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Subject: Re: not an aria, a horror show...
From: robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2018 15:29:43 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (431 lines)


You said it. And it's not just today - Tuesday's was appalling. No real
drama, stabs at notes both high and low, and save for Kelsy, ugly tone from
all. And rum-tum-tum conducting.
B

On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 3:22 PM, gordon young <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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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