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Subject: Re: A Transgender Don Giovanni
From: Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 4 Mar 2018 05:31:22 -0500

text/plain (99 lines)

Hello Luis,
What an idiotic debate. (Notice I called the debate idiotic, not you - there is an 
obvious difference). You think Tobias Picker (a fine composer in case you’ve never 
heard of him), who runs the Tulsa opera, is a cheap huckster because of his 
actions yet you have not heard this person actually sing. You obvious problem with 
transgender singers is still front and center.  Mastodons in America might still feel 
that it is "cheap" to feature a transgender voice in opera. Those same mastodons 
objected to transgender in the military baffling the military leaders who already 
had handled the issue. A few decades earlier, those same mastodons were after 
gays in the military, etc. For anyone not living in a shell the world has moved on. 
There is a movement in American opera that you would of course not be aware of. 
Operas are being written - and staged - about contemporary issues. There is, of 
course, very little discussion on this forum about this but the information is 
available. Young creators have stopped writing operas about whales and are 
connecting with younger audiences. The "golden age" of opera was a time of 
composers writing about contemporary issues and challenging prejudices and the 
current failure to engage produces rows of empty seats at the Met. The Met's 
target audience finds it more and more difficult to bring along their colostomy bags 
and some have stopped coming. The success and growth of opera in Europe is no 
accident and audiences, even in Paris, are more receptive to challenge. 
   And finally, the next time you take my words and add to them to express a 
bigoted sentiment, you can expect the same reaction. 
Frank Cadenhead
Opera! Celebrating Sexual Diversity for Five Hundred Years!

PS:  To further discombobulate my interlocutor, here is a YouTube post of the latest 
star countertenor (no, those last two words are not mutually exclusive). It is from 
a French popular, annual classical music awards TV show broadcast last week :

PPS: from that same show, the remarkable aria from Messager’s “Madame 
Chrysanthčme” (the same book and story as Butterfly):

PPPS: From the show and just posted, the towering performance of Barbara 
Hannigan celebrating Gershwin:

On Sat, 3 Mar 2018 18:01:08 -0400, ls111553 . <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Will you please cut the “Sir or Madame” silliness. In my case is Sir, Mr.,
>Señor or, as I prefer, no title. Luis will do, thank you.
>I am firmly convinced that Tulsa Opera’s publicity campaign for the Don
>Giovanni, seemingly based on the lead singer’s gender identity, is cheap,
>sensationalistic and just plain wrong. I don’t care in how many languages
>it is being cheered by the press, which doesn’t surprise me at all. If the
>article can be trusted, the company is pretty much admitting that they
>hired this person mostly in order to make “opera history” (a.k.a.
>headlines), talent coming in as a second consideration:
>“Her performance, which debuts in May 2019, will be the first time a trans
>person has performed a principal role on an operatic stage in the U.S.,
>according to Tulsa Opera's leadership.”
>This even goes against the singer’s stated wishes:
>“In one way, this is exciting. But in another way, I hope it’s not too
>exciting. I just want to keep doing my job in how I’ve always done it…
>People don’t really care about if people are gay in most of the Western
>world, and I hope being trans is something like that as well”
>That’s why I believe Tulsa Opera is seeking notoriety for the wrong reason.
>If they hire singers because of their talent and suitability for the parts
>they will play, their personal situations should neither be part of their
>publicity nor there should be an effort to cover them up. The public will
>eventually know and reach their own conclusions. They don’t need to be
>“steered”. The closing statement, by the company’s CEO should have 
been the
>company’s only answer to the press on this subject, but it comes after
>everyone’s interest has been intentionally captured by the transgender
>"If you have the talent, you need to be heard, and you need to be
>I really don’t care if 300 years ago, audiences were flocking to the opera
>just to hear how a castrated man could reach very high notes because of his
>mutilation. This practice represents a dark and horrifying period in the
>history of the art and no one in his right mind should point to it as a
>"celebration of “diversity” or whatever. This was a freak show attitude
>which, sadly, today’s attempt to “attract younger audiences” seems to
>Furthermore, your knee-jerk attack against anyone who disagrees with your
>carved-in-stone set of “progressive” regulations would be laughable if it
>were not a disturbing reminder of what people with your mindset would do if
>they had any kind of power. Without knowing me, you call me "idiotic", you
>“report” me to “management" because I dared to quote your post, you
>discharge your pre-packaged load of opinionated rants including Trump,
>Europe good, the U.S. bad, insults against old people who you sentence as
>“bigots”, and, most facetious of all: you order people to stay home and not
>dare to make any decisions you disapprove of.
>As another lister remarked to me privately, a promoter of diversity will
>not tolerate a diverse opinion.

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