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August 16, 2009

Scanty outfits on the horizon

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With the advent of "sleek" singers including Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka, mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, and Australian-born Danielle de Niese (pictured above), the era of Wagnerian* opera divas may be over.

The much-parodied large, Wagnerian soprano, resplendent in a horned helmet, may soon be a fond operatic memory. This summer pundits are hailing the birth of a new breed of female opera singers – all of them sylphs compared to the conventional Brünnhilde-type.

At the world-renowned Salzburg festival, the heaving bosom of a traditional, generously proportioned opera diva has been replaced by slim waists and scanty outfits. The streets and shop windows of the Austrian city are papered with posters celebrating the svelte figures of international stars who have flown in to sing. And three of them together would fit inside the voluminous costumes once worn on stage by great singers such as Joan Sutherland and Montserrat Caballé.

Take it away, Danielle.

Brava!

* The polite term used to be Rubenesque.

Related: What's Opera, Doc?


Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 16, 2009 08:57 AM