[Photo Credit: Jörg Landsberg, Bremer Theater. Sybille Specht as Stéphano in Goundod’s “Romeo et Juliette”. Season 2003/04]
Upon this photo, I stumbled on a friend’s (again, a dramaturg) bulletin board, three glasses of Rioja to the wind. Of course, my (obvious!) first question was: “Is that a mezzo soprano?”
To be more precise, it is Sybille Specht as Stéphano (page to Romeo, and, if Juliette would happen to be an opera dyke, definitely catching the interest of one Ms. Capulet instead of the tenor at hand) in Goundod’s take on the Romeo and Juliet plot.
Mezzo, white shirt, rolled up sleeves: I asked for a scan of the image (thanks, D.!) for the White Shirt Research Group.
Personally, I tend to side with Bellini when it comes to R+J/G, since Bellini made Romeo a mezzo, but if the pages know to wear their white shirts, I think the occasional Gounod won’t be too bad, either.
Sybille Specht (another singer falling victim to the website dilemma that Purity pointed out over the weekend) is currently part of the ensemble at Theater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich. — Hm, in case those Kasarova Weeks aren’t happening the next time I’m in Munich, I think I may have a plan B. With rolled up sleeves.
Other that the “White Shirt”, Ms. Specht does also pull off the “White Undershirt of sorts” rather well.
Actually, this is a reverse phenomenon – usually, interest in a voice leads to a hunt of white shirt images (hello, Sonia Prina!). But sometimes, a white shirt with rolled up sleeves can lead to interest in a voice. (mezo managers: please note the marketing possibilities. And remember those websites. If you want a sample, Sonia Prina’s is the place to go.)