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Subject: Re: Did anyone see the French Version of Tannhäuser in Monte Carlo?
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:15:16 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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Poulenc himself requested that all performances of Les Dialogues be done in
the vernacular, hence the Italian prima in Italian.  The Met performances
were initially done as Poulenc wanted.  Indeed, amongst all the Americans,
the clearest diction was from La Marseillaise, Regine Crespin (actually her
diction was remarkable in whatever language she sang in).  I remember the
older singers of my youth who all had impeccable English diction - even
Richard Tucker with his heavy NY accent when he sang, enunciated clear as a
bell.  They just don't teach that anymore.  I hear lots of auditions and I
never encounter younger singers - or rather, I rarely encounter younger
singers who perform clearly in the English language.  Just listen to the
old Columbia set of Fledermaus with a mostly Anglophone cast, some of the
Chandos Opera's in English from the ENO - the Ring Cycle is a good example
or the original recording of Vanessa with Eleanor Steber, Rosalind Elias,
Regina Resnik, Giorgio Tozzi and the great Nicolai Gedda, he of the
remarkable diction.  There is no reason opera in the vernacular shouldn't
work.  One thing has happened with everyone singing in the original
languages, national schools have disappeared into a homogeneous
international style.

Donald

As for certain reps in other languages,

On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 5:37 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> If anyone on this forum, outside of myself, attended a performance of
> "Dialogues of the Carmelites" during its premiere season at the Met,
> they will never quarrel with the idea that opera in the vernacular can work
> wonderfully well. It was 1977, and it was among the most remarkable
> operatic experiences in my very long list of experiences.
>
> The diction was spectacular, especially from Regine Crespin, who sang a
> defining performance. The aura of idiom was never in question.
> It is interesting that the World Premiere was in Italian, and that it has
> been
> widely performed in Italian. French and English, though less frequently in
> more
> parochial tongues. I can only wonder how well. other operas would work in
> other languages, would they be thusly performed. I doubt that Dialogues is
> unique in that regard.
>
> It was a wow!
>
> Bob
>
> On Thursday, February 23, 2017, Tom Frey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > It seems that on Gerald Finley's great arias CD everything is sung in
> > English, Wagner, included.
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Sent: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:55:16 -0500 (EST)
> > Subject: Re: Did anyone see the French Version of Tannhäuser   in Monte
> > Carlo?
> >
> > Andrew Porter's fabulous translations of Wagner make it quite clear that
> > opera in translation can work well.   Porter's English RING has famously
> > been recorded on Chandos under Reginald Goodall.
> >
> > Wagner himself expected his works to be done in translation outside
> > German speaking countries.
> >
> > Jim Bodge
> >
> >
> > On 2/23/2017 3:48 PM, Kiwi wrote:
> > > I’ve read some reviews that reject the concept out of hand because
> > Wagner must only be sung in German.
> > >
> > > Other reviews seem to indicate that the French idiom works well and
> > would like to see it done more often.
> > >
> > > Opinions?
> > >
> > > **********************************************
> >
> >
> > --
> > 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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