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Thread: Do You Notice a Singer's Appearance? If so, who and why?

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Default Do You Notice a Singer's Appearance? If so, who and why?

    Do you notice singer's appearance? If so, provide some examples and what you notice about them.


    Personally, I don't really notice 95% of the time, but some that stick out to me
    June Anderson: there are plenty of "hot" singers, so that alone isn't enough to get noticed, but what stands out about June is her sense of class. Most beautiful women, especially performers, have a "use what you got" approach to stagecraft. Granted, I don't judge them for this. It's just good strategy (and my flirtatious **** would be headin' right down to hell with them...), but it's common enough not to stand out all that much. When you listen to June sing, especially in the 80s and early 90s, it's like she's so focused on singing that she doesn't even notice that she's beautiful, and this imparts a sincerity and respect for the art above all else that strikes me.
    Maria Callas: those eyes! The smoldering black coals filled with venom, torment, vengeance, she's like a witch about to put a curse on someone.
    Cecilia Bartoli: frankly, her facial expressions look like a drug addict having a stroke....but noticing something doesn't mean I have to like it.
    Agnes Baltsa: Her voice matches her heritage. She just sounds Mediterranean.
    Samuel Ramey: the term "alpha male" runs the risk of cliche, but....that's exactly what he is. even without that mighty voice behind it, his stage presence exudes effortless power, the dominance of a conqueror and the regality of a king. If I ever feel like a need to boost my personal power, seize control over something or jump start my ambition, listening to/watching 20-30 minutes of Samuel Ramey always does the trick.
    Shirley Verrett: a lot like the female version of Samuel Ramey. The dignity of her movements is like an Egyptian queen. Like June Anderson, she is also stunningly beautiful, but in a majestic sort of way.
    Elisabeth Scharzkopf: her look has the heir of opulent, implied superiority. even when she's singing tenderly she looks like she's judging you. I love it

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    I'm primarily a record collector rather than attending concerts or operas in person, so singers' appearance can often correspondingly take a back seat.

    Having said that, there are a number of times when the singer's appearance is such a close approximation of how I imagined the character it can catch your breath: it certainly is a factor in enjoying and engaging in a performance

    GA.jpg
    Giacomo Aragall as Romeo

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    Giuseppe di Stefano as the Duke in Rigoletto

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    Maria Callas as Norma

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    Leontyne Price as Aida

    I think that Tito Gobbi as Rigoletto was one of those characterizations where his voice, his acting and his appearance with stage makeup and costumes were just perfect for the role
    TG.jpg
    Tito Gobbi as Rigoletto

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    Senior Member Annied's Avatar
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    For me it's first and foremost the voice that attracts me. Anything else is a bonus. But I used to love seeing John Tomlinson on stage as, for me, he has the most electrifying stage presence.

    What I did notice about one of my favourites is that, despite having an immaculate sense of rhythm, José Carreras appeared to have 2 left feet!

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    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    Shirley Verrett: a lot like the female version of Samuel Ramey. The dignity of her movements is like an Egyptian queen. Like June Anderson, she is also stunningly beautiful, but in a majestic sort of way.
    I don't think you need to put any qualifiers on the description. I only knew her appearance from the Macbeth cover when I saw this clip, which after watching, realized must have been one of the least flattering photos ever.


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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    There’s nothing like a sexy voluptuous woman singing her heart out, especially if you imagine she’s singing to you. Applications being taken.

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Sep-21-2018 at 21:03.
    ”Art is how we decorate space; Music is how we decorate time.”

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    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annied View Post
    But I used to love seeing John Tomlinson on stage as, for me, he has the most electrifying stage presence.
    He really does! So much energy on stage. I try to steal as much as I can from his performances

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    Senior Member Sieglinde's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: I'm a lesbian but baritones? Clearly made by the gods.


    Elina Garanca and that incredible magnetism. I fell in love with her Carmen, and finally understood why Don José never had a chance to withstand her magic. And then her Eboli? Merciful gods.

    Renée Fleming - just the most radiant, beautiful, amazing Tatiana. I'm in love.

    Leontyne Price - my favourite Leonora (both) and so beautiful. Even now she looks hella badass.

    Ludovic Tézier, who kind of just sneaks up on you. I have first seen him in the Munich Forza, and he goes from nerdy Slytherin looks to messy and covered in blood and suddenly, his hotness skyrockets His voice is also pure velvet. I don't know why I didn't check him out earlier, because now I'm hunting down everything available with him. His legato is to die for.

