Cher Public

  • decotodd: Yes the audiences at LA Opera are generally younger and more diverse than the HD crowd at my theater, too (Beverly Hills/Century... 7:29 PM
  • fletcher: I go to almost every Met HD broadcast in downtown Los Angeles. I’m always the only one there under 30, usually under 40,... 7:13 PM
  • armerjacquino: The audiences at the Met HDs I’ve been to in London have been largely in their 30s and 40s. 6:46 PM
  • javier: this is great news. 6:21 PM
  • EarlyRomantic: In a separate thread yesterday, I wrote about the Trovatore HD transmission (which I enjoyed and which, by the way, was my... 5:51 PM
  • armerjacquino: That’s a shame about Serjan. I have a live recording of her in the role under Muti and she’s terrific. 5:33 PM
  • parpignol: stumbled into Vienna Macbeth prima this evening, and really appreciated again how great the Trovatore at the Met was last week;... 5:24 PM
  • antikitschychick: Thank you messa di voce :-). Still have to write about Anna Bolena and Turandot. Hope to get it done by tonight.... 4:15 PM

Paris original

Another month, another La Traviata release on video. This performance was culled from the 2014 Glyndebourne Festival and is in many ways the performance of La Traviata that you would get if you took all the major Traviata productions from around the globe and averaged them. The performance doesn’t feature spectacular performances but since none of them are outright bad they round off to “extremely professional and competent.”

Director Tom Cairns’ production and Hildegard Bechtler’s designs follow recent Traviata trends without adding any original touches: vaguely modern-dress, “timeless” non-descript sets, and rather cold person-regie between the opera’s three protagonists. The curtain rises on a modern salon that nonetheless has a chandelier and some other trappings of elegance that would be more true to the demi-mondaine life than the modern high-class escort.   Read more »

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.

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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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