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Subject: Re: Turandot pronunciation summation - case closed
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 5 Dec 2018 19:44:41 -0500

text/plain (62 lines)

This business that the "t" is hard to articulate when sung on a high note is absolutely 
preposterous. A "t" is no harder than ANY final consonant - and high notes do often call 
for words ending on consonants. 

A "t" requires two bits of technical operation - one, the tongue touches the hard palate, 
and two, breath is expelled between the tongue and the upper teeth, as the tongue is 
released. Normally, the sound of the vowel may stop while placing the tongue (the same 
way an Italian double consonant properly has a characteristic "catch" midway) in order to 
"set up" the upcoming T. And, as I seem to think that most times the name "Turandot" is 
sung it's at the end of a phrase, the T is a final button, not an interruption of the vocal 

A wonderful and exemplary example of a high "t" that immediately comes to mind is as 
sung by Stratas in the English-language production of Mahagonny at the Met in the "As 
You Make Your Bed" aria (I can find her recording of it in German on Youtube but I think 
you'd have to go to the full video on Met On Demand to find this excerpt in English), 
emphatically spitting out "A man's not a beaST" ending on a high A.

It's a common choral technique to sometimes let the highest voices in a group "fake" 
consonants on higher notes, but it's by no means the rule, and it of course totally 
depends on the group and the specific instances in the music. I'd say that in general, a 
soloist who can't (or more to the point, won't) articulate consonants above the staff is 
being a lazy singer. Period. (And I speak as a vocal coach, not an armchair listener lol.)

On Wed, 5 Dec 2018 15:58:38 -0500, C GH <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>The only reason this is a controversy at all is people think “It must be -doh because, 
in French, you don’t pronounce the t”
>The opera, however, is in Italian in which you do say the final t.
>Plus it’s based on a character named “Turandotte.”
>It’s not French.  It has no connection to French.  Why are we afraid to say the final 
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