Fleming: I’m no flapper!

Those of you cher public who frequent the left coast have probably seen the new Los Angeles Opera production of La traviata, the one that bumps the period of the action forward from the epoch of Alexandre Dumas fils to that of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Well, of course the svelte and lovely Elizabeth Futral looks charming in Jazz Age garb — enough so that one would wish to see her in a revival of Harbison’s The Great Gatsby — that is, with different music. But anyway, just like everyone else, La Cieca thought that this new mise-en-scene by Marta Domingo was intended to become the LA Opera’s “standard” Traviata. And, just like very nearly everyone your faithful scribe wondered just how well the modernistic lines of bugle-beaded cocktail dresses would drape over the curves of Renee Fleming, who is skedded to sing Violetta in LA this fall. Well, stop wondering, chickens, because La Cieca has just heard that la Fleming’s contract for the production specifies that she will not do the “Art Deco” staging; rather, she insists on wearing the traditional crinoline. And she is arguing from a position of power, since Decca has also contracted to tape the fall performances for DVD release. Fortunately LA already has a conventional Marta-helmed Traviata in storage, awaiting only the arrival of la Fleming to be demothballed. The “Flapper Traviata?” Junked after only the one season, La Cieca hears.

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