Saturday, December 11, 2004

Saturday's Vespers - Listening and Hearing - Praying all the Way!

Sometimes, I just like to go to the Theater and not be a Vocal Pedagogist; in the theater I do not listen to the Singers' Vocal Problems, I just enjoy the Opera.

I also am one of those people who remember past performances, own the recordings, saw it live, and now listen on Saturday afternoon. The question: Is this good or bad.

Vocally, here was a Soprano who did not go into third and fourth gear very well. There were huge lines of demarcation, somewhat like going to McDonald's on Saturday night in my youth, and listen to a kid with new hot rod, shift badly. My knuckles hurt this afternoon and I may have to examine the Chippendale for claw marks.

Vibrato that is more than a quarter tone needs to be speeded up. This is possible and this was The Met. Notice this kind of vibrato does not record well and I hope that there is not a recording for sale.

Joan Dorneman is one of the most knowledgeable musicians in the world. She really knows the scores, backwards and forewords. I think she would be a great prompter in Europe, where the prompter directs the performance.

Which brings me to the question of the day, something I thought about after the Opera: If Verdi knew the age of his character, did he choose, desire, or want a singer of that age to perform his work? Example, a Father, in his forties, with a daughter, age 16, should the singer be in his forties or his sixties? Soprano character, age 16, sung by a forty year old Soprano? Did Verdi, Mozart, Puccini ever discuss this?

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