Kyle MacMillan of the Denver Post has an arresting lead for his profile of the brilliant coloratura Natalie Dessay:
Ask an opera diva about the biggest challenges she faces on stage, and you might reasonably expect her to cite nailing the high notes or handling a tricky articulation. But 39-year-old French soprano Natalie Dessay, the unrivaled star of this summer's Santa Fe Opera season, likes to buck expectations. She offers a surprising answer that reflects a huge transformation underway in recent decades in the opera world — achieving dramatic impact. "It's the hardest job," she said. "You have to be able to sing, of course. But the other half of the job is to be able to act. Even if the libretto is not so interesting, it's our job to make it interesting."So many singers these days are trained to make beautiful sounds, so few have thorough grounding in acting. Those who do command the stage — a short list might include Dessay, Karita Mattila, René Pape, Lauren Flanigan, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, and, yes, Placido Domingo — seem to have an inborn knack for it; few were actually schooled in theater. Hopefully, the "huge transformation" that MacMillan mentions is just beginning, and the next generation of stars will make good operatic acting the rule and not the exception. Link via ArtsJournal.