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Love in bloom

Everything about Aleksandra Kurzak’s new disc is a variation on the term “fioritura.”  From the fuchsia-colored album design, with the decoratively curvaceous soprano brandishing a bouquet of flowers wearing a patterned ensemble of similar hue, to a collection of arias and scenes that bloom through her spectacular coloratura facility, Bel Raggio is a thing of beauty.

While her first album was a “calling card” recital, designed to showcase her talent across a continuum of popular repertoire, Bel Raggio is devoted exclusively to the work of Gioacchino Rossini.  The soprano has made the works of the “master from Pesaro” something of a specialty and his operas have figured prominently in her European career.  She adds yet another Rossini heroine to her repertoire when she essays Countess Adele in Le Comte Ory for La Scala in July 2014.   Read more »

Our retrospection will now be all to the future


La Cieca predicts you will be seeing more of the same old puritans at the Met next season, and she’s not just talking about the ones who slouch around during intermission hissing, “You call that a trill?” But uou will also see six new productions (including a Met premiere of a 21st century work) and the local debut of one of opera’s most controversial stage directors. Read more »