Closet drama

I have a confession to make about Britten’s opera Billy Budd: I don’t like it very much.”

Fit to print

La Cieca (pictured, right) invites you to peruse what’s making headlines today.

Screen and screen again

The New York Times sends cub reporter (Get it? Cub reporter! Oh, La Cieca is killing herself with the puns!) Zachary Woolfe to the movie palaces of the heartland.

Ass backwards

Zachary Woolfe went to Las Vegas and all we got was a thoughtful analysis of why Robert Lepage was never a good fit for the Ring.

Take the Monnaie and run

“Though Mr. Herheim’s work is rigorous, it is also fun, and this Rusalka is serious but the opposite of dour.”

Sexual perversity in Chicago

In what surely must count as La Cieca’s idea of a perfect storm, Zachary Woolfe interviews Calixto Bieito in the New York Times.

La Cieca is always happy (if a little envious) when another critic expresses exactly how she feels about a musical event (such as Jonas Kaufmann‘s recital last Sunday at the Met) because that means she doesn’t have to blather on and on about it.  Instead she can simply reply, “Check out what Zachary Woolfe has…

Of course,  we all know a Marilyn Horne anecdote without a four-letter word is about as plausible as a martini without gin, but the tale that kicks off her Q&A with Zachary Woolfe is particularly bracing. You’ll be both shaken and stirred by this interview in the current Capital New York.

So, tell me this, what do Anthony Tommasini, Zachary Woolfe and James Jorden (not pictured) have in common? Well, according to John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute Heather MacDonald, these three “trendy” critics constitute “a press corps determined to push Met general manager Peter Gelb into conformity with European opera houses, where narcissistic…

The scribe is Zachary Woolfe and the powderkeg topic du jour is Anna Netrebko‘s mid-scene breaking of character.

Yes, yes, La Cieca realizes that parterre has gone “All Anna All the Time,” but, hey, she’s opening the Met season in a company premiere, plus we like her. Anyway, La Netrebko is profiled, covered, revealed, reported, what she eats and when and where, whom she knows and where she was and when and where…

Friend of the Box Zachary Woolfe follows up his provocative NYT article on charisma with an invitation to discuss this elusive quality with his cher public, a group of which La Cieca is sure you parterriani represent a significant subset. Let yourselves be heard!

The controversy over the demise of Brad Wilber‘s Met Futures site goes mainstream, thanks to (who else?)  Zachary Woolfe.

What better way to celebrate le 14 juilliet than with a provocative piece on opera by and about two of La Cieca’s favorite revolutionaries, Zachary Woolfe and Gerard Mortier (respectively), followed by cries of “Liberté, égalité [and especially] fraternité!” from that madcap maven of musical mirth, Maestro Wenarto (after the jump.)

“Here, finally, is not merely the music on the Internet, but the music of the Internet…” Zachary Woolfe reacts to Nico Muhly‘s Two Boys in the New York Times.

Briefly, according to Zachary Woolfe: “No one came.” More elaboration, plus speculation on “What That Means,” in the New York Observer.  And for those of you with a taste for hash, the subject is revisited as well in the New York Times.

“Near the end of Robert Lepage‘s production of Wagner’s Die Walküre, which opened at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday, there is a moment of arresting visual beauty. The raked stage slowly rises and, with the help of projections, turns into a looming, stark, snow-covered mountain. It’s a breathtaking transformation, one that encapsulates everything that’s wrong…

The Met’s general manager indulges in the sincerest form of flattery by opening today’s New York Times response to his critics with a blind item in the style of a certain low-rent gossipmonger. After you figure out the identity of the “star soprano, [who,] thinking she might have been poisoned, withdrew from the cast,” you…

“Puppets, of course, can be diverting, but they have no depth. This is fine if your audience has, as Mr. Lepage must hope, childlike emotional demands. But ultimately, for an adult, watching puppets is simply boring after a while, not because they’re not beautifully done, but because they’re not alive. After the initial burst of…

Parterre’s tutelary diva shares espresso and cookies with parterre’s fave scribe Zachary Woolfe in preparation for the gala Met Legends event honoring her next Sunday.

Lovely Marina Poplavskaya, arriving at the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier for dinner following the opening night of La traviata, demonstrates that the previous Franco Zeffirelli production has not gone to waste. The latter-day Scarlett O’Hara‘s motto: “Reduce Reuse Recycle!”

As we look forward to New Year’s Eve and to the gala opening of Willy Decker’s La Traviata at the Met, it seems fitting to look back—by way of the official, live, DVD recording of the production’s sensational world premiere at the Salzburg Festival in 2005—to get some sense of what’s behind all the hype.…

“Sombre splendor there is frequently not.” Zachary Woolfe mulls Don Carlo. [New York Observer]

Seven decades of difference in age doesn’t stand in the way of a charming interview between Marta Eggerth and Zachary Woolfe on the occasion of her viewing her 1932 film Das Blaue vom Himmel for the very first time. (Prepare to be verklempt.) [New York Observer]