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Subject: Re: not an aria, a horror show...
From: Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2018 14:19:52 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (305 lines)


To me, Siff and Heath often sound like they are hosting a show for adolescents.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 3, 2018, at 2:14 PM, robert levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Wit til you the "D'amor sull'ali rosée," which I heard live Tuesday night.
> Drabbest singing in history from Rowley. Lee is all squillo. So this is
> what Opera in Darmstadt sounds like.
> Anita is dynamite.
> Bob L
> 
> On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 2:05 PM, A Katalin Mitchell <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> 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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