Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sorority Saga: Let's See Who's Getting the Boot Now.

Last month I wrote about the Delta Zeta sorority kicking out women in its DePauw chapter who are not conventionally pretty.

As a former DZ told CNN, she and her sorority sisters were told by Delta Zeta's national leaders, "You need to be more sexually appealing; you need to make the guys want you." (Full story.)

How anachronistic is that? More to the point, how icky is that?

Ewwww. These are supposed to be well-educated women!

But I'll bite my tongue and move on.

Officials at DePauw were ticked off at the sackings, but it was Delta Zeta's response that drove them to evict the sorority from its campus. Sam Dillon followed up his February report in the New York Times today.

After the initial fuss, which received widespread national attention, Delta Zeta posted a weak apology on its website.

“Delta Zeta National apologizes to any of our women at DePauw who felt personally hurt by our actions. It was never our intention to disparage or hurt any of our members during this chapter reorganization process.”

But, not able to leave well enough alone, "the sorority posted statements critical of the women forced out of the DePauw chapter and of faculty members who supported them.," writes Dillon.

For DePauw officials, that was the last straw.

University President Robert G. Bottoms said beginning this fall Delta Zeta would no longer be permitted to house students in its Greek-columned residence on the DePauw campus in Greencastle, Indiana.

Let the punishment fit the crime.

It's high time for Delta Zeta's leadership to refine their understanding of an apology. There really is an art to saying "sorry." For starters, they can listen to Amy Dickinson, who explained it in Talk of the Nation on NPR last week.

You can listen to that discussion here.

Maltese Tenor Joseph Calleja Fills In for Villazon.

Poor Rolando wasn't feeling very good Friday night. So just an hour an a half before going onstage in the Vienna State Opera's La Boheme, he pulled out, and was replaced by 29-year old Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja.

There's been a lot of interest in this young man especially since Malta joined the European Union in 2004. His style is said to be "reminiscent of the great tenors of opera's golden age." (from Decca)

The Times of Malta reports the audience was so pumped about going to see Rolando that they were furious when they found out he wasn't going to show. Still, Joseph Calleja won them over, including Austria's largest paper, Die Presser:

"Joseph Calleja... swiftly managed to allay the discontent.

"He was (along with Boaz Daniel as Marcello) the best thing on this evening. (Mr) Calleja has a glorious, gratifyingly old-fashioned timbre, a terrific upper register and an ongoingly improving technique."

The Kurier Vienna amped up the praise: "The judgment of many people: A voice that radiates even more lyricism than Villazon's tenor."

I imagine Rolando is now doing his best to get better and back on stage! We recommend he stay away from mechanical bulls for a while.

But I'm glad for Joseph Calleja. The more top-notch tenors around, the better, I say.

Read more about Calleja on Wikipedia, and in this article from Music and Vision.