Cher Public

opera queen in queen city

[La Cieca is happy to present a guest review by Our Own Lindoro Almaviva.]

Cincinnati Opera makes a good case for the 4 act version of Don Carlo. I think it is a great idea that they used projected titles to give us the background of the opera (since we lose the Fontainebleau scene). This gave the production an almost cinematic start and maybe this was the reason why I was more receptive to it.  Kudos to whomever had the idea, it worked.

The opera was performed in a unit set with some movable parts that gave it variety. Overall, they were pretty to look most of the time. The set designer did not give us a set that inspired awe, but it was not on the way either, so I feel it worked. The one problem I found with it was that it felt claustrophobic. It made the Cincinnati stage look quite small.   Read more »

drammy per musica

New Kid on the Plaza Drammy writes:

April 9, 2009. A traditional Otto Schenk production featuring Diana Damrau as Gilda and who cares but.. Frizza conducting, Viktoria Vizin as Maddalena, Calleja as the Duke, Frontali as Rigoletto, Aceto as Sparafucile.

Stellar performances from the entire cast, excepting poor Mr Frontali. The set was phenomenal – this coming from someone who has now seen 3 operas live to date…i.e. I’ve low standards and I can’t stomach Regie – yet. The first set change – from Duke’s court to shady courtyard – took a whopping 5 minutes and people were getting frisky. I wondered when Gelb would be coming out to announce the death of a certain principal and her replacement.  Read more »

an atmosphere that simply reeks with class

A member of the cher public who attended last night’s premiere of Verdi’s Macbeth at the Opéra national de Paris filed this report:

It was Paris Opera GM Gerard Mortier‘s penultimate opportunity – his term ends in July –  to moon opening night Parisian audiences and he did just that. He flew in bad-boy director Dmitri Tchernlakov from an opera house in Novosibirsk, Russia, to wreak havoc on Verdi’s Macbeth.

Before the overture, we see a ugly town square where someone shows up in a backpack, drawing people from the surrounding buildings who shout a welcome. During the overture, we see projected images of Google Earth circling a town; ironically,  it was Google Earth I was using earlier in an unsuccessful attempt to locate Novosibirsk. We float down to a lifeless house and look through window at a plain room with a happily flaming gas fireplace.

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forty candles

Longtime friend of the ‘box Little Stevie returns to Adriana Lecouvreur: I have always believed that as with La Gioconda, a great performance of Adriana Lecouvreur needs to serve up “the four greatest singers in the world”, and the Met seems to come close to doing just that. I have attended all of the performances thus far and Friday night was my third visit to this revival. Placido Domingo‘s voice remains a steady and well produced instrument with a slight decline in volume and breadth of line and a somewhat more pronounced vibrato. What was once a silver sheen to […]

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art is calling for you

The Met’s $25 weekend ticket program this week features Adriana Lecouvreur. Though La Cieca is naturally remaining mum about this revival until Our Own JJ‘s review appears, she’s more than interested to hear what you, the cher public, think. So if you can get into the Friday night performance via the lottery (or any other way), send an email review to your doyenne and she’ll welcome you into the ranks of Our Own.

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happy spirit

All the way from exotic Portland, Operaman writes: Yesterday I attended the Met HD transmission of Orfeo ed Euridice and, once I have told you my reactions and feelings about this show, I cannot wait to hear what members of your cher public who saw or heard it have to say about it. And I must let it be known immediately that I don’t purport to be able to critique this work with the sophistication or depth and breadth of knowledge displayed by so many of your correspondents. My views should be considered vox pop so I hope your readers […]

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divan decadence

Our Own Gualtier Maldè reports: Not every opera has to be a masterpiece.  I couldn’t subsist on a steady diet of Tristan und Isolde, Die Zauberfloete, Fidelio, plus Otello,  Falstaff et al.  Frankly the occasional light comic bonbon or trashy but fun melodramatic tunefest makes a nice palate cleanser.  I am talking Adriana Lecouvreur, La Gioconda, Mignon – you know – the operas critics love to hate.  I very much wanted Thaïs to be a guilty pleasure like La Gioconda or Adriana but alas, the opening night performance of the Met’s new production dashed my hopes.  Thaïs is an act […]

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salome (met) 9/23/2008

I was there in the house and it was a good night.  I still think that Mattila and the production were fresher in 2004 with a wider range of colors and dynamics.  However, she didn’t sound frayed or at the end of her rope.  Some of the louder high notes can get a blanched quality but they were dead on pitch and held for a good while with no wavering.  She looks good but definitely a woman of a certain age and the girlish, kittenish business looks calculated now.  Its a well kept body but definitely spreading a bit in […]

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