When Mike Nichols was honored at the Kennedy Center, Elaine May said of his work: “Mike has chosen to do things that are really meaningful, and that have real impact, and real relevance, but he makes them so entertaining and exciting that they’re as much fun as if they were trash.” Christopher Alden has pulled the same bit of trickery at the San Francisco Opera with a production of Handel’s Partenope that is so erudite and theatrically audacious and also such a rollicking ride, it’s hard to believe it isn’t crap. Read more »
I am indebted to a young friend who summed up Francesca da Rimini tonight: “I didn’t think anything could be campier than Adriana. But this is nothing but camp. Adriana at least has tunes.” That’s succinct and, indeed, generous to Riccardo Zandonai’s chirpy score, which has tunes but not memorable ones. The opera has returned to the Met after 26 years. One is entitled to wonder why. Read more »
Your doyenne La Cieca (not pictured) invites you to our weekly discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects.
Unconcealed by the voluminous folds of this Jessyesqe muumuu is queen-sized talent Jeffery Roberson (also known as Varla Jean Merman.)
The Monday, 12th December, Weill Hall recital debut of Signora Chiara Taigi, a strikingly good looking Italian soprano, who had made her American operatic debut this past March, starring as Selika in the OONY production of Meyerbeer’s long-neglected L’Africaine, was something Your Own Camille had looked forward to with a high hopes and a faintly wondering glee, for several months now.
Like the double or triple negative (where theoretically pairs of “nots” cancel each other out, but in practice you can’t be so sure) this tidbit of news La Cieca just read has her confused and uncertain. It seems that at a recital in Tulsa last night, Dame Kiri te Kanawa sang as an encore a Jake Heggie setting of Maria Callas‘s final monologue from Terrence McNally‘s Master Class. You know, the one that McNally didn’t actually write but rather collated from some random remarks Callas made in an entirely different emotional context.
“It’s just that it seems rather perverse to have cast such opulent voices and then given them not much to sing…. the role of Anna Nicole would not stretch Danielle de Niese.” Loyal parterrian Jondrytay (not pictured) looked in on the Royal Opera’s Anna Nicole and shared this thoughts on his blog Not So Wunderbar.
“The L.A. Phil’s new season is up, too, and the big news there is (for me anyway) the premiere of a new sacred oratorio by John Adams, entitled The Gospel According to the Other Mary. Maybe he gave it that title to distinguish it from a forthcoming work by Mark Adamo. “What? No, I meant because Mark Adamo’s writing The Gospel of Mary Magdalene for the San Francisco Opera! Why, what ‘mary’ did YOU think I was referring to?” [Daniel Stephen Johnson]
Commenter emerita Poison Ivy (now a blogress in her own right) takes on the dark side of fandom over at Poison Ivy’s Wall of Text. Find out what the fan did!