Don Wieghtman's question concerning "taste" is interesting but some of his examples of contrasts do not work for me. Not being a singer I am not sure that a contrast between chest and legato is accurate. Can a singer have both? The contrast of Verdi/Puccini and bel canto also strikes me as odd as I respond to both. I would even find it odd to contrast verismo and bel canto. In some ways I find Donizetti a protoverist in his interest in dramatic form and the sort of vocal projection he requires for his characters. Even though his subject matter might deal with renaissance characters or English queens the dramatic situations are not that far from Santuzza, Adriana or Tosca. Bellini is another situation all together in the more lyrical nature of his composition. And are the operas of Janacek so different from the verists - for me no. What I respond to is an overt theatricality musically and dramaticaly. I prefer passion to perfection (technique). I prefer Italian to German. In Wagner I have no interest in Parsifal or Meistersinger but am deeply moved by Tristan. Sutherland always bored me but Scotto and Sills had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I must also confess the Italian sopranos of the mid 20th century are some of my favorite singers but those of the same period in northern Europe make me yawn. I buy cds of operas for the sopranos and can tolerate (this is not absolutely true) even a less than perfect tenor and care not a whit who the bass is. Give me passion passion and more passion. Make me believe that the situations are a reality and the only way to respond is through song. And tonigth the Dallas Opera begins its season with Ballo - let me feel the pain of Amelia please don't ask me to intellectualize it.
Gordon Young<[log in to unmask]>