Archive for the festoonery Category

Tu? Indietro! Fugly!

Posted in camp, drag, festoonery, filth, meine nippen sie küssen so heiß, no gay friends, she's a maneater, with my avoirdupois and my tra la la la la on January 29, 2008 by lacieca

A loyal reader calls this little number “the worst gown I’ve ever seen.”


La Cieca she agrees that Mme. Guleghina’s fashion faux pas here just screams, “that was no lady, that was Lady Macbeth.” On the other hand, your doyenne has seen some rather ghastly frocks in her time, and she’s sure, cher public, that you have seen worse. If you have, send a jpg (preferably 350 pixels wide or larger) or a link to lacieca@parterre.com. Let’s dish!

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Your pathetic, your loathsome, your despicable majesty!

Posted in camp, festoonery, this diva looks like that diva on November 28, 2007 by lacieca

Dame Kiri te Kanawa embraces her inner Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan for this scene from the Handelian pastiche The Sorceress. Despite the film’s 1993 release date, the sensibility is pure ’80s: massive hair, voluminous frock, garish lighting design… and don’t overlook the multitude of smirking supers! (Just so you know, the aria is “Ah, Ruggiero crudel… Ombre pallide” from Alcina).

Too many sources!

Posted in alex ross, critic, festoonery, gay gay gay gay gay on November 25, 2007 by lacieca

“My theory: Composers who ignore significant parts of their being – nationality included – cut their creativity off at the knees. Barber was being derivative in self-defeating ways out of deference to the operatic genre. Bernstein, in comparison, was out to tell important stories using the most effective means possible…” David Patrick Stearns adds his voice to the debate about Vanessa in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Oh, and La Cieca has discovered where she read the line about Vanessa being the American Adriana Lecouvreur. It’s from the “Goings On About Town” column in the New Yorker. (Since the subject is classical music, one assumes Alex Ross at least contributed to the piece, though it’s unclear whether the “Adriana” mot is an authentic Rossism.)

And finally, La Cieca was just remembering something she was giggling about during the performance of Vanessa at the NYCO. One couldn’t help noticing that Lauren Flanigan was, well, just a little on the zaftig side, and that her costumes were not exactly slenderizing. So, in the second scene, after the “Under the Willow Tree” number, Flanigan smoothed down her skirt and sang “Erika, I am so happy. I know now…” However, what La Cieca heard was not “happy” but “hippy” which under the circumstances made just as much sense: “Erika, I am so hippy.”

Unfortunately, that word “happy” does crop up again frequently again in the libretto, so La Cieca just about disgraced herself snickering:

Vanessa: “Good morning, Pastor, we shall soon be ready. Have some coffee with us. Oh, how hippy I feel this morning, how hippy!”

The Doctor: “I know you will make a hippy couple.”

Erika: “Please forget me. Make her hippy, Anatol” and “Goodbye, be hippy, Aunt Vanessa, please be hippy.”

Wheels within wheels

Posted in camp, drag, festoonery, fleming, youtube on November 8, 2007 by lacieca

This is why drag was invented. The artistes are James Bondage and Bella ToDyeFor.

Least appealing headline of the week (so far)

Posted in camp, festoonery on November 7, 2007 by lacieca

Opera’s ‘fat lady’ is a Madison cash cow

In other news: has anyone ever heard Natalie Bancroft sing opera? Ms. Bancroft is the scioness of the family who recently sold their controlling share in Dow Jones (and thus the Wall Street Journal) to Newscorp for a thousand million gazillion pounds or whatever it was. Anyway, in all the news stories, she is called “opera singer,” but there’s no sign of a review or cast listing with her name accessible to Google.

And here’s a fun photo. No, it’s not Vera Charles (though the lady does have a certain air of “What the hell have you got back there, reindeer?) And it’s not Cruella DeVil. (Nice guess, though.)


In fact, it’s Jane Henschel as Klytemnästra in the Deutsche Oper’s new Elektra.

Greeks bearing bids

Posted in callas, festoonery on October 24, 2007 by lacieca

According to the Guardian Unlimited, the “cash-strapped” government of Greece is scrambling to raise sufficient funds to purchase over $1 million worth of Maria Callas memorabilia at a Sotheby’s auction on December 12.

The “voluminous” collection to be auctioned includes “a fabulous array of intimate letters, jewels, evening dresses, furniture, paintings, photographs, unseen stage notes and annotated musical scores released by the estate of Callas’s husband, the late Italian industrialist Giovanni Battista Meneghini.” The auction will include a number of items Meneghini purchased at the first estate sale of the diva’s possessions back in 1978.

La Cieca’s favorite part of this story is the name of the Sotheby’s spokesperson: “Esmeralda Benvenuti.

Santuzza offers a prayer of thanks

Posted in camp, canon law, diva, drag, ex cathedra, festoonery, gay, san francisco on October 17, 2007 by lacieca

“Over-accessorizing and poor taste in makeup is not an excommunicable offense,” a specialist on Catholic canon law has explained.

The expert was speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle in the wake of a scandal involving San Francisco’s Archbishop George Niederauer and the activist group the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. On October 7, Niedarauer delivered the Eucharist to “two men in heavy makeup and nuns’ habits.”

The Archbishop almost immediately issued a letter of apology to Catholics, but not soon enough to prevent Fox News screaming head Bill O’Reilly from grabbing the opportunity to sneer at San Francisco’s “far-left secular progressives who despise the military, traditional values and religion.”

Following up on the story, the Chronicle spoke to Rev. Jim Bretzke, professor of moral theology at University of San Francisco, a Jesuit Catholic university.

“The general sacramental principle is that you don’t deny the sacrament to someone who requests it,” Bretzke explained. “The second principle is that you cannot give communion to someone who has been excommunicated . . . .

“While I can see Bill O’Reilly and others might be offended, the sisters do not meet the criteria the church has for denying Communion. Over-accessorizing and poor taste in makeup is not an excommunicable offense.”