White Shirt Monday: No Wiggity


[Alice Coote rehearsing Prince Charming of Massenet’s “Cendrillon” at ROH, London 2011. – Photo Credit: ROH/unknown, via The Independent]

Look there’s even an actual white shirt involved!

While the ROH “Cendrillon” is dashing in so many ways, it also continues the story of unfortunate wig karma for Alice Coote, who would have given the (plentiful, the White Shier Gos (Goddesses?) have smiled down on us in this one) DVD close-ups quite another slant if she had been given, say, nothign but a ribbon for a ponytail (on thatnote, can I please have *that* version as a Disney Movie for Christmas?).

Then again, Coote knows how to rock pretty much everything, including a stint as Escamillo: mezzo-soprano, en garde!

cooteescamillo[actually, it’s Alice Coote as Idamante in Mozart’s “Idomeneo” (bullfighting replaced by Atreidian princesses running rampant), as seen in San Francisco in 2008. – Bonus points: Coonte could at least sing her very own Carmen in addition)

5 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: No Wiggity”

  1. The wig fairy has indeed not been kind to AC: odd since she is naturally endowed with a nice head of silky dark brown hair. And the blonde she was wearing 4 or 5 years ago looked really well (as in this shot for Opera News – decolletage spoiler! – http://www.operanews.com/_uploaded/image/article/cootetoclg12107.jpg) but appeared to be cruelly suppressed on stage. Or perhaps its just a preference to constant hair cutting and colour changing. Mind you, if you look at her history of wigginess, its rather similar to Ann Murray (or maybe perhaps just in inherited roles) who was almost always stuck with the same frizzy dark brown wig. I don’t ever remember Murray as having anything but the haircut she currently sports, but some of her old wig styles have turned up on AC of late (for example this Ariodante here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfN0B5POk3Q&feature=share&list=PLAAE9578194B13EBA seems to have found its way into a more recent Ariodante with Coote here – complete with a lot of leather gear – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk8AL7zYvok – unfortunately no singing from Coote in this clip). Mind you, the Munich Lucretia Borgia Orsini had a rather nice shade on all of the “boys”, whatever about the severity of cut (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfXpjdP8PSQ). I think it may boil down to a preference for wigs over constant restyles – getting back to where you originally started is such a pain – especially for somebody doing 3-6 productions per year and a mix of tousers/skirts, as AC generally seems to do.

    The best hair ever, by the way, in any production, has to be Susan Larson’s series of dreadlocks as Cleopatra in the 1990 studio recorded Sellar’s Gulio Cesare. One particularly nice example can be seen here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SjDxv80s8I) as she floats gently out of the sky on a cresent shaped object to serenade Cesare himself. And her later, slightly punky style (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F6pyAVAqsM – I remember a nun whose organ lesson I followed sporting a style like this this and my mother describing it as being “chewed”) before divesting herself of her overalls to reveal a gold lamé bikini. Such shameless homages to contemporary hair, are rarely the case on the opera stage of late.


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