Sunday, April 05, 2009

Is the Media biased against Mezzos?

There's a whole two page (!) layout in the May Vanity Fair celebrating the high definition broadcasts that the Metropolitan Opera is producing. Brava! But, really only under 40 years old and physically hot singers? And once again, my favorite voices aren't celebrated. Particularly irritating to me among the spotlighted are Erwin Shrott for Don Giovanni and Danielle de Niese for Orfeo ed Euridice. What about the brilliant mezzo soprano Susan Graham who stole Don Giovanni from the theatrically weak Shrott? What about the glorious Stephanie Blythe who rocked it as Orfeo and gave one of the best performances of the entire season. Why are the mezzos always getting the shaft? I've been noticing this since the Volpe Gala broadcast.

8 comments:

Doug D. said...

"And once again, my favorite voices aren't celebrated."

Honey, this spread is not about celebrating voices. It is about celebrating the hawtness. If Joyce DiDonato had sung Orfeo, I'm betting she would have been included.

SarahB said...

Doug D., I know you're right and I'm so sad and disgusted by it...I just hate to write it out.

kari said...

The Met markets just like Hollywood -- and even moreso now that they're selling it in HD to the rest of America. They lure you in with youth and beauty and then punch you in the face with the awesomeness of Graham and Blythe.

chelsea said...

We should be punched in the face more often w/ the likes of Graham and Blythe. I would like to state for the record that Stephanie Blythe moves around the stage just as well as anybody else. Case in point, her stint as Jezibaba a few weeks ago.

BoySinging8208 said...

Where are the black people ?

SarahB said...

That's right - nobody overweight, nobody of color...market only the young and beautiful.

Doug D. said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't de Niese "of color"? Her Wikipedia entry says she is of Sri Lankan descent.

*is prepared to be embarrassed if she is just tan*

mibo118 said...

Yeah, this is a total scandal. As a fach, the mezzo-soprano has always been dimmed by the others. Fifteen years ago, this list would have included von Stade, the young Bartoli, von Otter et al, and these people would have done justice to both visual aesthetics and infinitely more important, the music. Ditto the colored people: Norman and Battle, however difficult, were both vocal powerhouses in their own ways. Typical Gelb stratagem: 'have face, will sing!' As for the baritones, they're lucky Hvorostovsky is pushing nigh fifty. Very lucky.