Talk Like An Opera Geek: Vocal Tricks And Trills : Deceptive Cadence »

Ever been to a cocktail party and feel totally lost when some know-it-all opera jerk spouts on about “the mezzo-soprano’s ornamentation in the cabaletta lacked a certain bel canto sensibility, and because of the high tessitura, she sounded like little more than a comedia dell’arte soubrette in her secco recitative.”

Fear not. Here, we give you some tools to help you fire back with opera jargon of your own and actually have some idea of what you’re talking about.

The old Cliff House as seen from Sutro Gardens in SF


The "original" Victorian-style Cliff House, built by Adolph Sutro and opened in January 1896 (and destroyed by fire in 1907) was actually the third structure built on the site. The second of these was partially destroyed by an explosion of dyanamite on a ship drifting below. In 1909 the second "new" Cliff House was opened, having been built by Adolph Sutro’s daughter. Various remodels in the 1940s and 1950s reflected the styles of those decades, and the present-day Cliff House was reconstructed in 2003 to resemble the 1909 neo-classical version.


circa 1900

Yves Saint Laurent


by irving penn



Yves Saint Laurent photographed by Jeanloup Sieff, 1971.


Yves Saint Laurent by Andy Warhol


I guess it’s fair to say: Coco Chanel gave women freedom,

Yves Saint Laurent gave women power.



Le smoking originale. 1966.


Yves Saint Laurent “Mondrian” dress


Yves Saint Laurent, 1963.


Yves Saint Laurent, 1962

Claudia Schiffer

Yves Saint Laurent at the Finale of Yves Saint Laurent s/s 1997 with Claudia Schiffer