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Subject: Re: Fwd: What operas have characters who sing?
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:26:56 -0400
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The question you asked when you started this thread is -- what operas have "characters 
who sing" - not what operas have "characters who are singers." As you've pointed out, 
there is a difference - but you in fact asked the broader question. 

So yes, Violetta and Alfredo do sing a drinking song. That qualifies. Andres and Marie sing 
in Wozzeck (he sings that bit of song in the scene with Wozzeck in the field, and also in the 
tavern, and she sings the lullaby to her baby), and Eboli in Don Carlo (the Veil Song). Or, 
Varlaam singing the "Siege Of Kazan" song in Boris Godunov. And anyone who sings a 
serenade qualifies. We can qualify that "La Donna e Mobile" is literally sung, if only 
because Rigoletto hears the song in the distance later on. 

The technical word for such singing, btw, is "diegetic." In this context, it means music that 
is actually literally sung by the character (as opposed to the singer playing the character) 
as part of the plot of the opera, as opposed to the more general sung thought/dialogue 
that makes up operatic singing in general. The classic example of diegetic singing is the 
Von Trapps in The Sound Of Music - most of the kids' singing, for instance, is diegetic -
however, when the actress playing Liesl sings "16 Going On 17," we understand that Liesl 
herself is not actually singing. 

Sometimes it can get confusing. Except in productions of Carmen done with spoken 
dialogue, it can be tricky to delineate that Carmen is truly *singing* the Seguidille (with 
the quip that she's obeying Jose's command not to *speak*) - same with Antonia in 
Hoffmann, who sings throughout the act, sometimes diegetically, sometimes not - as all 
the while she's being told not to sing by her father (and eventually Hoffmann), and told TO 
sing by Dr. Miracle. ;-)


On Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:01:53 -0400, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 7:47 PM
>Subject: Re: What operas have characters who sing?
>To: Don <[log in to unmask]>
>
>
>The interesting thing is that, in opera, everybody sings, but that doesn't
>make
>everybody a singer.  Tosca is decidedly "a singer" but, as such, she is
>heard very little, and off stage!  Tannhauser qualifies, but I would rule
>out Mefistofele.
>The serenaders are a problem: is Turridu a singer?  Is Musetta?  Is
>Almaviva?
>Rosina definitely is.  Violetta and Alfredo?  No way!  Suddenly joining
>together
>in praise of drink, doesn't do it.
>
>dtmk
>
>On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 7:12 PM, Don <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Not sure if this answers the question but the following are all characters
>> in operas, some who are actually singers in the opera and others who sing
>> serenades, drinking songs etc. in the operas.  The Italian Singer in Der
>> Rosenkavalier, Smeton in Anna Bolena, Il Giullare in Francesca da Rimini,
>> Manrico in Il Trovatore, Walther and Beckmesser in Meistersinger, Hoffman
>> in Tales of Hoffman, Mefistofele in Faust, Don Giovanni and Almaviva both
>> sing serenades, Violetta, Alfredo, Silvio all sing drinking songs,
>> Mefistofele in Boito's Dr. Faustus, Adele and Rosalinda in Fledermaus,
>> Madame Herz and Mademoiselle Silberklang in The Impresario, Fiakermilli
>>
>> On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 3:56 PM, Don <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>> Not sure if this answers the question but the following are all
>>> characters in operas, some who are actually singers in the opera and others
>>> who sing serenades, drinking songs etc. in the operas.  The Italian Singer
>>> in Der Rosenkavalier, Smeton in Anna Bolena, Il Giullare in Francesca da
>>> Rimini, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Walther and Beckmesser in Meistersinger,
>>> Hoffman in Tales of Hoffman, Mefistofele in Faust, Don Giovanni and
>>> Almaviva both sing serenades, Violetta, Alfredo, Silvio all sing drinking
>>> songs, Mefistofele in Boito's Dr. Faustus, Adele and Rosalinda in
>>> Fledermaus, Madame Herz and Mademoiselle Silberklang in The Impresario,
>>> Fiakermilli
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 2:32 PM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 3:12 PM, Wendell Eatherly <
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>> > wrote:
>>>>
>>>> > Floria Tosca
>>>> > Emilia Marty (and Kristina in the same opera)
>>>> > Chapelou in "Le postillon de Lonjumeau"
>>>> > and of course, several characters in "Der Schauspieldirektor"
>>>> >
>>>>
>>>> To these and a few others already mentioned in the thread on a different
>>>> subject (lawyers), let me add:
>>>>
>>>> Musetta in LA BOHEME
>>>> La Gioconda (she is a street singer)
>>>>
>>>> and the most divine "singer" of all: Orpheus.
>>>>
>>>> Vesna
>>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> ​Always keep a roll of baling wire and another of duct tape in your car.
>>> It's amazing how useful it can be.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> ​Always keep a roll of baling wire and another of duct tape in your car.
>> It's amazing how useful it can be.
>>
>>
>
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