Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Svelte Ladies Slink


Published:

Harteros wears Tiffany’s “Firework” brooch with Tahitian cultured pearl and diamonds ($14,200), matching earrings ($12,750), “Victoria” diamond bracelet ($23,800), “Garland” diamond bracelet ($13,500), diamond solitaire ring ($6,500), diamond “Weave” ring ($8,500) and diamond cocktail watch ($7,200).

“PSSST! COME OVER HERE, FELLA.
Wanna see something really hot? Just look at these pictures. Nah, they ain’t naked— but did ya ever see such babes!”

This isn’t some guy in a long trench coat in the dark shadows of a big-city back alley. Clean up his diction and it could be the PR rep from any of today’s major classical recording companies— which, sad to say, are shrinking in number and putting out fewer CD releases.

In a sort of last-ditch effort to find customers before they’ve all metamorphosed into hip-hop heads, company executives have turned to an ageless, inarguable principle of marketing: Sex sells.

Take a gander at Russian coloratura soprano Anna Netrebko in a recent ad from Deutsche Grammaphon. Va-va-voom! “Here is a singer who simply has it all!” Are they talking about her singing? They could be. She is, in fact, a terrific artist. Whether she enjoys such blatantly sexbased marketing is unknown.

Anna ShafajinskaiaAnna Shafajinskaia wears a platinum, aquamarine and diamond “Deco” pendant ($17,150) and earrings ($12,750) and diamond “Victoria” line bracelet ($15,000) and diamond and aquamarine ring ($5,700), platinum and diamond “Legacy” ring ($27,000) and platinum and diamond “Open Square” bracelet ($12,500).
Makeup by Doris Lew;
Hair by Patrick Tankersley

However, I do have the insider’s dope on all those Renée Fleming photos, where she looks like she’s trying out for the cover of Playboy. Although very pretty, this great operatic soprano is certainly no “babe” by any conventional standard. But she personally makes certain she has final approval on every carefully airbrushed photo that gets published. Those misty eyes. Those dewdrop lips. That comehither look. “That’s the way she wants to be perceived,” I’m told, ruefully, by one of her biggest fans.

Although slender, sexy-looking opera singers have been around for generations, the general public still labors under the widespread misconception that all opera stars, male or female, are as massive as Luciano Pavarotti. “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” they say, and we still see her in TV ads with Brunnhilde horns sticking out of her helmet.

Truth is, many of the very best sopranos today are large. Some things never change. Poor Deborah Voigt, America’s greatest dramatic soprano, found herself out of a job at London’s Royal Opera this year because she couldn’t fit into a slinky black dress for Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. But more often than not, today’s wonderfully talented young singers of both sexes really look their roles. It’s now rare to see romantic leads look absolutely nothing like the gorgeous characters envisioned by their composers. And in the spirit of letting local opera-goers know about this, San Diego Opera recently lured four lovely divas backstage at the Civic Theatre for a special photo shoot, complete with borrowed jewels bravely guarded by renta- cops.


Sondra Radvanovsky Although she now lives in Toronto, Sondra Radvanovsky is a California native. As Queen Elizabeth in San Diego Opera’s production of Don Carlo(left), she gained many new fans. Above, wearing Tiffany’s “Bubbles” suite, with platinum and diamond necklace ($22,500), earrings ($6,500) and bracelet ($12,500) with diamond “Etoile” ring ($38,000), she’s ready to compete with any royal collection.


These wonderful artists bedecked in sapphires and diamonds from Tiffany’s are California-native soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, superb as Elizabeth de Valois in last season’s Don Carlo; rising-superstar soprano Patricia Racette, memorably thrilling in our Katya Kabanova; German-Greek soprano Anja Harteros, an altogether superior Violetta in La Traviata; and Ukrainian soprano Anna Shafajinskaia, a Princess Turandot truly worth losing one’s head for.

Public take note: The San Diego Opera gets more than its share of such fabulous —and comely—talent. So if you keep waiting for that mythical fat lady, you may never leave the Civic Theatre.
Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018
    Dig into the 260 winners defining San Diego’s food scene in 2018
  2. San Diego's Best Restaurant of 2018: The Finalists
    San Diego Magazine's Best Restaurants issue comes out in June. Here are food critic Troy Johnson's finalists for the best of the best.
  3. The Coolest Things Happening in San Diego Beer Right Now
    A dive into the new, notable, and lesser-known in our city’s beer scene
  4. Good Night, Cafe Chloe
    San Diego’s beloved French bistro is closing due to California’s unfair labor laws
  5. Pacific Gate: Downtown Living at its Finest
    Bosa Development brings Super Prime luxury to Downtown San Diego
  6. 5 Hot San Diego Pools That Are Open to the Public
    Where to go for lounging, sipping, dipping, or attending a grown-up pool party
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags