What must have raced through the mind of the none-too-comely Spanish Infanta when she learned that the opera to be performed during the celebrations for her 1745 wedding to the French Dauphin revolved around the comeuppance of an ugly yet vain water nymph tricked into believing Jupiter was her ardent suitor? I suspect the poor Infanta, who died a year later after childbirth at just 20 years old, was not amused. But, as part of Rameau 2014—a worldwide commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death—the celebrated French group Les Arts Florissants brought its surprisingly full-bore version of this sui generis comédie-lyrique–Platée ou Junon Jalouse–to Alice Tully Hall Wednesday evening for us to judge for ourselves. Read more »
“Oubliez le XVIIIè siècle. A l’Opéra Comique, Platée s’installe sur les podiums d’une fashion week parisienne!” Unfortunately, the video of this performance is not available in the US: La Cieca will keep you updated. Meanwhile, take a look at DeCaffarrelli’s review of last night’s concert performance.
“Among the floats, marching bands, and gigantic balloons of Chicago’s BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will be a horse-drawn surrey from Lyric Opera of Chicago…. [I]n the surrey will be Lyric Opera general director Anthony Freud, dressed in appropriate western garb. Freud, who hails from London, spent five years as the general director of Houston Grand Opera and is no stranger to bolo ties and 10-gallon Stetsons.”
Unconcealed by the voluminous folds of this Jessyesqe muumuu is queen-sized talent Jeffery Roberson (also known as Varla Jean Merman.)
“Considering one of the season’s star singers is a plus-size female impersonator, opera this fall is anything but a drag.”
Separated at the 14th Street wig store: drag queen Lady Bunny and Disney princess Diana Damrau.
Versatile diva Violeta Urmana takes on the demanding verismo role of Giordano’s Fedora for the first time at… Oh, sorry, that’s René Pape as Méphistophélès in Faust at Covent Garden! (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)
“A profile of Richard Eyre – ‘All good actors are quick-witted’, 27 November, page 12, Review – mentioned the theatre director’s recollection of having played one of the Three Little Maids in a school production of The Pirates of Penzance. Clarification has since come from the interviewee that in Pirates he played Kate, one of four maids, the daughters of Major-General Stanley (the Three Little Maids, for their part, belong to The Mikado).” [The Guardian]
As we launch into the fourth and final movement of our étude, La Cieca asks the musical question, “Can a Contemporary Diva achieve Grandezza, or, for that matter, Drag Imitability?” Let’s see what the numbers tell us.