Archive for the twaddle Category

Paris tout en fête

Posted in crossover, twaddle on October 15, 2007 by lacieca

Missed the Met’s cattlecall for War and Peace supers? Don’t worry! All the really cool kids are going to Toronto to be extras in the opera house sequence of Repo! The Genetic Opera, lensing this week.

According to the myspace site of director Darren Lynn Bousman (auteur of Saw II), the production is looking for “200 people to volunteer each day as opera patrons on: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 17 and THURSDAY OCTOBER 18. It is an opportunity to see an amazing cast of renowned artists perform on stage during the making of a feature film …. We’re looking for men and women between the ages of 25 and 75, and the wardrobe requirements are tuxedos/black suits for men and formal attire for women.”

Bousman promises no pay for the two days’ work, but participants are promised glimpses of such “renowned artists” as Paris Hilton, Sarah Brightman and Paul Sorvino, who are featured in the opera house scenes.

Mood swings

Posted in critic, diva, fleming, twaddle on September 28, 2007 by lacieca

Only rarely can a writer inspire first violent agreement and then equally fervent disbelief in the space of a couple of short paragraphs, but Kyle MacMillan of the Denver Post can now claim credit for La Cieca’s current bipolarity:

Renée Fleming just might be the the world’s most undivalike diva. [well, duh!]

Much like, say, Audrey Hepburn, the 48-year-old soprano manages to gracefully balance sophistication and poise with an appealing sense of grounded genuineness. [whaaaaaa…?]

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now

Posted in festoonery, hacks, robert wilson, scandale, twaddle on September 24, 2007 by lacieca

Struggling downtown artiste Robert Wilson has been rendered homeless since his recent “eviction” from the 6,000 square foot loft he leased since the early 1970s. The space is located in a building on Vestry Street in trendy TriBeCa that’s scheduled for demolition to make way for, what else, luxury condominiums. The bereft avante-gardiste has been reduced to “traveling in Europe for work when not staying with friends in New York” but is “resigned to the idea he won’t be able to find a new place with as much space,” according to Page Six.

Having apparently dismissed the notion of leasing warehouse space in an outer borough (shudder!), the Lohengrin director is divesting himself of a few of the more than 3,000 tchotckes currently cluttering the place, including “20th-century furniture, tribal art, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, contemporary glass, Asian art and contemporary drawings, photographs, works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Man Ray, Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, Agnes Martin and Richard Serra.” (It’s an encouraging sign that even in deepest despair, Wilson retains his protean name-dropping ability.) Selected items will be auctioned on Sunday at tony Philips de Pury.

Wilson, putting his storage problems in perspective, reflects, “It is a tragedy that all this will be destroyed.”

Royal, with cheese

Posted in barihunk, twaddle on August 7, 2007 by lacieca

Which one of these things is not like the others?

[Nathan] Gunn is part of a new generation of performers, including Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, British soprano Kate Royal and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, who have helped fuel a debate about the physical attributes of opera singers.

Once again, La Cieca’s Rule of Journalistic Insularity* applies: if there’s a singer you never heard of, and yet she’s being talked about as if she were a household name, chances are she’s British. (* Sometimes called “the Jill Gomez paradigm.”)

The source of this odd paragraph is a Reuters article about Gunn’s chiseled physique. Apparently he also has a CD coming out or something.

As for Ms. Royal, she does exist (she recently signed with EMI Classics) and, oh yes, the homeboys do adore her. “We have cricket. We have strawberries and cream. And we have the English soprano. She’s a rare breed, but instantly recognisable: aristocratic bearing, a golden, elegant voice, an eye for textual detail and a magnetic stage presence. Kate Royal fits the bill perfectly.” — Neil Fisher, The Times. And what of La Royal’s future? Only time will tell whether she blossoms into the next Dame Felicity Lott or suffers the humiliation of being merely “another Amanda Roocroft.”

Tu che le vanita project

Posted in camp, crespin, diva, hacks, nycof, this diva looks like that diva, twaddle on June 26, 2007 by lacieca

La Cieca must first of all express how startled she is that this particular item didn’t appear first on NYC Opera Fanatic — after all, Lana Turner as Elisabetta in Don Carlo? Well, in fact, Miss Turner never did sing any Verdi, on- or off-stage (unlike her precursor Joan Crawford), but my goodness, doesn’t she just look the part?

It is only with slight disappointment that La Cieca notes that La Turner is not even pretending to be an opera singer here. It’s a moment from the beginning of the 1969 film The Big Cube, portraying Lana’s character, the celebrated stage actress Adriana Roman, performing one of her celebrated stage roles. (Now, that does seem like a missed opportunity, doesn’t it? I mean, with a name like “Adriana Roman,” why waste your time in legitimate theater?) Well, anyway, this little scena is only the beginning of a dramatic roller-coaster for Adriana/Lana. Before you know it, her stepdaughter’s skuzzy gigolo boyfriend (George Chakiris) will be spiking poor Lana’s sleeping pills with LSD in a sinister plot to drive the poor diva mad, mad I tell you.

Now, let’s see if La Cieca can remember why she brought all this up just at this particular moment. Oh, yes, now she has it. The Big Cube has just been released on DVD in a boxed set (like Proust!) fetchingly entitled Cult Camp Classics 2 – Women in Peril. The collection also includes our Joan’s theatrical swan song Trog and the echt women’s prison movie Caged.

Which reminds La Cieca: did you realize that an operatic version of Caged could be cast easily with the singers from Dialogues des Carmélites? (Mignon Dunn as Warden Ruth Benton? Lucine Amara as Matron Evelyn Harper? Régine Crespin as “Vice Queen” Elvira Powell?)

Take that, Eurotrash!

Posted in camp, drag, festoonery, hacks, met, twaddle on April 23, 2007 by lacieca

The doyen of operatic stage direction has done it again! (Or, to be strictly accurate, he has done it for about the twentieth time, but who’s counting?) Thrill to the brilliantly innovative new production of La traviata Franco Zeffirelli just unveiled at the Rome Opera!


Oh, if only we could have a production of Traviata just like this here in New York! Or, even better, if only we could have two productions just like this!

But enough about me

Posted in gay, jj, la cieca ci guarda la cieca ci vede, twaddle on April 23, 2007 by lacieca

Our editor JJ chats with the lovely and talented Mona de Crinis in an interview for the Palm Springs Bottom Line, a publication whose title contains so many double entendres La Cieca lost count. Thrill yet once again to the saga of parterre box, the little zine that could, and JJ, the editor who would. And did. (Frequently.)