Friend of the Box Zachary Woolfe follows up his provocative NYT article on charisma with an invitation to discuss this elusive quality with his cher public, a group of which La Cieca is sure you parterriani represent a significant subset. Let yourselves be heard!
Revealed: James Levine has had two back surgeries since the spring, but is described (by Tom Levine) as “very, very positive and very, very optimistic.” [NYT]
Lincoln Center’s Great Performers presents Diana Damrau on Saturday, December 10th, joined by Xavier de Maistre on harp, performing works by Debussy, Strauss, Fauré, and more. A regular at the Met Opera, Damrau has been called “a soprano of matchless intelligence” (Guardian).
“One of the greatest proponents of the German lied tradition” (New York Times), baritone Christian Gerhaher performs an all-Mahler program on Saturday, December 17th, featuring Gerold Huber on piano. The Telegraph calls him “the most moving singer in the world.”
Both performances are at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
“[J]udging singers in their 20s is truly difficult, especially with so much at stake for the finalists, including a $15,000 cash prize for each winner. Comparably gifted pianists in their 20s are much more likely to be technically assured and finished performers. Operatic voices, though, need long nurturing. Most young singers are still working out elements of their technique. Inevitably, the judges for these auditions are assessing the potential of the finalists as much as their actual performances. Moreover, as was made clear by the documentary film ‘The Audition,’ which followed the last round of the 2007 competition, performing in this concert could not be more high-pressure.” [Need You Ask?]
Fans of Joyce DiDonato and fairness (and there is considerable overlap between the two groups) will be happy to know that the Metropolitan Opera, as part of a settlement in a civil rights lawsuit, has agreed to increase accessibilty to the opera house, including the installation of additional wheelchair seating. [NYT]
“…whenever he was joined by the baritone Simon Keenlyside, who sang Rodrigo, the Marquis of Posa and Carlo’s devoted friend, Mr. Alagna opened up in every way.” Well, wouldn’t you? [NYT]
“At some point, Met officialdom will have to recognize the continuing failures of the current arrangement, under which the titular artistic director of the company, James Levine, makes sure that he gets the singers he wants for his own performances and seems content to leave Mr. Friend to improvise the remainder of the season.” How quaint to think that, only 22 years and three Met General Managers ago, everything was so completely different… at the New York Times! [NYT]
“It is in the Wagner repertory that Ms. Brewer has truly frustrated her fans. She has sung Isolde magnificently, though so far only in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s ‘Tristan Project,’ which used Bill Viola’s videos, while Ms. Brewer and the other lead singers performed as in a concert, with music stands and vocal scores.” [NYT]
A new study suggests that milder forms of intellectual property piracy (e.g., file sharing) seem to have no ill effects on the lively production of books, films and music. [NYT]
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 […]
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.) […]