What is it that we want? Beautiful and unique voices and physiques, or generic sound packed in a model-body?
There is mounting pressure on casting directors to employ young, camera-flattering singers and reject non-standard sizes and unusual features. This is especially true for female singers. People find barrel-chested tenors endearing, but are quick to label woman performers as “chubby” and much worse…
Deborah Voigt speaks about this issue in her recently published memoirs “Call me Debbie. True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva” and many opera lovers are raising concern about this problem.
About a year ago, I started drawing a “Sunday Cartoon” for the Met Orchestra Musicians’ website and social media pages. This is the occasion to explore what it is like to be a member of one of the best opera orchestra in the world. As usual my approach is an insider point of view with a fun twist.
One of the most stressful moments for musicians are auditions. Singers are scrutinized not only for their voices but also for their looks and flexibility regarding directors’ and costume designers’ “concepts”. They are often auditioned in small rooms with terrible acoustics and sometimes need to warm-up in inappropriate spaces. Instrumentalists auditioning for orchestra jobs are often asked to play behind a screen and can be eliminated after a few bars. Nerves are a big issue for everyone and there are so many skills required that are NOT learned in music schools and conservatories: how to make a great demo tape, how to best present yourself in a CV or for a headshot etc. Why?