Cosi Coney

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lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Cosi Coney

Post by lennygoran » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:15 am

Well this coming Thursday we'll see if they got it right with this Cosi--Coney Island was one my hangouts growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950's! Regards, Len :lol:



‘COSÌ FAN TUTTE’ at the Metropolitan Opera (March 15, 7:30 p.m., through April 19). Phelim McDermott’s new production of Mozart’s dark comedy emphasizes its fantasy and its playfulness, setting it in a 1950s Coney Island-style fairground. David Robertson conducts a cast most notable for the Despina of Kelli O’Hara, the Broadway star, as well as Amanda Majeski (Fiordiligi), Serena Malfi (Dorabella), Ben Bliss (Ferrando), Adam Plachetka (Guglielmo) and Christopher Maltman (Don Alfonso).
212-362-6000, metopera.org

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John F
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Location: New York, NY

Re: Cosi Coney

Post by John F » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:39 am

Feh.
John Francis

Beckmesser
Posts: 452
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:11 pm
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Re: Cosi Coney

Post by Beckmesser » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:06 pm

The Met's publicity photo gave me an idea for a game.

Presented with a series of photographs of "modern" (Eurotrash, if you will) opera productions, your challenge would be to identify the operas.

Good luck!!

lennygoran
Posts: 13743
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Cosi Coney

Post by lennygoran » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:23 pm

John F wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:39 am
Feh.
Yeah that was my thought-it wasn't in the create-your-own I put together-then Sue kept saying she wanted to see it and I succumbed and bought tickets. Regards, Len

lennygoran
Posts: 13743
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Cosi Coney

Post by lennygoran » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:32 pm

Beckmesser wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:06 pm
The Met's publicity photo gave me an idea for a game...Good luck!!
I like this idea-probably better than going to the opera! Thanks for wishing me good luck-I'll need it! Regards, Len [maybe there'll be another noreaster and I won't be able to make it in]

lennygoran
Posts: 13743
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Cosi Coney

Post by lennygoran » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:44 am

John F wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:39 am
Feh.
More photos in this article-we see it on Thurs but HD is doing it March 31. Regards, Len



The Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte,” set in 1950s Coney Island, uses sideshow and burlesque performers.



By Corey Kilgannon


The scene onstage suggests a mistaken subway transfer to Coney Island instead of Lincoln Center.

From a small trunk bearing a cartoonish face resembling Coney Island’s iconic grinning mascot, out crawl a dozen sideshow performers: sword swallowers, a snake charmer, a strongman, a fire eater, contortionist, bearded lady and a pair of little people.

But instead of a barker hawking a show of freaks, wonders and human curiosities, the Metropolitan Opera orchestra played the overture from Mozart’s opera “Così Fan Tutte.”

The opera, replete with its name detailed overhead in vintage carnival-style lettering, was originally set in 18th-century Naples, but this production, which opens on Thursday and runs through April 19 at the Met, is set in a 1950s-era Coney Island amusement park.

It features an unusual group of tattooed carnies who auditioned for the roles last year. They are largely veterans of burlesque and sideshow presentations at Sideshows by the Seashore on Surf Avenue in Coney Island and are now getting their Met debut.


They play freaky roles on a stage that includes a Wonder Wheel-style Ferris wheel in the background and campy amusement park rides.

“They’re both disparate talents,” Sage Sovereign, a fire eater from Bushwick, Brooklyn, 28, said of opera singing and sideshow entertaining. “But they’re both ways for people to be transported to another world. We both dedicate our life, our time and our bodies to our art form.”

But, she added: “Would I have ever thought I’d see myself fire-breathing in ‘Così Fan Tutte?’ Never.”

Likewise, it is unlikely that many operagoers have been to a Coney Island sideshow, or even set foot on the boardwalk, said Ray Valenz, 32, a sword swallower.

“They probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to see us otherwise,” said the heavily tattooed Mr. Valenz, who performs in the opera — and at Coney Island — with a partner, Betty Bloomerz, whose real name is Kiri Hochendoner and whose skills include fire-eating and being a human pin cushion.


Mr. Valenz, who like numerous Coney performers, said he had never visited the Metropolitan Opera before auditioning last year.

Neither had Leo Mendez, 27, a native of Brooklyn and a contortionist who is known as Leo the Human Gumby for what he calls his “bonebreaker” style — dislocating his shoulders and pretzeling his limbs.

Mr. Valenz said he has performed on the subways, worked as a New York City parking ticket agent and delivered packages part time for U.P.S.


“Opera singers are so extreme with their voice and we’re extreme with our bodies,” Mr. Nosan said, as stagehands and singers rushed by. “We were so impressed with the singers and they are so impressed by us. It’s reciprocity of extreme passion.”

Mr. Nosan and Ms. Venizelos come from more conventional stage backgrounds, as does Josh Walker, 39, a little person who has performed in “Side Show” on Broadway.

Opera and sideshows might seem on far ends of the cultural spectrum, but the non-sideshow performers “appreciate learning from their talents, even if it’s sword-swallowing, fire-breathing or handling a boa constrictor,” said Mr. Walker, who is 4 feet 6 inches tall.

Zoe Ziegfeld, a snake charmer who handles a nine-foot-long boa constrictor onstage, said she spent her childhood years in Manhattan being transfixed by both the Metropolitan Opera and early memories of the last peep shows in Times Square, “so it’s wild for me to be here like this.”

Ms. Ziegfeld, 32, also performs at Coney Island as a burlesque dancer and a human blockhead.

While the opera performers sing — including the Broadway star Kelli O’Hara — the sideshow cast members perform their specialty acts and serve as carnival workers who push the singers on rides.

For their part, the opera singers spoke of an adjustment period for sharing the stage with bizarre antics.


“I still have not gotten over two feet of steel going down Ray’s throat, or Sage breathing fire left, right and center,” Christopher Maltman, a British baritone who plays Don Alphonso, said of Mr. Valenz and Ms. Sovereign. “It’s very much out of our comfort zone to work with people like that, and in a sense, they are the real stars of the show. These are the real-deal Coney Island performers and they’re absolutely as important onstage as we are.”

The sideshow gang’s main role is to celebrate the two main couples in the opera — think “Grease” remade by Fellini — and helps put over the opera’s incredulous plot, in which the two male leads agree to test the fidelity of each other’s girlfriends by donning disguises and seducing them.

Così’s director, Phelim McDermott, said he decided upon a carnival theme and to hire real performers to help establish a surreal setting to help with the plot, and to set up a glorious collision of the seedy aesthetic of the carnival performers with the stereotype of opera as a stuffy, high-art form.

“There’s something exciting about that world being in here,” he said standing in the opera house.

One sideshow player, a heavily tattooed, pierced and bearded strongman who performs as Titano Oddfellow, 45, landed his role by lifting Mr. McDermott with his teeth during his audition and spinning him around.

During the rehearsal, the orchestra conductor, David Robertson, exhorted his musicians to give the music a Coney Island feel, conjuring an image by telling them to “Look at your child when they’ve had too much cotton candy and a drink and they’re about to blow.”

Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Met, smiled as he watched the rehearsal and remarked: “As one of the stagehands said, ‘I always knew the Met was a circus — now it really is one.’”


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/nyre ... collection

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