"No One Will Harm You Inside This Song"
It's an Honor Just to Be Nominated

Orchestra Pit or Passion Pit?

Shocking, simply shocking.  Given the company's apparent obsession this season with, ahem, sex, we may need to change the name of Los Angeles Opera to Los Scandalous Opera.

Let's examine the evidence, shall we?

EXHIBIT A:  Last week, I reported on LAOpera's production of the Brecht-Weill Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, a work in which many of the characters are prostitutes who appear in various stages of dishabille and in the company of randy lumberjacks and such.  Worse, these are Marxist prostitutes, although perhaps they are just written that way.  I posted several video exemplars of the essential naughtiness of this work.

In preparing that post, I discovered that Los Angeles Opera is now making it a habit to post video excerpts from its productions to YouTube.  Consequently, there is now a growing trove of compromising material sufficient to prove to any doubter that this ostensibly "distinguished cultural institution" is little more than a cover for the spread of raging fleshly lusts.  And it is my sad duty to expose to you the full extent of the threat.

EXHIBIT B:   Perhaps you believe Baroque composers were good churchmen, possessed of only holy thoughts?  Not Claudio Monteverdi, whose L'incoronazione di Poppea is a hotbed of ancient Roman misbehavior.  Did Los Angeles Opera choose to share an excerpt featuring the admirable, upstanding, highly moral philosopher Seneca as he tries in vain to stem the tide of imperial sensuality?  It does not.  Consider the unseemly conduct concentrated in the final minute of this clip:

Naturally, as a defender of the law and all that is good, I was shocked by these proceedings, as I described in my blow by blow account in December.

EXHIBIT C:  As with so many sinister plots, it appears there is a Russian connection.  I refer here to Ms. Anna Netrebko, whose smoldering wiles are such as to turn even cool heads such as that of the redoubtable A. C. Douglas, whose exacting standards were so compromised by Netrebko's recent Met performance that he praised what he admitted he would otherwise dismiss as a "risible piece of typical bel canto trash."  Here in Los Angeles, this belle damoiselle Russe featured recently in a production of Massenet's Manon the theme of which LAOpera hammered home with this video treatise on [gulp] "Sex and the Opera":

EXHIBIT D:  Not yet satisfied, Los Angeles Opera will tonight launch a perfidious new attack on decency and on the towering figure of Richard Wagner.  This evening will mark the premiere of the company's new production of Tannhäuser, print ads for which warn explicitly that it comes replete with "nudity and strong sexual content."  Good gracious, what are the upright and pure to make of this?

So frightful.  So lurid.  One simply cannot look away.   

For those who cannot see this version clearly enough to look away with a proper snort of disdain, there is a larger, clearer Windows Media version on the LAOpera website, here.   As a friend, though, I advise you not to risk further exposure to the lubricious loungings of these scarlet-clad -- and often enough unclad -- debauched and decadent dancing votaries of Venus.   No no, you simply mustn't, really you mustn't.

As for myself, I will be in attendance next Saturday night, filling a seat that might otherwise fall into the hands of some unsuspecting innocent.  It is the least I can do For The Children.

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