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TO DO: Horror At The New York City Opera



Presented by CAKE: New Art & Performance at Chez Bushwick


What? Did you think that just because I lost, and did a final postmortem, that I was going to let this thing go?

Not on your life!

I’m here to announce that you are all invited to an awesome candlelight poetry vigil/film screening to memorialize the crushing defeat of my campaign to take over the New York City Opera.

The evening will feature:

1. Candles

2. Poetry open mic (for anyone who would like to express their grief)

3. The new aria, “I Wuz New York City Opera,” composed and performed by Ryan Tracy, featuring shout outs to George Steel, Susan Baker and good old T-Bone Tommasini! (For realz. This is not a joke.)

4. A special screening of Dario Argento’s 1987 cult classic film, “Terror At The Opera,” in which an Italian production of Verdi’s “Macbeth” becomes mired in the bloody antics of a psychopathic opera fan.

5. Fresh popcorn. (obv)

Come share an evening of sorrow and slashing, as we remember the New York City Opera that could have been, and imagine what horrors may await the New York City Opera of the future!

Saturday, January 24th
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Chez Bushwick
304 Boerum St., Buzzer #11
(Between Bogart and White)
Brooklyn, NY 11206

• L Train To Morgan Avenue •
• 2 Blocks From The Station •
Click Here For Googlemap

RSVP (Limited Seating):




So, umm…guess who totally met George Steel last night!? That’s right. Little ole me! And I didn’t even have to try.

During the intermission of the gala performance at Carnegie Hall–What? Did you think I wasn’t going to go, just because I lost? Fat chance!–L. Ro and I were wending our way down the staircase, looking for the bathrooms, when who should walk RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, but the new General Manager/Artistic Director/Superhero himself!

So I just walked right up to him and introduced myself. I can’t say that he knew exactly who I was, although he did express a kind of “oh yes” recognition, but I congratulated him on his victory and wished him well, as any respectable and vanquished challenger would have done.

Our moment was fleeting, so I didn’t have time to read him my fifteen page (single-spaced) manifesto, but the seed has definitely been planted. If we can’t take over City Opera, maybe we can at least commandeer one of the reins.

As you know, I had bought seats up in the nosebleeds–for realz, like I can barely walk today cuz my kneecaps practically exploded–but since, frankly, NOBODY WAS AT THIS SHOW (NYCO had to paper for this performance, and still ain’t nobody interested), L. Ro. and I moved down to the third ring, or whatever it’s called.

There, I was totally able to spy on everyone.

Like, how cute was it to see A. Ro., totally actually being a critic! He sat very politely, taking notes and only occasionally flipping through the program (thank god we weren’t alone). Ross is back on the nice list, btw, for giving our failed coup an honorable mention!!! (We still heart you, but, for realz, we seriously need to talk about the tritone; I mean, how many of those did we hear last night? Like a billion.)

We also spotted T. Bone, and the venerable if illusive Dan Wakin. That girl has been working overtime, btw. What with the big George Steel break, and this morning’s piece on the twilight of The Met?! WTF is going on? Oh, right, 12 months of recession and corporate thievery. Grrrr….

As for the per-for-mance… Continue reading


My Fellow Americans:

I have come to learn that New York City Opera has chosen former director of the Miller Theater, George Steel, to assume the role of General Manager and Artistic Director for the company.

While I am disappointed in the outcome, I am not devastated. I have already regrouped with friends, loved ones, supporters, and those advisors and campaign staff who have worked so diligently to help usher in an unprecedented culture of new opera in New York City: We do not intend to let this unfortunate news impede our path to creating a new paradigm for opera.

Nevertheless, after weeks of furious campaigning, my bid to become the director of the New York City Opera has come to an end.

Many of you may feel confused. Many of you may be wondering what happens now. Many of you may be crying.

Let me assure all of you that our efforts have not been in vain.

Before continuing, let me say that my goal has always been to see New York City Opera thrive and succeed. To my challenger and respected victor, George Steel, I wish you all the best (and sorry about confusing you with the professional wrestler), and I truly hope you lead New York City Opera into the future with gusto, while taking risks, promoting new opera works and fresh talent, and presenting a broad range of repertoire for a wide variety of opera lovers.

I offer you my ear, and my shoulder, should you ever need advice or confidence, or if you need ideas for developing the future of opera creatively and responsibly. I am here for you.

But to my supporters; to my fans; to my people; to those who have believed in me from the beginning, and to those who have been won over to the cause along the way; let me say this to all of you: Our time may have not come this day, but our time will come one day!

Even today, my campaign is organizing a force of directors, producers and creative artists who share my vision to stimulate a culture of new opera in New York City. Our cause is worthy. Our cause is just. And there is too much support and fearless passion behind us to set aside our dreams because one organization wouldn’t open its eyes, mind, and heart to our vision.

Our vision is a most rare vision. And we will make sure, with hard work and a little hustle, that it becomes more than a dream.

God bless the City of New York. And god bless opera.



BREAKING: The Hearts Of CC4NYCO Supporters Everywhere

La Cieca is reporting that a super secret source (aka Magic 8 Ball) has revealed that NYCO has picked on-again/off-again George Steel to lead NYCO into the sunset!

The Counter Critic will release a statement as soon as Dan Wakin’s story has gone live on the New York Times website.

M5 – Rear Balcony

carnegie-seating_chrtv_ccSo, umm, this is my seat for Thursday night’s New York City Opera gala concert performance of Barber’s Antony & Cleopatra at Carnegie Hall.

I figured if I’m going to be running the place and all, I should probably show face.

I couldn’t afford the $1,000 it takes to get into the black tie affair before the concert. I’m not against the idea of a gala fund raiser, but if I had that kind of money to drop on a dinner, I’d just flat out buy the City Opera and be done with it.

But I’m seriously excited about the concert. I’ve a growing affinity for Barber. Lauren Flannigan can be fierce and ferosh. And Teddy Tahu Rhodes is all around delish.

I suppose it might not seem professional to admit that I’m attracted to one of the performers. But come on. Like Balanchine and Robbins weren’t going gaga over all the pretty boys that came waltzing through their halls, mounted on the stage for all the upper crust to oggle and pretend they’re not totally staring at the butt cracks of all the male dancers. (At least, that’s what I do when I go to the ballet. Well it isn’t the only thing I do, but it’s definitely a major part of the experience.)

And speaking of rears…

If anyone–T. Bone, A. Ro., The Board of Directors, Mr. Kaiser, Ms. Baker, people from the cast of I Am City Opera; ANYONE–has anything you want to say to me/offer me/throw at me, you’ll know where to find me on Thursday:

Rear Balcony, seat M5.


Twilight of the Opera Houses

Amato Opera 1948-2009

RIP: Amato Opera 1948-2009