“[J]udging singers in their 20s is truly difficult, especially with so much at stake for the finalists, including a $15,000 cash prize for each winner. Comparably gifted pianists in their 20s are much more likely to be technically assured and finished performers. Operatic voices, though, need long nurturing. Most young singers are still working out…

on March 15, 2011 at 10:41 AM

“A cover article this weekend about choosing the Top 10 classical composers misstates, at one point, the length of time that opera had existed as of 1750, when Bach died. As the article correctly conveys in other references, opera had been around for roughly 150 years then, not ‘a half-century’.” La Cieca is sure the…

on January 09, 2011 at 10:45 AM

“…whenever he was joined by the baritone Simon Keenlyside, who sang Rodrigo, the Marquis of Posa and Carlo’s devoted friend, Mr. Alagna opened up in every way.” Well, wouldn’t you? [NYT]

on November 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM

“Enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Jovanovich also began taking paying jobs around town. His first mention in The New York Times came in a 1996 review of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players in The Gondoliers at Symphony Space. Anthony Tommasini noted Mr. Jovanovich’s bright voice and strapping physique…” [NYT]

on October 31, 2010 at 2:43 AM

“It is in the Wagner repertory that Ms. Brewer has truly frustrated her fans. She has sung Isolde magnificently, though so far only in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s ‘Tristan Project,’ which used Bill Viola’s videos, while Ms. Brewer and the other lead singers performed as in a concert, with music stands and vocal scores.” [NYT]

on September 05, 2010 at 12:28 PM

La Cieca must say that, for a chick, Katharina Wagner sure doesn’t talk much. But perhaps her reticence is something of a blessing, since it prevents her from spouting such facile generalizations as “…’Die Meistersinger,’ Hitler’s favorite Wagner opera.”  

on August 14, 2010 at 12:12 PM

“Her gal-pal friends play with what look like the tails of exotic serpents and keep huge spiders as pets. I was not exactly sure what this all meant. Still, the kids squealed with delight.” No more delighted than La Cieca was when she realized that Katharina Wagner has finally caught up to Mary Zimmerman in…

on August 05, 2010 at 4:18 PM

“A tousle-haired and radiant young man called Ein Gast… appears” [NY Times]

on August 01, 2010 at 11:58 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

“Exciting! Indomitable! Alluring! Rigid! Enormous! Pulsing! Penetrating! Riveting! The public shame of being flogged! Aching tenderness!” [NYT]

on May 02, 2010 at 2:07 PM

La Cieca is delighted to begin a new series on parterre.com dedicated to the fretting, brooding and dithering of the Wazier of the Worriers, Anthony Tommasini. Our first examples (of many) follow the jump.

on March 15, 2010 at 8:09 PM

“It is easy to understand why Mr. Muti admires Mr. Abdrazakov, his young, imposing Attila.” [NYT]

on February 24, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Ordinarily La Cieca bestows the Wildean accolade upon a local cher pube. This time, though, she cannot resist praising one of the commentariat at Unpop!, Daniel Stephen Johnson‘s new project over at the New Haven Advocate.

on February 21, 2010 at 8:00 PM

“Maybe this bold staging was a little overwrought. But when you have Ms. Garanca as Carmen, why not?” Anthony Tommasini offers an object lesson in the art of Criticism as Starfucking.

on February 04, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Enjoy your mockery while you can, cher public. The New York Times has decided they are going to start charging for content “in early 2011.” So, in a year or so, you won’t have Tony Tommasini to kick around any more.

on January 20, 2010 at 12:43 PM

“And the news of this revival of Franco Zeffirelli’s opulent production continues to be the exciting work of the young Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons, who searches out the modernist touches in Puccini’s final work.” [NYT]

on January 06, 2010 at 8:23 AM

“I will have more to say on this question later.” So, three weeks ago, Anthony Tommasini left open the subject of how “[n]one of the versions of [Les Contes d’Hoffmann] that have appeared over the years, some of them corrupted, can be said to be authentic.” The Times scribe has at last broken his silence, though…

on December 25, 2009 at 5:25 PM

“…Mr. Sher may have done too much analysis of the work’s psychological subtexts.” [NYT]

on December 04, 2009 at 7:05 PM

The amazing acute hearing of Anthony Tommasini detects an improvement in the acoustic of that place they used to call the New York State Theater, in fact, he’s willing to commit that the sound is “considerably better than it used to be.” Which is pretty fucking impressive, considering that the last time TT heard an…

on December 01, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Cher public, if you plan to see the Met’s production of From the House of the Dead (and you might as well know that she expects you move heaven and earth to do so!), La Cieca urges and entreats that you avoid reading Anthony Tommasini‘s review of the production in tomorrow’s New York Times. 

on November 13, 2009 at 11:36 AM

“Mr. Okulitch and Mr. Hardy have matching black briefs over which they each wear half of a single suit: Giovanni, the jacket; Leporello, the pants. When they switch identities, they trade suit parts, again a vivid metaphor, and made more striking because both singers are so buff.” [NYT]

on November 09, 2009 at 6:46 PM

“…this stage still has a tendency, it seems, to swallow some of the bloom and resonance of voices…. For both works, the orchestra came through just fine. Less so the voice, though the sound was honest and clear…. the amplification did not make these singers much more audible than those who sang the old-fashioned way….…

on November 06, 2009 at 8:05 AM

In the year and half that New York City Opera has been absent from the musical milieu of our metropolis, Tony Tommasini has been sadly deprived of one of his favorite topics of conversation. 

on November 04, 2009 at 10:28 PM

Anthony Tommasini‘s Sunday Times think piece about opera direction (fetchingly adorned with the Susannesque headline “Halfway Won’t Do”) is online now. La Cieca thinks TT’s heart is in the right place (and of course she’s still all aglow after the Babs interview), so she’s going to stay mum about that Herbert Wernicke production of Die…

on September 30, 2009 at 2:56 PM