Headshot of La Cieca

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Their master’s voice

One of Mike Richter‘s most spectacular achievements was the remastering and digitization of the complete master classes conducted by Maria Callas at the Juilliard School in 1971-1972. Selections from his disc “Callas at Juilliard: The Master Classes” follow the jump. Read more »

Il sacro fuoco

Here’s recent Met debutante Liudmyla Monastyrska in that ultimate “furibonda” role, Abigaille in Nabucco, which she’s currently performing at the Royal Opera. Read more »


It shouldn’t take you but a moment to find the great huge clunking error of fact in this Vanity Fair profile of Joyce DiDonato. And that publication is usually at its best when discussing dead rich people!


The anniverary

It’s that date that rolls around once a year, cher public, the date we celebrate the 1993 founding of parterre box and the 1923 birth of Maria Callas.

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Crowning glory

To imagine that I have anything new to say about Maria Callas’ 1957 performance of Anna Bolena at La Scala is sheer pomposity.

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Fifty Shades of Great

Those adorable kids over at EMI Classics have followed up the ridiculous with the sublime: an mp3 download of 50 arias (over four hours of music) sung by Maria Callas for… are you ready? 99 cents.

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Stairway to paradise

We approach, beloveds, as unto a shrine, for these are no ordinary performances.

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Absolute assoluta

Only because I am a member of the You Can Never Have Too Much Callas School of Opera Listening can I recommend EMI’s new release The Callas Effect.  The beautifully packaged production is the size of a small paperback book and consists of two CDs with 29 arias sung by Callas plus a new 70-minute DVD showing some details of her life and artistry, focusing on her work with the Royal Opera House.  The package also contains a detailed and moving essay by Ira Siff plus translations of the texts of all the recorded arias.  

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No, after you!

The already notorious or celebrated or whatever it is version of the “Habanera” featuring (in alphabetical order) Maria Callas and Angela Gheorghiu: it’s been released, and you can experience after the jump.

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Giudici, ad Angela?

Even though that other soprano, whatever her name is, has garnered a lot of ink for opening the Met season with Anna Bolena, the real news here is the “dream team” Gheorghiu/Callas collaboration, a highlight of which has been the “Divina Draculette” photo retouching competition. La Cieca has sifted the many fine entries and has come to a decision.

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