This month Deutsche Grammophon will scrape the bottom of the barrel and present a new recording of Leoncavallo’s genre-bending “symphonic poem for tenor and orchestra”  La Nuit de Mai, studded with stars Plácido Domingo and Lang Lang. Dark horse Alberto Veronesi conducts — indeed, the same Muti-maned steed who was recently announced to succeed Eve Queler…

on February 21, 2010 at 11:27 PM

I checked back in on the Met’s revival of Ariadne auf Naxos yesterday, after a messy first night one week ago that left much to the imagination. Tenor Lance Ryan had been sick that night, and the cover who took his place was not much healthier, throwing the whole cast into a panic mode that…

on February 12, 2010 at 12:33 PM

La Cieca preens proudly  to present a peerless pair of protégés (left to right) Squirrel and Maury D’Annato. The bromancers attended (or one should say “took in”) last night’s Ariadne auf Naxos at the Met, and as of early this afternoon they were still deconstructing.

on February 05, 2010 at 5:12 PM

I was still warming frigid fingers Friday night, when before me unfolded something like a history of the world viewed from a small café: an enchanted journey from the gaslights of Berlin to the crowded alleys of Buenos Aires. 

on December 12, 2009 at 1:18 PM

“I knew Hofmannsthal… he in fact begged me not to go and see it… telling me he was ashamed of it!”

on December 10, 2009 at 12:32 PM

One of the other American critics to cover La Scala’s HD Transmission of Carmen, Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shared our own squirrel’s view of the production. But she had some help from her friends at the “Associated Press and elsewhere.”  

on December 09, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Everything I need to know about Bizet I learned at a Judy Chicago exhibit in 1996. Brutality against women is pervasive, and society is culpable by permitting it. Such grievances were aired at the expense of the composer’s chef d’oeuvre Carmen yesterday at La Scala’s Gala opening, viewed dal vivo at Symphony Space on 95th and Broadway.

on December 07, 2009 at 11:33 PM

La Cieca is happy to note that Our Own Squirrel will be on-site at Symphony Space this afternoon with live breaking coverage of the triumphs and/or scandales associated with the prima of Carmen from La Scala, as seen on HD. Coverage starts here at at 11:45 AM.

on December 07, 2009 at 8:18 AM

Condescending to opera lovers across America — and cheating both Bartlett Sher and Squirrel out of the simple joys of partial nudity — the Met has decided to censor the December 19th High Def broadcast of Les Contes d’Hoffmann!

on December 04, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Our own Gualtier told tales and named names, in great detail, after Monday’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann dress rehearsal. Squirrel was at the premiere, and had a grand old time. Bartlett Sher‘s production lovingly displays the many dimensions of Offenbach’s inspired and charming opera.  With perfect comedic timing, clarity of action, and real depth of feeling, even its few…

on December 04, 2009 at 2:35 AM

A new CD set of Der Ring des Nibelungen, recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival in 2008, is slim on superstar casting, but basks in the reflected glory of conductor Christian Thielemann, a controversial artist with a passionate following. So how does the music measure up?

on December 02, 2009 at 11:57 PM

Austrian mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager left an incomplete impression as a Lieder singer Sunday night, in a quirky recital program of Brahms, Wolf, Mahler and Reynaldo Hahn, with pianist Warren Jones. Suffering from a cough and swallowing some words, Ms. Kirchschlager succeeded more in gesture than details. Breezing through Brahms’ songs “Meine liebe ist grün,” “Über die Heide,” and “Salome,” faux-naïve songs…

on November 30, 2009 at 11:29 AM

On the heels of this, may I direct everyone’s attention to a funny and fascinating article about Stefan Herheim‘s production of Lohengrin from last spring at Berliner Staatsoper? Now we know what to do with those old costumes and sets that gather dust! [via the wellsungs]

on November 23, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Squirrel was expecting boobs! People, there were no boobs, and for that, I was a little disappointed.

on November 22, 2009 at 8:46 PM

The results of the Repertory Poll are in!  Squirrel asked which three Old Operas you would most like to see staged at the New New Met, and the people have spoken! Results after the jump.

on November 20, 2009 at 1:06 PM

La Cieca welcomes to the editorial desk of new correspondents squirrel and Ercole Farnese, who have already begun their blanket coverage of the New York City opera scene. 

on November 20, 2009 at 11:20 AM

(No, not that again.) The San Diego Opera, boldly exploring cutting-edge trends in dramaturgy, is producing a Twitter version of the complete history of opera.

on November 19, 2009 at 2:33 PM

So, which composer wants to jump on this peach of a libretto? “The Met’s fund-raising office had kept in touch with Ms. Webster since then. It sent her books about the birds of Central Park; a volume called Red-Tails in Love: A Wildlife Drama in Central Park.”

on November 19, 2009 at 1:16 PM

My post about Nielsen’s Maskarade outraged only a few of you, and inspired a passionate discussion about what works we’d like to see at the New New Met. (Thank you, Hans Lick, for your very complete wish list!) You are each now invited to vote for your three most longed-for revivals or premieres at the…

on November 18, 2009 at 11:05 PM

The Met’s new production of Janacek’s From the House of the Dead sets high standards for the company, but as an indicator of the Gelb Era, it may be too good to be true.

on November 18, 2009 at 12:14 AM

They want it. The career. They want it really bad. So we learn from Susan Froemke’s Metropolitan Opera-commissioned documentary about the participants in the final round of the 2007 MetNational Council Auditions, which is out on DVD this month. Our own doyenne reviewed the film when it was screened as an HD theatrical event, and…

on November 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM

The Berlin Philharmonic brought a spooky Halloween treat to New York on Thursday night, just a few days late. They are at Carnegie Hall for a three-night residency, offering the complete Brahms symphonies along with selected earlier works by that ugly duckling of Brahms disciples, Arnold Schoenberg. They are also far from home during Berlin’s…

on November 13, 2009 at 2:25 PM

The premiere of Hugo Weisgall’s 1993 Esther at New York City Opera occupied my mind for several days – though maybe not for the best reasons.  As I wrote earlier, it is a work that emanates, belatedly, from what might be called The Twelve-Tone Industrial Complex, that uptown conservatory lobby of the 1950s and 60s, which was…

on November 12, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Doubling down on its artistic mission, New York City Opera begins a tenuous season with a turgid Bible drama.

on November 08, 2009 at 7:52 PM