02 October 2007

Marked Down Woman

La Cieca's old, old, old friend and role model Charles Busch returns to the boards this month in the New York stage premiere of one of his greatest film triumphs, the eponymous matriarch of Die Mommie Die. Busch (who is of course the author as well) stars as Angela Arden, a legendary screen chanteuse bedeviled by adultery, incest, blackmail, murder and the servant problem.

The play is a send-up of those 1960s horror films (sorry, "psychological thrillers") like Dead Ringer and I Saw What You Did, with the added twist that the plot is "borrowed" from the Oresteia. In other words, this is the funniest version of Elektra you're ever likely to see.

Die Mommie Die opens at New World Stages for a limited run beginning October 10, and for an even more limited time you can purchase tickets for this not-to-be-missed theatrical event for only $35.00! To take advantage of this near-felonious discount, Click Here and enter code DMTMC35. You can also phone 212-239-6200 and mention code DMTMC35.

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12 July 2007

Zum Raum wird hier die Zeitgeist

As a warmup for this evening's Unnatural Acts of Opera podcast of Parsifal (Act 1), a short film by Kopernikus1618 demonstrating what happens when "Andy Warhol meets Richard Wagner."

Speaking of Unnatural Acts, La Cieca is once more setting a precedent by offering an alternative to the current program of Wagner's Rienzi, a live performance from Vienna in 1997. Since the Vienna Rienzi is heavily cut and catches Siegfried Jerusalem on an off night vocally, La Cieca has decided to make available the most nearly complete version of Rienzi available, based on a 1976 radio performance of the work conducted by Edward Downes. These mp3s were encoded by the ineffable Mike Richter for one of his invaluable Audio Encyclopedia CD-ROMs. You can download a .zip file containing the five acts of Rienzi here.

If you like what you hear (and why should you not?), you should note that this complete recording is now available in excellent sound on a 4 CD set released by Ponto, and the whole thing will set you back less than a Jackson.

Oh, and did La Cieca mention the video currently on the Unnatural Acts page, a short film in which five divas offer their "regrets" for their non-attendance at the Met's 1983 Centennial Gala? You will be overjoyed (we hope) to hear that this clip includes the celebrated Renata Scotto X-ray Story!

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10 July 2007

Rhine Gold

The Chuck Jones classic What's Opera, Doc? premiered exactly 50 years ago this week. And did you know that the "Bugs Bunny meet Wagner" motif was first essayed two years earlier, in the wartime short Herr Meets Hare?

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27 June 2007

Gia i biscotti adunansi

04 June 2007

Dog Sees Diva

The month of June in New York traditionally offers scant little in the way of operatic entertainment beyond the Met's Parks concerts. And so the premiere of an opera-themed play off-Broadway sounds like particularly good news.

The show is called The Second Tosca, and it is described as "a contemporary comedy that takes place backstage at Opera California during rehearsals for Tosca. Meet a rising operatic star, her rivalrous brother, the controlling maestro who wants to marry her, a diva with a dog, an assistant with a dream, and a meddling singing ghost." The author is Tom Rowan and the "rising star" is portrayed by Eve Gigliotti. The producer is Sorrel Tomlinson, whose first production, Dog Sees God, was one of the breakout hits of the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival.

The Second Tosca opens at the 45th Street Theater (354 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues) for a limited engagement through July 1. Opening night, June 13th, will be at 6:30pm. All other performances run Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by calling 212-868-4444 or visiting Smart Tix.

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24 March 2007


Our editor JJ's busy week included a review of the Met's Aegyptische Helena in Gay City News, and that panel La Cieca has been yammering about all week. As his presentation on the topic "Opera and Technology," JJ introduced this little documentary about your own La Cieca.

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28 February 2007

Auteur! Auteur!

La Cieca has managed yet once more to scoop the everloving world. Here, for your enjoyment, prior to its unveiling in the Met's Schwartz gallery: an exclusive sneak preview of the just-completed video portrait of Renee Fleming, directed by Robert Wilson.

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