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I had a dream

And in this dream, WQXR’s Operavore was hosting an exclusive season preview for the Met at the charming downtown Greene Space. Ildar Abdrazakov was there, and Isabel Leonard, and David Alden and Thomas Adès, too. Oh, wait, Dolora Zajick was there too, or La Cieca should say “will be there,” because the event was, in fact, no dream but is actually happening on October 10.

And you, cher public, have a chance to join in the festivities too, as will be revealed after the jump.  

To win a pair of tickets to this event, simply compose in the comments section below your own synopsis of Il trovatore. La Cieca’s blue-ribbon panel will select the most outrageously entertaing of all the synopses and award to its creator (or creatrix) a pair of tickets to this October 10 event. The competition will close at midnight on Sunday, October 7, with the lucky victor (or victrix) announced on Monday the 8th. La Cieca’s decision as to the winner is of course utterly subject to whim, as always.

Image based on a photo by Marty Sohl.

43 comments

  • phoenix says:

    2012 Metropolitan Opera synopsis of Il Trovatore:

    Act 1 scene 1 -- At a dress rehearsal of Il Trovatore at the Met, Count di Gelb wanders restlessly back & forth outside the dressing room of Mlle. Giannattasio -- as the stalwart Billinghurst, Captain of the Guard, keeps the supernumeraries awake by relating the dysfunctional history of the Metropolitan Opera Family.

    Act 1 scene 2 -- Giannattasio, seeking a favorable oracle for her performance, flees her dressing room to visit the magical park bench on Central Park West the ageless Zajick slept on one night decades ago. Count di Gelb becomes anxious about the missing Giannattasio and orders Captain Billinghurst to get back into her usual drag and hustle over to the majical Zajick park bench in order to pose as Giannatasio’s ‘confidante’ -- Giannatasio foolishly confides to her ‘confidante’ about a handsome, mysterious impressario troubadour from the shores of Lake Michigan who has come to woo her on several occasions. ‘Confidante’ Billinghurst immediately returns to Lincoln Center to warn Count di Gelb about this situation. Menawhile, Troubadour Freund leaps over the stone wall behind the magical Zajick park bench to woo Giannattasio with promises he’ll give her more geld than Gelb ever could. Suddenly, Count di Gelb himself is seen dodging taxis as he runs across Central Park West with clenched first raised challenging Troubadour Freund to a duel.
    Act 2 scene 1 -- Zajick is holding her evening levee, wherein once again she tries to exorcise the anguished, vengeful trauma she has experienced with the Metropolitan Opera Family during the last 24 years. Exhausted, everyone retires to their sleeping bags except Troubadour Freund, who tries to pump more dirt out of Zajick. The scene ends as Zajick warns Freund to stay away from the lecherous Count di Gelb.
    Act 2 scene 2 -- Giannattasio has come to the conclusion that both Count di Gelb and Troubadour Freund are total frauds -- she has decided to give up on both of them. Count di Gelb arrives with Captain Billinghurst & his attendants at LaGuardia Airport to abduct Giannattasio as she, comforted in her sorrow by Mother SFOperior Davina Gockly, rises in stately procession accompanied by the SF Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to board a flight to San Francisco. Miraculously, Troubadour Freund bounces off another flight from Chicago, armed with a rival contingency from the Abbey of The Windy City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who succeed in prying Giannattasio away from both Count di Gelb and Mother SFOperior Gockley.
    Act 3 scene 1 -- As Count di Gelb and his troops storm out of the LaGuardia airport lounge, Captain Billinghurst recognizes Zajick as she staggers, holding onto the doorway of the Revive Bar in Terminal A. Zajick, who puts up an inebriated but stalwart defense, is captured and dragged away -- condemned to the Restroom Housekeeping Maintenance Crew at Lincoln Center.
    Act 3 scene 2 -- In a room at Castello Lirico Regio di Chicago, Giannattasio is about to sign a contract with Troubadour Freund when the Troubadour’s comrade, Ruiza Fleming, rushes in with the news that Zajick has been seen on live videoIntercom from Lincoln Center: stripped of her Azucena costume, plunger in hand, being led into the underground lobby toilet just outside the Met. Shocked and alarmed, Troubadour Freund, followed by Giannattasio, rushes back to O’Hare Airport in an attempt to get to Lincoln Center to rescue her.
    Act 4 scene 1 -- Upon his arrival in Manhattan that night, Troubadour Freund gets abducted by a contingent of Met-spondored party boys, who have confined him (ensconced in the infamous Locking Leather Houdini Harness) in the back lounge at Boxer’s Sports Bar on West 20th Street. Early the next morning at about 3 a.m. Giannattasio arrives at the front of the bar to rescue Troubadour Freund -- but Count di Gelb is not far behind. She promises Gelb she will go back to the Met and sing that afternoon’s matinee performance as the Trovatore Leonora -- if he will only take his partyboys (and the Houdini Harness) off Troubadour Freund. When Count di Luna agrees, Giannattasio orders a double Long Island Iced Tea for herself.
    Act 4 scene 2 -- That morning, Zajick has been assigned to clean the loos backstage at the Met. She discovers Troubadour Freund passed out in a toilet stall she was attempting to clean; she wakes him up and the two of them reminisce about better times. Weary from wielding the plunger & overwhelmed by the alcoholic vapours emanating from Troubadour Freund, Zajick falls asleep in the lavatory lounge. Giannattasio arrives, reeling from her double Long Island Iced Tea, stumbles around & passes out in Troubadour Freund’s arms. Count di Gelb arrives to find his Leonora ‘indisposed’; he storms out to get Guanqun Yu into costume. Zajick laughts and curses them all, strolls out to her dressing room & once again put on her own beloved Azucena costume.

