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…

C.C. totally could have used some kind of buffa intermezzo. For serious, this piece was sooooooo heaaaaaaavvvvyyyyy. It was like, tragedy from miserable beginning to miserable ending, with like one moment of levity in the whole thing. I mean, the music was ravishing, but, hey Barber, why not try a major key area for more than half a measure.

And WTF was with that libretto? “I wish you all the joy of the worm.” ?????? Seriously? This shit didn’t even make sense. I think Barber wasn’t able to tell his LIFE PARTER/GAY LOVER/HUSBAND/BF Giancarlo Menotti (not his “friend and fellow composer” as Peter G. Davis wrote in his recollection piece in The Times. What gives Davis? The boys don’t have to be in the closet anymore. Come on, man. Brush off the dust and give us the straight…errr…direct story) that the libretto totally sucked.

Flanigan is a beast! And in the best possible way. Her voice really rang, in the rear (balcony) and on the sidelines.

Teddy was solid, but a couple of his high notes lost focus, and just sounded like belting.

The orchestra worked it, although they overpowered the singers a lot.

Overall? A solid performance of a murky work.

But, seriously George (Steel), you have your work cut out for you.

And, a word of warning.

It didn’t send a great signal that, at the performance, you weren’t even introduced to the public. Judging by the thinness of the audience, NYCO needs some serious PR repair right now. A little advice? Watch “The Queen.”

For realz, this movie will help you negotiate when it’s time for reserve and stoicism, when it’s time to sit back and let things play out, and when it’s time to face your people, and to instill in them confidence and hope. More than anything right now–even maybe more than money–New York City Opera needs a leader who will connect with the people. I know you can be that leader. And New York City deserves that leader.

xoxo, and signing out officially for the campaign, C.C.


We hear that Susan Baker is cutting back next season to 5-7 productions. Did she clear that with you? Just checking.




  1. Seemed like a very good crowd to me. The orchestra and boxes were full, which has been the case only rather rarely this fall and winter at Carnegie. It was a lot more people than I expected, with a lot of last minute walk-ins at the B.O. before the show.

  2. I don’t know what performance you were at… Empty seats abounded.

    And after intermission, the house was barely half full. Alex Ross had a whole row to himself in the orchestra.

    L. Ro. and I had two rows on the side, all to ourselves, except for maybe four other people.

    The back row of every box was empty, even at the beginning.

    The sides of the balcony were completely empty.

    I just don’t know how you come up with this assessment.

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