Cher Public

“Ecco la luce…”

That day we all knew eventually would come did come, in the winter of 2001, when the final issue of parterre box, the queer opera zine was mailed out to the cher public, such as they were at the time. La Cieca is happy to recall that we went out in gala fashion, though, with an in-depth interview with James McCourt, parting rants from stalwarts Enzo Bordello and Dawn Fatale, an imaginary farewell concert and a mediocre Sondheim parody. As dear William Shakespeare once remarked, “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it,” and so, your doyenne hopes, the late zine will leave you with a fond memory or two. [Download Issue #48]

Drama queen

The very first words in this issue are “Renata Scotto will return to the American operatic stage in the 2001 season!” And if just gets more exciting from there!  Casting and repertoire gossip from all over the place; the Top 50 Excuses for Jane Eaglen‘s Isolde; reviews by Dawn Fatale, Qual Cor, Enzo Bordello, Doug Peck, Richard and Peter, Flora Bervoix and The Loge Lizard; Leila de Lakmé pays tribute to Leonie Rysanek, and that notorious “artist’s conception” of Renée Fleming with the nekkid guys in Alcina. [Download Issue #39]

Something beyond the normal

The celebrated “lost” issue of parterre box, the queer opera zine (now found, thanks to the avid cataloging of Indiana Loiterer III) features a blow-by-blow account of La Cieca and Dawn Fatale‘s Italian sojourn, including reviews from Firenze, Roma, Torino and Bologna; the debut of John Yohalem with the thought-provoking essay “Effeminato Amante;” the “Name That Diva!” quiz; a report from Enzo Bordello; and an analysis of the trouble status of La Scala by Mario Cavaradossi.  Plus: parterre’s first and only erratum slip! [Download Issue #37]

Bass-barihunk

Richard Bernstein is a very good-looking guy, even with his clothes on.”

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She is a diamond

“La Cieca cannot imagine it is much fun to sing ‘Dove sono’ when you’re suffering a fresh case of the Reno jumpy-wumps.”

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That kind of diva

In Vintage Issue #32: How that opening night of Lohengrin might have gone; La Cieca on La Gran Scena…

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Remembering Shirley Verrett

When handing out the goodies, the gods weren’t stingy with Shirley Verrett.  Few opera singers were as prodigiously gifted as Verrett:  the perfect amalgam of Kunst and Stimm housed in a frame of voluptuous allure.  In addition to an instrument of stunning natural beauty and easy range, Verrett displayed superior musicianship, dramatic intelligence and searing interpretative commitment.  

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The last days of disco

The Met’s 1979 telecast of Mahagonny exposed one of the lesser-known factors contributing to the demise of disco:  the global supply of eye shadow, rouge and lip gloss was exhausted for the next decade by a cast featuring Klara Barlow, Louise Wohlafka, Nedda Casei, Gwynn Cornell, Joann Grillo and Isola Jones—and stilettos, garter belts and hairspray were pretty hard to come by, as well!  (Ethel Merman had already cleaned New York City out of reinforced girdles, so the Met was left to its own devices.)  

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