"Classical Music Gets Sexy" is the title to an article in The West Australian. It begins by speaking about one of the best selling string quartets on the market, Bond. And a quick look at their site (or their legs, pictured here) shows just how sexy classical music can be (at least how sexy some of the performers are). The article then goes on to talk about Flautist Jane Rutter (with a picture to add emphasis to the sex-appeal). Neither of these artists are new to the scene, and the use of sex in their marketing isn't new either - but it's getting press (rather than their music), which is why I blog about it now.
Not everyone agrees with the articles comparison of Jane's sex-appeal with that of Bond. This article not only is evidence of the disagreement, but it also is evidence of the base language used by writers when speaking of these musicians, not in terms of their quality music - but rather using phrases like, "so smokin' hot". Listen to some of the tracks off the Bond site and you'll hear pretty good string playing, albeit the music is really cheesy - but then so is "Mamma Mia" and it's a huge hit. So, is it the music that's a hit, or the long legs on display? Or are the legs just there to get you to listen to the music???
The West Australian article does bring up some valid points. Opera audiences no longer accept the buxom (read: over-weight) soprano in the role of the frail Madam Butterfly. Deborah Voight, of London Royal Opera House fame has an amazing voice, but made headlines in 2004 when she was let go because she couldn't fit into the black cocktail dress which was to be her costume. She had surgury, lost the weight and is back on stage. But it shows that appears matters in the classical performance world.