The most entrenched gay stereotypes may be the "opera buff", "show tune queen" and "disco bunny". And while I've previously written posts about Broadway shows and dance music I haven't written anything on the world of opera - until now. So I'll start at the top by paying tribute to the world-renowned La Scala in Milan, which opened its doors on August 3, 1778.
Teatro alla Scala is considered the world's most famous opera house, followed by the Metropolitan Opera House in New York (opened in 1966); Australia's Sydney Opera House (1973); London's Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (1858); and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1825). Other famous houses are in Paris, Vienna, San Francisco, Buenos Aires and Vienna. There's also the Santa Fe Opera Theater which is known for its open-air design (and where I saw Rigoletto in August 2008).
Of course, all of the legends have performed at La Scala, including Enrico Caruso, who made his La Scala debut in 1900; Maria Callas (far left) in 1951; Joan Sutherland in 1961; Pavarotti in 1965; and Beverly Sills (center) in 1969. In 2007 sexy Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez (near left), whose La Scala debut was in 1996, was called back for the first encore there in 74 years. Famous operas that had their premieres at La Scala include Bellini's Norma (1831); Verdi's Falstaff (1893) and Puccini's Madama Butterfly (1904).
Writing about La Scala brings to mind the sensual, and sensational, 2010 movie I Am Love, starring gay favorite Tilda Swinton. Set in Milan, it has a sweeping, operatic-like score that's very fitting, especially for the film's dramatic, over-the-top ending. It's worth renting.