YET ANOTHER UPDATE: March 9, 3:30 PM: After only 30 hours and on only the third try (or perhaps fourth, depending on how often you refresh the page), the New York Times has managed to report accurately the personnel and repertoire of a single selection at a concert that took place three days ago: 

ball four, take your base

There’s still no trace of what you might call criticism here, but, hey, Bernard Holland filed four pieces this week (an average of over 200 words a day!), including this obviously labor-intensive listing:

“TRISTAN UND ISOLDE” (Monday) A much awaited “Tristan,” with Deborah Voigt and Ben Heppner in the title roles, and with James Levine conducting, has evidently been so awaited that all seats are gone.

UPDATE: March 9, 11:30 AM: After more than 24 hours and surely dozens of emails from annoyed readers, the New York Times has finally “corrected” their blunder (see below) about the Opera Orchestra of New York’s “recent” gala concert:


La Cieca will congratulate the Times editorial staff for uncovering the well-kept secret that the duet “Mira d’acerbe lagrime” is in fact from Il trovatore and not from Bellini’s Norma. Further kudos are due for their investigative journalism in revealing that Dolora Zajick and Aprile Millo are the same person.

March 8, 11:48 AM: All right, it’s time either to euthanize Bernard Holland or else to find a nice farm out in the country where he can live out his few waning days. In this morning’s Times, the notoriously slovenly scribe types:

Did I say Bernard Shaw? I meant Holland Taylor!

Shall we all say it together? The program was changed; Millo sang not Norma but Trovatore, opposite not Zajick but Stephen Gaertner.

Mere musical illiteracy might explain a reviewer’s confusion of Bellini’s best-known opera with a Verdi warhorse, but mistaking a bearded baritone for a mezzo-soprano who was on the same stage on a half hour previously requires either legal brain death or physical absence from the auditorium during a program he was assigned and paid to cover.

True, Holland’s gaffe is not so grave as to bamboozle a nation into a bloody and futile war, but, on the other hand, Judith Miller never mistook Sadaam Hussein for Valerie Plame.

2:00 PM: No correction yet in the online edition.

4:45 PM: Still no correction.

10:45 PM: Even now, no correction.