14 December 2007

"Straight, ya know!"

Controversial soprano Anna Netrebko has gone on record categorically denying recent rumors that she... is a lesbian? (My dears, La Cieca has been out of the dating pool for a while, but even she wouldn't mistake Erwin Schrott for a girl!)

Well, my dear Sapphic comrades, all La Cieca can say is, you win some, you lose some. Really, girls, how many toaster ovens does one actually need? After all, this week, your team got Jodie Foster plus a first-round draft pick for Queen Latifah. But, sorry ladies, no Netrebko for you! As blogged by Opera Chic earlier today, our Anna asserted, "Ein für alle Mal: Ich bin nicht lesbisch!"

It should perhaps be noted that she -- Anna, that is, not Opera Chic -- was speaking to a journalist from the glossy German-language celeb mag Bunte at the time. Presumably the declaration would hold up in any language: "Once and for all, I'm not a Gay!"

It seems that there were rumors swirling around Anna since she has been palling around (though not gal-palling around!) with out lesbian pop singer Lucy Diakovska from the band No Angels. La Netrebko explained to Bunte "We went out for a meal together. We happened to meet at a television taping and got along well. I was a huge fan of No Angels and Lucy loves opera. You shouldn't make anything more of it."

The article goes on to say that Netrebko is 36, which would suggest that the rest of the piece is fairly accurate. And, to tell the truth, that's about the whole story, except that Bunte posted a lavish photo gallery of Netrebkiana, with captions that don't always relate to the image. Well, anyway, this is what I mean:

In a related story, Renée Fleming announced earlier today that she plans attend the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show show as the guest of Camille Paglia.

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31 October 2007

"Brokeback" it is!

An interview with director Krzysztof Warlikowski in the current issue of Takt, the house magazine for the Bayerisches Staatsoper, confirms that you, cher public, were exactly right about the "slant" of his new production of Yevgeny Onegin opening tonight in Munich. In the interview (available online, as is the rest of the magazine, in pdf format), Warlikowski draws parallels between Tchaikovksy's life and several plot points of the opera, concluding
Homosexualität verbergen zu müssen und nicht verbergen zu können, das ist für mich der Schlüssel zu diesem Werk. Denken Sie nur an den Film "Brokeback Mountain" von Ang Lee: kein Schwulenfilm, sondern die Geschichte von zwei Menschen, die gegen ihre Leidenschaft ankämpfen müssen, weil die Gesellschaft sie ihnen nicht erlaubt – zwei Menschen, die ihre Liebe zueinander jahrelang nur in Blicken oder kurzen Berührungen leben dürfen.

The interviewer, naturally enough, goes for the followup: "Was hat das mit Tatjana und Onegin zu tun?" As it turns out, Warlikowski's take is pretty much standard queer theory:
Auch Tatjana will gegen die Regeln der Gesellschaft leben – genau wie wie beiden Jungen aus "Brokeback Mountain". In der Briefszene bietet sie Onegin ihre bedingungslose Liebe an, sie will sich das Recht nehmen, ein glückliches Leben führen zu dürfen – in einer Zeit, in der die Frauen, siehe ihre Mutter oder die Njanja, eben nicht glücklich waren und nicht aus Liebe geheiratet haben. Tatjana will genau das . . . . Für mich ist [Onegins] Duellszene mit Lenski fast eine liebesszene. Ist es nicht bemerkenswert, dass Lenski fast nie Olga ansingt, sondern immer nur Onegin? Für mich ist Onegin verliebt in Lenski . . . . So tötet Onegin Lenski in einem verzweifelten Akt der Selbstbehauptung, mit dem er nichts anderes herausschreit als "Ich bin nicht homosexuell!".
The Staatsoper's website offers a short video trailer for the production (unfortunately at the moment available only in a skimpy dialup-size stream) and the audio of the opening night will be webcast live beginning at 2:00 PM (via OperaCast).

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12 October 2007

Mama, I'm not going to warn you again

As if Tomotaka Okamoto weren't enough, here's another countertenor looming on the horizon: Max Emanuel Cencic. Now, don't get La Cieca wrong. She loves her some countertenors, and she frankly adores how Herr Cenic rocks the tête de peau. She warmly congratulates him on his burgeoning discography and of course wishes him well in his impending Lincoln Center appearance (opposite Philippe Jaroussky!) with Les Arts Florissants.

But, seriously, dude, Moby called and he wants his album cover back.

And while we're on the subject, maybe you should revise your official online bio. Probably, it's just La Cieca, but that last sentence gives her the creeps:
Max Emanuel Cencic started his vocal training in early childhood, appearing publicly for the first time at the age of six. He sang the aria "Queen of the Night" in a television show. Subsequently, Max Emanuel Cencic appeared at several concerts and had guest roles at the Zagreb Opera. From 1987 to 1992, Max Emanuel Cencic was a member of the Vienna Boys' Choir. In 1992, he started pursuing a solo career. By employing a special technique, he was able to continue singing soprano.
Yeah, ow. You know, it's just like, ow.

UPDATE: Since La Cieca first informed her cher public about Mr. Cencic's "special technique," she has received an email from, ironically enough, the lovely and talented Herman Melville. Dear Herman encloses scans of album covers depicting the artist "before" and "after."

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30 August 2007

Where is style? Where is skill? Where is forethought?

Yes, another YouTube posting, but this one is something very special indeed. Legendary Zarah Leander is seen in a few moments from her 1975 triumph as Madame Armfelt in Das Lächeln einer Sommernacht (A Little Night Music) at the Theater an der Wien. La Leander also cavorts about a studio, lipsynching a medley of her hits with Les Boys. Once she lights up the cigarette, doesn't she look exactly like Bette Davis doing a musical version of The Little Foxes?

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22 August 2007

Geh! Geh!

This just in: you know who else was schwul? Herbert Janssen!