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Friday, November 7, 2008

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From the lips of La Cieca, we receive word that David Del Tredici's long, hard Penis Poems wait is over at last. The Pulitzer-prizewinning queer radical's most outrageous song cycle yet, My Favorite Penis Poems, has finally come into the concert repertoire after years of teasing. Soprano Melissa Fogarty will be offering her golden throat to Del Tredici's infamous piece on the stage of Symphony Space on December 4. BAD PUN BREAK. Kudos to Fogarty, who will have to endure more than my obnoxious teasing to bring this piece to life. I've talked about the strange SM overtones of the composer/performer/audience relationship before, but a work like this really—okay one more bad double-entendre—lays them bare. Sheet music is, after all, a set of instructions; instructing somebody to look out over a room of strange men and women and intone the words (THIS IS ALLEN GINSBERG SAYING THIS, NOT ME) "please master touch your cock head to my wrinkled self-hole" is almost a sexual act in itself. True, singers are called upon to portray a great variety of characters onstage, but just reciting some of these poems in public could probably get you arrested as a sex offender in Oklahoma. My first reaction when I heard Del Tredici couldn't find anybody to sing these was, "Man, singers are a buncha prudes," but as one reviews the text it becomes apparent why a lady might think that singing the poem "Now You Know" by Antler might not be the savviest career move. Between what I know of Del Tredici's virtuoso vocal writing and his poets' eagerness to shock, I think it's already safe to say that Melissa Fogarty is the most daring classical singer in the United States. Brava. MORE BAD PUNS. All right, everybody, prick up your ears: you can buy tickets for Del Tredici's Orgelb├╝chlein at the Symphony Space website and discover, for yourself, the penis mightier than the sword. CORRECTION: Melissa Fogarty reports that she will be joined by tenor Robert Frankenberry at the premiere. Frankenberry will sing "Now You Know," "Street Instructions at the Crotch," and "Hot to Trot," and will duet with Ms. Fogarty on "Please Master."

2 comments:

Plattypus said...

So does that mean you're coming to this?

Missy said...

Wow, I'm very flattered by your testament to me without having heard me sing a note--thank you! But I must give credit where credit is due: I will be joined by tenor Robert Frankenberry. He will be singing "Now you know" as well as "Street Instructions at the Crotch" and "Hot to Trot." Even so, I've got some pretty "heady" texts--"Die Forelle" (not your grandmother's Schubert!), "The Importance of Gourdcrafting" (I'm sure singing about sex with a donkey is a terrific career move!) and finally, Rob and I will be duetting on "Please Master" I'm sure we will both rise to the occasion!
--Melissa Fogarty