Archive for May, 2007

UPDATED! Start the coronation without me

Posted in la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, nyco, ruth ann swenson on May 30, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca hears that Ruth Ann Swenson has withdrawn from her autumn performances of Agrippina at the New York City Opera.

This just in… “replacing” Swenson will be none other than the legendary Nelly Miricioiu! The Romanian diva assoluta is seen here in a 2003 performance of Anna Bolena.


Onegin, you’re pissing on my shoelace

Posted in scandale, youtube on May 24, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca is distressed to inform you that her YouTube account comprising 90 videos has been suspended. The cause of the action was a series of DMCA complaints from someone called “ByOnegin S.L.” who claimed “infringement” from three videos featuring Mariella Devia and Montserrat Caballe. La Cieca is naturally distressed that all these favorite videos of hers should be unavailable on YouTube, but she pledges she will re-establish her presence there, thanking you in advance for your patience and support. In the meantime, she reminds you that there are some favorite clips still available at Google Video.

Witchy Woman

Posted in diva, podcast on May 19, 2007 by lacieca

The return of Unnatural Acts of Opera continues with another rarity, Respighi’s 1934 grand opera La fiamma. Starring in this tale of witchcraft in medieval Ravenna is American soprano Alessandra Marc as the mysterious Silvana.

According to Will Crutchfield‘s review of this live 1987 performance in the New York Times, La Marc’s “voice is full, beautiful, creamy at times. Her tone is pure: it does not have the overripe, pushed vibrato that afflicts so many singers in weighty operatic roles today. Miss Marc also has a feel for the soaring curves of Puccinian lyrical writing. She is generous with portamento, and she lets her feelings into her singing. One would not be surprised if Zinka Milanov had been one of her models.”

The cast also includes Mignon Dunn and James McCracken, with Robert Bass conducting.

Sometimes the cabin’s gloomy and the table’s bare

Posted in bel canto, camp, scotto on May 17, 2007 by lacieca

“Wall to Wall Opera,” a 13 hour orgy of things operatic, inhabits Symphony Space beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Among the festivities is a master class in bel canto interpretation by Renata Scotto, but the moment La Cieca most eagerly awaits will arrive courtesy of Encompass Opera Theatre. We are promised a performance of “The Silver Aria” from the haunting opera by John LaTouche and Douglas Moore, The Ballad of Baby Joe.

Happy (belated) birthday Giulietta Simionato

Posted in diva, youtube on May 14, 2007 by lacieca

The legendary mezzo-soprano celebrated her 97th birthday on May 12. In this clip she is seen rehearsing with Franco Corelli for a 1963 production of Cavalleria Rusticana, and then in an interview from 2003.

Before they were famous

Posted in florez, villazon, youtube on May 12, 2007 by lacieca

A couple of weeks ago we had the chance to see and hear what Juan Diego Florez looked and sounded like at the age of 16. And now, again through the magic of YouTube, here’s a rare clip of Rolando Villazon as a boy soprano!

"Well, when you’re from Pittsburgh, you have to do something."

Posted in anal, barihunk on May 11, 2007 by lacieca

Interesting choice of words in this PlaybillArts headline:

Nathan Gunn Pulls Out of Billy Budd in Pittsburgh