Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Teflon Diva

This blog began by noting the multiplicity of legitimate perspectives on opera performance, some of which have little (or nothing) necessarily to do with singing. So I suppose it's no surprise that I float this question:
What, if any, is the number of press (and TV, etc.) clippings n, after which these non-sonic perspectives are so charged that it literally does not matter what sounds come out of a performer's mouth?
It seems to me that Renee Fleming reached this point years ago, at least in the United States. That's not to say that she's always or even often below par, but that it simply does not matter to her career and public perception. (I note that next month's Onegins -- her first Tatyanas in a major house -- sold out in a flash despite a very poor Letter Scene at last year's Met Orchestra concert.)

And that's why I've called Anna Netrebko the Russian Renee. But she should be careful, for she may not have hit that point yet -- at least in the United States.


  1. I think I am going to start avoiding her performances. That lying over the orchestra pit was the cheapest stunt I've ever seen.

    Unfortunately, there's still that upcoming Boheme recording. I don't know what I'm going to do about that.

  2. This production of Puritani may be the most offensive thing to have ever "graced" the Met´s stage. Go back to Lyudmilla PLEASE. At least in that repertoire we can understand what the hell you are singing and not have the impression that bel canto is really on its last legs...Netrebko may market herself in Fleming´s legacy, but she don´t have no respect for the least Fleming tried in her best years, even if it wasn´t Callas or Scotto, it was an informed attempt.

  3. ch. r.: It´s all about will power. RESIST buying what everyone thinks is cool, don´t take another shot, don´t watch another episode...know what I mean? You know she sucks. Only the media and some thrill-seeking fans will tell you otherwise.

  4. anon 1:17.

    It's not that simple. From what I understand, there's someone on that recording who I will want. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother.

    As for the rest, I think I'm all Puritani'd out. Let the touristas have their fun. It'll subsidize those upcoming Janacek performances (or insert your own obscure favorites) in upcoming years.


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.