Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • DeepSouthSenior: . . . Greatest DISadvantage . . . 12:02 AM
  • DeepSouthSenior: Ah, La Rondine. Some lovely music, but more dramatically inert than Act I of Parsifal, and... 11:59 PM
  • Camille: haha, I would have been surprised if that Requiem would have worked for anyone, Feldmarschie! How... 11:23 PM
  • Camille: Glyndebourne is one thing, singing it in a big house is another. Didn’t Nina Stemme sing... 11:20 PM
  • Camille: München 2010? It seems like it was so much later than that, that not so much time has elapsed. So... 11:18 PM
  • Camille: o danke wohl!! That explains it. I have that play and started to read it years ago but never did.... 11:16 PM
  • Lohenfal: In the Victor Hugo play, the King is referred to consistently as Don Carlos, even after he becomes... 11:11 PM
  • Lohengrin: That was in München 2010. Scala: JK was Einspringer in the second performance. 10:12 PM
  • phoenix: I’m not so sure. That’s why I’d like to hear Kampe’s 2009 Glyndebourne... 10:09 PM
  • Camille: Remunerative. Sorry, Tristan and Isolde have run me off the rails. O wonderful music! Guten Abend! 9:50 PM

Magic “Flute”

A confession:  I have a real love/ hate relationship with Mozart’s Die Zauberflote.  I have always found its music to be an unfortunate mix of the sublime and the cloyingly cutesy.  I abhor the trend toward Disneyfied productions of this opera, usually to establish it as “family-friendly” (another term I abhor.)  So I must admit I was a bit dismayed when I opened La Cieca’s package to me and found this DVD of a 2014 production at the Dutch National Opera.

Happily, I find this production to be the best Zauberflote of my experience, because it takes the trials of Tamino and Pamina very seriously, making their quest to find love a genuinely human experience and a very human effort to determine the nature of good and evil.

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Coming out

Christian Thielemann’s spirited, precise conducting and the superb, sumptuous playing of the Staatskapelle Dresden are the finest features of this strongly cast performance of Strauss’s Arabella, given a new staging for the 2014 Salzburg Easter Festival and released here on DVD by Unitel Classica.  The production also celebrated Strauss’s 150th anniversary.

Arabella, the sixth and final collaboration of Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, is frequently considered the stepchild of Strauss’ wildly popular Der Rosenkavalier, and indeed it contains many similar elements—Viennese setting, instantaneous passion, a specific courtship ritual.  Read more »

Let’s make it regal

Having heard a bit of the opening night broadcast and read some decidedly mixed reviews, I was totally unprepared for the remarkable performance of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena that I attended on December 15 at Chicago Lyric Opera.  Read more »

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When I have sung my songs

Soprano Renée Fleming is certainly making the role of the Countess in Richard Strauss’s final opera Capriccio the focus of her late-career years.

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Final chapter

None of my previous Elektra experiences prepared me for this stunning, overwhelming performance from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

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Fatal attraction

Benjamin Britten’s final opera Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella, is given a lush and quite beautiful production from stage director Deborah Warner for the English National Opera.

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A tsar is torn

In Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, all the Russian people starve and suffer, but none has suffering like the mental agonies of Tsar Boris.

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Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!

George Benjamin’s 2012 opera Written on Skin received great acclaim at its opening at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and the Royal Opera quickly mounted it in March 2013.

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On the beach

The sea, the sky, the wind, the storms that are so frequently depicted in the music of Benjamin Britten are brilliantly illuminated in the new DVD of Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach, a collaboration between Aldeburgh Music, film director Margaret Williams, and stage director Tim Albery.

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Submerged

As part of the celebration of the three-year long restoration of the Theatre Royal de Liege (and, from what we can see in this DVD it is a glorious restoration indeed), the Opera Royal de Wallonie went all the way to find as Belgian an operatic experience as was possible.

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