04 May 2007

Time organizes a "list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world." Anna Netrebko is one of them.

Opera, that gorgeous folly, has outlived the rarefied culture that once sustained it. It can't offer the high-voltage stars and sexy mass appeal that today's entertainment scene demands. Or so say its detractors. Then along comes Russian soprano Anna Netrebko ...

Netrebko's blend of vocal splendor and dramatic intensity has evoked comparisons with Maria Callas. Flattering, Netrebko says, but she wants to get to the point where she's celebrated for being herself.
Setting aside the whole discussion of just how she charmed (clawed? legged?) her way into such a list, I'd have to say that I don't see any equivalence between Netrebko and Callas at all--their personalities, their voices, their stage deportment, their careers--superficial or otherwise. It's actually easier to demonstrate just how polarly dissimilar they are, no? (What's that? One is superficial, the other not? You said it, I didn't.)