Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • pasavant: Verizon did not build the theater; they bought the naming rights for $14.5 million dollars in cash,... 3:25 PM
  • Satisfied: I can’t remember the last time the Met canceled a performance. Did they cancel during Sandy? 3:24 PM
  • Camille: I guess the Will of the Ukraine People is mighty enough to close down the first night! There will be... 3:22 PM
  • DeepSouthSenior: Brrrr. Down here in our humble abode, through the weekend Mrs. DeepSouth and I are facing a... 3:18 PM
  • Camille: Here is sopranist Maniaci to explain himself in his own words and to tive further proof in his... 3:17 PM
  • Jamie01: My parents were there in Philadelphia when most of the orchestra couldn’t make it because of... 3:01 PM
  • Dabrowski: I want another one of these. 2:58 PM
  • Camille: Noted, and indeed highly of interest and a. Ery rare case. He is then, uniquely, a true sopranist?... 2:55 PM
  • Camille: Herr Hans! You are so good and kindly indulgent to take such trouble with explaining the... 2:47 PM
  • Camille: Thanks very much pasavant and I shall bookmark and keep this information safe as a handy reference.... 2:30 PM

Pazzo son, guardate!

Manon Lescaut was Giacomo Puccini’s first big international success. His publisher, Giulio Ricordi, tried to put him off the project by citing Jules Massenet’s very successful adaptation just nine years previously. Puccini was intent on making the story his own, insisting, “A woman like Manon can have more than one lover… I shall feel it like an Italian, with desperate passion.” Desperation is certainly the feeling this reviewer got from a new recording of Manon Lescaut from our friends at Decca Classics, but I’m also quite certain it’s not the same type that the Maestro had for his subject. Read more »

Saxon violence

His shaved head in striking contrast to his dark beard and glinting eyes, the implacable Tartar conqueror glowers at us from the CD cover, while the uncropped photo of countertenor Xavier Sabata (above) is even more disturbing, featuring his raised fist and forearm tightly wrapped in a leather belt. Read more »

No such Gluck

Mozart tinkered with the Messiah. Mendelssohn adapted choral works by both Handel and Bach. But when Richard Wagner reached into the past and revised Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, he went beyond the accepted boundaries of tinkering and more or less created a new work that’s fomented aesthetic debates ever since.   Read more »

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Panning for gold

Giacomo Puccini’s horse-opera version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,”  La Fanciulla del West, based on David Belasco’s play, The Girl of the Golden West, enjoyed the status of a curate’s egg for quite a while.

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West coast story

I fall on my knees before this new live recording issued by the San Francisco Symphony.

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Dancing with the star

After listening to “Stella di Napoli,” her mightily impressive new CD of rare bel canto arias just released by Erato, I felt many of the old sparks reigniting.

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Past perfect

With much laying-on of fanfares and gift boxes our friends at Decca Classics have unleashed Luciano Pavarotti Edition 1: The First Decade on a weary and satiated public.

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Fairy tale

“Conduct Salome and Elektra as if they were by Mendelssohn: Fairy music.” Seriously, how often has that happened?

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Bomb squad

Vienna never really forgave Erich Wolfgang Korngold for going to work in the movies.

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New faces of 2014

Once upon a time, a man and a woman met. He could sing, she could sing. They fell in love, got married, and became a power couple to rival Billary.

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