Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • Feldmarschallin: Well was anyone expecting her to sing that? 4:51 PM
  • Guestoria Unpopularenka: Are you implying he’s old or something? He’s 36. 4:38 PM
  • Poison Ivy: There’s been like a cast change advisory in every Boheme since opening night. 4:37 PM
  • NPW-Paris: It pleases me that it’s where some of the best kebabs come from. 4:27 PM
  • NPW-Paris: Janacek uses chains in From the House of the Dead. 4:24 PM
  • Krunoslav: Were Umberto Borso and Ion Piso unavailable? 4:23 PM
  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin: Actually, you can access the full score, or the individual parts, here:... 3:24 PM
  • MontyNostry: It always pleases me that Kad?köy is where chalcedony originally came from. 3:22 PM
  • MontyNostry: armer – was that Cavaradossi opposite Bumbry, in Mae West mode, in 1990 or so? 3:19 PM
  • MontyNostry: Poor Giacomini inexplicably got booed on the first night of that Turandot in Paris in 1981... 3:16 PM

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 »

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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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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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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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The Beatrice generation

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

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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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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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