Many contemporary opera-lovers must rue that they can never hear such 19th century icons as Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient or Adolphe Nourrit or the Garcia sisters, Maria Malibran and Pauline Viardot. But my impossible wish would be to hear one of the great castrati who dominated opera for most of the 18th century. I’m not the only one intrigued by these (mercifully) now-extinct musical anomalies—it’s a fascination that continues into the 21st century as heard on three variously compelling recent castrato-oriented CDs by countertenors David Hansen, Franco Fagioli and Philippe Jaroussky. In addition, the latter’s current US tour stopped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Grace Rainey Rogers auditorium Tuesday evening. Read more »
“…it’s not enough that The Consul is an inch-deep trivialization of one of the most momentous and agonizing events of the modern era, Eastern Europe’s (ongoing) struggle against totalitarianism…. Menotti, astonishingly, managed to ratchet up the outrage even further: He wrote an opera ostensibly about the horrors of dehumanization in which the empty characters exist only to be manipulated for his ulterior motives. That’s one hell of a sick irony.” [Seattle Weekly]
Yes. Yes, that is what the review of Los Angeles Opera’s Billy Budd actually said. And what’s more, the company’s press office used it as a pullquote.
The last place you’d expect to find opera at all, let alone good, exciting opera, is in still-scrappy Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“I have never driven a car because it always seemed to me a tax on one’s nervous system, and my only time for driving was when I was trying to store, rather than expend, energy.”
On February 29, 1812 (thanks to Pope Gregory’s calendrical reforms), Gioachino Rossini celebrated his fourth birthday.
Since Jonas Kaufmann is so in the news right now, Our Own Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin has selected as this week’s listening treat the tenor’s debut performance at the Bayreuth Festival, a July 25, 2010 performance of Lohengrin.
La Cieca hopes you, the cher public, will see your way clear to comment on this week’s off-topic and general interest subjects.
Tenor Michael Fabiano has been named the recipient of the ninth annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera.
“Masterpieces are not there to subvert; they are there to explore.”