Cher Public

Sexual perversity in Chicago

“These few minutes provide all the sex, violence and surreal trashiness to justify Mr. Bieito’s reputation for being controversial and provocative. Less predictable, perhaps, is the quiet love scene that follows all that raucous spectacle. It’s less showy, less broad, less, well, Bieito-like.” In what surely must count as La Cieca’s idea of a perfect storm, Zachary Woolfe interviews Calixto Bieito in the New York Times.

Mano a mano

chicago_balloI 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.  Read more »

You were dead, you know

optimismeThree-time Met régisseuse Mary Zimmerman is taking it to the Windy City, helming a “newly adapted” Candide for Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. “Danny Pelzig choreographs the cataclysmic events that ensue.” [broadwayworld.com]

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Angel of peace

La Cieca’s fans worldwide will be happy to note that she doesn’t think scandals are limited to only New York and Bayreuth. In fact, wherever Patti LuPone goes, scandale follows. Right now, La LuPone is in Chicago, and, yes, the Hogtown natives are restless.

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Gong show

La Cieca hears that tenor Dongwon Shin saved the day at Opera Australia last night (or would that be tomorrow night?) when he jumped in on barely a day’s notice as Calaf in Turandot. And most of that “day” was spent on a plane from Chicago to Sydney! First reports are that the Sydney audience gave Shin a huge ovation “like nothing we’ve seen here in years.” Here’s a clip of Shin in Turandot opposite Jennifer Wilson, his prima donna at Opera Australia.

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The Price is right!

With the new year always come new year’s resolutions, and La Cieca thinks that this year her resolution will be to stop making snap judgments. La Cieca hopes you understand that she only got into the habit of making all those snap judgments because she is right almost all of the time. But now and then, La Cieca does miss the boat, and she is the first to admit it. Or at least she is among the first. One such erroneous snap judgement La Cieca made was about Dame Margaret Price. Way, way back in the 1970s, when her brain […]

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Man-on-Manon action

La Cieca must be getting her librettos confused. She knows that Baby Doe promises she will wait for Horace Tabor near the entrance to the Mineshaft. And, of course, back in the late ’70s, any number of Gotham-based operatic evenings wound up at this venereal venue. But this is the first time La Cieca has ever heard that Manon Lescaut was a devotee of S&M — as evidenced by her participation in this blistering scene: This photo (by Dan Rest) is from Playbill Arts’ feature on the new Lyric Opera of Chicago production production of the Puccini opera. And note […]

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Web of mystery

La Cieca is just asking — why should the Web site of that prominent American baritone suddenly go offline? This artist (recently at the pinnacle of his career) has done musicals before, but this fancy footwork looks like something from Chicago! And which switch-hitting intendant is making noises about quitting his summer job? Is he feeling cooped up, or is it just that he wants to spend more time looking at New York City real estate?

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Lyric drama

Once Matthew Epstein has left Chicago (as reported this morning at musicalamerica.com), you can be sure he’ll have better things to do than rest on his laurels. La Cieca hears that Matthew has his eye on San Francisco Opera, succeeding Pamela Rosenberg there. But the competition for this post is fierce: front runners include Charles MacKay of St. Louis and Christopher Hahn of Pittsburgh. And yet another prospective intendant has recently thrown her hat in the ring: none other than Carol Vaness is ready to be “directa” of SFO. Update (December 16): The whirlwind of speculation over the next career […]

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