Cher Public

  • Porgy Amor: Thanks for the kind words, phoenix. My own nod to La Cieca for the great photos. 1:00 AM
  • parpignol: in house: Alagna sounded well enough, but not comfortable with the role; Luisi was tentative as he tried to accommodate the... 12:55 AM
  • Porgy Amor: I agree with your very good summing-up of both Opolais and Westbroek, mrsjohnclaggart. I’ve seen the Covent Garden... 12:40 AM
  • mrsjohnclaggart: PCally, I didn’t think Opolais sang with any great beauty or remarkable ease tonight, she sounds like an HD... 12:20 AM
  • Howling in Tune: They were thinking, “This’ ll be quite an event if it happens, but we’d better have a backup... 12:16 AM
  • Constantine A. Papas: Give Alagna some slack. He has never sung the role and had a week to learn it. He’ll get better. Maybe is me... 11:52 PM
  • PCally: mrsjohnclaggart, I have seen both this and her broadcast from Baden Baden, where this met production originally premiered.... 11:22 PM
  • Vergin Vezzosa: @coloraturafan – enthusiastic + 1, having seen MS three times this season and having been transported by multiple... 10:56 PM

If I had a photograph of you

So, as La Cieca understands it, this Halloween Rene Pape is going as Alice Coote disguised as Simon Le Bon playing The Joker attending a Flock of Seagulls concert.

Pape music

There is something so very Don Draper about René Pape. The German bass is blessed with one of the most beautiful, sonorous instruments of all time. There is never a hint of a Bayreuth bark about Pape’s voice—it is rich, deep, loud, like a fine Cabernet Sauvignon. When he first came on the opera scene everyone swooned over that beautiful voice. But just as Don Draper refuses to curry favor with anyone in his life, Pape has proved to be a stubborn, mystifying artist.   Read more »

Hysterical blondeness

With its worrisome labor troubles behind it, the Met really did have something to celebrate this fall at its ultra-swanky Opening Night gala. Unfortunately the Peter Gelb tradition of premiering a new production came a cropper with Le Nozze di Figaro in Sir Richard Eyre’s lackluster ersatz-Spanish 1930s staging. The next night’s Bohème was reportedly a bit of a mess and its erratic soprano has already been replaced. However, Wednesday brought the “real” season opener, an indelible, indispensable night at the opera: a starry revival of Verdi’s Macbeth crowned by Anna Netrebko’s demented Lady.   Read more »

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We’ll settle that tonight!

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.

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missing_vehicle

The case of the missing vehicle

La Cieca’s sources tell her that a planned revival of Faust at the Met in the fall of 2014 has been canceled, because who wants to see that ugly thing again, or else the leading lady didn’t feel like singing it, whichever.

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Teen spirit

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.

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Ring à la russe

Wagner is becoming an important calling card for Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre.

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Square cut or pear shaped

At tonight’s Faust performance, two events of note: René Pape, upon his re-entrance after the Jewel Song, ad-libbed the spoken line “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” The performance, a broadcast, was the basso’s final one of this production.) After this moment of comedy, drama followed at the curtain calls.

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Madame XY

Versatile diva Violeta Urmana takes on the demanding verismo role of Giordano’s Fedora for the first time at… Oh, sorry, that’s René Pape as Méphistophélès in Faust at Covent Garden! (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

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Twilight of the god?

René Pape has withdrawn from La Scala’s season-opening new production of Die Walküre, in what was to have been his role debut as Wotan. Vitalij Kowaljow will substitute.  Pape is still scheduled to sing this role at the Berlin Staatsoper in April 2011. It is not clear at this point if Pape’s decision was based on vocal issues or a very reasonable unwillingness to spend five hours of stage time cavorting with mimes.  

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