Archive for May, 2005

Vilar furore, encore

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2005 by lacieca

The media frenzy surrounding the arrest of Alberto Vilar continues unabated. I mean, it’s like he’s the Lindsay Lohan of opera. The NY Times this morning does an in-depth on the apprehended altriust, coaxing quotes out of the notoriously media-shy Beverly Sills (“He was not, how shall I say, quiet, about his giving”) and Donald Trump (“There was something really missing with this guy”). The Double Ups and Downs of a Philanthropist


The Damnation of Fist

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2005 by lacieca

“It doesn’t matter who sings what. At some point, someone’s fist is up someone else’s rectum.” No, actually that’s not a memoir of operagoing in New York in the 1970s; rather, it’s Shirley Apthorp‘s review of Calixto Bieito‘s production of Verdi’s Macbeth in Frankfurt.

And isn’t it nice to see a story about the Metropolitan Opera make the front page of the New York Times?

Busted benefactor

Posted in met on May 28, 2005 by lacieca

Met/Kirov/Royal Opera angel Alberto Vilar was arrested last night, charged with stealing $5 million from a client. The Federal complaint states that Vilar used the investor’s money “as a personal piggy bank to pay personal expenses and make charitable contributions, without the knowledge, consent, or authorization of the victim.” According to the story on, Vilar was unable to raise the funds necessary to post a $10 million bond.

Did somebody say "Boo?"

Posted in diva on May 27, 2005 by lacieca

A presence from beyond the grave walked out on a recital by Dame Kiri te Kanawa on Wednesday night in Edinburgh. Following one of her songs the Kiwi diva turned to the audience and asked, “Did you hear the footsteps during the last piece? They were behind me. I wanted to look round. You have a ghost.”

A spokesman for the theater, presumably referring to this incident, remarked, “You could tell she was really freaked out.” The ghost was unavailable for comment. Opera Star Spooked by Ghost

Deep pockets

Posted in blind on May 27, 2005 by lacieca

Which artists’ management company (hint: it’s one of the Big Three) is in such dire financial trouble that its president is regularly forced to dip into his own (considerable) private fortune to preserve the semblance of a positive cash flow?

Which big-name stage director recently showed up for rehearsals of a complicated opera completely unfamiliar with the music, and, for that matter the text — which is odd, since it’s in his native language?

"Sorry, ah thought you said Maria CALLAS"

Posted in callas, daniels, diva on May 25, 2005 by lacieca

All right, boys, get your bold-faced fonts out. It seems that at Oprah Winfrey‘s “Legends Ball,” none other than Leontyne Price asked specially to meet fellow guest/legend Mariah Carey. La Carey (who admits that at first she thought the diva mistook her for someone else) reports that Lee chatted with her about her music and her recent video. Who knew? The pop star (or, La Cieca guesses, her publicist) then gushed “. . . this is a woman who has made history and paved the way for just everybody.” (Next, I suppose, we’ll hear that Tom Cruise wants to meet David Daniels.) And, you know, it’s not like Lee and Mariah were short of someone to talk to; Oprah’s guest list also included Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Roberta Flack, Coretta Scott King, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Della Reese, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Cicely Tyson, Halle Berry and Nancy Wilson. Anyway, here’s the story: MARIAH THRILLED THAT OPERA DIVA PRICE KNOWS WHO SHE IS.

Anne Midgette, opera queen?

Posted in giordani, millo on May 24, 2005 by lacieca

“Something happens on the opera stage when Aprile Millo and Marcello Giordani are on it together. It may not be perfect. It may even be a little awkward at times. But it’s real singing – at best, wonderful singing. And people want it.” That’s Anne Midgette in today’s New York Times, and she’s obviously as “starved” as the rest of us for operatic dementia. (There’s also a fun Beth Bergman photo of the “Something Happens” duo accompanying Midgette’s article.