Anyone labouring under the illusion that opera singers lead a glamorous life need to take a glance at my diary (pictured)…and this was for a pretty good gig, too. The ‘bus’ listed wasn’t for me, it was to remind me that I had enough time to take my (primary school age) son to the school bus stop before heading to Germany (via Taxi/Train/EasyJet/Coach) for a performance the following evening. A leisurely school run…followed by an 8-hour commute to work.
I once witnessed Jessye Norman arriving at Heathrow with at least 6 porters following with trolley loads of her matching designer luggage.
Perhaps our friends Renee and Placido have minions to carry their bags (and ferry their children to school) and private jets to convey them to their next engagement: I once witnessed Jessye Norman arriving at Heathrow with at least 6 porters following with trolley loads of her matching designer luggage. So, OK, some megastars have a very glam existence, but the rest of us are saving pennies by using public transport and discount airlines. (An opera singer made some headlines recently by wearing her concert gown on the flight so the airline wouldn’t charge her for excess baggage.)
Most of us jobbing singers lead fairly ordinary lives, with brief interludes of exquisite abnormality when we get the chance. The glamour is not found in first class travel and designer handbags, but in the music itself, and sometimes, when we are very lucky, amidst beautiful workspaces and famous faces. After all the schlepping and budget airlines, it is pretty wonderful to look up and see this as your ‘office’:
Soprano Laure Meloy has presented ‘The Secret Life of a Diva: the glamorous (!) world of opera’ to community groups, clubs, and at business networking events. Bookings can be made through Femme Lunatique Productions.