Archive for July, 2005

Strapping, brawny corrections

Posted in fleming, tommasini on July 31, 2005 by lacieca

This week it seems Tony Tommasini can’t do anything right. First he cooed over Renee Fleming‘s impossibly arch performance at a Mostly Mozart concert. Well, subjectivity and all that; still, you have to wonder where bad taste ends and starfucking begins. Then, in this morning’s paper, ironically in a piece about the Met’s archives, Tony misstates a widely-known and easily checkable fact. No, Maria Jeritza did not create the role of Turandot at the La Scala premiere; that would be Rosa Raisa. (As everyone knows, Arturo Toscanini fired Jeritza from that first production when he caught her flushing a copy of the Q’uran down a toilet.)

Into the lion’s mouth!

Posted in diva on July 26, 2005 by lacieca

The ineffable Leyla Gencer gives a master class in grandezza in the latest episode of Unnatural Acts of Opera. The diva stars as La Gioconda in a live 1971 performance of Ponchielli’s opera.

He’s here, he’s there…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2005 by lacieca

Placido Domingo wants to conduct at Bayreuth: Domingo will in Bayreuth den Taktstock schwingen. (And is La Cieca the only one who thinks that headline sounds like the first line of a Lieder text?) One presumes that on the dark night between Siegfried and Goetterdaemmerung, Domingo will jet to Los Angeles to sing a quick performance of Il Postino, then hop a red-eye back to the Green Hill. La Cieca’s prediction: Domingo will not retire until human cloning is perfected.

Flame on

Posted in Uncategorized on July 22, 2005 by lacieca

Something for the weekend: La Cieca presents Act 3 of Die Walkuere as the latest Unnatural Act. The performance is a classic: Bayreuth 1951, Varnay, Rysanek, Bjoerling, Karajan.

Tony fumbles, yet again

Posted in blind, tommasini on July 21, 2005 by lacieca

Piero Cappuccilli, considered one of the finest Italian baritones of his generation, lies in an advanced state of putrefaction today. He died July 12, but for reasons best known to Anthony Tommasini of the Times, that passing was not noted until today, i.e., nine days after the fact. Perhaps if Cappuccilli had achieved “international stardom” (which apparently consists of something more elusive than singing the great roles of the Italian baritone repertoire in every great opera house of the world for over 30 years), his obituary might have appeared a little more quickly. Then again, with a new production of Death in Venice about to open at Glimmerglass, Tony might have been too busy dreaming up adjectives to describe the dancer playing Tadzio (“buff?” “sleek?” “lithe?” “humpy?”)

Come tu mi Odeo

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2005 by lacieca

La Cieca wants to let you in on the ground floor of what looks to be the tipping point in podcasting: Odeo. This web-based service offers the easiest and most elegant way she’s seen yet to receive podcasts: subcribe, synchronize, download, or just listen on the built-in player. The site promises in future to include a simple web interface to record and publish ‘casts too; everybody gets to be a DJ!

Floral Hell

Posted in blind on July 21, 2005 by lacieca

More bad news for Alberto Vilar. The Royal Opera House has given him 60 days to pony up the 10 million pounds he promised in return for their naming a reception area of the theater “The Vilar Floral Hall.” (Is this guy the Gladys Glover of opera or what?)

Says Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas (chair of the ROH board of trustees, and, La Cieca likes to imagine, looking and sounding very like Dame Maggie Smith‘s character in Godford Park), “It is our intention to give notice to Mr Vilar according to the terms of the agreement, and indicate that if no further payments within the 60-day period are forthcoming we will absolve him of his liability to make his outstanding payments.” Which, translated into American, means, “Start sharpening your chisels, boys, we’ve got a plaque to remove!” More details on the Beeb’s website.

In other news, La Cieca has fixed the glitch that prevented iTunes from downloading the latest episodes of “Unnatural Acts of Opera.” If there are any shows you have missed, please email La Cieca and she’ll send you a direct link for download.