We already discussed Esa-Pekka Salonen's penchant for the goth lifestyle, a passion not matched by the Los Angeles powers-that-be; now friend of OC Tim Mangan reports from the LA Phil's opening night's gala.
Even if the scawyness of the program was toned down, E-Pek got his Grand Macabre on (and his rawks off) unleashing -- and this is truly genius -- Canadian soprano/ sultry goth chick Barbara Hannigan on Ligeti's score:
Hannigan showed up in a leather coat and boots and apparent wig to sing “Mysteries of the Macabre,” a compilation from Ligeti’s opera “Le Grand Macabre.” It’s a weird and funny piece in which the character, Gepopo, the Chief of Police in a fantastical land, sings in code and goes haywire in the process, like a robot on speed. It’s a coloratura tour de force, the orchestra cackling, squeaking and burping in support, and Hannigan threw herself into it with considerable success. At the end, the “Firebird” finale came festooned with some nifty indoor fireworks (really), timed to the beats in the music. No one was hurt.It's all fun until you consider that there are only 22 E-Pek concerts to go until he leaves L.A.
Then it gets sad.
(Hannigan photo above by Mathew Imaging. Below, 1950s L.A. soprano "Vampira").