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Subject: Re: not an aria, a horror show...
From: Don <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2018 15:02:22 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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Listened in the car on my way up to Santa Fe.   Worst Trovatore I have
heard since I walked out on Zinka many years ago.  Tempos were so slow they
died;  Quinn Kelsey in his interview talking about getting the opportunity
to sing in the bel canto style and actually singing in a manner the
farthest you could get from that without a Bayreuth bark.  Il Balen so slow
and with extra breaths to destroy the line.  And the tenor, straining at
notes that were not even above the staff, screaming his lungs out.   Was he
sick?  Seemed like he sang better at the TV broadcast last year.   When the
chorus was singing the tempos seemed to pick up but the minute the
principals sang, tempos sagged horribly.  The soprano at least tried for a
bit of nuance here and there but overall not a great Leonora by any means.
I've heard better singing in the delivery room at the hospital where I
volunteer.
DonD

On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 1:23 PM, Michael E. Lane <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> My spouse just asked me what language the tenor was singing in! After the
> truly disgraceful “ah si ben mío” I put on Mr. Bjorling so he might get a
> sense of what the aria is all about.....a great Azucena cannot pull this
> performance from mediocrity....
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> > On Feb 3, 2018, at 3:07 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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-- 
​Always keep a roll of baling wire and another of duct tape in your car.
It's amazing how useful it can be.

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