Archive for November, 2006

Ancient Chinese secret, revealed

Posted in blind, first emperor on November 29, 2006 by lacieca

So, more scoop on that “emergency meeting” La Cieca hinted at yesterday. It seems that the costumes for the Met’s new production of The First Emperor arrived from China in the last couple of weeks. La Cieca is told that when the boxes were unpacked, the wardrobe staff complained of a strong chemical odor emanating from the garments. One worker, she hears, had to visit the hospital complaining of “serious respiratory problems,” other staffers report rashes, eye irritation and such. On Monday the costumes were transported to a large rehearsal room to “air out,” but, according to La Cieca’s source, the room “was reeking in about five minutes.”

Which brings us to yesterday’s meeting, which was chaired by no less than Joe Clark, which suggests that the Met is taking the situation very seriously. According to an attendee, the staff was assured that the costumes were being aired and laundered, even though no one knows for sure the exact nature of the irritant. “Testing” will continue for several weeks. Oh, and our source adds that even after the costumes were removed from the rehearsal room, the odor lingered on. In fact, La Cieca hears that the next group of singers scheduled to rehearse in the room refused to enter, the stink was so overwhelming.

The elephant in the middle of the room (metaphorically speaking, of course) is how Placido Domingo and the other First Emperor artists are going to react when they are asked to don these allegedy allergen-rich garments — and then sing for three hours.


Or not to be?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2006 by lacieca

That popular and versatile artist TBA will enjoy a busy December at the Met alternating the roles of Mimi and Musetta in La boheme. La Cieca wonders if Cristina Gallardo-Domâs is “indisposed” with the same “health” “problems” that beset Susannah Glanville. Anyway, G-D is out of the rest of 2006, though she’s still on the schedule for the return of the production in late January. As for Ms. Glanville, it looks like this erstwhile Blanche DuBois may have to rely on the kindness of strangers once again, since all the influence a Friend could bring to bear didn’t get her past the dress rehearsal.

Dye, dye my darling

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2006 by lacieca

La Cieca has been informed that there’s an emergency meeting called this afternoon at the Met on the subject of, well, let’s just say, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Let’s hope staffers are able to clear the air!

Improbable, but true

Posted in blind, met on November 27, 2006 by lacieca

As La Cieca mentioned last month, the 2007-2008 Met season will include a new production of Satyagraha, the Gandhi-themed opera by Philip Glass and Constance De Jong. And now La Cieca has been informed that there is actual basis in fact for her wild surmising. Darling Dawn Fatale drew La Cieca’s attention to an announcement on a blog called daytripper of a theater workshop to be conducted by the designer and director Julian Crouch.

Mr. Crouch’s CV includes the following fascinating detail: “Currently he is designer and associate director of a new staging of Phillip Glass’s opera about Gandhi, SATYAGRAHA, for the English National Opera and The New York Metropolitan Opera.” A glance at the English National Opera’s website reveals that, yes, Satyagraha is on the bill, with a production team consisting of Crouch and Phelim McDermott of the theater company “Improbable,” best known here in New York for their 2005 production of Shockheaded Peter.

The ENO production is scheduled for April 2007, which suggests that the opera would show up in New York earlier that year — perhaps for an opening night coinciding with Glass’s 70th birthday on January 31, 2007? (Remember, you heard it here first.)

Girl interrupted

Posted in met, youtube on November 26, 2006 by lacieca

A sneak preview of Natalie Dessay‘s Lucia, scheduled for next season’s opening night at the Met.

La Cieca hears that Dessay’s first Met Lucia will be a new production, but she guesses it will not be this one from the Opéra Bastille (bootlegged about six weeks ago). Though, to tell the truth, this soprano would make even so dreary and gloomy a staging work, as additional snippets from the opera (also from YouTube) suggest.

Gloomy Thursday

Posted in blind, fleming on November 23, 2006 by lacieca

On this day of Thanksgiving, there are so many things for which La Cieca would like to give thanks. But enough about that. Here’s one thing for which La Cieca would like to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Among the participants in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving parade: none other than The Beautiful Voice, or, as she is identified on, “Renee Fleming, Grandma from the Big Apple Circus.” Fleming will lip-synch “America the Beautiful,” backed by an Army chorus and band. Also on hand will be Super Grover, SpongeBob SquarePants and Healthy Mr. Potato Head, who will perform scenes from Massenet’s Cleopatre.

What YouTube was invented for

Posted in youtube on November 22, 2006 by lacieca

Live, unedited, current and obviously unauthorized opera video. If you discover any such snippets on YouTube, let La Cieca know.