La Cieca reminds the cher public: you still have one week to come up with a top ten list about the decade from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2009, with the winner taking home a $100 Amazon gift card.

on December 23, 2009 at 10:20 PM

“I knew Hofmannsthal… he in fact begged me not to go and see it… telling me he was ashamed of it!”

on December 10, 2009 at 12:32 PM

The Zeffirelli saga continues. According to the Corriere della sera, yesterday “lo Zeffirelli furioso” held what could mildly be described as an “animated” press conference in Rome for the presentation of the new season.

on December 10, 2009 at 11:14 AM

“Michael Jackson was the true postmodern castrato,” says Cecilia Bartoli. [El País]

on December 10, 2009 at 10:33 AM

1. DON’T STAGE THE OVERTURE. Surprise: Verdi and Rossini and Wagner Mozart actually worked in the theater most of their lives, so give them credit for knowing that the overture is there to get the audience in the mood, to ease their transition from “outside” to “inside.”

on December 10, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Okay, La Cieca is finally ready to add another hard and fast “don’t” to her Rules for Stage Directors. To wit: Even if a scene calls for something fantastical, and even if the mezzo doesn’t actually walk out of the production when she first sees the costume… if your imagery immediately and inevitably screams “Star…

on December 09, 2009 at 9:26 PM

The dreaded Regie rears its ugly head in an unexpected venue:  a children’s Christmas pageant! “Humbug teachers at a primary school have come under fire for re-writing this year’s Christmas pantomime of Hansel and Gretel – to make them hooded yobs. “The fairytale characters have been re-cast as violent thugs who terrorise their neighbourhood and…

on December 09, 2009 at 3:48 PM

The indisputable star of the new Naxos DVD of Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac, filmed at the Palau de les Arts ‘Reina Sofia’ in Valencia and directed by Michal Znaniecki, is, as in all other stage, operatic and film adaptations of the Cyrano story, the enormous prosthetic nose worn by the title character. The nose…

on December 09, 2009 at 2:28 PM

One of the other American critics to cover La Scala’s HD Transmission of Carmen, Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shared our own squirrel’s view of the production. But she had some help from her friends at the “Associated Press and elsewhere.”  

on December 09, 2009 at 12:25 PM

“I cannot clothe them! I need models!” Miuccia Prada “reportedly groaned” when confronted with “curvy” supers hired for the Met’s new production of Attila. [Page Six]

on December 09, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Preternaturally boyish composer Jake Heggie is putting finishing touches on his orchestration for his opera Moby-Dick. The cetacean tuner, “huge strings” and all, is set for an April debut in Dallas.  [KERA]

on December 09, 2009 at 8:16 AM

“…the director doesn’t end with the ties between Offenbach and Hoffman. He connects the thematic dots, as if it were logically inevitable, to Kafka, who — wait for it — was also a Jew! This is indeed true, but Mr. Sher could just have easily have chosen Norman Podhoretz.” [NY Observer]

on December 08, 2009 at 11:22 PM

Snippet from yesterday’s Carmen telecast.

on December 08, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Which complex new staging has the Met crew jumping through hoops? The resulting backstage congestion may result in the draft of an estranged director for a comeback!

on December 08, 2009 at 2:21 PM

“It was… immediately clear that neither Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski nor French mezzo Sophie Koch were going to provide wildly enchanting interpretations of the Marschallin and Octavian…. But the most exciting element of the evening was the Sophie of the young British soprano Lucy Crowe, floating through the ecstasy of the Presentation of the Rose…

on December 08, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Cabaret goddess Ute Lemper appears amidst the intime ambiance of Joe’s Pub in NYC later this week to explore “the world of Berlin Kabarett, the backstreets of Montmartre and Pigalle with the French Chansons Realistes and the fantastic, sensual songs of Argentinian Tango in between Buenos Aires and New York.” Whew, let’s hope she has…

on December 08, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Bare-chested ere the world was young, ur-Barihunk Nathan Gunn continues to work the workout, currently in the Wall Street Journal.

on December 08, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Everything I need to know about Bizet I learned at a Judy Chicago exhibit in 1996. Brutality against women is pervasive, and society is culpable by permitting it. Such grievances were aired at the expense of the composer’s chef d’oeuvre Carmen yesterday at La Scala’s Gala opening, viewed dal vivo at Symphony Space on 95th and Broadway.

on December 07, 2009 at 11:33 PM

“The Metropolitan Opera’s Grand Revitalization Act” on the PBS NewsHour.

on December 07, 2009 at 11:22 PM

A new production of Verdi’s Macbeth? At the Wiener Staatsoper? At a 192 Euro top? And this is what you get?

on December 07, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Thrill to double-barreled diva excitement as that most regal of Kennedy Center honorees Grace Bumbry converses with always awesome Anne Midgette! [Washington Post]

on December 07, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Nuns, Doppelgängers, ball gags, “third arms“? Your own Squirrel is on the scene at Symphony Space offering his eyewitness account of the prima of Carmen (as seen on HD, liveish from Milan). Up-to-the-minute coverage follows the jump.

on December 07, 2009 at 11:41 AM

I’m sure I do not need to tell the mostly New-York based readers of parterre this, but Turandot is an opera that can really be turned into a pageant. Not that that’s a bad thing. It is, after all a fairy tale, and so when directors attempt to delve deep into the psychology of Puccini’s…

on December 07, 2009 at 11:16 AM

La Cieca is happy to note that Our Own Squirrel will be on-site at Symphony Space this afternoon with live breaking coverage of the triumphs and/or scandales associated with the prima of Carmen from La Scala, as seen on HD. Coverage starts here at at 11:45 AM.

on December 07, 2009 at 8:18 AM