Cher Public

Just one look

Which VIP at the Met’s opening night barely lasted through Belcore’s entrance aria before hustling out the door and leaving a gaping lacuna in the guest seating chart?

  • Camille

    Gaping lacuna?

    This has to be a good one.

  • Vergin Vezzosa

    Something tells me that L’elisir is not likely to be Courtney Love’s (d’amore’s) cup of tea, or, in this case, glass of cheap Bordeaux. If she is the one, I’m sure that the holders of the adjacent seats were ecstatic.

  • A Stranger in the Alps

    Yeah -- definitely Courtney Love. Her band is Hole (gaping lacuna).

  • Ilka Saro

    A lacuna is a gap. A gaping gap. I don’t know anything about anyone in the hoity toity world, but is there some kind of GAP executive or heir or heiress? A long shot.

    • oedipe

      is there some kind of GAP executive or heir or heiress

      Not really. Nothing that would qualify for the VIP list, IMO.

  • fryingpanface

    Gaping lacuna = hole, the name of Courtney Love’s band. Guess she needed to run out to the lobby for, er, a glass of champagne…

    • Vergin Vezzosa

      “Gaping lacuna” in this context makes me a little queezy, indeed it is kinda SCARY. Especially when La C has used the terms “opening”, “barely”, “entrance”, “hustling”, etc. I am retiring to my bath.

    • bluecabochon

      Great guess, fryingpanface!

      Hopefully this will take you right to her.

    • Liz.S

      Oh The Hole
      Why was she there in the first place? :D

  • thirdlady

    there really is nothing like papering the house with c-list celebrities to affirm your relevance as a cultural institution…

    • Gualtier M

      Well I have been told that one of the board members ponies up the cash to pay the C-list celebrities to show up. Courtney L. felt that she was only obligated to show up in a designer original to walk the red carpet and be photographed walking through the lobby. Sitting through the entire show was “de trop”.

      On the other hand “Just One Look” should also be a clue but I can only connect it to “With One Look” which is Norma Desmond’s big aria from Lloyd-Webber’s “Sunset Blvd”.

      • armerjacquino

        ‘Just One Look’ are the opening words to the bridge section of ‘Mamma Mia’, too, but I can’t find any ABBA connection to the Widow Cobain.

        The titles of blind items aren’t always clues themselves, of course.

        • Camille

          There’s also this, boys, which I remember, oh so fondly:

          There is also the Linda Ronstadt version, which I like very much.

          • Camille

            And, lest we forget, the ever slinky and sassy Martha and Her Vandellas! Yeay, Go Gurls!

            Very groovey

          • Camille

            Oooopsie! Vergogna su me! How could I overlook the clearly obvious parterre choice in this matter…?

        • thirdlady

          a missed opportunity to use the hed: “leave through this,” imho

          • armerjacquino

            Ha! Love it. I’ll ditch all these ‘Doll Parts’ and ‘Celebrity Skin’ puns I was trying to work out…

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    It would have been nice if Michelle Obama had deigned to attend with her daughters to show some interest in the arts. Even on a school night, attending the opening of the opera can be a nice show and tell report for their classmates. But then, there would have been nobody at the White House to tend the veggie garden.

    • beauj1

      First, do you know how many sitting Presidents or First families have attended Opening Night? I believe the answer is one -- Lyndon Johnson at the house’s first opener. Second, this is an election year. I can just hear Fox News crowing about the Obamas partying with the elite while America starves. Better that they stay away and combat the Repugs.

      • Blanche Tourterelle

        The Clintons were at this one. I recall heavy security. Metal detectors and wands did overtime what with all the beaded bags, jackets, and jewelry.


        [Met Performance] CID:330000
        Carmen {862} Metropolitan Opera House: 09/22/1997.

