Archive for August, 2005

Master class

Posted in blind, gala, scotto on August 28, 2005 by lacieca

In response to the recent lively(ish) discussion about the suitability of Maria Guleghina to the rigors of the role of Elena in I vespri siciliani, La Cieca has decided that she should demonstrate how this music should be sung. No, actually La Cieca is not going to sing it herself; rather, she will present Renata Scotto‘s peerless interpretation from La Scala in 1970. This will also mark La Scotto’s debut with Unnatual Acts of Opera, and an overdue debut it is when you recall that she is La Cieca’s favorite singer, ever. La Cieca once opined that Scotto is the nearest anyone ever came to being the Bette Davis of opera; for that matter, La Davis could certainly be called the Scotto of the Silver Screen. But La Cieca digresses. This gala Vespri also stars Ruggiero Raimondi, Piero Cappuccilli and Gianni Raimondi, under the baton of Gianandrea Gavazzeni. Maestro G. took a number of cuts in the score, which means that we have time for some delightful extras following the acts, with Leyla Gencer, Anita Cerquetti, Boris Christoff and Renato Bruson headlining. It all begins Monday on Unnatural Acts of Opera.

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Monumentally ill-advised

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2005 by lacieca

La Cieca is borrowing a catch-phrase from dear Leonard Pinth-Garnell because she can’t think of a better word to describe… Maria Guleghina in I vespri siciliani. Is there anyone who thinks this is a good idea?

Ramdom harvest

Posted in Uncategorized on August 25, 2005 by lacieca

Just when La Cieca thought there could be no more opera this late in the summer, suddenly she finds out that something called REPO! The Genetic Opera opens tonight for a limited run at the Wings Theater on Christopher Street. The piece is described so: “a futuristic rock musical, Repo! takes place during an epidemic of organ failure and captures the resulting frenetic harvesting of human organs, collected by brutal genetic repo men.” The website also promises “folding giant penis greeting cards,” and it goes without saying you can never have too many of those.

Chi quel bong percuoterà?

Posted in nyco on August 25, 2005 by lacieca

Performers in the Neukoellner Opera House’s production of Saint-Saens’s opera La Princesse Jaune smoke pot. The man-bites-dog angle on this story, though, is that they smoke it onstage, as part of the mise-en-scene. And the artistic director of the company, this dude named Bernhard Glocksin, has encouraged audience members to smoke their own weed during the performances. Sweet, huh? This would so totally work at NYCO; La Cieca is totally surprised they haven’t tried it yet. As reported on Ananova.

Little people to be thanked

Posted in crespin, diva, tfpdafoaitfoe on August 24, 2005 by lacieca

James Conlon, Régine Crespin, Plácido Domingo, Susan Graham and Dolora Zajick are to be lauded at all-new set of honors, “The Opera News Awards,” the occasion to be marked with cocktails, musical performances and other revelry at the dear Pierre Hotel on November 20. If La Cieca may offer just one teensy opinion (and who’s to stop her?), it’s that the title of this event is just not quite glittery enough. May she suggest “The F. Paul Driscoll Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence?”

Mario, Mario, Mario!

Posted in aida, callas on August 22, 2005 by lacieca

It appears that La Cieca has finally acknowledged that there is more to opera than high-voiced divas: tenors can be pretty amazing as well. As such, we’ve declared Mario del Monaco week at Unnatural Acts of Opera. The celebration begins this evening with the first act of Puccini’s La fanciulla del West, the 1954 Florence May Festival performance, also starring Eleanor Steber, Giangiacomo Guelfi and Giorgio Tozzi, with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting. More of Fanciulla follows later in the week, along with scenes from a pair of operas “bookending” the peak decade of del Monaco’s career. From 1950 in Mexico City, the tenor is heard in the Nile Scene from Act 3 of Aida opposite Maria Callas; then, from 1959 at La Scala, he is Paolo to the Francesca da Rimini of Magda Olivero in a passionate love scene from the Zandonai opera.

Renate Behle-s out NYCO

Posted in nyco on August 22, 2005 by lacieca

Soprano Renate Behle is jumping into the NYCO’s Ariane et
Barbe-Bleu
, replacing the “injured” Carol Vaness. And while you’re catching up on the company’s casting and repertory for the fall season, do make a point of checking out the NYCO’s site’s multimedia “trailers,” written and narrated by dramaturg Cori Ellison.