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Subject: Re: not an aria, a horror show...
From: gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2018 14:22:18 -0600
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My god ... in recent months I have found myself screaming at my tv screen
when a certain someone is on - today's Trovatore has me screaming at my
radio. Probably the worst Miserere I have ever heard. Disgraceful.
Gordon

On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 2:07 PM, A Katalin Mitchell <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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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