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  • turings: Thanks, manou – very funny! Calleja reminds me a bit of Ramon Vargas – lovely lyric voice, seems... 6:28 AM
  • NPW-Paris: I saw that Lakmé. You were better off just hearing it. 4:16 AM
  • NPW-Paris: Some of us here have also seen it (and discussed it) and found it a disappointment. 4:02 AM
  • MontyNostry: I’ve always found Ken Russell’s (admittedly rather tacky, but that’s Ken for... 3:41 AM
  • armerjacquino: Whoa there. ‘Matronly 217; doesn’t mean the same as ‘maternal 217;. 2:53 AM
  • armerjacquino: Shicoff was no slouch either. 2:52 AM
  • guy pacifica: Thanks for posting that snippet of Aria. A reminder that I must watch it again. There are some... 2:36 AM
  • Krunoslav: Croatia a/k/a Dalmatia produced several “ItalianR 17; opera singers, including Ester... 1:47 AM
  • Krunoslav: ‘When was last superb Rodolfo [--] Carreras???’ Fabiano is excellent, but I’ll... 1:24 AM
  • antikitschychick: goodness what a harsh review! Poor Joseph Calleja is reduced to a Teddy Bear…and... 12:35 AM

Prelude to the Quantification of the Diva

diva_quantificationLa Cieca is delighted to announce a week-long series of investigative reports deciding once and for all the question “Who is the greatest opera diva of our generation?” Read more »

The People’s Courtesan

Thais2Like Liza Minnelli at the Palace or Nomi Malone in Goddess, Renée Fleming‘s Thaïs is better understood as diva event than Gesamtkunstwerk. It’s an opportunity to watch a star lady do her voodoo in a work that exists largely to showcase her glamour and appeal. Read more »

Kiss me deadly

La Cieca is just guessing here (with some prompting from Zachary Woolfe) but she thinks she has divined the coup de théâtre climaxing the Met’s new production of Tosca.

They shoot Mario, etc. etc., and then Karita Mattila runs crazily off the stage as the guards come rushing on. They search all about but cannot find her: it’s as if Tosca has disappeared from the face of the earth.

Seachlights sweep the stage and then the auditorium.

“Ah! Tosca, pagherai ben cara la sua vita!” cries Spoletta, and suddenly the spotlight focuses on a Dress Circle box, house right. The Finnish diva sings the famous final line and the even more famous high B-flat, and hurls herself into space…

… only to land squarely on the “incognito” Franco Zeffirelli, who has chosen just this moment to exit in disgust up the orchestra aisle. Their unison “oof” is drowned out by the roars of the applauding crowd.

It’s so meta La Cieca can hardly see straight.

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All fall down

Our Own JJ (not pictured) nominates the can’t-miss operatic and vocal events of the autumn of 2009. [NYP]

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curtain up, light the headlights

Or, “Tosca è un buon funbag!”

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“her bosom heaves, her cheeks are staring scarlet”

Sharp-eyed reader Sadie Salome writes: It seems I was the only one spent much of last night’s letter scene peering through her binoculars at Karita Mattila‘s fine acting, because I see no report on your site of last night’s mishap (and if it isn’t on your site, then it obviously hasn’t been reported anywhere!) As you can see in the photograph below, the nightgown which Tatiana wears for her letter scene has a couple buttons in the middle that hold the front together, though it’s still split a little bit even when fastened. 

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future tense

11:25: Connectivity restored. A quick catchup.

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afternoon delight

Karita Mattila in the HD telecast of Salome starts here in New York on Channel 13 in ten minutes. DVRs set?

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if ever i would leave you

Got to give credit to Bryn Terfel: he’s now canceling a whole season in advance. The bass-baritone scrapped his spring 2009 appearance in the Met’s L’elisir d’amore several months ago, and now he’s pulled out of the company’s 2009 opening night, a new production of Tosca that now stars Karita Mattila and Marcelo Alvarez. The frankly unstarry Juha Uusitalo subs as Scarpia under the baton of James Levine in this new Luc Bondy production. Uusitalo is also skedded for Jack Rance in the 2010-2011 Fanciulla which is to feature Marcello GIordani‘s Dick, plus plucky hometown favorite TBA as the eponymous [...]

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pubic domain

La Cieca has managed to obtain a few fragments of the camera rehearsal for Saturday afternoon’s Salome HD telecast. Note the cutting-edge video techniques employed to distract the (presumably) pre-adolescent audience from Karita’s Kooter of Kontroversy. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/UdWjLz5NY-E" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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