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  • Buster: Modern classics like the Ruth Berghaus Tristan und Isolde, or the Konwitschny Aida are both over... 3:37 AM
  • Porgy Amor: Lepage Rake trailer: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=U7fy z9ZLDno A DVD from La Monnaie’s... 3:26 AM
  • Porgy Amor: Terrence Malick’s film Days of Heaven seems to me timelessly great, and it would be high on... 3:21 AM
  • m. croche: Another part of the Al Jolson legacy: He was such a popular entertainer worldwide, that he... 2:05 AM
  • fletcher: HH, are you planning to go to Salonen’s Pelléas next spring at LA Phil? The semi-staged... 1:58 AM
  • Krunoslav: True enough httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=tWCe 6bW0-Fs 1:46 AM
  • Batty Masetto: My late ex, a theater designer, used to tell about attending a Met performance (maybe... 1:17 AM
  • Fritz: You could still see blackface on British television until the late 70s. httpv://www.you... 1:03 AM
  • PCally: The best example currently would be the Schenk Rusalka, which is in serious need of a paint job,... 12:35 AM
  • Krunoslav: ‘Jolson’s style has dated terribly, but I don’t know how many performers of his generation... 12:19 AM

Rock-a-bye your baby with a pentatonic melody

It seems almost comical to think now but the designer-director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, who died in 1988, was at one time considered the height of regie-theatre scandal.

Long before Kupfer, Herheim, and Bieito, Ponnelle was doing things like staging Wagner’s Dutchman as the dream of The Steersman, the minor character in the opening (gasp), giving Santuzza a baby bump in Cavalleria (a slew of gray-haired ladies in the founder’s circle just fainted), and leaving Liu’s dead body onstage for the remainder of the last act of Turandot and then revealing the Principessa in a hot pink negligée after Calaf’s kiss (I can still hear the critics convulsing from here).  Read more »

Shopping season

After a long summer drought, suddenly new Blu-ray and DVD releases are falling, as it were, from the sky. La Cieca invites the cher public to peruse a gaggle of operatic offerings after the jump. Read more »

No business like snow business

Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is his masterwork and its themes of social convention and unrequited longing surely struck a deep chord in a composer who, in late 19th century Russia, was gay and had to conduct himself carefully.

I’d like to say a brief requiem for the Metropolitan Opera’s last production, brilliantly designed by Michael Levine and directed by Robert Carsen. Its strong use of color and abstraction brought an easy focus to the unabashed romanticism and melancholy of this work.  Read more »

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The cup runneth over

I am grateful to Sony for this new release of the Metropolitan Opera’s latest production of Parsifal and I hope I’m not the only one who discovers what a rich experience this opera can be because of it.

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Shadows on the silver screen

Strange as it is to encounter two such disparate works presented with the identical production concept, it’s odder still that the opera you’d think would be the slam dunk is anything but.

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When in Rome

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s only opera for Rome was written to an existing libretto by the great Pietro Metastasio, L’Olimpiade, which had already  been set by Vivaldi the year previously.

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Bear in mind

Before there was a Stefan Herheim Boheme (which I reviewed a couple of weeks back for this site), there was a Herheim Eugene Onegin, recorded in June 2011 at De Nederlanse Opera.

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Somewhere there’s a blu-ray of happiness

The 2012 Bayreuth production of Parsifal directed by Stefan Herheim will be released on Blu-ray and DVD by Opus Arte in April 2013.

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I enjoy being a valkyrie

So, take a look after the jump and tell La Cieca the two things that are wrong (they’re related) about the cover of the Met’s new Ring DVD/Blu-ray.

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The Wurm turns

The Met’s controversial Ring cycle, directed by Robert Lepage (not pictured) and conducted by TBA (possibly pictured) makes its home video debut on September 11.

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