White Shirt Monday: …and this is why opera was invented for lesbians.


[Ruggiero (Franziska Gottwald) and Alcina (Claudia Rohrbach) going for some White T-shirt action in Handel’s “Alcina” in Ingo Kerkhof’s staging (remember that insanely hot Countess/Cherubino sequence in Hannover?) for Cologne, Cologne 2012. – all images: click to enlarge]

While I realize that many readers at the moment don’t visit for the opera, but for the fiction, I still recommend this post if you like a) women in suits, b) women in slinky dresses c) both of these making out with each other in all possible combinations, d) women with neckties or e) women with swords, knives and guns.


So, these two are engaged to get married (and clearly none of them is wearing a dress for the ceremony): Ruggiero (Franziska Gottwald) and Bradamante (Katrin Wundsam).


But Ruggiero gets dragged off to the magic island of Alcina, who turns Ruggiero into her love slave.


Ruggiero doesn’t mind.

(Of course, nothing in the world can ever top Naglestad/Coote in this – if you are gay and are only willing to watch one opera clip in your life, let it be this one. Or watch it here unblocked, just fast forward to 10’00)


At all.

(Also, this is how you take a tie off another woman. Cue right into tango.)


Then Bradamante shows up to get Ruggiero back. She dresses in a suit for the occasion because this opera isn”t bursting with lesbian innuendo already. – Of course, as soon as she appears, Alcina’s sister Morgana (Anna Palimina) dumps her boyfriend and is all over Bradamante in drag. – Hands! Hands!! (also, Re: Naglestad, see above)


Bradamante even gets to duel it out with the ex. Dashing! (of course she wins)


There is a lot of confusion and magic and dyke drama fights – with knives…


…and with guns…


…until the initial fiancΓ©es are reunited (although we were all rooting for Alcina. Even Handel does).


Also, Bradamante seems kind of sad at having to break up with Abby Kenzi Morgana.

Opera: Designed for Dykes. I rest my case.

You can check out the full trailer here.

Also it shouldn’t go unmentioned that Opera Cologne has done an outstanding job in general over the past few years, despite budget cuts, until all hell broke loose this spring when intendant Uwe Eric Laufenberg got fired over saying “no” to even more budget cuts.

30 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: …and this is why opera was invented for lesbians.”

    1. in this production, Bradamante is definitely the most swoon-worthy! So much that I forgot about the drinks – how about we add ice cubes to your Tumblr topic mix (really nice blend!) and use that as a cocktail? πŸ˜‰


      1. Brilliant idea, and thank you for the kind words! I ADORE “White-Shirt Monday” and honestly have no idea why I’ve never posted a comment before. With this particular WSM tho, I shall have to re-listen to the YouTube clip with *only* audio, since I honestly didn’t hear a note and am unable to comment at all on the quality of Naglestad’s voice. :-p

        P.S. I knew you were a sci-fi fan from reading some of your J7 fics two(?) summers ago, but I nearly died of happiness when you started posting Bering and Wells. I am slowly reading the fic, since it is TRULY outstanding; have you considered applying to be a writer for the show? πŸ™‚


        1. Naglestad’s voice. Yes. πŸ˜€ Usually, I leave the video on and then my glasses team up, so I end up with audio only. πŸ˜€

          Thank you for your compliments on my fiction writing! Bering and Wells are a recent addiction which I fully blame on Tumblr, but I’m having a blast writing them (not so sure the execs at SyFy would agree with my focus and plot, though… πŸ˜‰ ).


      1. Just ordered the Kasarova version. Did you prefer the other?
        I just don’t understand why a city would want to strangle its own opera. Its such a pity that lack of funding can cause such damage.


        1. They both have their points – the Kasarova is amazing muscially, with a good procution, the other is quite possibly the best staging I’ve ever seen (also, my brain tends to melt when it comes to Nagelstad), but also musically good.
          Cities strangling their own operas… sadly, that one is going around at the moment. In times of crisis, politicians tend to believe that the first thing to cut off is culture (second is usually education…).


          1. Just watched the Youtube clip of Naglestad, “Ah! Mio Cor! Schemito Sei!” and I think I understand….
            – what suspense – that voice! – that DRESS !!! breathing becomes so difficult!


            1. And that was in no way a wardrobe malfunction!
              I meant my breathing – not hers – though hers must have been challenging enough in those positions….


            2. the first time I watched this produciotn, I didn’t even notice the “wardrobe malfunction that wasn’t” because I was so busy staring at her face. My girlfriend at the time had to point the naked details out to me.


      2. Ooh I know what I’m going to do tonight (apart from catching up on Troubled Passage) – watch your favourite version of Alcina of course! I’ve only seen a few clips with very poor quality before but it’s pure dyke-o-rama (much as I love the Musketeers/Pirates version with Kasarova, that one’s decidedly less queer – or at least less obviously flirting with queer culture)


        1. I just watched it and WOW. I feel… addressed (shoe fetishists should, too) Visually and dramatically it’s now my favourite Alcina (mind you, the only other full version I’ve seen is the Kasarova DVD). I think I’m in love with Alice Coote – definitely have to check out what else she’s done. I’m also kind of rooting for Bradamante in this one – I like her sexy librarian look (though Alcina is obviously veeery attractive). But of course the ending is all wrong – she should have stayed in her suit and settled for Morgana. Or, better yet, they could all have ended up in a big happy polyamorous relationship! Even Oronte could be in it – I liked this cute young Oronte and his striptease. I’m talking about the acting, not the singing – he sounded mostly, well, young (though I’m no judge of tenors as I fail to appreciate that whole vocal range). Morgana also sounded a bit screechy, but perhaps that was due to poor sound quality. Musically, it can’t compare with the Kasarova version. Still, another must have on DVD:


        2. “in love with Alice Coote -” Cendrillon & L’incoronazione di Poppea are both available on DVD possibly on you tube too


  1. Just got done watching the whole opera and it so wonderful! – shape-shifting/dual personalities/enchantment, hallucinations…. hallucinations? I think I had one, because I could have sworn I saw a dress come completely off on stage. SHOES! spit-shined doc martens, 9 mm pistols, bondage, cherries strewn all over the stage (hmm – that had to have been symbolic), magenta-pink chemises under black suits, absolutely thrilling arias, one amazing high f#, (?) lesbians all over the place…
    I didn’t expect Bradamante and Ruggiero to turn so sanctimonious at the end: It made me forget that I was so affected by Ruggiero’s piteous “Verdi prate.” Boys are so unsympathetic. Alcina’s “Mi restano le lagrime” was heart-breaking. O Alcina, you were a bad girl, but chin up, there have got to be much better fish in the sea than that prig Ruggiero – cpnsider a nice girl….


    1. “a nice girl” – now THERE is a plan, inkbrain! After that moment with Alcina in a suit hitting on Bradamante in a dress, I con see that very well.
      Eh, now where was the ice water?!


  2. I don’t have words to describe how wonderful this post was. I just got completely side-tracked from what I was doing. Thank you!


  3. Don’t want to be boring but you should have seen SC and Joan Rodgers in the ENO production in 1999. unfortunately it was only revived once.


        1. hargh, and you dangle it before us, only to let us know that we can never have it? *tears out hair and wrings hands*


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