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Cher Public

  • Satisfied: “I’m shocked Jonas is canceling!” – said absolutely no one ever. 5:28 PM
  • kennedet: This is a perfect example of the wobble if anyone is confused. “Do not try this at... 5:08 PM
  • Constantine A. Papas: JK’s, at times, affected, exaggerated, and pretentious sound is part of stardom:... 5:00 PM
  • aulus agerius: “The acting had a lot to it, appearing well thought out, not just stand-and-sing. But it... 4:55 PM
  • Krunoslav: Margaret Price was a great Mozartean and a wonderful Desdemona, Elisabetta di Valois and Amelia... 4:54 PM
  • EarlyRomantic: The Photoshop job deserves singular praise. It’s brilliant and so comical I can’t... 4:43 PM
  • moi: In the french Opera Magazine, many moons ago… Pavarotti remembered singing Radames with the two... 4:37 PM
  • eric: I agree with thirdlady regarding the voice. He was OK. Competent. But I don’t especially like the... 3:45 PM
  • Milady DeWinter: Thanks Kruno – as always, Doria surprises. And in good Italian to boot. Not the top... 3:35 PM
  • luvtennis: To which Maggie replied – “so there’s ice cream?” 3:05 PM

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 »

Shopping season

After a long summer drought, suddenly new Blu-ray and DVD releases are falling, as it were, from the sky. La Cieca invites the cher public to peruse a gaggle of operatic offerings after the jump. Read more »

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. It’s truly awful from every perspective: singing, acting, production, musical values. There’s really just no reason it’s on the market. The liner notes say that the performance took place in 2011. It should have stayed in the vaults.   Read more »

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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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Fatal attraction

Benjamin Britten’s final opera Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella, is given a lush and quite beautiful production from stage director Deborah Warner for the English National Opera.

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A tsar is torn

In Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, all the Russian people starve and suffer, but none has suffering like the mental agonies of Tsar Boris.

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