Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bringing Sexy Back to Opera

It seems opera is sexy again. OK, from where I stand opera was always sexy, but what do I know.

The Independent just ran this article on how svelte singers are the new shape of opera. It is an interesting read and one worth checking out.

One of the reasons I'm amazed at Ian Campbell's casting abilities is he has the ability to cast the right singer for the right part -- and not just vocally. His Leila in The Pearl Fishers had an air of chaste innocence while at the same time being totally seductive (I mean she does come between two lifelong friends), his Elizabeth in Maria Stuarda had the vocal prowess of cougar and the stance of a dominatrix.

There's something to be said for looking the part as it lends to the credibility of what one sees on the stage. Besides, in this age of high-def closeup movies, it pays to be easy on the eyes as well as having the vocal mettle needed for the role.

I'm not alone. Seems Playboy Magazine just learned what we knew all along with their new "Too Hot To Handel" (ouch) poll which has readers voting on the sexiest opera singers and musicians. (Please don't circumvent office firewalls to vote -- my IT department threatened to replace my computer with a homing pigeon if I didn't say that).

And for the women (and men) who are feeling left out, here's Barihunk and Hunkentenors for your viewing pleasure. The name says it all.

You can thank me later and please, try to get some work done today.

- Edward


Felicia Mehl said...

They were showing a Pavarotti special on PBS the other day and an interesting point came up. They said (and I don't know enough about Pavarotti to know if this is true) that when he was young, he was more athletic and moved around the stage quite a bit, but that he realized being heavy was a way of being instantly recognizable by audiences--in other words, it was sort of a marketing gimmick.

It is sort of convincing because before him, a lot of opera singers were fairly slim or of average build and yet they still had great voices. Of course, maybe the ones I'm thinking of didn't sing much Wagner... ;)

Anyway, I hope singers don't suffer discrimination b/c of their weight or feel they have to spend all their time at the gym. Also, I hope they don't start looking too much alike, the way models and TV stars do. Sometimes a little idiosyncrasy can go a long way!

San Diego Opera said...

Felicia, I have this same program on my DV-R at home and have yet to watch it. I'll be sure to get to it shortly. I know that once he started gaining weight he stopped trying to act. Still, people wanted to come to hear him for his voice and charisma -- for me and millions of others -- that alone made him truly unique.