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Veronica Chacon-Royet

a big THANK YOU from a fellow mezzo soprano :)

Anthony J. Aweeka

That someone prefers a different vintage than your "educated" selection is a difference in taste==not a lack thereof. One does not have more or less taste..just different. To assume that your accumulation of "knowledge" somehow denotes superiority, and to differ is mediocrity, is a major logical fallacy (historical fallacy, which see). That your entire long winded essay is based on this fallacy makes it a castle built on sand. That you are proud of this edifice only makes you doubly damned.
I could, by your definition, conflate your admitted lack of knowledge about the mathematics of acoustic wave propagation and partial differentiation as a flaw condemning you to mediocrity. I would prefer to judge you by your performance.
That you can condemn another singer and those who prefer her interpretation as mediocre based on nothing more substantial than your preference is indeed snobbery on an epic scale.


Anthony, I realize the post was long for your tastes, but perhaps you didn't read carefully. Nowhere did I criticize people for their taste in music or call them mediocre for their preferences. *I* don't like kiddie "opera" stars or the whole "popera" genre, but if you enjoy listening to them, good for you. My disagreement is not with others' musical taste. The problem for me is when people with very little musical training (in this case, specifically vocal training), insist that Singer A is just as good or better than Singer B simply because they like Singer A best. They are entitled to their preference, but they are (mostly) not qualified to judge what makes a singer superior. In the area of vocal technique (and related areas), the fact is that a highly trained singer or teacher IS better suited to assess the quality of singing.

Art is to a high degree subjective, but not all aspects of it are subjective. There are some quantifiable areas and vocal technique is one of them. As a professional in this field, I find it objectionable and tiresome to hear endless praise from those who have no training heaped on an inferior product. Regardless of what these child and popera artists call themselves, they're perceived by the general public as opera singers, and that's objectionable to those of us who have studied and trained for many years to hone our art.

I think you also misunderstood what I wrote about superiority. I went out of my way to point out that there are many, many areas in which I consider myself inferior. Math is certainly one of them. But classical music, and singing in particular, are my areas of expertise and statistically speaking I *am* superior in these areas. I'm not saying that makes me a better person than you. I am saying that I know more than you do (and here I mean "you" in a general sense, as I have no idea what your particular areas of study might be). If that makes me a snob in your eyes, so be it.

Joanne Reid

Finally, someone has said these things! As a classically trained singer who has been called snob, elitist, and reviled as "picking on a little child", I thank you for what you have said here. The fans of these kid singers who attempt to sing opera arias are among the nastiest people around. They simply can't understand that people who actually know something about singing just might know more about the subject than they do and might be better able to judge the ability of kids like Jackie Evancho.


Hi Cindy: Katrina Thurman introduced me to your fine essays and I have shared this one on my FB page. This is how I introduced it: "With the diminution in the arts of listening and "respectful discourse" our worlds become smaller because the we stop learning -- especially the things we don't even know exist or would prefer not to understand in the first place. This is such a fine essay -- that applies to all areas of knowledge, experience, and true mastery -- I had to share it."

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Where's Cindy Singing Next?

  • The Marquise de Berkenfield, La fille du regiment, Austin Opera 2017

Cindy on Stage

  • Mrs. Quickly, Sir John in Love, Boston
    I play dress-up for a living.

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