Thread: Opera Small Talk

          
   
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    Schigolch
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    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    But... but... Traviata sung in English? Not good. What was made of the word "amore"? Love? Not the same!
    Seeing it in about a week and a half. Will report back. As will Emiel, I am sure.

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    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    But... but... Traviata sung in English? Not good. What was made of the word "amore"? Love? Not the same!
    I recall there was a Sadler's Wells recording about thirty years ago starring Valerie Masterson, but I never heard it. One review I read said that some passages took on an unfortunate tinge of Gilbert & Sullivan when heard in English.

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    Senior Member Involved Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Yes there were a few moments where the English didn't quite fit Alma, but overall it wasnt enough to detract from the whole impact.

    ----

    On another note, Ive found a great page detailing the various events celebrating Wagner's bicentenary in London this year:

    www.wagner200.co.uk

    There's many great concerts, lectures and masterclasses all to do with Wagner. On the bottom of the events page they also mention a new ROH Parsifal for next season, have any of you heard about this?

  5. #620
    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    10 Most Difficult Arias. clicky
    I find it fascinating that Mozart's arias are listed 3 times on the list.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Interesting. From opera singers, I've heard that the Queen of the Night's first aria is actually harder than her second one, the one everybody (including the maker of this list) assumes to be harder.

    From another opera singer (his interview has been completed but has not been transcribed and published yet) I heard that the very common idea that Mozart is "honey for the voice" is, as he puts it, "stupid." (We may kind of edit it down to "silly" when editing the interview). He says that Mozart is not as easy as people assume and *can* damage your voice if you're not careful, something I have heard from another opera singer in the past, who also didn't want to go along with this "honey for the voice" thing.

    I agree with the Postillon de Longjumeau aria. That one is a killing one - and I love it!

    I've just attended a live show of Puccini's La Rondine, and the first aria for the soprano (Doretta's dream) is very difficult in the fact that it is long, all over the place, and very early in the opera, before the voice has a chance to warm up.

    So, this timing part is also very important. An aria may be relatively easy in a recital, but killing on the operatic stage if it comes up too soon.

    About the choice of number 10, I wouldn't have included it. It's just a patter song, and not a particularly fast at that (Rossini has literally dozens of patter songs more difficult than this one), and it's got a rather even vocal line.

    Bastianini is indeed a great interpreter of Figaro. The video link they include is dead, here's another one:

    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); February 12th, 2013 at 04:30 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Involved Member Tardis's Avatar
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    I have often read that Mozart's arias can expose weaknesses in technique because they tend to make singers more exposed. I wonder what that means.

    I actually think there probably could be more Mozart arias on the list, especially with the Mozart tenor arias. The problem is that they usually get cut out from the operas, so the average opera goer probably don't even know they exist!
    Last edited by Tardis; February 12th, 2013 at 02:55 PM. Reason: grammar errors galore

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    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tardis View Post
    I have often read that Mozart's arias can expose weaknesses in technique because they tend to make singers more exposed. I wonder what means.
    Very little accompaniment from the orchestra, and often in the same range as the singer. Makes intonation a bitch. Also, Mozart's arias are generally very complex rhythmically, and have to be sung very precisely.

    But Modern Major General? Really?

  10. #624
    Senior Member Involved Member AnaMendoza's Avatar
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    And, it's just one tiny little word, but referring to Ariadne auf Naxos as an operetta?!?!?

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    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    From another opera singer (his interview has been completed but has not been transcribed and published yet) I heard that the very common idea that Mozart is "honey for the voice" is, as he puts it, "stupid." (We may kind of edit it down to "silly" when editing the interview). He says that Mozart is not as easy as people assume and *can* damage your voice if you're not careful, something I have heard from another opera singer in the past, who also didn't want to go along with this "honey for the voice" thing.
    This is a fascinating take on an attitude that is often taken for granted. I have always thought that the 'honey for the voice' or, as I have also heard it put, 'medicine for the voice', referred mainly to the fact that often in Mozart, especially the slower arias, legato is paramount, and singers often find it difficult to maintain a legato line. However, legato is the basis of good singing, and if someone can get through a Mozart aria without bumps or bulges in the line, and without recourse to aspiration of divisions, they have already accomplished quite a lot. I heard a story once about a piano teacher who was trying to convey the idea of musicality to an obstreperous student. The teacher played a few bars from one of Liszt's virtuoso pieces, and said, 'Despite what it sounds like, that is actually relatively easy and can be achieved with practice by almost anyone'. He then played a simple slow movement from one of the Mozart sonatas, and said 'That, on the other hand, is supremely difficult. When you are able to play it well, you will have arrived at the highest level of musicality'.

  13. #626
    Schigolch
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    Like this opera singer mentioned by Almaviva, I think the whole 'medicine for the voice' thing is just "silly".

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  15. #627
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tardis View Post
    10 Most Difficult Arias. clicky
    I find it fascinating that Mozart's arias are listed 3 times on the list.
    They could be listed five times, if one included the tenor arias "Fuor del mar" from Idomeneo (the full-length version, not the shortened, simplified one) and "Ich baue ganz" from Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

    And where is Florestan's aria? That little number is rightly feared by most of the tenors who have to sing it.

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    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    They could be listed five times, if one included the tenor arias "Fuor del mar" from Idomeneo (the full-length version, not the shortened, simplified one) and "Ich baue ganz" from Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

    And where is Florestan's aria? That little number is rightly feared by most of the tenors who have to sing it.
    Not even Pavarotti and Domingo dared to sing the long version of Fuor del mar when they performed Idomeneo at the Met. It has put the fear of God into most tenors who performed the role before about 1990 or so, though George Shirley sang a virile and heroic version in Colin Davis' first complete recording back in the Sixties, and several others have made decent recordings of the long version, including Araiza, Werner Hollweg and Ian Bostridge. My favorite is on the complete set conducted by Rene Jacobs. And a severely pruned (read: all fioritura cut out) version of Ich baue ganz was the norm until about 1980 or so, that is when it was included in the performance at all, which it generally wasn't.

    I despair of ever hearing Florestan's aria sung well. Since Jon Vickers, no one has seemed able to encompass its various difficulties. Those tenors who can sing the notes, like James King, often do not seem to understand the emotional/spiritual content, and those who do, like Rene Kollo or James McCracken, have fallible voices that fall short of Beethoven's demands.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    I despair of ever hearing Florestan's aria sung well. Since Jon Vickers, no one has seemed able to encompass its various difficulties. Those tenors who can sing the notes, like James King, often do not seem to understand the emotional/spiritual content, and those who do, like Rene Kollo or James McCracken, have fallible voices that fall short of Beethoven's demands.
    If we are talking about Gott! welch' Dunkel hier! I think Jonas Kaufmann sings it like a god on this recording.



    In fact now I can't bear to hear it sung by anyone else. I had to fast forward through a Fidelio DVD with Peter Seiffert the other day because I couldn't bear what he was doing to it after the glory of Kaufmann.
    Natalie

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  19. #630
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    If we are talking about Gott! welch' Dunkel hier! I think Jonas Kaufmann sings it like a god on this recording.



    In fact now I can't bear to hear it sung by anyone else. I had to fast forward through a Fidelio DVD with Peter Seiffert the other day because I couldn't bear what he was doing to it after the glory of Kaufmann.
    Interesting! I cannot hear the clip as my browser here at work blocks it, but I think I will have to invest in this recording.

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