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Subject: Redheads and their Influence on Opera
From: Roy Wood <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Roy Wood <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 7 Jun 2001 14:07:42 -0700
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Hi ALL--

I've been basking lately in the wonderful epiphany
that Redheads have really had the more influence over
the operatic world than any other identifiable group.
Being a redhead myself, this realization has brought
me immense satisfaction. After all, most of the great
divas were either  born naturally redheaded (as I
was)or have been UN-naturally redheaded at some time
in their career. Of course, I think most people would
agree that any given diva's "redheaded phase" was
probably their most productive artistically...as well
as fashion-istically (is that a word?).

Look at the facts, folks. Joan Sutherland was a
redhead and she had one of the longest operatic
careers in recent memory. Beverly Sills flitted back &
forth between blond & red--and I think it definitely
led to her premature vocal decline. Egads....Scotto
could have been starring in the upcoming new
production of Luisa Miller if she'd only gone over to
the "red" side....and Elena Suliotis would still be
singing today had she only seen the "red" light. And,
Gwyneth Jones and that white white hair....just like
her voice. If you'd given Gwynnie a henna rinse, she'd
be singing Brunnhilde at Bayreuth this summer. And
didn't I read in Parterre Box that my darling Kathy
Battle QUIT the Met because they wouldn't let her wear
a red wig as Marie in La Fille?

Don't forget my Divine Renee---Poor Renee has merely
been flirting with being a redhead and has been
accussed of being excessively "mannered" here on this
List--when will she realize all her mannerisms will
disappear with one bottle of L'Oreal? I know some of
you on the List purport to commune with her divine
presence so please relay this message to her: "It's
true what they say about redheads".

Of course, the uber-redhead  was my spiritual mother,
Ljuba Welitsch, a beacon of light to all redheaded
divas. Welitsch blazed across the scene in the late
40's/early 50's like an operatic Susan Hayward. Her
Salome was celebrated internationally. Why? Because
her Salome was a redhead of course...as all
seductresses should be.

Beware of the anti-redhead....Maria Callas. I know she
has her partisans on this List...and I expect lots of
flames (like my gorgeous flaming red hair...) but,
since there are many opera neophytes on this List, I
felt it my duty to warn them. Maria Callas ---those
blazing dark eyes, that jet black hair (which even she
tried to change....remember, her platinum blond
phase?), that swarthy skin----everything Welitsch was
not! And look what happened to her....her man left her
(admittedly not for another redhead, but still...),
her voice gave out on her, and Bing fired her from the
Met. Why, I even heard, Bing requested her to perform
in a red wig and when Callas haughtily refused, Bing
canned her sorry brunette bu....oops.

Now, I'm not brunette-ophobic or  blond-ophobic, but
I've come to the conclusion that it's all genetic---
there must be genetic linkage between the red hair
gene and the singing gene. Otherwise, how could we
have all these great opera singers with red hair (not
only in the opera field, btw... remember Judy Garland
and Nicole Kidman [in Moulin Rouge])? And that, my
friends, is how redheads have influenced and saved
Opera for humanity.....

Roy "Redwood" Wood

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