Cher Public

Tout gai!

snagglepussIn honor of the 40th anniversary of Gay Pride (the 40th official anniversary, anyway) coming up this weekend, La Cieca proposes this week’s YouTube contest theme: “Tout gai!”  

Your task is to find and to properly embed a YouTube video exemplifying “Tout gai!”, then append a few sentences explaining why your choice is indeed le plus gai.  Allow La Cieca to demonstrate:

We will pass briefly over the obvious camp value of the dragocious interpretation of 18th century costume and stage demeanor (while admitting that Beverly Sills rocks both) and the ornamentation Roland Gagnon madly bedazzles over Handel’s melody; the point here is the gaiety (in the pre-cocksucking sense of the word) with which the singer sails through the music.  To me, the deepest loss in the Sills package in her last five years of career wasn’t the wobble or the hardening of the top notes, it was the dimming of her sheer giggling joy in singing. And that’s why I like to remember her at her gayest here.

So, go look for a YouTube clip of your favorite “Tout gai!” moment, and post it in the comments section for this posting, along with your commentary, by midnight on Sunday, June 27. The clip and comment La Cieca judges the best (and her whim is final) will receive a copy of the newly-released DVD The Metropolitan Opera Gala 1991: 25th Anniversary at Lincoln Center, documenting this performance. (If the winner resides outside the United States, La Cieca reserves the right to substitute an gift certificate of equivalent value.)

Now, gai it up!

  • OpinionatedNeophyte

    I have three entries:

    Way back in 1984. Maybe her best rendition and also the knowledge that she’s more than a little bit c-c-c-crazy makes you wonder does the “giggle” in her sound come from joy or from her fantasizing about torturing costume people? Its fun either way really.

    For her total non-caring at all about the correct pronunciation of French vowels. Its all about interpolating those high notes isn’t it Ms. Peters? Go head with your bad pronouncing but amazing singing self.

    Odd choice I know. Do I normally think of sheer uncontrollable joy when I think of June Anderson? Not so much. Its hard to forget her bitch face + golf claps after Battle’s O Luce during the much sought after Gala video. But in the mid 80s before she figured out that American opera house GMs were going to collectively screw she seems pretty happy. Plus props for reproducing note for note those famous Sutherland interpolations from the Primma Donna album. Yay Joanie!

    • OpinionatedNeophyte

      Oh and for just sheer joy in vocal emission I have to add this non-operatic entry. Stunning.

    • Valmont

      For sheer joy of singing as well

      • Harry

        Valmont; Do you really want us to loathe and detest Berlioz? Wankright’s voice is positioned down ‘in his guts’.

    • NYCOQ

      Oh this was worth it just for the dress alone…

    • ilpenedelmiocor

      Love June Anderson but the dress makes her look as if she’s going to a Halloween party dressed as an ejaculation.

  • I hate that this is just in stills.

  • Wait one more, because what is more gayerer than Cathy Berberian?

  • Kilian

    Purcell’s The Fairy Queen being only a semi-opera, this probably doesn’t qualify as ‘tout’: Jonathan Best wooing and winning Michael Chance. And some dancing when the singing’s done.

    • E-news

      I prefer this one. Start at 6:05

      • tosca_fairy

        That is just too faaabulous for words!

        • E-news

          guuuuurl, I know, right???

  • Orlando Furioso

    Unfortunately the version of “YMCA” that Goldie Hawn did on her joint TV special with Liza Minnelli in 1980 doesn’t seem to be on YouTube. If it were, it would be a strong contender for gayest thing ever: the initial fakeout preceding it with the verse to “A Foggy Day” (“I was a stranger in the city…”), the 6 eager backup boys joining her in workout and shower (with suggestions of bare butts in the reflective surround), the irrepressible merriment of it all… damn, I’ve got to find a copy of that monstrosity.

  • MontyNostry

  • tosca_fairy

    I can’t believe I almost forgot about this one (and I saw it in Munich in Feb two years ago:

    Bugs bunny is always fun and campy, too; a true inspiration as a child:

    • E-news

      I lose it every time Siegfried Fudd calls for “smog.”

      • tosca_fairy

        It really does come out of left field, doesn’t it?

  • PirateJenny

    Here to start the sub-category “men in speedos doing le hully-gully”:

  • Mine requires a long explanation. the song is originally from some boy band O-Zone sung in Romanian. The original is pretty gay all by itself:

    Then come this duo of comedians from Spain and since the song is pretty gay and it sounds as if they are singing Pluma Pluma gay (in the Spanish countries gay men are compared to both butterflies and ducks, the last one for the feathers) they came up with this parody. (it is subtitled)

    Then it had to make it to the Antilles, and for that Mala Fe, the Dominican merenguero gave it the Caribbean spice: It must be noted that Mala Fe is straight and at the end of the video he says With all due respect to the gay community: Be happy. We love you.

    Well, the crazy had already been born and there are many people doing the Numa Numa Gay or the Pluma Pluma Gay. My favorites (and the gayest of them all) are:

    So I will submit that the gayest thing on YouTube is the hole Numa Numa/Pluma Pluma gay craze. It has given us plenty of straight cute boys gaying it up and letting it all hang for the camera.

    • armerjacquino

      Plus, of course, there was something of a scandal when it was rumoured that two of the singers from O-Zone were actually sub-dom rent boys…

      I’ve posted my entry a couple of times before, but if a six foot tall mezzo who has played both Sally Bowles in Stockholm and Annio at Salzburg singing an opera-based dance track at the Eurovision Song Contest isn’t gay, then neither am I.

  • PirateJenny

    And now something for the ladies: the fabulously talented Jane Morgan, now somewhat overlooked but who I consider one of the greatest pop/classical singers of the 20th century, and some dancing ladies shot from below their mini-skirts. Glimpses of underpants are to be had. Jane appears to be enjoying the girls, rather than her generic male dinner companion. And her voice is gorgeous… c’est si bon, ladies!

