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Death of Xena – The Opera

Excerpt from On the Meaning of Adam Lambert, the book

Ever since posting the Finishing School* course on Opera, I’ve been fantasizing about hearing Adam sing something from the classical repertory, and that thought segued into gifting him with a love aria. My selection: “V’adoro pupille” from Handel’s Giulio Cesare. The words are so fitting (transl by R. Burstein):

V’adoro, pupille,                  I adore you, eyes,
saette d’amore,                    lightning bolts of love,
le vostre faville                   your sparks
son grate nel sen.                are welcome in my breast.
Pietose vi brama                 My sad heart
il mesto mio core,               desires you (to be) compassionate,
ch’ogn’ora vi chiama          (my heart) which at every hour calls you
l’amato suo ben.                  its dearest beloved.

This performance by Kiri Te Kanawa is a stunner – chills up my spine. Sexy beyond belief. Think of it as the opera version of Crawl Through Fire (sorry, not remotely on the same level artistically… but they share a common visual theme of half-clad young women caressing the youth). Imagine Adam as the beautiful young man in the video. Sigh. Going to sleep with this image emblazoned in my mind.

By Juneau Underwood on 08/19/2009 11:41 pm

Juneau, what a lovely gift for us. I did imagine Adam as the young man, difficult not to – stunning mature woman, beautiful young man she’s put on a pedestal – he changes clothes – her words express our feelings perfectly “lightning bolts of love”, impossible love and begging him to be compassionate with us.

Could have been written for our situation – are we living a classic Shakespearean plot?  A common narrative of art and literature?

I so want him to sing this type of music – to luxuriate in his voice, a velvet cover for the low notes – floating sheer gossamer silk for the high notes – gracing our skin as it flutters over us – so close we can feel his breath.

Wouldn’t an aria in Italian be the most beautiful little gem in his album? Hmmm  He wants to surprise us – this would do it.

Thanks so much J.


By xena princess warrior on 08/20/2009 8:12 am

An Italian Aria from Adam – mmm, what a fantasy…

Did you notice that the youth in the video has a tattoo on his right wrist, which you can glimpse at the end when he reaches up to embrace Kiri? I thought about photoshopping an Eye of Horus there. And didn’t the dark, glittery outfit that he puts on remind you of Adam in Beth? So many parallels. I’m sure we are just playing out a timeless narrative here. The mature woman at the height of her beauty, wisdom and power, filled with love and passion heightened by her consciousness of approaching mortality, bestowing her gift to the youth at the threshold of manhood.

By Juneau Underwood on 08/20/2009 12:37 pm

I did notice the tattoo!! the outfit, the beautiful woman – how on earth did this come to your mind?  the mentor with the protégé of love – even the lighting, the set, her demeanour, so many parallels, we are living in some Greek drama, are we not? Have we not conveyed the same messages – not such evocative language, but the feelings expressed. I think you can glimpse the tattoo while he is being undressed/redressed – a little homoerotica anyone?


By xena princess warrior on 08/20/2009 3:35 pm

The Cosmos just aligned itself for me, I guess. I’d been humming that aria to myself for the last couple of days while drifting about in the waters off Martha’s Vineyard. It’s one of the most ravishing love songs, and it just arose in my consciousness, and the words in the English translation – “eyes like starlight” and “feel your heart’s fire” – connected up with images of Adam. I then wanted to find a great performance and started searching on YouTube. There are quite a few of them, but something drew me to Dame Kiri, and when I saw the video, I just couldn’t believe how many elements lined up with what we’ve been conversing about here. Incidentally, in this aria, Cleopatra is disguised, and Caesar does not know her true identity. She sings to win his love, and what’s fabulous in this video is that she is singing not directly to Caesar but to this beautiful youth, who embodies passion, Eros, and she thereby awakens Caesar’s desire for her. Nice resonance with my fantasy, no?

Wouldn’t it be fun to watch it with Adam?


By Juneau Underwood on 08/20/2009 8:57 pm

I hadn’t even thought about Handel’s homosexuality, but maybe that’s why he writes such transcendent music about longing. I was just reading today about passion versus obsession. Obsession is passion unrequited. This suggests there is only one cure…does not bode well! : )

By Juneau Underwood on 08/20/2009 8:58 pm

And that’s why we are ‘obsessed’ – sounds like this will end badly for us, but the ride is worth it!!

