Which one of these things is not like the others?

[Nathan] Gunn is part of a new generation of performers, including Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, British soprano Kate Royal and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, who have helped fuel a debate about the physical attributes of opera singers.

Once again, La Cieca’s Rule of Journalistic Insularity* applies: if there’s a singer you never heard of, and yet she’s being talked about as if she were a household name, chances are she’s British. (* Sometimes called “the Jill Gomez paradigm.”)

The source of this odd paragraph is a Reuters article about Gunn’s chiseled physique. Apparently he also has a CD coming out or something.

As for Ms. Royal, she does exist (she recently signed with EMI Classics) and, oh yes, the homeboys do adore her. “We have cricket. We have strawberries and cream. And we have the English soprano. She’s a rare breed, but instantly recognisable: aristocratic bearing, a golden, elegant voice, an eye for textual detail and a magnetic stage presence. Kate Royal fits the bill perfectly.” — Neil Fisher, The Times. And what of La Royal’s future? Only time will tell whether she blossoms into the next Dame Felicity Lott or suffers the humiliation of being merely “another Amanda Roocroft.”