Archive for the gay Category

A Star is Reborn

Posted in gay, podcast, youtube on January 28, 2008 by lacieca


That superstar of the podosphere, Miss Frances Gumm, is back after six months of laying fallow. Or is La Cieca thinking of Frank Sinatra? Anyway, one of our absolute favorite online destinations, JudyCast, has returned with its distinctive mélange of entertainment gossip and otherworldy warbling as gaily subversive as ever. (No explanation is given for the hiatus, but La Cieca suspects that the recent TCM screening of the bizarre 1968 flick Skiddoo dislodged whatever was creatively blocking Carol Channing and the other JudyCast partipants.)

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Separated at death?

Posted in gay, obit, sad, this diva looks like that diva on January 14, 2008 by lacieca

Joan Ingpen and Rosina Lickspittle
In related macabre news, (reportedly) gay tenor Sergej Larin died this weekend, and La Cieca has just heard an unconfirmed report that another gay tenor, Giuliano Ciannella, has also passed away.

Musa! Diva! Sirena!

Posted in diva, gay, podcast, san francisco, scotto on November 18, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca’s all-time favorite soprano, Renata Scotto, in one of her greatest roles, Adriana Lecouvreur — if you can think of an operatic experience to rival it, La Cieca hopes you will let her know what you’re having! La Scotto is heard in her first Adriana Lecouvreur, from San Francisco in 1977, partnered by Elena Obraztsova , Giacomo Aragall and Giuseppe Taddei under the baton of Gianandrea Gavazzeni. The first act of the Cilea weepy is the centerpiece of the current episode of Unnatural Acts of Opera, but is La Cieca satisfied? Hardly! Bonus features include rare early recordings of Scotto singing Bellini arias (I Capuleti e i Montecchi and I puritani) and your doyenne’s admittedly somewhat vague reminiscences of the glory that was San Francisco gay life in the seventies.

Gaia, isolata, bianca

Posted in gay, moffo, youtube on November 12, 2007 by lacieca

Legendary opera diva Anna Moffo spreads her wings in a straight film role — but as a gay character. La Moffo plays the lesbian “Lia” in Das Mädchen Julius. The film concerns the heroine Jules (a girl with a boy’s name) who, according to the plot synopsis, as a teenager had a lesbian experience with her governess, Lia, who has taught her to hate men, whom she considers beasts who can bring nothing but harm to a woman.

So, if you ever wondered what a Moffo performance of Gräfin Geschwitz might be like (especially in a production set in the minimalist late 1960s) here’s a scene from Das Mädchen Julius.

Night of the Living Dead

Posted in blog, critic, gay on November 9, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca’s spiritual godmother Tessi Tura (or, more accurately, Ms. Tura’s alter ego George Heymont) has finally emerged from a “retirement” of over a decade. George has turned to the blog format to complete a project he’s had on the back burner since 1990 or so, “a murder mystery set at the Metropolitan Opera House.” La Cieca is sure her cher public will want to follow the progress of this latest Heymontiana (Heymontade?) at A Dying Art Form.

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.”

Don’t let’s ask for the moon

Posted in gay, podcast on October 12, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca performs a dramatic reading from The Greatest Opera Novel Ever Written — and that’s merely a curtain-raiser to the second act of Verdi’s Ernani, starring Anita Cerquetti, Mario del Monaco, Ettore Bastianini and Boris Christoff, under the baton of that icon of gaiety Dimitri Mitropoulos. Well, what are you waiting for? Go directly to Unnatural Acts of Opera.