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Subject: Re: Tunings
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2018 20:36:23 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
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Does one high note really define a performance of a great role, especially Aida, which has so much other variable vocal requirements? The same is true of Siempre Liberia.  If the soprano can hit the E flat or whatever at the end, then great, but IMO it is not necessary to be a great or very good Violetta.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2018 3:12 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Tunings

Aida is not “about” the high C but the one in “O patria mia” is so exposed and so clearly in the spotlight that I’d go as far as to say that a soprano who isn’t really comfortable with her C, and that means being able to “play” the voice on that note with dynamic control and not just slam it out, should not perform Aida.

Re: the E-flat: a soprano who has the control for that C almost has to have a good E-flat as “headroom.” But then, to decide to “perform” the E-flat at the end of the Triumphal Scene, she needs yet more. The rule of thumb is that, to have enough margin to perform the highest note in a role day after day, including days you don’t feel at your absolute best, you need to solidly vocalize at least a minor third higher regularly.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 19, 2018, at 11:33, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> "Aida is not about the high C"
>
> We should all be required to write that down a hundred
> times so we never forget it. But what do I know; I like
> the high E.
>
> dtmk
>
>> On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 3:18 AM, Takis Pavl. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> It is   a b s o l u t e l y  true. There is a very informative video of
>> Cappuccilli (and Tebaldi on the panel) demonstrating the effects of a
>> higher pitch to a singer's instrument and vocal emission. Cappuccilli never
>> had trouble with high notes and his voice lasted for ever so why would he
>> have any reason to advocate for a lower (Verdi) pitch? Even a quarter of a
>> tone makes a difference in our vocal technique. As Cappuccilli explains,
>> Verdi knew about voices and wanted to use a certain colour, for baritones
>> in his case. If you make a singer stretch his passaggio too often during a
>> performance, the voice will get tired sooner and the chords will lose their
>> ability to recover and keep their focus especially in the lower area.
>>
>> I'm no Cappuccilli but a professional musican (singer) and I have no doubt
>> that 440 or higher tuning is not appropriate for works of the 19th century
>> (even of the early 20th century). Now if certain lighter singers such as
>> Mado Robin enjoyed raising their scenes a tone or more higher, that's
>> because they wanted to demonstrate what their higher placed voices could do
>> or how pretty their high voices were, not how the roles were written.
>> In Baroque times pitch often had to do with the tuning of the city's
>> church organ. Hence some Bach cantatas feel too low or too high if you sing
>> them in modern pitch. Having sung a lot of Bach, I know most singers are
>> petrified when they don't sing with period instruments because modern
>> instruments pitched half a tone higher make some already difficult Bach
>> passages a trial. Having to sing those a few times during daily rehearsals
>> in modern pitch and often having to perform the piece on the same day
>> (saving venue booking costs for the ensemble) means your voice is stretched
>> beyond its limits. And after all that stretch on the top, the low and
>> middle suffers. Also some string instruments (tuned in 440) will tune
>> slightly higher before the concert, thinking that the tuning might drop in
>> a warm hall. It doesn't matter if the singers protest, if it's choosing
>> between a stretched singer or an out of tune orchestra, the orchestra will
>> prefer to stay in tune and not consider the singer.
>>
>> Now you may wonder, why don't they use a higher voice that has no trouble
>> with those passages instead? All the interpretative tricks a singer can do,
>> don't make up for a certain vocal colour that matches the piece. The chosen
>> tonality also has a meaning. Yes, you can ask Edita Gruberova, Diana Damrau
>> and Mariella Devia to sing Aida, they can pop out the high C any time. But
>> Aida is not about the high C. If you don't get that, there's no point
>> discussing this any further.
>> Takis
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>    On Sunday, 18 February 2018, 23:18:45 EET, Kiwi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> That was the contention, that over time the turning has been raised to the
>> benefit of the orchestra and the detriment of the singer.
>>
>> And also it led to bigger orchestras because the brighter sound needed more
>> support.
>>
>> I think (I don't have the article in front of me at the moment) that writer
>> says if you, as a singer, are singing with an orchestra tuned to 435 or
>> 432,
>> the sound production is easier and more fluid / flexible, producing a more
>> even and less stressed sound.
>>
>> ????  Is there at least some validity to the point that a lower tuning
>> allows most singers to have (for lack of a better sense) a richer, more
>> easier sounding emission?
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Bella Malis
>> Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 3:36 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Tunings
>>
>> Just to help a little, as a former tuner.....etc. albeit a short term one.
>>
>> A 440, per min. Or sec.  I can’t remember which.....just means that there
>> are 440 beats each time the A is sounded...that is the third A, up from the
>> bottom of the piano.  Over the years, SOMEBODY decided to brighten the
>> tones
>> by raising of the tuning of the instruments.  All the instruments raised
>> and
>> the voices too.
>>
>> Makes for a brighter tone.....who knows which tuning should be done....
>> A440....A 435, etc., etc.
>>
>> ***Bella
>>
>> Sent from my iPad
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