Saturday, October 27, 2012

(Do I need a) Nom de Blog? (also Fierrabras' Aria)

So, I have noticed that very few people use their real names on their blogs. I find this interesting, and feel slightly naive that I have never come up with a cute, clever, or fanciful pseudonym under which to air my lofty opinions. Also naive because it didn't occur to me that it might be safer, yea even necessary, to remain more anonymous.*  
In earlier days, for a non-music-type blog, I did try one: Steven Haynes, which no one got. (Mary Haynes' husband in The Women. He is a central character but never appears in the play/movie. Get it?) And since it's not really opera-related, that one  is kind of out. Just now I thought about Brian Large, since no one believes there is one man named Brian Large making all those opera videos.  But the real Brian Large (if he does in fact exist) might not appreciate it.
Many bloggers name themselves after a favorite opera character, either directly or via some clever pun. That being said, it seems all the good ones are taken. I considered Basilio (a tenor and a music teacher), but frankly that character is usually kind of creepy, and, well, there is no point in drawing that kind of attention to myself. Oberon seems too grand, and I am sure someone is using that.  
Maybe Fierrabras! The opera is named after him, yet he is a fairly minor character in the plot. Claus Guth even uses this as a point of humor in his Zurich production. Olivier Flammand, or maybe to be obscurer, Oliver Flemming in honor of Strauss' Capriccio? How about Claus Martin, in homage to my favorite strange directors? Or maybe Zdenko, to introduce a gender question? 
Right now Fierrabras is in the lead. Maybe, though, I don't need a nom de blog. I could just be myself. Now that would be a novelty!

His one Aria: Was quälst du mich

Other Fierrabras posts:

*That being said, it's pretty hard to imagine that I could say or write anything to truly piss anyone off that much. Although, I suppose it's possible.


  1. I think quite a few people have their real name on their blogs. In fact I can't think of a Toronto based opera blogger who doesn't. Cute nicknames are OK but then how do you deal with meeting people in real life. "Hi I'm Zerbinetta". I don't think so! My real name is out there on, for example, the COC podcasts and others have equally obvious real life opera connections.

  2. My general rule is to keep my name off my blog - partly because I don't want my students finding it (I have a very unusual first name-last name combination) but mostly because I find that I'm less self-conscious and more interesting when I'm writing under a pen name. So when online I either use the 'earworm' pseudonym or if I want to use an actual human name I go with a middle name. If I'm meeting someone in real life, at that point I usually say "by the way, my name is [real name]."

  3. As for pseudonyms I admire 'The Wistful Pelleastrian'

  4. Thanks for your feedback! I think I'll leave well enough alone! :)


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