Cher Public

  • m. croche: Szymanowski would seem to be the odds-on favorite, but Spanish has multiple paths to victory (Catán, or John Adams and Peter... 3:18 AM
  • fletcher: Oh god that Götterdämmerung cover is the best! Thanks for sharing. 2:28 AM
  • fletcher: Surely out of those Król Roger has the best chance? Or maybe a staged Luonnotar ? 2:23 AM
  • LT: This is laughable. In the ever diminishing world of opera, the only backlash her going over “the edge” (whatever that... 2:17 AM
  • DonCarloFanatic: I love this production. So happy to see–and hear–it again. 12:13 AM
  • antikitschychick: Sorry I meant to say I always picture her smiling in my head because of how perky and fun she usually is. SIGH. I be... 12:00 AM
  • antikitschychick: P.S. I think something along the lines of Cieca’s fanciful album cover would have been perfect. Looking at a... 11:58 PM
  • m. croche: Since then the MET has added Czech, Hungarian, Chinese, and Sanskrit to the list. Is there a betting pool for the next new... 11:49 PM

Sybil, shepherd

SaulAt first glance, when I opened the package that contained this DVD, I thought the cover said David and Jonathan, a work I have enjoyed for years, by the French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier, whose music I am very familiar with.

A closer look showed this to be incorrect, it is the first of two operas by Danish composer Carl Nielsen, whose work I am not familiar with at all, Saul and David, which I never heard of, never mind actually heard, before.

I felt flattered that our doyenne La Cieca felt confident in my ability to assess this recording of a production by David Poutney for the Royal Danish Opera of this piece unfamiliar to me, but please bear in mind that this review is written by a complete newcomer to the work.   Read more »

Call me Madame

“To play La Pompadour—what a delightful task! To be La Pompadour—what a gruesome fate!” Thus spoke operetta superstar Fritzi Massary after researching her role as Louis XV’s official mistress in the Leo Fall operetta Madame Pompadour, which was written as a star vehicle for “die Massary” and had its first, hugely successful, performance in Berlin in 1922, followed by runs in Vienna and London. Read more »

Kraus purposes

Perhaps there are not that many people in the world who would look at a CD cover and think “Oh, goody, goody! A libretto by Eugène Scribe I’ve never come across before!” Scribe, a prolific creator of many forms of popular theatre in Paris, wrote the libretti for the most famous French grand operas but also produced works in many other genres. I knew I could expect a lot of variety, incident and entertainment from Ali Baba ou Les Quarante voleurs (“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”) and I was not disappointed. Read more »

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Bo, concept

The surprises, and puzzles, of Dmitri Tcherniakov‘s production of Don Giovanni in this DVD of a performance at the Aix-en-Provence festival begin before a note has been played or the curtain has risen.

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Hell night

I got quite a surprise when I opened the latest packet of goodies from La Cieca – a DVD of Orphée aux Enfers, but in German as Orpheus in der Unterwelt.

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Doing it again

The 19th century could not cope with Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (Thus Do They All, or The School for Lovers)  with a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte and music by Mozart, first presented in Vienna in 1790.

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And to top it all off, the volcano erupts

the strip on my first and, so far at least, only visit to Las Vegas a few years ago, I noticed what to me was a most unexpected sight and startled my companions by pointing out the window and shouting “Auber!”

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One for the vault

Of all of Verdi’s operas. Aida is the one I find least interesting dramatically.

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Odd numbers

All of the operas of Giuseppe Verdi contain music that is worth hearing and can be rewarding in good performances.

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Captivating in Babylon

Verdi’s first operatic masterpiece is well served by this DVD of a performance from the Teatro Regio di Parma.

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