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Cher Public

  • everest: After the last performances of Ernani in 1985 (intended for Caballé, who withdrew after her... 2:47 PM
  • Feldmarschallin: Good she had some decent performances. I am listening to the Berlin Parsifal now and am... 2:42 PM
  • Buster: Janice Baird is Ortrud in the Rouen Lohengrin with Barbara Haveman. Looking foreward to that a lot. 2:36 PM
  • Feldmarschallin: Yes but most of them in Lübbeck and Essen. :( Speaking of Brünnhildes there was one several... 2:24 PM
  • Camille: Yes, it was in that most iconic of Mr Treigle’s roles, MEFISTOFELE, in which I saw him first,... 1:58 PM
  • Camille: As yo can see, cara Feldie, she has sung a lot of Brünnehildes: http://operabase.c om/listart.cgi?... 1:41 PM
  • Feldmarschallin: So now my question has anyone heard her? Never even heard of her. Well I will know more... 1:24 PM
  • Feldmarschallin: In der Vorstellung von Richard Wagners Götterdämmerung am 29. März 2015 wird Rebecca Teem... 1:16 PM
  • Gualtier M: The “Cossotto 221; incident was after a vocal competition not at the one Puccini... 12:36 PM
  • Lady Abbado: Azulao httpv://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=gnm3 vsszQT0 12:12 PM

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. Richard Strauss was a practical man of the theater and he cared very much about maintaining his expensive lifestyle. There’s an evergreen tongue-in-cheek quality to Ariadne that I love. Of course, irony and humor are one of the first casualties in opera productions. The latest video from Glyndebourne is no exception. Read more »

Final chapter

Richard Strauss’ Elektra has always been something of a touchstone opera for this reviewer.  It was one of the first operas I attended at the Met (Birgit Nilsson’s return in 1980—I still have her “Orest!” ringing somewhere in my brain).  It was the first full opera recording I ever bought (Nilsson, Solti) on cassettes that I still have in my collection.  My other live Elektras include Ute Vinzing, Hildegard Behrens and, most recently, the excellent Christine Goerke in Chicago.

But none of my previous Elektra experiences prepared me for this stunning, overwhelming performance from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, with brilliant and incisive stage direction by Patrice Chéreau (his final opera staging before his death in 2013).  Esa-Pekka Salonen leads a superb cast and the Orchestre de Paris in a reading of Strauss’ score that doesn’t stint on the powerful climaxes yet brings out all the musical textures—there are, of course, the booming brass-and-drums moments, but Salonen also finds the thrilling quiet moments.  The playing and singing in the Recognition scene are exquisitely sweet.   Read more »

Rich man’s frug

A good performance of a Rossini opera buffa usually bubbles along merrily—from the opening chords of the usually jaunty overture to the thrilling ensemble finales, the audience expects to have a good time and to listen to some impressive vocal fireworks.

For years these opera buffas were the victims of disfiguring cuts, transpositions, and “performance traditions” but in the last 30 years or so there’s been a strong and steady push to present the works as written, with all the original arias back in place in their original keys, and to find singers who can do the fiendishly difficult music justice. The annual Rossini Festival in Pesaro has maintained its reputation as a place where Rossini’s works are presented with scrupulous musical scholarship, high production values, and top-tier Rossini singers.   Read more »

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Shopping season

After a long summer drought, suddenly new Blu-ray and DVD releases are falling, as it were, from the sky.

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Lost in space

It’s rare to encounter a video of an opera that has zero redeeming qualities, but I think I might have found it: the latest Arena di Verona La Traviata.

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We have always slept in the castle

For those of you still queasy after Mary Zimmerman’s sophomoric snarknado attack on Bellini’s La Sonnambula, the new DVD of the Stuttgart Opera production should provide a bracing restorative.

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Auto-da-fair

The Salzburg Festival has long had the image of this place where for a little over a month, the very best singers are brought together with the very best conductors and the very best directors to create the very best productions the opera world has to offer.

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Project runway

Some ideas are so absurd that the only way to describe them is to simply use the liner notes.

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Gelt trip

With the help of our friends at ArtHaus Musik, the Deutsche Oper Berlin have really been emptying out their archives and that’s certainly all for the good.

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The beautiful rooms are empty

It appears that Mariame Clément’s conception of Don Pasquale is that the opera should be retitled Malatesta.

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