So I feel a need, as a writer, editor, and co-founder of Bari-Chunks, to reiterate a few points about this blog and to also get a few things off my chest.
For those of you new to this blog or for those of you who may have forgotten, Bari-Chunks was created to highlight great singers, regardless of sex, body shape, or any other designation you can think of. That and to have some fun :) I believe that great singing is the first and foremost qualification of a great singer. Not looks, not popularity. Singing. It's what separates us from the rest of the artistic jungle. Other blogs out there might disagree with me and that's fine. That is their right. They put the focus on places that singers have performed or on how good they look. In my humble opinion, that's not only wrong, but it is harmful to our art form. Now, am I saying that buff singers can't be good singers? Of course not! There are plenty of sexy singers out there who rock (and by the way, not everyone's definition of sexy is the same. Just something to consider). There are quite a few that we have mentioned in this blog but we mention them here because first and foremost, they are fantastic singers. Everything else is icing on the cake (mmmmm, icing and cake....)
We are not TV or movie actors/actresses/porn stars. We are singers. Singing is what makes our art form special. We should embrace it, hell, celebrate it. What we do is pretty damn amazing. I'm guessing Brad Pitt can't sing over an orchestra so why is it expected that singers have to be as good looking as Mr Pitt for close ups? It doesn't make sense to me. Maybe I'm alone in this view but I don't think so. Now, do I enjoy looking at beautiful people? Hell yeah. I'm human. But would I rather hear hear "Largo factotum" sung really well by a guy who's got a belly or a shirtless bodybuilder who spent more time on his biceps than on his breathing technique? I'd go with the belly every time. Would I prefer a "Vissi d'arte" sung by a rather unknown soprano whose performance moves me or a singer who has 12 albums and phones in her performance because she's sung the aria 350 times? Someone who moves me, no brainer.
Recently, a couple articles made the rounds on the interwebs promoting sexy singers. Queerty's article entitled "Top Ten Hottest Opera Hunks Who Sing us Love Songs in our Dreams" and Operetta Research Center's promotion of the aforementioned article and the blog Barihunks seem to be flooding my newsfeeds. I have a couple problems with these articles. First, if I as a straight male wrote an article selecting 10 sexy women I like to dream about I'm pretty sure I'd be branded a sexist. Queerty's article uses lines such as "Great, he can sing. But check out the guns on this guy!" Can you imagine if my imaginary article included the line "Sure, she can sing, but look at her boobs!" You would all be lining up to slap me and my wife would be the first to do so. Rightfully so. Both lines are objectifying to the singer. How come Queerty can get away with it? Secondly, and I'm sure you saw this coming in my list of complaints, they put looks above singing. Operetta Research Center's article says "Both (Queerty and Barihunks) demonstrate that opera is not about “fat ladies” singing anymore, but about joyful erotic stimulation with music." Opera has never been about the Fat Lady!!!!!! It has always been about good singing!!!!!! And the phrase "erotic stimulation" seems a bit extreme for opera. I've been turned on at the opera before but it has never been because of the nudity. Just saying. I'm not interested in trying to hide a boner at the Met. If I want to Zauber my flöte I'll go home and rely on Rule 34. Thirdly, why do you want someone singing opera to you in your sleep? Opera is loud as hell. I don't want some guy screaming at me in a foreign language when I'm trying to sleep. Sounds like a specific level of hell to me.
Recently, an opera company posted this meme;
I could spend a hour or so talking about this meme, but I'll cut to the chase-
1. The first picture is a stock photo promoting a stereotype. It's not opera. It's someone paid to be in metal underwear.
2. The photo of Julia Lima (whom I do not know, nor am I familiar with her work. I assume she's lovely) is not a picture of opera. It is a picture of Julia Lima. And in a pose I've never seen an opera singer sing in. I've had to sing in some unusual positions before but never "about to sit on a chair someone cruelly removed last second." Nor have I ever seen that costume in an opera. It is just a dynamite picture of an attractive woman. There is nothing inherently wrong with this photo but it does not define opera any more than our old friend Brunhilde Brasstits up there. Julia Lima is not opera. Julia Lima is Julia Lima. As mentioned many times before on this blog, opera is a team sport. None of us can do it alone. This meme is just wrong on many levels. (Side note, the opera company took down this post...)
I'm sure I'm coming off as a broken record. "Singing is more important than looks." "Fat people are people too." "I want a donut." But I hope my point is getting across. Singing IS what is makes us, us. We can't forget that. If we do, we're not us anymore. And donuts are delicious.
Now that all that semi-serious stuff is out of the way and to prove that Bari-Chunks is, at its gravy soaked heart, a satire blog that is no better than anyone else, I'd like to present to you my list of "Opera Singers I'd Like to Sing to Me in Bed."
Her velvety, sultry tones are gorgeous and I'm pretty sure she'd bring me a whiskey in bed.
Man, I want to be Craig Verm when I grow up. Plus, he looks like a snuggler.
Her voice melts your soul in the best possible way.
It might be awkward at first but I'm sure it would be enjoyable. He looks pretty excited about it.
Her voice is like butter and she's is also a really good cook who uses lots of butter.
One word- tacos. Two more words- glorious singer.
I like to talk sports in bed.
His character portrayals are riveting, his high notes are insane, and his pasty head could be my nightlight.
With a voice like hers you can't help but go to bed with a smile on your face.
I just want to yell "Norm" when he comes to bed. #mensch
He'd make me tea in bed.
I mean....it's Jamie Barton, y'all. #JamieMFBarton Also, we would laugh a whole whole lot
Besides being an amazing singer and performer, she has a fantastic dog. Dogs are awesome.
He looks like he'd be ok if I cried a little when he sang to me.
No one else will take him to bed and I feel sorry for him.