Men in the business of opera are a funny breed, obviously there are exceptions to the rules and there are some lovely opera singers to work with but there are also some utter idiots. Unfortunately this is about the bad boys of opera…the ones who make being a female opera singer…a bit of a nightmare.
The pedestal system:
For some reason if you range from bearable looking to good-looking in the opera world you get hoisted up the “attractive, possibility ” ladder…the ladder where all girls rate all men for eligibility for potential relationships.
The one simple reason this happens is that men in opera are either married, complete dirty womanisers or are gay. There are plenty of beautiful, grounded eligible women but opera is also an intense business, and as human beings we can all get carried away . We eat, live, work and play together in a few intensive months…normally when the sun is out and everyone feels a little happier with life as they are getting paid and they don’t have to worry about being self-employed for a few months.
Opera is a true bubble world, and a small one at that where one can escape from normality. That is the beauty of visiting opera as an audience member…its a great way to escape life for a few hours during a performance.
Working in this world has its perks but it is also quite frustrating at times…especially if you are a single woman who wants to be taken seriously in this business and doesn’t want to get involved in all the explicit affairs that happen between colleagues (single or not)
The problem is that men in opera are so spoilt for choice with women that they get away with immature and outrageous behaviour. There is constant sexual harassment, male chauvinism, sycophantic individuals striking up affairs in order to better their careers and simple unprofessional behaviour that is often left to slide under the carpet. This behaviour in any other work place would probably have been ironed out by now but for some reason opera hasn’t quite got there…yet!
I’m not saying that female opera singers are completely innocent at all…its very easy to get caught up in the attention. When there is gut wrenching music, physical contact, acting, booze, odd working hours and what seems like 24 hour company with other singers and musicians it really is difficult to remember who you are, that this is a job, that you have standards, morals and taste!
We make a living from pretending to be other people, so its very easy to develop two versions of yourself…the one reserved for home, family, the one who lives in real life, and who worries about mortgage payments and car insurance quotes. Then there is the other naughty version who becomes an extension of your personality, the person you always wished to be but never dared to be, the person who is wrapped up in flirty banter and sexual jokes that would normally be totally inappropriate. The person who doesn’t care about real life and indulges themselves in unhealthy food, no exercise and being “carefree”.
If any singers are reading this…you know how tricky it is! the people who have mastered it and who have worked the longest in the profession, whilst remaining respected by colleagues and audiences alike, are the singers who are so extremely comfortable with themselves, their home lives and what they do for their career, that they treat everyone with respect regardless of position in the company, gender, age, experience or personal life.
After a couple dealings with male singers I’ve decided, although you can’t help who you fall for, you can make yourself the best possible being you can be…therefore I will be striving to be as comfortable with myself as humanly possible!
Diet starts tomorrow!! Along with a severe diet on opera singers!!