Cher Public

High notes on camp

“In naïve, or pure, Camp, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails. Of course, not all seriousness that fails can be redeemed as Camp. Only that which has the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naïve.” (Susan Sontag)   Read more »

The bough friend

The Deutsche Opera an Rhein production of Handel’s Xerxes (which is shared with the Berlin Komische Oper), though I saw it three nights ago, has taken a while to settle down in my brain. That’s not because the Stefan Herheim production is particularly abstruse but rather, on the contrary, because at least at first viewing it seemed relatively straightforward. On the night, I was a little disappointed because I expected something more challenging. Read more »

Drop dead diva

My first experience with John Corigliano’s music was in high school with the ear and mind blowing score he wrote for Ken Russell’s film Altered States. It was nominated for an Academy Award that year alongside John Williams’ orchestral battalions for The Empire Strikes Back, the gentle humanity John Morris brought to The Elephant Man and Phillipe Sarde’s high romance for Tess. All were estimable examples in their own genres, and yet the brass ring that year went to Michael Gore’s disco gyrations for Fame. Sometimes, considering the company, the greater honor is to stand next to those passed over.   Read more »

Top hatters

Christopher Alden‘s production of Handel’s Partenope is so erudite and theatrically audacious and also such a rollicking ride, it’s hard to believe it isn’t crap.

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Fish are jumping and the dudgeon is high

“Quaint camp, says Rupert Christiansen.”

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Queen of the Maybe

“I didn’t think anything could be campier than Adriana. But this is nothing but camp. Adriana at least has tunes.”

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The V.I.P.s

Your doyenne La Cieca (not pictured) invites you to our weekly discussion of off-topic and general interest subjects.

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O Caftan! My Caftan!

Unconcealed by the voluminous folds of this Jessyesqe muumuu is queen-sized talent Jeffery Roberson (also known as Varla Jean Merman.)

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