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Subject: Re: Could Judy Garland Have Sung Opera?
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 31 Oct 2016 11:11:27 -0700
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I think the speculations are usually based purely on the instrument and hearing some individual sounds in the voice that hint at the range or possibly size (very hard to tell on a pop recording) that could indicate opera potential.  As you mention, it doesn't take into account all of the things the singer would have to do to validate and then deploy that potential.

The one I've often wondered about was Sarah Vaughan who, in the course of jazz and pop performances, seemed to easily traverse the scope between a contralto's low F and a high B-flat, neither of which sounded like anywhere near the end of the road.  Tony Bennett is another - particularly his "live" recordings show some really serious tenor potential.

But, as you say, it would have taken years of study and "programming" not to mention having a love and burning desire to do it.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 31, 2016, at 10:43, Tom Frey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> The theory that certain pop singers could have gone opera is, to me, based on a total ignorance of what it takes to become a successful opera performer. Voice is just one element. Just because someone can hit a note or be loud or even carry a tune isn't enough. Besides all that are having intelligence, discipline and huge musical knowledge. One must be able to be part of the ensemble that involves being in an opera. You don't always get the spotlight,unless you're Lily Pons. Then there is the learning of many languages. The technology of maintaining vocal stamina to get through 2 or 3 hours of difficult music. Stage presence, unless you're Pavarotti. You have to act the role not just get out the notes. The classic case of how not to become an opera star is Mario Lanza. He no doubt, had the native ore but did not have the intelligence or dedication to study and make thee right choices. Instead he grabbed the Hollywood dollar and become a joke among those who know what is opera is all about. Elvis was a success at what he strived to be. Isn't that enough?
> 
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Mon, 31 Oct 2016 13:02:06 -0400 (EDT)
> Subject: Could Judy Garland Have Sung Opera?
> 
> Just wanted to get people's attention.  Although the question is no less silly than whether 
> Elvis could have sung opera.
> 
> The thread about Elvis is an odd one.  The question whether a certain pop singer could have 
> sung opera implies that singing opera is some kind of seal of supremacy.  Why not just 
> recognize that there are a variety of vocal endeavors in which a singer can be supreme, for 
> quite different reasons, and leave it at that?  In opera, we can always have the dubious 
> pleasure of hearing Scotto sing "Over the Rainbow" or Simionato and Bastianini sing "Annie 
> Get Your Gun" without speculating about their musical theater chops.
> 
> MDW
> 
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