Cher Public

“I will applaud your discretion when you leave”

You know La Cieca is the last person in the universe to repeat gossip, so listen carefully the first time. There was a bit of a foofaraw over on Facebook yesterday involving two of your doyenne’s favorite people, in alphabetical order Christine Goerke and Norman Lebrecht, and I think the graphic above may be a teeny spoiler as to how it turned out. Details after the jump, cher public. 

Oh,  yes, this requires some setup. There’s this tenor named Allan Clayton who’s appearing as Tamino in the English National Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, and as if the poor fellow hadn’t already suffered enough, critic Barry Millingon assessed Mr. Clayton’s performance thusly: “…vocally in excellent trim but needs to spend more time at the gym if he is to be stripped regularly to his boxers.”

Mr. Millington hardly had time to think, “Did I say that out loud?” before Mr. Clayton tweeted back

Those of you who have not recently crawled out from under a cabbage leaf can, I think, guess where this is going, because it has all the makings of a Facebook Tempest in a Teapot®.

Here’s just one snippet of the aforementioned Tempest:

Leaving aside the obvious conclusion that Lebrecht probably insulted Goerke purely by accident since, as a registered computer moron, he must have thought he was replying to Brett Polegato‘s comment and hit the wrong “Reply” button, one is left with nothing but admiration for La Goerke’s Dowager Countess-worthy comeback: civil but murderous.

  • Patrick Mack

    God bless that woman. She is for realz always.

    • danpatter

      Amen to that!

  • Cicciabella

    I saw that gratuitous observation (so-called criticism) and once again I had to wonder: What’s this critic doing at the opera? Shouldn’t he be criticising plays and musicals instead, or even film? Unless you understand that opera characters come in all shapes, sizes and colours, provided the voice fits the role, you have no business being an opera critic. So listen up, opera critics: Opera is an art form where you can (and should) complain about mediocre singing and wrong-headed vocal casting, but where you will encounter, and should be prepared to take in your stride, the following, among others: an Inuit Otello, a well-fed Florestan, a Cio-Cio-San in a wheelchair, larger sized people who fall in love (no!), twins of different builds and skin colour, a black Turandot, a 55-year old Manon Lescaut, a 60-year old 17-year old named Siegfried, a thin Falstaff , etc. Get ovet it or get out and go criticise something else.

    • lucy brown

      Dear Cicciabella, consider yourself hugged.

  • Pia Ngere-Liu

    And this sort of summarizes your whole argument. Would have loved to see Montse as Salome.

    • mrsjohnclaggart

      Fabulous find, Pia!!!!!!!!!

      • Pia Ngere-Liu

        Did the illustrious Mrs. John Claggart ever see her is Salome? I only saw her once in Munich -- early 2000s. Christmas Concert. She nearly cancelled because the bridge in her mouth became loose. She told the story to great effect. And it was “I vaas dreeeming of a vaaaaaait Crismaaaassss”. She sang Norma here in Pretoria in 1982. I was 10 and my exposure to the art was limited to tapes which my aunt listened to in the car. Caballe cancelled after the prima and Mimi Coertse took over.

        • mrsjohnclaggart

          I saw her do the final scene about seven times. She did it with her black hair very long and down her back after a diet with Mo. Levine at Carnegie and really was incredible lacking only the final impact. She was on every word and every rhythm that night and he could have held back a bit for her. And she had EVERY emotion in her face — when she was incredible she really was. The problem is that she didn’t always seem to care. Some of her other attempts were more typical phone-ins and for two she was Mrs. Claggart’s size, a fate that should befall no human, but now and again there’d be one of those phrases… (from HER, not Mrs. Claggart).

          • Pia Ngere-Liu

            Hers was the first recording I got of the work and it remains my favorite -- except for the funny sound picture in the final scene. I think I will listen to it tonight. I have the
            Bernstein DG recording too -- I think she sings the entire Morgen with only one breath.

            I love this interview:

          • mrsjohnclaggart

            And did you say, MIMI COERTSE?????? I AM Mimi Coertse. I saw Montsy (there were other names I won’t repeat) CONSTANTLY. I didn’t see the famous Lucrezia Borgia but I did see her Roberto Deveraux the next year, where she was amazing (the rest was a mess). And I saw her Maddalena in Chenier with Franco Corelli where Lauretta snuck into her dressing room and cut up all her specially made fat costumes (I’ve told the story so often I dast not repeat it), and I saw her Met debut (Marguerite in Faust, those I was with LOATHED her, but I remember her doing some lovely singing though looking silly — we were the senior girls from the Central High Opera Club though they thought we were boys, it was 1965). She only did one, so as to appear in the old house.

