Archive for the met Category

Hair of the dog

Posted in met, telecast on December 26, 2007 by lacieca

On New Year’s Day, WNET/Channel 13 will broadcast all six operas comprising the first season of Met HD simulcasts. As you stagger home from your year-end revels, you can tune in to The First Emperor at 5:00 AM, followed by I puritani at 8:00 and Il barbiere di Siviglia at 11:00. Following a nice long nap and (one hopes) a hearty portion of hopping john, you can enjoy The Magic Flute at 9:30 PM, followed by Il trittico at 11:30 and (believe me, this is worth staying up for) Eugene Onegin at 2:30 AM January 2.

Those of you not living in New York should check your local listings. And you’ll have to cook your own hopping john.


Le Scandale, 2007 edition

Posted in alagna, domingo, met, netrebko, rant, scandale, sirius on December 21, 2007 by lacieca

Cher public, La Cieca meant to turn in early tonight, but she got one of those bees in her bonnet. This particular specimen of Apis mellifera is the “debacle” (as La Cieca has been astonished to see it termed) of Anna Netrebko‘s Juliette last Saturday afternoon. Such harsh criticism La Cieca has rarely heard since the infamous Renata Scotto Norma. Even La Cieca’s own bitchery about Renée Fleming never (well, rarely) reached such heights of dudgeon.

La Cieca should remind herself that much of this accidie springs from opera-l, which most of the time is a valuable resource and all that, but it does seem to be a haven for every tongue-clucking old maid still hunched over her Philco every Saturday afternoon during the broadcast season. (Some of them predate Texaco, La Cieca thinks.) Anyway, the consensus over at opera-l is that Netrebko is kaput, over, finished — that is, assuming she was ever anything to start with. The Roméo et Juliette has been called “failure” and even (yes!) “debacle.” Admittedly , La Cieca occasionally amuses herself by throwing those terms (including the “d” word) around indiscriminately, but she has the defense that nobody with half a brain takes her babbling seriously anyway. On the other hand, La Cieca has her doubts that everybody over at opera-l shares her sense of light-hearted irony in these things.

Look. La Cieca regards herself as a very critical listener, but she simply cannot discern any “debacle” or even “failure” in last week’s Roméo performance. Netrebko was admittedly somewhat off her best form at the beginning of the opera. She did have a minor crack on the high D in her first cadenza, and for most of the performance her voice sounded a bit cloudy and thick compared to what La Cieca (and, you, of course, cher public) have heard on Sirius and in the theater earlier this season.

La Cieca hesitates to jump to the conclusion that this one performance indicates an inevitable downward spiral toward ruin for Ms. Netrebko. She prefer to take the more cautious position that Netrebko was simply having a “B” voice day instead of her customary “A.” The cause may have been nerves, or a mild case of acid reflux, or a minor allergy attack, or (who knows?) she may have been starting her period on Saturday. The point is, nerves and all the rest (including even dysmenhorrhea) don’t last forever.

As, it so happens, tonight’s Sirius broadcast neatly indicates. La Cieca tuned in at the beginning of the second act to hear Netrebko in fine fettle. Your doyenne will note also that in the bedroom duet tonight Netrebko is singing with a lighter tone and softer dynamics than she did opposite Roberto Alagna — the better to blend with Joseph Kaiser‘s less aggressive approach, one assumes.

Well, enough scolding. A recent news story about Antonio Banderas‘ directing Carmen got La Cieca to thinking: how long before Angela Gheorghiu backs out of the projected Met production of the Bizet opera — and how thrilling it would be if Netrebko could be persuaded to jump in!

Oh, and just so you don’t think La Cieca has completely abandoned her position as Sultana of the Soupcons, here’s a tidbit. Your doyenne hears that among Netrebko’s la Gheorghiu’s upcoming projects (besides that unlikely Carmen and the perhaps even unlikelier Ghosts of Versailles) is a complete recording of Giordano’s Fedora opposite (who else) Placido Domingo.


Posted in chicago, gcn, jj, met, our own on December 21, 2007 by lacieca

Last month our own JJ took in a trio of less than standard operas: Giulio Cesare and Die Frau ohne Schatten in Chicago, and Iphigénie en Tauride right here in New York. The review is in Gay City News, of course.

Only in New York, Kids

Posted in met, netrebko, peter gelb is a fucking genius, telecast on December 19, 2007 by lacieca

“At High School of Enterprise, Business and Technology on Grand Street Campus in Brooklyn, the show is sold out at nearly 1000 tickets. The school didn’t spare any effort in terms of marketing: there’s a huge color banner for ‘Live in HD’ on the side of the building, facing Bushwick Avenue, with a picture of Anna Netrebko, who is singing Juliette, standing 20 feet tall. The school kids also put up posters in local eating establishments, including Grand Street Grill, their local bodega, and The Great Wall Chinese restaurant.”


Mostly mediocre moments

Posted in met, podcast, scotto, youtube on December 3, 2007 by lacieca

In the words of Stella Maria Krazelberg von und zu Brabant, “Renata was robbed!” La Cieca offers a quick reminder of some moments that should have made the Met’s “Top 15” list.

Running, standing and jumping Gaul

Posted in bel canto, gcn, jj, met, our own on November 29, 2007 by lacieca

“Legendary maestro Tullio Serafin once said that trying to perform Bellini’s Norma without a great soprano is as futile as attempting to cook risotto without rice. This month, the Metropolitan Opera experimented with such a recipe with less than palatable results.”

Our Own JJ reviews Hasmik Papian‘s Druidess in Gay City News.

Divas on Demand!

Posted in met, telecast on November 28, 2007 by lacieca

Ken Howard, Metropolitan Opera The Met announced this morning yet another media partnership, this one with iN DEMAND Networks “to offer all eight new performances from the Met’s second season of Metropolitan Opera: Live in High Definition to on-demand subscribers in the United States in both standard and high definition formats.” The basic idea is that the video from the Met’s live movie theater simulcasts will be offered on a pay-per-view basis within a month after the original performance date. The series will kick off with the December 15 performance of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, broadcast on iN DEMAND on Wednesday, January 16, 2008.

Never at a loss for a sound bite, Met General Manager Peter Gelb quipped, “With this agreement, we are creating the opera equivalent of a Hollywood movie roll-out.” The Met will join such established iN DEMAND attractions as major Hollywood films in HD, Major League Baseball, World Wrestling League, and original video programming such as America’s Next Hot Pornstar: Naked Tryouts.