Yes, but what will she wear?

Yes, but what will she wear?

It’s less than two months until Anne Sofie von Otter’s recital at the RCM, just nine subway stops from where I’m typing this. I know what she’ll sing — of which in a later post — but what will she wear? Time to summon the Frock Committee.

The proximity of the little-covered holiday called Christmas got me thinking that she might wear her magnificent Pope Joan ensemble (pictures that the Prague Spring Festival won’t share, but Vatican is an exclusive style, I mean place). The red shoes are borrowed from this little known frock queen:

All the same, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t exactly choose that ensemble for this particular recital. You see, von Hotter concert wardrobe roughly divides into three categories:


As Dido with the BSO in Les Troyens (2008):

The Queen Mother of Sweden in an official visit to Norway:



Indigo velvet:

Green velvet:

Red velvet:

This is interesting: Nunnery leaning towards Royalty

And the third category known as

Yes, please

Yes, OK, I know, this is a costume. But it had to be included. I have it on good authority of the Opus Arte’s official Tweeter that this indeed is von Otter, not a body double. So there. This is the closest any one will get to this particular vista.

This dress works anywhere, anytime, with or without the steel arm:

Goes to prove that the fabric doesn’t matter. The cut does. I am blinded. (And not because the photo is slightly overexposed: )

Another case of perfection:

Meanwhile. Anybody speaks Swedish? Desperately seeking a translator for THIS. (Reason No. 127 to adore ASvO: off stage, she dresses like Sue Sylvester.)


11 thoughts on “Yes, but what will she wear?

  1. The Carmen outfit is one of my personal favourites.

    I have to say, I like the O. more without any velvet covering up her luxurious body. I favour breeches, to be honest. The Pope Joan Ensemble also has something to it 🙂

  2. Call me an Old Romantic, but I’m loving the velvet. There’s something about von O’s skin tone that glows with the deep colour and texture of the fabric, particularly the rich blue IMHO.
    Whatever she’s wearing – enjoy!
    And of course that’s her on the Carmen cover – I’d recognise that left clavicle anywhere 😉

    1. Ha! Her neck gives her away, but I think they strategically left it out in that picture so the eyes can focus on something else.

      I hear you re. velvet. She performed Brangaene this year in black velvet, but alas, I could not find a single photo of her in that dress.

  3. I like the Nunnery leaning towards Royalty ensemble, actually (and the stunning Pope Joan red,) but I think the dress worn for yodeling gets my vote for Most Magnificent.

      1. it was a rather _very_ short outing. I was puzzled why she flew all the way to LA to sing only for 40min. Radio France SO played an overture, then she came out to sing Dvorak cycle of poem, then Radio France SO played the rest of the evening! she must have had some private recitals somewhere in the area that i didn’t know about… A friend of mine (opera addict from Spain who loves ASvO and Bartoli) said she sung very nice. I didn’t know much back then (the work or ASvO) so i was much more impressed w/ her tall and handsome posture and outfit 😀

      2. I did worse. I recently found out that I saw the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson live in an opera back in December 1999 without having any clue about it. I happened to be in NYC for the millennium NYE and somebody took me to hear this new opera work by a contemporary American composer John Harbison, based on Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. My friend adored Dawn Upshaw, and that was the reason she wanted us to go. Fast forward ten years, and somebody on Parterre reviews the CD of this production and he mentions that Lorraine Hunt and Susan Graham sung their roles impressively.

        At which point I go to the nearest wall and start hitting my head against it.

    1. Srsly. Being an impressionable 25-year-old first time at the Met, I was certain I liked it. That now I can remember 1) a single line: one character singing “all countries, even little Montenegro”, and 2) Dawn Upshaw sobbing musically (was she Daisy? Can’t remember that either) — tells a lot.

      Mind you, I should have read The Great Gatsby in the meantime. I had read Tender is the Night as a teen and always thought I could fake my way through any conversation about the Gatsby. I am wrong. A friend is now teaching it in her creative writing course, and whenever she gushes about it, there’s nothing I can add.

      Except that I saw Harbison’s Gatsby at the Met.

  4. Yeah, Upshaw was Daisy. Lieberson was Myrtle Wilson, who shows up and then gets run over in Act II — the dead body with the creepily swinging leg, that bit I remember. According to the Met database this was her Met debut, so anyone who walked out at intermission (as some friends of mine did) have no bragging rights there.

    Also Matthew Polenzani, now singing Alfredo in the new Traviata, was the band singer.

    It actually is a really interesting opera in the way the score reflects not just the story but the whole thematic structure of the novel. I had a detailed defense of it worked out at the time, but that’s one of the things that didn’t stick 🙂 Anyway if you ever revisit the opera, read the book beforehand and see what you think.

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