        (Opening Night {113}
        Joseph Volpe, General Manager
        Debuts: Kamel Boutros, Maria Benitez (Dancer))

        Metropolitan Opera House
        September 22, 1997
        Opening Night {113}

        Joseph Volpe, General Manager

        CARMEN {862}

        Carmen………………Denyce Graves
        Don José…………….Plácido Domingo
        Micaela……………..Norah Amsellem
        Escamillo……………Gino Quilico
        Frasquita……………Emily Pulley
        Mercédès…………….Kristine Jepson
        Remendado……………Tony Stevenson
        Dancaïre…………….Kim Josephson
        Zuniga………………James Courtney
        Moralès……………..Kamel Boutros [Debut]
        Dance……………….Maria Benitez [Debut]

        Conductor……………James Levine

        Production…………..Franco Zeffirelli
        Set designer…………Franco Zeffirelli
        Costume designer……..Anna Anni
        Lighting designer…….Duane Schuler
        Choreographer………..Maria Benitez
        Stage Director……….David Kneuss

        Carmen received ten performances this season.

        [President and Mrs. Bill Clinton and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in attendance. Center box decorated with Presidential Seal.
        After the performance in an offstage ceremony, Risë Stevens was given a Proclamation by Mayor Rudolf Giuliani, proclaiming September 23rd Risë Stevens day.]

    • Vergin Vezzosa

      Grrrrrrrr! When referring to deighning, let me remind you of “it is our turn”, “you people”, and “stop it” coming out of the mouth of Anne R., aka Mariie Antoinette.

      • Vergin Vezzosa

        Lady Bird came alone to the 1966 new house Met opening. No JBJ.

        • Vergin Vezzosa


        • Camille

          What about Jackie Kennedy? One would think she would have shown up—?

          • LogeLizard

            I once had a copy of Opera News that was addressed to Jackie Kennedy at the White House — apparently she had a subscription (perhaps a complementary one, who knows). Somehow it made it to a DC Good Will store where I bought it for 10 cents… not even aware at the time of who the addressee was. I’ve since lost track of it, stupid me.

    • Howling in Tune

      Dude, do you have any idea what security would have to be like if any of the Obama family were to attend a show at the Met, especially an opening-night gala?

      You could add 90 minutes or so to the evening just to get screened for weapons and such (and wait in the security line), and the Secret Service’s security cordon around the opera house would probably mean that the free simulcast on the plaza had to be scrapped.

      (And then some of the queens around here would probably bitch about how the First Family’s presence spoils it for the rest of us and they should just stay home.)

      This is likely why Bill and Chelsea waited until they had left the White House to go to the Met in person.

      (Come to think of it, I believe that President Obama has said in so many words that he doesn’t attend church in DC because the security arrangements the Secret Service insists on would inconvenience would cause such a headache for everyone else in the congregation.)

      The Obamas do plenty to support the arts already -- certainly more than their immediate predecessors.

    • Panthair

      You realize that in addition to the excellent points made by beauj1 and Howling, the president’s family actually live in Washington, DC? The children would have been taken out of school on both days for traveling, in order to see a random performance at a very expensive opera gala. I doubt their classmates are really starving to hear that particular story.

  • Camille

    And Bill and Chelsea Clinton came to see Aïda a week AFTER he left office. Does that count?

    • Vergin Vezzosa

      Oh yea!!! I was there. Thanks C. for the memory. If I recall correctly, they got an ovation when the audience realized that they there.

      • Vergin Vezzosa

        And JK ( not yet O ) was at the 1966 new Met opening.

  • Meimei

    Gaping lacuna, eh? The Governor of New Jersey would surely leave a few seats empty if he vacated.

  • Will

    When lady Bird was at the MET, there is a famous photo or her landing on the floor after standing to wave to the crowd because Mr. Bing pulled her chair back at exactly the wrong moment.

    Bobby Kennedy was at the opening of the new house in 1966 — I remember seeing him interviewed on the Grand Tier, public area.

  • Krunoslav

    Lady Bird Johnson-- who did a lot of leg work in the South to promote the Civil Rights legislation-- came back for the opening of the Met’s 1969 TROVATORE with Price and Bumbry. After Bumbry’s Act Two she turned to Bing and said something like, “She should sound very good in the last act in “Home to our Mountains”. Bing and his aides were flabbergasted that a First Lady actually knew the music to the opera being performed.

    • beauj1

      The Johnsons were great for Civil Rights (in the U.S. lol). LBJ gave Mary Violet Leontyne the Medal of Freedom -- a great act to support Civil Rights and the arts.

