Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • musesick man: One place where Mr. Gelb has completely disappointed me is in the arena of co-productions.... 1:01 AM
  • la vociaccia: No. Voters are being hyperbolic for the sake of drama. When Dessay had trouble at the... 12:56 AM
  • musesick man: I don’t know that there are plans other than “we don’t know what to do so... 12:51 AM
  • Constantine A. Papas: It’s really silly to argue about words such a “obsolete 221; or... 12:35 AM
  • parpignol: not a very exciting season, but still plenty to enjoy; in addition to the productions mentioned... 12:23 AM
  • philomel: Only La Cieca knows for sure ;-). 12:07 AM
  • laddie: I just heard Erin Morley sing a coloratura tour-de-force performance in Santa Fe. She dispatched the... 12:05 AM
  • philomel: Predictions were asked for, I gave mine with self described anecdotal evidence for my opinions.... 12:03 AM
  • Lohenfal: I agree with you that Gelb is only part of the picture. The union contracts negotiated by Volpe... 12:01 AM
  • laddie: Yes, odd, indeed, that she is saving her *acting* skills for a later-in-life theater career. 11:41 PM

A little list

EDITOR’S NOTE: In response to repeated urging by La Cieca (left), Our Own Dawn Fatale (right) has devised a “to do” list for the benefit of Met management, assuming the company makes it out of this summer alive. The listicle follows the jump. Read more »

We have always slept in the castle

For those of you still queasy after Mary Zimmerman’s sophomoric snarknado attack on Bellini’s La Sonnambula, the new DVD of the Stuttgart Opera production by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito should provide a bracing restorative.  Here is a production that takes the work very, very seriously.  This is La Sonnambula via Shirley Jackson—a ghost story with an overlay of communal guilt and hints of cycles of abuse and abandonment.

The curtain rises on the common room on the ground floor of Lisa’s inn; no rustic mill, but there is a gently flowing stream visible through a rear window. It’s an ominous space lined with locked wardrobes and a heavy scattering of votive candles.  Mail overflows the mailboxes and the tables are scattered about as if the previous occupants had fled in a hurry.  It’s easy to believe this place is haunted.   Read more »

The Met: What is to be done?

Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure.   Read more »

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The Met: Can it be saved?

Short answer: yes. But let’s begin by dismissing the a blatant canard. One thing that the Metropolitan Opera does not need to do is to scale back the number of performances in a season.

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The Met: what’s really wrong?

The Met’s financial challenges are not meteorological, demographic, or cyclical; they are structural.

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Falling in love, never again

Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera David et Jonathas, written for a celebration at a Jesuit school in 1688, premiered together with a Latin verse drama, Saul, now lost.

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Regie, redeemed

Stefan Herheim’s production of Parsifal for Bayreuth is the regie Holy Grail—a production that completely fulfills the promise and purpose of Regietheater.

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I know why the caged rat sings

Hans Neuenfels‘ new staging of Lohengrin for Bayreuth is the grimmest version of this work I’ve seen.  Not that this opera is all bright lights and lollipops, but he gave us a particularly dark take on the work, motivated, in part, by Wagner’s writings at the time of the opera’s composition. 

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Sacred and Propane

Fertilization; birth; growth; decay. Eating; digestion; defecation; fermentation; biogas recovery; food production. Wagner’s Tannhäuser is a meditation on the relentless, repetition of cycles that define our existence and man’s insistence on the possibility salvation despite all the biochemical evidence to the contrary.

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She Dodon him wrong

Our Doyenne demonstrated her omniscience once again by sending me a DVD of Rimsky Korsakov’s Le Coq d’Or (Zolotoy Petushok) to review.  I’m with musicologist Richard Taruskin who stated that Rimsky Korsakov was “perhaps the most underrated composer of all time” (and I’m sure his editor insisted on including the “perhaps”). 

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