Ah, six long lazy weeks with nothing to do but relax and guess the most recent Regie puzzler—which, La Cieca blushes to admit, dates all the way back on July 24!—and yet only Freniac was 100% on the right track. The opera was indeed Mitridate, re di Ponto, as staged for the Munich Opera Festival by David Bösch. A video trailer of this production, followed by a Regie quiz to kick off the fall season, after the jump.
“…whenever he was joined by the baritone Simon Keenlyside, who sang Rodrigo, the Marquis of Posa and Carlo’s devoted friend, Mr. Alagna opened up in every way.”
Well, wouldn’t you? [NYT]
Lincoln Center’s Great Performers presents Diana Damrau on Saturday, December 10th, joined by Xavier de Maistre on harp, performing works by Debussy, Strauss, Fauré, and more. A regular at the Met Opera, Damrau has been called “a soprano of matchless intelligence” (Guardian).
“One of the greatest proponents of the German lied tradition” (New York Times), baritone Christian Gerhaher performs an all-Mahler program on Saturday, December 17th, featuring Gerold Huber on piano. The Telegraph calls him “the most moving singer in the world.”
Both performances are at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Cher public, if you plan to see the Met’s production of From the House of the Dead (and you might as well know that she expects you move heaven and earth to do so!), La Cieca urges and entreats that you avoid reading Anthony Tommasini‘s review of the production in tomorrow’s New York Times. Read more »
George Steel manages to hold out for 140 words before dropping the inevitable name in this month’s issue of Edible Manhattan. The Man of Steel continues: The places that are famous tend not to be good. People are looking for an experience of authenticity and not really using their mouth. La Cieca should note that he’s probably not talking about NYCO here. But do be sure to check out who was present when George had his first endive salad.
Ildebrando d’Arcangelo and Andrea Concetti get chummy in this scene from Don Giovanni. [via Barihunks]
An entirely new plot element in a Shakespeare text? The story turns on a dispute between Oberon, the manipulative king of the fairies, and Tytania, his willful wife, over the guardianship of a changeling boy. Oberon badly wants that boy as his henchman. But Tytania, who has seen the brutal way her husband sometimes bullies Puck, does not want him near the child… The seasons alter indeed when not only stage directors but now critics invent drama out of whole cloth.
Scott Cantrell has a brand new metaphor, and he’s not going to let it slip through his fingers. “Daniel Okulitch is hardly the librettoâ€™s ‘scrawny little S.O.B.’ But, with a warmly oiled bass-baritone, he captures Josephâ€™s tenderness toward his mother as surely as his hostility and fear.” “Nathan Gunn is the castâ€™s standout, an Alec with rugged good looks and a richly oiled baritone.”
Liza’s main man Paulo Szot has some interesting and rather bold (if La Cieca may say so) opinions about the character of Leporello in today’s New York Times: “Don Giovanni needs him for everything: butt sex, to give him food, to give him drink, to share his feelings with.” (The article, fetchingly entitled “The Great Mozart Switcheroo,” poses the probing question, “So which, in the end, is the better part?”)
Our Own JJ is shown here “wrangling” the dancers for his friend Dorothy Bishop‘s cabaret show last night at Splash. There were supposed to be only two dancers, which is more than enough to fill the very small Splash window ledge of a stage. But three showed up: E.J., Alain and Michele. La Bishop is off to South America for a month-long tour now, so JJ can get back to his more important task of producing La Cieca’s podcasts. Keep an eye out this weekend for another of the Great Pirates of History series on Unnatural Acts of Opera!