FALSETTOS AND FALSIES

THE ALL-MALE TROUPE LA GRAN SCENA SKEWERSCLASSICS TO SHOW THAT LOVING OPERA AND LAUGHING AT IT ARE ONE AND THE SAME

The somber judgment scene from Aida unfolds. Portraying the Egyptian princess Amneris is a singer identified in the program as ``Carmelita Della Vaca- Browne,'' a burly Puerto Rican ex-soprano whose voice (since giving birth to triplets) has darkened to a take-no-prisoners mezzo. In the role of the doomed warrior Radames, all-American tenor ``Tex Stolto'' can't seem to resist handing out glossy photos of himself. And as Ramfis, the high priest, Russian bass ``Boris Pistoff'' doffs his headdress to reveal himself as a Conehead.

This is Aida? Well, yes--as staged by a New York-based all-male company called La Gran Scena. This rare--and...

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