Der Bling des Nibelung: Götterdämmerung

Jeez, this NYCO situation just keeps getting sadder.

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that an AGMA union strike was imminent, based on a memo AGMA sent out to its members, calling a strike “likely.”

It seems the memo also goes so far as to recognize the possibility that a strike could sink the City Opera for good. Oh well!

Not long after, Ms. Cieca posted the news, a full-on blog brawl opened up in the comments, where none other than AGMA Executive Director Alan S. Gordon (and issuer of the AGMA memo) seemingly posted this comment, awkwardly jumping into the fray which includes alleged AGMA members both for and against the idea of a strike.

Is it just me, or is this all just so unseemly?! And I’m not even from the East Coast.

It’s depressingly propitious that our final installment of Der Bling des Nibelung comes flaming into existence in the middle of this possible, real life immolation of the company.

It would seriously blow if NO ONE got to be New York City Opera. But even caring that much is getting exhausting. Somehow, “We tried” just feels too real to be funny anymore.


Der Bling des Nibelung: Siegfried!!!


Der Bling des Nibelung: Die Walküre

CC4NYCO Presents: Die Walküre

TO DO: Mt. Tremper Arts NYC Benefit Party


(Elke Rindfleisch and Sarah Webber Gallo above)

Mt. Tremper ArtsNYC Benefit Party

Monday, April 27

Books in DUMBO
37 Main Street
Brooklyn, NY
(more details below)

Come out and support this amazing festival, founded by Aynsley Vandenbroucke and Mathew Pokoik. Arts, across the board, are in dire need of direct funding right now. If you can pony up for a ticket to the benefit, please do, and know that, in addition to seeing some fab performances by the likes of Brian Brooks, Mark Jarecke, Catherine Miller, Elke Rindfleisch, and Ms. Vandenbroucke herself, you will be helping make possible a sincere, fiercely curated festival of dance, visual arts, and….what’s that you say?….Opera?

That’s right. Mt. Tremper Arts has asked my little opera ensemble that could–Collective Opera Company (or, COC, if you’re nasty)–to create a brand spankin’ new opera , from scratch! (Save the date — August 21, 22 — if you’d care to see C.C. put his music where his mouth has been…)

If you can’t make the benefit, but still would like to help this young festival thrive for another year, I encourage you to send in donations of any size to:
Mount Tremper Arts
PO Box 88
Mt. Tremper, NY 12457
(Checks should be made out to Mount Tremper Arts)

Support the arts. Support the future.

xoxoC.C. Continue reading

Dancing to the “Beep”

I know this Architecture In Helsinki video/song is probably really trendy, or maybe I missed the trend, and I’m old, and not hip and young as commenters and friends often like to point out to me. Whatever. It’s Friday.

Directed by Melbourne-based Krozm, this video is fun, and has some SERIOUS dance moves. Right around 3:07 the movement starts to get seriously modern.

Der Bling des Nibelung

So, enough with the depressing news!

As much as it’s fun to report on all the havoc the economic meltdown is reeking upon the arts, it’s just getting too depressing.

So I thought I’d lighten things up a bit by presenting a Blingee preview of the Ring Cycle I had intended to bring to NYCO, not so long ago.

Below, installment #1… CC4NYCO Presents…DAS RHEINGOLD!

CC4NYCO Presents: Das Rheingold

I’ll try to bring you the final three parts soon.

BTW, Blingee is super fun to use. I encourage you all to send in your own fabulous Regie-Blingee operas!

Don’t be shy.

Killing The Family To Build The House

So, crap.

Friday, Dan Wakin reports that our dear Brooklyn Philharmonic has canceled all of its concerts for this season, as well as “all of next season’s subscription concerts”. Ironically, the educational programs will still continue, since they still have funding from the government.

This is the kind of crap that drives me insane.

It’s part and parcel of this idea that the arts organizations have to offer “educational” and “outreach” initiatives, separate from the actual art, in order to receive federal dollars.

To regard education and outreach as separate from art is simply asinine. Art is education. Art is outreach. Great art already imparts knowledge and offers experience. Anyone who has been spiritually and intellectually moved by art knows this to be true.

And how does it make sense to fund education about an industry that the government resists directly supporting, in fact, has allowed to collapse? Sure kids, learn to play the clarinet, but try not to dream about playing for your local orchestra, which may or may not be there when you grow up. It boggles the mind.

Second–and not unrelated–Dan Wakin, on the same day, wrote this piece about how ye olde New York City Opera has pretty much looted one third of its own endowment to pay off past expenses and to cover operating costs, because they have no money.

Umm…didn’t NYCO/Lincoln Center just get a $100 Million gift? Oh, wait, that was a capital gift. So, while it’s fabulous that the State Theater will be a better theater for opera after the Koch-sponsored renovations are done: What good does it do IF THERE ISN’T ANY OPERA TO PRESENT?

Claudia La Rocco touches obliquely on this in her article about small performance venues going into debt to launch capital projects, sometimes at the expense of programming.

La Cieca is reporting that some kind of “uprising” may happen this week at NYCO.

God help them. You know we tried.

TO DO: “Pussy Faggot”

pf_tote_eblastTONIGHT @ The Delancey, ubiquitous downtown producer Earl Dax is throwing a birthday bash for himself, which doubles as a fundraiser for Dixon Place’s HOT! Festival of queer performance.

In light of Claudia La Rocco’s insightful piece on the negative impact capital campaigns and anchoring real estate ventures can have on the missions of small arts organizations, it’s probably more important than ever for us all to start giving money to venues like Dixon Place to support actual programming!

Plus, this party, colorfully titled “PUSSY FAGGOT” (here’s some fab background in the Village Voice) is bound to be epic, with the fiercest queer performers coming out of the woodwork to celebrate Dax and his return to the HOT! Festival. Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman are slated to be there, along with a host of other transient downtown artists.

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT: My very own Collective Opera Company will be doing an opera intervention/interactive performance of two excerpts from our upcoming project, SCARLET FEVER, an opera transposition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s iconic (and hilarious) novel, The Scarlet Letter!

Come out and support some hot Hot HOT performers while raising cash for ye old Dixon Place.

It’s here. It’s queer…That pretty much sums it up.

Earl Dax Birthday Party + HOT! Festival Money Maker =



The Delancey Lounge
168 Delancey (between Clinton & Attorney)
Advance Tickets $16-ish with code “hotfest (must purchase in advance!)
Regular Advance Tickets $18 / $25 at the door.

Click through for fierce elaboration from Dax on what, exactly, “Pussy Faggot” is… Continue reading


Peter Tantsits in "8 Songs for a Mad King"

Peter Tantsits with I.C.E. in "8 Songs for a Mad King"

I don’t know what else to say, but: GO SEE PETER TANTSITS TONIGHT.

He’s performing his fierce production of Peter Maxwell Davies’ legendary and totally insane vocal theater work, “8 Songs for a Mad King”, tonight–FOR ONE LAST TIME–at Le Poisson Rouge.

Not only will you have very few opportunities in your lifetime to see this work performed live, but you may also never come across a production quite so exquisite.

Do it. Now.

Peter Maxwell Davies: “Eight Songs for a Mad King”Featuring Peter Tantsits, tenor and Phyllis Chen, toy piano

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker St.
New York
$10 (advance tickets at


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