23 January, 2009


Tonight someone mentioned something during dinner about a certain aria in a certain upcoming opera that will be sung a step down.

I can't elaborate any more because I know more about the background situation and why such a thing is occurring.


This is THE crowning aria of the piece.

And while I want to try and be understanding about the entire situation...it's really hard to hear that, because the piece is already such a rarity in the repertoire due to it's vocal requirements for both of the leading male and female roles.
And it being a role that I've sung before and all, well that just makes it tougher to swallow.

In addition to the fact that yes, I know divas o' the day could do whatever they wanted like move Lucia up a 3rd, or do the original version in F for the mad scene if they had high notes for days, or yes, even move things down because the rest of the role fit and the aria didn't....what about the musical integrity?

Why was that key originally chosen if not to showcase the voice in a certain way that requires leggiere singing?
What about the theme reiteration in the next scene after the aria?
What about the rest of the pianissimo high notes and fioratura?
What about the overture theme?

I'm bummed not because I'm not the one singing the role, but because the more houses may accommodate these key changes because they want a certain name or voice to sing a certain role, the less that role becomes a vocal specialty, something that I and I'm sure many others with that facility work very hard to excel at.
And of course, who will know? Probably not many outside the process.

Basta. Had to write it to get it out.
Final dress is tomorrow night and I'm looking forward to renewed energy after this day off.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Unfortunately when more and more opera houses are cutting back or shutting down completely, I fear that musical integrity will be put on hold if the certain name or voice sells tickets. But I agree with you - the composers allowed for some variation, but the key is the key for a reason.

On a brighter note, I'm thoroughly enjoying your posts about your current production.

(BTW, I figured out the what, where and, um, who, from your descriptions and my knowledge of what company is doing what where, but no worries, I'll never tell!)