Archive for the nyt Category

Hedge fund

Posted in cher public, nyt, wagner on August 30, 2007 by lacieca

Congratulations to NYT writer Michael Kimmelman, whose post-mortem on Katharina Wagner‘s Bayreuth Meistersinger contains a sentence that beats all world’s records for running, standing and equivocation:

The approach is not, in the abstract, without merit, Beckmesser having always seemed a proto-Jew to Wagner, awaiting modern redemption; the opera’s end comes across as the screed it always seemed.

La Cieca leaves it to her cher public to debate whatever ideas might be teased from this morass of weak passive voice; she’ll get the ball rolling by asking, “What exactly is a ‘proto-Jew’ and what qualities of the character of Beckmesser would tend to make him “seem” proto-Jewish?”

(More on Kimmelman’s column over at Sounds & Fury.)


Ruth’s no stranger to friction

Posted in daniels, diva, gelb, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, met, nyt, ruth ann swenson, sad on April 5, 2007 by lacieca

DRAMA on the front page of today’s NYT Arts section! Ruth Ann Swenson comes out swinging at the Met for “snubbing” her in favor of younger and less zaftig artists. Her current run of Cleopatras in Giulio Cesare is her final contact with the Met*, apparently the end to a 20-season career there spanning over 225 performances.

And now La Cieca is going to throw this one open to discussion from the floor!

CORRECTION: Swenson is also contracted to sing Violetta during the Met’s 2007-2008 season.

Typography as destiny

Posted in critic, midgette, nyt on March 27, 2007 by lacieca

Don’t get La Cieca wrong: the whole “Opera and Technology” panel last Friday was fascinating. But probably the most interesting bit of information shared all night was done after the formalities were ended. Anne Midgette got to talking with JJ and a few others about the layout style of the New York Times Arts section, and La Cieca has to admit she never realized just how intricate the whole thing is.

Basically there are two kinds of pieces that run in the Arts section: reporting and opinion. “Opinion” includes both reviews and what back in my sob sister days we used to call “think” pieces. It turns out the Times style decrees a number of differences in how these two types of writing are set up.

“Reporting” pieces (like the one on the left, below) have a plain serif headline, a traditional byline directly below the hed, then a series of paragraphs with an even right margin. “Opinion” pieces (right) feature an italic headline, an inset byline without the word “by” and subhead “Music Review.” Paragraphs have a ragged right margin.

The meaning of all this? Maybe the Times is saying, “This review is only someone’s opinion, so it doesn’t need justification.”


Posted in blog, camp, critic, diva, drag, filth, fleming, gay gay gay gay gay, gcn, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, maury d'annato, met, midgette, nyco, nyt, our own, parody, podcast, review, voigt, youtube on March 24, 2007 by lacieca

Our editor JJ‘s busy week included a review of the Met’s Aegyptische Helena in Gay City News, and that panel La Cieca has been yammering about all week. As his presentation on the topic “Opera and Technology,” JJ introduced this little documentary about your own La Cieca.

Mary Dunleavy joins in the fun

Posted in 2008, blog, camp, critic, diva, filth, gay, jj, met, midgette, nyco, nyt, our own, podcast, youtube on March 23, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca has just been informed that soprano Mary Dunleavy will participate in tonight’s panel discussion “Opera and Technology” at The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University. No word on whether La Dunleavy replaces or supplements the previously announced Lucy Shelton. Our own JJ will be there of course, along with a veritable constellation of opera pundits: Elena Park, Editorial and Creative Content, The Metropolitan Opera; Beth Greenberg, stage director, New York City Opera; Wayne Koestenbaum, poet and writer; and Anne Midgette, critic, The New York Times. That’s tonight at 7:30 PM, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue (between 116th and 118th Streets), second floor.

Hello, Mister Wilson!

Posted in 2011, fleming, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, met, nyt, youtube on February 27, 2007 by lacieca

The most startling news from tomorrow’s press conference at the Met (as released early to the New York Times) — in 2011, a new production of Bellini’s Norma, starring Renee Fleming and directed by Robert Wilson. The casting of Cecilia Bartoli as Adaligisa is La Cieca’s own whimsy, but, hey, stranger things have happened. (For example, a Wilson/Fleming Norma…)

UPDATE: The role of Adalgisa in the Fleming/Wilson Norma scheduled for 2011 will not, as La Cieca puckishly suggested, be sung by Cecilia Bartoli. In fact she has just been informed by one of her most impeccable sources that the part will go to Elīna Garanča.

And in other exclusive Decca recording artist/avant-garde legend related news, the Schwartz gallery at the Met is awaiting installation of a Robert Wilson “video portrait” of La Fleming. La Cieca will inform you when the Wilson film makes it on to YouTube.

Lost weekend

Posted in hacks, nyt on February 21, 2007 by lacieca

A quarter of a century elapses between the prologue and first act of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. By a bizarre coincidence, that’s exactly the same length of time since Bernard Holland has had anything remotely relevant or intelligent to say in print. His latest “efforts” are in today’s NY Times, but I’m not going to bother to link. After all, La Cieca is pretty sure that you all know the plot outlines of Simon Boccanegra and The Grapes of Wrath. Even though Holland was supposed to review actual live performances of these two operas (the latter a world premiere), he didn’t quite get around to writing anything you might call a “critique.” Instead, he cribbed a few lines from Cliff’s Notes, then slumped back into his usual banana-eared stupor.