05 January 2008

Ein Kind ward hier geboren

Today, January 5, is the 91st anniversary of the birth of one of La Cieca's particular heroes, Wieland Wagner, stage director and designer. Here is a scene from Wieland's legendary production of Tristan und Isolde featuring Birgit Nilsson and Wolfgang Windgassen.

In this clip, Wieland is seen in rehearsal for his 1965 production of Der Ring des Nibelungen with Windgassen, Erwin Wohlfahrt, Theo Adam and Gustav Neidlinger.

(The first few seconds of the film clip are of Wieland's muse Anja Silja in her Bayreuth debut role of Senta.)

A page dedicated to the work of Wieland Wagner can be found at the Wagner Operas site.

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10 November 2007

Finishing Lulu

La Cieca finally got herself back into the studio this evening for a podcast of the second act of Berg's Lulu. This performance features the Orchestra and Chorus of the Vienna State Opera conducted by Karl Böhm on December 16, 1968. Anja Silja stars as the irresistible Lulu, with Martha Mödl, Ernst Gutstein, Waldemar Kmentt and Hans Hotter rounding out a classic cast.

As a bonus on this episode of Unnatural Acts of Opera, La Cieca introduces a clip from the rarely-heard Samuel Barber opera Harriet Craig.

Those of you who have recovered from the recent Ernani vocal identification quiz may want to jump back into the saddle to guess the identify of the singer of the "Lied der Lulu" in the following sound clip.

Hint: it's not Anja Silja! If you think you know the identify of this singer, send your guess to [email protected]. La Cieca will award an amazon.com gift certificate to the first correct responder.

UPDATE: Too easy! The singer of the "Lied der Lulu" is [click]. Congratulations to Judy who was first with a correct answer (barely ten minutes after the clip went up), and to Daniel, Richard, Paul and Oliver who all got it within the hour. Now La Cieca is off to devise a more challenging quiz!

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09 February 2007

Not only connect...

"At 'Connect at the Met for Gay and Lesbian Singles,' a social mixer at the Metropolitan Opera on February 2, prospective hookups sipped Champagne in between acts of Leos Janácek's 'Jenufa.' This grim tragedy might seem unlikely to kindle thoughts of romance, but even those participants who failed to launch a relationship had the satisfaction of witnessing one of the company's most powerful artistic triumphs in years."

Our publisher JJ's first opera of 2007, reviewed in Gay City News.

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31 January 2007


Don't forget that this Friday, February 2 is "Gay Hookup Night at the Met," or as it is more formally titled, "Connect at the Met for Gay and Lesbian Singles." Whether your goal is serious husband-hunting, a casual encounter to share Champagne and dessert, or just to demonstrate that there are some queens out there even more desperate than you are, the Met's the place to be on Friday night. And let it not be forgotten that the opera itself is one of the Met's most artistic offerings this season, a revival of Janacek's Jenufa starring top-flight divas Karita Mattila and Anja Silja.

The all-inclusive $95 ticket includes an orchestra seat with a chance to mingle with other opera lovers, a pre-performance hors d’oeuvres reception and a champagne-dessert reception at intermission during which time you can sneak a peek at the exhibition of Callas's stage jewelry. (And with all that gaiety going on, La Cieca wouldn't be surprised to if she saw go-go boys in skimpy gold shorts giving lap dances in Grand Tier boxes.) More details and ordering instructions are on the new improved metopera.org.

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