In 2014, The Classical World Still Can’t Stop Fat-Shaming Women : Deceptive Cadence : NPR:
After a week full of discussions about gender and the newsroom in the U.S., a pile of weekend reviews arrived from London, courtesy of five older male critics writing about an emerging Irish mezzo-soprano named Tara Erraught. Erraught is singing Octavian in the Strauss opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Glyndebourne Festival, which opened Saturday night.
What is stunningly apparent is just how much a woman’s body matters onstage — way more, if these five critics are to be believed, than her voice, her technique, her musicality or any other quality…
I find it astounding that across five widely read publications, not a single editor saw fit to go back to the writer and challenge what he had written. Yes, visuals matter — even more now, in the age of live broadcasts — but these critics have seized this as license to forget why anybody shows up at an opera house to begin with.
What Happens After the Great Operas?
Illustrations for "Liberating the Librettos" by Anthony Tommasini in the 11/10 NY Times.
BBC iPlayer - Music Feature: Why Do Women Die in Opera?
I’d never really considered this, even in my limited music history studies… but it is a very good question. (h/t author @matthewgallaway)
This is especially interesting as I’m reading The Finkler Question, in which one of the main characters is obsessed with the idea of a weak, beautiful woman dying in his arms, just like they do in his favorite operas.