Cher Public

  • armerjacquino: It looks as if you’re arguing against any room for politics in art. Are you saying artists should never make... 7:35 PM
  • armerjacquino: I’m glad to hear it. Yes, their opinion matters. But I’m wary of the idea that it should be given much more... 7:32 PM
  • jackoh: Sher made his decision, and I applaud that. (I actually expressed my opinion on this precise matter in an earlier thread.) What I... 7:32 PM
  • Fluffy-net: Maybe I should just have said that what these kids said matters to me. That I created an example of another hypothetical... 7:27 PM
  • armerjacquino: Look below. ‘Some black singers said it’ is already being offered as a clincher. 7:24 PM
  • armerjacquino: This opinion matters more to me than that of a white liberal who lives in a white neighborhood who only encounters a... 7:21 PM
  • armerjacquino: The director wasn’t ‘required 217; to make a decision. He made a decision of his own free will. Is that... 7:20 PM
  • Fluffy-net: What I find has gotten lost here is the viewpoint of a group of black opera singers who no not object to Otello-in-blackfac e.... 7:19 PM

The rules of attraction

Is Manon Lescaut a cold, clinical tale of the splendors and pitfalls of transactional sex, or is it a romantic Italian opera at its most lush and melodic? Actually, it’s both.  There’s always been a disconnect between Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica’s adaptation of the Prévost novel and Puccini’s music. The libretto is episodic, with the title character portrayed as a calculating courtesan who abandons her lover des Grieux “without even a kiss goodbye.” This is however Puccini’s most romantic score. It swells with romantic ardor at every moment.

The director of a new DVD of this opera, Jonathan Kent, favors the transnational, exploitative aspects of the opera. His production is updated to modern times, and the opera begins at a seedy red light hotel. Manon Lescaut moves from a quick initiation into the sex trafficking world to being a spoiled porn star.  Read more »

Awakenings

There is a simple elegance to the single-composer recital album format. For the listener in the mood for, say, Puccini, it’s a chance to delve into his music without any pesky interruptions by those other guys like Verdi or Massenet. And if one is also in the mood for a particular singer’s art, then the choice is even more straightforward.

For the singer, it is an opportunity to showcase and explore the variety and nuance that a single composer offers to his/her voice type, while also displaying his/her own skill at presenting a varied recital experience within narrow confines.   Read more »

The girl can’t help it

This afternoon at 2:20 PM EDT (20:20 CET), the Bayerische Staatsoper presents a live webcast of a sold-out performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut starring Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann. Read more »

Manon Lescaut

The girl can’t help it

Join La Cieca and the parterriani this afternoon for a chat during the premiere of Manon Lescaut from the Bayerische Staatsoper.

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Anna and Cowboys

Gay cowboys rejoice!

During the Munich Opera Festival performances of Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (28th and 31st of July 2015) Kristine Opolais will replace Anna Netrebko in the title role.

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Yoncheva

Screwing the Puccini

Sonya Yoncheva will sing her first-ever staged performances of Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Met on November 14, 20, 24, 28, December 1 and 5, replacing Kristine Opolais.

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opolais_butterfly

No limits

The scene: a vocal audition, sometime in the past. A young, blond soprano approaches the podium. Her aria: “Un bel di.” She sings. Before she gets to the second “Chi sara” she’s rudely interrupted.

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gelb

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.

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Madama Butterfly

The girl on the moon

“In Kristine Opolais, who gave her first Met performance in the title role on Friday night, the company has a Butterfly with the soaring voice and penetrating theatrical presence to meet Minghella’s elegant dramaturgy head on.”

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opolais

Una donna!

As if you needed an even more exciting reason to drop in for La Casa della Cieca this afternoon: last night’s Butterfly Kristine Opolais is jumping into the role of Mimi, subbing for an ill Anita Hartig for the broadcast and the HD.

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