White Shirt Monday: Pinstripes

[stars in stripes: Michaela Selinger (Nicklausse) in Dietrich Hilsdorf’s reading of Offenbach’s “Les contes d’Hoffmann”, Essen 2011.]

Sometimes, a White Shirt is about the absence of a white shirt (or any shirt, for that matter) that is still being referred to by other things, like pinstripes.

The classic Scowl & Perch (only valid with definatly crossed arms) is demonstrated here by Austrian mezzo Michaela Selinger and can still be seen in action tonight (sold out, though) and on April 13th and 14th 2012. On June 17th and 20th, French mezzo Marie-Belle Sandis will star as Nicklausse. Both Hilsdorf readings and the Aalto Essen in general are always worth a visit, though.

Also warmy recommended: the Aalto Essen website. Very nicely structured, with the content smoothly accesible. My only quibble: no singer names to go with the photos, especially in repeat repertory, and no listed photo credits.


[Ursula Hesse von den Steinen (Giulietta) and Michaela Selinger (Nicklausse) in “Les contes d’Hoffmann”, Essen 2011. – Photo Credit: Aalto Theater Essen]

…and the real beauty about Nicklausse? One, Nicklausse portrays the androgynous without ever pretending to be a man, and two, when she gets to sing the famous Barcarolle with Giulietta, as pictured above, chances are high you may get a mezzo in pants and a mezzo in a slinky gown with the same singer in the same evening.

3 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Pinstripes”

  1. Shirts, white or otherwise, can, in certain contexts, be superfluous more often than not. This here would seem to be one of them there contexts.

    I should add that Fraus Selinger was recently a superb Octavian in Wien to the Marschallin of no less than a certain Frau Harteros. I’ll leave the quality of that performance to your imagination.


    1. I didn’t know she was singing Octavian also in Vienna (she does perform as Octavian in Esen this season), that must have been quite some evening, especially given what has to be THE Marschallin for the decade.


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