In vintage issue #33: La Cieca gossips about Dr. Jonathan Miller, Renée Fleming‘s Lucrezia Borgia, a weekend at Glimmerglass and New York Grand Opera in Central Park; reviews by Andrew Cooper and Dawn Fatale; “La Canzone di Lydia”; the final installment of “Impossible Discs”; Act Two of “A Bitchy Class”; and offbeat recordings selected by Leila de Lakmé. [Download Issue #33]
I think we’re all aware by now of the wicked libel that the French dramatist Victor Hugo concocted about the fair Lucrezia Borgia with his depiction of her as a murderous virago. History tells us she was merely a lovely pawn in the Machiavellian machinations of her family’s ambitions and most decidedly not the siren serial killer that Hugo’s play conjures. Still, the story stuck and who could blame Gaetano Donizetti for rushing in and setting the blood-chilling tale for La Scala by the end of the very same year of the play’s premiere abetted by a libretto adapted by Felice Romani? Read more »
“Her expression is one of shocked disbelief. Her appearance is incongruous to this setting. She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and a hat, looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party in the garden district. She is five years older than Stella. Her delicate beauty must avoid strong light. There is something about her uncertain manner, as well as her white clothes, that suggest a moth.” [New York Times]
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.
Christian Thielemann has proved himself to be the preeminent Strauss interpreter of the current generation of conductors and he’s in striking form here.
André Previn‘s A Streetcar Named Desire, with the “People’s Diva” herself in the iconic role of the unstable Blanche DuBois.
La Cieca thought it would be amusing to do a bit of speculation about what’s to come as we approach the middle of the decade.