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Subject: Re: "Ungrateful roles" and why
From: RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 9 Dec 2016 19:56:23 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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To start with, I don't like the term "ungrateful roles".  Beginning with the quoted line that started this string, how are we to know that Turridu has been killed unless we are told?  Varnay did not think the line ungrateful or that singing it was beneath her.  When, in her later years, she was singing Mama Lucia and the soprano scheduled to sing the line became ill, Varnay asked for and received permission to sing the line herself.  Can you imagine what it was like in the theater that night?


I have always been grateful to Giordano for the way that he gave extra lines (beyond those necessary to continue the story line) to the singers in supporting roles.  Look at the brief but delightful music that he gave to Bersi.


On stage, in the vast Shakespeare cannon, there are some lines or scenes that are traditionally cut, purportedly because they are out of tune to modern ears.  But get the right director and actor together, it's a different story and you see that Shakespeare knew what he was doing.  That does not mean hamming it  up.  It means that you know how to act and/or direct.


Returning to opera and on a personal note, the witches act in Verdi's Macbeth is frequently cut.  The ballet is almost always cut.  But I would give my right arm to direct that act and no one who saw it would ever forget it.  :)


Best.

Ray


***

> 
>     On December 9, 2016 at 6:56 PM Isaac Alan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>     I am also in line with James and Bob. We have a saying in the theatre regarding small parts and small players.
> 
>     It is surprising how many so called ungrateful roles, are actually pivotal, vital, and when given grateful treatment by the artist, quite fulfilling even in their brevity.
> 
>     Regards,
> 
>     Isaac Alan
> 
>     ________________________________
>     From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
>     Sent: Thursday, 8 December 2016 10:55 PM
>     To: [log in to unmask]
>     Subject: Re: "Ungrateful roles" and why
> 
>     Bob is spot on with his asessment of the quality of various roles,
>     except that I would call Telramund a terrific role. Check out Schoffler,
>     Schorr, McIntyrer or Stewart, as well as the great Hermannn Uhde. A good
>     singer can enliven any part - even the AIDA Messenger.
> 
>     I''m an actor who specializes in just these kind of "ensemble", or
>     supporting, roles. They are very rewarding assignments in the way they
>     dominate for a few minutes and then revert to a quieter place in the show.
> 
>     There are even rewards in parts like Morales in CARMEN. You'll only
>     notice him if he is bad.
> 
>     Jim Bodge
> 
>     On 12/6/2016 2:46 PM, Bob Rideout wrote:
> 
>         > > 
> >         Wow! I'm on a different planet, or somethin'.
> >         I think Brangane is a very grateful role, if you can sing it.
> >         Christa Ludwig and Tatiana Troyanos are only two who
> >         left indelible marks.
> > 
> >         And a great Amonasro will be remembered for a looooong
> >         time if he can pull off "pensa che un popolo, vinto,
> >         straziato. Per te soltanto risorger puo". When sung with the
> >         right tone and intensity, it can be the most memorable moment
> >         in the opera.
> > 
> >         I agree about Telramund, except when Hermann Uhde sang it.
> >         A performance never to be forgotten! It was frightening. He was
> >         utterly magnificent.
> > 
> >         Bob
> > 
> >     > 
>     --
>     James Bodge
> 
>     You only need two things: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If something moves and
>     it shouldn't, use the Duct Tape. If it won't move and it should, use
>     the WD-40.
> 
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