Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • luvtennis: All of the above on recordings only. I was busy being born in the seventies! 1:37 PM
  • Operanaut: I have the Erato recording – Van Dam, Norman, Vanzo. Quite excellent. 1:33 PM
  • Lohengrin: La Scala has already announced, that JK has ask to cancel his contract AT THE BEGINNING OF THE... 1:28 PM
  • Krunoslav: Forgive my useless brain cell expenditure, and NO ONE need be impressed, but Leontyne sang just... 1:27 PM
  • Gualtier M: I dunno – Claire isn’t exactly bursting with personality but she can sing and sing... 1:26 PM
  • Feldmarschallin: There was a conversation months and months ago about this were we made bets that he would... 1:26 PM
  • Camille: And the first Metropolitan Opera Charlotte was none other than that ice skater of the Nile, Herself,... 1:26 PM
  • luvtennis: Sang some of the performances! No tag teaming. ???? 1:23 PM
  • Krunoslav: Well, I enjoy your frequent posts about global warming and the resurgence of dengue flu. Whatever,... 1:21 PM
  • luvtennis: Margaret Price sang Aida. There is a DVD from SF with Pavarotti and Estes. Lee sang some of the... 1:20 PM

Star, crossed

The key to enjoying Bellini’s I Capuleti e Montechi is to do a hard factory reset and reformat your brain to forget all other works based on Romeo and Juliet. Forget Tchaikovsky’s fantasy overture. Forget Prokofiev’s ballet score. Most importantly, forget Shakespeare’s play. If you can do all those things, you can enjoy Bellini’s opera for what it is—a primo ottocento relic with some very beautiful music.

Romani’s libretto makes the “star-crossed” lovers story less a tale of missed chances and senseless violence than a very conventional love triangle. There’s Romeo who is in love with Giulietta, daughter of Capellio. Giulietta is of course bethrothed to another (Tebaldo). And Romeo and his Montechi family are responsible for killing Capellio’s son. Much singing and sadness results. Romeo does indeed die of poison in the tomb but Giulietta expires from the same Unexplained Operatic Death that afflicts her Wagnerian sisters Elisabeth, Elsa, and Isolde. As I said, forget the Bard and it will all make sense.   Read more »

Table bodied

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This can be illustrated by two opposing kinds of opera fans: the kind who thinks that if it doesn’t happen in his backyard, it didn’t happen at all, and the other kind of fan for whom the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

The very small, very rich and very tax-free Opernhaus Zürich is often considered the Greenest Other Side of the Fence by opera aficionados who, well, don’t live in Zürich. They get the big stars before they become Big Stars (for everyone who heard Quinn Kelsey as Germont this fall/winter at the Met and thought he would be a wonderful Rigoletto, that was so two years ago in Zürich). They get the Big Stars who decide to only sing in Zürich (Cecilia Bartoli). And those tax breaks! It’s enough to make anyone mad with envy. Read more »

Door to door

The Met’s planned premiere of Iolanta/Bluebeard’s Castle was cancelled due to the Great Blizzard That Wasn’t. All ticket holders were given refunds and exchanges, and the premiere was moved to January 29. As a result the lobby of the Met pre-performance was a noisy zoo. The will call line spiraled almost to the basement stairs and my! all that fur (on both the men and the women). Outside was a small but noisy group of protestors. It’s understandable that the Met staff seemed a bit frazzled and overwhelmed.   Read more »

Hoffmann

A wasted time

Vittorio Grigolo in the title role of the Met’s revival of Les Contes d’Hoffman is the opera version of the charming homeless drunk.

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thermos

The year in Ivy

2014 was a year of lemons into lemonade.

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Traviata

Lost and found

Verdi must have gotten tired of tossing and turning by now and has gone back to resting in peace.

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Gheorghiu

Moon and stars

One of the major complaints about the five year casting system (as well as the shared productions by different companies) is that operatic events are rarely surprises anymore.

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boheme

Snow business

Every year I say I’m not going to another La Bohème because I’ve seen this too many times.

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Show Boat

Levee duty

If you are of the belief that Show Boat can stand on its own as a classic score and thus doesn’t need the trappings of musical production, you’ll love the New York Philharmonic’s “semi-staged” production.

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Aida

Side eye and bitch face

At the first intermission at last night’s Met revival of Aida, I turned to my companion and said, “So… what about the Aida? I thought she was supposed to be good.”

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