Friday, June 14, 2013

Anna Netrebko VERDI - "Don't judge an album by its..." wait, never mind.

This may come as a shock to you. I mean, it might - I don't know. But... well... opera fans can be a little -shall I say- fickle.

Oh now, I know what you're thinking: opera fans have strong opinions are just aren't afraid to voice them. Well, however you may spin it, there is simply no pleasing opera fans. One minute they're hot and the other, they're cold. One minute they're up and the other, they're down. And, at this time of year it's always at its peak.

What do I mean? We are in a down-time between seasons, which means that opera fans are a little trigger-happy. They don't have their usual complaint-du-jour subjects available to beat on - so the first little target they see ... BANG!

And, there is always a go-to for their target practice. Always the usual suspect. Like: someone who is no stranger to attention from the media and fans. Yes. You guessed it: soprano Anna Netrebko.

Indeed, La Netrebko has currently created quite a firestorm with the cover of her latest album - Anna Netrebko VERDI.

On June 12, Deutsche Grammophon released a sneak peak of the Russian superstar's new Verdi album by presenting the album cover. However it was immediately criticized by fans and pundits for being heavily photoshopped.

One person wrote "This cover is horrible. A terrible photoshop job. Nothing looks real or natural. Anna looks plastic and terrifying. I hope it's redone."

Others threatened not to buy the CD because the artwork looked cheap. One fan noted, "What a cheap photoshop! if the album is like the cover better not to buy it". Another added, "I'll never buy this cd with that cover! Photoshop horror!"
Yes, even La Cieca at and OperaChic got in on the action. I mean: you didn't expect them to sit by, did you?
La Cieca from the opera blog went as far as creating an album called "the Annas" where Netrebko's face from the cover was photoshopped into various other posters. Some of the pictures included the Russian soprano's face superimposed on posters from "Man of Steel," "V For Vendetta," "Statue of Liberty," "Star Trek: Into Darkness," and "The Adam's Family."

The blog Operachic also ridiculed the poster by photoshopping cats into the cover...
I'd like to know this: how many of these Netrebko fans would buy an album that is comprised of relatively craptastic singing but, has a perfectly lovely and natural looking cover? These albums come to mind:

Opera fans want their favorite singers to "look the part", but then complain when they can't be heard over the orchestra or can't sing more than 2 performances in a row. Opera fans want new and innovative productions, but then complain when the "Machine" creaks and groans or the staging is too simple (or, too complex). Opera fans want to hear perfection, but complain about the contortions that a singers face may create while creating that perfection ... never mind the fact that a High Definition camera is basically up their nose.

And now we have this? People are kvetching because Anna Netrebko's latest album cover is "too photoshopped"? Listen Ladies and Gents, as I told Parterre on Twitter this morning: The album isn't live, why should the cover be?

Right? I mean, let's be honest: to get these albums to sound just right, there are countless takes and loads of fiddling with the knobs and slides on the control board. So, why the complaining about fiddling with the photography?

Settle down folks. Settle down. This isn't the first album cover that has been photoshopped. And, it wont be the last - a little softening here, some contouring there and a little blurring to mask imperfections.

In fact, here are just a few of my favorite examples of photoshopped album covers for you to enjoy:

Have a wonderful weekend...

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