Cher Public

Greetings from the Alcova Dorata!

miami_beach_thumbWhat a concept, or La Cieca should say what a concept! This is Regie at its finest and most boldly satirical, genius that makes Graham Vick look like two-day-old steak frites. For this production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, the director (unnamed, alas in the YouTube clip below) utilizes the cinematic convention of the flash-forward in a postmodern epoch-bending variation. What if, this staging asks, Manon were to survive her various torments and travails? What would her life be like at, say, age 60? And what if, instead of hanging around mosquito-ridden Louisiana, she invested in a condo in Miami Beach (circa 1975)?  Read more »

Blonde date

acis_amazonYour feelings about the new Opus Arte DVD of Handel’s Acis and Galatea will have a lot to do with your tolerance for gentle whimsy. As a cultural consumer who tends to gravitate toward the more high-octane, Italianate drama of a Verdi overture or a Real Housewives of New Jersey hair-pull, I do my best to steer clear of pastoral operas about the lives and loves of those who tend sheep for a living, but an assignment is an assignment. 

Read more »

Dry cleaning

ATTILA_1First things first: how are the clothes?

Well, there’s enough leather to fill The Eagle ten times over, and there’s definitely fodder for intermission conversation: an adorable tweedy, puffy coat for Uldino; the pimped-out spiky bike helmet with the L.E.D. lights for Attila; all the L.E.D. lights in fact, like the ones that outline Ezio’s epaulettes; that insane blonde beehive wig with the single massive braid—worn, mais oui, with sparkly headband—that makes Violeta Urmana’s Odabella look half-Marge Simpson, half-Aubrey Beardsley Salome.

But, good, bad, or crazy, the clothes are just that: clothes.  Read more »

Read more »

Ferocious!

Tomorrow night’s performance of Attila promises to be a visual feast, especially for those of us whose visual aesthetic was crystallized in the 1960s era of gigantic hair, pearlized eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner and sharply tailored sportswear. And Violeta Urmana‘s look is pretty fierce too!

Read more »

Read more »

Chest nut

¡Mira! Mean, moody magnificent Manuela Trasobares! 

Read more »

Read more »

Grey lady meets dark lady

A video glimpse of the new Tosca, from the New York Times. The wig needs some major cleaning up.

Read more »

Read more »

the color of tears

Just added to Google’s online archive of Life magazine photographs: over a hundred full-color images from the Old Met in the 1960s. Be prepared for a strong pang of nostalgia as you glimpse Richard Tucker, Leontyne Price, Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Anna Moffo, Zinka Milanov and many other greats of that regrettably bygone era. [Google Images]

Read more »

Read more »

vera similitude

The world’s newest cult diva returns! Amira Kamel, first Egyptian ever to sing Aida (it says so on YouTube and so it must be true!) adopts for her “barbaric” drag not only the coiffure, maquillage and plastique of legendary Vera Galupe-Borszkh, but seem to have borrowed one of La Dementia’s caftans as well! [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/zl51vG-a1F8″ width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Read more »

Read more »

i wake up screaming

[Our Own Gualtier Malde (along with a few thousand other people) attended the public dress rehearsal of the Met’s new production of La sonnambula this morning. Here is his report.] Innocence, rustic naiveté and virginity just don’t get no respect no more. I should know, I grew up way out in central New Jersey and couldn’t get a date (a male one that is) at all in high school. I didn’t get no respect and sadly neither does Vincenzo Bellini and more importantly, Felice Romani these days, at least at the Metropolitan Opera. These two men, one a poet in […]

Read more »

Read more »

what to say about caballe?

[La Cieca’s old, old, old friend Camille attended Montserrat Caballe‘s Valentine’s Day duo recital earlier this month. Her reactions — which she admits it took her some days to sort out in her mind — follow.] After some reflection and reviewing Caballe’s Orange Festival Norma, once again, I can merely pipe up with my opinion that she belongs to such a rarified class of singer that it is not for mere mortals to quibble about her dalliances or far-fetched caprices. THAT SAID, this recital was not, however, in the category of wonderful self-parody, a la Freddy Mercury/Barcelona, or even the […]

Read more »