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Opera singers wearing scarves: photos
By
Robert Rowat

Published

November 12, 2015

Genre

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For opera singers, the scarf is much more than a practical winter accessory. The "singer scarf" is in fact a year-round, day-to-day obsession. Singers wear them indoors and out, in fair weather and foul. Why? Because their throats are their instruments.

The official reason singers wear scarves is to ward off illness, even though science says you don't catch a cold from being cold. (We forgive the paranoia though, because let's face it: when singers get sick, their livelihood is seriously compromised.)

Ask a psychologist and they might tell you the real reason opera singers wear scarves all the time is because they're comforting, like security blankets. Or something to hide behind, maybe? (Not going there.)

Whatever the reason, we love opera singers, and the list below is our tribute to their unwavering devotion to the scarf.

Gerald Finley

Baritone Finley whistles a happy tune. Why? Because he's feeling all cozy in that paisley scarf.

Born in Montreal, baritone Gerald Finley now lives in London, England.

Vittorio Grigòlo

Tenor Grigòlo wore a scarf and — cryptically — a single glove while greeting a lucky fan after a performance of Verdi's Rigoletto at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Born in Italy, tenor Vittorio Grigòlo has been singing professionally over 25 years.

Angela Gheorghiu

Every singer knows that even on a beautiful summer day, a cool breeze can blow on your neck. Soprano Gheorghiu is ready for it!

Soprano Angela Gheorghiu is hailed as one of the most gifted opera singers of today.

Ian Bostridge

Tenor Bostridge received this beauty from friends in Moscow, where they know scarves.

Tenor star Ian Bostridge also holds a master's degree in philosophy from St. John's College, Cambridge.

Joyce DiDonato

Mezzo-soprano DiDonato found a linen scarf the exact colour of her eyes, and she knows it.

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is the winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo.

Jonas Kaufmann

Tenor Kaufmann wore a scarf to sign albums at the Metropolitan Opera shop. (We think a singer of his stature needs a better scarf.)

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann had his operatic debut as Caramello in Johann Strauss’s operetta “Eine Nacht in Venedig.”

Plácido Domingo

Go big or go home, right Domingo? (His wife, soprano Marta Ornelas, is wearing a scarf, too.)

With a career lasting over 50 years, tenor Plácido Domingo has sung over 3,800 performances.

Rolando Villazon

While recording Mozart arias for Deutsche Grammophon, tenor Villazon kept his throat warm with this indigo scarf.

In addition to performing, tenor Rolando Villazon is a novelist, stage director and TV personality.

Montserrat Caballé

Not only does soprano Caballé rock her red scarf, but she swooshes it over her shoulder in a dramatic gesture.

When she performed for the first time at Carnegie Hall, soprano Montserrat Caballé received a 25-minute standing ovation.

Anita Rachvelishvili

Mezzo-soprano Rachvelishvili captioned this selfie "missing winter," but what she probably meant was, "missing scarf weather."

Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili made her international debut in 2009 singing the title role in Carmen.

Luca Pisaroni

Bass-baritone Pisaroni, left, replaced his bow tie with a bright blue scarf.

Bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni made his debut at age 26 singing with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Karina Gauvin

She's all smiles, but just try taking away soprano Gauvin's scarf. (Or her champagne.)

Soprano Karina Gauvin won the first prize in the CBC Radio competition for young performers.

Juan Diego Flores 

Tenor Flores, left, keeps it classy with a scarf that perfectly matches his suit. (Cecilia Bartoli is emphatically not wearing a scarf in this photo, but that's because she's in costume.)

Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flores is best known for singing operas by Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini.

Luciano Pavarotti

Did Pavarotti start this trend?

Before soon launching into international fame, tenor Luciano Pavarotti studied to be a teacher.

Edita Gruberova

Soprano Gruberova, right, wore a mauve scarf while rehearsing Donizetti's Anna Bolena with mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca (who is unaccountably sans scarf in this photo.)

Edita Gruberova, right, studied at at Bratislava Conservatory before starting her renowned career.

Andreas Scholl

Even countertenors (especially countertenors?) love scarves.

German countertenor Andreas Scholl composes ballet and theatre music, as well as running his own professional sound studio.

Jamie Barton

Mezzo-soprano Barton, right, wore a scarf (but no shoes!) when she did her Tammy Talks interview.

You wouldn't expect it, but mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton (right) grew up listening to the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd.

Piotr Beczala

Tenor Beczala sports a gingham scarf that could double as an impromptu tablecloth in a pinch. (Although then he'd be without a scarf.)

Polish tenor Piotr Beczala made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in 2006.

Mariusz Kwiecien

Baritone Kwiecien's stylist allowed him to wear this pale grey scarf for his photo shoot.

Baritone Mariusz Kwiecien is well known for his portrayal of Don Giovanni in Mozart's work of the same name.

Renée Fleming

Soprano Fleming, centre, wore a scarf to a Grateful Dead concert where she ran into Katy Perry and John Mayer.

Soprano Renée Fleming was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2013.