Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Understanding Opera

From our Swindon Correspondent:

From The Telegraph

South Bank Show Awards Panel stands by its nomination of critically acclaimed show despite claims of ‘yellow washing’
In opera, yes, “yellowface” has always existed. Puccini’s premiere of Madam Butterfly was entirely Italian rather than Japanese, but this isn’t the reason that you get white people in oriental roles today.
Opera is all about the voice. Appearance matters less. If you look at the photo illustrating this story, Nixon is portrayed by a black man. This is not to show how relevant and with-it the opera company is. It’s because he has a fine voice. It’s also why you get healthy looking women playing women dying of TB.
Opera has been doing this long before Channel 5 was hiring a black actress to play Anne Boleyn. Jessye Norman, a black woman from Georgia was hired by the Berlin opera in the 1960s to sing teutonic roles in Wagner opera. Kiri Te Kanawa was singing the Countess from the Marriage of Figaro around the same time, despite her roots being Maori rather than Spanish. 20 years ago I saw a Japanese singer performing Violetta, a woman from 19th century Paris. A white singer portraying a Chinese politician is the same as this.
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AC Harper
AC Harper
1 month ago

Gasp. If people succeed through merit then the whole victimhood industry is pointless, or damaging.

bloke in spain
bloke in spain
1 month ago

Inderstanding opera is understanding why poor people pay for rich people’s entertainment

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
1 month ago
Reply to  bloke in spain

Yup, it’s wrong, and unnecessary. Most of the extra money gets pissed away anyway.

Opera companies like Garsington, Glyndebourne, Longborough and Iford run without subsidy. The Metropolitan Opera has no subsidy.

jgh
jgh
1 month ago

Tripitaka was (and traditionally always is) played by a woman! Shock!

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