Tonight’s program at the New York Philharmonic, Arthur Honegger’s massive oratorio dramatique Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, has been an occasional visitor to the orchestra’s repertoire starting with the performance conducted by Charles Munch in January of 1948. Despite its slight 70 minute running time, it’s a vast polyphonic work that attracts that certain species of conductor who enjoys showing off the adroit command of large forces both orchestral and choral. As well one can hardly imagine the near electro-magnetic tug actresses must feel at the opportunity of playing one of the most mythic women of the middle ages and not get scorched by the process. Read more »
Just discovered: a Swedish documentary about Birgit Nilsson, featuring footage of the diva at the Met getting ready to sing Tosca opposite Gianni Raimondi (replacing Franco Corelli who was apparently ill), giving a party for fans in her modest sublet, giggling, preparing for a recital tour, rehearsing Tristan und Isolde and generally doing interesting things. (Narration is in Swedish, but in the New York sequences, Nilsson and others mostly speak English.) Read more »
La Cieca hears that there will be a little quasi-operatic activity on the Great White Way a year hence. Fall 2015 is the target date for an as yet untitled one-woman show based on the life of Kathleen Battle, scheduled to star Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. (And before you ask, no, the playwright is not Terrence McNally!)
Cecilia Bartoli and Joyce DiDonato are not the only ladies who have recorded recitals this year featuring music from the 17th and 18th centuries.
La Cieca supposes that maybe the reason Angela Gheorghiu doesn’t include any music from Manon Lescaut on her new “Homage to Callas” CD is that she can’t quite identify with the character?
“It’s just that it seems rather perverse to have cast such opulent voices and then given them not much to sing…. the role of Anna Nicole would not stretch Danielle de Niese.” Loyal parterrian Jondrytay (not pictured) looked in on the Royal Opera’s Anna Nicole and shared this thoughts on his blog Not So Wunderbar.
This is the way the public used to greet the entrance of a beloved star, and La Cieca is very unhappy to think that she will never hear the like again.
An appearance by legendary diva Virginia Zeani is but one of the highlights of tomorrow night’s Marcello Giordani Foundation Concert and Dinner.