Cher Public

Hung up

What other company indeed but the Bayerische Staatsoper would commission David LaChapelle to photograph Diana Damrau for their portrait gallery? (And, not to put too fine a point on it, what’s the deal with the dead naked guy?) [Flaunt]

  • Apparently, “Flaunt” magazine outsources its copywriting to the planet Xyqwljk. A target-rich environment for Manou.

    • manou

      With an agility reserved for roe deer in the throes of a robust hunting season. I hastened over to Flaunt so as not to not shy away from my opus, as I took that elucidation seriously. I did not want to let a harem of rich patrons twist uncomfortably on velvet thrones waiting for my report, but a migraine rival(l)ing the length of Der Ring des Nibelungen felled my straightaway, registering several octaves above typical headaches. So I have had to retire the vengeance aria and am regretfully unable to comment.

      • manou

        …felled me.

      • Avantialouie

        As a lifelong sufferer from migraines, let me URGE you: ask your doctor about trying a beta blocker. I use Atenolol. I used to get a migraine every two weeks; now I get two a year. This discovery was Heaven-sent. It only works for SOME people, but it’s worth a try if you already haven’t. It’s a preventative only; it’s useless once you already have a migraine.

        • manou

          How very kind of you to give me this information. I do really suffer from migraines -- it seems to be hereditary as four other members of my family are also afflicted. I have tried several remedies over the years and have definitely made a note of the one you recommend. Once you have a migraine, you should try one of the triptans, which are very effective in controlling the pain.

          • oedipe


            The important thing to keep in mind is that “It only works for SOME people”. I know a number of migraineux, some of whom have taken beta blockers for 30 or more years with minimal or inconclusive results. The problem with beta blockers is that once you start them it’s very difficult to stop. There is another common side effect which fortunately you needn’t worry about: impotence.

            • manou

              Thank you œdipe -- I have in fact once tried a course of tablets which I had to take every day, but they made very little difference and I resented having to swallow them just in case. You are quite right to say that a treatment that works for some may not be efficient for others.

    • Flora del Rio Grande

      Yep I can’t wait, croche, to hear that Queen of the Night in ‘several’ octaves above the written pitch. Wow! Jeez, I wonder who wrote that crap? I mean Planet Xyqwljk must be a writers’ paradise! Maybe Schrecker can make an opera of it!

  • oedipe

    what’s the deal with the dead naked guy?

    Why, it’s a LaChapelle signature prop, of course!

    • Big Finn

      LOL, it’s interesting that Dia-Dam wishes to give up her solo status and assume a position in the chorus, and the background, and leave the stage to a set of male genitalia:) In the basic composition of the photo, the nude’s the point, and major directional lines lead to the crotch.

      The photographer might be taking himself very seriously… I’d celebrate camp, this is photoshopped kitch.

      • Damrau’s in the picture? ;)

        • RobNYNY1957

          Find the testicles and the force your gaze upwards.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Reminds me of that line from Lohengrin: “Der Schwanz! Der Schwanz!”

  • RobNYNY1957

    Am I mistaken, or does the corpse appear to be half erect? I’ve studied the photograph closely

    • Why do you think they call them “stiffs?”

  • La Valkyrietta

    There is a dead naked guy on top of a mirror, there is a white swan, a goblet of sorts, some flowers, rays of light, speakers on the right. As it were, the chap responsible for the montage is trying to suggest something or other. Ripping he intends the shot to be. Rather indicating this is only for connoisseurs of opera to decipher. What?

  • redbear

    I was going to check out the guy with my Chubby Checker Ap but it was deleted.

  • MontyNostry

    “Registering several octaves above typical arias, it is dreaded by most sopranos …” This is the same kind of crap that you hear when a pop singer (usually Mariah Carey) is credited with a ‘five-octave range’. Of course, on Parterre, we know that that was only true of the late lamented Yma.

    • RobNYNY1957

      I keep having this discussion with a friend who says that about Mariah Carey. From Iwan Rebroff’s lowest C below the bass staff to Mado Robin’s highest B flat above soprano’s high C is only four octaves and seven. he says that Carey can sing to the third G above the treble staff, but that would still require her to sing to a G at the bottom of the bass staff (a low not for baritones and even some basses) to reach five octaves.

      The underlying issue is that people don’t know the difference between four octaves and five octaves.

      • FomalHaut

        • armerjacquino

          “whistle register” != singing.


          • FomalHaut

            I disagree with you. Sure it isn’t audible without a microphone, but one need only listen to some old school MC to see the incredible facility she has with the whistle tones: control of dynamics, ‘coloratura’ facility, seamless register transitions, etc. I can’t think of another singer, maybe Ripperton, with that level of control of that register.

            • scifisci

              (Skip to 1:15 or 1:50 to hear the whistle register control.)

