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Subject: Re: 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 15:07:28 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (323 lines)


I don’t listen any more... turn off during intermission; but for this performance I wish I could just turn off the whole thing... it is awful!

On 2/3/18, 2:20 PM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf of Paul Ricchi" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]> wrote:

    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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