Archive for the nyco Category

Spring wind-up

Posted in met, nyco, oony, poll on January 2, 2008 by lacieca

Another poll, this time asking which events are the absolute must-sees here in New York this spring. Please note that on this poll you can choose more than one “must-see,” which is a good thing, because everything looks most tempting!


Forced to bend her soul to a sordid role

Posted in crossover, diva, nyco, world leaders dancing in underwear on December 28, 2007 by lacieca

Pint-sized Broadway dynamo Kristen Chenoweth will make her fully-staged role debut as Cunegonde in Candide at the English National Opera this summer. The Bernstein/Wilbur, Latouche, Parker, Hellman, Sondheim, Bernstein & Wheeler operetta will be performed in the Robert Carsen production previously seen at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris and La Scala, Milan. Performances begin June 23 for a 13-performance run.

According to The Stage, “popular tenor” Toby Spence will take on the title role, with other casting TBA. By an odd coincidence, the ENO are presenting a concert only a few weeks prior to this Candide starring a diva some might consider “dream casting” as The Old Lady. La Cieca supposes we should just dream on!

And will someone please wake La Cieca when the New York City Opera gets around to announcing the casting for their revival of the creaky Harold Prince staging of Candide?

Ecco il Sidestep

Posted in a wandering minstrel I, mortier, nyco on December 22, 2007 by lacieca

The saga of the peripatetic New York City Opera continues. According to a story in today’s New York Times (another Saturday newsdump! Well, at least someone has figured out how the media works here in the city!) Anyway, according to this NYT story, Gérard Mortier is kicking around a few ideas for keeping the NYCO brand from vanishing from the public consciousness during the company’s “hiatus” awaiting the reconstruction of the New York State Theater (and, not so incidentally, the official beginning of his regime in the fall of 2009). The company is looking at “probably” four productions in various venues, including “possibly” Carnegie Hall, the Beacon Theater and “other Lincoln Center halls.” Oh, and don’t rule out the Apollo Theater or the Hammerstein Ballroom, either. (To tell the truth, at this point La Cieca wouldn’t be surprised if she heard “Yankee Stadium” or “Splash.”)

Well, let’s table the venue discussion for a moment and move on to repertoire. Just what sort of operas might we expect in this transitional year? Of course, nothing’s set in stone yet. Well, maybe that’s an understatement. It appears, in fact, that nothing’s even scribbled on a Post-it at the moment. In the Times interview, Mortier coyly suggests Mefistofele “because of its association with the house in performances by the bass Samuel Ramey.”

Or, on the other hand, what about Rienzi — assuming, of course, that one could count on “finding strong enough singers.” Hey, what about a children’s opera for the holidays, that might work, and, just to mix things up a bit, “a major American opera.” But here’s something you put in the bank: the repertory “must be great things,” says Mortier.

Susan L. Baker, City Opera’s chairwoman reassures us that there will be some kind of announcement about next season in January. Or, failing that, February. Count on it.


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.

JJ and the City

Posted in critic, gay gay gay gay gay, gcn, jj, nyco, our own on November 16, 2007 by lacieca

“Soprano Lauren Flanigan turned her vaunted acting skills to the task of portraying the sophisticated allure of Vanessa, hampered more than a little by a stiff auburn wig and dowdy costumes that left her looking like Nellie Oleson’s mother. Happily, on November 8, Flanigan was in superb voice, sailing fearlessly up to fiery high B’s and C’s and plunging into a well-projected chest register.” Our Own JJ reviews NYCO’s Vanessa and Cendrillion for Gay City News.

Please do try to forgive the weird é characters that somehow crept into the text; the editors at GCN are working on transforming them back into their original e aigu (é) state.

Utter a word

Posted in nyco, quiz on November 14, 2007 by lacieca

Create a caption for this photo:

Carol Rosegg/New York City Opera