02 January 2008

Spring wind-up

Another poll, this time asking which events are the absolute must-sees here in New York this spring. Please note that on this poll you can choose more than one "must-see," which is a good thing, because everything looks most tempting!

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22 November 2007

Something to give thanks for

La Cieca hears that our dear Aprile Millo (who recently had to cancel a Teatro Grattacielo appearance due to illness) is ready to bounce back big time in 2008.

Word on the street is that Millo will join longtime colleague Dolora Zajick for a bel canto duet in OONY's spring gala, followed by a return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for the 2008-09 season.

While we wait, here's some prime Millo via YouTube.

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26 March 2007

Fabulous invalid

So now it seems there may be a season for Opera Orchestra of New York next year after all. But keep in mind that word "may" because it's not a lock yet. In an email to supporters, Eve Queler says that she and the other OONies "are currently devoted to assuring you a splendid season. We have received major commitments from our supporters, and expect that additional sources will soon permit us to commit to the full season." She asks that audiences save the dates for December 13, 2007, February 27, 2008 and March 6, 2008, when, if all goes well, the group will present I due Foscari (with Dimitri Hvorostovsky?), La sonnambula (Eglise Gutierrez , Dimitry Korchak) and a gala concert.

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20 February 2007

OONY thing goes

UPDATE/CORRECTION: La Cieca has just been informed that Mark Risinger (the scheduled Marco) was ill yesterday and his cover, Brian Kontes, sang in his place. There was no announcement made.

La Cieca's spy at the dress rehearsal of L'arlesiana whispers:
Mr. Filianoti muffed the interpolated high note in the famous aria but it was 11:30 a.m. Other than that he used his sweet, compact voice to give a lesson in Italianate singing and in the use of every penny of the vocal interest and not a cent of the principal. And Ms. Cornetti is the real deal -- plenty of molten sound to get past that verismo orchestra on stage with her and the use of a Simionato-like mix on the bottom to score many points, indulging in full chest only occasionally. Too bad there is nothing to equal "Acerba volutta" to get her a more proper response during the opera itself. The Baldassare and Metifio were interesting studies in vocal production. Weston Hurt as the old shepherd owns an attractive sound with an easy top with a lot of "fly" but not enough presence in the middle for a versimo part of this sort. The Metifio, Ihn-Kyu Lee, resorts to a lot of grab to try to cut through the orchestra but then has a top with very little freedom, though he is big on sneering malice. The Vivetta, Latonia Moore, has a voice best described charitably as "dusky..." If she can leap to the top or pick it out of the air she does have a nice party-trick pianissimo (because the sound is so far back). In the brief role of Uncle Marco, bass Mark Risinger Brian Kontes contributes four minutes of pure professionalism and geniality. Ms. Queler is her usual self and the orchestra plays fairly well if not subtly.

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13 February 2007

Cessarono gli spasmi del dolore?

A highly-placed source for Opera Orchestra of New York has expressed the hope that all is not quite lost for the company. In an email sent to a long-time supporter of OONY this morning, the source concedes "big problems because of the dramatic drop in box office" and admits the board is "hard pressed to make up the difference." OONY is is "sure of one opera next year," we are told, but they are "not sure about the other two evenings." The source further suggested that very strong ticket sales for the upcoming L'arlesiana might rescue the 2007-08 season.

UPDATE: An OONY spokesperson confirms that the company has scheduled Bellini's La sonnambula (featuring the well-received tenor Dimitry Korchak from this year's Dom Sebastian) for February 27, 2008 and promises that further plans will be announced "very shortly." Meanwhile, La Cieca has heard that one possible event for OONY's next year would be a gala concert headed by Marcello Giordani and Aprile Millo.

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11 February 2007

Eve at Twilight?

UPDATE: Opera Orchestra of New York music director Eve Queler has confided the sad news that the company is closing its doors permanently at the end of the current season to cast members of the upcoming L'arlesiana, La Cieca has just heard.

Queler has reportedly spilled the beans to at least one other OONY mainstay, a superstar tenor who (La Cieca hears) is toying with the idea of organizing a gala fundraiser to rescue the company.

When asked to comment on Opera Orchestra's future, press representative Aleba Gartner replied via email "All I can say right now is that OONY will be announcing plans for next season shortly."

La Cieca reported last night that she had just heard "something pretty startling" -- that Opera Orchestra of New York will shut down permanently after this season. According to our source, the board of directors of the company have already made the decision; all that remains is to complete the 2006-2007 program with L'arlesiana on February 21.

In its 35 year history, OONY has presented the American premieres of Puccini’s Edgar, Boito’s Nerone, Smetana’s Libuse and the Russian language version of Tchaikovsky’s Orleanskaya Deva, marking the American premiere of the Russian language version of this opera.

OONY has also presented such rarities such as Wagner’s Rienzi; Verdi’s I Lombardi, I masnadieri, Aroldo, and La battaglia di Legnano; Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles; Catalani’s La Wally; Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine, Les Huguenots, and Robert le Diable; Berlioz’ Lélio and Benvenuto Cellini; Smetana’s Dalibor; Donizetti’s La Favorita; Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini; Dvorak’s Rusalka and Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina.

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