The dramatic action of La Sonnambula is delicate as a holiday ornament of filigree glass, and its semiseria naiveté may puzzle a modern public. Staging it is an awkward matter at best, as the recent Met production demonstrated: How can you update a tale of Swiss rustics who refuse to believe in sleepwalkers but insist passionately on the reality of ghosts, virgin brides and honorable noblemen? Read more »
There was a certain frisson in the air entering Chicago Lyric Opera last night, and not just in anticipation of attending the world premiere of a new work by Jimmy Lopez (music) and Nilo Cruz (libretto), Bel Canto. Particularly for those who read Ann Patchett’s splendid novel on which the opera is based, there was a certain sense of danger at attending an opera about a terrorist attack and hostage-taking. Read more »
La Cieca hears that Lyric Opera of Chicago is so confident about the success of their impending world premiere of the opera Bel Canto that the company has already commissioned a sequel from the same creative team. In this new work, entitled Can Belto, a group of terrorists kidnap Broadway diva Idina Menzel. Says Lyric’s creative consultant Renée Fleming, “This is a more lighthearted piece, suggested by the classic O. Henry tale “The Ransom of Red Chief.”
The Metropolitan Opera’s much vaunted so-called “Tudor Ring” of three royal operas by Donizetti got off to a bumpy start Saturday afternoon with a revival of Anna Bolena that stubbornly refused to cohere either musically or dramatically.
“Opera can, in fact, be something beautiful and moving even when all a performance has going for it is some really excellent singing.”
“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.”
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.
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.”