Cher Public

O nube! che lieve per l’aria ti aggiri

Prominent local “billionaire scam artist” Alberto Vilar has asked for an extension on his court-imposed curfew so he may attend the Met’s Eugene Onegin and “socialize” afterward with the performers.

The felon/philanthropist has been offered comped tickets to the opera by longtime bud Valery Gergiev. [Daily Mail]

  • antikitschychick

    wow…the nerve of this dude….and the nerve of Valery offering him tickets to see Onegin knowing that he stole money from his clients to fund Opera and other “philanthropies”?? How can he not care that this is public record?

    Is he trying to sabotage his own career with this recurrent douche-baggery? Or is he trying to create controversy to ‘spice-up’ some up-coming biopic or something?

    • Satisfied

      “Or is he trying to create controversy to ‘spice-up’ some up-coming biopic or something?”

      A biopic about Gergiev is kind of a brilliant idea. What an interesting story to tell especially if the storyteller could capture him as a bit of an anti-hero rather than just an out-and-out villain.

      But as for the subject of this post: W…T…F. The NERVE!

      • antikitschychick

        Whoever the producers are for the inevitable Gergiev film-vella will certainly be hearing from me about various diva dust fees lest they wish to be sued for Opera-rite infringement :-P

    • Among a certain set of financial wheeler-dealers, “stealing money from clients” is considered Best Practice.

      A highlight from A. Vilar’s upcoming season of opera:

    • RosinaLeckermaul

      Vilar’s larceny is de rigeur in Russia. No wonder he and Gergiev are buddies.

  • zinka

    Remember when you were in a Met elevator before the debacle..they named one of the floors after VILLAR..I forget which…but they need to name the PARTERRE..the “Cieca Parterre’ since we know how much James has contributed “in spirit’ to the Met (NO kidding????)

    • Sempre liberal

      The Vilar Grand Tier.
      And don’t forget the gorgeous Vilar Floral Hall at Covent Garden.

      Seriously, would it kill him to watch the HD broadcast?

  • operaassport

    I feel like I need a shower with extra scrubbing soap after reading this article.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    It that Onegin does not end until 1AM….
    What a mess.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    At least he got a free lunch from the City Opera recently.

  • How did whatever spawned this thing look at that face and not try to kill it immediately?

    That face…

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Why can’t Vilar host a pot-luck after Onegin party at his home. Gergiev could bring the blintzes.

  • La Valkyrietta

    If no one has noticed, the current Così production at the Met was a Vilar gift.

    I don’t know much about the guy to say anything, but it is nice when someone with super millions spends some of it in opera.

    Hey, some Mr. Millionaire, how about a new Idomeneo? I think a stellar cast exists for it today.

    • bluecabochon
      • operaassport

        Well, it’s not quite up there with that Montana schmuck who sentenced a man who raped a 14 year old who later committed suicide to just 30 days.

    • Rowna

      Well, La Valykyrietta, of course it is “nice” when a billionaire gives a gift to an opera company, but not when it has been stolen from his clients! He is big news in PA and I have been following his antics for years. The guy wants to be a big macha (a techincal term for “fake importance”) with the glitterati, and during the explosion, he promised at least a gazillion dollars to arts organizations, who had to bail themselves out when his money didn’t appear. He isn’t what we need.

      • bluecabochon

        Oh my, I just had a flashback to my childhood when my mother would accuse anyone of getting carried away with themselves of being a “big macher”, which is partly Yiddish.

        • oedipe

          The expression “big macher” is probably universal (among mothers, at least). The only variable is “big”, which gets translated into the appropriate vernacular.

    • damekenneth


      You seem to be missing the point. Those were not his millions to give, regardless of how “nice” it may have been that he earmarked the funds for an opera production.

      • La Valkyrietta

        Rowina, damekenneth,

        Please, I agree totally that stealing money from investors is wrong and whoever does it deserves the just punishment of the law. However, very often the origin of huge fortunes is suspect too, that is less known, but equally true and morally reprehensible. Here I was not talking about the origin of ill gotten funds, but about the use of such funds.

        How about a new Idomeneo, anyone?

        I have not followed the Vilar case closely. Were his holdings confiscated to pay the people that were swindled? What happens with Cosi, which must have cost a pretty penny? The money was spent by the Met, I assume, in bringing out the production, money the Met accepted from Vilar. I assume the Met is not liable to refund it. Sell the sets? Ask the singers to return their salaries for performances on that opera? No, no, no. So all I am saying is that is nice for the opera fan that ill gotten money is sometimes spent on opera productions rather than in consumption of Champagne, foie gras and tarts. :)

  • Opera Teen

    UGGH. (For purely selfish reasons) I was planning to stage door after tonight, but now I assume they won’t be coming out until after 1. Stupid Vilar…

    • bluecabochon

      OT, I hope that you went. I’m sure that they were going out somewhere for their after-show revels and would be leaving the Met at a reasonable time after the opera.

  • grimoaldo

    Article in the Daily Mail linked to says “Now the septuagenarian libretto-fan wants to be allowed to stay out beyond 1am”. A libretto-fan! I never heard that expression before. I think I must be one too, finally I have discovered the truth about myself! “My name is grimoaldo and I am a libretto-fan” (especially Il Trovatore).
    Article also says “Con artist used ill-gotten gains to fund donations to New York operas” but not just NY, he gave lots and lots of dosh to Covent Garden, it sort of made me sick the way they had his name plastered all over the place, for a while it was the Vilar Floral Hall and the Vilar Young Artists Programme, but they have since removed his name from those.