After having triumphed last month in Paris in Stéphane Braunschweig’s new Norma at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Maria Agresta began 2016 more modestly. For her American stage debut, the Italian soprano knocked on Rodolfo’s door as Mimi in the 458th performance of Franco Zeffirelli’s outsized production of Puccini’s La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera, Her delicately-acted, sumptuously-sung seamstress transformed what might have been just an average Wednesday night revival into something finer. Read more »
I’ve found myself at a number of Carmen productions over the last 18 months (a Jonas Kaufmann-less Saturday matinee at the Met last spring, a Wolf Trap young artist production, and, most recently, a minimal chorus-less outing in Atlantic City which turned on an affair between Carmen and Micaela), and besides putting me over the annual advisable quota for any particular warhorse, it has given me some time to ponder the current state of the Carmen enterprise. Read more »
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is first among equals in a spectacular cast when she sings the title role of Ariodante in this season’s installment of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed cycle of Handel’s operas in concert. A brilliantly melodic work, the opera features outstanding arias for each of the principal singers, including Ariodante’s melancholy “Scherza infida” and show-stopping “Doppo note.” Harry Bicket and The English Concert bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera. (Photo: Simon Pauly) Get tickets. Read more »
It is easy to become overly identified with opera—as a cleverer friend of mine once noted: being a sports fan is an interest, but if you like opera, everyone thinks of it as a crippling obsession. Les Troyens doesn’t help matters; “I’m going to a four hour opera,” you tell someone, trying to convey the magnitude of Troyens, but somehow it seems not to hint at the right degree of lunacy, so the next time, you include intermissions and say “I’m going to a five hour opera” and up and up it goes until you admit, between puffs on your gauloise, that everyone was right and you must be tres fou. Read more »
La Cieca is sure that Meyerbeer fanatics will be delighted to hear that the Royal Opera House Covent Garden is preparing a new staging of Les Huguenots.
Imagine two tenors releasing French opera aria collections at the same time without duplicating a single track!
Having heard a bit of the opening night broadcast and read some decidedly mixed reviews, I was totally unprepared for the remarkable performance of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena that I attended on December 15 at Chicago Lyric Opera.
Every year I say I’m not going to another La Bohème because I’ve seen this too many times.
La Cieca hears that the Met’s opening night of the 2018-2019 season will be a new production of Samson et Dalila featuring Bryan Hymel and Elina Garanca.
Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure.