Offensive? Misogynist? Moi?

Searching on Google to determine where certain feeds to this blog were coming from, I came across a blog called Music and Politics which has a post on it called "Fat Ladies need not apply." The author, who is taking a class on the blog's name, has written a post based on one of mine, "Did the fat lady sing?."

This is kind of weird. It's also amusing because the author goes to some length to make me look like a misogynistic ass by cherry-picking some of what I wrote. I feel shamefully abused.

Below is from her post:

An interesting post on a personal blog, A Beast in a Jungle, entitled “Did the fat lady sing?” credits Voigt’s firing scandal with what he perceives as a permanent shift in opera casting. As he says, “Deborah Voigt killed the fat lady. In all but a few roles, its over for them as far as opera is concerned.” To prove his point, he posts the pictures of the leading sopranos of the San Francisco Opera’s season. He calls them, “six reasons to applaud Operavision in the balconies, or justification to buy really good seats.” He introduces them as “the hotties.”

Despite the misogynist tendencies of his posting, “John Marcher” (he acknowledges that this is a pseudonym) has some valid points. If you sift through the offensive stuff I can see his point that “Mimis, Carmens, and Violettas are much more convincing when they don’t look like the well-fed wives of the King.” At the core of his argument is this statement:

“Opera is a combination of music and drama—it doesn’t work without both and when the people onstage look and sound the part (and can act as well as sing” it is only then that the true power of the Western world’s most potent art form fully comes to life.”

This is easily the least offensive statement Marcher makes and it is one I can acknowledge the practicality of. As opera seeks to become relevant to a culture full of movie stars and sexy pop idols, producers need to utilize every tool at their disposal. Actors and actresses that look the part of their tempting characters render more believable drama and add sexual appeal to the visual fantasticism that is typical of many operas, drawing audiences.

Ms. Voigt, in fact, also agrees. A New York Times article on her stresses that, despite the controversy, “Voigt defends the right of opera companies to take appearance into account when they are casting productions” though she “insists that vocal artistry should come first.”

Hmm... where shall I start?

The author takes offence at my using the word "hotties." Okay so perhaps the class is being taught at some politically correct school where they don't have a sense of humor about such things? I don't know, but I did include the 50 year-old Karita Mattila as one of the hotties, and she is, so what's the problem baby?

Incredulously, she then created a separate post using all of the pictures I posted (except she didn't call them "hotties"- entitled "The six leading sopranos for the San Francisco Opera’s 2010 season." The nerve of you, young lady!

Honestly, what bothers me most is that the writer essentially acknowledges everything I opined about is true and seems to be calling me out only because I focused on only the female singers. Darling, that was the point of the post! And you seem to agree with me, so why are you being so unkind by labeling me so?

Sweetie, had you delved a little deeper, perhaps you would have found out what I thought about overweight male singers- like Johan Botha, for example, who strains credibility onstage because of his size, and how the experience is improved when performed by someone who looks, as well as sounds, convincing in the role- regardless of being male or female.

I don't know if the author of Music and Politics will ever see my little rebuttal, but my dear, the comments section and my email are wide open for you (she has neither available on her blog).