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Cher Public

  • danpatter: That’s a real find! Thanks for sharing this. I’d never heard her before. 8:18 PM
  • kashania: It’s true. I may have been optimistic there. 6:59 PM
  • mia apulia: like a forgotten bad dream from many years ago, suddenly recalled 5:46 PM
  • armerjacquino: Yep. One note does not a role make, but I can’t see Mattila relishing the idea of... 5:32 PM
  • moi: I can agree somewhere, that Mattila’s acting does not seem as intuitive as it was once… well... 5:31 PM
  • aulus agerius: I doubt if Mattila can produce the high Cs anymore. They were very strained even 8 years ago... 5:23 PM
  • kashania: Yeah, the fourth act of Manon Lescaut was actually very good. I, too, think that Minnie would work.... 5:18 PM
  • littoraldrift: While I generally think Mattila should just steer clear of Italian roles — the Manon... 5:12 PM
  • armerjacquino: I like this review from Seth Colter Walls. http://www.theguar dian.com/music/... 3:16 PM
  • armerjacquino: Bloody hell, Classical Barbra is every bit as cringey as I remembered. 3:09 PM

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 »

The diva wears Prada

“Oubliez le XVIIIè siècle. A l’Opéra Comique, Platée s’installe sur les podiums d’une fashion week parisienne!” Unfortunately, the video of this performance is not available in the US: La Cieca will keep you updated. Meanwhile, take a look at DeCaffarrelli’s review of last night’s concert performance.

Nymph errant

“German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is a household name; 18th-century French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau isn’t.” [amNewYork]

Sir John and the horse

Come to the unstable

How, then, to explain the perplexing performance last Friday night of Falstaff, Mr. Levine’s first new production since his return?

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rigoletto

The rise of the clowns

What better way to spend a lazy Friday afternoon in midsummer than watching a webcast of Rigoletto?

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Behind the red curtain

It was indeed a curious sensation  making a late morning trek to East 59th Street, a block devoted to showro0ms for bizarre upscale furniture and lighting fixtures, and then to enter a boutique cinema specializing in Hindi films (the big coming attraction right now is Desi Boyz) — and all this before sitting down in an auditiorium half- full of retirees to see a live performance of Don Giovanni from La Scala. That it worked as a Mozart experience I think can be chalked up to two factors: Robert Carsen‘s production and the constantly improving (if still imperfect) HD technology. 

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Mirror, mirror

La Cieca is just back from the HD of Don Giovanni from La Scala: excellent singing through the whole cast, strong conducting (if tending to the slow side) by Daniel Barenboim, and a smart, chic production from Robert Carsen that frankly makes Michael Grandage look like an utter bumpkin. The presentation will repeat here in New York (and elsewhere) in coming days.

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