Archive for November, 2005

Late November Linkerei

Posted in blind, gay gay gay gay gay, gcn on November 29, 2005 by lacieca

Our publisher JJ sounds off on recent productions of Romeo et Juliette, Zaza and Giulliame Tell (which sounds like a very full king-sized bed indeed!) in the latest installment of Gay City News. Meanwhile, La Cieca presents Il trittico on Unnatural Acts of Opera.



Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2005 by lacieca

La Cieca is grateful for all her blessings, including the 1962 live performance of Il trovatore featured on the current episode of Unnatural Acts of Opera. (Lots of ham here, but no turkey!)

Once upon a mattress

Posted in dessay on November 18, 2005 by lacieca

La Cieca has just heard that the “flying bed”effect in the Met’s new production of Romeo et Juliette malfunctioned last night, sending Natalie Dessay tumbling six feet onto a hard platform and leaving Ramon Vargas dangling. The bed is suspended from “invisible” wires and appears to float in a starry sky, a tableau that opens the fourth act of the production. Before the curtain rose, the soprano and tenor were hoisted into their midair position, and then one of the wires snapped or slipped loose. The bed then overturned and dumped the hapless singers into space. The audience was told only that there was a “technical problem” backstage. After a delay, the act began with the bed already in place on the lower platform. A production insider says, “No one is ever going to get in that bed again. I’m sure the effect will be scrapped immediately.” May La Cieca make a modest suggestion? Perhaps, in order to avoid future accidents of this sort, the Met should engage someone in senior management with practical knowledge of stagecraft — say, a former carpenter?

Previewing the Gelb era

Posted in blind, damrau, dessay, gala, gelb, giordani, millo, netrebko, villazon on November 17, 2005 by lacieca

La Cieca, ear to ground as always, has picked up some reliable-sounding scuttlebutt about the incoming Peter Gelb regime at the Met. The first decade will probably be known as “All Villazon All the Time” since (per our source), Rolando Villazon has inked a pledge to sing two operas a year at the Met for the next ten years. A major highlight of this package will be a new Contes d’Hoffmann in ’09, with RV opposite Anna Netrebko, Diana Damrau and Rene Pape. Gelb is ready to put his mark on the house as early as opening night of next season, which he hopes will showcase the new Anthony Minghella production of Madama Butterfly in lieu of the “Tenors” gala currently skedded. (Gueswork on La Cieca’s part: Cristina Gallardo-Domas as Cio-Cio-San opposite Marcello Giordani or Salvatore Licitra?) This project is supposed to inagurate a new policy of unveiling a new production each opening night, e.g., Lucia for Natalie Dessay in 2007 (assuming she pulls Romeo off this year, we guess) and Tosca for Karita Mattila in 2009. In the nearer future? Aprile Millo‘s first staged Gioconda next season, alternating with Violeta Urmana.

Dark Lady

Posted in Uncategorized on November 15, 2005 by lacieca

“She is as controversial offstage as she is on, but a total delight. With all her swings of happy and unhappy moods and periods of pressure, there is still a sense of incredible intelligence and instinct behind everything she does…. Her problems are understandable in light of the kind of performer she is, never placid or even-tempered. But she is not temperamental either, in the sense of doing personal damage to anyone — only suffering in herself to perform…. What makes Tatiana special is that odd combination of enormous strength and an almost palpitating, sensual quality. It’s a vibrancy that pleases the musical and emotional possibilities.” — Matthew Epstein on Tatiana Troyanos, whose 1973 performance of Samson et Dalila graces this week’s Unnatural Acts of Opera.

Star-crossed Met

Posted in dessay on November 14, 2005 by lacieca

Natalie Dessay is out of tonight’s prima of Romeo et Juliette at the Met; Maureen O’Flynn sings (and, incidentally, will go into the annals as the “creator” of the role in this particular production). Dessay is still on the roster for Thursday’s performance.

La Cieca is asking

Posted in blind on November 11, 2005 by lacieca

Which regional opera honcho just got booted because he (and the Mrs.) were caught trolling for sex on the internet? Funny, they seem like such ordinary people!