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Subject: The cost of Mozart
From: "Lisa R. Hirsch" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Lisa R. Hirsch
Date:Fri, 30 Oct 1998 09:11:34 -0800
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN
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TEXT/PLAIN (41 lines)


On Fri, 30 Oct 1998, Elden Dale Golden wrote:

>         I am convinced that one of the reasons regional companies do so
>      much Mozart is not because Mozart is so popular with audiences or
>      because of the intrinsic merit of the works but because they are so
>      cheap, relatively speaking, to produce.  Mozart used a small
>      orchestra, small chorus, and the sets can be very very simple. A
>      respectable production of Nozze or Cosi or any of the others costs far
>      far less than virtually any 19th century opera.  There are simply no
>      other operas by major composers in the generaly repertory that can be
>      produced as inexpensively.

Respectful disagreement: Mozart requires more solo singers than any number
of operas by Verdi.

Let's take Nozze. You need leading singers for:

Figaro
Susanna
Cherubino
Countess
Count

And you'd better have decent singers for Barbarina, Marcelli, Basilio, and
Bartolo, even if they're not in the Terfel/Fleming class.

For Cosi, again, six leading singers who all have big roles.

On the other hand, we've got Verdi's Rigoletto (three principals and
several much smaller roles, no female chorus, small orchestra); Aida (four
or five principals - okay; lots of supers and dancers required); Otello
(three BIG leads and several smaller roles).

Etc. I think for company like the Met or SF, where you've got the
orchestra and chorus on salary, the financial differences may be in the
number of principals you're hiring.

I also think Mozart's operas are popular for themselves among audiences,
but that's another issue.

-- Lisa

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