Cher Public

  • overstimmelated: Not that it matters, but what was it, though? It came through on the Sirius broadcast and I assumed it was a transmission... 1:38 PM
  • La Cieca: Maybe they should have sent flowers to your home the next day with a warm note of condolence. 12:57 PM
  • kashania: Well put, Porgy. 12:50 PM
  • La Valkyrietta: Sorry, La Cieca. I should also have said I loved the evening and the review above, of corse, and Mattei was divine, I... 12:49 PM
  • La Cieca: Yeah, the Met should really reconsider their voluntary decision to create that noise deliberately, given that it annoys you and... 12:03 PM
  • kashania: Wonderfully detailed review, John. Thanks! 11:56 AM
  • La Valkyrietta: Hated the long hiss in the second scene of the first act when first they mention Elizabeth. A lady near me thought it was... 11:56 AM
  • kashania: basically top notch but just a little bit pareil LOL. Thanks for the great read. We had Brian Mulligan as Enrico the Edgardo... 11:49 AM

Don’t axe me why

Conceived to showcase homegrown star soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, 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.   Read more »


“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]



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.

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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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