When in Paris, Sondra shows more than intended

Various readers have pointed out that a video of Sondra Radvanovsky in a concert version of Il Trovatore suggests a malfunction in the upper underwear department at the Paris Opéra.

The Canadian soprano would not have appeared in so flimsy a silk dress on a US stage.

The singing, needless to say, is tremendous. Focus on that.


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  • So the point of this post is? Oh yeak, right: clickbait. And it worked because I clicked!! {;-)

    But seriously, it has to happen once in a while that a performer chooses a garment that looked great in the dress shop but doesn’t work so well “in the field”. Probably makes for a less than comfortable stint on the stage, but no big deal, really.

  • I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Norman, you’re so damn classy it blows my mind. Well done. I don’t care what everyone else says – I don’t think you’re at all despicable. Keep fighting the good fight for proper music journalism.

  • I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Norman, you’re so damn classy it blows my mind. Well done. I don’t care what everyone else says – I don’t think you’re at all despicable. Keep fighting the good fight for proper music journalism.

    • I agree with you, but then it takes a tit to know a tit I always think Kit. Console yourself with that thought….

  • Where is one supposed to hear the “tremendous” singing? (Having heard Ms Radvanovsky a number of times live I can well believe that it is indeed tremendous.) It seems odd to tell readers to focus on the singing but not to provide a link to the video that would enable us to do that.

      • The singing was probably very good, but I’m afraid I wasn’t able to focus on it due to the appalling quality of the recording. It didn’t capture the sound particularly well and the camera was moving all over the place. Presumably this was an illegally made recording by a member of the public using a mobile phone or similar.

        As for the “malfunction”, seeing the video renders the story even more pathetic and ridiculous. I had assumed that the whole of the top half of her dress had fallen off. That would at least constitute a malfunction. It seems that what Norman is actually talking about is the fact that if you look very closely you can just possibly make out the outline of two nipples under the dress. To be honest, if somebody hadn’t pointed it out in the comments on YouTube I don’t think I would even have noticed.

        This really is a new low for this blog, which I continue to read because, despite everything, it is the best single source of news about the world of classical music. But a blog post to remark upon the fact that women (and men!) have nipples, and that they are sometimes visible? And I don’t know what shocks me more, that Norman actually posted the story or that “various readers” took the trouble to contact him to alert him to the existence of the nipples. It’s both bizarre and sad.

        • Various readers have pointed out that the author of this blog has genitalia. The journalism, needless to say, is tremendous. Focus on that.

        • The soprano (and or whoever dressed her) should have had the class to refuse to wear it. It was most unbecoming and galling to have to stare at her barely covered breasts, and this in a concert performance, front and center, on an empty stage with no place to distract or hide. And one doesn’t have to stare hard or for long to notice, for they (the breasts) practically jump at you. As I said, most unbecoming and lacking in taste and class.

          • I don’t think it shows a lack of taste and class, but it perhaps does show a lack of foresight with regard to what people will say on social media.

      • Hmm, I was expecting more of a Janet Jackson Super Bowl 2005 wardrobe malfunction. I don’t see much out of the ordinary here.

  • Much ado ’bout nothin’. I don’t excited when women breastfeed babies in public either.

  • thanks God the Prodigy has been withdrawn from that “tremendous” Trovatore … and guess what – she has (really) tremendously sung Senta at Bayreuth recently 😉

    • So Prodigy replaced Ricarda Merbeth as Senta at Bayreuth? Can you please provide audio proof of her tremendous success there? Is there anything on YouTube? Otherwise, we have nothing but your words to gauge the accuracy of the success. This happens too often with fans where they announce so and so’s triumphs but never provide proof. For instance, have you heard or seen any audio or video of Mattila’s recent Sieglindes in SF? Of course not. And neither have I. The point being that the proof is in the pudding and it would inconvenience and disrupt the fans’ narrative.

    • By the by, the Festival does not start until 25 July so how could Prodigy have performed a “tremendously sung” Senta there recently? And Merbeth remains listed. Care to explain?

        • PS I wrote “at Bayreuth” , not “in”. So, somehow it can be interpreted as “with the orchestra etc..”. It looks like I also tried to use shadows to depict the fact 😉

          • Alexander, you are making no sense whatsoever. What do you mean by “shadows”? Worse even, YOU wrote Bayreuth. Whether “in” or “at” makes no difference. Turns out the Holländer performance was at the Bavarian SO which is not Bayreuth. What is up? By the by, the production looks hideous.

          • concert rendition ( you may write to Munich with your complaint) , any way she is a star and I heard her as Senta , consequently I know what I am talking about …. don’t like Wagner much and don’t understand all that fuss about Bayreuth …. her ideal part would be Lucrezia Borgia ( dangerous for the voice) and Norma, taking into account the agility of her voice ( rare for such a volume) and crystal pure highs … just my opinion , of course … Thais also goes well
            PS “shadows” ? – ambiguity might be ?

  • Not a fan. Saw her in Norma at the Met. Whatever stage she us on here saved a ton of money on scenery. Remind me to never go there. Looks like a production at Sydney Opera House. I see nothing unusual about the dress except it is ugly and brown.

  • Gentlemen!
    What you all assume to be nipples are in fact a really badly constructed lining of that garment. Since the bottom half is made of the same fabric, you all must admit that it is absolutely not see-through, not even a little hint or shadow!
    It’s the darts in the top half that ended up being a little too pointy, finishing right at her nipples and intimating them to the onlooker
    Sooo many male comments, funny that!

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