How do performing arts deal with a growing reality
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
But the gauntlet was thrown down. Artistic directors started to hire the emerging talents who were as slim as they were talented. Moreover, the discussion about the aesthetics of opera aimed at one reality: to seduce young audiences into opera houses one could no longer rely on "the magic" of opera and, for good or ill, casting was done along the lines of a singer looking young, or slim (ie: consumptive), or even falling within vague paradigms of "loveliness". Even as colour barriers fell (no one looked twice if a black singer was playing Rigoletto or Gilda), the barriers of looks went up. In short: opera was complying with the guidelines of the rest of Western culture - film, theatre, dance.
What we see on our stages has to reflect (even with a cracked mirror sometimes) the world off stage. It's fine to dream on stage - to offer a Utopia - but by doing that blindly, one is just reminding the audience that what is before them is not real. And poetic Utopias on some stages, represent very big problems on others.