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 »
On this day in 1972 President Nixon arrived in the People’s Republic of China. Read more »
“It was the chilliest opening night at the Met in years on Monday—barely 15 degrees when the curtain went up on the company premiere of La Donna del Lago.“
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,
On this day in 1914 Riccardo Zandonai‘s Francesca da Rimini premiered in Turin.
The Metropolitan Opera’s 2015-16 season will present 227 opera performances in a varied repertory, ranging from rarely performed masterpieces to perennial audience favorites.
On this day in 1930 Luigi Pirandello‘s Come Tu Mi Vuoi premiered in Milan.
The Met announces its 2015-2016 season tomorrow at 1:00 PM, cher public, and La Cieca knows you will all be here to discuss and dissect
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.