'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

28 December 2012

Anguish of 'The Choir'

On Thursday 13th December I attended a performance of The Choir written and directed by Errol Bray and after a devastatingly emotional performance I did manage to meet, thank and shake the hand of the playwright. We asked him about his inspiration and he said he was angry at institutionalised abuse way back in 1979. This is now a more commonly discussed problem, but Errol deftly captured the mood and essence way before many recognised it.
The wonderful and outstanding cast of talented young actors
Aaron Wilson as Paul
Christopher Batkin as David
Nick Barclay as Garry
Alexander Bayliss as Colin
Stephen Quinn as Michael
Johnny Legobye as Peter
Christos Mourtzakis as Andrew
The Choir as a play is riveting and dramatic. A friend said he felt gutted by the experience. Seven boys aged from 12 to under 16 (played by young adults) in a dormitory in an orphanage.They are too old now to be wanted or adopted and their only reason for existence is the choir, their soprano voices and each other. The boy in charge dishes out his love to the sexually eager children and the unseen authority are castrating the boys in a false attempt to maintain their voices. Cruelty from authority and each other, abuse by the system and a microcosm of a world reminiscent in some ways to the warped view of survival in Lord of the Flies. There is singing, there is pain and there is death. The ultimate end of a limited, abused and controlled life.
The Choir has been performed around the globe including in London, Yugoslavia  Washington  Sydney and here in Brisbane. See the photos from the programme above and others below.
From a Melbourne Production directed by my friend Robert Chuter for Fly On The Wall Theatre

Click here for my related Post on Eunuchs and Castrati

20 December 2012

Another Christmas

The revived Christmas page.
Australians for a Marriage Equality Christmas
from my city
Some special Christmas recordings by my dear friend Bogdan Mihai.
If you overdo it or get excited, do it with style.
 Always look your best. 
Something traditional and extraordinary. 
This extract (Jessye's Carol) is from my most treasured CD and DVD. Arranged and composed by Donald Fraser, this is the most glorious interpretation of  the songs of Christmas. The divine voice of Jesse Norman is guaranteed to envelop you with a warm glow of comfort and cover you in goose bumps. Several years ago Donald Fraser wrote to me after seeing comments I had made on my old web site about this spectacular recording that he composed. Recorded in 1988 it has become a constant and essential part of my Christmas for the decades ever since. 
Please play this.
There are more extracts on YouTube.
Jessye has always been my nomination for Empress of the World.

An Unusual Christmas tale below.
Nicholas and The Pickled Boys
from St Nicholas Cantata -Benjamin Britten
The choir sings of approaching travellers struggling along a wintry road seeking food in the city. Three women call for their missing boys, "Timothy, Mark, and John are gone." Upon reaching the inn, the travellers order a meal and invite Nicolas to join them. But Nicolas suddenly warns them not to touch the meat, for it is the flesh of the missing boys who have been killed by the butcher and pickled in salt. Before the eyes of the travellers, Nicolas calls the three boys back to life. They enter hand-in-hand, singing, "Alleluia." The choir joins them in praising God for the miracle. video below.

From the grand, spectacular, full on and thrilling 1965 recording of Joan Sutherland 'The Joy of Christmas'. This recording always blew people (ie drunk gay party boys) away at parties. All of Joan's carols are on YouTube.
The Spontaneous Christmas Truce of WWI
The Christmas truce of 1914, just 4 moths after the outbreak of war, was a remarkable phenomenon. Soldiers overcome with the spirit they missed laid down their arms and enemy met enemy between the trenches. There was for a time, genuine peace in No Man's Land. Though the Germans and British were the main participants, the French and Belgians took part as well. They came together talking and shaking hands with the very men they had been trying to kill a few hours before! It did not happen again in the war, but was not unique in history. Informal truces have often taken place over the centuries during long periods of fighting. There are numerous incidents in different wars on different continents of friendship between enemies visiting each others lines, drawing water at the same wells, playing football and sitting around the same campfire sharing their rations, smoking, drinking and playing cards. The Christmas truce of 1914 does not stand-alone, but is certainly the most notable example of its kind. Not only the ordinary soldier, but also NCOs and officers enthusiastically joined in as well. The truce, including photographs and letters from the troops made it into the newspapers from the moment news of it reached home. We should consider it an event to be treasured. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his history of 1914 called the Christmas Truce "an amazing spectacle" and in a memorable description saluted it as "one human episode amid all the atrocities which have stained the memory of the war."
The stunning 2005 film about this.
Happy Christmas War is over

Not the best quality for this old clip, but how often do you get three of the greatest opera singers in the world singing a song by John and Yoko.  Well it has become one of the great traditional Christmas songs over the last  four decades.
 Written 1971.

30 November 2012

New Opera Gems

Valer Barna-Sabadus
Romanian born Counter Tenor living in Germany. He kindly agreed to add me to his facebook list. Listen to this special voice. 
in Artaserse by Leonardo Vinci
Valer Barna-Sabadus Web Site

Artaserse is over three hours of the most amazing singing from an all male cast. Included are also the worlds most impressive singers Max Emanuel Cencic, Philippe Jaroussky. Five Counter-Tenors and one Tenor.
Max Emanuel Cencic New Album
You will have to watch recording on Youtube

Gay Don Giovanni goes to a Gay Nightclub

More Don Giovanni here
Opera Marriage Equality
From the Met to Opera Australia and marries Australian Cabaret singer.

Hilarious "I Think He's Gay" by Pussy Tourette

'Glitter and be Gay' 
from Candide by Leonard Bernstein on Broadway. A wonderful piece for a melodramatic soprano or even a drama/drag queen.

