Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Chorus Line

This is Felipe, a professional opera singer, and a close friend of mine: In case you didn't guess it at first sight, he's the one wearing a striped b&w dress, a fiery-red shawl, and matching lipstick and  ballet flats.

He is also my co-worker at a major opera house and, as you may see, he has a style of his own (and real guts!)

Actually, he often impersonates a female character he has invented. He emulates a female: he "femulates", as my friend Stana would put it (see http://www.femulate.org).

He then becomes Madame Maria Vkallasova (paying a joint hommage to the immortal Maria Callas and to all those wonderful Slav opera divas whose last names end in "ova": Dimitrova, Arkhipova,  Kuznetsova, what-have-you-ova)

Not only does he emulate the divas' appearances, but also their voices!

In an amazing vocal feat, he sings all the major opera arias in the original soprano range, reaching even the highest upmost notes at full strength with total ease and stamina, especially the more dramatic ones. And he/she does so in a way I've never heard in any other male soprano (I've even browsed all over YouTube for a similar vocal prowess: but no, he seems to be one of a kind!)

Check out Maria's channel on YouTube

Anyways, impressive as Madame Vkallasova may be, for me, it is the "real-life" Felipe who qualifies as a New Male, not the female impersonator.
He's no New Male when he shows up to work "in drag" (i.e.: pretending to be a female), but rather when he dresses as a male, but displaying his unique, inimitable style.

These are all pics I've taken myself during rehearsals.
I hope he doesn't mind my sharing them:

Too bad he doesn't keep a blog. 
But you can still befriend Maria Vkallasova on Facebook!

Other New Males in the Performing Arts
Indie Rock Band
Xavier Dolan 
Canadian Actor
Rye Silverman
Celebrity guitarist, singer and songwriter

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