Cher Public

Prelude to the Quantification of the Diva

diva_quantificationLa 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?” Read more »

unnatural birthday to you

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 30, 1988. Read more »

one in a mill

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

ring of truth

Wieland Wagner directs James King and Leonie Rysanek in the legendary 1965 production of Die Walküre at Bayreuth.

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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 director’s style. And notice too that director and soprano are not in immediate agreement where she should be directing her line “Ha, wer ging? Wer kam herein?”

Renee Fleming (seated) and Barry Banks (standing) … in the Met’s 2010 Mary Zimmerman Armida

[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”.]

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gesamt on the cheap

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 a disc. The recordings are all taken from live performances at Bayreuth: Der fliegende Holländer Anja Silja, Fritz Uhl, Josef Greindl, Franz Crass; Wolfgang Sawallisch. Tannhäuser Anja Silja, Grace Bumbry, Wolfgang Windgassen, Eberhard Wächter, Josef Greindl; Wolfgang Sawallisch. Lohengrin Anja Silja, Astrid Varnay, Jess Thomas, […]

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great minds

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.

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the three faces of eva

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 Cieca thought it only proper that we honor Marton by hearing her perform a moment or two of each of her Elektra roles.

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