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Doge ball

hvorosktovskyAs La Cieca always so magnanimously says, “E vo gridando: pace! E vo gridando: chat!” The subject of today’s discussion is Simon Boccanegra, live from the Met at 1:00 pm. Read more »

The Quantification of the Diva: Part the Third

traviata_gheorghiuAnd now, cher public, let’s put today’s singers, the Contemporary Divas, under the microscope. How do they stack up? Read more »

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 »

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Spin me right round

Tonight Lori Phillips will make her Met debut as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer, replacing Deborah Voigt, who is ill.

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A minute and a huff

La Cieca presents an open letter from a parterre box reader.

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Cake’s stand

“…in Parsifal, instead of digging out the chapters from Metaphysics for Dummies (which is what basically everyone does, except Herheim!), [Calixto Bieito] made it a perfectly plausible story, close to us, to our lifestyles…

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everything but the bloodhounds

Well, the first thing La Cieca will say about the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala is that for all its sprawling splendor it doesn’t look quite what you’d call entertaining. Or rather let’s say it looks as if it won’t sound very entertaining. The visual element — you know, computer-animated Marc Chagall murals and Waltraud Meier prancing about in a copy of Rosa Ponselle‘s Carmen drag — will likely achieve a level of instant camp approaching that of Rosie O’Donnell‘s variety show last night. (La Cieca had no room for the phrase in the previous run-on sentence, but, anyway, good old [...]

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Septuagenarian Song

The New York Post‘s Clive Barnes is going to blush beet-red when he hears from the publicists (or the lawyers) who handle Placido Domingo. In a review of the Met’s Rigoletto, Barnes refers to PD as “the 72-year-old tenor.” Domingo admits to 65, though some gossips have long sniped that this figure doesn’t add up with the dates of his earliest documented performances. (La Cieca might as well say right now that there are even a few Placidophobes out there who would add, “and they got the ‘tenor’ part wrong too,” but she’s not even going to go near there.) [...]

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Motezuma sings again!

Vivaldi’s Motezuma, the opera that refuses to die, will grace the boards after all, says an article by Paul Moor at Musicalamerica.com. A court in Duesseldorf has held that the Altstadtherbst Festival in that city may stage the piece, regardless of a previous injunction against performances filed by the “copyright owner,” the Berliner Sing-Akademie. (The court apparently regarded the case as rather urgent, since it took the unusual step of calling an Eilverfahren, a type of expedited hearing, to settle the matter.) This is an interesting legal problem. The Sing-Akademie claims copyright under a German law that an ancient work [...]

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Neither intellectual nor proper

La Cieca has to say she is just plain appalled at the turn of events in the Opera Barga / Motezuma fracas. Not that she’s any particular fan of Vivaldi opera, but the behavior of the officials at the Berlin Sing-Akademie (who claim copyright ownership of this 270-year-old opera) strikes her as unartistic and just plain nasty. The Sing-Akademie basically stumbled over a manuscript containing something over half the opera. They then published the Motezuma torso online, which under German law apparently grants them a 25-year copyright. Well, the law is the law, even when the law is an ass, [...]

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