Cher Public

  • phillyoperalover: I think people need to have several of seats and calm down. It’s a rape scene, there are plenty of rape scenes in... 10:49 AM
  • Cicciabella: Feature about Pappano’s recording of Aida on BBC 3′s CD Review (starts at about 2 hrs): http://www.bbc.... 10:46 AM
  • Indiana Loiterer III: Oh goody! And maybe we can get Ann Coulter instead of Philip Gossett to do the pre-opera lecture! Think outside the... 9:36 AM
  • La Valkyrietta: Okay, I had a brilliant idea this morning. If the Royal Opera Guillaume Tell is done at in NYC in the future, and if they... 9:11 AM
  • Cicciabella: You’re welcome, armer! The heat is boiling my brain, and I forgot to mention the level-headed Brit by name: Mark... 7:37 AM
  • armerjacquino: But not all Brits agree *crying with relief* I’ve been waiting ten years for someone to say that on here. THANK you,... 6:55 AM
  • Cicciabella: Context for above posts: ENO’s Queen of Spades, avaiable on BBC iPlayer and elsewhere discussed by manou et al. 6:20 AM
  • Cicciabella: But not all Brits agree. After singling out Felicity Palmer’s Countess (powerful even via radio), he praises thr... 6:01 AM

“You will, Cieca, you will!”

le_mot_du_jour_full“The L.A. Phil’s new season is up, too, and the big news there is (for me anyway) the premiere of a new sacred oratorio by John Adams, entitled The Gospel According to the Other Mary. Maybe he gave it that title to distinguish it from a forthcoming work by Mark Adamo.

“What? No, I meant because Mark Adamo’s writing The Gospel of Mary Magdalene for the San Francisco Opera! Why, what ‘mary’ did YOU think I was referring to?” [Daniel Stephen Johnson]

Nothing can stop the fan

There's some fruitcake out there who apparently wants to kill me!Commenter emerita Poison Ivy (now a blogress in her own right) takes on the dark side of fandom over at Poison Ivy’s Wall of Text. Find out what the fan did! Read more »

Vergin territory

puritani_glyndebourneIncredible, but true, I Puritani had not been performed in Great Britain since 1887 when Glyndebourne decided to stage it in 1960 with the main intention to showcase Joan Sutherland, who had been catapulted to international superstardom one year earlier in the legendary Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden.

Furthermore, Vittorio Gui, who had already been introducing the Glyndebourne audiences to Rossini, was eager to add more belcanto works to the repertoire of that opera company. This effort is now documented on the CD just released on the Glyndebourne Enterprise label.   Read more »

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Mano a mano

I attend the opera intent on enjoying myself. If the music is not my favorite, there is always something to like, be it a colleague’s individual performance, the discovery of a newcomer, nifty stagecraft or costumes, observing the movement skills of the various singers, or in worst-case scenarios, observing the audience’s boredom, carefully notating the point-of-no-more-patience. My critical eye and ear are well-known, so I try not to be cynical as I silence my smartphone and smile at the sextagenarians who own the subscription seats next to me. 

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There ought to be a new word for camp

“Tyler Perry‘s… For Colored Girls does feel like a ghoulish joke, a dated horror show bordering on parody. It’s both operatic and tone deaf, with explosions of hysteria that include a drunken Macy Gray performing a back-alley abortion and the conversion of a poem spoken by [Ntozake] Shange‘s Lady in Purple into an actual opera by Perry’s regular composer Aaron Zigman (called La Donna In Viola). During the opera, the film cuts back and forth between a doomed couple silently watching the performance (the husband is on the down low, unbeknownst to the wife) and another character being savagely date-raped.” [...]

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The road to Manderley

From time to time the younger queens ask La Cieca, “Why does all the camp date back decades? Did something happen to camp? Why is there no new camp? Where should we look to find our own 21st century camp? Now La Cieca has an answer for you young queens. Look no further! Camp, with a capital C, is coming to a Broadway theater near you—soon! Or, uh, anyway—eventually!

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Elina Garatsnest

We may have a contender in the category of Most Overdone Camp Diva Crossover Hair Extension.

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What not to wear

The Met’s premiere production of Verdi’s Attila is terrible. Are you surprised? Attila is like a self-conscious stroll down Rodeo Drive – or even worse, to the Mall of America – reducing an opera about ruthless tyranny brought down by ruthless vengeance to a quaint and insipid fashion show.

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Wake me up before you catalog

You know, La Cieca lived through the 1980s, just barely, and then imagine her surprise when, midway through the 2000s, there was a revival of all that 80s stuff — shoulder pads, leggings, big hair, glitter. All of it. Well, no, not quite all of it. There was one trend of the 1980s whose revival we were mercifully spared. Until just now.

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Girl of the moment

It took the Metropolitan Opera decades to catch up with the rest of the world and finally stage La Cenerentola. Gioachino Rossini’s opera buffa, one of his most beloved and accomplished works, received its belated Met debut in 1997, amidst legitimate suspicions that the new production was less a genuine desire to add a belcanto masterpiece to the company’s repertoire than a concession to Cecilia Bartoli’s demands. Since then the production has been revived several times with galaxy of international mezzo-sopranos such as Jennifer Larmore, Sonia Ganassi, Olga Borodina and, just this past season, superstar Elina Garanca.

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