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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]


  • 1
    Chanterelle says:

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

  • 2
    javier says:

    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.

  • 3
    Grane says:

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

    • 3.1
      armerjacquino says:

      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.

    • 3.2
      oedipe says:

      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.

    • 3.3
      OpinionatedNeophyte says:

      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.

  • 4
    willym says:

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

  • 5
  • 6
    aulus agerius says:

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

    • 6.1
      phoenix says:

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

    • 6.2
      La Cieca says:

      One naked man, but aren’t we all?

      • 6.2.1
        jackoh says:

        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.

  • 7
    PetertheModest says:

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

  • 8
    messa di voce says:


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

  • 9
    Grane says:

    LOL Here is the Victor Borge version.

  • 10
    kashania says:

    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).

  • 11
    OpinionatedNeophyte says:

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

  • 12
    Ilka Saro says:

    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.

  • 13
    Cicciabella says:

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

  • 14
    antikitschychick says:

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

  • 15
    grimoaldo says:

    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.

    • 15.1
      MontyNostry says:

      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.

    • 15.2
      Lohenfal says:

      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.

      • 15.2.1
        grimoaldo says:

        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.

    • 15.3
      Cocky Kurwenal says:

      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.

  • 16
    Spen says:

    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.