            I saw two Traviatas two years later at the New Met, one she got lots of laughs (she was at her largest and wasn’t in good voice) and the other she sang a truly exquisite last act with amazing limpidity to the sound. She was unusual in my experience; when she sang at mezza forte and below her sound projected really well when she sang forte and above it seemed a small voice and she could become tight.

            I saw 7 Adrianas (an opera that should be banned) in 1978; she split it with Scotto who everybody loved. They hated Montsy and she was very dull — except for the night of the blizzard. It was the worst snow storm in some years in New York but the Met performed and I went. There were maybe 900 people there.

            She gave a “golden age” performance — none of the tricks or saves, no giggling when others expressed anger or amorous feelings at her on stage, no crooning, no gesturing to signal a pianissimo though she wasn’t singing. She sang simply with astounding floated tone that soared around the mostly empty house. I’ve rarely heard anything like it. In the last act she was so sincere she was very moving. She was incredible. But then there had been the Ariadne where she didn’t know any of it, was loudly prompted (it didn’t help) and she did lots of waving of her hand to signal singing.

            Then there were the two Aidas where she made IMMENSE sounds in the first two acts and had no voice left for act three. She hurled herself to the stage floor (I think she felt silly letting Amonasro throw her to the ground) and stayed there, CRAWLING in her huge blue dress to Radames singing “Fuggiam gli ardori inospiti” and stayed there until Radames and Amonasro dragged her off at the very last minute (one was Robert Nagy who clearly wanted to run off stage, the second was Mr. Domingo who wasn’t having it and was obvious trying to get her to stand up)… but look at the time! I wasn’t sure if you wanted memories of Montserrat … mine enemies here will term my contributions Mrs. Claggart with the runs….

            • Pia Ngere-Liu

              Re Mimi Coertse -- I saw a few of her late performances and then understood what the whole whohaa was about. My cousin was a super in Turandot in which she sang Liu -- he said that he never thought a person could swear so much and then sing “Signore ascolta”. She was also in “Sound of Music” and apparently sang new words at every performance. Someone I know once sat next to Evil Incarnate at a dinner and said that if Mimi wasn’t so lazy, she could have been one of the truly greats. I once listened to a CD of her’s playing in the next room and could only hear the scoops.

              Coertse in lighter fare -- perfect Afrikaans diction.

              And re your memories -- the more the better.

            • Tubsinger

              Mrs. C, As always, I thank you for your recollections and your perspective. And, speaking as one demi-lurker, I would welcome, any time, anywhere and any how, any further memories or impressions of Montsy. (Or anyone else…)

            • I only know Mimi Coertse from recordings but wow.

            • La marquise de Merteuil

              MrsJohn aaaaah come t’aaaaaaaAAAAAAAaaaamoooooh!

            • Operngasse

              Replying to Tubsinger’s Montsy request, I only was fortunate enough once to see Ms. Caballe perform. It was the Met, and the opera was I Vespri Siciliani, starring Caballe, Gedda, Milnes, and Diaz.

              Lucky me. This was the then-controversial Svoboda production where everything too place on a hugh set of stair. Caballe was fairly immobile, presumably due to the risk of a tumble, but was in glorious voice. Hearing her live, I was struck by the warm feminine quality to her voice, along with her famous pianissimos. However, she could release that large voice to great effect and rattle the little chandeliers when called for.

              Oh for the chance to see that cast again.

            • JohninSeattle

              “Mrs. Claggart with the runs” is still greater than the shit that passes for criticism in most parts. (Our gracious doyenne excluded from that shit-tastic gathering of feces-flinging knuckle-draggers.)

