Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • Signor Bruschino: Speaking of Gergiev, Netrebko & War and Peace, was the production ever videotaped in... 9:00 AM
  • quoth the maven: In what universe is the Met “heavily subsidized”? ? 8:56 AM
  • manou: I refuse to call you a fun guy (because there will me more(l)shiitake). 8:09 AM
  • m. croche: I doff my cap, 7:57 AM
  • manou: That must be why Chanterelle commented… 7:43 AM
  • m. croche: Overall, the orchestra sounded beautiful, if consistently rushed by right tempos that did not... 7:11 AM
  • manou: Libretto here: http://t.co/xEOlI1 hOoW 6:39 AM
  • tiger1: Thanks a lot, Jungfer. I am happy to say that now I have at least heard it. I did not listen... 6:30 AM
  • Dabrowski: Don’t give him any ideas. 4:41 AM
  • Dabrowski: Phyllis Chesler is a joke, one of those hacks that the far right likes to trot out as a convert to... 4:40 AM

Liebestraum

“Opera can, in fact, be something beautiful and moving even when all a performance has going for it is some really excellent singing. And that’s what the Met has served up in its current revival of Bellini’s La Sonnambula, vocalism so splendid it hardly matters it’s happening in a dramatic vacuum.” [New York Observer]

You don’t have to be Druids to love it

“The Met’s production, originally directed by John Copley, is still a hideous, confusing mess. But with Ms. Meade and Ms. Barton acting with moving subtlety, singing generously and feeling deeply, it was hard to care.” [New York Times]

Normative

La Cieca is sort of out of words trying to describe what makes a great performance of the role of Norma, as opposed to the conscientious traversal of the notes that, curiously, seems to inspire such absurdly hyperbolic statements as “The role has been a magnet for many great sopranos—Ponselle, Milanov, Callas, Sutherland, to name a few—and after last night Radvanovksy can add her name to the list.”

Thus your doyenne now graciously offers an audio example of “greatness,” including ferocity of attack, nobility of fraseggio, crisp rhythm and expressive use of the text… following the jump.   Read more »

norma_radvanovsky

Sediziose voci

La Cieca (not pictured) returns to the chat room tonight, cher public, on the occasion of the broadcast of Norma from the Met starting at 7:25 PM.

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norma_amazon

Racing with the moon

For better or worse, Decca’s new Norma recording will ultimately be embraced—or dismissed—by those reacting directly to Cecilia Bartoli’s controversial portrayal.

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meade_beatrice

Bea in the bonnet

Everyone who revives Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, as the Collegiate Chorale did at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, calls the piece an “overlooked masterpiece.”

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michael_spyres

The Beatrice generation

Beatrice di Tenda was a problem child, Vincenzo Bellini an alternately protective and disparaging parent.

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capuleti_caramoor

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.

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Ciro in Babilonia by Rossini, a Bel Canto at Caramoor performance

Conquering Ciro

By the time Rossini was 20, he had produced six operas, most of them brief, comic and slight. He admitted to admiring Mozart (not then well known south of the Alps), but the melodies of his early works show more of the influence of Paisiello.

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devia_norma

Over the moon

Mariella Devia will augment her already vast bel canto repertoire next year with the role of roles: Bellini’s Norma.

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