37 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2018
    1. Survey

      why is this a capital?

    2. ustainability and similarly sustainable appear in the cloud.

      this could be smoother...

    1. Retail spaces have a huge impact on residents in gentrifying neighborhoods.

      tighten this up

    2. makes to attempt

      word missing?

    3. change ethics to ethnics

  2. Aug 2017
    1. still,

      cut this word

    2. Black queerness is something that is completely absent from opera.

      while there might be a little historical queerness in opera performance and a little gender bending in opera performance today, but there is not much space for Blackness and even less for Black queerness

    3. My opera studies have always been strictly heteronormative – I have not performed any operatic works that are for male leads; I’ve never portrayed a different gender or etc. The closest form of gender-fluidity that I’ve portrayed is the aria, “Ballata” by Ottorino Respighi. When I studied this song, it fit the correct voice part and intonation needed for my voice (soprano), but when I looked up a performance of the piece I also found that it could be performed by a male tenor. There are many pieces that have gender-neutral lyrics which could be for any gender to sing, and maybe these lyrics also allow a space for queer people to sing about/to whomever partner they prefer. In my experience, however, my voice teachers have assumed that I would be singing to a male protagonist/antagonist and maybe that is because they never knew about my queerness. (Perhaps, it was also because of how we assume most people to be heterosexual before anything else which is less of an operatic issue and more of a cultural/social issue.)

      maybe sing a little of this piece and then say an abbreviated bit of this.

    4. castrati and the homo-eroticism of being able to perform as gender-fluid icons on stage: even though it is unspoken, gay men are widely more accepted and prevalent in the opera world than gay women. I felt more accepted in the discipline when I was told of modern operas now allowing women to play ‘contralto’ and ‘countertenor’ parts. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a contralto is “…a singing voice that has the range between tenor and mezzo-soprano [typically females]…” (Merriam-Webster) A countertenor is “…a tenor with an unusually high range [typically males]…” (Merriam-Webster). (A tenor is typically described as a high-voice male vocal part, and a mezzo-soprano is a middle-high voice for a female.)  This allowed for women to play the parts of male characters in lead roles. This is a phenomena not to be thought of in the older years of opera and it allowed me to feel more comfortable with my identity when I found this out. Another interesting factoid, though, is that I’m a soprano which usually fares to more traditional female roles. For my voice part, there aren’t many roles that allow me to explore gender-bending or any form of masculinity.

      This needs to be tighter. Cut the first couple of sentences.

      "Today, sometimes at least" women are allowed to sing contralto and countertenor parts. Countertenor parts have traditionally been seen as male roles available to tenors with unusually high ranges. Opening them up to women means that woman can play male roles, the field of opera is finding a little room to queer gender roles in the middle range of voices. However, I am a soprano."

    5. In my personal experience with my own sexuality, I feel as if I have to perform as a straight woman in order to properly portray females in a heteronormative way.

      Being Black and Queer in opera means performing women in drag, but being Black and Queer in the world also means performing drag, performing heterosexuality. Being in drag all the time confuses my own understanding of my sexuality. I have struggled to find a queer voice for myself in opera, so I perform arias as a straight woman, as the woman imagined by the male writer of the song.

    6. The men who played these roles went through a process of testicular castration  in order to keep their voices high-pitched and these performers were called, “castrati”

      I feel like there is an interesting but not fully articulated set of ideas in this paragraph. I would suggest making your language simple so that they ideas can emerge more fully.

      "Today, soft core lesbianism is considered a safe performance of gender and sexuality that can be viewed by men or women for sexual pleasure. It doesn't really challenge the heteronormative context and often is seen as experimentation or just a warm up to heterosexual sex. In X century opera performances, women weren't able to perform at all. Men played female roles, men who were castrated to keep their voices high. Men dressed in women's clothes and performed the romance of operas in drag. This was not seen as a threat to hetersexual desire.

    7. were playing

      played

    8. to

      for

    9. but even during the turn of the century women having sexual fluidity was still considered a crime and mental illness, but it was still subordinate to homosexual men due to patriarchal dynamics about gender (women are weaker than men, so their sexual preferences aren’t as detrimental as men’s…men must be straight because they are stronger).

      this sentence is too long and convoluted.

    10. or being not fully heterosexual as

      replace with "is seen as"

    11. experimenting

      having sex

    12. the

      cut this word

    13. There is this idea of women being able

      Some argue that women are able

    14. I also found out that I had two gay male relatives, and I began to discuss the hypocrisy behind accepting them and not their own daughter to my parents.

      this doesn't fit the flow in part because I don't know the when of most of this -- how old were you at these different times?

