Cher Public

The gleam of his smile

Earlier this year when the Met announced its 2015-16 season, the fall revival of Verdi’s Il Trovatore looked pretty routine– except the first US Leonoras of reigning diva Anna Netrebko. Few would have predicted that Friday night’s prima would turn out to be one of the most thrilling—and moving–performances heard at the house in many a season.   Read more »

Phases of the moon

Dmitri Hvorostovsky has withdrawn from three performances of Verdi’s Il Trovatore at the Met this season, on October 7, 10, and 17. Hvorostovsky, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June, will sing the opening performances of the opera at the Met as scheduled (September 25 and 29, and October 3 matinee), then return to London for continued treatment.” So says the Met’s press department. But wait, there’s more!   Read more »

Three nights in Paris

“Oh to be young and going to Paris for the first time,” exclaimed an elderly gentleman who donned his best sweatervest for a concert at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival this past August. Indeed, it is wonderful to be young and in Paris for the first time—in no small part thanks to the generous student discount schemes that make the performing arts so accessible to juvenile enthusiasts. Over the past three evenings, I have experienced no less than three extraordinary evenings of vocal music of the highest caliber, and it is my pleasure to share those experiences with you.   Read more »

“O, beware, my lord, of TRESemmé!”

Luxuriantly maned divos Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Roberto Alagna rehearse Otello.

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Evviva Las Vegas

Where else would you be this evening at 7:55, cher public, but in La Casa della Cieca whilst the season premiere of Rigoletto emanates from the Met?

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O fatal “Don”

The Met’s performance of Don Carlo Friday night was a tragedy, but not for the reason Verdi intended.

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Leather underground

Putting in a little face time (and what faces!) at Charles Castronovo‘s cabaret at 54 Below last night were barihunk trifecta Erwin Schrott, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ildar Abdrazakov.

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Our retrospection will now be all to the future

La Cieca predicts you won’t be seeing any puritans at the Met next season, except of course for the ones who slouch around during intermission hissing, “You call that a trill?”

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Starless night

An understudy saved the show at the Met’s La Traviata Friday night, but no star was born.

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Northern stars

Winners of the seventh annual F. Paul Driscoll Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence, or, as they are colloquially known, the Opera News Awards, have been announced. Accepting the coveted “Effies” on Sunday, April 29 at The Plaza in New York City will be sopranos Karita Mattila and Anja Silja, baritones Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Peter Mattei, and director Peter Sellars. (Zany photo of Sellars by Alex Ross.)

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