        • huswest12

          I had the pleasure of seeing Ms Caballe twice in opera and twice in a concerts.
          First was a concert performance of “Norma” in the Festival Hall London in the early 70’s.Fiorenza Cossotto was the Adalgisa and her husband Ivo Vinco and Caballe’s husband Marti sang the bass and tenor roles.Caballe was on crutches and everything came to a standstill when she was helped on and off stage- smiling and giggling-halting the action.
          The second time was in Johannesburg in Norma.The altitude of 6000 feet above sea level gave her problems and she walked thru the first act with not much volume.The mezzo was Pecile and was very good. The second act went better but she cancelled that last act. I saw one more performance with her and then Ms Coertse took over.
          A few weeks later after visiting the game reserves and enjoying a vacation with her family she gave a Sunday afternoon concert in Pretoria that was unbelievable. She sang very well and was charming. She gave several encores had the audience in her hand.
          The last time I saw her was in New York about 7 years ago when she appeared with the Russian heart throb tenor that was dating her daughter. He had a great following in Russia and the audience was packed with Russians coming to see him. When Ms. Caballe appeared they were very confused about who she was. He welcomes the diva onto the stage with bows and kissing her hand and presenting her with roses. Her singing was sad and one was rather pleased that the majority of the audience did not know who she was- and could not care.
          The video of her singing Norma in Orange must be one of the most amazing things every filmed…..She self said she was in another dimension while performing that evening.

          • armerjacquino

            So Caballe sang in apartheid SA? That’s interesting. Was opera not included in the (albeit unofficial) cultural boycott in the 70s/80s?

            • JohninSeattle

              My history is weak here… But SA Anti-Apartheid boycott originated in the early 1960s, right? I don’t think it gained any real steam and momentum until P.W. Botha’s term in office, which was maybe mid-term Reagan years?

              I know it existed as a thing for a long time, but I don’t think it was universally followed to much of a degree. Was it? Would 1970s era Amuricans wouldn’t have known squat about it or would we have been too mailaised/Vietnam’d to know? I thought it didn’t really gain steam until the mid 80s?

    • Light as a feather and still manages to be sexy without being crude. I think it is fab

  • Pia Ngere-Liu

    And Candide with Bernstein conducting -- I think it is awesome singing.

    • La marquise de Merteuil

      O mensdom -- onse Mimi het n rep! Lol

    • armerjacquino

      Here’s the Candide:

    • huswest12

      Miss Coertse singing “Liefste Madelyn” is not the best of her Afrikaans repertoire. How about the Boerneef song Pia?
      Her best recording in my opinion is the ” Aegyptische Helena: with Gwyneth Jones from the Vienna State Opera.

      • Pia Ngere-Liu

        I agree re “Liefste Madelein” -- it is however, what my grandmother listened to in her car when she took us to school in 1978.

        And Lucia:

        • huswest12

          Dankie Pia.Lekker dag verder-

          • Pia Ngere-Liu

            Selfde huswest12. Vanwaar skrywe u?

            • huswest12

              Ek is hier in New York.Was in SA in Janaurie en het saam met Mimi gaan eet.Mooi loop-Henry.

            • Pia Ngere-Liu

              Henry van Orsu, Tosca parlate? Cornelia se Henry?

  • perfidia

    Mrs Claggart, I agree with Tubsinger. Recollect away. It is always fascinating. You seem to be that rarest of all species: a logical fan.

  • quoth the maven

    I have to say I find Polegato’s argument in the FB thread faintly idiotic, as I do any time a performer counters a critic with the question “Could you do it any better?” The answer, of course, is “no,” but a critic is only doing his (or her) own job--which is to report on what he has heard and seen. True, most critics would probably look no better in their boxers than Mr. Clayton; some would undoubtedly look a good deal worse. But they aren’t up there parading in a state of undress before a paying audience. So I think that Clayton’s body is completely fair game.

    • RosinaLeckermaul

      I totally agree. Nothing wrong with singers trying to look the part. The ENO prides itself on the quality and imagination of its productions (though many are of low quality and unimaginative or too imaginative). There one might expect singers to try to look the part In general it’s a good principle for any theatre. On the other hand, if you cast a hefty singer, it’s not a great idea to have him running about in his boxers. Cast a less hefty tenor or cover the man up.

      • armerjacquino

        Why would a Tamino who hasn’t been to the gym ‘not look the part’? There’s no mention of Tamino’s size anywhere in the libretto and Clayton’s hardly obese anyway.

        • quoth the maven

          Isn’t Tamino supposed to be a romantic character, and a heroic one? I don’t see how a paunchy body would convey those qualities. I haven’t seen Clayton, either clothed or in the buff, so I’m in no position to offer a judgment of how he looked. But I would argue that if a Tamino is going to take his clothes off, his physique is not a totally irrelevant consideration.

          • manou

            At least the “white trash” Brits have a sense of humour:

            Just woke up under fifty-four empty cheeseburger wrappers. Did I miss anything?— Allan Clayton (@fatboyclayton) February 10, 2016

            • redbear

              The premise of that wonderful production of “Le Grande Macabre” was the young, overweight girl who apparently passes on from binge eating and her body becomes the set. In the prologue, the camera passes over several empty Big Mac boxes.

