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Subject: Re: not an aria, a horror show...
From: Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2018 14:21:01 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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I just tuned in, so I missed "Il balen." But unless Quinn Kelsey Is having
a seriously off day, your description comes as a great surprise. He was
marvelous in the house, and the published reviews confirm this assessment.

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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