Handel’s homosexuality – he couldn’t have described the male attendants in S&M outfits, with black nail polish, could he? But he would have liked it.

Adam has yet to sing a truly exalted love song, he only sings about unrequited love, lost love, WLL- “love” = sex, distant love.  I hope he records a “happy in love” or “passionate love”, “can’t live without you” love, “swept off our feet” love, “tender” love song


By xena princess warrior on 08/20/2009 11:48 pm

AaaaaaaaaH I know someone who met Adam – two people!!!!

Envy vibes hurtling toward you both!

By xena princess warrior on 08/24/2009 3:09 pm

All Hail Cleo!! the Royal Highness of the sun, moon, stars and universe of Adam.

I am prostrate before you, in admiration of your exalting experience, so brilliantly rendered in colour, light, movement, heat, emotion, so vividly shared with the sistergood and the bad.

Well Cleo, I actually fainted, dropped to my knees and fell over, mumbling “it can’t be over, it can’t be over, why not me Lord?, why not me? Was I not as sweet as Cleo, not so generous? What can I offer as sacrifice? I want a piece of what Cleo got”

I weep with envy, my eyes so green, they’re olives.  He reaches for you, he sings “woman” for you, he wears his hair down for you, he teased GB** even more for you and to top it off – he went outside and talked to you!

And Cleo, you deserve every minute of pleasure you received and thank you for allowing us to peek over your shoulder. You’re the most dedicated Adam-mom, Adam-daughter and Adam-fan.

“Starlight is so genuine….so sweet….so beautiful…..I feel as though I’m floating along with him when he sings this song.  I reach for him as he reaches for me…begging for someone to hold him.  He smiles and moves so fluidly.  I have shivers from head to toe…..and I shake my head to remember where I am.  He is an angel”

I have shivers from head to toe.

Love and hugs


The Death of Xena

A Macabre Opera in One Act

“Well Cleo, I actually fainted, dropped to my knees and fell over, mumbling ‘it can’t be over, it can’t be over, why not me Lord?, why not me? Was I not as sweet as Cleo, not so generous? What can I offer as sacrifice? I want a piece of what Cleo got’”

My family abandoned me years earlier for failing to buy food or to cook – they chained me to my desk to write about Adam till I died.  I wrote prose, I composed poetry, I made art, I gave him everything I had, but still – no meeting, no Adam in the flesh to smile, to touch, to share a berry.

I knew he saw others – those vix and vixens – their blasted smiles burning the screen of my laptop.  Did they talk about me? Did they warn him that I was a sorceress? What of the others – the members of the sistergood? I bet that Cleo with her beauty, money and power got plenty of attention and whispered lies about me in his ear – it was Cleo who filled me with a jealous rage.

CSIsStill, I did not give up until……..resources spent, lawn so overgrown with weeds from neglect, handsome, muscular CSI agents take machetes to chop the vines blocking the door. It’s hot, so they have removed the tops of their uniforms, cooler in t-shirts. They are all tenors and sing like well – Adam.

“What’s that smell?” “Is it orange blossom?” When they enter my room, they hear Adam singing “You Don’t Call me Anymore.” I am chained to my desk, water too far to reach, my body mummified when my remains are found – wretched bony fingers resting on the computer keys, dark purple polish still visible, tufts of blue hair, muted purple and puce silk pyjamas hang loosely on my bones,  room piled high with Adam programmes, photos and posters, his voice on replay – two hours of singing, two hours of interviews.

The remnants of a tray of dates, figs, strawberries and chocolate on a table nearby. On the desk, an empty bottle of cognac. Like the skeleton of a long-finished party – it’s a sad picture.  Two glasses, only one has been used, the other pristine – for the lover who never came?

A brocade-covered, Louis XV chaise longue in the corner, sits unruffled, arms waiting, cushions in perfect array, plump – but now dusty and unappealing.  Alabaster vase holds a bouquet of black and white ostrich feathers, while wax dripped from too many candles covers most surfaces.  The only light – from the moon in a black sky – peeks daintily in through the drapes fluttering in the open windows.