  • SilvestriWoman

    How can we not include these gay-gay-gay gems? Of course, they’re from Maestro Wenarto! It’s so hard to select three, let alone one, but here goes!




  • My non-operatic entry. Self-explanatory really.

    • tannengrin

      and much gayer:

      Several members of the audience died that evening, turned into sad little piles of ashes by Dame Judy’s death ray stares

      • Harry

        Judi Dench morphing Baby Jane, without ‘letting go’.

      • I’m speechless!

      • OperaBearATL

        Is that Anthony Tommasini with her?


          Must be; he’s strapping.

    • ilpenedelmiocor

      Budding SA recruit

  • DrugProduct

    I don’t know if this meets this contest’s definition of gay, but this clip brings me to tears, tears of pure joy, the type of joy that only elevated artistry can bring:

    And to get some more flavor of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, here’s another fabulous, lovely and gay clip, non operatic this time but highly musical nonetheless:

    • callasorphan

      I love Priscilla too and view it often to “brighten” my day.

      • Harry

        What is even campier in many ways is the same director’s next film ‘Welcome to Woop Woop’. It is still a mystery to me how the film was allowed to use the whole Rodgers & Hammerstein Songbook and send them up, stupid. Just take the scenes of ‘producing dog food with chain saws on kangeroos’,then shoveling the slop into cans against the song ‘Happy Talk’, or the song ‘You Will Never Walk Alone’ used for the gala crowd parade funeral of the town’s farting matriarch. AS she is carried on a dais -going to be cremated up on the yearly rubbish tip bonfire on the mountainous piles of the town’s rubbish.
        That film is pure mind blowing cool….glad I own the DVD. I love watching rather staid minded friends ‘ go white’ if I show them the film.
        No wonder as related by its director: a big Hollywood studio, requested a copy of the film , thinking they had another box office ‘Priscilla’ on their hands….then ‘piss weak’ ,refused to take any of his further calls.


          God1 “Welcome to Woop Woop.” One of my all-time great something or others. And not just for the erstwhile Mr. Applegate, although he figures into the equation.

  • Ok, I see now that one needn’t hold back. Soo….

    First is in two clips -- Diana Damrau’s Zerbinetta. She brings the music back to speech and laughter so well. I tried to find a video to no avail. Got to see her this year for the first time at Carnegie Hall with James Levine. She sang Strauss lieder and then this, and I was HOOKED!
    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Ohhh so happy gay!! Infectiously gay!!

    My favorite Glitter and Be Gay

    And then… look how CUTE she can be!


    • PirateJenny

      there are some things so awesome it is to difficult to believe the universe could conspire to create them.

      • Ah, grazie, so well put!! It is perhaps even harder to conceive of how non-opera-lovers miss out on so many said awesome things!!

  • Now, if we are talking joieux de vive -gai- I think Bartoli can be set with the best of them.

    First the aria Yo que soy contrabandista from the Manuel Garcia opera (or operetta/zarzuela) El poeta calculista. How could you not want to put a throw around your waist and start hitting the floor with your feet? What I like about this rendition is the joy she brings to it. You can see she believes in this material.

    but then again, not many can match her Non piu mesta

    • OpinionatedNeophyte

      I want to love her but those weird clicks and pops, I feel sometimes like I’m listening to an east African language :)

      • MontyNostry

        Isn’t Xhosa, from South Africa, the one with the clicks and pops?
        I find Bartoli hard to tolerate in any language. She is a circus act.

        • PirateJenny

          After years of listening to her I have not come to any conclusion about her. When she is forced to sing something slower, without all the hhhuuuuhhh-huh-huh-huhs she can be quite lovely -- if I close my eyes. I propose that she is a diva with, as Dr. Repertoire posted on this site, “no gay friends”. Aside from the crazy eye popping and tourettic jaw movement, those dresses! that hair! Seriously, does she think her concerts are a come-as-your-favourite-Dynasty-character party? she is far too young to wear such hideous 80’s numbers, and she is desperate need of a haircut. Get some Kiehl’s silk groom, girl -- and NEVER EVER wear a hair clip to a concert again!

        • ilpenedelmiocor

          Was JUST gonna post “no gay friends”….

  • Kernita Makilla

    • ilpenedelmiocor

      The initial still alone wins the contest for me

  • louannd

    OK -- I just want to say = HAPPY GAY PRIDE to all!

    and representing the ya know contingent --

    with one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard with appropriate womanly passion and badass see through costume -- Janet Baker and Ileana Cortrubas

    and for the butchier side of things

    • louannd

      God I love this — French Horns and a good looking woman in a suit and tie!

      • louannd

        playing with knives --

  • Olivero is my Drug of Choice

    I think this may be the gayest clip ever, PERFECTION in Diva Crossover:

    • callasorphan

      Perfection indeed.

      • OpinionatedNeophyte

        OMG, I LOVE this clip and even thought of putting it on. I actually get misty as she sings this, its wonderfully heartfelt and the final note, ugh. I can’t really quite queen out enough for this woman.

    • actfive

      Thrilling, goose-bump inducing…I have loved this clip for years!

  • brooklynpunk

    I KNOW…”They are JUST VERY good …FRIENDS….”


    • callasorphan

      Man tits--I love it!

  • Donna Carlo

    A tad too serious for the gai, gai, gai, theme of this thread; on the other hand, it would be too entirely unfair to bypass ALL of Adès’s Powder Her Face, where even the non-transvestites are so very drag. I was looking for the famous fellatio scene, but YouTube is prudish I guess, so this sunny snippet of the rainbow will have to do: