I attend the opera intent on enjoying myself. If the music is not my favorite, there is always something to like, be it a colleague’s individual performance, the discovery of a newcomer, nifty stagecraft or costumes, observing the movement skills of the various singers, or in worst-case scenarios, observing the audience’s boredom, carefully notating the point-of-no-more-patience. My critical eye and ear are well-known, so I try not to be cynical as I silence my smartphone and smile at the sextagenarians who own the subscription seats next to me. Read more »
“Tyler Perry‘s… For Colored Girls does feel like a ghoulish joke, a dated horror show bordering on parody. It’s both operatic and tone deaf, with explosions of hysteria that include a drunken Macy Gray performing a back-alley abortion and the conversion of a poem spoken by [Ntozake] Shange‘s Lady in Purple into an actual opera by Perry’s regular composer Aaron Zigman (called La Donna In Viola). During the opera, the film cuts back and forth between a doomed couple silently watching the performance (the husband is on the down low, unbeknownst to the wife) and another character being savagely date-raped.” [Time]
From time to time the younger queens ask La Cieca, “Why does all the camp date back decades? Did something happen to camp? Why is there no new camp? Where should we look to find our own 21st century camp?
Now La Cieca has an answer for you young queens. Look no further! Camp, with a capital C, is coming to a Broadway theater near you—soon! Or, uh, anyway—eventually! Read more »
We may have a contender in the category of Most Overdone Camp Diva Crossover Hair Extension.
The Met’s premiere production of Verdi’s Attila is terrible. Are you surprised? Attila is like a self-conscious stroll down Rodeo Drive – or even worse, to the Mall of America – reducing an opera about ruthless tyranny brought down by ruthless vengeance to a quaint and insipid fashion show.
You know, La Cieca lived through the 1980s, just barely, and then imagine her surprise when, midway through the 2000s, there was a revival of all that 80s stuff — shoulder pads, leggings, big hair, glitter. All of it. Well, no, not quite all of it. There was one trend of the 1980s whose revival we were mercifully spared. Until just now.
It took the Metropolitan Opera decades to catch up with the rest of the world and finally stage La Cenerentola. Gioachino Rossini’s opera buffa, one of his most beloved and accomplished works, received its belated Met debut in 1997, amidst legitimate suspicions that the new production was less a genuine desire to add a belcanto masterpiece to the company’s repertoire than a concession to Cecilia Bartoli’s demands. Since then the production has been revived several times with galaxy of international mezzo-sopranos such as Jennifer Larmore, Sonia Ganassi, Olga Borodina and, just this past season, superstar Elina Garanca.
Like Liza Minnelli at the Palace or Nomi Malone in Goddess, Renée Fleming‘s Thaïs is better understood as diva event than Gesamtkunstwerk. It’s an opportunity to watch a star lady do her voodoo in a work that exists largely to showcase her glamour and appeal.
La Cieca hears that Olga Borodina still has whatever it was she had on Wednesday, and so will have to cancel tonight’s Met performance of Carmen as well.
Could there be any more “parterre” a way to spend a Saturday afternoon than listening to a broadcast from half a century ago of what must surely rank among the queerest operas ever written? Don’t bother to answer that, it’s a rhetorical question, and while we’re on the subject, you do not know how to read! You have never known what love is!