Between the ears

My blog post on Octavian and Susanna, written pretty much six months ago, came to my mind yesterday evening – it was the re-opening of Le Nozze di Figaro in Giessen. A whole (!) different experience than in March, I must say.
A large part of the cast had changed, including Marcellina – her part was now sung by Merit Ostermann,who had rendered me speachless as Octavian – what a coincidence. But even though Marcellina appears as this grumpy old lady in that corded-up black dress, grey wig, everything far from an attractive appearance, there was still this clear, shining light in her voice. I’m starting to see voices in colors – a short, but beautiful view.
Also, Cherubino’s hairdo had changed. Revoco! I withdraw my previous statement on the compliance with Beaumarchais demands on this role (which is the Cherubino is to be sung by a very beautiful woman). This time he really got me! And most of all, he got me lamenting the duality of the world. This lead me to Professor Boerne…

Having written a seminar paper on the social construction of gender, I need to quote Karl-Friedrich Boerne, the nation’s greatest forensic pathologist on TV: Gender is not being constructed between the legs, it is constructed between the ears. One of the greatest phrases of the last Tatort, which was about a murder case related to intersexuality. Interestingly, as part of the storyline, the professor, along with all the suspects, went to see a heteronormative Verdi opera. A very subtile thought, but I like it!

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