The late British critic John Steane once said that he had sworn off all Montserrat Caballé performances after seeing a recital where the famously irreverent soprano, in one of her encores, did a caricature of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. (He considered it undignified.) I can only imagine what Mr. Steane would have thought of Vittorio Grigolo. Caballé was merely (perhaps) snarky. This afternoon at the Met, Grigolo sold his performance like the rent was due tomorrow and he was down to his last penny. Read more »
I never thought I’d see the day when Giuseppe Verdi and Benjamin Britten would battle it out for musical superiority but that’s exactly what happened in Los Angeles this year. The Verdi Bicentennial and the Britten Centennial went head to head and I can’t say I was pleased with the outcome.
The ghost of Peter Hemmings, our first intendant and a huge Britten promoter, apparently still haunts the Music Center downtown abetted by regular séances hosted by our Music Director James Conlon. A comprehensive year-long Britten festival was arranged with events stretching on into the Malibu sunset; meanwhile, Verdi was “honored” with a single opera production,The Two Foscari . And yes, we’re that bush league that they still translate everything into English here for publicity purposes, thanks for asking. Read more »
Ring a ding ding! There’s a new Duke in town, and he’s jolting the Met’s Rigoletto with enough electricity to light up the Las Vegas Strip.
La Cieca predicts you won’t be seeing any puritans at the Met next season, except of course for the ones who slouch around during intermission hissing, “You call that a trill?”
La Cieca has been sniffing around her generally reliable (and fragrant) sources, and she thinks she has pieced together a list of the dozen operas to be featured in the 2013-2014 season of “The Met: Live in HD.”
La Cieca’s spy in London reports: “So first Angela Gheorghiu cancelled this evening’s Traviata Faust at the ROH. On hearing the news, Vittorio Grigolo suddenly came down with a ‘chest infection’ —so the performance is going ahead with James Valenti and Malin Byström.”
“I saw the dress rehearsal of the Covent Garden Manon, and Vittorio had that metaphysical connection with the audience. I’m convinced of his potential.” [New York Times]
The entire new CD “The Italian Tenor” (featuring Vittorio Grigolo) may be heard here. (If it tickles your fancy, you may want to purchase a copy as well.)