Commenter emerita Poison Ivy (now a blogress in her own right) takes on the dark side of fandom over at Poison Ivy’s Wall of Text. Find out what the fan did!

on January 15, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Incredible, but true, I Puritani had not been performed in Great Britain since 1887 when Glyndebourne decided to stage it in 1960 with the main intention to showcase Joan Sutherland, who had been catapulted to international superstardom one year earlier in the legendary Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden. Furthermore, Vittorio Gui, who had already…

on December 04, 2010 at 4:19 PM

I attend the opera intent on enjoying myself. If the music is not my favorite, there is always something to like, be it a colleague’s individual performance, the discovery of a newcomer, nifty stagecraft or costumes, observing the movement skills of the various singers, or in worst-case scenarios, observing the audience’s boredom, carefully notating the…

on November 17, 2010 at 2:52 PM

“Tyler Perry‘s… For Colored Girls does feel like a ghoulish joke, a dated horror show bordering on parody. It’s both operatic and tone deaf, with explosions of hysteria that include a drunken Macy Gray performing a back-alley abortion and the conversion of a poem spoken by [Ntozake] Shange‘s Lady in Purple into an actual opera…

on November 04, 2010 at 9:56 AM

From time to time the younger queens ask La Cieca, “Why does all the camp date back decades? Did something happen to camp? Why is there no new camp? Where should we look to find our own 21st century camp? Now La Cieca has an answer for you young queens. Look no further! Camp, with…

on August 11, 2010 at 10:06 PM

We may have a contender in the category of Most Overdone Camp Diva Crossover Hair Extension.

on July 20, 2010 at 5:34 PM

The Met’s premiere production of Verdi’s Attila is terrible. Are you surprised? Attila is like a self-conscious stroll down Rodeo Drive – or even worse, to the Mall of America – reducing an opera about ruthless tyranny brought down by ruthless vengeance to a quaint and insipid fashion show.

on March 02, 2010 at 12:12 AM

You know, La Cieca lived through the 1980s, just barely, and then imagine her surprise when, midway through the 2000s, there was a revival of all that 80s stuff — shoulder pads, leggings, big hair, glitter. All of it. Well, no, not quite all of it. There was one trend of the 1980s whose revival…

on February 17, 2010 at 10:53 PM

It took the Metropolitan Opera decades to catch up with the rest of the world and finally stage La Cenerentola. Gioachino Rossini’s opera buffa, one of his most beloved and accomplished works, received its belated Met debut in 1997, amidst legitimate suspicions that the new production was less a genuine desire to add a belcanto…

on February 15, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Like Liza Minnelli at the Palace or Nomi Malone in Goddess, Renée Fleming‘s Thaïs is better understood as diva event than Gesamtkunstwerk. It’s an opportunity to watch a star lady do her voodoo in a work that exists largely to showcase her glamour and appeal.

on February 08, 2010 at 12:45 PM

La Cieca hears that Olga Borodina still has whatever it was she had on Wednesday, and so will have to cancel tonight’s Met performance of Carmen as well.

on January 30, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Could there be any more “parterre” a way to spend a Saturday afternoon than listening to a broadcast from half a century ago of what must surely rank among the queerest operas ever written? Don’t bother to answer that, it’s a rhetorical question, and while we’re on the subject, you do not know how to…

on January 23, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Gotham Chamber Opera presented Haydn’s Il Mondo della Luna on Tuesday evening at the Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, in a production that took advantage of the museum’s NASA constellations and a multitude of other more economical yet impressive stage and lighting effects. Despite cramped quarters and inhospitable acoustics, the company made a strong…

on January 20, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Set the DVR! Tonight on TCM at 8:00 PM: among the campiest of all operatic movie musicals, The Great Waltz, starring that most stratospheric of sopranos, Miliza Korjus!

on January 12, 2010 at 7:14 PM

On the heels of this, may I direct everyone’s attention to a funny and fascinating article about Stefan Herheim‘s production of Lohengrin from last spring at Berliner Staatsoper? Now we know what to do with those old costumes and sets that gather dust! [via the wellsungs]

on November 23, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Squirrel was expecting boobs! People, there were no boobs, and for that, I was a little disappointed.

on November 22, 2009 at 8:46 PM

“Voglio essere giudicato per la musica e nient’altro che per la musica.” “I want to be judged for my music and nothing but my music.” This phrase, which Mascagni himself wrote to his publisher Sonzogno, is the key to understanding the very essence and existence of L’amico Fritz (1891). Cavalleria rusticana, Mascagni’s first performed opera,…

on November 22, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Had I been living at the time Walter Felsenstein’s film of Verdi’s Otello was released in 1969, such then-innovative  elements as the use of color on television and a vernacular translation might have given me new insights into this great opera. Maybe.

on November 21, 2009 at 6:58 PM

For those of us newly accustomed to watching The Met: Live in HD cinecasts and similar events in our neighborhood theaters, it is easy to forget that opera as cinema was once a very different experience. Ritter Blaubart, one in a series of seven films by Walter Felsenstein recently released on DVD, shows us the…

on November 21, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Poet of the podium Carlos Kleiber leads the final minutes of Tristan und Isolde from the mystic abyss of Bayreuth, circa 1975.

on November 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM

It’s no easy easy task to “re-review” one of the most discussed and scrutinized opera productions of the last few years. Mary Zimmerman’s mise-en-scène of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor has been extensively examined since it was chosen to inaugurate the 2007/08 season of the Metropolitan Opera, provoking very mixed reactions both from the professional critics…

on November 18, 2009 at 8:59 PM

They want it. The career. They want it really bad. So we learn from Susan Froemke’s Metropolitan Opera-commissioned documentary about the participants in the final round of the 2007 MetNational Council Auditions, which is out on DVD this month. Our own doyenne reviewed the film when it was screened as an HD theatrical event, and…

on November 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM

La Cieca knows the cher public will be intrigued to hear that tomorrow night (Monday, November 16), NYC’s downtown classical music venue Le Poisson Rouge will offer a screening of Cecilia Bartoli in a live concert, filmed September 10, 2009. Meanwhile, in honor of this cinematic event, your doyenne is launching a parterre competition for…

on November 15, 2009 at 9:02 PM

“What the…?” was my first thought when I opened the small manila package last week, unmarked save the NY return address. Inside I found a Wagner compilation CD set from an unknown label- not the obscure Spanish opera I had ordered online the week before. Although I saw no accompanying invoice, I assumed an Amazon…

on November 14, 2009 at 9:19 PM