Archive for the our own Category

Weird sister

Posted in apocryphal opera anecdote theater of the air, diva, our own, podcast on January 24, 2008 by lacieca


The inimitable, irrepressible Miss Tallulah Bankhead once more graces the studio of Unnatural Acts of Opera with a guest appearance on Apocryphal Opera Anecdote Theater. The legendary stage star joins Our Own La Cieca and Miss Cratchitt to perform a pair of scenes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The main event, of course, is the second and third acts of Verdi’s operatic version of the Scottish Tragedy, starring Shirley Verrett, Piero Cappuccilli, Nicolai Ghiaurov and Franco Tagliavini. Conducting this performance from La Scala on December 7, 1975 is Claudio Abbado.

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Jerry duty

Posted in blasphemous musicals, gcn, jj, our own on January 23, 2008 by lacieca

Perhaps the last people in the world still interested in Jerry Springer: the Opera are trying to get together a protest against the January 29 Carnegie Hall concert performance of the “patently obscene and viciously anti-Christian musical.” Our own JJ, you know, saw the show in London way back when Jenny Larmore was still fat, and this is some of what he had to say:

… the level of wit rarely rose to that of a “Saturday Night Live” skit. The one-joke concept is tipped off in the title: we hear, for example, a countertenor “chick with a dick” shrieking “Talk to the hand!” in mock-Wagnerian hysteria …. Oh, how the audience roared every time anyone said the f-word, which added up to about 500 laughs in the course of the evening. Among the huge cast, the clear standout was David Bedella (Warm Up Man/Satan), a triple-threat star personality with a seemingly limitless vocal range.

Bedella reprises his role at Carnegie, which is the only reason La Cieca would recommend the show. Well, the only reason besides pissing off Bill Donohue, who apparently has free time on his hands when he’s not taking on Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Kathy Griffin, Mike Huckabee and Chocolate Jesus.

La Cieca gives major props to the editor of catholicleague.org, though, for hed writing skillz: “CHRISTIANS SAVAGED AT CARNEGIE HALL” is a grabber!

Winter storms

Posted in critic, gcn, jj, met, our own on January 17, 2008 by lacieca

“The presence of the voiceless Rosalind Plowright in the supporting role of Gertrude demonstrates the folly of the Met’s notoriously Britcentric artistic administration. Surely there are dozens of equally over-the-hill American mezzos who could have shrieked the role just as atonally.”

Our own JJ reviews the Met’s productions of Hansel and Gretel, Die Walküre and Un ballo in maschera in Gay City News. JJ’s previous scribblings in the queer rag be found in the archives for 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

You love Lucy

Posted in bel canto, guest critic, our own, scotto, youtube on January 16, 2008 by lacieca

La Cieca pulled a string or two and managed to get permission to embed a clip from the VAI Lucia so recently lauded by Our Own Niel Rishoi. Of course YouTube video and audio is severely compressed, but the imaginative viewer will surely get the gist that this is a performance for the ages.

Fleming-Bocelli ticket in 2008

Posted in domingo, fleming, gay gay gay gay gay, gelb, midgette, our own on January 14, 2008 by lacieca

The Washington National Opera has announced their 2008-2009 season will feature headliners Renée Fleming and Andrea Bocelli under the artistic direction of Plácido Domingo. According to an article by Our Own Anne Midgette in today’s Washington Post, The Beautiful Voice will grace a new production of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, an opera that has deep personal significance for the diva. Directing the opera will be “John Pascoe, a friend of Fleming’s.” Pascoe designed the leather jerkin Erwin Schrott sported in last season’s Don Giovanni at WNO, so his credentials as an FOF are already well-established.

Alas, Fleming and Bocelli will not actually share a performance at WNO, since his vocal contribution will be limited to a pair of performances of Rossini’s “Petite Messe Solennelle.”

Family values will be honored this season as Domingo’s wife Marta will direct La traviata and Keri-Lynn Wilson (Mrs. Peter Gelb) will conduct Turandot.

Exotica

Posted in chicago, gcn, jj, met, our own on December 21, 2007 by lacieca

Last month our own JJ took in a trio of less than standard operas: Giulio Cesare and Die Frau ohne Schatten in Chicago, and Iphigénie en Tauride right here in New York. The review is in Gay City News, of course.

Running, standing and jumping Gaul

Posted in bel canto, gcn, jj, met, our own on November 29, 2007 by lacieca

“Legendary maestro Tullio Serafin once said that trying to perform Bellini’s Norma without a great soprano is as futile as attempting to cook risotto without rice. This month, the Metropolitan Opera experimented with such a recipe with less than palatable results.”

Our Own JJ reviews Hasmik Papian‘s Druidess in Gay City News.