The maestro trap The maestro trap

Il maestro Fabio Luisi dirige correttamente e talora anche con qualche eleganza; ma sta così male sul podio!

on June 22, 2012 at 6:49 PM

La Cieca’s looking for a few good commenters to join the exalted ranks of parterre reviewers of new CD and DVD releases. Care to apply? Read on after the jump.

on November 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Critic Ann Binlot draws some perhaps rather obvious parallels between Satyagraha and the Occupy Wall Street movement in a brief feature on ARTINFO.

on November 13, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Though the headline seems to apply a whole series of epithets to a revered critic (“Stand-In Meets Sweet Snake, Shrieky Diva, Grumpy Dad: Manuela Hoelterhoff”), the actual review of the Met’s Siegfried on Bloomberg offers more than purely comic interest. While La Hoelterhoff is no better than usual as an opera reviewer, she does briefly…

on October 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The multi-slashed Manuela Hoelterhoff (Bloomberg editrix/spouse to disgruntled New York City Opera intendant manquée Francesca Zambello/grouch emeritus) dipped her goose quill in venom this morning once again to take on her favorite subject, i.e., how NYCO has gone to hell in a handbasket ever since they didn’t hire her girlfriend to run the place. 

on May 31, 2011 at 10:24 AM

“Sophie Koch, a mezzo-soprano favoured by the current management over Brits Alice Coote and Sarah Connolly, sang Charlotte very intelligently and musically, without ever suggesting a woman on the brink of losing self-control.” [The Telegraph]

on May 06, 2011 at 12:49 PM

“Near the end of Robert Lepage‘s production of Wagner’s Die Walküre, which opened at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday, there is a moment of arresting visual beauty. The raked stage slowly rises and, with the help of projections, turns into a looming, stark, snow-covered mountain. It’s a breathtaking transformation, one that encapsulates everything that’s wrong…

on April 26, 2011 at 7:34 PM

“It’s just that it seems rather perverse to have cast such opulent voices and then given them not much to sing…. the role of Anna Nicole would not stretch Danielle de Niese.” Loyal parterrian Jondrytay (not pictured) looked in on the Royal Opera’s Anna Nicole and shared this thoughts on his blog Not So Wunderbar.

on March 02, 2011 at 10:04 AM

“Sombre splendor there is frequently not.” Zachary Woolfe mulls Don Carlo. [New York Observer]

on December 01, 2010 at 10:19 AM


on November 06, 2010 at 11:16 AM

There is no peace for Verdi in Parma.  As a second production of its Verdi Festival the Teatro Regio presented I vespri siciliani on October 10,  starring Giacomo Prestia as Procida, Leo Nucci as Monforte, and the lovebirds Daniela Dessì and Fabio Armiliato as Elena and Arrigo. 

on October 18, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Congratulations to Nicola Lischi, of the younger generation of critics the one with the best developed… knowledge of Italian opera, for his first review on Opera Brittania.

on October 07, 2010 at 7:28 PM

There have been about 2,000 reviews of the Met’s new Rheingold so far, but for now, anyway, this one is my favorite—and not only for “Sid and Marty“.

on October 05, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Every time La Cieca says she’s through once and for all reading Norman Lebrecht, that middlebrow minstrel of the maestro myth soars to new heights of noisomeness. This time (yet again) it’s about how utterly callous those silly opera singers are for canceling (imagine!) when they’re too sick to sing.  

on August 15, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Martin Bernheimer, who was wise long before most of the rest of us were on solid food, writes what is likely to be remembered as the definitive essay on the Donald Rosenberg/Plain Dealer situation.

on August 14, 2010 at 12:12 AM

The premiere of a new production of Lohengrin at Bayreuth is obviously this week’s hot topic. La Cieca suggests we continue on this thread thd discussion that began elsewhere on and is also raging over at opera-l. (La Cieca invites the cher public and visitors to post links from other sites as well where…

on July 28, 2010 at 8:10 AM

“Why is the needlessly naked executioner so coy about showing us his wobbly bits?” [The Telegraph]

on July 09, 2010 at 2:19 PM

See, La Cieca thinks Brian Kellow is asking for trouble when, in the second paragraph of his analysis of last March’s Slatkinshchina, he admits, “I did not attend the March 29 opening-night performance of La Traviata, nor did I listen to it on Sirius Radio.”  

on May 11, 2010 at 7:44 PM

“Marianne Cornetti‘s Amneris…. gives the audience a heart attack every time she opens her mouth, possessing an ability to literally drown out the orchestra.” La Cieca has a new favourite opera critic, and his name is Jamie Tabberer.

on April 30, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Forget all the others. You need to read this review of The Nose. [New York Observer]

on March 09, 2010 at 10:16 PM

“Unlike Ms. Garanca, Ponselle was among the many Carmens who have tried some real dancing.” Why is La Cieca not surprised that one of the few intelligent and detailed surveys of the dramatic element of the Met’s new Carmen should be written by a dance critic? [NYT]

on January 15, 2010 at 8:13 AM

La Cieca’s saturation coverage of the Met’s new Contes d’Hoffmann begins officially on Monday, when one of her most reliable and most devious spies promises a report from the dress rehearsal. You, the cher public, will be expected to sound off loud and clear during the opening night chat on Thursday at 8:00 pm.  

on November 28, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Is it just me, or does this seem like using From the House of the Dead as a club to beat a dead horse?

on November 14, 2009 at 8:09 PM

I have to be honest, when I first got this CD from Cieca cara I thought, “What the fuck did I get myself into?”  My assignment was to review the new Naxos recording of Leonard Bernstein‘s Mass. I did this show 10 years ago in school and it was not a happy experience. So, at…

on November 04, 2009 at 5:01 PM