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January 25, 2013 by Beldrac

What is beauty? It’s defined thus:

Noun: a) A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight.
b) A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.

In both instances – “a combination of qualities.”

I had a thought today; there’s an old saying about beauty being in the eye of the beholder. This certainly is very true and a prime example of this could perhaps be opera. In the TV Series “The Thin Blue Line” Detective Inspector Grim has the following to say about opera (and culture):

“I don’t like culture. Bleeding ballet an’ opera. Especially when they spend lottery money on it – wasting the working man’s bet on fat screeching old bags from Italy singing like they’ve got piles. Or some bunch of scrawny bints in tutus called Tilda or Darcy flashing their gussets at a lot of horny perverts. Art? Culture? Staring at posh bird’s knickers, that’s all Swan bleeding Lake boils down to! We want to know we will be helping little kiddies, NOT haughty, hoity, stick it up your toity, high and mighty, tight nosed, toffee arsed, sun dried tomato eating lah-de-dah-dy lah-de-daas.”

Maria Callas

When I was young I hated opera. The screeching hurt my ears and I didn’t get what all the fuss is about. I don’t know when it changed but I’m pretty sure Maria Callas had something to do with it.

That’s fucking moving. It all seems so effortless to her but it only came with years and years of dedicated training. The amount of emotion she expresses is astounding, her poise, her eyes… which brings me back to beauty – having a number of aesthetically pleasing qualities. Maria Callas was in her 30’s when this video was recorded and from what I’ve seen she was at her most beautiful in her 40’s (hear that, ladies? :)) She wasn’t a stunning beauty but her powerful voice and the way she expresses the music with her whole being, has my eyes glued and my ears fixed. She was in my humble opinion, the greatest female vocalist of all time.

Beauty is all around us. Some people think babies are beautiful while others say the same thing about Sphynx cats. I’m very partial to dogs, my family once had a Great Dane whose black coat was so pure that when it shimmered in the sunlight it looked like he had no colour at all.

(I’ve had this on the cooker for a while but I realised today it’s been finished all along and I’m clicking Publish. In my book, Maria Callas is right up there with Anneke van Giersbergen.)

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