          • armerjacquino

            A quick look at the internet may educate you in the romantic possibilities of the paunch.

            I think there is an argument to be had about singers whose looks make them unlikely candidates for a part (hence Scotto losing weight because she didn’t believe her Mimi looked consumptive) but if you’re saying that Clayton is too big for anyone to fancy him, I think you’re way off. And given the small amount of space available to Millington in his review, to waste a whole sentence on a couple of minutes of the production seems petty at best.

            • quoth the maven

              I’m not saying “Clayton is too big for anyone to fancy him.” As I’ve already said, I don’t even know what he looks like. All I’m saying is that a singer’s looks aren’t completely irrelevant to a judgment of his performance. Carry it a step farther--imagine if Clayton were, say, 100 pounds overweight, rather than just 10 or 20. Would he still be able to take his clothes off and present himself as a romantic leading man? In a perfect world, perhaps. But not in this one, I’m afraid.

              Still, given the choice between a great, if paunchy, Mozartean who can convey Tamino’s ardor and heroism in his singing, and a buff pretty boy who can’t do justice to the music, I’ll go for the former any time. I do think, though, that requiring Tamino to strip puts a special emphasis on the “looks” part of the equation.

            • armerjacquino

              No, looks aren’t completely irrelevant, and I said as much. But I wasn’t talking about a platonic ideal, I was talking about this particular case. And no, I don’t think it would be a good idea for a Tamino who was 100 pounds overweight to strip to his boxers, but since Clayton isn’t 100 pounds overweight that point is about as relevant as what a Tamino who was a centaur might do in imaginary world.

            • quoth the maven

              I thought you said Tamino’s size isn’t relevant because it isn’t “in the libretto.” The logical extension of that argument would be that a 300-pound Tamino was no less acceptable than a 180-pound one.

            • armerjacquino

              You don’t think that if Tamino were 300 pounds someone might mention it?

            • Here in Paris he might be 252 euros.

            • quoth the maven

              Yes. And this one weighs whatever he weighs, somebody mentioned, and you’re saying “that’s not right.” Look, I didn’t see the production and I have no opinion about this singer or his looks. I only argued that if a director is going to have a performer take his clothes off, than that performer’s body inevitably becomes an aspect of a production’s aesthetics. It is not off-limits as a topic of discussion. You yourself admitted as much when you said that a 300-pound Tamino would inevitably cause comment. Is is it that an obese body is fair game, while a slightly doughy one isn’t? That attitude is every bit as “lookist” as Barry Millington’s.

            • armerjacquino

              Nice try.

              Showing morbidly obese naked flesh on stage is more of a decision and is making more of a statement than showing slightly overweight flesh. If you don’t know this, you really ought to- or you’re pretending not to.

              My objection to Millington’s comments isn’t that they’re ‘looksist’ it’s that they’re catty and irrelevant.

            • quoth the maven

              The man took his clothes off onstage. The critic said “he didn’t look good with his clothes off.” Perhaps not the most trenchant observation; perhaps not among the top-ten most important elements of the evening. But not out of bounds.

              Let’s put it a different way: if the Tamino had appeared half-naked and the critic had said “Mr X is that rare tenor with no reason to be embarrassed by his physique. He looked every bit the hero,” would that not be acceptable? Because if it is, then saying “He did not look every bit the hero” should also be acceptable.

            • armerjacquino

              Criticism doesn’t exist in a vacuum from intent. Saying someone looks good comes from a very different place to saying someone looks bad. Again, that’s something I’d expect an adult to know.

            • quoth the maven

              Saying one thing is “good” and another is “bad” is what a critic does. Whether its looks or singing, I think it’s pretty hard to infer any intent other than a desire to express “this is what I saw, and this is what I thought about it.” I actually would expect any “adult” to be able to understand that, or if not, at least argue against it without stooping to ad hominem attack. But obviously, since you lack the rhetorical skills to support your position, that’s your only recourse.

            • armerjacquino

              ‘People shouldn’t make ad hominem attacks’

              ‘By the way, you’re stupid’.

              Just exquisite.

              I’m sorry you can’t stay civil, as I have been. Critics can say what they like. I’m not arguing that Millington should be censored or that he shouldn’t be allowed to say it, I’m arguing that saying it was a dick move. This is an opinion you are determined that I shouldn’t hold, which says way more about you than it does about me, sweetheart.

