If you’re wondering why the relatively inexperienced George Steel was tapped for the demanding job of hauling the New York City Opera out of the basement — instead of front-runner Francesca Zambello, well, maybe this is why: Zambello, currently in London creating a joint Royal Opera and Royal Ballet production of Tchaikovsky’s comic rarity “The…

on October 23, 2009 at 1:14 PM

A loyal reader calls this little number “the worst gown I’ve ever seen.” La Cieca she agrees that Mme. Guleghina’s fashion faux pas here just screams, “that was no lady, that was Lady Macbeth.” On the other hand, your doyenne has seen some rather ghastly frocks in her time, and she’s sure, cher public, that…

on January 29, 2008 at 10:48 AM

A controversial new production of Massenet’s erotically-tinged opera Manon featuring “it girl” soprano Anna Netrebko opened last night in…. Oh, all right. Obviously that’s not our Anna. In fact it’s ecdysiast Dita Von Teese performing her signature “cocktail glass” strip. The model and performer (whose adorably mousy real name is Heather Sweet) has accepted an…

on January 16, 2008 at 10:43 AM

“Directed by Francesca Zambello, this Little Mermaid burdens its performers with ungainly guess-what-I-am costumes (by Tatiana Noginova) and a distracting set (by George Tsypin) awash in pastels gone sour and unidentifiable giant tchotchkes that suggest a Luau Lounge whipped up by an acid-head heiress in the 1960s. The whole enterprise is soaked in that sparkly…

on January 11, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Fiorenza Cedolins gets off to a bad start in this performance of Luisa Miller. La Cieca feels that if you’re going to sing like that, you really should avoid the Grayson Hall wig.

on December 06, 2007 at 9:27 PM

And don’t call her Shirley! It’s the one and only Ruby Hinds singing the cabaletta to “O mio Fernando” at a tribute to Doris Roberts (yeah, go figure) in Beverly Hills.

on December 04, 2007 at 10:47 PM

La Cieca is sure she doesn’t wish ill on anyone, but Maria Guleghina‘s return to Norma tonight is turning filthy already.

on December 04, 2007 at 9:37 PM

Only a month before her farewell to Las Vegas, pop hurleuse Céline Dion is already making plans for her future. According to Newsweek, “in February, she’ll begin an international tour. Then she plans on settling down in Florida, where she’ll see if she can turn herself into a movie star (her dream project is a…

on November 12, 2007 at 4:23 PM

This performance of the “alternative” entrance aria from Lucia di Lammermoor illustrates why the road not taken probably wasn’t such a good idea in the first place. Note, too, how the technical quality of the video production so aptly complements the efforts of the artiste.

on November 05, 2007 at 2:13 AM

La Cieca hopes you aren’t under the misapprehension that only stars (or would-be stars) are capable of filth-level performances. A true “sporcizianista” can fuck up even such apparently foolproof music as the few lines of Ines in the first act of Trovatore:

on October 29, 2007 at 11:15 AM

Or, “Fleming Subjugates La Scala.” Note the “polite” applause at the end of the performance.

on October 24, 2007 at 8:34 AM

In the words of the immortal Leonard Pinth-Garnell, “Monumentally ill-advised!” UPDATE: The video has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been removed from YouTube. There are a few stills, however, on the tenor’s website. By the way, if you think the costume looks familiar, that’s because you’ve seen it before.

on October 10, 2007 at 6:40 PM

From the 1983 public access TV show “

on August 09, 2007 at 4:45 PM

As if opera weren’t dead enough already, this latest news is sure to finish pounding the stake through its heart. Paris Hilton (strike one!) has been signed for a leading role in the film version of Repo! The Genetic Opera. In this futuristic musical fantasy, La Hilton plays the daughter of organ-transplant tycoon Paul Sorvino…

on July 31, 2007 at 4:41 PM