‘Singing opera in a foreign language is like having sex with a condom’

‘Singing opera in a foreign language is like having sex with a condom’


norman lebrecht

August 02, 2021

Did he really say that?

And to the New York Wagner Society?

Reader’s Comment of the Day:

That panel was a hoot. Groissbock compared singing in a foreign language to using a condom: “You get in there, but you don’t really feel it.” Peter Mattei, Eva Maria Westbroek, Michelle de Young nearly fell out of their chairs!

Wagner model being walked through wintry Bayreuth


  • V.Lind says:

    What does having sex with a condom make you — a prophylosexual?Whatever your preference, I can think of better partners for sex than a condom.

  • Richard says:

    Come again?

  • Jean says:

    I remember Pekka Kuusisto using the same expression in a magazine interview, but I forgot the original context…. (something about violins, anyway)

  • Heril Steemøen says:

    Tiresome with contrived comments about and allusions to sex

  • sam says:

    Listening to opera in a foreign language is like having sex with a condom, trying to keep up with the action frantically eyeing the instruction manual.

    The first time I heard The Magic Flute in English was revelatory and a totally different experience.

    Once upon a time, opera was sung in the local language, but I’m not sure I want to hear non-English speaking singers mangling English, at least when they mangle German, I can”t hear it, lol.

  • Nik says:

    The less said about this, the better.

  • zeno north says:

    A very male point of view.

  • Gustavo says:

    Sounds pretty catholic to me.


  • fierywoman says:

    Try playing The Messiah in Korean. Or Italian (“A noi e’ nato un bambino!”) 😉

  • Freewheeler says:

    ALL languages are foreign… (except mine).

  • Gunther says:

    He obviously hasn’t tried lambskin.

  • Sheila says:

    If they do an opera centered around the Bobbits, perhaps he will be considered for the male lead.