Sunday, February 12, 2006

Jonas Kaufman

Exactly. I'm glad someone has finally said this. Tosca, for instance, is Tosca, no matter where you sing it. It still has dramatic attacks on high notes and dramatic low passages, that a more lyric role (Mimi, for instance) doesn't. Whether the house is large or small, the vocal demands are the same. Then there are acoustics, which is mor important than size. There are large houses with wonderful acoustics, and small ones with terrible acoustics. St. Gallen, with about 800 seats, has wonderful acoustics, but we used to guest in a much smaller theater near Zurich, where there were about 400 seats, and the voices stopped at the footlights. There is also the fallacy that a larger orchestra is louder, whereas the opposite is often the case. The loud instruments are usually the same number (brass, etc) where they cut down is usually on the number of string players, which makes very little difference to volume. As a matter of fact, a larger number of strings helps to cushion the volume from the brass. Beside which, (in theory at least, but it ain't necessarily so), the larger the house, the better the orchestra, and the better the orchestra is, the more it can play piano.I also find very interesting the comments of listers who saw the Met Traviata. Several opined that Gheorghiu's voice is too small for the Met, and then went on to talk in detail about her singing. Which means, they must have been able to hear her, right?David

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