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Subject: Re: Puritani - today, from the Met
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:59:03 -0500

text/plain (58 lines)

In thinking about this, I think what makes the most sense is to consider two definitions - 
the academic one (which seems to me what Bob is advocating) and the trade one (i.e. the 
broader definition of aria that would reasonably be used by voice teachers, voice coaches, 
conductors, directors, etc, let alone opera fans in general. I think if you talked to any 
number of people who actually work with opera singers in the actual biz, they might make 
a similar distinction - we call them arias in "shop talk" terms even if having other voices 
involved might make it technically something else.)

I remember a similar conversation coming up once on a theatre site, concerning the 
definition between "orchestra" and "band." While the academic idea is that an orchestra 
has strings, a band doesn't, that's not always true in terms of actual "shop talk." I've heard 
conductors refer to orchestras as "bands" in an offhand, colloquial way. If a show 
orchestration has no strings, they still play in the "orchestra pit." I work in one theatre that 
has a backstage platform for the musicians that we refer to generally as "the band loft," 
regardless of whether string players are in the orchestration. And the term "orchestration" 
is generally used to mean any arrangement for instruments, strings or not. (The term 
"bandstration" is a valid word, but I rarely if ever hear arrangers or any musicians actually 
use it in practical conversation.) 

I also know that some people out here might bristle and clutch pearls if we were to refer to 
an opera performance as a "show." I don't know why, given that it is indeed just that, just 
as any staged theatrical performance, with music or not, is a form of "show." But the fact 
is, I have heard *plenty* of opera professionals refer to an opera performance as a 
"show," like it or not. And they're the ones doing it, after all, so they get to call it what 
they want, lol. 

So, I think context is important. If you're writing an academic treatise on "A Te O Cara," 
you might consider if it's important to point out that it's not ONLY a solo turn for Arturo, 
and what nomenclature to use for that case. (It was indeed pointed out that the vocal 
score calls it a "quartetto" - which however leaves out the choral contribution - and the 
chorus can't be chopped liver - so it that really academically accurate? I don't know.)  But 
I think if you're coaching a tenor in the role of Arturo, both his Act I and Act III solos with 
ensemble (let's not forget "Credeasi Misera" also involves other voices) would be called 
"arias" without question, debate, or argument. To say that Arturo has no real arias would 
sound kinda ridiculous, n'est-ce pas?

Basta. ;-)

On Sun, 19 Feb 2017 09:58:18 -0500, Katalin Mitchell <[log in to unmask]> 

>This is all very interesting and instructive but goes too far.

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