Cher Public

Dear Penthouse Forum

BRUCE ZINGER PHOTO“When Canadian soprano Meghan Lindsay agreed to appear in the title role of Handel’s opera Alcina for Opera Atelier’s 2014-15 season, she never thought her job description would include standing on a stepladder for three hours, naked, except for 20,000 leaves hot-glue-gunned onto a piece of fabric. Oh yes, and there were seven naked men on the ground around her.” [The Star]

  • Chanterelle

    What’s with the sudden flurry of Alcina productions? There are seven this spring; I’m about to see two of them.

  • javier

    that’s a really beautiful photo. alcina turned the men into animals so it makes sense that they would be nude if or when they transformed back into human form. i don’t know about alcina being naked though. i have never heard Meghan Lindsay sing.

  • Grane

    Well, I guess we can stop talking about Danni’s leotard now.

    • armerjacquino

      Until she gets cast in a revival of the production, of course, and then we all get to say ‘UGH LOOK AT HER SHOWING OFF WHY DOES SHE DO THIS ALL THE TIME’ etc etc.

    • oedipe

      Sorry, but I see a big difference in style between this highly polished picture and Danni’s leotard picture. It somehow doesn’t have the same effect on me.

    • OpinionatedNeophyte

      Notice that we aren’t going to talk about the sexual exploitation of the men here, because society doesn’t feel they own the reproductive capacity of men.

  • Can’t forget,
    Don’t regret,
    What I did for love!
    (Sing along)
    What I did for love!

  • manou

    • No Expert

      Then there’s this

  • aulus agerius

    OK. I have studied the photo carefully and I see only six naked men. What am I missing?

    • phoenix

      I can only count 6 also -- maybe the seventh is Daphne’s long-lost brother, turned into the tree behind her.

      • armerjacquino

        something something getting wood something something.

      • Grane

        He’s probably making sure the fan is off.

    • One naked man, but aren’t we all?

      • jackoh

        Yes. I have a friend who complained bitterly about some European stagings of some operas because of the nudity. My response to him was that all opera productions, even community ones, contained nudity; you just didn’t notice it because of the clothes.

  • PetertheModest

    She’s got a pretty good body, it must be said.

  • messa di voce

    Oh.

    I thought it was Tatyana’s name day party in Carsen’s revised Onegin.

  • Grane

    LOL Here is the Victor Borge version.

  • I can’t say how delighted I am that Opera Atelier (where I worked for five seasons) has made its parterre debut.

    I will say that OA’s marketing is usually far more racy than the productions. One sees a lot more naked men in the promotional photography (this one is gorgeous, I think) than one does on stage (where they typically where 18th century era costumes).

    • oedipe

      This is an elegant baroque-style picture. Nudity in art is not “exploitation”, it is an homage to the human body.

      • Oedipe: Agreed. Frankly, I couldn’t see the fuss about the Danielle DeNiese photo either but didn’t want to get into *that* particular discussion.

        Opera Atelier has a history of using nudity in a quasi-baroque fashion, and the results are usually very beautiful and striking.

        Persée
        http://www.operaatelier.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/oaslide-1314mar24.jpg

        Armide (Lully)
        http://www.consulfrance-toronto.org/local/cache-vignettes/L250xH375/rc_armide_final-8d903.jpg

        Orfée et Eurydece
        http://nobilitas.wikispaces.com/file/view/Opera-Atelier-Orpheus-poster.jpg/30600470/Opera-Atelier-Orpheus-poster.jpg

        • Excuse the misspelling of Eurydice.

          I meant to add that for the last photo I posted, the cut-off line on the Orfée’s buttocks was much lower but the company’s biggest sponsor asked for the image to be cropped since their logo was appearing on it.

        • oedipe

          BTW, I will be seeing Persée on May 25 at the Opéra Royal in Versailles.

          • manou

            Persée jusques au fond du coeur…

            • Batty Masetto

              Or, in light of Kashie’s added explanation, Orphée jusques au fond du cu… no, wait, I can’t say that.

            • manou

              You can only say that if Corneille has said it before you.

            • Batty Masetto

              Orphée jusques à la Racine du cul?

            • manou

              I will not stoop to a Balzac joke.

            • Batty Masetto

              No, that would be Villon-ous.

            • manou

              Anouilh you would think that.

            • Batty Masetto

              True, I’ve never been able to resist Buffonery

            • manou

              Hugo on a tangent here

            • Batty Masetto

              I defer to your opinion, you are de Maistre.

            • manou

              Genet plus rien à ajouter.

            • Batty Masetto

              Oh, you never Queneau.

            • manou

              Musset be like this?

            • Batty Masetto

              Nobody knows. Well, George Bernanos. But he isn’t telling.

            • manou

              Diderot start here?

            • Batty Masetto

              I suppose so. We’d better stop though, we’re probably driving Gaston Baty (heh).

            • manou

              So Sue me.

            • MontyNostry

              I’m concerned that all these cheap puns on French authors’ names are a sign that you are Céline out. You really should Colette a day!

            • manou

              Aha! New blood. Stendhal to attention!

            • Batty Masetto

              See? The natives are getting Restif.

            • manou

              Seulement parce qu’ils sont Mallarmé pour jouer avec nous.

            • MontyNostry

              You’ve been running fast and Louÿs, I feel.

            • manou

              Dumas puns really annoy then?

            • MontyNostry

              If they do, manou, maybe you should excuse yourself. It’s late here, so I suggest you Gautier bed.

            • Batty Masetto

              Pourquoi? Jouer avec nous, c’est comme un Beaumarchais de Noël.

            • manou

              C’est Sand doute la meilleure solution

            • armerjacquino

              I hope you don’t all live to Rousseau many puns.

            • manou

              Chénier l’évidence!

            • armerjacquino

              Wasn’t expecting a reply from you, manou: I thought it was Montesquieu to speak…

              (ahem)

            • MontyNostry

              Chapeau for that one, armer!

            • Batty Masetto

              Aw c’mon guys, these aren’t so bad. Give us Sardou.

            • manou

              Racine Boileau de La Fontaine Molière.

            • MontyNostry

              manou, is that one strictly original?

            • manou

              Of course not -- it’s from school.

              Allais, a little Mérimée is better than a Bataille, and we should learn to go wth the Flaubert and accept that some of these puns are more Jarry than others.

          • Oh, enjoy! Experiencing Armide at the Opéra Royal was one of the highlights of my opera-going life. That gorgeous theatre is perfect for Lully’s operas and Opera Atelier’s aesthetic.

      • antikitschychick

        +1. Well said oedipe.

  • OpinionatedNeophyte

    Six naked men : one naked women, They seem to have planned this marketing campaign to precisely appeal to parterre’s demographics.

    • -Ed.

      What naked woman?

    • Le Jester

      Odd man out here.
      I noticed her right away…

  • Ilka Saro

    Many times I have attempted a very similar staging, but I eschew fabric with leaves glued on. I eschew fabric period, except for the occasional gold lame halter top, perhaps, or a bit of leather. I try to up the number of naked men, but I count myself lucky to get 6 all at the same performance.

  • Cicciabella

    The only thing missing in this tableau is a two-stroke leaf blower.

    • manou

      Only two strokes?

      • Le Jester

        Yes.
        Leaf blowers are almost always of the two stroke variety.
        Same with line trimmers.
        The big boys require 4 strokes….

        • manou

          Diff’rent strokes…

  • antikitschychick

    like I said, if ya got it, flaunt it. All hail the cuties :-D.

  • grimoaldo

    Well, you know, this opera is about a sorceress, Alcina, who lures Christian knights away from their mission of doing Really Important Stuff like trying to throw the Muslims out of Jerusalem, seduces them, enjoys sex with them for a while, but then gets bored, waves her magic wand and turns them into a rock or a bush or a lion or whatever and moves on to the next dalliance with a dreamboat hunk, so a stage picture of a near naked lady surrounded by naked men makes sense if you ask me.
    I didn’t think anyone would be interested in the opera La Calisto as opposed to discussing the implications of DDN in a leotard, but I was proved wrong, so here is a link to a rather spiffing performance of Alcina with Catherine Naglestad and Alice Coote:

    Warning, or tip, whichever way you want to look at it -from about 1:10 Naglestad appears for a long time in a kind of topless dress and you can, gasp, see her boobs.

    • MontyNostry

      Don’t you think Alcina could work rather well set in the time of the Vietnam War, on an island somewhere off South-East Asia? Alcina could keep the men captive with hallucinogenic drugs and it could all be designed to look like an Antonioni movie.

    • Lohenfal

      Grim, I think you’re confusing Alcina with Armida. They’re both sorceresses, but Armida is a character by Tasso, and the action takes place at the time of the First Crusade. She’s concerned with the Christian attack on Jerusalem. Alcina was created by Ariosto and lives centuries earlier, at the time the Saracens were attacking Charlemagne’s empire. Tasso probably modeled his Armida on Ariosto’s Alcina. After writing this, even I’m starting to become confused by all this Italian Renaissance literature.

      • grimoaldo

        You are quite right Lohenfal, Armida ensnares Crusaders on their way to “liberate” Jerusalem, Alcina knights of Charlemagne fighting Saracens.
        I don’t think Armida gets through lovers at quite the rate of knots Alcina does, though, nor does she have the habit of turning them into stones or trees or lions unless I missed something.

    • Cocky Kurwenal

      I think I have seen this production. At any rate, I have definitely seen an Alcina with Catherine Nagelstad in the buff, there can’t have been THAT many different productions. It was in Edinburgh as part of the festival, roughly 10 years ago, perhaps a bit longer. I remember being very impressed with her, just as I was several years later when I saw her as Tosca at the ROH.

  • This is a beautiful picture! Looks really arty and they all look pretty good. Bartoli is going to sing ALcina next week and I can only hope her being in a production like this, but a naked Bartoli will probably never happen.

    • What do you mean a naked Bartoli will never happen?

      http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31EN9HYIQrL.jpg

    • Clita del Toro

      A naked Bartoli, ROTFLMAO! I’d love to see that, especially to watch her breasts when she is singing some chugga-chugga coloratura! They probably vibrate???

      • No Expert

        Or would that be jugga-jugga coloratura?

        • Clita del Toro

          LOLOL Right!