  • redbear

    I was at the Salome at Kennedy Center when Jimmy Carter attended. Next day’s headline: “First Baptist witnesses beheading of First Baptist.”

    • Bill

      That Salome was when the Vienna Opera made a
      Gastspiel in Washington -- the Salome was
      Leonie Rysenek -- believe Carter went back stage
      to meet the singers as there were some photos at
      the time of Carter with some members of the cast.

  • efrayer

    A bit off topic--at the Met tonight for Turondot. 55 minute first act intermission and auditorium wifi was down. Is this because of the Sirius broadcast? Am I paying the price for Met’s Sirius technical snafus? The staging, although of course breathtakingly beautiful, needs a serious tune up. Zeff would not be pleased. More later…

    • Camille

      Fifty-five fucking minutes on Hump Night?

      What are these people smoking to think people will tolerate this schite for less than mediocre opera productions?

      I am so DONE with the Met. I ‘ll go anywhere—Taconic Opera, anyone?—rather than freezing my arse off in that big, cold, 24kt. plated gold brass assed ripoff emporium.

      Basta. I’m going to Carnegie. To anywhere. Else.

      • bluecabochon

        To be fair, they made an announcement that there was an issue with the set change.

        The Machine is still there, I understand, so perhaps it’s at fault somehow? Manufacturing ill will toward a fellow behemoth…

        • efrayer

          They did not say there was a problem with the set or anything else. After 50 minutes we received a bizarrely vague announcement informing us that the intermission was taking longer than usual and the performance would start in 5 minutes.

          • bluecabochon

            I’m quite sure that they mentioned a scene change problem; I was listening on Sirius. Yes, it was announced at the end of the intermission while Will and Margaret were vamping, trying to fill air time.

          • efrayer

            It was not mentioned in the theater. They may have told the Sirius audience but in the theater we were

          • efrayer

            In the theater we were only told the intermission was lasting longer than usual.

  • whatever

    Listening on Sirius … We were told it was some over-tweeting audience member who crashed the system, prompting the delay …


    • efrayer

      Ha! Third act starting…

      • grimoaldo

        I think this is you efrayer, isn’t it? Most amusing and amazing:

        “The performance began on time BUT the First Act Intermission went on for 55 minutes. AND the auditorium wifi was down during most of that time. I could only assume there was a problem with the Sirius broadcast connection as well. After about 50 minutes a large chunk of the audience began impatiently and rhythmically clapping in unison. I have never heard that at the Met before. I almost expected them to start chanting “We Want The Show! We Want The Show!” Finally a little man came out in front of the curtain with a mike. “The intermission is taking longer than expected. The performance will go on in another five minutes.”

        Really informative. And as if it was something the audience was doing. “So sorry the intermission is taking longer than expected but John Corn is still in the men’s room AND we haven’t sold the last crummy seventeen dollar dill cream cheese and salmon sandwich so…”
        Intermissions don’t TAKE longer. They last longer because of delays with the show. I am still assuming it was a technical snafu with the Sirius broadcast. Why do we the audience have to pay for the Met’s Sirius snafus? Even if we are getting our second ticket for 50% off. I almost hoped there would be a riot. A calm, dignified, well mannered riot, but a riot nonetheless.”

        And there was humungous long pause in the new Elisir, La C informed us, because they couldn’t get a planned transformation scene (such as theatres have been doing since the time of Lully, Mozart, Victorian pantos) to work.
        The sheer incompetence on every level is both sad and sort of funny at the same time.

  • La Valkyrietta

    Guleghina’s grido did not do it for me. The tenor would not be called ‘cane’ in Naples, but I doubt there’ll be many bravos for him there. Of Liù, well, better not say much. After that long first intermission I decided not to stay for the third act, though I was curious about listening to the conductor further. He does the Ring later. Any thoughts about the conductor? Anyone? Riccardo’s costume on the Dress circle, worn by Bergonzi in Ballo, of course, does bring mamories of memorable nights at the Met, this was not one, though I enjoyed orchestra, chorus, production, and Timur.

  • efrayer
  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    So when do we find out who the party pooper was?