La Cieca presents with pride her latest installment of Unnatural Acts of Opera, the Donizetti rarity Belisario, featuring legendary Leyla Gencer as vengeful Roman matron Antonina. Read more »
Leyla Gencer: The very name is exotic. She was an artist of Turkish ancestry who, during the 1950s and 60s, held her own despite the presence of Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Renata Scotto, Montserrat Caballe, and Magda Olivero, all of whom shared roles in her repertoire. Ironically, Gencer has a number of important credits attached to her name that many tend to forget. Wrongly viewed as the poor man’s Callas, Gencer actually showed more versatility than her Greek contemporary.
Born in 1924, during the early part of her career she was known as a champion of modern works and sang in the world premiere of a number of operas, including Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites (Mme Lidoine), Pizzetti’s Assassinio nella Cattedrale (Murder in the Cathedal), Prokofiev’s Fiery Angel (the Italian premiere at Spoleto) and Rocca’s Monte Ivnor. During her career, she had a repertoire of some 70 roles, from Monteverdi and Bellini to Pizzetti and Weinberger. Read more »
In honor of her one-third of a century, La Cieca has at long last returned to the Sunnyside Studios to record not one but two episodes of Unnatural Acts of Opera.Â Finally, cher public, you can hear the last two acts of a legendary performance of Jenufa from Opera Orchestra of New York, on March 30, 1988. Read more »
At long last, a new episode of Unnatural Acts of Opera, featuring the classic Janacek team of Leonie Rysanek and Gabriela Benackova. Jenufa, Act 1
La Cieca presents the second act of La sonnambula on Unnatural Acts of Opera. La sonnambula, Act 2 After the act, a taste of Renata Scotto‘s Norma.
La Cieca has managed to pry the keyboard away from Our Own JJ for a moment to remind her cher public that she does, in fact, still exist, in the shadows as it were. Anyway, your doyenne will attend the Broadway revival of Blithe Spirit tonight and will share with you tomorrow a soupcon or two about this gay gay gay gay gay event (Angela Lansbury! Christine Ebersole! Rupert Everett! And, mah deah, Noel Coward!)Â Later this week La Cieca will return to the podwaves with the second act of La sonnambula on Unnatural Acts of Opera, and she supposes […]
La Cieca continues her salute to the diamond birthday of Renata Scotto with a new episode of Unnatural Acts of Opera. The podcast features the first act of La sonnambula as performed at the Teatro la Fenice on May 26, 1961. La sonnambula, act 1 Renata Scotto (Amina), Alfredo Kraus (Elivino), Ivo Vinco (Rodolfo), Rosa Laghezza (Lisa), Marisa Zotti (Teresa). Teatro La Fenice, Venezia, Nello Santi, conductor.
La Cieca proudly presents the latest Unnatural Act of Opera, a 1974 concert performance of Salome. Salome Narraboth: George Shirley; Jokanaan: Norman Bailey; Salome: Birgit Nilsson; Herodes: Ragnar Ulfung; Herodias: Ruth Hesse; Page: Sandra Walker. Carnegie Hall, New York. December 18, 1974. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti.
Our Own JJ is shown here “wrangling” the dancers for his friend Dorothy Bishop‘s cabaret show last night at Splash. There were supposed to be only two dancers, which is more than enough to fill the very small Splash window ledge of a stage. But three showed up: E.J., Alain and Michele. La Bishop is off to South America for a month-long tour now, so JJ can get back to his more important task of producing La Cieca’s podcasts. Keep an eye out this weekend for another of the Great Pirates of History series on Unnatural Acts of Opera!
The Acts grow ever more Unnatural as La Cieca introduces the fourth and final segment of Adriana Lecouvreur. Later in the show, we hear Magda Olivero making a debut at an age when most people are ready to retire! Unnatural Acts of Opera