Archive for the tommasini Category

Legends of the fall

Posted in critic, nyt, tommasini on December 12, 2007 by lacieca

When a monumental 20th century masterpiece is revived at the Met, who better to review it than Anthony Tommasini? Today the Times published TT’s critique of War and Peace, a compact screed of exactly 799 words. And how, you may ask, were those words distributed? Well almost half the review (351 words) was given over to a rehash of the incident five years ago when the super fell off the set into the pit. Here’s how Tony’s wordage stacks up in chart form:



Posted in tommasini on June 11, 2007 by lacieca

(a-pŏth’ē-ō’sĭs) n.

pl. a·poth·e·o·ses (-sēz’)

  1. Exaltation to divine rank or stature; deification.
  2. Elevation to a preeminent or transcendent position; glorification: Many observers have tried to attribute Warhol’s current apotheosis to the subversive power of artistic vision” (Michiko Kakutani)
  3. An exalted or glorified example: Their leader was the apotheosis of courage.
  4. Tony Tommasini reviews Death in Venice twice.

The art of the buried lede

Posted in tommasini on June 1, 2007 by lacieca

“Mr. Hvorostovsky looked sexy in black leather pants and an open-collared black shirt.” Final paragraph.

Give me my robe…

Posted in hunkentenor, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, stephen costello, tommasini on April 12, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca has just heard that the 2007 Richard Tucker Award winner is tenor Brandon Jovanovich, pictured here at a concert given recently in honor of long-time Tucker colleague Eleanor Steber.

Career Grant winners for 2007 are Meredith Arwady, contralto; Jason Collins, tenor; and Stephen Costello, tenor. La Cieca regrets to inform you that she does not have any photos of Mr. Costello in a towel at the moment, but, after all, summer is just around the corner.

Tickling the ivories

Posted in tommasini on February 11, 2007 by lacieca

“I could not have been alone in the audience in responding with something like parental concern when [pianist Till] Fellner appeared onstage. Lanky, rail-thin, wholesome-looking and still boyish at 34, he seemed as shy and awkward as ever . . . . A regimen of free weights at a gym in Vienna, where Mr. Fellner lives, might not be a bad idea.”

Writing like this, on the other hand, is definitely a bad idea.

Tony’s Award

Posted in barihunk, critic, met, tommasini on January 1, 2007 by lacieca

“The Papageno, Nathan Gunn, was certainly cute enough.” — NYT

Roundhead roundup

Posted in critic, gcn, met, netrebko, tommasini on December 29, 2006 by lacieca

Five newspaper reviews are in for Anna Netrebko‘s Met Puritani, and the score stands at four postive, one mixed:

“With the smoky colorings and throbbing richness of her sumptuous voice, Ms. Netrebko was an unusually vulnerable Elvira. Bel Canto purists may find fault with her sometimes imprecise execution of coloratura runs and roulades. But I admired her way of treating florid passagework as organic extensions of an arching vocal line, not as a series of fast notes to be nailed with cool accuracy.” Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

“She has that bel canto gift of singing like a windswept lark on a bright day, and an acting style combining the natural with the daring.” Clive Barnes, New York Post

“Elvira should be beautiful; Netrebko is. Elvira should be so delicate of brain that the shock of being abandoned on her wedding day unhinges her completely. Netrebko raved gorgeously, but she also expertly controlled the whipping spray of notes and the rainbow colors of her voice. She proved herself a master of extreme opera, that volatile mixture of emotional distress and consummate technique. That’s what we need divas for.” Justin Davidson, Newsday

“And how about the mad scene, one of the greatest stretches in all bel canto opera? From Ms. Netrebko, it was an unshowy tour de force. What I mean is this: It was a tour de force, all right —but it had complete musical and theatrical poise. Ms. Netrebko displayed phenomenal control. And she was pathetic in the original sense — evoking great pity, sadness, and even wonder. This is simply a smart singer.” Jay Nordlinger, New York Sun

“She didn’t sing a false note, but she struck one. It was as if this charismatic performer, whose stage instincts are usually flawless, was overcompensating for the fact that she simply couldn’t conquer all the vocal challenges of one of the most demanding bel canto roles in the repertory.” Mike Silverman, Associated Press

Our publisher JJ hears the production on Saturday night; look for his review in Gay City News next week.