    Artur Ruciński, who made me fall in love with I masnadieri. It's a little gem and really rarely seen, but it seems to be something of a signature role for him, and you can see why. He's so delightfully evil and then he has this epic breakdown. Also, his Enrico and his Onegin are both amazing. Plus, the man looks like he stepped off a Renaissance painting.

    Yonghoon Lee, who is a rare case of a Manrico I didn't want to punch, he really remembered that he's playing a bard, not a warrior tank, and he brought out the more lyric side of the character instead of the standard yelling at all times. And he's so sweet his his mom! It also helps that he's a dashing fellow

    Jonas Kaufmann - what can I say. He's beautiful and he's very good at Suffering Elegantly and Dying Sexily While Bleeding All Over The Place. Plus those pianissimos? Damn.

    Thomas Hampson - he ages like fine wine. His Rodrigo is so passionate and in love with Carlos. Also, his Scarpia is illegally hot and sounds like a Don Giovanni who lived 20 years longer and stopped pretending he isn't evil. He made me realize that the b@stard actually has beautiful melodies. (Really, forum? REALLY? You are fine with damn but not this?)

    Simon Keenlyside - bit of a boy next door normally, but when he has a beard in Macbeth? That's a very good look Also: love his voice.

    René Pape: Elisabetta. Honey. Just forget Carlos. Have you heard your husband sing. Also: have you seen him in a sparkly black dress when he was the Devil? Because he looked damn fine.

    Mariusz Kwiecien: especially his Don Giovanni. Longer hair looks awesome on him, and there is a bit of vulnerability to his Don under the cocky confidence.

    Charles Castronovo: probably the hottest Edgardo I have seen. I get Lucia this time.

    Philip Langridge: he was elegance personified, and also such a great singing actor. I imprinted on his Captain Vere so hard I have trouble accepting anyone else.

    Ettore Bastianini: he was such a handsome man, and that divine voice... I'm so glad we have at least the old Forza and Trovatore films with him.

    Sherrill Milnes: he was quite the looker in his prime, and wow - a giant! The first Rodrigo I heard and for a long time my gold standard.

    Dmitri Hvorostovsky: what can I say when even the reviewers could never resist the urge to describe him in poetic terms? His Onegin was simply perfection and his Count di Luna really made me question Leonora's sanity. Honestly, why would anyone pick the tenor over this man. (@Amelia what is your problem?) To this day I tear up when I hear him.

    John Tomlinson - especially his sexy ginger scoundrel Wotan when he was young And such a gorgeous voice. Also, my all-time favourite Claggart on recording.

    Ildebrando d'Arcangelo: almost too hot for Leporello, but brilliant both as him and as Giovanni.

    Christopher Maltman: I'm generally not attracted to bald men, but he is so sensual and sings to seductively Another Giovanni who really conquered me.

    David Pershall: probably the youngest and cutest Rodrigo I have seen. Really looked the character's age and brought out his innocence and idealism, but he sounded very much ready.

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    Senior Member Annied's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sieglinde View Post
    Disclaimer: I'm a lesbian but baritones? Clearly made by the gods.

    John Tomlinson - especially his sexy ginger scoundrel Wotan when he was young And such a gorgeous voice. Also, my all-time favourite Claggart on recording.
    You should have seen him in the Leeds production of "Attila"! I think the entire female section of the audience thought Odabella was out of her mind preferring Foresto!

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Eula Beal: quite possibly the classiest singer who has ever existed, yet, also one who is deeply expressive, one who can simply feel the emotion and convey it subtly in the eyes and nuances of body language rather than over-acting.

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    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
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    I think when they sing as beautiful as they look or look as beautiful as they sing it can have a tremendous effect.

    A singer that gives that impression is Hyun Ju Park:

    Here as Elisabetta in Don Carlo:



    Here she is as Yeran the first wife of king Jumong in the opera King Jumong when she turns up again after 20 years and king Jumong takes her back and his new mezzo wife have to go.
    Last edited by Sloe; Sep-26-2018 at 20:35.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    Eula Beal: quite possibly the classiest singer who has ever existed, yet, also one who is deeply expressive, one who can simply feel the emotion and convey it subtly in the eyes and nuances of body language rather than over-acting.
    When I find the time I'll check out all the other singers who have ever existed and get back to you.

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    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    Another vote for Moffo. And Callas' eyes.
    And Jonas Kauffmann is indeed very pretty.
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Elena Cernei: the most seductive Delilah out there....but able to turn all that around and play a convincing boy (Arsace). That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you act. Similarly, Jennifer Larmore shares these traits, though as Isabella rather than Delilah. Many times, the best singers aren't the best actors and the best actors aren't the best singers. Both of these examples break with that trend by being the best of both.
    Maria Ewing: after Callas, the most charismatic Carmen.

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