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Subject: Re: Singers taking multiple roles in operas
From: MTQ <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:MTQ <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 13 Jun 2017 09:51:02 -0400

text/plain (65 lines)

Thank you.  I found this when I googled "Jones Frau".  I, myself, am a damn
good sight singer, but I cannot for the life of me imagine sight reading
Strauss!  And the mimed Empress on stage completes the explanation.

Thanks again to those who replied to me privately, as well.


-----Original Message-----
From: Wendell Eatherly [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 6:57 AM
To: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Singers taking multiple roles in operas

On Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:27:36 -0400, MTQ <[log in to unmask]>

>I have always been a little confused by this.  Isn't there a point 
>where they are both
singing at the same time?  If so, how did this work?  I've only seen the
opera once in Amsterdam and for some reason I remember both sopranos being
on stage together.
>Or am I mistaken about there being a duet?
>Gwyyneth Jones sang both soprano roles in Frau in the same performance 
>(her daughter
& here schoolmates were at the performance) J
From a New York Times article, "LAST-MINUTE 'SAVES' ON THE OPERA STAGE":

"Miss Jones sight-read the Empress's scenes from behind a darkened scrim,
while an actress mimed her movements. In scenes where the Empress and the
Dyer's Wife are both onstage at the same time, Miss Jones turned her face
from the audience to sing the Empress's lines, which she had quickly
memorized backstage. Fortunately, the Empress and the Dyer's Wife have very
little interaction; the only portion of the opera in which the characters'
voices overlap is the final quartet, and at that point another soprano sang
the Empress's lines from offstage while Miss Jones, in the role of the
Dyer's Wife, was on stage with the mimed Empress."

The whole article's here:

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