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  1. #31
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Oh my! I am surpised to read about this happening at the Met but with thought, I guess if any opera house needs it it's going to be the Met. Like Mary says, it will be interesting to hear any response from the company.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Involved Member Nemorino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Lander (sospiro) View Post
    Interesting article in Slippedisc about possible amplification at the Met. Some useful comments too (which makes a change).

    Conrad Osborne's article here.

    The comment about the size of the Met is interesting and one of the reasons I love small opera houses like Opernhaus Zürich (seating 1,100) is because not every singer can belt out 80 decibels and all types can be heard. I'd rather not go to live opera if singers were amplified; overtly or covertly.
    This is purely speculative, and I can't say I believe it. For one thing, I saw that Marnie live and there's one thing he's not taking I to account. The acoustics of the stage production change throughout the performance. Act 1 mostly has a very deep stage with no back wall to project sound off of, whereas in Act 2 there is much more of a mix and the moveable backdrop sections are often much closer. Also there are beats in that opera that are played pianissimo to great effect; the Met does not have generally any acoustical problems, except if the conductor buries the singer under the orchestra. And that is a problem with modern orchestration sometimes.

    I have seen contemporary operas performed in Dallas and Santa Fe with minimal amplification to address balance issues with large orchestration. They were both done fairly well, but the technology is not there yet to be totally unnoticeable. I don't think the Met with their conservative Board has yet spent hundreds of thousands on cutting edge amplification without a clear crisis for their presentations.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    I too find it hard to believe but as it's a "veteran" critic who's raising the issue, I think there is something there. Whether that's with the sound engineers or just in the critic's mind, I don't know.
    If it's at a level where an experienced listener can't tell, maybe it's not a bad thing to amplify. Sound enhancement would be a different issue but in that case it would require an obvious amplification.
    One of Kaija Saariaho's recent works had computer enhancement of the voice where Jarroussky's voice was repeated to make an echo effect. This was fantastic and if there's any voice I want to hear over and over, his would be it!

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