CGMP: White Shirts 101


[Vesselina Kasarova as Ruggiero in Christof Loy’s Hamburg/Munich production of Handel’s “Alcina”. Screenshot, as well as the following, from the six-part Deutsche Welle documentary on Kasarova, aired in 2008]

In light of recent mezzolover plans to grace this summer’s festivities around Santiago, Edinburgh and Zürich, here’s some inspiration for the suggested “White Shirt” dress code (and some other suitable dyke wear), all modeled by La Kasarova herself.

Although we’ll most likely recognize each other by the swooning and drooling measured and well-mannered displays of  appreciation, there can never be too many white shirts. – Or leather jackets. Or black shirts. Especially on a mezzo!

On an off-stage tour through town:



Still from on early Idamante (see you in Paris ’10!):


Expanding the repertory to black leather:


…black suit jackets (that bring out one’s eyes):



And, since we did already touch upon the Ruggiero, here’s the camouflage look. Olive looks great and works best with a swagger and heavy boots.




A soprano on the arm is the mezzo-in-pants’ equivalent of a handbag…



This last one isn’t from the DW documentary, but I couldn’t skip it, since we are already on the issue of dyke wear:


It’s from another Kasarova documentary (I’m all for more of those!), in fact, it’s from another Kasarova-goes-to-Bulgaria documentary, covering the recording of her “Bulgarian Soul” album. (thanks goes, once more, to Smorg to making all four parts viewable online! You want to see them. Trust me.).

If you want to watch Kasarova seriously rocking (and I mean rocking) white shirts and black shirts, complete with swooning background singers, go straight to part two. In fact, I’ll embed it right here:

(And if you still need some more material to make up your mind about the White Shirt Dress Code, feel free to revisit the Best White Shirt Ever in the Sesto arias from Salzburg – “Deh per questo istante” and “Parto, parto”. In any case, check out the two images that Smorg posted in the comments below. But please sit down before viewing. them Especially the second…)

16 thoughts on “CGMP: White Shirts 101”

  1. I would have responded earlier but the hospital insisted I stay until my heart rate settled back down 😉

    Anik. OMG. Stop. (Of course by Stop. I mean Don’t. Ever.) Is there a Best Post 09 award?

    “A soprano on the arm is the mezzo-in-pants’ equivalent of a handbag… ” – That has to be a t-shirt right? And a bumper sticker. And probably a fridge magnet too.

    Now which look? The New Romantic thing is a bit hard for a former punk to stomach. The Sesto? Classic of course. But hmm the designer white shirt look (the tailoring suggests maybe Helmut Lang, or Max Mara??) from Bulgarian Soul 2 is ringing my bell. Loving the black silk number too. Woman definitely has an eye for a good shirt.

    But really, someone needs to alert VK to the confusing sartorial signals issue… I wonder if it’s a Danish thing (as in perhaps Bulgaria and / or Switzerland are like Denmark and *all* the women look like lesbians…? Oh, heart rate going funny again as memories of first trip to Denmark come flooding back…)


  2. OMG. OMG. Anik, that’s really cruel. %) You want us all die of swoon, right?!

    What eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyes…. With all the rest you’ve mentioned… I’m leaving off to my Kasarova Prayers Corner to lit an aroma candlt there. %)


  3. Hi Anik — I’ve been reading this blog’s archives for the past few days and am just really pleased to have found this place. Some really great stuff here, and I appreciate the opera coverage from your perspective (I’m sort of re-educating myself about opera, after many years away from it).

    I know this post is all about Kasarova, but speaking of “Tito” — I stumbled across this French video report with Elina Garanca earlier today, with her representing the White Shirt Dress Code, talking to an interviewer (in German) and singing in what looks like a dress rehearsal. Not sure if it’s already been posted by you or by someone in a past comment (apologies if it has!) but I think she makes a rather charming Sesto:


  4. O vey! More post like this, Anik, and I may never be able to close my jaws properly ever again! 😉

    You know… those soft eyes of hers are intriguing to me. They seem to change their color to match what she wears from opera to opera.

    But… since we’re on the white shirt theme, you gals will probably like this shot ( ) from an Arte-TV ads of Orphee et Eurydice at the Bavarian State Opera a while back. There was also a good photo of her in all white in a 2007 issue of a German magazine ( ). I don’t know who the photographer was, though. 🙂

    PS: Elina Garanca sure is a dashing Sesto. 🙂 I’m almost sorry that that Paris production with her in it won’t be released on DVD since they already had it out with Susan Graham as Sesto. We are amazingly lucky to live in the era populated with artists like these, ay? The cup runneth over!


