La Cieca is delighted to announce a week-long series of investigative reports deciding once and for all the question “Who is the greatest opera diva of our generation?”

on September 20, 2010 at 1:04 PM

La Cieca hears that two spectacular events crowned last night’s performance of La sonnambula at the Vienna State Opera.

on April 21, 2010 at 7:59 AM

“La Ritalina” is 45 today!

on April 19, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Fans of Natalie Dessay (and there are legions of you!) will be overjoyed to hear that, now that the Met’s Hamlet is no longer on the boards, she has completely recovered from whatever it was that was ailing her. The Gallic nightingale is currently gracing the stage of the Wiener Staatsoper in Bellini’s La sonnamubula.…

on April 16, 2010 at 10:23 AM

The good news: whatever Natalie Dessay‘s “illness” was, she didn’t permanently lose her voice. The bad news: she can still talk.

on April 11, 2010 at 2:39 AM

La Cieca presents an open letter from a parterre box reader.

on April 06, 2010 at 12:16 PM

La Cieca is delighted to hear that the Opéra de Paris and soprano Natalie Dessay just last night performed an hommage to Maria Callas by recreating one of the most famous nights of La Divina’s career. Unfortunately, that “night” was January 2, 1958, and in the intervening half century, opera management still hasn’t learned its…

on February 19, 2010 at 8:00 AM

What is it about Natalie Dessay, La Cieca wonders, that provokes journalists to badmouth La sonnambula? 

on January 30, 2010 at 11:56 AM

UPDATE: Dessay has “just now” confirmed she will go on for tonight’s performance, which begins in about 15 minutes.

on January 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM

“Natalie Dessay … in a fuchsia dress and lace-up high boots, flaming red hair piled high on her head …. swung her arms above her head, stretched, and then literally screamed out what sounded like wild joy and barely bridled lust.” [Santa Fe New Mexican]

on July 05, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Natalie Dessay crosses over with Michel Legrand. [kml_flashembed movie=”″ width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] This clip is one of a number of “Perle Nere” selections (including some classic filth) to be found on YouTube channel The Cucumber Masked. (For the record, your doyenne will state that she thinks the inclusion of Rolando Villazón material at this…

on May 07, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Peter Gelb has just announced that, due to the indisposition of Natalie Dessay, the role of Amina in La sonnambula will be sung tonight by Rolando Villazon. (Thanks to Opera Chic!)

on March 23, 2009 at 7:22 PM

[Our Own Gualtier Malde (along with a few thousand other people) attended the public dress rehearsal of the Met’s new production of La sonnambula this morning. Here is his report.] Innocence, rustic naiveté and virginity just don’t get no respect no more. I should know, I grew up way out in central New Jersey and…

on February 27, 2009 at 5:26 PM

11:25: Connectivity restored. A quick catchup.

on February 10, 2009 at 9:00 AM

One of La Cieca’s most trusted spies wangled his way into the house last night for the surprise cast change in Lucia di Lammermoor, and here’s his report: Perhaps it is the side benefit of low expectations, but I was not offended by Anna Netrebko‘s performance on Tuesday night. Though certainly not a bel canto…

on February 04, 2009 at 11:01 AM

UPDATE: And now the reactions to Act 2: “Villazon continued to struggle.  Pushed upper register and passaggio. High notes he seems to accomplish (or in some cases misses) by sheer will of force. Aside from a beautiful legato in the sextet, his voice is very worrisome.  Netrebko has bloomed in this act, acuti seemingly in…

on January 29, 2009 at 10:17 PM

Well, the first thing La Cieca will say about the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala is that for all its sprawling splendor it doesn’t look quite what you’d call entertaining. Or rather let’s say it looks as if it won’t sound very entertaining. The visual element — you know, computer-animated Marc Chagall murals and Waltraud Meier…

on November 27, 2008 at 11:23 AM

“Alex, age 4, clearly in love with what he’s hearing and seeing.” [kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

on August 24, 2008 at 12:12 AM

You know, it’s funny. Just this morning La Cieca was thinking, “Is it just me, or can I actually feel the days growing shorter now that midsummer is past?” At first your doyenne attributed the feeling to encroaching middle age; after all, middle age is her scapegoat for everything wrong these days. But in fact,…

on August 05, 2008 at 12:26 PM

The grandeur of Unnatural Acts of Opera continues with a podcast of Hamlet by Ambroïse Ambroise Thomas. Hamlet, Act 1 Hamlet: Simon Keenlyside; Claudius: Robert Lloyd; Gertrude: Yvonne Naef; Ophelie: Natalie Dessay; Laerte: Yann Beuron; Le Spectre: Markus Hollop; Marcellus: Edgaras Montvidas; Horatio: Graeme Broadbent; Polonius: Jonathan May; Gravediggers: Darren Jeffery, Matthew Beale. Orchestra of…

on July 19, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Following a performance of Lucia in San Francisco, Our Own “sassy bald” High C’s models the notorious blood-stained t-shirt for none other than Natalie Dessay.

on June 20, 2008 at 12:56 PM

After Natalie Dessay‘s second act aria in La Fille du Régiment, the Metropolitan Opera audience just didn’t want to stop applauding — that’s how much fun they were having.  Finally the soprano had to shush them so this new production of the Donizetti comic opera (heard April 21) could rollick to its triumphant conclusion. Our…

on May 01, 2008 at 11:25 PM

La Cieca is putting her entire nest egg into popcorn futures, since next season opera lovers will rarely emerge from their local movie palace. The Met will do an astonishing 11 HD simulcasts during the 2008-2009 season.  Monday, September 22, 2008: Opening Night Gala starring the astonishingly well-preserved Renée Fleming in fully staged performances of La Traviata (Act…

on April 22, 2008 at 3:48 PM

[Our Own Gualtier Maldè reports from this afternoon’s dress rehearsal of La Fille du Régiment] The Met has another hit on its hands — though not a totally new one, this production and cast already having triumphed at Covent Garden and the Vienna Staatsoper. Laurent Pelly (who vies with Davide Alagna and Mark Streshinsky as…

on April 18, 2008 at 5:32 PM