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. 

on September 23, 2010 at 7:30 AM

And now, cher public, let’s put today’s singers, the Contemporary Divas, under the microscope. How do they stack up?

on September 22, 2010 at 7:30 AM

La Cieca continues to apply the Kang Method to the dozen divas of the Classic mode. This time, our five criteria for diva status offer fewer total points, but the difficulty level remains the same. Especially for Renata Scotto.

on September 21, 2010 at 12:14 PM

La Cieca preens proudly  to present a peerless pair of protégés (left to right) Squirrel and Maury D’Annato. The bromancers attended (or one should say “took in”) last night’s Ariadne auf Naxos at the Met, and as of early this afternoon they were still deconstructing.

on February 05, 2010 at 5:12 PM

The freshest imaginable gay hell in the December issue of Vogue: a fashion shoot based on the Richard Jones/Met production of Hansel and Gretel — with Lady Gaga in the Philip Langridge part! Plus… Annie Leibovitz! Grace Coddington! Marc Jacobs! Cate Blanchett! Oh, you know you want to know what’s after the jump!

on November 13, 2009 at 5:00 PM

If you’re wondering why the relatively inexperienced George Steel was tapped for the demanding job of hauling the New York City Opera out of the basement — instead of front-runner Francesca Zambello, well, maybe this is why: Zambello, currently in London creating a joint Royal Opera and Royal Ballet production of Tchaikovsky’s comic rarity “The…

on October 23, 2009 at 1:14 PM

The atmosphere around Gotham may become rather more bizarre sometime in the next couple of years when Rufus Wainwright brings his opera Prima Donna into New York. 

on July 30, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Those tiny Czech flags served as red flags for the keen-eyed public, several of whom correctly surmised that last week’s Regie quiz was a production of Prodana nevesta. (The “Mrs. Slocombe from Are You Being Served?” character is Kecal the marriage broker, in this production sung by a bass in drag.) And what, my dears,…

on May 25, 2009 at 8:53 PM

La Cieca warns you, music writers, she is going to giggle like a madwoman you begin your article with the line  “We owe Chicago Opera Theater tremendous thanks for dragging the smaller operas of Benjamin Britten out of the closet…” [Chicago Tribune]

on May 16, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Kudos to tannengrin who identified last week’s Regie puzzler correctly as Nabucco. La Cieca’s heart, though, belongs to Leper Ello, who made a minimally plausible case for Boris Godunov (“The Fool – in drag – laments the future of Russia”). There’s more to lament in this week’s very serious staging.

on April 28, 2009 at 11:34 AM

The world’s newest cult diva returns! Amira Kamel, first Egyptian ever to sing Aida (it says so on YouTube and so it must be true!) adopts for her “barbaric” drag not only the coiffure, maquillage and plastique of legendary Vera Galupe-Borszkh, but seem to have borrowed one of La Dementia’s caftans as well! [kml_flashembed movie=”″…

on April 13, 2009 at 3:14 PM

This vastly superior caption replaces La Cieca’s original, “Rebecca Glasscock back on the pipe?” [Danielle de Niese in Acis e and Galatea at The Royal Opera, photo by Bill Cooper.]

on April 02, 2009 at 12:17 PM

At last we know the identity of the eponymous heroine of Rufus Wainwright‘s maiden effort as opera composer.  The aging Prima Donna who is strugging “to regain her status as a top-flight soprano on the world stages” s’appelle Régine Saint Laurent. If ever a name screamed, “cover girl, put the bass in your walk,” surely…

on March 31, 2009 at 10:59 AM

More light entertainment from the First Annual Pitchy Awards: the prancing panniers of Max Emanuel Cencic. [kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

on January 07, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Next week in New York will be notable for more than just Renée Fleming‘s first local whack at Thaïs. In fact, the night of Wednesday December 10 promises the convergence of two of La Cieca’s favorite demoiselles of dementia, Jessye Normous and Dorothy Bishop performing within minute and blocks of each other. La Bishop’s show,…

on December 07, 2008 at 1:45 AM

Well, the first thing La Cieca will say about the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala is that for all its sprawling splendor it doesn’t look quite what you’d call entertaining. Or rather let’s say it looks as if it won’t sound very entertaining. The visual element — you know, computer-animated Marc Chagall murals and Waltraud Meier…

on November 27, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Fracked-up femmes Patricia Racette, Susan Graham and Deborah Voigt strike a manly pose backstage at the Met before their appearance in the Placido Domingo anniversary shindig on Sunday. (Photo: Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera)

on September 30, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Sopranos Deborah Voigt and Patricia Racette and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham made their drag king debut on Sunday night, and for once the gender confusion has nothing to do with Rufus Wainwright. The trio of songstresses donned tuxes for a spoof of the Three Tenors at a gala honoring Placido Domingo‘s 40th anniversary at the Met.…

on September 30, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Diva of the Future Renée Fleming, whose impending assignments include modeling four couture gowns on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, is shown here making a septuagenarian female impersonator look positively chic by comparison.

on September 04, 2008 at 12:35 PM

It seems our lovely Shequida was not what the judges were looking for, not that night, anyway. [kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]  

on August 28, 2008 at 12:31 PM

My dears, you only thought the whingeing about the Met ticket exchange line was over. Now that the shell-shocked and frostbitten survivors of the Gelb Gulag have dragged themselves back to their rent-controlled flats on upper Columbus Avenue, the next stage of the protest against the Met’s barbaric practices can begin. As in every violent…

on August 19, 2008 at 1:55 PM

This photo by Nancy Palmieri for The New York Times illustrates a review of Karol Szymanowski’s King Roger, a production that even Tony Tommasini thought was just too gay. Perhaps the cher public have ideas for an alternative caption for this photo?

on July 31, 2008 at 4:45 PM

Let us put away gloomy thoughts for a while and enjoy the singing, acting, dancing and costume-changing skills of inimitable Anna Moffo. [kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

on July 23, 2008 at 7:41 PM

It took 60 guesses and a hint or two, but one of the cher public did indeed guess the opera depicted in the previous Regiequiz. Congratulations to mafketis, who somehow managed to see Il trovatore lurking behind the Hercule Poirot drag.  The production of the Verdi warhorse was directed by Philipp Kochheim for the Staatstheater…

on June 05, 2008 at 12:37 PM