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Subject: Singers taking multiple roles in operas (4)
From: Hans Christian Hoff <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Hans Christian Hoff <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 14 Jun 2017 01:30:40 +0200

text/plain (48 lines)

It is not uncommon that the same soprano takes on Elisabeth and Venus in 
the same performance of Tannhäuser. That a soprano in the span of her 
career sings both Zerlina, Anna and Elvira in don G., Blondchen and 
Konstanze in Entführung, Barbarina, Susanna and Contessa in Nozze and 
Queen of the Night and Pamina in Flöte is probably more the rule than 
the exception. As among others George Bernard Shaw has pointed out, the 
same singer will be able to take on Masetto/Don 
G./Leporello/Commendatore in don G., Figaro/Count/Bartolo/Antonio in 
Nozze, Guglielmo and don Alfonso in Cosi and Papageno/Sprecher and 
Sarastro in Flöte, and many prominent singers has sung all those parts, 
if not in the same performance. It is very common that the same singers 
double as 1/2. Geharnischter/Priester in Flöte.  The 
Norns/Rhinemädchen/Valkyries in the Ring often doubles in several of 
those parts. Haavard Stensvold (son of Terje) doubled as 
Masetto/Commendatore at Drottningholm i 2010/2011 (?) It is also common 
that the same singers double as 1/2. Geharnischter/Priester. The 
doubling of Alcindoro/Benoit in Bohème is also almost the rule. Not 
unusual is also the doubling of Varlaam/Pimen or Rangoni/Pimen in Boris 
Godunov, Galitzky/Kontchak or Galitzky/Igor (as done by Christoff) in 
Prince Igor. On recordings the doubling Boris/Pimen is possible and not 
unheard of (Christoff and Kim Borg, if I am not mistaken), but it is 
impossible in the theatre without destroying the effect of the death 
scene of Boris.

Other doublings that is possible (but uncommon) is Frate/Grand 
Inquisitor in Don Carlos, Monterone/Sparafucile and also 
Rigoletto/Sparafucile (as done by Wixell in the video with Pavarotti) in 

There are obviously also other possibilities for one singer taking on 
several comprimario roles in the same opera.



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