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Opera Hair 101: An Introduction

July 3, 2012

The myth of the Opera Singer is one that still remains prevalent in our society. The Opera Singer is enormous, larger than life, with the temperament and the hair to match. Well, as much hair as you can see beneath that Valykrie helmet of horns, anyway… Perhaps you have seen one standing atop a rock, swinging a spear and bellowing high notes until the cows come home.

Kirsten Flagstad, the quintessential Dramatic Soprano.

Look familiar? This is what usually comes to mind when one unfamiliar with the opera world is asked to give his opinion of the Opera Singer aesthetic. However, did you know that opera once (and not too long ago) represented the absolute pinnacle of glamour and high society dazzle? The divas it contains have generated headlines that could rival any modern day Hollywood starlet, and Anna Netrebko, the famous Russian soprano, was named one of People Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People in 2007.

The gorgeous Anna Netrebko, the supermodel soprano of today’s opera world.

Not too shabby, eh? Although a glorious voice has always been a primary prerequisite for international recognition on the operatic stage, being easy on the eyes has never hurt an opera singer’s career. From the time of Handel and Mozart to the onscreen warbling of Lily Pons in the movie musicals of the 1930s to our current crop of starts, the opera world has long celebrated the physical beauty of its interpreters, both onstage and off.

Lily Pons, the petite, glamourous french Soprano of the 30s and 40s.

In this new regular feature of our blog, we will explore the largely uncharted territory of the Opera Singer Aesthetic. The jewels, the furs, the couture, the costumes, the absolutely unbelievable UPDOS (!), all these and more will be sure to get you hooked upon the unexpected glamour of the opera world. And no, Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins, and Hayley Westenra will NOT be making appearances along the journey!

La Divina, the magnificent Maria Callas, opera’s greatest superstar.

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