              No whistle, but this is just great, especially from 3:00 to the end:

              It’s no surprise that she could only sing like that for a few years!

      • metapindar

        The underlying issue is that most people don’t know what an octave is. The parallel is “opera singer”: “doesn’t sound like a pop crooner” immediately translates to “opera singer.” No, one aria on your senior recital does not make you an opera singer.

  • Batty Masetto

    He probably just twisted too uncomfortably on his velvet throne.

  • sfmike

    Gosh, I thought I saw that exact tableau around a gay resort in Palm Springs last week, though the schwanz was even more formidable. It must be something in the air/collective unconsciousness.

  • -Ed.

    Oh. It’s Damrau. At first I thought it was a photo of Bjork’s warehouse in south Jersey.

  • tannengrin

    Maybe she is joining the cast of ‘True Blood’ next season as the Queen of all Fairies who vamps it up and breathes new life into that whole story.

    • phoenix

      When I 1st saw the Flaunt pic at the head of this thread with the Swan and Ortrud posioning Gottfried (reading it was commissioned by Bayerische Staatsoper) I assumed it was an advertisement for Mme. Damrau’s upcoming rollendebut as Ortrud -- question is, will she receive the much-coveted Golden Turd Award for her performance?
      -- In the video clip of La Damrau’s ‘Je suis Titania’ above she deserves another award, too -- but I don’t know which one.

    • phoenix

      Ah! Tannengrin, that isn’t Damrau in the above clip -- someone discovered it on the cutting room floor after they edited the Wizard of Oz -- it’s Billie Burke’s big number as Glenda the Good Witch.

      • tannengrin

        when I saw the picture first I thought it was Meryl doing Marie Antoinette in the Ghost of Versailles!

  • Gualtier M

    I was able to look up from the whitefaced dude with the semi and noticed that Damrau in ths pic is a dead ringer for Jennifer Aniston with that shaggy blonde highlighted do.

    How about an operatic version of “Friends”. Shall we cast it? Vittorio Grigolo could be Joey.

    • armerjacquino

      Gheorghiu as Monica, Kermes as Phoebe.

      • MontyNostry

        I was trying to work out who Monica was in the Pirates of Penzance. If it’s Friends, and since everyone is at least 20 years too old, how about Sherrill Milnes in the Tom Selleck role?

      • grimoaldo

        “I was trying to work out who Monica was in the Pirates of Penzance”

        hahaha I saw “Kermes as Phoebe” and then thought “but there is no character called “Monica” in “The Yeomen of the Guard” and then had a vague recollection of some tv show I never watched.

        • MontyNostry

          Christ, I got my G&S mixed up. It’s Mabel in Pirates, isn’t it.

      • Gualtier M

        Actually, Anja Harteros would also be a good Monica. Alagna is a little too old but definitely also a Joey. He can use his Nemorino characterization. Newly blonde Dessay is another possiblity for Phoebe -- a vocally undemanding role. Just a lot of wispy throwaway crooning a la Melisande. Joseph Kaiser has a bit of the cute Jewish semi-nerd thing going for Ross Geller. Actually Charles Castronovo could work. Chandler Bing is the tough role.

        • manou

          Stephen Costello for Chandler.

  • perfidia

    That is Damrau in the “Je suis Titania”? My god, it is so labored.

    • MontyNostry

      I don’t think airy charm is one of Damrau’s natural attributes. She’s a hard-working performer.

      • Damrau’s pretty charming here, I think. In fact, she’s downright delightful.

  • grimoaldo

    Definitive performance of “Je suis Titania”, forever and for all time ):

    • perfidia

      I wish that Callas performance in Italian from early in her career had survived intact. All we have is a few fragments in terrible sound, but you can still get a sense of how stupendous she is in it. And now, this is someone I never thought did this aria:

      • grimoaldo

        I am surprised how good that is,I am not very familiar with Steber and did not know she sang that sort of thing at all.

        • Her versatility constantly amazes. This “Je suis Tatiana” is delightful.

        • damekenneth

          Steber was an astonishing singer with both a beautiful natural tone and tremendous technique. She sang a huge variety of repertoire. And did it all well. She is somewhat undervalued in the collective memory, perhaps owing to her later alcoholism (which did affect her singing). But she really was one for the ages, in my opinion.

    • Hippolyte

      I was there for the Anderson rendition, one of the few Opening Nights I have attended at the MET. I had not heard it since but it predictably made my skin crawl as there no other singer for whom I have such a visceral dislike. The high notes are always painful and those faked trills are the worst here. The other “surprise guests” that evening were more appealing.

      • grimoaldo

        There ya go, I believe I was in the house for all the roles she did in London, several of them more than once -- Puritani, Due Foscari, Giovanna d’Arco three times each -- adored everything about her and always will, but many others had, as you say “a visceral dislike” which “made their skin crawl”.

    • MontyNostry

      I rather like this.