Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • PushedUpMezzo: More good stuff from Hamburg Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bucher (concert version)... 4:45 AM
  • Cicciabella: I propose a tie with “If I Did It” by OJ Simpson. 3:37 AM
  • Cicciabella: Thank you, DeCaff, for this lovely review. The production looks fun and stylish and it’s... 3:32 AM
  • Cicciabella: Sorry, phoenix, I don’t have a comprehensive list of A-list houses at the ready, but, much... 2:53 AM
  • m. croche: Was there ever a biography with such a terrible title? There probably was. I’m sure... 2:02 AM
  • 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

The Met: What is to be done?

Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure.   Read more »

That’s entertainment!

The highlight of the Bayerische Staatsoper’s 2014-2015 season is a new production of Manon Lescaut featuring Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann, directed by Hans Neuenfels. (And perhaps the most delightful part of this announcement is that Richard Eyre is not involved in any way at all.)

The cup runneth over

Even after more than 30 years as a die-hard opera fan there are still parts of the repertoire I haven’t embraced. Benjamin Britten and myself are really only acquaintances and I’ve met Alban Berg but fear we shall never be friends. I really became an opera fan chronologically backwards starting with Puccini and ending, essentially, with Mozart and Handel. Only then came Wagner.

After distilling all those different musical styles and traditions, Wagner wasn’t really that difficult to wrap my head around, with the exception of Parsifal. I would check the score out from the library and follow along dutifully to the broadcasts waiting for the penny to drop. It was years before I finally understood the lengths of its constructive elements and how broad the expanses of melody and leitmotif were within that structure.   Read more »

loft_opera_boheme

Writers’ block

The last place you’d expect to find opera at all, let alone good, exciting opera, is in still-scrappy Bushwick, Brooklyn.

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kaufmann_hoodie

My knapsack on my back!

Cher public, I give a photograph of Jonas Kaufmann in a hoodie with a teeny birdie on his shoulder.

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barda_parsifal

Critical care

The experience of watching Wagner’s final opera Parsifal is frequently elevated to a spiritual occurrence, and productions have historically emphasized the religious dimension of the opera’s core themes of redemption and the dangers of temptation.

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harteros

The pain in Spain

Just a reminder, cher public, that the live webcast of La forza del destino from the Bayerische Staatsoper is at noon on Saturday, with concurrent chat at La Casa della Cieca.

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kaufmann_johnson

Oh, signor Johnson

La Cieca is going to go out on a not very long limb here and say that Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West is a great role for Jonas Kaufmann and may well turn out to be one of his three or four greatest.

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captain_future

We’ll settle that tonight!

La Cieca has been wining, dining and otherwise wooing her Met connection (pictured above) and he (or is it she?) has come across with some tidbits about upcoming seasons at Casa Gelb.

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carlos

“Schau sie an, ein Gefangener der Gosse”

In a starling last-minute change of programming, the Salzburg Festival has canceled all further performances of the critically-reviled Peter Stein production of Don Carlos. Weltstars Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann will instead perform My Fair Lady (pictured).

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