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  • Poison Ivy: For Cinderella completists, my first ever “Cinderella& #8221; recording of anything... 12:15 AM
  • Camille: You know, Dame Maggie Teyte made such a beautiful recording of “Beau soir”. I do not... 11:57 PM
  • Camille: I most certainly DO love it! Just ask papopera, for he is our resident expert on the Dugazon,... 11:51 PM
  • Camille: Café-concerts, it should read. Someone will must certainly gratify themself by jumping my arse if I... 11:48 PM
  • Krunoslav: ‘soprano de sentiment’, “dugazonR 21; — gotta love it! 11:36 PM
  • Lady Bracknell: JDF cancelled an entire run of BARBIERE in Chicago 6 or 7 years ago saying that he choked on... 11:36 PM
  • Camille: Oh thank you, Krunoslav. I had entirely forgotten about that curious denomination ‘soprano de... 11:02 PM
  • Krunoslav: “What I recall is “Falcon ou ‘soprano de sentiment’&# 8221;; no mention... 10:37 PM
  • Camille: Pardon me, but is this Peter KazarAs, the former tenor who is associated with Seattle Opera, or... 10:01 PM
  • Camille: That reminds me, in the book Never sang for Hitler: The Life and Times of Lotte Lehmann, [Michael... 9:53 PM

the art of bellicose canto

La Cieca presents with pride her latest installment of Unnatural Acts of Opera, the Donizetti rarity Belisario, featuring legendary Leyla Gencer as vengeful Roman matron Antonina. Read more »

queen of the pirates

Leyla Gencer: The very name is exotic. She was an artist of Turkish ancestry who, during the 1950s and 60s, held her own despite the presence of Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Renata Scotto, Montserrat Caballe, and Magda Olivero, all of whom shared roles in her repertoire. Ironically, Gencer has a number of important credits attached to her name that many tend to forget. Wrongly viewed as the poor man’s Callas, Gencer actually showed more versatility than her Greek contemporary.

Born in 1924, during the early part of her career she was known as a champion of modern works and sang in the world premiere of a number of operas, including Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites (Mme Lidoine), Pizzetti’s Assassinio nella Cattedrale (Murder in the Cathedal), Prokofiev’s Fiery Angel (the Italian premiere at Spoleto) and Rocca’s Monte Ivnor. During her career, she had a repertoire of some 70 roles, from Monteverdi and Bellini to Pizzetti and Weinberger. Read more »

la cieca sings again

Well, in fact your doyenne just warbles a few bars of a dear old Jerry Herman tune, but the real news is the second part of Montserrat Caballé‘s legendary New York debut as Lucrezia Borgia.

Lucrezia Borgia Act 1

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the art of the diva anecdote

Interview with Leyla Gencer in 2007. [kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/5q4je2G7YpE" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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Queen of the Pirates

[This article originally appeared in the print zine precursor to this site, one of a series of surveys of live recordings by critic Leïla de Lakmé.] Leyla Gencer. The very name is exotic. She was an artist of Turkish ancestry who, during the 1950s and 60s, held her own despite the presence of Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Renata Scotto, Montserrat Caballe, and Magda Olivero, all of whom shared roles in her repertoire. Ironically, Gencer has a number of important credits attached to her name that many tend to forget. Wrongly viewed as the poor man’s Callas, the Turkish soprano actually [...]

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Leyla Gencer 1928 – 2008

“La Diva Turca” died this morning in Milan. In tribute to the art of Leyla Gencer, here is the soprano in the final scenes of Bellini’s Norma at La Scala on January 13, 1965. She is joined in this performance by Bruno Prevedi (Pollione) and Nicola Zaccaria (Oroveso); Gianandrea Gavazzeni is the conductor. UPDATE: The “Queen of the Pirates” is heard in complete performances of La Vestale, Francesca da Rimini, Don Giovanni and La Gioconda on Leyla Gencer at Unnatural Acts of Opera. Also, one of the cher public informs La Cieca that Gencer’s true year of birth was 1924, [...]

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