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Subject: Is There a "Pattern" to the Familiarity Issue
From: Paul Ferraro <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Ferraro <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 10 Oct 2017 10:19:50 -0400
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Attempting to think back to the early days of my opera-going (late 
50s/mid 60s) to ID the various singers & use of formal/informal 
greetings.  Cannot really generalize, but here is what I can recall of 
my observations:

The Italian tenors were addressed by their first names/nicknames: Carlo, 
Franco, Mario (yes, even Pippo); but it was usually "Mister" Bjoerling, 
Vickers, Gedda, Peerce, Tucker. It seems that the baritones were 
likewise addressed in the more formal manner, as "Mister" Warren, Gobbi, 
Merrill, London.  From what I can recall of the bassos, it was Jerry, 
Fernando, Giorgio, Justino.

As far as the ladies were concerned, there also appeared to be an ethnic 
divide, as in "Madame", or "Miss", Nilsson, Rysanek, Milanov (can you 
just imagine a fan addressing her as Zinka?).  But it was usually: Anna, 
Licia, Renata, Giulietta, Roberta.

If I recall correctly, in any case, no one appeared to get their noses 
bent out of shape or a black eye - so, why all the fuss?

Auguri,

Paolo ("signor" optional)


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