Cher Public

pirates not so scary after all


A new study suggests that milder forms of intellectual property piracy (e.g., file sharing) seem to have no ill effects on the lively production of books, films and music. [NYT]

everything but the bloodhounds

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 prancing about in a copy of Rosa Ponselle‘s Carmen drag — will likely achieve a level of instant camp approaching that of Rosie O’Donnell‘s variety show last night. (La Cieca had no room for the phrase in the previous run-on sentence, but, anyway, good old Rosa’s “controversial” toreador pants ensemble was of course designed by “dyke, ya know” Valentina.)

Leaving aside such questions as “are there really more than a dozen people in New York iwho are really panting to hear Natalie Dessay sing Violetta,” what La Cieca wonders is: can there be a less appropriate selection for a gala than the final scene from Parsifal, and to close the first half (a la Birdie Coonan) yet? Surely someone at the Met realizes that as soon as the audience starts applauding, some heligie Kunst nut will bellow, “Shuddup! It’s a sacred festival play!”

On the other hand, La Cieca feels that in the current political climate it is a deliciously subversive act for the Met to program this music drama for its anniversary, since the company’s 1903 premiere of the work constituted perhaps the greatest example of theft of intellectual property in operatic history. Pirate-y!

Septuagenarian Song

The New York Post‘s Clive Barnes is going to blush beet-red when he hears from the publicists (or the lawyers) who handle Placido Domingo. In a review of the Met’s Rigoletto, Barnes refers to PD as “the 72-year-old tenor.” Domingo admits to 65, though some gossips have long sniped that this figure doesn’t add up with the dates of his earliest documented performances. (La Cieca might as well say right now that there are even a few Placidophobes out there who would add, “and they got the ‘tenor’ part wrong too,” but she’s not even going to go near there.)

And in the Times this morning (La Cieca so loves her morning papers!), Ben Ratliff does a Critic’s Notebook about rare jazz and pop music videos found on — the site La Cieca has been using to share a few opera vids with her cher public. La Cieca rather likes the first half of the piece, in which Mr. Ratliff salivates over footage of George Clinton and Sarah Vaughan he’d never seen before. Inevitably (and sadly) though, the larger part of the article is concerned with what the author calls “legal and ethical problems.” An anonymous spokesnazi for the RIAA intones, “uploading or distributing copyrighted material, without permission from the copyright holder, is illegal,” but an entertainment lawyer offers the opinion that YouTube is protected by a safe harbor in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. In the meantime, remember that you too can upload favorite operatic video content to share with the parterre community (as explained here), subject of course to YouTube’s terms of service.