Archive for the 2009 Category

Tit for tat

Posted in 2008, 2009, barihunk, blog, maury d'annato, opéra bouffe. barihunk, san francisco, the opera tattler on January 17, 2008 by lacieca

La Cieca has Maury D’annato to thank for (passively) calling her attention to the blog The Opera Tattler, which in recent days has been detailing next season’s plans in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other opera companies of the Transhudson. (The) Opera Tattler also reviews a lot of West Coast opera, and at least so far as La Cieca has read, his (?) blogatorial voice is either very arch or very sincere, either of which is fine by me. (“However, perhaps I should go to Bayreuth in 2009, since I will have the time,” writes the Tattler. How can you not love that?)

More bloggerei (in Italian, but it’s penetrable enough) may be found on the wild ‘n’ wacky site Opéra Bouffe, one of many various efforts by the lovely and apparently tireless Giorgia Meschini. At the moment attention at the Bouffe is split between the”new” Zeffirelli production of Tosca at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and the recent purchase of “le boat slippers dell’Adidas, blu e oro. Con ‘Respect’ stampato sulla linguetta… ‘firmate’ da Missy Elliott.” Bloggy!

Then Opéra Bouffe pointed your doyenne to the utterly necessary Schrott-Locator ™: ¿donde está Erwin?. Even Barihunks doesn’t have this level of detail.

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Doge star

Posted in 2009, gheorghiu, hvorostovksy, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, san francisco on January 12, 2008 by lacieca

La Cieca’s spy in San Francisco whispers that the 2008-2009 season will open with Simon Boccanegra with Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the title role. Later productions will include a revival of Bohème with Angela Gheorghiu and the company premiere of Die Tote Stadt featuring Emily Magee and Torsten Kerl. Also expected is the world premiere of Stewart Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, based on the novel by Amy Tan.

Wanderjahr

Posted in 2008, 2009, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, nyco, nyt on December 15, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca has obtained exclusive video footage of a presentation by Susan L. Baker, chairwoman of the New York City Opera, announcing plans for the company’s 2008-2009 “season.”

NYCO’s announcement, dumped into the scarcely-read Saturday Times, would seem to indicate that our speculation of the past couple of weeks was, in fact, accurate.

Dark year for NYCO?

Posted in 2008, 2009, 2010, mortier, nyco, sad on December 6, 2007 by lacieca

UPDATE: La Cieca has just heard that the “dark season” is not a done deal just yet. The NYCO board meets next week to make that decision. (Given how late in the game this is, most likely the “decision” will be no more than a formality. But La Cieca will keep her ear to the ground, not to mention her shoulder to the wheel and her nose to the grindstone. She also intends to free her mind with the intention that her ass should follow.)

La Cieca has been hearing whispers and grumblings from here and there for a couple of months now, so maybe it’s time to go out on a limb and predict that the New York City Opera will take a season-long hiatus in 2008-09. Yes, that’s right, no season at all, not until the opening of Gérard Mortier‘s first year of direction in the fall of 2009.

The primary reason driving La Cieca’s gloomy prediction is the lack of any sense of what the repertoire or casting would be for 2008-09, even as 2007 draws to a close. NYCO, like other opera companies, has a fairly long lead time in planning upcoming seasons. Their practice in recent years has been to lock in repertoire and casting more than a year before the beginning of a given season.

For example, it was fairly common knowledge by the summer of 2006 that the current NYCO season would include Vanessa, Cendrillion, King Arthur and so forth; major casting was already set by then as well. Repertoire choices for Mortier’s first season leaked several months ago: 2009-10 will feature The Rake’s Progress, Einstein on the Beach, Nixon in China, Věc Makropulos, Pelléas et Mélisande, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Saint François d’Assise and Death in Venice.

No such details have surfaced about plans for 2008-09; in fact, an informant tells La Cieca that ever since early last summer “managers have been attempting to nail down the schedule and engagements for their artists, but have been met with stone cold silence from the [NYCO] administration.”

This same source continues with a little speculation that your doyenne must say she finds reasonable enough:

The official reason given [for the cancellation of the 2008-09 season] will be that Mortier wants to freshen up and fix the hall in conjunction with NYCB (and they certainly will take the time given to do some work on the State Theater, remove the sound system, etc.) but the real reason was he was so patently appalled by every performance he saw this year and last that he wants a literal fresh start for the entire company, and wants no attachment whatsoever to the past artistic administration.

"Bizarre and nondescript characters corralled from every stratum of society"

Posted in 2009, 2010, alagna, gheorghiu, jonas kaufmann, levine, met, scandale on October 19, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca thanks the visiting Enzo Bordello for pointing out to her some recent updates to the indispensable Met Futures Page so painstakingly maintained by Bradley Wilber. Most of it sound plausible enough, but every now and then a piece of casting leaves La Cieca so stunned she hardly manage to quote a Waldo Lydecker quip. Such is the case with a projected 2009 revival of Adriana Lecouvreur with Maria Guleghina and Jonas Kaufmann.

That show at least seems possible actually to transpire, unlike the new Carmen in 2010. The announced team for the Bizet, which includes Matthew Bourne, Richard Eyre, Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Barbara Fritolli and James Levine, surely adds up to ten pounds of diva in a five pound bag!

Oh! che volo d’augelli

Posted in 2009, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, mortier, nyco on September 21, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca’s little bird sang true: yesterday it was announced that James Robinson will be the new Artistic Director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Moving on to another story that you heard first from your doyenne, ze bad-boy of ze opéra Gérard Mortier spilled his plans for his first NYCO season yesterday. In 2009-2010 he will offer Stravinsky‘s The Rake’s Progress, Philip Glass‘s Einstein on the Beach and John Adams‘s Nixon in China. Ian Bostridge will slouch into town to headline a production of Benjamin Britten‘s Death in Venice.

Also in 2009-2010, the Park Avenue Armory and Drill Hall will serve as venue for Messiaen‘s St. Francis of Assisi. Future commissions include a new Glass opera, plus a work from Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock. A full account of Mortier’s press conference may be found at The New York Sun.

Meanwhile, the intendant’s latest effort in Paris, a new production of Ariane et Barbe-Bleue, was not, as they say, taken in with pleasure. The headline for the Musical America review reads “Another Mortier Disaster at the Bastille.”

UPDATE: La Cieca just changed the headline for this article (from “Charmant oiseau”) to reflect the fact that yet another birdie has opened her little beak, spilling more details of the first year of Mortierie. Further twentieth-century works on the schedule include Vec Makropoulos, Pelléas et Mélisande, and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, the last of which will be performed by alternating casts at City Center. (Hmm, did someone say Patti LuPone?)

Avant garde

Posted in 2009, mortier, nyco on March 1, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca hears that incoming NYCO intendant Gérard Mortier is wasting no time in putting his stamp on the company, even though his tenure is not due to begin until 2009. La Cieca’s source whispers that Mortier is sending Kevin Murphy (currently head of the music staff at Paris) to New York to replace the City Opera’s “entrenched” John Beeson. Kevin Murphy is the husband of Heidi Grant Murphy, who perhaps not coincidentally has been singing a lot in Paris lately, where reportedly she has met with something less than universal acclaim.