Cher Public

Scotto talks

Parterre’s tutelary diva shares espresso and cookies with parterre’s fave scribe Zachary Woolfe in preparation for the gala Met Legends event honoring her next Sunday. Read more »

My God, it’s full of stars!

amazon_farewellIoan Holender was General Manager of the Wiener Staatsoper for nineteen years, the longest anyone has held this post, and the august institution honored him with the gala to end all galas in the final days of his administration.  With the goal of commemorating each of the 40 new productions premiered at the Staatsoper during Holender’s tenure, the sprawling concert lasts over three hours and is spread over two very full DVDs. With over 40 separate selections from most of the world’s great and near great artists, the end result is a little variable but on the whole an evening of very strong music making.  Read more »

Face time

traviataAs we look forward to New Year’s Eve and to the gala opening of Willy Decker’s La Traviata at the Met, it seems fitting to look back—by way of the official, live, DVD recording of the production’s sensational world premiere at the Salzburg Festival in 2005—to get some sense of what’s behind all the hype. Released in 2005 by Deutsche Grammophon, this recording promises an exciting evening for the Met’s audience on December 31st, but also raises the question of whether the New York premiere will live up to the high expectations set in Salzburg.

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From A to Zeani

An appearance by legendary diva Virginia Zeani is but one of the highlights of tomorrow night’s Marcello Giordani Foundation Concert and Dinner.

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Cobra Jewel Song

The annual Richard Tucker gala came and went at Avery Fisher Hall with the usual quota of gaffes, wardrobe malfunctions, no-shows, too-much-shows, substitutions and surprise guests (well, guest).  And sandwiched between the routine, the egocentric and the just plain dull were moments of true dementia, the moments that we melomanes live and die for.  Most of those moments were due to the antics of a certain well-known Slavic diva (of whom more later).  But first, the specs.  

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Of Mawrdew Czgowchwz

La Cieca is delighted to throw out the first ball or lift her baton or whatever it is one does to launch a discussion, which in this case is on the topic of that most quintessential of all opera novels, Mawrdew Czgowchwz—though she does insist on prefacing anything she says with the caveat that she’s never presided over a book club before, so she asks your indulgence as she continues so as not to disappoint her public. 

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Sing for your supper

Those among the cher public inclined toward philanthropy and/or star-gazing will want to check out the details on a gala fundraising dinner and concert for the Marcello Giordani Foundation on May 7. The evening will feature performances from young singers and a litotic “Lifetime Achievement Award” presented to Magda Olivero (in virtual attendance via videoconferencing from her home in Milano) by parterre fave Aprile Millo.  [Marcello Giordani Foundation]

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Girl of the moment

It took the Metropolitan Opera decades to catch up with the rest of the world and finally stage La Cenerentola. Gioachino Rossini’s opera buffa, one of his most beloved and accomplished works, received its belated Met debut in 1997, amidst legitimate suspicions that the new production was less a genuine desire to add a belcanto masterpiece to the company’s repertoire than a concession to Cecilia Bartoli’s demands. Since then the production has been revived several times with galaxy of international mezzo-sopranos such as Jennifer Larmore, Sonia Ganassi, Olga Borodina and, just this past season, superstar Elina Garanca.

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Dark side of the moon

Gotham Chamber Opera presented Haydn’s Il Mondo della Luna on Tuesday evening at the Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, in a production that took advantage of the museum’s NASA constellations and a multitude of other more economical yet impressive stage and lighting effects. Despite cramped quarters and inhospitable acoustics, the company made a strong case for the viability of this venue.

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Cabaret is a life

I was still warming frigid fingers Friday night, when before me unfolded something like a history of the world viewed from a small café: an enchanted journey from the gaslights of Berlin to the crowded alleys of Buenos Aires. 

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