Archive for September, 2007

Lyon’s share

Posted in ruth ann swenson on September 30, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca hears the good news that Ruth Ann Swenson has recovered well enough from her cancer treatment to jump into a couple of performances of Maria Stuarda at the Opéra de Lyon this past week.


Voices of Springfield

Posted in domingo, podcast on September 29, 2007 by lacieca

Placido Domingo stars as “himself” in what looks to be a steamy episode of The Simpsons this Sunday, September 30 on Fox. It seems Homer Simpson is tranformed into a tenor after he suffers a freak head injury (in other words, he’s no different from most tenors) and seeks the advice of maestro Domingo. Not about singing, mind you; rather, how to fend of unwanted groupies.

In honor of Domingo‘s debut in one of the few media he has not long since mastered, La Cieca presents an Unnatural Acts of Opera podcast featuring one of the tenor’s most spectacular live performances, Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana from Munich in 1978. Opposite Domingo is the Santuzza of Leonie Rysanek, with none other than Astrid Varnay sinking her teeth into the role of Mamma Lucia.

Mood swings

Posted in critic, diva, fleming, twaddle on September 28, 2007 by lacieca

Only rarely can a writer inspire first violent agreement and then equally fervent disbelief in the space of a couple of short paragraphs, but Kyle MacMillan of the Denver Post can now claim credit for La Cieca’s current bipolarity:

Renée Fleming just might be the the world’s most undivalike diva. [well, duh!]

Much like, say, Audrey Hepburn, the 48-year-old soprano manages to gracefully balance sophistication and poise with an appealing sense of grounded genuineness. [whaaaaaa…?]

E Susanna vien

Posted in alagna, cher public, chicago, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, met on September 28, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca predicted a cast change earlier, and what do you know, so it came to pass! Soprano Lisette Oropesa will sing the Tuesday prima of the Met’s revival of Le nozze di Figaro and at least one more performance. She is jumping in for the enceinte Isabel Bayrakdarian. Ms. Oropesa is not only a member of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program but (even more impressively) she is La Cieca’s homegirl since she is a graduate of LSU in dear old Baton Rouge! It should be noted, however, that she and La Cieca matriculated in different centuries.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Angela Gheorghiu has been fired from Lyric Opera’s production of La bohème which is scheduled to open Monday, October 1. Thundered General Director William Mason, “Miss Gheorghiu has missed 6 of 10 rehearsals, including the piano dress rehearsal and both staging rehearsals with the orchestra. She missed one of the most critical stage-orchestra rehearsals when she left the city for New York without permission, a direct violation of her contract.” La Gheorghiu was in fact spotted in the audience for the Met’s prima of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette on Tuesday night.

The news is somewhat less dire for other members of the Gheorghiu famille. Those of you cher public who missed out on Roberto “Million Dollar Legs” Alagna‘s stylish Roméo this week may get another chance at seeing his collaboration with Anna Netrebko in the Gounod love story. La Cieca hears that Alagna will return in December to fill the “TBA” slots on the 8th, 12th and 15th, including the broadcast and HD telecast. Matthew Polenzani, La Cieca hears, will take over the role on December 20.

Don’t wait up for La Cieca

Posted in podcast on September 27, 2007 by lacieca

The regularly scheduled podcast from Unnatural Acts of Opera will be delayed a bit, not really because of “technical difficulties” but rather because La Cieca is getting herself out of the house for once and attending the opera. Tonight it’s the seconda of the Met’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and your doyenne (squired by Milton Host) will be on hand to take in all the Dessayesque dementia.

Unnatural Acts of Opera will be updated tomorrow night (Friday) with a classic performance of an Italian warhorse, starring a veteran tenor who this very weekend will make his debut in a new medium. La Cieca hopes you are intrigued enough to check back here tomorrow; until then, “Verrano a te sull’aure!”

While we’re on the subject of "Lucia"

Posted in pav, youtube on September 27, 2007 by lacieca

The stuff you find on YouTube!

Oh the tenor and the cowhand should be friends

Posted in per sempre dick on September 27, 2007 by lacieca

According to Rush & Molloy in the Daily News, Annie Proulx has given the go-ahead to an opera based on her story “Brokeback Mountain.” Charles Wuorinen will compose.

UPDATE: Now PlaybillArts is confirming the rumor, complete with quotes from Howard Stokar, Charles Wuorinen‘s agent.

La Cieca would boast that she called it, but alas that was the same posting that provoked Met insider NOT_GAY (well, that narrows it down) to complain that “this flaming, gay personality comes out and everything worthwhile that you wrote loses its meaning.” So now it looks like we were both right!