Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • Constantine A. Papas: She meant to say that she was the only “pompousR 21; Afro-American soprano to... 2:49 AM
  • davenport: Not really what I would call a thrashing – but then this is what most people were hoping... 2:41 AM
  • La Cieca: This is one of my all-time favorite Broadway moments, and Alice Playten DEFINES star quality.... 12:39 AM
  • mia apulia: it is inspiring bronzino, that there are no “minority artists” for you–or... 12:39 AM
  • Krunoslav: Brava Alice Playten. As Alice Plotkin, she created the role of the child in the Met’s first... 12:39 AM
  • mia apulia: sh, phoenix, I remember Ella Lee very well from a wonderful recital, but I never got to hear her... 12:36 AM
  • warmke: There is. Otherwise known as: http://www.malabar .net/costumerental s.html Supplies most regional... 12:28 AM
  • Satisfied: http://www.nytimes .com/2015/04/21/th eater/review-renee -fleming-plays-aga inst-type-in-li... 11:26 PM
  • Satisfied: Not surprising but…The People’s Diva’s theatrical vehicle is getting a... 11:25 PM
  • Loge: The Wolf Kennst du das Land was an extraordinary encore. 11:11 PM

Pretty poison

It could get loud. It often does, especially when the soprano is mere inches from your ears, pleading with the duke for the life of the poor boy (parentage unknown) who insulted her notorious dynasty. Soprano Joanna Parisi, as Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, is over the top and out of control. Read more »

Et in Arcadia, libido

A performance space called the Sheen Center has opened its doors way down the far end of Bleecker Street, a stoner’s throw from where CBGB’s used to thrive beside the itsy-bitsy Amato Opera House. (You never forget your first Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio.)  Sheen Center, sizable and modern and slim on personality, contains two theaters. The smaller one is the Sheen Center Blackbox (18 Bleecker), and it is just the right size (except it lacks a pit) for chamber-scale opera performance. Read more »

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 »

Juliiard Lucretia 1

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,

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Donna 1

One for the woad

Ellen Douglas 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.

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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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