Balena Canto’s Variety Hour Episode III (Featuring Swan Flambé)
This month, I am elated to announce our special guest will be drag queen and cellist, Swan, Flambé! Join me and Swan as we sit down and discuss their musical/artistic journey. We’ll also cover topics like the integration of classical music and drag, the American conservatory system/culture and the negative effects/struggle it perpetuates, and much more.
You can also expect a few performances from yours truly, an update on current events in the operatic world, and perhaps an operatic video game offering…you’ll have to tune in to see what that is about!
We’ll see you Friday, May 7th @ 7:30 pm EST!
Balena Canto’s Variety Hour is just that, a variety show with endless possibilities! Join drag queen and opera singer, Balena Canto as she explores the worlds of drag, opera, classical music, musical theater, and how they all intersect! You’ll experience everything from performances, comedic sketches, games, interviews, discussions, special guests, and much much more!
Who is Balena Canto:
Balena Canto is a song-wielding siren with a voice snatched for the gods. Born on the southern coast of Italia, Balena sang out to sea conjuring a passing humpback whale who took her to a distant and mysterious land called, Philadelphia. Balena’s favorite thing about her home is a local delicacy called, “water ice” (helps soothe the singer’s throat). Balena’s mission in life is to bring joy and laughter to her audiences through song. Balena has already made a name for herself performing in many of Philadelphia’s leading shows and competitions in a short time. Also, she frequently hosts Drag Queen Story Times at many of the area’s libraries teaching children about diversity, self-love, creativity, and acceptance.
Balena Canto was created by Philadelphia-based opera singer, Matthew Maisano. He has appeared in both leading roles and as a chorister throughout the greater Philadelphia area with companies and ensembles like Opera Philadelphia, Opera on Tap: Philadelphia, Opera Tutti of West Chester, Wilmington Concert Opera, Children’s Opera Box, Vox Ama Deus, Russian Opera Workshop among others. He’s performed regionally with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Natchez Festival of Music, Penn Square Music Festival, Miami Music Festival, Amherst Early Music Festival, and Greensboro Light Opera and Songs.
Matthew holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music (Cleveland, OH) and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Temple University (Philadelphia. PA).
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Who is Swan Flambé:
Drag queen Swan Flambé is Philly’s number one purveyor of Baroque nonsense. This multi-faceted performer with a penchant for the absurd is inspired by such influences as Lucille Ball, Florence Foster Jenkins, Liza Minnelli, biblically accurate angels, the French Revolution, Donna Harraway, Dadaism, cruisey back-alley leather bars, Cat Power, and so much more. Swan is a frequent drag-music collaborator with award-winning groups Jaffe St. Queer Productions and Glitter & Garbage Cabaret and is the current first alternate Mx AltSlut69. Dragged Into A Computer, her digital show was nominated for a Philadelphia Digital Drag Award in January 2021. When she’s not giving shows, Swan can be found in the liminal pockets of queer time, camping out in the secret practice room with a toilet, or laying an egg in your dad’s mouth.
Swan Flambé is the brainchild of recovering conservatory kid Robyn Bonacci. Back when Swan was but a twinkle in their eye, Robyn served as the principal cellist with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic and Contemporary Music Ensemble in Pittsburgh, PA. They have performed in masterclasses for such renowned artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Andres Diaz, and Gavriel Lipkind, and were a featured soloist with the New England Music Camp Faculty Orchestra in 2010. After leaving the conservatory, Robyn shifted their artistic focus away from classical playing and began experimenting with songwriting, improvisation, and electric looping. After a decade, Robyn is currently making a comeback to classical cello.
Follow Swan Flambé:
Please tip Swan as they are donating their time and talents to our show:
****The show will be streamed on the Strings & Things channel with a backup stream on Balena Canto’s YouTube page:
- Live Stream URL: https://www.facebook.com/stringsandthings2020