Cher Public

The devil is in the details

Certain operas are better in theory than practice. Boito’s Mefistofele has some undoubtedly fine tunes, and is perhaps neck-and-neck with Boris Godunov as a top bass star vehicle. But as an opera, it only works in fits and starts. For one, the fidelity to Goethe’s Faust gives the libretto a rather episodic, detached feel.

Gounod’s Faust might be a lot cheesier but it’s also more tightly focused and thus better theater. Boito’s opera has some some stunning choral work in the Prologue and Epilogue, a famous tune in Margherita’s lament “La altra notte” and an extremely enjoyable “Walpurgis Nacht” act but also a lot of filler. It’s not a long opera but it feels endless.   Read more »

There is something I must do, there is something I must do

Your Own La Cieca has emerged from the tomb semi-retirement to present the 2014 Pubie Awards for outstanding achievement in the field of opera and opera-related entertainment in New York and various points north. You, the public, voted, and your decisions, such as they are, are final.

May she have the envelopes, please? Read more »