Well, it’s that time of year, isn’t it? La Cieca is full to overflowing with the holiday spirit, so full of it, in fact, that she’s going to speak her mind, just as if this were a company party. There are some out there who have forgotten the true meaning of this time of year, and La Cieca is just not going to put up with that one minute more. There’s a war on, mon cher public, and it’s a war on what this special season is all about.

La Cieca is speaking, of course, about the war on the winter solstice, which falls this year on December 21. And what better way to mark this important annual milestone than to listen to a performance of an opera about druids – that is, Bellini’s Norma? Anita Cerquetti stars in a 1958 performance of this sublime masterpiece on the current Unnatural Acts of Opera, and long-time friend of parterre box The Urbane Pagan contributes an essay on Shamanic Opera-Going.