Archive for the verdi Category

When Ladies Meet

Posted in contest, mp3, quiz, verdi, youtube on January 30, 2008 by lacieca

And now, the solution to the “Sleepwalking Scene” quiz.

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No Sleep ‘Til Sunnyside

Posted in contest, diva, mp3, quiz, verdi on January 28, 2008 by lacieca

Not a whole lot of news on matters operatic in the past couple of days, so La Cieca has decided a competitive quiz is in order. The clip below is the “Sleepwalking Scene” from Verdi’s Macbeth divided among 14 sopranos and mezzo-sopranos. All you have to do is name the 14 singers in the correct order. (La Cieca has decided to be merciful this time and omit overly obscure singers. Each singer in this clip is or was internationally famous. However, La Cieca cautions you that not all these singers included Lady Macbeth in their onstage repertoire.)

When you believe you know all 14 voices, send your answer to lacieca@parterre.com. First correct answer will receive a gift certificate from amazon.com. Should there be no entry with all 14 correct answers by midnight on Tuesday, January 29, La Cieca will choose randomly among the entries with the highest number of correct answers.

In the meantime, please feel free to discuss and make wild guesses in the comments section.

UPDATE: As of Monday evening, La Cieca has not declared a winner. There is a tie for first place with two entries each naming 13 out of 14 correctly. Interestingly, they both mistake the same Lady. For those of you who might want to do a little more intensive study of the Ladies (and La Cieca doesn’t mean only the lesbians in the audience!), here’s the mp3 to download.

Gli enigmi sono venti

Posted in camp, contest, podcast, verdi on October 25, 2007 by lacieca

UPDATE: Here’s the “Ernani involami” vocal identification quiz — 20 singers in seven minutes. As of Wednesday night, the two leading entries are tied at 17 correct answers each. Remember, the competition ends at midnight on Friday!

La Cieca (not pictured) is practically beside herself (also not pictured) with glee now that she has published the most recent episode of Unnatural Acts of Opera. Why, you ask? Well, not only does the show include the final two acts of Verdi’s Ernani (starring Anita Cerquetti, Mario Del Monaco, Ettore Bastianini and Boris Christoff, with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting), but this time around there’s a very special edition of “The Enigmas of La Cieca,” one of the composite vocal identification quizzes you so adore. The winner of this quiz will be the (no doubt overwhelmed) recipient of the three-DVD set Cult Camp Classics 2 – Women in Peril, which includes Joan Crawford‘s final theatrical film, Trog.

You can as always listen to the show on the Unnatural Acts page, or, if you’re feeling particularly competitive, you can download it from the Archive page.

UPDATE: as of 8:00 AM Monday, the contestant to beat is “MC,” who submitted 14 out of the 20 correct answsers. As Milton Host explained to you all during the podcast, the competiton continues until midnight on Friday, October 26, 2007. If there is no entry with all 20 singers correctly identified, La Cieca will select a winner by means of a random drawing from the tying entries with the most correct answers. La Cieca’s decision is (as in all things) final and irrevocable. That email address again lacieca@parterre.com.

Put our service to the test

Posted in met, nilsson, verdi, votd, youtube on October 23, 2007 by lacieca

The unsinkable (and apparently unflappable) Birgit Nilsson sings what turns out to be an aria from Verdi’s Macbeth — despite makeup design from Valley of the Dolls and a costume recycled from the “Be Our Guest” number in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.


La Nilsson’s performance (as awesome as it is!) is only an opening gambit, of course. La Cieca wants to throw the floor open to discussion of last night’s Macbeth at the Met.

The Verdi is always greener

Posted in 2011, cher public, fleming, gelb, giordani, hvorostovksy, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, met, verdi on January 26, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca’s cher public are, as in so many aspects of their existence, well ahead of the curve on foreknowledge of casting at the Met in the bel canto and German wings. Perhaps this wintry Friday is a good time to move on to a more semi-substantiated gossip, now on the subject of the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. (Do keep in mind that none of this is set in stone. In fact, given the Gelb administration’s penchant for last minute switcheroos, one should probably hold off on booking tickets for 2012 until, oh, 2011 at the earliest.) But, anyway, herewith a few possible highlights of the next five years:

Next season’s hot ticket will surely be a rare revival of Ernani starring Marcello Giordani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Thomas Hampson and Ferruccio Furlanetto. That certainly sounds more fun than the new Macbeth “starring” Andrea Gruber, Leo Nucci. Carlos Alvarez, Marco Berti and Roberto Aronica. Will anyone be surprised at massive audience attrition following the second-act demise of Banco (John Relyea/Rene Pape)? Fans of Mr. Berti (if such there be) may expect to hear him as well in revivals of Ballo (shared with Salvatore Licitra, and featuring Dmitri Hvorostovsky‘s first local Renato) and Aida (alternating with debutant Nicola Rossi-Giordano in an otherwise dismal cast). Renee Fleming offers repeat engagements of La traviata and Otello, with Ruth Ann Swenson optimistically double-cast as Violetta and Johan Botha as the Moor.

Rumors of Ms. Radvanovsky’s “buyout” should be dismissed once and for all since she is on the books for two high-profile assignments in 2008-2009, a new Trovatore (opposite Mr. Lictira) and her first in-house Traviata (alternating with Anja Harteros). Those two up-and-coming tenors Giuseppe Filianoti and Joseph Calleja share Duca duties in a Rigoletto otherwise notable only for Diana Damrau‘s Gilda. And speaking of tenors, Placido Domingo is supposed to cross over to the bass clef for the title role in Simon Boccanegra, but La Cieca will believe that when she hears it.

The big news of ’09-’10 is the Met debut of Riccardo Muti leading the company premiere of Attila. There will be singers as well in this production, notably Violeta Urmana and less notably Ramon Vargas, C. Alvarez and Ildar Abdrazakov. Mme. Urmana will also join two other golden-age physiques, Dolora Zajick and Mr. Botha, for Aida. La Radvanovsky’s career continues full-tilt in a revival of Stiffelio heavy on hunk-appeal (Jose Cura and Mr. Hvorostovsky), and the Gruber doesn’t seem to be going away either: she’s up for a repeat of Nabucco.

As we move into the twenty-teens, we can foresee new productions of La traviata (with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon in the Willy Decker update) and Don Carlo (probably not with Angela Gheorghiu, though the rest of the cast seems firm enough: Mr. Villazon, plus Luciana D’Intino, Simon Keenlyside/Anthony Michaels-Moore, Rene Pape. Antonio Pappano and Nicholas Hytner will reprise their Covent Garden duties. Also: revivals of I Lombardi (Giordani) and Il trovatore (Fleming). That year may also see Mr. Hvorostovsky’s Boccanegra.

The “jackpot” year of 2012 is still pretty much up for grabs, La Cieca hears, with only Falstaff (Bryn Terfel, James Levine) a definite maybe.