Cher Public

I shall marry the Miller’s daughter

I grew up with the Anna Moffo recording of Luisa Miller, so it was fortuitous that the Met gave the premiere of a new production in 1968, around the time RCA released the album.  Even then, it was still a rarity having previously been performed only six times at the Met in 1929 and 1930.   Read more »


“…to a certain degree, good critics are no longer necessary to find. The phrase ‘Everybody’s a critic’ has taken on a universal cast. The internet encourages people to share their opinions with the world. In the theatre, the buzz created by chatroom chatters has become increasingly important to a show’s reputation before it opens. There are thousands of critics tapping away their opinions to whoever will listen – so who needs a paid pontificator to tell you what your opinion should be?” Stephen Sondheim rebuts Michael Kaiser and ponders the utility of Sanskrit to the librettist in excerpts from his new book Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany. (Photo: Getty Images)

Not bad for a human

Cher public, La Cieca must inform you that the president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Michael Kaiser (right), is afraid of you (left). “This is a scary trend,”  says he. [via Huffington Post, of all places to climb on your soapbox about “serious arts criticism.”]

Truth: dare

daringMichael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center,  celebrated mastermind of the financial turnarounds of the Royal Opera, American Ballet Theatre the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, has some interesting advice for arts organizations in our current troubled times. His ideas take on a strong resonance, La Cieca thinks, when applied to our big New York opera companies:

“My fear is that so many arts organizations are as a first resort cutting programming … but I like it to be a last resort, because when you cut programming you are basically becoming less competitive for the money that does exist. When there’s less money to be given to the arts, you have to compete harder, not less hard.”

Kaiser continues: Read more »