Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • zinka: httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=OHCu PMovdFQ In 1972,we were on the way to Leyla’s Attila in... 2:13 PM
  • marshiemarkII: Oh I don’t know, we all hear different things differently. Plus the most significant of... 2:10 PM
  • armerjacquino: How incredibly, unnecessarily rude. I made it clear from the start I was referring to the... 2:09 PM
  • kashania: I learn something new every day. Thanks, Marshie! LOL 2:04 PM
  • marshiemarkII: And yessssss of course Goddess Garanca would be THE DREAM Bouillon today, just as fabulous as... 2:02 PM
  • Lohengrin: marshiemarkII: Can You tell me what went on with my ears when I was at the Met for Werther…... 2:01 PM
  • marshiemarkII: Well caro Kashie “ferociousne ss” was exactly right! although “ferocity... 2:00 PM
  • Lohengrin: Better you be silent having NOT been there. 1:57 PM
  • kashania: I guess “ferocity 221; is the word I’m looking for! 1:55 PM
  • kashania: I like Garanca a lot but I’m not sure if she’s there yet in terms of ferociousness.... 1:53 PM

Star, crossed

The key to enjoying Bellini’s I Capuleti e Montechi is to do a hard factory reset and reformat your brain to forget all other works based on Romeo and Juliet. Forget Tchaikovsky’s fantasy overture. Forget Prokofiev’s ballet score. Most importantly, forget Shakespeare’s play. If you can do all those things, you can enjoy Bellini’s opera for what it is—a primo ottocento relic with some very beautiful music.

Romani’s libretto makes the “star-crossed” lovers story less a tale of missed chances and senseless violence than a very conventional love triangle. There’s Romeo who is in love with Giulietta, daughter of Capellio. Giulietta is of course bethrothed to another (Tebaldo). And Romeo and his Montechi family are responsible for killing Capellio’s son. Much singing and sadness results. Romeo does indeed die of poison in the tomb but Giulietta expires from the same Unexplained Operatic Death that afflicts her Wagnerian sisters Elisabeth, Elsa, and Isolde. As I said, forget the Bard and it will all make sense.   Read more »

Table bodied

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This can be illustrated by two opposing kinds of opera fans: the kind who thinks that if it doesn’t happen in his backyard, it didn’t happen at all, and the other kind of fan for whom the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

The very small, very rich and very tax-free Opernhaus Zürich is often considered the Greenest Other Side of the Fence by opera aficionados who, well, don’t live in Zürich. They get the big stars before they become Big Stars (for everyone who heard Quinn Kelsey as Germont this fall/winter at the Met and thought he would be a wonderful Rigoletto, that was so two years ago in Zürich). They get the Big Stars who decide to only sing in Zürich (Cecilia Bartoli). And those tax breaks! It’s enough to make anyone mad with envy. Read more »

Flame war

The role debut of a world-class singer is always a time of great anticipation, hopefully to be followed by celebration, if not unbridled jubilation. When two world-class singers premiere roles on the same night an operatic apoplexy is not unknown amongst the devoted. The theater’s infirmary stockpiles tranquilizers and the bar enjoys a brisk trade in all manner of festive libations. Now, gently fold into this mix one of the world’s greatest conductors who hitherto hasn’t shown much love to the Italian wing and then a stage director with a touch for the deranged and all bets are off.   Read more »

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When I have sung my songs

Soprano Renée Fleming is certainly making the role of the Countess in Richard Strauss’s final opera Capriccio the focus of her late-career years.

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Juan and two

I always think of Don Giovanni as half of the greatest opera ever written. Or, actually, about 2/3 of the greatest opera ever written.

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The dark side of the moon

After viewing Stefan Herheim’s production of Rusalka, I’ve got a new category: “regie slick.”

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Speer pressure

One of the things that made François Girard’s 2013 production of Parsifal at the Met so compelling was the way he tried to make the tale of suffering and temptation relevant to a contemporary audience.

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Bomb scare

The appeal of Ariadne auf Naxos (for me anyway) is the acknowledgment that underneath it all, opera (and all other forms of “high art”) is really show business.

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Final chapter

None of my previous Elektra experiences prepared me for this stunning, overwhelming performance from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

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Rich man’s frug

A good performance of a Rossini opera buffa usually bubbles along merrily.

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