Aureliano in Palmira
The new DVD of Rossini's Aureliano in Palmira with my dear friend and spectacular rising star, the Romanian tenor Bogdan Mihai. The cast also includes a Facebook friend, the stratospheric soprano Maria Aleida and the brilliant countertenor Franco Fagioli.

Opera CD's are getting Sexier
Shots for cover of Simone Kermes CD 'Dramma'
Virgin Classics beautiful angelic Counter Tenor covers.
Opera Atelia Toronto - WOW.
Based in Toronto this Baroque Opera Company certainly know how to promote and stage operas that make them outstandingly pleasing to the eye. Beautiful in style and substance. More companies could benefit from such an approach and get themselves noticed by an expanded audience.  There is an old saying. "Sex sells!"
Check them out here http://www.operaatelier.com/

26 November 2012

Sexy Horror

Once there was Nosferatu
But Vampires got sexier.

I recall when I was younger a Vampire was an ancient, evil, amoral, blood sucking maniac. He did have a certain mystique and occasionally a touch of tall dark and handsome but would always turn nasty. Today he is more likely to be a gentle, attractive moral hero if not a superhero. Few Vampires actually want to be blood suckers in the current batch of sexy heart throbs.  Boys and girls swoon over the appeal of the 'bad boy' who might be changed and if not changed could become at least an exciting lover. He may be generally adorable, but lives on that dangerous edge of self control. He will be the best sex, but the titillating excitement exists that he might just bite you. The premise is that there is something basic and sensual about the exchange of blood that brings about almost orgasmic pleasure to both. It is intimate and it is sharing the life force. How much closer to intimacy can you get?
Blood and Donuts

This 1995 Canadian film has always been one of my favourite films for its quirkiness and cuteness. Both the confused Vampire Boya played by Gordon Currie and the Taxi driver Earl played by Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe) are wonderful. The completely unusual voices, the story and the friendship are original and endearing. There is a great cameo by David Cronenberg.
Vampires David Boreanaz, James Masters and Werewolf Seth Green strip off in Joss Whedon's cult classic 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'.
Queen of the Damned
The 2002 Australian Vampire film just oozed with sensuality. Stuart Townsend was a particularly stunning Lestat and a pretty Robert Farnham son of Australian eternal pop singer Johnny Farnham was a surprise. You will notice Claudia Black (Stargate) as well. 
The Pretty Vampires in Twilight and Vampire Diaries
While on Australians there is the fabulous beautiful and talented Xavier Samuel. The first time I saw him in a film I thought this boy will go far. Yes he is now an international actor. He started with some gay roles then a Vampire in Twilight and then further. I have 10 of his DVD's to date.
Brother Vampires with homoerotic tendencies. Not an ugly actor on the lot. The beautiful ex-model with eye liner eyes Ian Somerhalder and square jawed Paul Wesley.
Gay Vampires fill the imagination, TV - The Lair and now even Porn -Twinklight.
The Very Campy 'Love Bites' 1992
Goodness knows where this sucker came from.
And of course the Vampire Musical - I Kissed a Vampire.

Werewolves always end up naked
One of the draw-backs about turning into a wolf is that your clothes don't fit. You either have to strip first which is done by the sensible modern Werewolf or they get ripped to shreds when you become a large carnivorous monster. This is one of the great appeals of Werewolves. They always end up naked or at least should.
An American Werewolf in London
Being Human 
with fabulous Russell Tovey in the original English series who spent so much time showing us his uncensored butt on a regular basis. It is refreshing to see normal attractive bodies in British series.
Teen Wolf
The cast of Teen Wolf are ridiculously attractive. I don't think an unattractive person is allowed near the set. They may not be naked as they should be if it were not for American censorship which is largely unknown elsewhere in the western world, but they all must live at the gym like too many American actors and there are very few shirts in the wardrobe.
Hemlock Grove
 Canadian Landon Liboiron as the wolf who does show his butt and the mysterious Sweed Bill Skarsgard. Much better written and the acting is superb. Being filmed in Canada means there is more guts and a little nudity unlike a series like Teen Wolf filmed in the US and with US actors..

I Was a Teenage Werebear
Part of a four film collection Chillerama this short 'I Was A Teenage Werebear' stars Sean Paul Lockart (Adult Gay Superstar Brent Corrigan) singing as well as looking fabulous. he is developing a new career and is having a great time doing it.
The Fades
Ian De Caestecker has an orgasm and sprouts wings in this original BAFTA winning series 'The Fades'. Then he goes into battle with the Apocalypse. A truly good series.
Note the British lack of censorship or the look of steroids.

18 November 2012

A Fat and Fabulous Swan

Friday the 16th November at the Powerhouse I saw 32 year old Helpmann Award Nominee Trevor Ashley in the very adult panto Fat Swan. (Think Black Swan or in this case Swine Lake and the Black Pig). Suffering from anorexia, 40 year old Natalie Portley is the neurotic dancer who feels overweight and we see what she sees. An overbearing Mother a lecherous choreographer and a strident competitor are some of the multiple roles taken on by the cast. Trevor Ashley is crude, hilarious and immensely talented. He has a superb voice, quick wit and an outrageous personality. The audience with some involvement shouted true and obscene Panto (look behind you style) warnings, whistled, laughed non stop and applauded all evening in this cabaret style presentation. The cast were brilliant all round with Tara Morice (Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, BAFTA Nominee), Brendan Moar - Award Winning TV personality) and Lisa Adam.
            Tara Morice                         Brendan Moar               Lisa Adam

Some of the many roles in Trevor Ashley's ever expanding career.
Trashley (Annie)
             Priscilla                               Hairspray            Diamonds Are For Trevor

Liza On An E
 The Producers
Trevor Ashley on Youtube
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