            • David

              So why does a tenor playing Tamino have to look good in boxer shorts? Does an actor playing King Lear have to look good naked?

              Perhaps (and I haven’t seen the production) there is an emotional point being made. In being tested Tamino’s vulnerability is exposed through his near-nakedness? The point of being in his boxers is not to titillate Millington but to attempt to express an emotional truth. A valid critical reaction would be to give a view as to whether or not this did express an emotional truth. The ‘I don’t find him attractive’ note is a rather shallow one

            • armerjacquino

              PS: If you can point out where I made an ad hominem remark, I’ll give you one shiny penny. However lacking my rhetorical skills might be, at least I can be certain I haven’t mentioned you once.

            • armerjacquino

              David: dead right. A critic is there to review someone’s performance, not their shaggability.

            • quoth the maven

              I’m reluctant to continue to engage in this, but “that’s something I’d expect an adult to know” definitely qualifies as ad hominem.

              I have to say, your characterization of Millington’s comment as “a dick move” makes perfect sense to me. My argument has been not that Millington wrote a brilliant review, or that Clayton looks bad, or that he shouldn’t have taken his clothes off. All I was saying it that once a performer appears stripped, his body does become a legitimate topic of critical discourse. However, I agree with you that in this case, it might have better if Millington had just STFU.

              You own me a penny.

            • quoth the maven

              um, OWE me

            • armerjacquino

              I’ll give you a ha’penny at most. The ‘adult’ crack was aimed at Millington, but reading it back I can see the ambiguity, hence the very generous ha’penny offer. I’ll send it Western Union.

          • Gualtier M

            From Allan Clayton’s website:

            Appealing English schoolboy look not unlike Daniel Radcliffe but certainly not Calvin Klein underwear model material but also nowhere near “obese”.

            • RosinaLeckermaul

              Someone should add that Clayton is a fine tenor.

            • Hippolyte

              However, Gaultier, you might want to compare those pics (copyright on the page--2010) with the photo on his page at his management’s website--


              We’re not talking schoolboy exactly any more.

            • manou

              I would like to add that Clayton is a fine tenor.

          • David

            Is Tamino actually an ‘heroic’ character in the physically brave, derring-do sense? We first see him fall into a faint at the sight of danger -- having to be rescued by three women -- and then he only manages to get through the physical trials with the help of a fourth woman. There is no need for him to be strapping to be heroic. He’s a romantic hero and some people find romance with men who don’t have six-packs

          • So you are saying that someone who is even slightly overweight is not worthy of being seen in a romantic way? Who the fuck died and made you arbiter of taste?

            You are going to forgive me, but fuck you. Just because YOU can’t seem to imagine a bigger person as the object of love or lust, it does not have to mean the rest of the world has to be this way.

            And lastly, let’s not forget that we are living in a world where the little black dress, the blond wig and in this case, the boxers are more important than making a singer feel or look netter. He was paid to do a job and he did it.

            If the look was unflattering on him, then maybe we need to ask if that was not obvious to ENO management from the start and if steps were taken so this could be corrected. There was a time when there was a little more collaboration between the people on stage and the people offstage, unfortunately, that is not regularly the case these days.

            • PCally

              “Black dress, blonde wig, shorts…”
              I’m sorry but while I agree with the jist of your comment, but you’re taken a lot for granted and giving a great deal of autonomy to a director. How do you know the singers involved were uncomfortable. Clayton may have loved the production and may have been perfectly fine with taking of his cloths. As of yet I see no evidence that a director made him do something he didn’t want to do. And the same applies to the other two scenarios, especially since it was t the dress voigt wasn’t comfortable with, but the actual production itself. I personally disagree with the idea that what’s important now is making a singer do something uncomfortable.

            • quoth the maven

              All I’m saying is that an unclothed human body on stage is a signifier, and it’s perfectly within bounds to consider what it signifies. I did not see this production, and I have no idea what Clayton looks like, with or without his clothes. But Millington’s comment, while not the most insightful piece of criticism I’ve ever read, really isn’t that far out of bounds--Clayton’s body was part of the show. I’m not saying that people with imperfect bodies in real life have no hope of finding romance. But the opera stage isn’t real life; ideally it’s a realm where every musical and visual detail makes a specific and coherent statement. And it’s entirely possible that Clayton’s body (in the critic’s opinion) detracted from that statement.

              Since I gather that Clayton is a perfectly nice-looking man, I’d say it would have been gratuitous for Millington to comment on his weight had he kept his clothes on. But he took them off, and therefore his body became a factor in the overall aesthetic effect.

