Deeds of kindness to review

For decades thousands and thousands have attended Handel’s Messiah (usually around Christmas or more appropriately near Easter) making it easily one of the most widely known works of classical music.

I am missing the winter now

One quick way to warm up: Watching tenor heartthrob Roberto Alagna.

Andromache sings again

Alexandra Deshorties will perform the key role of Juliana Bordereau in the Dallas Opera’s 25th anniversary production of Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers.

“The People’s Diva,” “America’s Soprano,” “The Beautiful Voice, ” “la Grace Kelly della lirica”—in her busy and seemingly interminable career Renée Fleming has worn almost as many hats as hair colors. But henceforth she must also be known as “The Peggy Olson of the Windy City” thanks to her inestimable leadership in crafting Lyric Opera…

Nathan Gunn (not really pictured) made his debut as Eugene Onegin in Cincinnati Opera’s production of Tchaikovsky’s opera  last night. He certainly has the physicality for the part and the vocal potential. In this performance he sang well and expressively but without the heft to fully project over the orchestra.

UPDATE: The news breaks today, and yes, it’s Debbie, but no, it’s not Shirtless Nathan.  Letting his defenses down in the role of Frank Butler at Glimmerglass will be Rod Gilfry. (Meanwhile, Mr. Gunn will continue his exploration of the esoteric Blusenrolle fach by role-debuting Eugene Onegin in Cincinnati.)

“Though the new sound system couldn’t make Central Park’s SummerStage sound like a concert hall, the first of the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Recital Series made sweet dinner music Monday for 3,800 listeners and their picnics.” [New York Post]

Bare-chested ere the world was young, ur-Barihunk Nathan Gunn continues to work the workout, currently in the Wall Street Journal.

“They’re known for their great bods and for breathless blogs written by devoted admirers. Bearers of great pecs and pipes, barihunks like Matthew Worth and Tom Forde are bringing high art to the masses in a universally appealing form. And the dark-haired Gunn, all 6 broadly muscled feet of him, is king of that particular…

Scott Cantrell has a brand new metaphor, and he’s not going to let it slip through his fingers. “Daniel Okulitch is hardly the libretto’s ‘scrawny little S.O.B.’ But, with a warmly oiled bass-baritone, he captures Joseph’s tenderness toward his mother as surely as his hostility and fear.” “Nathan Gunn is the cast’s standout, an Alec…

A layout (in the very nearly literal sense of the term) of “seven international opera stars who are putting to rest the ‘fat lady sings’ cliché” graces the current issue of Vanity Fair. Since nobody actually reads this magazine, La Cieca will link to the photo of the The Low BMI Septet. Click to embiggen

La Cieca hears that the “all 20th century” concept of the first Gerard Mortier season at NYCO may be subject to modification. According to an impeccably reliable source, the first season will include a rarely-seen French Grand Opera and an evening centered around pieces of Verdi done with a double chorus – one all African-American,…

New York City Opera has commissioned American composer Charles Wuorinen to write an opera based on “Brokeback Mountain,” a love story about two U.S. ranch-hands that won three Oscars when it was turned into a movie. The opera house’s spokesman Gerard Mortier said in a statement on Sunday that Wuorinen had accepted an invitation to…

“Sit with your legs extended in a V shape. Place your hands in front of you, between your legs, keeping your arms straight. Now straighten your back and neck, and lift your feet as high as you can.” Well, my dears, if La Cieca had a dollar for every time she’s heard that, she could .…

Definitive barihunk Nathan Gunn (center) will play Lancelot in a semistaged concert of Lerner and Loewe’s musical Camelot at Avery Fisher Hall May 7-10. Additional hunkiness will be provided by Gabriel Byrne (Arthur) and Marc Kudisch (Sir Lionel) and the diva quotient may be filled by Marin Mazzie as Guenevere. The New York Philharmonic presentation…

UPDATE: La Cieca has heard from more than one reliable source that Juan Diego Flórez is yet another victim of whatever it is that’s mowing down all the Almavivas. The tenor, she hears, has canceled Barbiere di Siviglia at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Word on the street is that John Osborn will be released from…

Yet another rehash of the great voice vs. waistline debate, this time in the Chicago Daily Herald. Nicole Cabell laments the scarcity of European gyms, while “hunken-tenor” Joseph Kaiser plants his feet firmly on both sides of the fence by declaring, “Essentially if you can be healthy about being healthy, that’s the balance to find…

The Met’s star-crossed revival of Roméo et Juliette has just hit another bump. Nathan Gunn, announced for Mercutio, has dropped out of the September and October performances of the opera due to illness. Jumping in will be baryhunque Stéphane Degout, who performed Mercutio in this production back in 2005. Gunn is still on the cast…

UPDATE: A source at Opera Colorado informs La Cieca that there is in fact no exodus currently in progress from the company’s costume shop. La Cieca apologizes for the confusion. Earlier, La Cieca reported that her “mile-high informant” whispered that “Colorado Opera’s entire costume department just quit in a huff. Or was fired in a…

Which one of these things is not like the others? [Nathan] Gunn is part of a new generation of performers, including Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, British soprano Kate Royal and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, who have helped fuel a debate about the physical attributes of opera singers. Once again, La Cieca’s Rule of Journalistic…

Interesting choice of words in this PlaybillArts headline: Nathan Gunn Pulls Out of Billy Budd in Pittsburgh

Beginning April 1, San Francisco Opera will begin broadcasting its regular season again for the first time since 1982. The opener is Manon Lescaut featuring Karita Mattila as the notorious party girl. Says General Manager David Gockley, “After decades with no regular broadcast series, this is truly a landmark announcement for San Francisco Opera. Through…

A quick perusal of the website of Giuseppe Filianoti suggests that the honey-toned tenor might well be dubbed “the Nathan Gunn of Italy.” Well, that’s not completely accurate, because Filianoti doesn’t take off his shirt in every operatic role. But even without singing, he does make something utterly poetic of the dying Werther:

The HD video of the Met’s “special 100-minute version” of The Magic Flute makes its network television debut tomorrow night on PBS. Julie Taymor‘s production of Mozart’s opera can be seen on Wednesday, January 24 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS; as usual, check local listings and your mileage may vary. Headlining the telecast are…