Camille

    What I’d like is to hear MORE from far off posters in places like, oh I don’t know, Sri Lanka or that opera house in the Amazonas, or some other exotic clime, like Denmark — to get a glimmer of what is actually happening around the world, in the World of Opera.

    Or this: once a month we have a Guest Column from a poster, regular or better yet, irregular! In this column, they might post their favourites and explain how they came to that opera or singer, or just go on a RRRANT!, or come up with a new contest, or just ANYTHING, besides hearing the usual reports from the Metropolitana.

    Also, if La Cieca would be so inclined to serve up warm milk and cookies on those cold winter afternoon broadcasts when there is “UGH, NEVE!”, I’d be pretty much obliged and forever grateful. I’ll help you out by baking a batch. No marijuana brownies, however, we’re already high enough around here.

    • Pity, then, there was nothing on at the Royal Opera when I was in Muscat recently!

      • Camille

        That’s just exactly what I’m getting at, NPW--! I didn’t even know there was an opera, royal or otherwise, in Muscat, for example. It would be really of interest to hear of their stage practices and customs and what the audiences are like in centers of large metropolitan areas that one does not normally or readily associate with opera.

        No, I think Moses und Aron is very much NOW or perhaps still in the future—it’s just that I don’t care for it, neither did I care for Von heute auf morgen, but that was frankly close to ffiteen years ago and my tastes change or evolve as time goes by so I might give it a spin again someday, as I do really like a lot of Arnie’s music.

        • Camiile, look the Muscat Royal Opera up. It’s a very impressive building. Not having been in it however, I don’t know if the organ is at the rear of the main stage (in which case there must be some way to move it out of the way during operas) or if it’s in a separate, large auditorium.

          • They seem to be taking their productions from Italian houses -- Venice, Genoa…

            • Camille

              Yes, well, Novosibirsk is Hvorostovsky’s native city, isn’t it, and that reminds me I do hope his medical treatment is progressing. I am afraid all that love he was shown at the Trovatore, no matter how well-intentioned and well-meant, may have been a bit of an added strain on him, especially the “surprise” pelting of the roses the second time around. It is nice to know there is an opera house where he started out, whether or not he actually sang there.

              I would, for example, love to hear about the opera in Lvov, from where my former and now sadly deceased landlady, Olga the Imperious, originated. Whenever I’d turn up Ariadne auf Naxos, ( about which she had a particular bugbear, ) she would presently be ringing my bell and shouting up the landing “We have opera house in Lvov!! This is not opera house here! This is a family-dwelling apartment house!!

              As I can never make it to Lvov, it would be nice to know what Olga the Imperious was referencing, as photos of the building have made it appear quite lovely.

              A while ago, Patrick Mack wrote a very lovely, informative and entertaining post thread on opera in Denmark in some princely palace. Now, Scandinavia has given us so many great singers one imagines it to be a hotbed incubator of talent but one does not have many reports from those houses. Olliedawg and Dr malatempra (I think it was he) also wrote a couple missals from Scandinavia. I would welcome more.

              Also, Ulan Bantor, just the name alone, has always delighted me. Who knows what all is going on all over the world at odd intervals? Didn’t La Cieca’s idol, Mr Herheim, who is purportedly a genius, come from Norway, e.g.???

              Well we have m. croche to keep us on our toes about what is mostly esoteria to the lot of us Occidental oxes, and what an eye-opener his submissions sometimes, or mostly are.

              Also, I am very interested in hearing more about the opera houses of the Midi, Tiulouse or Montpellier, etc. as they do a lot of very fine work. Krunoslav will occasionally have something to say on these but I would like to hear from the natives. Or more from Brno or that other city in the former Czechoslovakia, I can’t sort them out as I am still jopelessly behind the Iron Curtain, dammit!

              Now I have to to get my nails painted “Jungle Red” in order to see Lulu, mein Engel’ tonight.
              Ciao 4 now!

            • Funny you should mention the Lvov/Lviv Opera: a Turkish friend of mine posted on FB from there only ten days ago.

              These revised spellings -- Ulaanbaatar, Lviv, Mumbai, Beijing… keep bringing to mind Joyce Grenfell saying “You have to call it ‘Keen-ya’ now”.

