Cher Public

Skating on the Nile?

aida_basel“Aida am Rhein,” an outdoor on-location live presentation of Verdi’s opera, with the cast of the current Calixto Bieito production in Basel. (So far as I can tell, Bieito didn’t direct the film or the outdoor spectacle, but presumably some of the dramatic ideas of his production were carried over into this performance.) Read more »

That Touch of Munk

munk_thumbGetting the “screaming heads” treatment on CNBC is not good news for Peter Gelb.

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magic to do

Articulate, awe-inspring, alliterative administrator The Man of Steel spoke yesterday to New York One, defining his vision for the mission of the New York City Opera:

“Championing new repertoire and discovering old repertoire. And particularly promoting American operas and American opera singers and providing visionary new productions of standard repertoire. So it’s a very clear mission,” said Steel.

The ingenious intendant emphasized that he does not intend to “downsize” productions, stating, “Whether that’s dark and disturbing or flamboyant and flashy, we want to make sure that it’s an intense and wonderful theatrical experience.” He then added, “Welcome to Doug Henning‘s Wild and Wacky World of Illusion… where magic is fun!”

The complete report, including a few sound bytes from Mr. Steel, may be found at NY1.

love that hercules

This looks like fun.

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molto legato

If Wenarto, members of Cirque du Soleil and Rolando Villazón got really really high one night, this might be the result. [kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] (In fact, this music video stars Serge Desrosiers and was directed by Sandrine Béchade.)

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video killed the opera star?

Well, no, actually. In fact, telegenic divas and divos date back at least half a century. Here are Clara Petrella and Giacinto Prandelli in a 1956 telecast of Manon Lescaut.

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shabby little shocker

Not Tosca, of course, cher public — La Cieca could never say that about her dear, dear Tosca. But it does seem both shabby and shocking that the combined forces of The New York Philharmonic and Charles Zachary Bornstein, the Philharmonic’s Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence would not at the very least ask for a retake of the following video clip embedded in the NYP’s site. Wait patiently through the early platitudinizing for the final thirty seconds or so of the clip, when soprano (?) Courtenay Schowalter bravely attempts to sight-read the spiky intervals of that rarely-heard vocal work “Vissi d’arte” whilst Maestro Bornstein […]

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old school

La Cieca is thrilled to note that VAI have continued their series of releases from the NHK Lirica Italiana telecasts of the 1960s and 1970s. These DVDs, remastered from original broadcasts on Japanese television, preserve performances by some of the greatest Italian artists of the mid-20th century. The most recent treasure to be unearthed is a 1967 video of Un ballo in maschera starring Carlo Bergonzi and Antonietta Stella. 

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