Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • Loge: Actually there were only a few empty seats. There was excellent singing especially from Smith and... 6:03 AM
  • Cicciabella: You’ve got to wonder at the wisdom of singing Aida live for the first time at such a... 6:01 AM
  • PushedUpMezzo: I’m not sure whether the passing of Charles Kalman (son of Emmerich) has been reported... 5:52 AM
  • Lohengrin: They got to know each other only one year ago. As everybody knows the schedules of stars like AN... 4:22 AM
  • redbear: Saw “BirdmanR 21; last night. The intellectual gulf between father and daughter is very... 4:06 AM
  • spiderman: armer! don’t rain on the AH parade! :) 3:44 AM
  • Cicciabella: Here she is, for real this time: http://zondagmidda gconcert.radio4.nl /uitzending/259... 2:43 AM
  • Cicciabella: Marshie, Kasarova’s still singing all over the place. Here she is in a La mort de... 2:35 AM
  • antikitschychick: Bluebeard, thanks for the anecdotes about Ludwig and for that clip which I enjoyed (and... 1:39 AM
  • Bluebeard: But Ludwig had lots of successes in the Italian repertoire in the late 60s. Based on her live... 12:34 AM

Lips together, teeth apart

The enigmatic half-smile that gives its name to Leonardo’s “La Gioconda” or Mona Lisa, his most famous painting, has been fancifully credited to many emotions. Is the lady daydreaming or flirting or pondering one of the painter’s anatomical diagrams? It has recently been suggested that she is Leonardo himself in drag, savoring a joke at our expense. Mr. Peabody, that Leonardo among canines, claimed she was suffering from toothache, and (as usual) he and his Wayback machine saved the day—it is true that until the advent of scientific dentistry, portraits were never painted with parted lips.   Read more »

Trigger warning

The Rape of Lucretia, now (through Sunday) enjoying a superb three-performance run at the Juilliard Opera’s Willson Theater (tickets are scarce; hie thee to the waiting list), was Benjamin Britten’s third opera and first “chamber opera,” composed for the tiny original theater at Glyndebourne. As chamber opera was to prove a Britten specialty, it draws one’s particular interest.  Read more »

One for the woad

Ellen Douglas—Elena, if you will; the Lady of the Lake—finds herself in Act II of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago in the far from unusual operatic position of having her love claimed by two impassioned tenors in the bel canto version of a macho drag race. What is curious about this is her solution: She runs off with the mezzo-soprano. Well, wouldn’t you? The story of the opera’s a bit like Ernani (one of the suitors is a lecherous king in disguise, just as you’d expect), but only if Ernani ended happily, at the end of Act III, say. Read more »

Ying Fang

Mourning becomes Iphigenia

Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide (1774), the occasion of his Paris debut, gets far less respect than her sequel, Iphigénie en Tauride.

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Derek Lee Ragin

Alt folks at home

A Countertenor Cabaret, starred no fewer than 14 of these once-rare songbirds, in the cabaret space of the Duplex on Sheridan Square.

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Enchanted Wanderer

A Magnetizer and a Wandering Goy walk into a bar

The visit of the Mariinsky Theater’s resident company to the glittering opera house of the Brooklyn Academy of Music consists of three ballet programs with starry casts preceded, last night, by a single performance of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera, The Enchanted Wanderer. 

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Costanzo

Isn’t it necromantic?

St. Paul’s Chapel is the perfect site for Saul, Handel’s finest dramatic oratorio.

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Tamburlaine

The year in Yohalem

My memory is fading but the events I recall most vividly of the last season seem largely to have been concert performances.

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dagger

Daggers are a thane’s best friend

A Birnam Wood of Macbeths and Ladys has come traipsing through New York this year.

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El Gato

Puss perfect

Xavier Montsalvatge is best known in these parts for the songs of his “Antilles” period in the 1940s, the exquisite “Cinco Canciones Negras” and so on, making use of rhythms and melodies with a Caribbean flavor.

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