Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • The_Kid: Speaking of which: I just watched an YT clip of someone called Margarita Castro-Alberty sing this... 11:31 PM
  • The_Kid: You took the words right of my mouth: that’s exactly how I feel. She does the cabalettas... 11:27 PM
  • The_Kid: This is for Camille: Camille, you mentioned a book called ‘The Assoluta Voice in Opera’... 11:19 PM
  • steveac10: So if a performer has “flaws” ; they have no business performing? ALL singers have... 11:14 PM
  • Hippolyte: I read somewhere that the Campra opera will travel to BAM in April 2016. 11:11 PM
  • Krunoslav: I adore Miriciuiou, whom I was lucky to see in non-Met performances including a wonderful... 11:09 PM
  • The_Kid: I do not agree with La Cieca on a lot of things, but here I am 100% in agreement: I belong to tons... 10:58 PM
  • Krunoslav: Well, I don’t know if you’re trying to be coy or what, but the fact that Sondra at... 10:49 PM
  • Satisfied: Does anyone know if LES FÊTES VÉNITIENNES (with Les Arts Florissants) from L’Opéra Comique... 10:46 PM
  • kennedet: Cieca, evidently I have insulted someone very dear to you. My only regret is not giving her the... 10:27 PM

Bomb squad

Vienna never really forgave Erich Wolfgang Korngold for going to work in the movies. When the exiled composer returned from Hollywood after World War 2 to mount a comeback, he was dismissed as a has-been who all too eagerly cast off high art for the commercialism of the silver screen.

Korngold, it must be said, led with his chin by bringing for the occasion Die stumme Serenade (The Silent Serenade), an hybrid opera-Cabaret that mixes elements of golden age film music with high fructose arias, skittering orchestral accompaniments and other démodé effects as comforting as a serving of Mohr im Hemd. A city by then eager to turn the page and dabble in modernism sneered at the confection, sending Korngold sulking back to California, where he spent his final years miserable and in poor health. Read more »

Hothouse flower

To some, Anne Schwanewilms will always be the soprano in the slinky black dress who replaced Deborah Voigt at Covent Garden a decade ago and confirmed the creeping influence of film and television values on the opera world. Read more »

Blinded item

“Here we again see the Berlin tendency towards hybrids; the great plans but tiny realization; great demands but tiny results; perfect reviewers but miserable musicians,” Felix Mendelssohn groused to a friend in the summer of 1841 after King Friedrich Wilhelm IV invited him to become general music director in the Prussian capital and focus on writing on grand oratorios and church music.   Read more »

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Low-fat Schoenberg

With orchestral and choral forces that could outnumber a small European village, Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder is a composition designed to overwhelm.

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Sex please: we’re British

The finer performances of Tristan und Isolde have a way of sounding like a four-hour improvisation, the fruit of a single moment of inspiration that makes one forget how emotionally manipulative and painstakingly crafted the music really is.

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Brass ring

Marek Janowski’s survey of Wagner operas on PentaTone so convincingly captures the pulse and dramatic flow of many of the works that the music-making at times sounds almost effortless.

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Meadow festival

Beneath the pageantry, the paeans to German art and the self-referential allusions to the creative process, Die Meistersinger is a story about a community and human qualities like love, friendship, envy and hatred.

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Semi: Colon

The abrupt withdrawal of Katharina Wagner from an abridged seven-hour Ring cycle she was to direct at the Teatro Colon last year prompted no shortage of scorn and Schadenfreude.

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The music lovers

The curious things about accepted wisdom is that sometimes it’s correct.

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To the hilt

Marek Janowski’s second recorded Ring cycle began on an off note, with a Rheingold that was fleet and lucid but failed to impress in the important musical moments.

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