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  • Indiana Loiterer III: And Domingo was never a very extreme performer even in his glory days as a tenor; he... 7:38 PM
  • zinka: Fedora’s B flat was the “end’& #8230;On Don Carlo w.Vickers..she sings a lower note... 7:23 PM
  • antikitschychick: “She said she would rather have 10 years like Callas than 20+ years like anyone... 7:17 PM
  • antikitschychick: “even the singing engagements are kind of mercy f*cks.” OMG I CANT. I laughed... 7:07 PM
  • antikitschychick: “The problem is, he’s not a baritone, but rather a tenor without high notes.”... 7:02 PM
  • mjmacmtenor: She said she would rather have 10 years like Callas than 20+ years like anyone else. I saw her... 6:47 PM
  • antikitschychick: sorry meant to say it’s a choice that can only really be made by the best artists who have... 6:44 PM
  • Camille: o my chére Madame Fidelia, you are more than welcome and it makes me happy it has been of some... 6:41 PM
  • WindyCityOperaman: Such a beautiful movie. It made me feel sadness and regret, not the kind of sadness a... 6:40 PM
  • antikitschychick: age *old question. Sorry for the typo. 6:38 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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