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Subject: Re: When to retire
From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:43:41 -0500
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What I find so intriguing about this entire discussion is that at least half 
the folks are saying that stage personality and charisma can make up for 
vocal shortcomings--provided you like the singer in general.

What's sad about this--to me -- is that folks are willing to give ground on 
demands for vocalism when it suits them, as in this case when a singer one 
time gave them pleasure vocally but now can no longer provide that same 
level, but are absolutely terrors when it comes to singers who may have 
personality and charisma on stage but for whom the voice, even in its prime, 
does nothing for them.

That said, I agree with Bob Rideout that the box office is key:  theaters 
will continue to hire whoever brings in the warm bodies.  Nostalgia is an 
important ingredient with older singers but I also think we tend to invest a 
lot of ourselves in our favorites and feel such a strong personal connection 
that we easily justify our preferences even when questionable.

While a lot of singers may be box office draws for their names and their 
legends, I wonder if they bring in any new listeners to opera (or encourage 
them to return after hearing one of these legends) or if they simply 
reinforce the idea that the art form is an elitist one in which standards 
are flexible because once upon a time....

Alas.

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