If you’re an opera singer, are you taking turmeric?

If you’re an opera singer, are you taking turmeric?


norman lebrecht

February 07, 2019

Luca Pisaroni tells New York magazine:

Everybody uses supplements to boost the immune system and to help against inflammation. Curcuma [turmeric] is anti-inflammatory and it’s something we all get because it helps the immune system. We all try to use natural things — as organic and natural as possible. I discovered this because another singer told me that it was a very natural anti-inflammatory. When you are tired because you have a very intense schedule or you feel like your throat is tired, this is a wonderful thing to help bring things back to normal. We all try to stay healthy because, for us, if we get a cold or a sore throat, it’s really hard. The problem isn’t that we can’t sing on a cold. You can sing on a cold but you need to make adjustments, and there is a saying in opera that you don’t get better singing. When you have a cold, the best thing to do would be to shut up and not do anything, but sometimes you just have to perform when you’re not 100 percent.


Oh, and all opera singers, both sexes, are wearing these to work and play:



The Met’s showbizzy publicist is working overtime scraping barrels.


  • Nik says:

    Others swear by fags and scotch.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    “We all try to use natural things — as organic and natural as possible. ”
    Certainly, so why not have fresh tumeric instead of a processed supplement?

    • Operaspook says:

      Because singers are often travelling, and rental apartment and hotel kitchenettes often don’t have the tools required to harvest fresh curcurmin, the active ingredient in turmeric. Besides, it’s extremely messy and turns fingers, lips and teeth yellow. There are some excellent turmeric products on the market, but always remember that for it to be most effective, it should be taken with fish oil and black pepper; 1000 mgs turmeric to 500 mgs of fish oil, and a pinch of black pepper.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Turmeric should be good for you, and perhaps it is. In any case it is unlikely to do any harm.

  • Karl says:

    From a Chinese study: Curcumin Alleviates Neuropathic Pain by Inhibiting p300/CBP Histone Acetyltransferase Activity-Regulated Expression of BDNF and Cox-2 in a Rat Model

    I’m not a rat but it helps the pain from the damaged nerve in my foot.

  • Whimbrel says:

    Here’s a question I’ve wondered about for ages: how do opera singers who perform with a cold stop passing on their germs to other singers with whom they’re up close and personal? Or don’t they? According to the NHS: ‘The common cold is infectious from a few days before your symptoms appear until all of the symptoms are gone. Most people will be infectious for around 2 weeks.’

    • Una says:

      In my experience as a singer in opera companies, one person with a cold does not necessarily mean everyone will get it automatically. I have had to sing when I haven’t felt like it like most middle-level singer. It also depends on the type of cold too. On some you simply can’t but not sure turmeric would make much difference.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Indeed. Look no further than any family experience, especially between couples: even with ample exposure to the virus, one doens’t necessarily get sick.

  • ketzel says:

    That scarf looks like one of those terrorist scarves. Of course singers should keep that area warm, but does it really have to look like that thing Arafat was always wearing? If I were a singer, I’d wear a simple neck warmer, to make sure no one could possibly think I had anything to do with what that type of scarf is associated with. Those who wear the Arafat type of scarf are either ignorant or laughing up their sleeve at the plausible deniability.

  • Jamesay says:

    Luca is a find for the barrel scraping PR departments of any institution – he’d show up to the opening of a door if invited. Loves the sound of his own ego and can talk about ANYTHING .. as long as it’s about himself.

  • Harrumph says:

    Snake oil peddling is alive and well in 2019. Sucker born every nanosecond, alas.