DOGME 2006 Manifesto of Opera Blogging
1) I shall not describe voices in terms of food, unless in a spirit of blatant absurdism. "Ms. Mentzer's mezzo is a heady mix of starfruit and bliny, her top redolent of ham hocks and Big Red soda." Yeah, no idea why I picked Mentzer except in mentioning her name I get to think about her singing.
2) I shall not describe voices in terms of jewelry, precious metals, semi-precious stones. Nobody sounds like diamonds set in steel any more than she sounds like orthoclase set in ruthenium. It occurs to me I read "diamonds set in steel" somewhere recently so if it's yours, sorry for the potshot.
ETA: I begin to think the reason people read me in such, ehm, medium-sized numbers is to watch me be humorously wrong, sort of like why we watch the State of the Union Address only without the body count. The apologies here are due to Stephen Holden, and the phrase is "diamonds set in silver."
3) I shall not confuse an exacting, quasi-religious epistemology of fach for having something to say about a voice. One of you out there knows exactly what example I'm going to use in my theoretical non-DOGME-compliant review: "Norman should not have sung the role of Salome even on record, as she is not a jugendlich-dramatisch but quite obviously a Falcon."
Oh gosh, that's all I've come up with so far. Am I leaving out any clunkers? We've all seen the threads on opera-l about staging trends that must die--if memory serves, some deservedly popular choices were staging the overture, sopranos spinning around as they pop out a high note, and my own contribution: Big Tall Menacing Shadows. So I'm just saying there are some reviewing trends that make me a little nutsy. That's all. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my room.
Oh but before I go, have you checked out the little sister to Unnatural Acts of Opera? Our hostess sports yet another operanym I find awfully funny in its excess: Stella Maria Krazelberg von und zu Brabant, and the latest podcast is here. Meanwhile did you read Alex's rather gratifying tirade against the "let's dress it up as pop music and see if anyone comes" trend that looks likely to dominate the first years of the Gelb regime?