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?”

In honor of her one-third of a century, La Cieca has at long last returned to the Sunnyside Studios to record not one but two episodes of Unnatural Acts of Opera.  Finally, cher public, you can hear the last two acts of a legendary performance of Jenufa from Opera Orchestra of New York, on March…

At long last, a new episode of Unnatural Acts of Opera, featuring the classic Janacek team of Leonie Rysanek and Gabriela Benackova. Jenufa, Act 1

Wieland Wagner directs James King and Leonie Rysanek in the legendary 1965 production of Die Walküre at Bayreuth. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ILGJSK-i65I” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] Note at around 0:40 Wieland gets Rysanek set up for her explosive gesture at 1:20. The long, tense stillness suddenly broken by a quick, strong movement is a trademark of this…

[This caption by rysanekfreak replaces La Cieca’s original, “So it’s agreed: Roberto gets the house in Monte Carlo; Angela gets custody of the gays”.]

La Cieca has just noticed that Decca is about to release a 33-disc collection comprising all the standard Wagner works. (You’ll have to look elsewhere for Das Liebesverbot.) The amazing news here is that this complete traversal of the standard Wagnerian canon is on sale for only $66.99 — yes, that’s right, barely two dollars…

Congratulations to borkmann, Dr. Hoffmann, Micaëla, emiliadiLiverpool, rysanekfreak and Enrico who all came up with the solution to our most recent Regiequiz. The opera presented is Wagner’s Tannhäuser in a new production by Hans Neuenfels for the Aalto Musiktheater Essen.

On February 9, Eva Marton joined the very select sorority of sopranos who have sung all three leading female roles in Elektra when she made her role debut as Klytämnestra at Liceu in Barcelona. (Come to think of it, there are only two other members of that club, Dame Gwyneth Jones and Leonie Rysanek!) La…

Wondrous Wenarto is back and more bloodthirsty than ever. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/f876_Xw-LYA” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] The Wenarto interpretation is a worthy addition to the YouTube classics by Rysanek, Zauscher. 

Before La Cieca departs on holiday from her podcasting duties, allow her to introduce The Podderdammerung Page. Once again, La Cieca scoops the universe: here on parterre.com you can now listen to (or download) the entire Ring cycle, as featured on this month’s Unnatural Acts of Opera. What sort of Ring will you hear there?…

UPDATE: the podcast of Das Rheingold is now online! La Cieca is delighted and not a little bit frightened to announce that Unnatural Acts of Opera will present the first-ever podcast of Wagner’s tetraology Der Ring des Nibelungen beginning Friday, June 2 and continuing through the last weekend of the month. The series will consist…

Leonie Rysanek sings the final scene from Salome in a performance of the Vienna State Opera on tour in Japan (October 2, 1980). Hans Bierer is Herodes and the conductor is Heinrich Hollreiser. (And remember, cher public, if you’re enjoying this content, visit the Amazon Honor System to show your appreciation!)

La Cieca hears that one of our most popular and beloved mezzo-sopranos is going to drop the “mezzo” part and push up into a higher Fach. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy if this American artist were to show such poor judgment? A quick look-in at Academy Records this evening revealed a tantalizing assortment of CDs…

Too late, I’m afraid, for a holiday gift, but what looks to be the must-have CD of the season has just become available. It’s a “new” Elektra, — actually a release of a live 1990 performance with the Valhalla-level pairing of Dame Gwyneth Jones and Leonie Rysanek as daughter and mother. (This is of course…

The hallmark of Camp is the spirit of extravagance. Camp taste turns its back on the good-bad axis of ordinary aesthetic judgment. Camp doesn’t reverse things. It doesn’t argue that the good is bad, or the bad is good. What it does is to offer for art (and life) a different — a supplementary —…

Something for the weekend: La Cieca presents Act 3 of Die Walkuere as the latest Unnatural Act. The performance is a classic: Bayreuth 1951, Varnay, Rysanek, Bjoerling, Karajan.