Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • ML: He is past the end of his shelf life. Have you heard the Sony Don Carlo? 4:04 AM
  • m. croche: Also forthcoming. Reviews enclosed. Can you spot the JJ? httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=5... 2:27 AM
  • danpatter: Camille, I believe Beverly Sills’ recording of NORMA has “Casta diva” in G,... 10:47 PM
  • danpatter: I watched the ARABELLA clip with some trepidation. Fleming’s voice has loosened a bit, but... 10:31 PM
  • danpatter: Yes it Roberta Alexander, as the Fifth Maid, and she gets a very nice ovation at the end. Also... 10:23 PM
  • laddie: Do like the rest of us do, buy $32 tickets and move up. Better yet, volunteer a teensy amount of your... 9:31 PM
  • Ruxxy: What? She breathes oxygen and can move her legs and arms? lol 8:32 PM
  • pavel: Quite a tempting selection of treats, save for the Rameau. Even people dancing in their knickers... 8:10 PM
  • Archaeopteryx: I must say that I find Eaglen’s reading of Norma’s scene on her recital disc with... 6:29 PM
  • manou: Toscanini e passato naturalmente. 6:17 PM

A dude? Am I a dude? Madame Flora, a dude?

It’s just not true that Gian Carlo Menotti composed The Medium as an opera only because he couldn’t get Joan Crawford to do it when his libretto was originally a screenplay. But you can see how these rumors get started. I know what I’m talking about here, because I started that one myself.   Read more »

L’infelice Aragonese

Camille Saint-Saëns was such a brilliant, facile musician that pals like Wagner and Liszt felt a distinct schadenfreude when he suffered composer’s block. Still, in a career of some eighty years’ length, he completed a dozen operas (not to mention symphonies and concertos and, as Leon Botstein explained and demonstrated at Bard, the world’s first full-length film score)—but you are unlikely to have heard more than one of the operas.  Read more »

Thirds and music

Richard Wagner told Cosima he first got the idea of composing an opera about Tristan and Isolde while he was conducting Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi starring his muse, Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, in the trouser role of Romeo.

Wagner said lots of stuff. Whether this bit was true or not, it was Wagner’s high opinion of Bellini (especially Norma, of course) that kept the man in the repertory outside of Italy through the dark years of verismo and Gesamtkünstwerk. Happily, the two men never met; Wagner would have tried to borrow money and you know how that would have turned out.  Read more »