  • Camille says:

    At first look I thought this was an announcement that Dolora was making her Broadway debut in GYPSY as Mamma Rose.

    Now, there’s a happy thought!

  • Ilka Saro says:

    Hahaha! Congrats Phoenix! I don’t know what the distinguished judges will decide, but clearly your posted synopsis is a tough act to follow! Perhaps you should consider writing libretti…

    • phoenix says:

      Thanks Ilka -- believe it or not I didn’t write it to win anything since I don’t reside in NYC or its immediate environs anymore.
      - It was actually a dedication -- and also a diversion -- to entertain myself with happy memories of the iconic Queen of Stoicism. In 1980 during a long coversation with Zajick I experienced the revelation that she is undoubtedly one of the toughest self-disciplined acts to precede or follow in the music business. Onstage she may come off as rather cool -- a redoubtable, unconquerable obelisk of vocal power control -- but offstage she is very charming with a deep and genuine warmth & sense of understanding.

  • Ilka Saro says:

    I had a voice teacher back in the 80′s (a woman named Eva Likova) who sang with many great singers of her day. Nilsson, Bjorling, Gobbi, Del Monaco. She used to talk about how you knew, the minute they started singing, that what they did would be exceptional. That’s how it was for me when I heard Zajick for the first time, singing Don Carlo. Even tossing off that little intro to the Song of the Veil, it was obvious that she was going to deliver something outstanding.

    Is there an opinion that she is cool onstage? (I never thought so.)

    Anyway, your piece gave me several much needed belly laughs.

    • phoenix says:

      Better than carbs, honey!
      - The Eva Likova? You were very lucky.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Likova

      • phoenix says:

        No, I am the only one who found Zajick cool onstage, I think?

        • Clita del Toro says:

          Dear Phoenix, COOL? The first time I saw Zijack was as Amneris at LOC (late nineties), I was bored to death by her performance. The next time, years later, was at LOC as Azucena (Radvan, Fraccaro). She had absolutely no dramatic contact with the other singers on stage, sang the Strida with her mouth practically closed, and merely bellowed out huge tops and chests--not much interesting in between those. Me no like.

          • Clita del Toro says:

            PS Amneris’s that I have seen and like include Thebom, Barbieri, Simionato and Dalis.

          • phoenix says:

            Clita, I guess I’m not the only one who felt the draft. Your visual memory recall is quite accurate, I believe.

          • The_Kid says:

            So, no Rankin, Arkhipova, Dominguez, Gorr, Stignani or Castagna? :)

      • Ilka Saro says:

        She was a terrific, dedicated teacher, and very charming. At 70 years old, she could still sing beautifully, all the way up to a high C. And such stories!

  • Clita del Toro says:

    I am not listening to Turandot, nor watching the debate. I am watching The Mystery of the Wax Museum with Far Wray (1933) on TCM. Much more fun!

    • Clita del Toro says:

      Wow. It is filmed in two-color Technicolor.

    • phoenix says:

      Brava Fay!
      - Speaking of two-tone technicolor, did you see the foto at the head of this thread? I wish the proprietess of this establishment would cut the fotoshop crap, stop morphingup old pictures of Morley Meredith in an attempt to deceive me into believing they true images of divas Ewa Podle?, Dolora Zajick, etc.
      - I am wiped out from running around with very little sleep now for the last 48 hours -- gotta gottuh bed now -- Best wishes! Hope to be awake tomorrow for the Trovatore Sirius bdcst.

    • grimoaldo says:

      I didn’t listen to Turandot or watch the debate either, I went to see Anna Bolena again at the Kennedy Centre with la Rad and Ganassi, mag-nif-i-cent, wild acclaim, long ovations, I hope NPR or somebody has recorded it for broadcast.
      Whatever one may think of Rad vs Nebs in the title role, the supporting cast was so much better than the Met fielded ( judging from the radio broadcast and the reviews anyway ) as to be make the comparison laughable, Ganassi rocked, the very competent tenor Shalva Mukeria made “Vivi tu” a real pleasure to experience, unlike that poor boy Stephen Costello who prompted a national critic to wonder why the Met wanted to put him through such torture as letting attempt that music and inspired the whole of a very amusing blog piece :
      http://schleppynabuccos.blogspot.com/2012/04/met-episodes-queen-and-i.html
      describing how two total strangers sitting side by side as Costello pitiably struggled through the role found themselves clutching each other in pain, concern, disappointment and fear.
      Once again the three and a half hours flew by as my friend and I agreed and the other happy audience members around us (again unlike the Met’s show which prompted many comments along the lines of “it seemed to go on forever”).

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says: