LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives


OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject: Re: Flawed = Cult
From: Donald Kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 15 Nov 2006 11:58:24 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (107 lines)


I think your theory on the evolution of cult figures is
correct
and fully supported in the examples you name, Callas and
Garland especially.  As you say, this kind of celebrity
never
seems to surround a male singer.  The two exceptions that
came to my mind, however, would be Sinatra and Lanza.  I
see in their respective careers the same succession of
events,
tremendous celebrity and promise followed by questionable
choices of lifestyle, then vocal decline; though in
Sinatra's
case it could be said that, because of his longevity, the
most
successful part of his career had played out well before the
end. How about Rudolf Valentino and James Dean?

dtmk



-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of mrmyster
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2006 10:43 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Flawed = Cult


Sig. Max Paley's posting on flawed singers makes excellent
points, with
which I agree -- if the voice is glorious enough, who cares
about the
rest? I do not!  But let me add a footnote on a point I've
noticed
over the years (eons?), that I have been observing the vocal
world.
   Not all flawed singers become cult figures, but most (not
all)
important singers who reach cult status, exhibit flaws of
voice or
personality, or lifestyle or such. Odd, eh? Callas is a very
good example.
Without her compromised vocal status during the second half
of
her career, and without her dramatic lifestyle and personal
romantic
storms, one wonders if she would have become the cult diva
she
still is?  Steber is another example; up to 1955 she was a
popular
Mozart and Strauss and radio soprano -- not a lot more in
the
public eye. Then her career went a bit haywire and "my
wayward
ways," as she called certain elements of her lifestyle,
became
common public knowledge - her voice took on problems, and
suddenly
she was a cult figure! The more extreme she got, the more
cult-loving
elements of her public embraced her as a phenomenon.
The most famous of them all, Judy Garland, embodied it
all --
trouble trouble trouble. Her fame soon reached cult status
and pushed
the limits. And this still obtains, too.  Garland and
Callas --
perhaps the two greatest cult figures among singers -- it's
odd
that no male singers come immediately to mind in this
regard.
Maybe Bocelli in a limited way? Does pathos bear on this?
Maybe?
    So why is it that the element of "survivorship" of flaw
and/or
danger seems to appeal, if those words apply, as I believe?
It sort of supports my old theory that opera singing (and
Garland's
fach too), constitutes a kind of spectator sport -- will she
make
it or not? Let's be there for the "kill," the great and
dangerous
moments - and maybe the flawed reputation adds color and
nuance
to what would otherwise be routine? The arena thrives on
danger!
I once heard (backstage at auditons) Placido Domingo giving
advice
to a young Vinson Cole -- "Don't give too much; the audience
will
take all you've got and want more; don't give them all they
want,
they'll eat you up!"  Interesting advice. I don't think
Callas, Garland or Steber would have heard one word of it!
:)
JIM/santa fe

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * *
For help on commands, files, pictures, etc., visit the
homepage:
                    http://www.OPERA-L.org

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For help on commands, files, pictures, etc., visit the homepage:
                    http://www.OPERA-L.org

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.BCCLS.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager