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Subject: not an aria, a horror show...
From: A Katalin Mitchell <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:A Katalin Mitchell <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2018 14:05:15 -0500
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Is anyone listening to Trovatore? I just heard the most hideous Il Balen... of my life.... what is with this company if they cant even cast a decent Luna?


´╗┐On 2/3/18, 1:53 PM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf of Jon Goldberg" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]> wrote:

    Correct. I had the two arias mixed up. My apologies. 
    
    But they are both arias. ;-)
    
    
    On Sat, 3 Feb 2018 18:40:17 +0000, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
    
    >"Che gelida manina" is an aria, by your definition, by my definition
    >and by the dictionary definition. In fact, at the mid point, he asks
    >Mimi a question, "Shall I?" but she remains silent. It is a specific
    >part of the stage instructions. He continues to the end without
    >interruption.
    >
    >It is "Mi chiamano Mimi" that contains the now infamous "Si"
    >uttered by Rodolfo.
    >
    >Bob
    >
    >On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 13:24 Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
    >
    >> Part of my point in bringing up the gradual transition from "da capo" to
    >> "cavatina/cabaletta" aria forms was to say that the substance of an aria
    >> has changed over
    >> the years. In baroque operas, I can't reality think of any examples of the
    >> chorus being
    >> involved in a da capo aria, but as the cavatina/cabaletta form developed
    >> through the 19th
    >> century, choral participation became more common - as did the occasional
    >> participations
    >> of other solo singers (often the "confidante" roles like the previously
    >> mentioned Inez in
    >> Trovatore, etc). By the time of Puccini, he was experimenting with other
    >> ideas - what if a
    >> character in, say, La Boheme could actually respond to a question posed in
    >> another's aria?
    >> What if another character, such as the Sacristan in Tosca, could be posing
    >> asides in his
    >> own very different solo writing, DURING (and, notably, continuing AFTER)
    >> another's aria?
    >> Could it simply be that the form of what we know to be an aria was
    >> changing again, to
    >> allow things previously not done? After all, art is so often about
    >> breaking the "rules," and
    >> in trying innovations, as much as it is about carrying on traditions.
    >>
    >> In my view, if it's clear that the thrust of the piece in question is a
    >> solo, and is obviously
    >> meant to showcase that particular singer, it's most likely an aria. It's
    >> the nature of the
    >> solo writing more than the small interjections by other characters, or the
    >> involvement of
    >> choral "backup" in my view. I can't fathom not thinking of "Caro Nome" as
    >> an aria, even if
    >> the courtiers have some music to sing at the very end. I can't see how
    >> "Che Gelida
    >> Manina" is not an aria just because Puccini allows Mimi to respond to a
    >> question with one
    >> word. I can't see how the Italian Tenor's solo in Rosenkavalier isn't an
    >> aria, even if it
    >> winds up in competition with (and eventual interruption due to) Ochs'
    >> simultaneous
    >> argument). (In fact, being a diegetic aria - that is, music literally sung
    >> in context of the
    >> story, Ochs' argument is a totally separate thing. But in Bob's definition
    >> then, it's an aria
    >> as presented to the Marschallin, but not an aria as heard by the opera
    >> audience?? Do we
    >> need to go that far?)
    >>
    >> I don't have the time to look up "aria" in MUSIC dictionaries at the
    >> moment, but perhaps
    >> they might have a more comprehensive definition. Maybe not. But I think
    >> this is really an
    >> issue of common sense, and in fact I'll relate it to the classic remark on
    >> pornography by
    >> Justice Potter Stewart, i.e. "I know it when I see it."
    >>
    >> I think common sense tells us that we know an aria when we hear it, even
    >> if it may have
    >> tangential participation from other singers. I don't think that it's a
    >> question of vocal
    >> *percentages* (as Bob offers in the quite below) - I think it's pretty
    >> clear when the solo
    >> singer is the main event (i.e. it's an aria) and when it's clearly meant
    >> to be a more
    >> equitable ensemble effort.
    >>
    >> And I think we need to give composers the benefit of the doubt in creating
    >> arias that may
    >> not fit the rigid expected definition. I don't know if documentation is
    >> out there, but I
    >> would tend to think he certainly considered "Che Gelida" an aria, etc. Why
    >> wouldn't he? I
    >> can't see him sitting there, writing in Mimi's "Si" and laughing
    >> vindictively, saying "good -
    >> now no one can correctly call this an aria - sorry, tenors..." That's just
    >> ridiculous.
    >>
    >> Or basta. ;-)
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> On Sat, 3 Feb 2018 17:52:03 +0000, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Sorry, Kurt, I'm nowhere near finished.
    >> >
    >> >The definition is not "mine"; it is the technical and
    >> >dictionary definition, for which I offered one example.
    >> >An extreme example to be sure, but a correct one!
    >> >
    >> >For this I received the following - ridiculous, crazy and a
    >> >disservice to the word "aria" as though that word had some
    >> >intrinsic value greater than any other musical form. Let the
    >> >pejoratives roll!
    >> >
    >> >I would ask anyone on this forum to tell me exactly when, in
    >> >their opinion, an aria becomes a duet. Is it when each has
    >> >50% of the music, 60-40, 90-10, when? I assure you that
    >> >for every answer, though I suspect there will be few to none,
    >> >there will be as many who will disagree, because it has no
    >> >clinically correct answer. If two soloists participate, it is,
    >> >at least by definition, a duet. That isn't going to change, no
    >> >matter how loudly one may, metaphorically, scream or stamp
    >> >feet.
    >> >
    >> >Scream and stamp away!
    >> >
    >> >Bob
    >> >
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