Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Acting vs. Voice

Something that I wanted to post about for a long time.Dessay and Netrebko are marvelous actresses. Of that I think there is little debate. Both have had their sharesof vocal criticism as well. Heck, I would be hard pressedto name more than one famous singer that was immune.Maybe Caruso? The ongoing debate about what importancea singers ability to act is well documented on this list and others. My gut tells me that those who say voice is all thatmatters and if you get some great acting as well it's a bonus.Singers such as Caballe, Sutherland, and Pavarotti have been good examples of the "it's all about the voice" debate. I am a little ambivalent thought I would putmyself squarely in the give me glorious sound and I don'tcare if they stand there and once in a while move therearms around. Sutherland used to defend her critics bysaying if you want great acting than go to a play. I tend to agree with her. After all why do we opera loyalist havesuch large audio collections? Because it is about the voice.Why do we prefer the live experience over a DVD? againwe all know that even the most expensive, elaborateaudio video systems still pale with being there and gettingthe reverberations on the ear first hand. So where is myambivalence? One of the greatest nights in all my operagoing was Diana Soviero in Suor Angelica in Miami. I saw itagain when it moved to Fort Lauderdale and brought a different group of friends this time to share the experience.All I can say was that she had it all. Voice plus acting andI've seen a lot of Bohemes and Butterflys (the tear jerkergold standards)? This night made them seem like comediesby comparison. The cliche not a dry eye in the audienceis really a cliche. I have seen many a person control thereemotions when I was beyond an appropriate amount of tears.(IMHO) Not that night or the second performance. No clichehere. The Madrid video is legendary I own it. I cry. Howeverit isn't the same as being there and seeing tough guys, ushersyou name it bawling to the point of embarrassment. So whatI am saying/asking is I sure now what to think about thismuch covered topic.

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