              As far as your hostility, I have no idea where it comes from. And if expressing an opinion on this blog means that somebody “died” and made one “an arbiter of taste,” then almost everyone here is guilty of the same transgression, yourself included.

        • RosinaLeckermaul

          Well, being chased by a dragon can slim one down.

    • Gualtier M

      I think the director should have been criticized for allowing the singer to be made to look foolish onstage. Clayton did as he was told -- it may not have been his choice to strip to his boxers onstage.

      Also Lebrecht has been making a total idiot of himself lately without shame. Recently he attacked Jaap Van Zweden for being too white for the NY Philharmonic which never had a “non-white music director”
      Take a look at this comment:
      “3. And let’s not begin to ask about ethnic minorities. A decade ago the NY Phil tried to poach Gustavo Dudamel from Los Angeles. That’s the closest they’ve got to departing from an all-white script in a multicultural city (unless Gilbert counts as half-Japanese)*.

      He was politely reminded that less than white and def non-caucasian Zubin Mehta was the NY Philharmonic’s music director for quite a long time. His response?
      *FOOTNOTE: UPDATE: Someone say Zubin Mehta? That was half a lifetime ago (and he was the wrong choice, too).
      Mehta was the music director of the NYPhil from 1978 to 1991. 1991 is NOT half a lifetime ago…

      Of course the “all-white script” allowed for Seiji Ozawa to be the music director of the Boston Symphony for DECADES. Seiji also is non-caucasian.

      But ole’ Norm puts his foot in it big time and then just blusters his way through idiotically refusing to just admit he is WRONG!!!

      • quoth the maven

        You don’t have to go back to Mehta. Alan Gilbert is mixed-race. Lebrecht is an idiot.

      • Batty Masetto

        Well, 25 years conventionally counts as a full generation, so half a lifetime is not a totally unreasonable rough way of putting it.

        (Of course, Lebrecht would still be a twit even if he had the half-a-lifetime figure correct down to seven decimal places for the entire population of New York.)

        • Maybe people died at 50 back in the Dark Ages when Lebrecht was still relevant, but not during what we might call the post-Palestrina era.

      • jackoh

        It needs to be noted that when a director is creating his(or her) production he may have certain casting in mind but who actually performs on the stage, or what condition they show up in, is often way beyond what he could influence or even dictate. When casting aspersions on directors decisions, please keep that in mind.

        • manou

          Yes! Not forgetting “casting pearls before swine”.

  • Dolciamente Pipo

    David,you hit the nail on the head. This reminds me of when Jonas Kauffman appeared shirtless in Act III of ‘Parsifal’ at the Met, and there were numerous comments along the lines of ‘he needed to spend more time at the gym’ or ‘ew, his chest is a little flabby’.
    Now, some people may feel that they need a porn fantasy in Act III of Parsifal, but it’s not the purpose of the work (and it wasn’t the purpose of the director) to provide it.

    • Lohengrin

      At Parsifal the “change” of the taddered coat to the white shirt needed the anoiting with chrism and touching with water, somehow growing “naked” before dressing in the “new person”. To much muscular body would not be necessary in this case.
      If in other casees the actors body should express strenght or erotic: thats another idea……………

  • DerLeiermann

    I admit I wouldn’t mind stripping some Taminos down to their boxers… regularly or otherwise.

    • steveac10

      Would I like to see Charles Castronovo or Alek Shrader sing Tamino in their boxers (or let’s go for broke, tighty whiteys)…sure, who wouldn’t. But then again, I would gladly watch either of them sing the phone book in their boxers or less. If I’m going to enjoy Die Zauberflote, Tamino’s abs have little to do with the outcome, whether exposed or not -- regardless of their expos-ability.

  • Ilka Saro

    I happen to agree with Goerke here, the critic in question was body shaming the tenor. She called it what it is. Does the critic have the right? Yes. But it’s a public dialog, not a trial, or some kind of autocracy of critical opinion. The internet is a bottomless pit for people who wish to perfectly conclude whether someone has a right to say something, complete with endless opportunities to detect hypocrisy, contradiction etc etc. It makes for dull reading. (Research the entire net to see if I am allowed to say it’s dull!)

    In the meantime: Go Christine! Go Adam Clayton!

  • armerjacquino

    Whatever people may think of the rights and wrongs of this whole issue, I think we can applaud Clayton’s response: he took last night’s curtain call in his boxers.