Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Natalie Dessay taking 2015 off

This article from Opera Today explains that Natalie Dessay is tired of opera, for now anyway, and is taking a sabbatical in 2015.  This is pathetic.  Don't get the wrong idea.  Natalie isn't pathetic, but we can't help agreeing with her.

I personally think it's very hard to be a girl singer.  You just don't get any respect.  Everybody thinks they know more than you do, even if you're Natalie Dessay.  I have long thought that this was the explanation for the career of Cecilia Bartoli.  Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Dear Ms B.,

perhaps it's the language - why do you call Dessay and Bartoli "girl singer" ? Aren't they mature women - so why not female singers ? And I do not understand the last sentence - what do you think is the reason for Bartoli's long career ? That people think they know better about her than she ?

Thanks in advance for explaining this to me.


PS: Thanks also for your Salzburg review ! Did you speak to Bartoli after the show ! Just being curious... "

Dr.B said...

I sometimes forget that the things I write make sense only to me. I am possibly projecting onto these two ladies emotions that are mine alone. The most startling thing about my life--probably already explained this somewhere--is that my three degrees in classical music, one of them quite prestigious, have earned me quite a lot less respect than my one semester learning how to program in a junior college. I am a highly respected individual in the computer world. So I project my personal life experiences onto other people.

I called them "girl singers" because I was imagining that to be how the male members of the musical establishment think of them. There is a hierarchy and girl singers (female singers of any age) are at the bottom. This is undoubtedly a substantial part of the current regard for countertenors--at least that's that many girl singers we don't have to deal with. I meant no disrespect to these particular women, both of whom I regard very highly. Now a year later I think that Natalie merely wants to recreate her career in a manner more suitable to her present maturity. Best wishes.

Cecilia Bartoli has had and continues to have an extraordinary, unique career, one which she controls to an extent that I can simply not think of anyone else who has or has had a career anything like this. She had a standard opera career until she was a few seasons at the Met. Then apparently she and Periera had a meeting of the minds, and she became affiliated with the Zurich opera. She did about one opera a year there, and only occasionally operas elsewhere. The rest of her career has been spent touring with her own self-designed concerts and recitals.

I was merely proposing that there existed the possibility that Cecilia did not want to be anyone's girl singer. I admire her very deeply and certainly did not mean any disrespect. Best wishes to her as well.