Headshot of La Cieca

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Lamento della Neely

All these years La Cieca has complained that nobody would write an operatic version of Valley of the Dolls, and what do you know? Monteverdi already did it almost 400 years ago. The controversial “Voglio una bambola! Voglio una bambola!” scena follows the jump.

Alternate explanation: Deutsche Grammonphon and Anna Prohaska have lost their fucking minds.

26 comments

  • shoegirl says:

    While we are at it, there are plenty more camp novels/films for setting as operas. Myra Beckinrigde? Check. The Girl Slaves of Morgana de Fey. Check. My Cousin Rachel. Check. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant . . . on, hang on.

    • doktorlehar says:

      You forgot ‘Coffy’, which seems to me to be aching for operatic treatment.

      Coffy’s final lament to Howard, orchestrated to music of Mahleresque richness, culminates in an impassioned declamatory vocal line in which she sings her final soul-bearing summation of life:

      “These last three days have been like a dream, Howard. And I’m still in that dream.”

      Incanted immediately before shooting him in the groin with a rifle.

      ‘Carmen’ has nothing on this.

  • Ilka Saro says:

    I can’t remember. Were the doctors so sexy in VoD as they are in this vid? Were the hospital scenes so erotic? They might have been.

    I remember the first time I saw VoD. I was a late bloomer and it was on the late late show on a hot night in the summer of ’87. I was breaking up with my boyfriend, and tossing and turning, unable to sleep. Every 10 or 15 minutes, I would turn the tv on and flip desperately through the channels.

    I didn’t recognize VoD at first. As I would pass it I was thinking “Oh god, that is awful. Not what I need.” But with each interval of tossing and turning, I would turn back on the TV, and each time this movie looked a little more interesting, and finally attractive and enjoyable. At last, I realized that I had reached queer film El Dorado. By the time Susan Hayward sand “I’ll plant my own tree” I was transfixed and I had gotten all about my silly old boyfriend.

    I am eternally grateful to the higher powers that produced that film and restored me to sanity at just the moment that I needed it!

  • stignanispawn says:

    La Cieca’s satire of an operatic version of VD is one of my favorite things on this site — it was my introduction to parterre.com.
    I revisit it a couple of times a year when I need to smile and shared it with someone two weeks ago.
    Perhaps we could produce a production with some new singers: Alexey Markov or Stefan Kocan as Lyon Burke, and Stephanie Blythe as Helen Lawson — seems a logical progression from Kate Smith which,btw, she does exceedingly well.

  • tannengrin says:

    This reminds me (unfavorably) of the magnificent performance Lorraine Hunt Lieberson delivered with the Bach cantatas 82 & 199. I think Sellars directed that, with her in the hospital bed. Haunted me for days after I saw it.