            • Oops: “Ken-ya”. We need an edit function.

            • Yes, I’m sorry, I don’t get down to Lyon or Toulouse or Marseille or Toulon, or up to Lille as much as I might. I did write up a Poppea in Lille, and a Boréades in Lyon. But once you’ve paid up your subs for Paris (for two houses) and Brussels, an opera weekend in the provinces, with its train fares, hotel and restaurant bills, is a lot to fork out, in which case you might as well got to Budapest or Istanbul.

            • Camille

              Ha! Merci bien! I still think of The Congo as ‘the Belgian Congo’ and it hasn’t been that for decades now.

              Thinking of Poor Olga the Imperious — if she ended up in heaven, as she may have as she attended the RC church at regular intervals, she may even now be listening to Piotr Beczala. If she didn’t, and ended up down south, she may well be listening to her hated Ariadne auf Naxos.

              The world is such a different place from where I once started up from, and I do get sick of the need for the constant recycle/reuse syndrome we are currents subjected to. Some few things remaining constant, would also be fine.

              I have got to get ready for Lulu now! Merci beaucoup parce que vous etes beaucoup gentille!

          • Camille

            Wow! That organ is nearly as impressive as The Great Cranberry Organ of Jaime Aragall!

            What brought you to Muscat, NPW? Are you an international spy or a sheik of Araby? I will have to to locate it for as far as I recall it is on the Arabian peninsula, or perhaps is it in Indonesia? Oh, now that sounds like the final song of Les nuits d’été…..

            • I was running a seminar there.

            • Dubai’s opera house is under construction, by the way.


            • Camille

              Yes, Dubai’s looks somewhat like The Music Center on Bunker Hill in downtown L. A. Much prefer the Muscat Grape Opera!!

            • You remind me, Camille, that I was very jealous last spring of a friend’s posts, on Facebook, from the opera houses at Novosibirsk and Ulaanbaatar, along with a very cute video clip of them struggling through the bitter cold to get there.

          • Camille

            You are quite right about the Royal Opera at Muscat:


            They seem to be very proud of it and it is a civic embellishment done in an culturally appropriate manner. Just think of the productions of Die Könegin von Saba they could put on!! Very impressive. Must be a very wealthy per capita.

    • redbear

      Not Amazonia but the Paris Opera has their new Moses und Aron up on Youtube:

      • redbear

        • I imagine Camille will say that that Paris Moses und Aron is so last week…

    • DerLeiermann

      I’d love this, too. Camille. Anything that will make members more active and chatty so we can get to know each other and know more about other theaters and young artists.

    • Will send u my report of “The True and False Monkey King”, performed by the sturdy lads and lasses of the Rongxing Tea-Picking Hakka Opera Company, after I see it tomorrow night at the Five Palaces Temple in scenic-enough Zhudong.

      • Camille

        Sheh-sheh, crochie-pie.

        Have a pleasant voyage.

        • Who was it saying we should have more than just the Roman alphabet?

  • (I just missed Kaufmann in the Puccini recital he was too sick to sing in Paris last week).

    • Sorry, that remark was about the Royal Opera in Muscat.

      “A towering beacon shedding light on the various trends of the Renaissance march towards growth, Royal Opera House Muscat is an illustration of the undivided attention that His Majesty has devoted to the cultural sector since the new dawn of the Sultanate.”

      No less.

  • To me it’s better search and an edit function.

  • For a while now, I haven’t been getting notification when people respond to my posts even when I check the box. That’s my only complaint.

    • Camille

      Did you check your JUNK file? Occasionally I will have something float in there-days after the fact. For some reason, antikitschy’s maill always comes in there and don’t know why.

      • antikitschychick

        Sorry to hear that my comments go to your junk folder Camille. You do always respond and I’m very grateful, especially now knowing that you have to expend the extra effort of looking for my messages in your junk folder…

        I did have my yahoo email account hacked a while ago, but I don’t think that has anything to do with PB or the comments I post here, so idk. There should be a “not junk” option in the email provider you use somewhere that you can designate the messages to. Do you use Gmail, or yahoo…or Hotmail?

        • Camille

          Strangely, this response went straight into the usual mail file, hahaha! It doesn’t bother me at all to go over to the “Kitschy Chica Files” and fish you out. It’s like your missals are coming as an undercover agent — or something like that.

          Now I wonder why this one showed up in the right place all of a sudden? Mysteries of Cyberspace.

          Sanfod, I don’t know what to tell you. Some technically savvy person may have some good ideas, hopefully.

      • I’m not getting them anywhere.

        • Cicciabella

          Me neither. I use hotmail. At first they went to the POP folder, I believe. Now replies to posts by email have disappeared altogether.

          Some very good suggestions for additional functionality, but, if the site is powered by WordPress, La Cieca is constrained by WordPress’s technical limitations. I’m not sure, for example, if you can edit comments unless you have admin rights. I’m ambivalent about an edit button: on the one hand, I’d like to be able to correct my typos, on the other hand, if everyone can correct their posts after the fact, argument threads will become meaningless, unless corrections are limited to strikethroughs with updated text, but how would that even be technically possible? The refreshing issue seems to be related to WordPress not keeping up with the latest browser updates: I use Safari, Firefix and Chrome on Mac/Apple gizmos and they all started refreshing at about the same time.

          The off-topic and birthday feature discussions are a result of the site’s success. I personally like the daily off-topic/birthday feature. I go off-topic on other threads when I want to alert a certain poster to something and they turn up on one of the topic-specific features. Since this is a public duscussion forum, and discussions go in all directions, it seems a little extreme to “punish” of-topic entries by moving them elsewhere, and it would occupy a lot of La Cieca’s time. The ability to contact another poster privately would address my particular off-topic transgressions, but it also goes against the public nature of the forum.

          I also like Camille’s suggestion about far-flung correspondents, if they can be found. I’d like to hear about opera in Cairo, for example, and from less opera-obvious cities such as Lisbon, Bucharest and Montevideo.

          Two “imrovements” I’d like to see are: (1) numbered comments to help keep track of nesting levels, and (2) compulsory joining in the chat: no listeners, just chatters. You don’t have to say anything, but you need to join in with a moniker to read what other people are saying.

          We’re asking many things of La Cieca, but this is because her site is such a tremendous success, as it may go on to be for decades.

          • Camille

            You are right. La Cieca is constrained by the limitations of WordPress and just cannot magically alter things to suit our whims, and further, what javier notes below is also quite true. There could be considerable re-writes and other monkeying around with original text which we falsify the original comments.

            For my solution, I have decided to use more often the new OPERA (appropriately named!) browser Monsieur Camille recently installed on his Mac OS. It makes everything significantly LARGER and brighter. If I could only abandon my iPhone habit, with which I generally post everything, well then, I wouldn’t really have cause to complain.

            About the thread numbering: while some system might help, I remember the old one as getting rather unwieldy and cumbersome and difficult to deal with, therefore it was abandoned. I do not know the solution for that.

            About the daily threads: while I quite enjoy learning about obscure (to me) artists and appreciate the work WindyCity has put in on this, I do miss the Sunday Intermission Feature--it was always like getting a copy of the New York Times Sunday Edition and got to be equally as mammonth. That got to be a problem as the thread would go on for pages and pages and it wiuld be difficult to find a comment that was of interest. This “Daily” newspaper instead is much more economical—but a lot of people seem still unaware that it serves as the former Intermission Feature page, at least until they have been apprised of the fact. Off topic remarks just happen, they just do. As an egregious offender myself I know that to be true and do not know the solution, either.

            At any rate, perhaps some extremely technically savvy person, familiar with the workings f WordPress and brilliant with these kinds of solutions, will step up to the plate to help out Mamma Cieca. I would if I could but I really am totally inept with these kinds of things.

  • javier

    don’t add an edit button. That would give people the chance to take back something or change their argument. Everyone makes typos and any idiot can figure out the true intent. But editing a blog is dangerous.

    • armerjacquino

      That problem is easily enough solved by making sure that a post that has been edited is marked as such. Plenty of messageboards do that.

  • Milly Grazie

    I appreciate most of the serious contributions here to help this super site be even better…
    My own small request is (and the more technically proficient can perhaps offer a suggestion as to how to deal with it) that off topic comments be popped to the side -- am so tired of reading off topic comments in the middle of really interesting threads….
    some peeps jump on with of topics from get go and the actual topic never seems to get off the ground.
    Could we have an off topic column?
    Could those with urgent off topics be allowed to post stuff in an Urgent Off Topic Column which our dear La Cieca could vet ? Hope I’m making sense here…..

  • DerLeiermann

    Ditto to most of what has already been suggested. There are some excellent ideas there!

    The only things I didn’t see posted that I’d suggest are:

    Private threads that only registered members can see for those ocassions in which one might want to discuss controversial stuff or blind items and things like that.

    Clearer rules regarding what is and what isn’t okay to post. I don’t know if there are such rules, but sometimes I feel members are way to harsh to artists (in ocassions using very offensive and hateful language!).

    I’d definitely push a bit more for the edit function, the option to reply with pictures and individual member profiles where one can find info on them , see their post history and maybe even message them privately.

    In general, I’m very happy with the way the site is run. Maybe just make it a bit more queer.

    • antikitschychick

      DerLeiermann, I love ALL of your suggestions and I heartily second them!

    • I am not sure I agree with the “private threat” one. If we need to have a private conversation about anything, I think the best way would be for the ability to exchanged private contact info and move the conversation to text, email, facebook, etc.

      • DerLeiermann

        I wasnt so sure about it until I gave it some thought. I believe it’s worth considering for we could safely gossip and discretely leak information or discuss blind items.
        Think of Gotham Chamber opera closing some weeks ago, LC was among the first to receive the news, but given that there was no official announcement had to proceed with caution and only post that the season was cancelled. Then the official announcement came. Couldn’t private threads prevent us from being accused of libel or just in general, get the site out of any possible legal trouble?
        Also, it would get more lurking people to register in order to read those private threads and have them become active members.

      • Camille

        Lindoro, Conte d’Almaviva! Please!

        I cannot bare to stand by and see you do this ONE MORE TIME, as there have been occasions in the past where person(s) have played fast and loose with this consistent and habitual error of yours, and to your own detriment.

        Please, and I do understand the difficulties of approaching the English language from Spanish very well indeed, having lived with several such persons—the word which you always use “ThreaT” has an entirely different meaning from the one you are intending to use, which would be “ThreaD”.

        PLEASE—look them up in a dictionary and/or consult with antikitschychica or marshy, should he be around for such things, but as your intention is clearly thread with a “D”, which means, “el hilo”, in Spanish, and NOT ThreaT, which means, I dunno again, ‘minaccia’, in italiano, or the online dicionario gives it as “La almenaza” is as close as I can come at the moment. Again, best consult with nuestra querida Kitschychica!!!

        A “personal threaT” does sometimes comes up here at parterre and is never amusing nor appropriate, and I do not, sincerely, want you to confuse the two, to be ridiculed by others.


        p.s. — it is not necessary to say gracias or appear contrite, I only want you not to make this error again as it mitigates the real content of what you have to contribute, and I do not believe persons should be mocked and ridiculed that come here, and that is all. Thank you for your patience.

        • manou

          Dear Camille -- Of course we all know by now what a bear does in the woods, but I personally can hardly bear to hope that you will not bare all the the new improved Parterre.

          • armerjacquino

            A post about a typo in a post about a typo?

            Man, it’s getting very meat round here.

            • antikitschychick

              armerj, did you perhaps mean “a typo in a post about a typo?” :-P.

            • armerjacquino

              No, I didn’t. Read it again…

            • antikitschychick

              I get that you meant she was posting about a typo in her post. I was joking. Nevertheless, it was definitely my mistake to assume your response would be anything other than condescending. Rest assured it won’t happen again. Ever.

  • My top 2:

    1. Edit button, so we can fix mistakes like misspellings, closing HTML commands left open by mistake etc.

    2. Being able to tag each other, so if we are mentioned in a comment we get notified.

    I will join the chorus in the following requests:

    * ability to attach pics, giffs, and images

  • I wonder if in the end we aren’t all saying we should heave over to Facebook. It would save la Cieca a lot of trouble.

  • Kayla Micreda

    A responsive design would be nice for those of us who visit the site on our phones.