The detectives arrive “when will they ever learn – he’s gay and he’s not coming.” (The detectives sing bass and are dressed in very tight purple jeans, large silver buckles, black open neck shirts and Detectivesblack jackets, python skin boots. – they all have black hair, blue eyes and the remnants of eyeliner from the night before.)

“Yeah, they sacrifice everything, everyone, for a few minutes with him, but he never gets there. How many is that now?”

“I think it’s seven from that one sect alone. What do you suppose the feathers are for?  They show up at every scene.”

“Don’t know, but the victims all have the same cause of death too – broken hearts from an unrequited love. Only the other members of the sect show up for the services”

I gave it all and he never came for me – from off-stage, Dame Kiri te Kanawa sings “V’adore Pupille” from Handel’s The Sorceress.

Multi-media to enhance votre petite expérience.

The Sorceress sings to a beautiful boy pupil, as he is stripped of his white costume and redressed to resemble a Prince of Darkness – blonde hair traded for black, dark cape, black leather trousers.

Long version Dame Kiri te Kanawa – V\’adoro pupille


By xena princess warrior on 08/30/2009 11:43 pm

* Rock Icon Finishing School – it’s in the Book

** Glambulge

9 Comments leave one →
  1. circe permalink
    April 8, 2010 2:59 am

    Your “Death of Xena” was exquisite; you are a comedienne extraordinaire.

  2. kellym11 permalink
    April 8, 2010 6:12 am

    Early on I viewed an interview with Adam. When asked where he would most like to appear he said the Paris Opera House. This is reminiscent of Freddie Mercury performing in Barcelona with a famous opera singer(sorry, I forgot her name).
    After hearing him sing from Brigadoon and the songs he sang in Hebrew could easily perform these works.
    I bought your book and love it but I am reading it slowly so that it will “last”.
    Thank you!

    • Adina permalink
      December 20, 2012 4:39 pm

      Montserrat Caballé. They re-released the album this year with a full orchestra to give people a better look at the music. Maybe you should take a look… some of the early takes are also on YouTube now, with words such as “I’ve opened all the doors and I’m running with the breeze” and Freddie doing the demo for both parts, as well as for orchestra… it’s hysterical. The story is about his guardian angel spirit friend, and includes allusions to Venus by Botticelli.

  3. katesistergood permalink
    April 8, 2010 4:25 pm

    … and were those “snakes” on both of the costumes ? Another similarity of torture.

    Poor Xena !

  4. kms permalink
    April 12, 2010 7:54 am

    Beautiful! Did anyone else notice the small flickering candles? Perhaps our Dark Prince is familiar with this lovely video.

  5. deana permalink
    November 11, 2010 5:48 am

    ilove you adam lambert

  6. April 30, 2011 11:08 am

    Ah Xena, this piece remains as fresh today as when we first set chipped manicures (OK, I speak only for myself) to keyboard two summers ago. I laugh, I feel wistful…I shake my head wondering that I have yet to wake from this dream. I wonder if Adam has stumbled across this one. We know he lurks! Did you see his tweets yesterday about his “muses”? He was only talking about his goatee (he sent out a photo of Johnny Depp, no less). But I couldn’t help but wonder if we haven’t somehow infected his language. Maybe he does read us! If he does, I hope he gets it.

    I remember another feeling too, the day we decided to publish our book. I knew there was a huge risk that if Adam ever saw it, he’d feel it was presumptuous, invasive – how could anyone not, at some level? Yet he is more than just a person. He is a public artist and he tantalizes us with the images he creates, the feelings he makes us feel. Is it not our right to express what that experience means to us? Still, I knew he might be angry, mortified, feel any number of negative feelings. It’s almost too hard to bear that he’d feel that way about you and me. Yet we felt we had to do this, for our own sakes. So, to me, it was like grabbing your hand in mine and taking a Thelma and Louise flying dive off a cliff. And I’ve never felt more alive. Thank you Princess.

    Love you forever,

  7. September 15, 2018 5:51 am

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  1. Another week in the life of Adam F*cking Lambert! |

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