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When opera singers kiss: a mezzo dishes

August 26, 2009 | 10:00 am


012108_2218_ElmerGantry_p The Karma Train just pulled in.

On Monday I wrote about a young mezzo-soprano, Jennifer Rivera, who stood out among many other excellent soloists at the Bard College Music Festival devoted to Wagner last weekend in New York’s Hudson Valley. And now she has blogged charmingly about how a friend passed the review on to her. She had no idea anyone would pay much attention to her appearance in a couple of operetta numbers on a Saturday-morning program of Wagner parodies, let alone a critic from far-away L.A.

Well, it was also a friend who passed her blog Trying to Remain Opera-tional: The Life of an Opera Singer Equals Comedy on to me, and it turns out she is not only a very promising opera singer but also a terrific blogger who deals with all the things you’ve always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about. 

Like sex. 

Like what it's like to kiss someone on stage she doesn’t know. 

Should she warm up in rehearsals to break the ice or wait until the show? Will the director want something more suggestive? 

Anything can happen: "I did one show" -- Mark Adamo's "Lysistrata" -- "where I had to climb all over a baritone, while both of us were pretty scantily clad, and he was wearing a fake erection that kept poking me and threatening to rip my costume."

-- Mark Swed

Photo: Keith Phares kisses Jennifer Rivera in Robert Aldridge's "Elmer Gantry," premiered by Nashville Opera in 2007.  Photo: Nashville Opera

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