Yes, the clue is in the title of the blog …. I have an obsession with eyes. I love to observe. I love to admire and I am particular fascinated by the use of eyes in performance.
We all have our favourite diva. We love their singing, performance, style, their personality and their appearance. We look out for new recordings they have made, appearances on radio or TV and occasionally we come across a new photo or DVD to add to our collection. Sometimes the gods are with us and we get to see and hear them in live performance, getting wildly excited at that prospect ages before the event. We drink in their sound, their aura and memorise every note, word and move. How about the eyes of your diva? - those compelling pools that draw us in to the mystery that is musical performance….
Note: Try as I might I was unable to find performance photos which were close enough to show eyes to their best advantage so I had to make do with publicity stills for some.
Do you , for instance , love the latin look?
mezzo Cecelia Bartoli
Photo: Decca / Uli Weber
or do you prefer the devastating combination of Greek and German heritage?
soprano Anja Harteros
Perhaps ice blue Latvian is your style
mezzo Elina Garanca
As Carmen at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 2009© Catherine Ashmore/Royal Opera House 2010
Ms. Garanca may have beautiful blue eyes but I expect some of you remember this scene from La Clemeza di Tito? Playing Annio in the beautiful duet “Ah perdona al primo affetto” her eyes were inexplicably elsewhere instead of concentrating on the fragrant Servilia of Barbara Bonney whilst they made sweet music. Ms. Bonney did make her pay for it a few seconds later, however!
or a cool pale blue gaze
soprano Barbara Bonney
Some divas have the wonderful gift of accentuating their eye colour
mezzo Anne Sophie von Otter
Ms. von Otter on the other hand was able to give Ms. Bonney her full attention. Quite rightly too!
screengrab from Der Rosenkavalier, Vienna 1994
Me? I just love eyes of green
mezzo Vesselina Kasarova
screengrab from Der Rosenkavalier, Zurich 2004
or did I mean hazel?
screengrab from “Kasarova records Bulgarian Soul” 2004
perhaps that was green after all?
screengrab from Carmen, Zurich 2008
No …. too analytical. Who cares what the colour is as long as these eyes continue to communicate and compel whilst filling our souls with music.
HAVE A WONDERFUL WHITE SHIRT WEEKEND
Just as an afterthought …. there may be those who are not as captivated by eyes as Eyes.
Prefer a less specific and more holistic approach?
OK, here you go ..
Swedish mezzo Malena (the arms) Ernman
photo:KapdBWO on last.fm