Cher Public

the gay science

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La Cieca understands that Francesca Zambello is very smart about things like myths and technology and conspicuous consumption and disempowered women. But would totallly kill her to get an independent queer eye to take a quick look at the clothes in her new Siegfried production? Is there any Heldentenor on earth who looks good in a manboob-hugging v neck tee? And does anyone imagine that most dramatic sopranos (we’re not talking Anja Silja here) can pull off skintight jeans and a leather bustier?


In a startling double-reverse action, the board of the New York City Opera has chosen George Steel as the company’s new General Director. The formal announcement of Steel’s appointment made moments ago (as, need one say, La Cieca predicted) in the New York Times. Steel, whose 14-week incumbency as General Manager of Dallas Opera has been mostly uneventful so far, previously had announced he was “not interested” in the NYCO position. Read more »

legit canary ankles smalltime

According to Variety, America’s Soprano Renée Fleming is poised to conquer new worlds of entertainment. Not content to rest on her laurels as diva, scent entrepreneur, dessert namesake and single working mother, Fleming has signed with talent agency Paradigm who promise to “scout out opportunities in thesping, endorsement, publishing and digital media” for the artist “with the goal of expanding her profile beyond the opera world and into pop culture.”

La Fleming was introduced to paradigm tenpercenter Jack Tantleff by Francesca Zambello, the erstwhile opera director who will be remembered by posterity as the helmer of the criticially acclaimed musical The Little Mermaid.

Although Variety does not record the conversation that took place between Zambello and Fleming leading to the soprano’s decision, La Cieca has taken the liberty of reconstructing the scene. According to Ms. Fleming, “There I was in Ms. Zambello’s office, and she was saying to me, ‘Renée, get yourself some new orchestrations, new routines and red velvet curtains. Get a feathered hat for the baby; photographs in front of the theater. Get an agent and in jig time you’ll be being booked in the big time!’ Oh, what a dream!”

The showbiz chronicle helpfully reminds the public of the whirlwind schedule of The Diva of the Future, who upon her return from serenading the Olympians will “topline the Met’s opening night gala Sept. 22, an event that also serves as the launch of her perfume.”

french connection

Francesca Zambello, director of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, will be awarded the Chevalier Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government for her contribution to French culture. The reception will be held on Monday, March 10th at The Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Read more »

get me pat racette!

The author, now viewed as an early feminist, based the plot on her own difficult experience with postpartum depression, which was then diagnosed as a nervous disorder curable only by a long period of bed rest, over-feeding and withdrawal from the world of family and friends. The character in the opera ends up going mad from this treatment, while confined to a room with peeling wallpaper. You know how sometimes you read about a new opera and you think, boy, this has Francesca Zambello written all over it?

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