Archive for the discuss Category

Anything I can do, she can do better

Posted in blog, discuss, diva, millo, pav, telecast, youtube on September 11, 2007 by lacieca

Multifaceted Aprile Millo has branched out into blogging, and her site, operavision, includes some of the smartest online opera commentary La Cieca has seen. Currently she’s expounding on Opera in 3D, a fascinating article if you can tear yourself away from the image of Renata Tebaldi shaking hands with an astronaut! La Millo naturally has penned a most moving tribute to her late colleague Luciano Pavarotti and includes some rare video of the legendary tenor (and other great performers, including herself!) on the site. Explore!

Eisen zu pumpen

Posted in discuss, hunkentenor, scandale, world leaders dancing in underwear on September 4, 2007 by lacieca

Here’s the original (or, La Cieca supposes she should say, Das Original) of that endlessly-forwarded and endlessly-discussed article about alleged “doping” in the opera world, as published in Die Presse. Now, what catches La Cieca’s eye here is the description of the beta blocker whistleblower quoted in the article: “Der Tenor und Bodybuilder Endrik Wottrich.”

A Google image search for “Endrich Wottrich” yielded this photo (click to enlarge):

Discuss?

Stella for star

Posted in discuss, diva, met, mp3, youtube on June 9, 2007 by lacieca

Just a few quick words about the magnificent soprano Antonietta Stella, the “tie-breaker” in our recent quiz. She is perhaps not quite so familiar to some of La Cieca’s readers as the more celebrated divas also heard on the track such as Tebaldi and Price. La Cieca will quote her dear colleague Enzo Bordello, who wrote eloquently about this singer in 1998:

“. . . her 1957 broadcast performance [of Tosca] with Tucker and Warren is sensational. The voice is confidently produced, with plenty of healthy, glowing tone. She tosses off the role’s many high B’s and C’s like they were child’s play….

“The long and the short of the matter is that I simply adore Antonietta Stella. What did she do well, you ask? Well, I would reframe the question this way: what did she NOT do well? Although I never saw Stella in the theater, I can honestly say that few singers have thrilled me as much as she on records and video. At its best, the voice represents the highest standard of Italian lirico-spinto singing. There is a morbidezza in the sound that is ravishing. In addition to producing focused high notes, Stella sang with unforced resonance in the lower register. The legato is melting and her pianiszimo singing ranks with the best of anyone.”

Antonietta Stella sings “Vissi d’arte”

Stella on YouTube

Which Puritani: discuss.

Posted in bel canto, caballe, callas, cher public, discuss, met on May 10, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca has finally found a way to harness the massive intellectual prowess of her commenters for what she hopes is a good and peaceful purpose. From time to time she is asked for recommendations on, well, this and that, and she’s realized that you, cher public represent an paralleled resource for advising, counselling and general kibitzing. Our first question for the group: what’s your recommendation for a recording of I puritani? “A.R.” writes:

The frisson that Anna Netrebko created at Met recently piqued my interest in the work again- but I find myself dissatisfied with the array of recordings available. Joan I’d have to quickly count out- a lot of the time it sounds like she’s singing the phone book. Not a Bonynge fan either. Ditto La Sills– I just don’t like the timbre of her voice. I own the Caballe/Kraus recording and enjoy it- even without most of the high notes and no trill from Montsy. Despite that she always wins me over and Kraus makes a good fist of Arturo- I don’t understand the negative crits he got for this recording. When are people going to realise that the high D’s and high F were not meant to be sung full voice- I feel sure they were supposed to be sung in head voice- esp as Arturo is at his most miserable when these notes pop up.

Devia is good, albeit a little colourless. Mateuzzi has the high notes- shame everything under a G is flat, flat, flat. Have you heard the Freni/Pav recordings? I’m interested to hear them. I also have the Callas recording- but I can’t BEAR Di Stefano- too much scooping and painful open high notes. Is there a fabulous recording I’ve missed? If only La Scotto had done it- she would have been ideal. (I too am a Scotto worshipper!)

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!