Nous avons en tête une affaire

So it seems Opera Ireland was shipping sets and costumes for a borrowed Traviata production from Germany to Dublin. A routine customs check of the hoopskirts and chaises longues turned up an interesting if non-traditional prop: a 6 kilo bag of cocaine worth about half a million Euros. Since this was not a Christopher Alden production, the customs officials concluded that the drugs didn’t belong in Traviata and so must be evidence of smuggling. According to Ireland On-Line, Director of Opera Ireland David Calopy complained that his troupe, in residence at the aptly-named Gaiety Theatre, “were now in a very difficult position because the theatre company needs the goods that remain impounded for their upcoming season.” Believe me, Mr. Calopy, La Cieca feels your pain.


9 Responses to “Nous avons en tête une affaire”

  1. Chalkenteros Says:

    “I feel your pain.” lol — you never fail to make me laugh.

  2. Il Tenore di Coloratura Superba Says:

    Okay…I have something that I think is of interest to La Cieca and her readers and was wondering if she or anyone else has heard anything more about this.

    I spent yesterday evening in the Met Green Room watching the performance of Aida on the monitors and sitting in the room with me was a gentleman (his name I do not recall) who was covering Ramfis…I incidentally had seen him as Hunding in the 2000 production of the Met’s Ring Cycle which was his debut with the company, I believe – fantastic voice. At any rate, those of us in the room began to discuss Wagner and some of the extremely avant garde production that take places in Europe – particularly concerning nudity on stage (which, our dear NYCO has been known to do as well – I think the blessed spirits had all been naked in their last production of Orfeo).

    This gentlemen recounted how just a few months ago he was singing in a production of Tannhauser in Geneva where at the dress rehearsal and for each of the performances…the company had hired a male prostitute from Paris, one who was extremely well-endowed who walked onto the stage during the Venusburg musik fully erect…approached one of the women and began to penetrate her on stage, downstage, facing the audience…while in the background tons of nude women with huge breasts were rubbing them all over the male protagonist.

    I admit, I found this info to be rather amusing and curious and figured I’d bring it to the forum for further discussion.

  3. Il Tenore di Coloratura Superba Says:

    Incidentally, last nights performance of Aida didn’t go so well. Michelle Crider wasn’t having a very good night due to the sudden weather changes – I’ve heard her sing the shit out of Aida before and she really wasn’t at her best – I felt sorry for her because she really is a great singer. Licitra – I will refrain from comment. Dolora also didn’t sound like she was using her full resources last night…and very suddenly she cancelled after Act III due to an asthma attack that she had backstage. I felt so horrible for her, but she is doing well, she just wasn’t able to go on. The girl that replaced her (whom I also felt bad for – no one should ever have to go out and sing the tomb scene last minute with only 5 minutes to warm up!) was a Russian mezzo who sang very well from what I heard.

    Ahh, the drama of the theatre on and off the stage!

  4. about olivier py’s tannhäuser:

    the actor was not a “male prostitute”, as ITDCS’s informant so pruriently states but a bona fide hardcore porn star (of the art-porn variety, in the school of catherine breillat) known as HPG.

    the erection (local media were given the figure of twenty centimetres, no diameter indicated) was echt, porn mags and an ad-hoc cubicle were installed stage right to guarantee the effect.

    as for “tons of nude women with huge breasts”, there were about ten dancers (not known for their opulence in the tit department), in various states of deshabille, who stroked themselves, if they were indeed stroking anything, leaving HPG to his humping. i was only able to attend the dress rehearsal, but from my vantage-point in the fourth row of the parterre, it didn’t look like any penetration (vaginal or anal) was happening…

    director Olivier Py stated that he was taking Wagner’s didascalia for the venusberg scene quite literally: the erection and subsequent humping were meant to convey the vision of the rape of Europa. and Monsieur HPG did indeed bear an impressive bull’s head on his shoulders…

    so perhaps ITDCS should check his sources… lest one imagine that the greater lyric stages of Europe are so desperate to sell seats that they are willing to aim – artistically at least – below the belt.

  5. La Cieca would venture a guess that Viagra was taken as a supplement to the offstage fluffing. And ginevra is correct about the stage directions: “ein Nebelbild zeigt die Entführung der Europa, welche auf dem Rücken des mit Blumen geschmückten weißen Stieres, von Tritonen und Nereiden geleitet, durch das blaue Meer dahinfährt.”

    Did HPG return as Leda’s swan, or was that tableau realized some other way?

