Through Geschwitz’s Lorgnette: Mezzo Watch

KTK TT RK Met 82No lesbian opera blog can get around mezzo sopranos. (why would it want to, anyway?) Particularly not around those in trouser roles.

I admit that when I first got into opera (at the tender age of 10), I only had eyes for the soprano divas. In fact, in my first “Figaro”, Cherubino sailed completely under my radar and I went home with a crush on the Countess instead. – Much like Cherubino, actually.

In the years that followed, the requisite boyband poster spot above my teenage girl bed was occupied by a soprano. A lyric soprano, at that (who also happened to turn 64 today and still hasn’t lost her looks). Years later, I would be crushed by her assessment of the “Rosenkavalier” beginning as “the most embarrassing opera scene there is” as far as acting is concerned since the soprano is forced “to share a bed with another woman.”1 Uhm, yeah. A terrible prospect. Not.
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From Anik’s Kitchen: Pasta with “Chaka” and Salmon

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This dish is another example of intercultural negotiating and has become one of our favorites.

In her first weeks over here, Ngf valiantly braved the jungle of bio‑markets, discounter stores, delicatessen and super markets to figure out what people eat and under what name it is sold.

There are some things she still can’t wrap her mind around (lobscouse, for example – she says she won’t believe in its existence until I cook it for her. But since I’m no great fan, either, the dish will probably remain a myth in our household). Then there are some things she misses, like the easy access to fresh fish.

Ngf blames it on the fact that we have no coastline worth mentioning (on behalf of the North Sea and Baltic Sea, I protested) while Spain has practically coastline on all sides. Atlantic, Mediterranean, you name it, they’ve got it. They’ve also got the fish that goes with it.

Ngf: “And a lot of that fish is flown into the capital, so you can have some of the best fish right in Madrid, even though it is far from any coastline. – Why doesn’t that work with your capital??” Continue reading “From Anik’s Kitchen: Pasta with “Chaka” and Salmon”

“Small Steps”

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This was different from the figures and the poses she knew from the tournament, different from all the dancing she had seen so far. She remembered their waltz lessons, the admonishments to keep their heads up, to lean their upper bodies backward and keep a straight back at all times, and the way Maca had tipped at her elbows from underneath, reminding her of the ninety degree angle.

None of this applied here. Instead of acting outward, they seemed to be acting inward, as if the dance was something only between their two bodies, not intended for an audience, nor judges or a wedding assembly.

This didn’t look like floating, or even effortless. Their feet almost seemed to drag across the floor, a link between the solidness of their bodies and the pull of gravitation, stretched out into time between the beats of the tango.
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Through Countess Geschwitz’s glasses. Lesbians at the opera.

Geschwitz - screenshot from Pandora’s Box

‘Gay’ and ‘opera’ are often named in the same sentence. At times, they are almost used as indicative synonyms – a man who enjoys opera is by default gay, and for many gay men, being into opera is something that comes without asking. To this link between ‘gay’ and ‘opera’, we owe the fabulous figure known as the opera queen. (as far as examples go, I’d like to name my own baby brother. The Queen of the Night has nothing on him, except maybe eyeshadow and fake lashes)

Not just among viewers, also among people on the producing side of opera, there are a lot of openly gay men: directors, singers (more or less out) and even managers. A former colleague (a straight assistant director) used to put it this way: “There are straight opera houses, and there are gay male opera houses. And then there’s Innsbruck and Kiel.” (the latter two, at the time, apparently being under lesbian management).

Gay men and the arts – opera in particular – are linked by popular judgment. Just like gay men stand for being creative, well-dressed, the perfect shopping guide and overall a girl’s best friend (and thinking of my brother, I’d have to sign all of the above).

Lesbians, on the other hand, stand for bad haircuts, flannel and a general lack of humor.

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From Anik’s Kitchen: Binational Baked Apples

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When my partner and I first got together, we faced the same questions any binational couple has to cope with: Where could we live together? In what language(s) do we speak with each other? Will we be able to cope with the cultural differences?

Upon moving in together, I realized that there was an interesting side effect of a bi-cultural household I hadn’t thought about: Culinary Culture Clash.
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