Cher Public

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 »

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. (Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)

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. After all, few operatic roles prove as irresistible yet as fraught with obstacles to the modern diva as Bellini’s Norma.

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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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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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Free Anna

Bel canto fanciers, diva fanatics and freebie queens alike will be delighted to hear that the Met is offering 2,500 gratis tickets to the September 22 open dress rehearsal of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, starring Anna Netrebko in the title role.

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And the Pubies go to…

At long last, the most closely guarded secret of 2011 (besides, you know, everything about what’s going to happen to City Opera) is about to be revealed. Ladies and public, the Second Annual Parterre Cher Public Choice Awards!

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