  6. Just Another Tenor Says:

    That sound like the Entfuhrung I saw at Komisch Oper in Berlin – first thing we see: Osmin in the shower masturbating to orgasm! YAY, that was fun. And then there was the constant vaginal and anal rapes of most women onstage; and one of the “extras” got her nipples cut off.
    That was, mmmmmm, an interesting evening. There were people screaming insults at the stage throughout. In front of me, I had this 75 year old women, very composed with her pearls and scarf. She remained quiet until the third act, at which point on of the actors came onstage and strted shooting his gun at everyone. The Woman in front of me stood up and scremed (in GErman) “Bullets? Save one for the director! This is Shit” and stormed off. That was by far the highlight of the evening for me!
    Ah, Calixto Bieijo. I would venture to say that at this point, NO Opera house hires him without the clear intent of schocking everyone and aiming – yes – below the belt.

  7. Ah, La Cieca… perhaps you have been surrounded too long by crystal-tweaking opera queens powdering their noses between acts in the Met Family Circle toilets to imagine that an erection on stage could be anything else than chemically-induced!

    It seems that the grotesquely tattooed nymphette playing Europa to HPG’s Zeus was enough to make the bull-headed Olympian’s phallus rise to the occasion. Off the Wagnerian stage, said nymphette being the porn actor’s usual playmate and co-star… “Ein Skandal hat sich nicht erreignet, und am Ende war die scheinbar so provokative Episode längst vergessen, zu nachhaltig war die musikalische Interpretation, zu excellent die Besetzung.”, said the critic in “Opernwelt”. Well, what a relief…

    As for the Zeus and Leda scene, I hate to disappoint you, dear Cieca, but HPG is as far as Py went in terms of hormonal heterohype. HPG’s taurine titillations were closely followed by a pretty boy in an extravagant white tutu, listlessly gliding about the stage: much more in line with what European audiences have come to expect of Olivier Py’s queering the operatic canon…

  8. Il Tenore di Coloratura Superba Says:

    Ginerva – I appreciate your posting on the subject and I certainly appreciate having heard details to clarify some of the vaguer points of the account given to me – but I don’t appreciate your insinuation that I was spreading rumors or ill-advised information about the production – considering that the information came to me directly from one of the leads in the cast. Admittedly, I had only met this man and spent the span of an Aida performance in his presence and so therefore cannot (and I don’t believe that I gave any notion that I found his recount reliable) – I gave, in short, the highlights that he had mentioned regarding the production – if he exaggerated on the size of the women’s breasts or mis-spoke and used the term “male prostitute” instead of “porno star” – do not hold me accountable for that – English is most certainly not his native language since he is from Iceland and perhaps he didn’t know the difference – I cannot say.

    I brought the subject to the forum for two purposes – one, it coindided with La Ceica’s entry about avant garde productions and two, I was hoping that there would have been one of La Cieca’s readers – much like yourself – who would have perhaps had a more realistic and factual representation of the situation, which clearly you did.
    I thought I made the point that I did not take this man’s story completely to heart since I did call it ‘amusing’ and ‘curious’ and presented it for further discussion.

    Just Another Tenor – that productions sounds way out of line – I hope they never call me to sing Belmonte in that production!!
    It’s good to hear from you again – the forum has been lonely without your, ITDG, and Interpolators commentaries!

  9. Just Another Tenor Says:

    Well, the production was interesting – I can’t say that I did not undesrtand what they were trying to do. They had updated the whole thinkg to nowadays, and Konstanze and Blonde had been sold into white slavery – remember those cases of models that had been shipped of to Saudi Arabia to “satisfy” some Cheik? Well this was it – and when the system broke down and no international aid was sent ot get the girls back, Belmonte takes it upon himself to find the.
    It was a little heavy handed, although I am sure it was somewhat dexcriptive of what “slave girls” might have had to endure, in every part of the world, when women were objectified to that extent. it showed ot decadence of a true and unquestioned phalocrtaic society where torturing women for the sake of torture is acceptable. Not for the faint of heart.
    Interestingly enough, my parents, outaged by what I told them, went to berlin to see the revival a bout a year ago. Since it was a revival, everyone knew what to expect. The singers that had been contracted to sing the revival knew exactly what they were getting themselves into. Apparently, the revival was far superior to the original run beacuse the singers involved signed onto this production agreeing to go with the director’s decision (even if they disagreed, they accepted ot run with it). therefore, the whole production was far more believable, because there were nonw of those awkward moments in which the actors are doing something you feel are against what they believe.

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