Archive for September, 2006

Final curtain

Posted in podcast, youtube on September 29, 2006 by lacieca


The late Thomas Stewart as Wotan in Herbert von Karajan‘s film of Das Rheingold. La Cieca will present a podcast tribute to Mr. Stewart this weekend.

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Cream of the crop

Posted in aida, fleming, levine, sirius on September 29, 2006 by lacieca

Announced today: highlights of the archival Met broadcasts to be featured on Sirius during the month of October:

Carmen (1/9/37) Papi; Ponselle, Bodanya, Rayner, Huehn

Lucia di Lammermoor (2/27/37) Papi; Pons, Jagel, Brownlee, Pinza

Die Walküre (12/2/44) Szell; Traubel, Bampton, Thorborg, Melchior, Janssen, Kipnis

Roméo et Juliette (2/1/47) Cooper; Sayão, Benzell, Turner, Björling, Brownlee, Moscona

Aida (2/20/54) Cleva; Milanov, Barbieri, Baum, Warren, Hines

I Vespri Siciliani (3/9/74) Levine; Caballé, Gedda, Milnes, Díaz

Aida (3/6/76) Levine; Price, Horne, Domingo, MacNeil, Giaiotti

Parsifal (4/7/01) Levine; Urmana, Domingo, Ketelsen, Wlaschiha, Tomlinson

Die Meistersinger (12/8/01) Levine; Mattila, Grove, Heppner, Polenzani, Morris, Allen, Pape

La Traviata (3/6/04) Gergiev; Fleming, Vargas, Hvorostovsky

And La Cieca reminds you that the complete schedule of live broadcasts may be found here.

Too darn hot!

Posted in netrebko, villazon, youtube on September 28, 2006 by lacieca


Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon in the dress rehearsal of Manon at the Los Angeles Opera.

Near (not on) the red carpet

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2006 by lacieca

Return from the Plaza

Posted in blind, giordani, met, our own, podcast, sirius, tete de peau on September 26, 2006 by lacieca

La Cieca is back in her beloved Sunnyside late this evening, even though the Metropolitan Opera opening night began at 6:30. By her watch, the performance of Madama Butterfly ran not quite four hours including intermissions and curtain call. Oddly, though, the evening didn’t seem unnaturally long — maybe because La Cieca enjoyed a disco nap prior to the performance, or maybe because her seat for this opening night was in the plaza, watching on the big screen video, or, as we have come to call it, the Plazatron.

First things first: quite unlike most free events in New York, and on the Upper West Side in particular, the crowd was mostly very well mannered, attentive and appreciative. The weather, La Cieca must say, was simply superb, with just the hint of a cool autumnal breeze. The much-ballyhooed Red Carpet was somewhat underwhelming, hidden as it was over near Damrosch Park. La Cieca did catch a glimpse of Jude Law in the flesh, looking very dapper in black tie, and on the Plazatron, she noticed our own Dawn Fatale looking very boyish indeed against a backdrop of social xrays.

About the performance proper La Cieca can’t really say anything because our own JJ will review a later performance, but she will note that the Plaza crowd was treated to an intermission feature showing director Anthony Minghella and the cast in rehearsal. Minghella talks too much, La Cieca thinks, and in the video one could sense that Marcello Giordani and Dwayne Croft were getting a bit impatient with all the chitchat. Speaking of which, Giordani looks great these days, slim and dashing in his Navy whites, and Croft has evolved into a very sexy daddy type — particularly since this production makes no effort to disguise his mostly-bald pate. You know how La Cieca goes for the tete de peau look!

As La Cieca was preparing her podcast this evening she was listening to the second Met Radio broadcast on Sirius, a 1971 Rigoletto, and she sees the ante has been upped: she’ll have to redouble her efforts to bring you the best in Unnatural Acts of Opera.

Sound the alarm

Posted in blind, gheorghiu, met, podcast, scotto, sirius on September 25, 2006 by lacieca

A few tidbits in reference to the impending Sirius broadcasts of the Met Opera. First, La Cieca’s backstage spy reports that the Met has installed literally dozens of permanent microphones in various spots in the auditorium. These mikes are described as being reminiscent of CIA spy equipment, “the kind of technology that kind pick up a whisper a hundred yards away.” (This sort of sensitivity will surely come in handy when Angela Gheorghiu sings Carmen a few seasons hence.) Our source went on to say that the Met and Sirius are trying for a completely different sound mix and balance from the familiar Saturday afternoon broadcasts.

La Cieca herself has signed up for the online-only Sirius service. The Met channel has not launched yet — amusingly, the station is at the moment running a “tune in tonight” announcement backed with what sounds like Robin Byrd-era porn music. And that’s for listeners who actually can access Sirius online: it seems that for some platforms (e.g., Safari) the stream may not be accessible until tomorrow. (Stone-age La Cieca is still on IE, which seems to work just fine. Right now she’s listening to Miss Rosemary Clooney singing “In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening” on Channel 75 “Standard Time.”)

Following tonight’s performance, La Cieca will podcast her reactions to the plaza experience along with the third act of a 1967 Madama Butterfly featuring Renata Scotto. Check back here, oh, elevenish when La Cieca returns to base for debriefing and cocktails!

Radio killed the video star

Posted in our own, tommasini, youtube on September 23, 2006 by lacieca

Talking heads Anthony Tommasini and our own little JJ discussed “Opera for the Masses” yesterday afternoon on WNYC’s “Soundcheck.” The station’s website has made available the show for listening or download. (Scroll down to “Opera lives on YouTube” for JJ’s portion of the program.)