  5. @Smorg: Oh dear God. It is MY jaw that will scrape along the floor allday. Thank you for posting those photos! (added a note in the post, to make sure nobody misses them!)
    Yes, those eyes. They are not related to any shirt, but then, nobody seemed to mind the posting, so… 😉 We shall simply set a second cup next to the first one, catch all the overflowing mezzos and toast with both!

    @Sleepy: welcome around. I think we discussed that Garanča video somewhere in some comments already, but it’s always a great video to revisit – she does make a rather attractive Sesto! (Hm, I might have to post some screencaps in the future… purely for research purposes, of course…)


  6. Oh dear, could somebody please call the hospital I’m heading straight back….

    Confess that the Orphee white shirt and vest thing is my favourite – and does contain one of VKs finest ‘rolling up the sleeves a little moments’ (to say nothing of quite the most charming curtain call I’ve ever seen…)

    And Sleepy thanks – great interview. Goodness me Anik what have you started!

    Smorg I’ll be out your part of the world later this week (San Francisco for a few days, no opera sadly too busy, but then New York with Don Giovanni at the Met on the 13th to round out the trip, mainly for Barbara Fritolli). Keep an ear out for the good NoCal vibes I’ll be sending you for the myriad VK treasures you post here, on Youtube etc etc 🙂

    Hmm, I suspect we will all be very disappointed if the Santiago recital outfit doesn’t feature a white shirt prominently…


  7. Heh heh, you’re welcome, my lasses. 😉 Hey, I hope you’ll have a great visit to Frisco and NYC, Purity. 🙂 Will have my antenna tuned to receive the northern vibes indeed. 😉

    Right… I’m off to try to catch another Rigoletto at the San Diego Opera tonight. Hope everyone is having a great week!


  8. Sadly a lot of work and not much free time Smorg, but looking forward to seeing the sun in SF. Maddeningly though the sun, and warmth even, has chosen to make its annual appearance this very week in Scotland, and I leave tomorrow morning, arghh!. Ah well at least my boys can go out to play without spending 2 hours donning various protective clothing items. And I do so love that the stair carpet is once again covered in perfect prints of their small, bare, and absolutely filthy feet as they run in and out of the garden. Winter is finally over!


  9. You just can’t beat Kasarova for ravishing pinups, can you? Though that Garanca clip ain’t half bad at all (especially the duet with Annio — adorable!), there’s something about the belligerent swagger Kasarova always seem to be pulling whenever there’s a camera on her that’s just irresistible. Not a white shirt shot, but my all-time favorite picture of her has got to be this one:

    (Yes, Clemenza again. I admit to a fair bit of obsession with that opera, like so many of my trouser-loving fellows.) I used that picture as the cover for volume two of my Hot Hot Mezzo Lovin’ mix CD set.

    The picture I used for volume one’s ( ) cover — — was less blisteringly erotic, but still pretty smoking for its time, in my admittedly biased opinion. Maybe not a white shirt shot (I agree that they’re often the best way to show off mezzo masculinity — closely followed by breastplates and frock coats), but something about the proximity in that ostensibly casual embrace…


  10. @Quinquin: wonderful covers, both of them! Perhaps we should all get out our early CD and mezzo mixtape covers and turn them into an entry – I do remember grainy photocopies of Flicka-gazing-at-Cotrubas-courtesy-of-Idomeneo on mine…

    PS. There is a “Scherza infida” with Troyanos? *gasp* How could I miss this?? musicMe, here I go again…


  11. I love that Idomeneo! I have the DVD, and it’s just dreamy. I found Troyanos’s Scherza infida on Audiogalaxy way back in… oh, 2002 or so. Pretty incredible. Though I’m also a huge fan of David Daniels’s and Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson’s versions.


    1. oh WONDERFUL, you have that video and there it is again!! 🙂

      In a way, it is sad to see how much material and how many sources have disappeared over the years (I don’t mean people who have been active, and then not, and had blogs, and then not, because that is just life) especially the YT losses are making me mad because they are so senseless. There is nothing commercial involved in removing an old VK documentary, all it does is take a source of joy out of the world.
      But on the other hand, all those dead links also lead to moments like this one, where the White Shirts unearth their archives and look out for each other 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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