I don't always get vicious hate e-mail, sometimes I get smartly written hate e-mail too. (Perhaps I'll publish a few of them here some time, when I run out of things to say?) But this one is neither. A midtwenties American soprano currently studying and working in Austria reflects on things currently on Sieglinde's mind (and blog):
"What everyone is missing is the fact that the acting that is really necessary for opera is not external; it is primarily internal. I sing, as I have mentioned. I sang for Barbara Bonney this past weekend. When I tried to act and move around, she gave me a weird look (well, I am still learning). Then I stood still and focussed on the sound. I sounded a million times better AND more expressive.
So, now with the HD stuff and DVDs, live opera not only has to compete with recordings, but with MOVIES! People think it´s boring to watch an opera singer stand still and produce waves of miraculous sound? Then pay for something else!
As far as paying for acting lessons, many opera singers say that this would have been their downfall. Acting is a natural side effect in opera. Anyone can act a little. It is human; it is part of society. I know that opera has to evolve with the changing world, but it´s very soul is being challenged by the superficial demands of the age. Singing comes from INSIDE the singers. What is outside is as relevant as the finish on a violin. Sure, we all like a gorgeous soprano or a hot tenor, but this, like the acting, is a side effect and not more."