La Cieca would like to take this opportunity to extend kudos to Francesca Zambello and the Glimmerglass Festival on what looks to be their season’s first smash hit: a glitzy new production of the classic musical Dreamgirls!
It was dear Oscar Wilde, wasn’t it, who devised that early mot du jour “Good writers borrow; great writers steal,” an aphorism that has since been borrowed by many. La Cieca will leave it up to the reader to decide whether the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production of La traviata ranks as a “good” or a “great” example of idea appropriation; meanwhile she will just sit back and marvel at Francesca Zambello‘s idea that setting Verdi’s opera on an comically oversized silver tea tray beneath an even more comically oversized chandelier might be considered “art” anywhere in the civilized world. (So shiny!) Read more »
Here goes with the End of the Gods and the End of these Ring reviews:
Götterdämmerung was more of a mixed bag than the other operas, but still left a powerful impression. This was where Zambello’s choice to steer clear of heavy spectacle was most evident to me. The cost in grandeur was offset by an absence of dumb bombast and a gain in intimacy and character definition. I don’t know how well that last factor would hold up in a revival director’s hands, but on the whole she made the approach pay off handsomely. Read more »
The multi-slashed Manuela Hoelterhoff (Bloomberg editrix/spouse to disgruntled New York City Opera intendant manquée Francesca Zambello/grouch emeritus) dipped her goose quill in venom this morning once again to take on her favorite subject, i.e., how NYCO has gone to hell in a handbasket ever since they didn’t hire her girlfriend to run the place.
“Zambello, a busy stage director, should have become director of New York City Opera a few years back but was rejected by a sexist board.” [Lebrecht] On a completely unrelated note, happy birthday Beverly Sills!
Providing continuing proof that at any given time there are only about a dozen opera administrators in the entire universe, the currently restructuring Washingon National Opera has selected as its artistic advisor the otherwise criminally underemployed Francesca Zambello.
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!