LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives


OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject: Re: Never say 'never' if you don't want a lot of holes poked in your assertions
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 6 Oct 2016 19:19:07 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (75 lines)


The advantage  and perhaps the main reason many earlier Italian singers did not sing foreign language operas, was because one could make a career singing only Italian Operas all over the world, because there were so many that were very popular.  Most American singers had no choice but to learn to sing in Italian, the same is true of the Spanish, who also sang in various languages. As someone before mentioned Milanov really had it tough, starting singing all her roles in Croat, then German, and finally Italian.  I can't imagine any French Opera she would have sung.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2016 2:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Never say 'never' if you don't want a lot of holes poked in your assertions

OK, now, in fairness to Les, I think his basic point is valid although he may be wrong in
some particulars - his basic point being, Italian singers in past times tended to stick largely
to roles sung in the Italian language.  And although there certainly are exceptions - which
have been duly noted - that basic point is true.  In the '50s and well into the '60s (to limit
discussion to singers of the post-WWII era), most of the big-name Italian singers sang their
roles in Italian - including the roles written originally in, and generally performed in, French,
German or Russian.  (Carmen is a big exception for mezzos.)  To point this out is not to
make a criticism of those singers; that was just the way it was done in times past.  Frankly,
I would much rather hear an Italian singer sing a French role in good Italian than in bad
French.  (It seems to be more common to hear native French-speaking singers sing in
decent Italian than to hear native Italian singers sing in decent French.  Again, we are
talking about singers of earlier generations.)

Pavarotti has been cited as an exception to Les' point.  And technically, yes, he sang Tonio
in French - but it was atrocious, Italianate French.  (Bonynge has written about the difficulty
they had in getting Pavarotti to learn the French words, even at that early point in his
career.)  But other than Tonio, he stuck to Italian roles sung in Italian.  Wisely, IMO.  He
never sang Werther, although vocally it would have been a great role for him, I am sure
because he was uncomfortable learning it in French.

Re Fedora Barbieri singing Carmen in French, one of the things I was surprised at when I
first heard her 1954 (?) Carmen Met broadcast, was how good her French was.  Certainly
next to Del Monaco, she sounded like she had been born and raised in Lyons.

Historically, I think American singers have been more versatile and accomplished,
linguistically, than singers of any other nationality.

So I would agree with Les' point as a general rule, with notable exceptions.  One could say a
great deal about the reasons for these linguistic straitjackets - it also applies to a lot of
German singers, who sang Italian roles in German translation - but that is another
(interesting) discussion.  Perhaps someone would like to take a crack at that topic rather
than continue to nit-pick about Italian singers who sang the occasional (rare) role in French.

MDW

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
OPERA-L Public Group | Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/>
www.facebook.com
OPERA-L has 2,631 members. Facebook corollary to the e-mail list OPERA-L, dedicated to discussion of opera and related topics. To subscribe, go to:...



--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.BCCLS.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager