Could somebody please explain to me why there are so many exceptionally gorgeous female opera singers performing these days? They’re not just young and talented; they maintain a beautiful appearance, and they even have slim waistlines. The waistline issue is particularly puzzling. Back in the day, opera divas would be snacking on pastries backstage, telling the tenors and ballet dancers that the voice has to be supported by something. What excuse would Montserrat Caballe come up with today?
My three favourite contemporary opera singers - Elina Garanka, Anna Netrebko and Cecilia Bartoli - are so beautiful that, when talents were being given out, it wouldn’t have been unfair for them to get something simple. Like cross-stitching. But no – they have the voice, the talent, and beauty to add to that. Fine, the rest of us are just mere mortals.
In consolation, I’d like to tell a story that happened several years ago, before the Bolshoi Theatre was closed for renovation.
The building became very old, and it was rather seriously infested with mice. In order to keep the mouse population under control, the theatre acquired a few cats. The cats made themselves quite comfortable, and began living under the stage. One fine moment, when one of the prima donnas was hitting a high note, the cats couldn’t stand it, and began to sing along from underneath the stage. The audience laughed so hard that the performance had to be cancelled.