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Subject: Re: Singers taking multiple roles in operas
From: Ulrik <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ulrik <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 14 Jun 2017 02:39:44 -0400

text/plain (71 lines)

On Wed, 14 Jun 2017 01:30:40 +0200, Hans Christian Hoff <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>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.

The doubling of Rangoni/Pimen and Varlaam/Pimen is - at least these days - very unusual. I 
have never heard of one recent example (which, of course, does not mean it does not take 
place in smaller out-of-the-way opera houses).

>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

I believe Wixell doubled Rigoletto and Monterone (which makes much more sense from a 
voice perspective - and dramatically also (two wronged fathers)). And Frate/Grand 
Inquisitor is only really possible if the version sometimes favoured in at least Vienna in the 
past is used - the version where Frate does not show up at the end.

About singing the more roles in opera but not on the same evening, what about Cecilia 
Bartoli (Dorabella, Despina and Fiordiligi - wonder if she is the only singer who has done 
that? - I don't know if she sang Cherubino before her Susanna). Joyce DiDonato sang both 
female leads in Maria Stuarda (on different evenings....). Anne Sofie von Otter sang first 
Sesto, later Cornelia, in Giulio Cesare (and soon David Daniels will have sung Sesto, Cesare 
and Tolomeo) and also first Melisande, then Genevieve, and first Cherubino, then 
Marcellina. Dwayne Croft did Billy Budd, later one of the officers (and also first Germont, 
later Douphol in Traviata). Paul Plishka also over his career (that is still ongoing) has sung 
different parts in several operas. 


Ulrik (whose mother once sang both Beatrice and Fiametta in Suppé's Boccacio on the same 
>There are obviously also other possibilities for one singer taking on
>several comprimario roles in the same opera.
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