Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • actfive: That is some pretty fabulous singing, esp Abigaille and Lady M. 5:49 PM
  • almavivante: It pains me to ask what may be a very dumb question, but: Do people REALLY buy these Xmas albums... 5:28 PM
  • pirelli: It’s interesting listening to the clips of Kelli/Renee and Kurt/Renee in particular. In both... 5:24 PM
  • uwsinnyc: I have to say she sounded *marginally* better when she did them a couple years ago. Or may be it... 5:18 PM
  • Clita del Toro: Why does anyone pay attention to that vile yenta, lebrecht? 5:14 PM
  • armerjacquino: Interesting the way the word is viewed on opposite sides of the pond. It’s more or less... 4:56 PM
  • irontongue: He is indeed a cowardly shit. That makes only two individual bloggers I know who have comments... 4:50 PM
  • antikitschychick: Not because of Ebola specifically. That was just an example. My point is that we live in a... 4:41 PM
  • armerjacquino: It happens, but it’s certainly not a house policy. I’ve seen four or five TOSCAs... 4:41 PM
  • moritz: You’re welcome, Porgy. I probably should have included the next sentence of the review as well:... 4:20 PM

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 »

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. Its popularity dwindled after its initial, and wildly successful, premiere at the Metropolitan in 1910 starring Enrico Caruso, Emmy Destinn, and Pasquale Amato and conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Since it was the first new opera commissioned by the Met it generated a lot of excitement in the media and with the public. Critics mostly fell over themselves for the glories of the music, mise en scène (real horses on stage!), the singing and conducting.   Read more »

West coast story

I have been a lifelong fan of West Side Story in spite, or because, of the fact that my first real introduction to its wonders was the bloated and bourgeois recording made by Leonard Bernstein and produced by Deutsche Grammophon in 1985. I can’t really be blamed since I was very young and impressionable and it was the first time I’d ever heard the musical numbers in full, like the balcony scene with the dialogue lead-in and the underscoring, as well as the dance music complete. It was, my friends, magic—even if Lenny, in a titanic display of nepotism, hired his own children to speak said love scenes to each other. (Ick.) Read more »

stella_amazon

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.

Read more »

pavarotti_amazon

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.

Read more »

elektra_amazon

Fairy tale

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

Read more »

stumme_amazon

Bomb squad

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

Read more »

gerzmava_amazon

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.

Read more »

schwanewilms_amazon

Hothouse flower

To some, Anne Schwanewilms will always be the soprano in the slinky black dress who replaced Deborah Voigt at Covent Garden a decade ago.

Read more »

oedipus_amazon

Blinded item

His 75-minute setting of Oedipus in Kolonos, heard in a live 2009 performance on MDR Klassik, illustrates how Mendelssohn tried to link ancient forms with Romantic-era sensibilities by fashioning harmonically adventurous chorales and believable characters instead of abstract musical representations of mythical figures.

Read more »