Evil Soprano Syndrome, or ESS, is a paranoid behavioural condition that is mostly restricted to classical and operatic sopranos. Occasional strains have also been witnessed amongst the tenor and counter-tenor communities, where gay members are more at risk. There is no known cure, although a slap across the face is known to be therapeutic.
1. Acute self-obsessiveness, megalomania and narcissism
2. Extreme paranoia and inability to trust anyone, even those that the subject is close to
3. Dishonesty, and/or convenience with the truth. The subject will regularly censor and re-tell history so that she always looks to be utterly faultless and perfect, or the injured party in any less-than-perfect situation
4. The subject will always find a way to place herself above others in conversation, especially if the topic is music
5. No empathy, discretion or loyalty – any signs of weakness from friends or acquaintances will be taken down and used against them at a later date
6. The subject will never pass on leads for auditions or gigs, not even to other voice-types, as sharing her professional space with contemporaries might compromise her mystique
7. Dreadful social climbing
8. No real friends in the industry beyond those that can get her somewhere (see #7)
9. Resentful and rude about all others’ work, even non-sopranos
10. Chronically paranoid and defensive when things don’t go their way. Any attempt to discuss bad news of any kind – even if the intention is to sympathise - will result in sulking, freeze-outs and temper-tantrums from the subject.
“Wow, she’s a real bitch!”
“Yeah, she’s got ESS”.
“She’s not misunderstood, she’s a poisonous, evil cow. A clear case of Evil Soprano Syndrome at work”.
“Wow, you’re going out with a soprano? Watch out for ESS, it can come on without warning”.
“Say no to Evil Soprano Syndrome”.