    15. and wasn’t ashamed of who I was

      cut this

    16. also

      cut this word

    17. this unspoken sentiment of

      I felt rather than heard that being gay

    18. Around this timeframe, the years of experimental childhood play occurred and I had all of my playground girlfriends “play doctor” with me: these sessions included seeing each other naked, comparing body parts, pretending to be each other’s “boyfriends” with small kisses and touches here-and-there. I was fascinated more by female friends’ body parts than my male friends, and a lot of my female friends developed earlier than me, and I would be in awe of their curvaceous figures, noticing how they resembled the body of the porn star I saw at age 6. Paired with these external manifestations of my budding lesbianism came the voyeuristic ventures of late-night erotica on T.V. Although my parents thought they were protecting my innocence by not allowing my Internet access, they put a cable T.V. in my room, forgetting about the massive amount of sex all over the place in the media. Perhaps they thought I would fall asleep before the phone sex advertisements, sex toy infomercials, and softcore erotic movies/shows would come on, but I was a youthful insomniac, unable to fall asleep until 3 or 4AM at times.

      My parents might have thought that they protected me from sex in its electronic forms, but they put a TV with cable in my room. The internet didn't invent porn. Maybe they thought that sleep would protect me from late night phone sex ads, sex toy informercials, and softcore movies and shows, but I was a youthful insomniac. [When my childhood friends "played doctor" I saw them naked. We compared our bodies and pretended to be each other's boyfriends --etc. This interrupts your interruption. I would move it to another spot or cut it.]

    19. Ever since I was a child, I knew that I had an attraction to women. I remember the first image of a naked body that really stayed fragmented in my mind was not of my own body, it was an image of a naked, white woman from a pornographic adverstisement pop-up on my family computer. We had a computer virus that flooded our homepage with pornography and I remember seeing this image and then my mother walking in on me seeing the image and subsequently freaking out because I had seen something that would potentially “corrupt” me. I wasn’t allowed to use the computer until the virus had been fixed and even years after that incident, when I was old enough to have my own computer in my room, I still wasn’t allowed to have Internet connectivity in fear that I would see more sexualized images…but I digress.

      This is a great aside. I would make it even more clearly an aside by restructuring how you release information: "When I was a child, our family computer was infected with a virus that flooded our homepage with porn ads. One day, a pornographic pop-up ad of a naked white woman appeared on the screen, then my mother walked in a saw me seeing the image. I wasn't allowed to use the computer until the virus was eliminated and later, when I had my own computer in my room, I wasn't allowed to have internet access, so that I wouldn't have access to all the porn that the internet offers. And maybe I was corrupted by the image that infected the computer. That white woman with fully-developed breasts, hips, and a vagina is the first image of a naked body that I remember, that was caught in the web of my mind. I both admired the woman, a woman like me, but a woman not at all like me, and was aroused by her image before I even knew what my own arousal was.

    20. it makes it hard for someone who doesn’t fit into these molds of heteronormativity to find an authentic operatic voice when portraying a role, reenacting a scene, or just trying to relate to the lyrics in a particular song.

      These norms mean that when I perform a role, reenacting a scene, or trying to relate to the lyrics of a particular song, I am also performing gender, sexuality, and race, all in ways that make it a challenge to find an authentic operatic voice.

    21. ,

      need an s on convention

    22. not showing much grey area when interpreting

      and interprets gender and sexuality in broad, black and white terms. These gender norms are central to the plot lines and narrative structures of operatic works.

    23. I personify a lot of non-realities

      I think this could be better and clearer. "I embody a number of things that don't exist in opera'

  3. Jul 2017
    1. Sexualizing Identity and Opera

      Is there a way to more fully integrate the discussion of sexuality and opera? Right now they seem very separate, first one and then the other. But I think that it would be useful to think about these things together. Opera is performance and public, so you put (one puts) forward a very different face than in private. Also opera is something you excel at and putting together your senior performance requires self-discipline and some kind of confidence and how do you experience that in relation to the relationship with men who undermine and don't respect you? And then both opera and these sexual relationships diminish and disparage your identity as a Black woman.

      Anyway, I would like to see the two interwoven and if you perform this I think that you should speak and sing....

    2. Eventually, she stopped coming around him and he stopped pursuing her because another white girl that looked like her caught his eye… and then my minor infatuation for him trailed off because I thought I was a lesbian

      this moves through a lot of change very quickly. Do you want to talk about how your identity as a lesbian developed or does it seem unnecessary to this piece?

    3. “White love” is love, heartbreak, tragedy, etc. but there is no level of inequality due to racial inferiority/superiority dynamics.

      this needs more clarity.

    4. On the cusp of being a virgin and on being a “slut” is where I stand.

      I would make this tighter -- "On the cusp of virgin and slut is where I stand" and/or more active -- "I stand in the borderlands of virgin and slut"

      But if you currently stand there, I don't know why you are remembering it.

      "virginal" should be "virgin" I think

      Last sentence of first paragraph is clunky -- streamline it.

  4. May 2017
    1. presents itself as

      odd phrasing

    2. to preserve

      "to record" makes more sense

    3. over

      an

    4. An urban park situated in Washington D.C., The Yards Park, neighboring the Washington Navy yard represents riverfront revitalization with an award-winning design, high-end restaurants, spaces for recreation and community gatherings, and river views.

      This could be tighter: "The Yards Park, an urban park adjacent to the Washington DC Navy Yard, is an award-winning example of riverfront revitalization that combines high-end commercial spaces, especially restaurants, spaces for active recreation, and more passive river views.